Stand up part 1 (the story)
Today was just another day. I have spent the last three years here in this school and as my last days here come closer I can’t help but think about my time here in this hell of a place they call middle school. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve had some good times here, but not nearly as many bad times. MY grades were decent, but I was never challenged. I had a few friends but after I leave here tomorrow I’ll probably never speak to them again.
You see I’m moving schools, going to the other side of the city for high school, get away from all of this bull shit, and finally be able to start over. Now I know what you’re thinking; I’m in middle school, why would I need a fresh start. Well I’ve seen more about life than the average middle school student. Don’t believe me? Let me just tell you some of the things I’ve witnessed.
Have you ever been label because of who you are? Maybe because of the way you look, walk, or even talk; I have. For my whole life I have had a lisp, a slight speech impairment, nowadays you can’t really hear it unless I’m talking really fast or am raising my voice, but it’s still there. I used to get teased in elementary school and still now because of the way I talk. This is one of the reasons I’m changing schools, so I can get away from all the labels. Now you may be thinking that I’m a sweet innocent victim, but before you think that let me tell you something else.
Before people started picking on me for the way I talked I picked on other people for the way they behaved. There was this girl I knew in elementary, she had bipolar disorder and because of that I teased her relentlessly, and then the same thing happened to me; I guess you could say payback is a bitch. But now that I’m in eighth grade I’ve managed to stay under the radar, and not get picked on so much. I was starting to turn to the side of the bully again when something hit me.
It all started a week ago when I was leaving school after track practice and I saw this kid on the ground bleeding. I started to walk over to him but then I saw another kid lean over him and punch him. I wasn’t sure what was going on so I backed away and left. When I got home that night I thought about that kid, and why he just sat there and took the beating. I know parents and teachers always tell you that you shouldn’t fight people and you should just stay down because the person doing the hitting will get caught eventually, but when is eventually, and sometimes eventually comes too late. I’m not saying he should have stood up and killed the kid hitting him, but he should have stood up and done something.
The next day I saw the same kid walking around campus with a black eye, a purple lip, and a lot of bruises. All the teachers tried asking him what happened, but every time he would just say that he fell or something. And every day I saw the bully who always had a smile on his face and who walked around without a care in the world. I knew I had to do something, but what could I do? I didn’t want to get on the radar, but then I realized that I’m switching schools, so I will stay off the radar no matter what, so I decided to leave my mark on this school.
Today was my second to last day of eighth grade and almost my last day of middle school. I had my last track practice after school and on my way out I saw the same kid on the floor getting beaten by the same bully. This was it; there was no turning back. I walked up to the bully and just let my instincts take over. I came up behind him and pulled him away from the kid. I punched him one clear time to let him know I meant business. While the bully was confused I threw him against one of the lockers and looked at his now bleeding lip.
“Why hit that kid? What the hell did he ever do to you?” I asked him he whipped the blood off his mouth.
“The kid is a gay fag and deserves to die.” He said with an angry tone.
“Why? What makes him different than any of us, and what makes you think you can tell him how to live his life?” I raised my voice with every word.
“Because no one else will, my parents always told me that being gay was sin against the bible and that it’s unnatural.” He said trying to justify himself, but I wasn’t buying any of it.
“You are not god, so stop pretending to be him. Only god chooses who sins and who doesn’t.” And with that final word I took him and threw him away.
Now that he was gone I turned my attention to the kid who was still on the floor bleeding and tearing. I walked over to him and bent down before him. He reached his hand out for me to help him up, but I just ignored it. I looked at him and then moved closer and said, “I’m no angel. I am not here to save you. I am here to finish the job.” And finished it I did. I stood up and looked down on him. Now he tried to cower in the corner and get away, but there was no getting away from me. He was shaking with fear as he should for he had the right to fear me. For every ounce of fear he had I did what I was here to do. I kicked him in the stomach as hard as I could with my running shoes. I picked him up with one hand and punched him in the face with the hand with a silver ring on it. I threw him down to the floor and repeated everything. As I continued to punch him and kick him I asked,
“Why don’t you stand up for yourself? Why do you let people tell you who you are?” and he would always answer,
“Because I don’t know how; I’m not strong enough.”
By now several of his teeth were on the ground broken, his bruises had bruises, and his black eye was now swollen shut. He was coughing up blood and spilling it on the floor. He moaned and groaned, and as I continued I would see him cup his hands together and pray; pray for me to stop. Pray for someone to come and save him, and no matter how hard he prayed, no matter how much blood he lost, and no matter how many tears he cried no one came to help him. I delivered one final kick that landed him on his back.
He was barely moving now and I could tell that I might have just killed him, but I also knew that I could still save him, and not just from me, but from every other person or thing that would knock him down. He was shaking when I bent down to him. He was trying to wipe the blood from his mouth and dry the tears in his eyes. His pale white skin was covered in red. His small frail hands were wet with blood and tears. His ordinary clothing was torn. His blonde hair was covered in sweat, and every breath he took was weaker and weaker. I looked down upon him realizing what I had done, but I knew that I might have done this to him, but I wasn’t going to be the death of him. He was curled up in a ball now waiting for his time to come, for him to sleep forever, but I was going to ruin that to. I bent down close to him and looked into his sealed and swollen eyes and I said,
“Stand up. I am your bully and I am your killer so stand up to me. You know that what I did wasn’t right, and you know that the world you live in isn’t right, so stand up to it. This may be your last choice on earth. This may be the last choice you ever make, so make it count. Stand up and fight with every last breath you have. Don’t let your life go to waste. Don’t let your life end like this. Stand up!”
All he did was open his eyes as much as he could and look at me, and what I saw told me that something about him changed; something about him wasn’t the same. There were no more tears in his eyes. With this done I walked away and called 911 right before I left.
The next day was my last day of hell school and as I walked down the hall for the final time I thought about all the good times and bad times in the past three years, but no matter what I thought about I couldn’t help but think of that kid yesterday. He was in school today and he was still in pretty bad shape. i also saw the bully from yesterday who as soon as he saw me threw me into the lockers and gave me a knuckle sandwich. He told me that he was going to beat me up next year not knowing I wasn’t going to be at the same school he was.
After school I was walking home and I saw the kid from yesterday walking home as well and along the way I also saw the bully from yesterday but this time he had a few friends. They all grabbed the kid and dragged him into a nearby alley. I knew what they were going to do, and I knew that I was going to want to watch. I ran over to them and saw what I knew I would. All five of the bullies were now punching and kicking the kid. As I stood there and watched from afar I looked at the kids face which didn’t look anything like it did yesterday; he was bleeding of course, but there was no praying, and there was no crying.
After they finished beating him up I saw his breath get weaker as the bullies stood their waiting for him to go. His eyes were swollen again but he managed to look at me standing there, and all I did was look back and he did the one thing they never expected him to; he stood up. The bullies were looking at him like they saw a ghost. They couldn’t believe that he was standing up after all of that, but stand he did. He stood up to them and his life. He stood up for everything that’s not right in the world. He made his choice to stand, and stand he did. With this none of the bullies knew what to do, so they turned around and walked away. They walked right past me and didn’t say anything.
With them gone I walked up to the kid and asked him the one question I need to know the answer to,
“Why stand up now? Why stand up when yesterday you didn’t?”
“Because I couldn’t.” He said.
“Couldn’t or wouldn’t?” I said as he smiled a little.
“I guess you’re right, I wouldn’t stand up to you because even though you hurt me the most I didn’t see you as a bully and therefore wouldn’t stand up to you.” His answer made me smile.
“So why now?”
“Because; because I choose to stand up, not for you or them, but for every kid who couldn’t. For every kid they beat up before me and for every kid who they will beat up after me. I’m going to stand up to all of them now and it’s all thanks to you. It took you beating the crap out of me for me to realize it, but you were right. I needed to stand up.”