The Bully

By David T. Feliciano 09/01/03

The House kids of St. Agnes were divided into groups by grade school classes. In every group of classes there usually was a bully. House kids knew who the bullies were and stayed clear of them. Bullies would pick on the weaker kids and usually left the more athletic kids alone.

One reason was because an athletically gifted kid was more likely to fight back, even if they knew they could not win the fight. This was because of an unspoken rule that if you allowed someone to bully you, your status among your peers would be lowered. Other kids would think less of you and would be more inclined to pick a fight with you.

One day a new kid came to St. Agnes and was assigned to my class. He sat next to me at the table where we ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. He was a big kid and was always bragging about the street gang he belonged to and how they used to kick butt of all the other kids in rival gangs. He would brag that he was one of the better fighters in the gang. Because of his size, no one doubted him.

Soon, after mouthing around his credentials as a great fighter, he began to bully the smaller kids. He would beat up the weaker kids and was constantly threatening many of the kids. Soon, almost everyone accepted that he could backup what he was bragging about and decided to stay clear of him for fear of getting beat up. It hadn't taken him long to instill fear in almost everyone in our group.

Even though I was smaller than him, he didnít pick on me. He left me alone. Probably, this was because he knew I was a good athlete and if he tried to bully me, I would fight back. As for me, I also accepted his bragging that he could fight and stayed clear of him. Although I knew I would not allow him to bully me, I also did not want to get an unnecessary beating if I could avoid one. I wasn't afraid to fight him but deep inside I thought I couldn't beat him so why put myself in a position where I would have to fight him.

Then one day at the breakfast table, the inevitable happened. The bully decided to pick on me. We were sitting waiting for the nun to serve us our breakfast cereal. Our sweet rolls were already served. As kids often do when waiting for something, I was totally distracted talking to someone on another table with my back to my plate with my sweet roll. The bully took my sweet roll and placed it on his plate. He had already eaten his sweet roll.

After I finished talking, I turned around to notice that my sweet roll was gone. Now the bully was distracted talking to someone on another table. Immediately, all the kids on my table pointed to the bully and whispered that he took my sweet roll. I knew that he had eaten his sweet roll and that meant the roll on his plate was mine.

Because his back was turned, I could have simply taken back my sweet roll off his plate. But then what was I going to say when he turned around and demanded to know where the sweet roll went. So, I decided to wait until he turned around and then I said to him "this is my roll" and took it off his plate. He immediately began to curse me and told me what he was going to do to me later went we got outside. He was going to kick this, and break that, and I was not going to be alive after he got through with me. He told me I was in for the beating of my life, and I didn't exactly doubt him.

Inside I was trembling a little. I was thinking that maybe I was in for the beating of my life. But that didn't matter at this point, because there was an unwritten rule in play here. I had to show all the kids that I had heart and that I was not afraid to defend myself. It didn't matter if I won or lost the fight, as much as it matter that I was willing to defend myself, win or lose.

My hands were shaking as I ate my breakfast, a little worried inside, but committed to defend myself. To my surprise, the bully finished his breakfast faster than anyone on our table and left. I assumed he would be waiting for me outside as he had stated and I had agreed. I finished my breakfast and as I got up to leave, a mob of kids got up with me and followed me outside. This fight was going to be an event and no one wanted to miss it. As I walked outside, my adrenalin was pumping and my insides were no longer tumbling. This was much like when I prepared to play a baseball game as second baseman or football game as quarterback for St. Agnes. Just like those pre-game conditions, my nervousness had become intense but had vanished by the time I proceeded to the ball field.

I had formulated my game plan in my head. I remembered that as a Quarterback, those big heavy linemen where always trying to kill the quarterback. But they rarely got a good shot at me. This was in part because I had big heavy linemen protecting me, but also because I was quicker than they were. They could not get many good shots at me. So, all I had to do was stay outside and pop away with my jab. My game plan was to hit and run, stay outside, pop the jab. I knew that, if I followed this game plan, he could not beat me. no way.

I was ready to go. I was pumped. I no longer feared that I was going to get a beating. Instead, I was confident that I would win. The bully didnít scare me anymore. Just like with baseball and football, I was a gladiator now, prepared and ready to kick butt.

When we all got outside, there was no sign of the bully. He was not waiting for me as agreed. After waiting about 5 minutes, we concluded that he had skipped out and was not going to show up for the fight.

His ducking out of the fight sent my confidence soaring. I knew I had his number. I knew I would beat the hell out of him. I knew that all his bragging was nothing but talk, that he was afraid of me. I knew that he was hiding from me. The bully was dead, he's been found out, exposed as a fraud.

With my confidence soaring, I asked the mob of kids following me if they knew where the bully worked. A few of them said he worked in the laundry room and he may have reported early for work.

Off we went, a mob of kids looking for the bully. It was not unlike the scene in Frankenstein when the town people marched with the burning torches coming after the monster. Everyone wanted to see the bully get his beating. This was especially true with the smaller kids that the bully was always picking on.

As we approached the laundry room, the kids that had run ahead reported that he was indeed there and said he didnít want to fight me. Another dose of adrenalin soared through me. Now I was absolutely sure the bully was all talk and no action. I indeed had his number.

Now I became the bully. I walked up to him and punch him in the face. He didnít fight back and as I was about to punch him again, he turned his back to me. So I kick him in the butt. I was calling him all kinds of sissy names and still he wouldnít fight back.

After repeated unsuccessful attempts to make him fight back, I decided that I had gotten enough satisfaction, and no longer wanted to torment him. He had made an ass of himself and I felt it was not necessary for me to degrade him more. He had done a good job of that himself. After all, I was not a bully and really did not get pleasure in acting like a bully. I may have beat up some kids, but only because I felt they deserved a beating and not because I was a bully.

As I let him off easy, I threaten him that if he ever bullied another kid again, I would come get him and finish the beating I started. But it was not necessary for me to beat him up again, because the other kids that he had been picking on now began to pick on him. They got their revenge beating the hell out of him. The bully was a bully no more. He was the one that got bullied.

By David T. Feliciano 09/01/03

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