“Hey new girl, you know they use to lock up people like you.” One boy shouted.
I was not going to cry, kids had taunted me before, acted as if being around because I wore braces with ugly brown straps and used a red walker to get around, I was born with a conditon that made it hard for me to get around. It was something I couldn’t help and I hated being treated as if I had some kind of curse or something.
I wondered how after seven years of school kids could still be so ignorant, and I wondered how anyone could be as cruel as that boy who yelled out those cruel words, but I also knew that in a way I spoke the truth, in the old days I may be considered a throw back.
“I have a name” I told the boy once again finding my voice, remembering what Mom had said earlier that morning about being more ascertive, she always told me I needed to believe in myself and others would believe in me. I did not want to go through life letting people walk all over me it was a good lesson to learn early on, of when I was older.
“Wow she can talk.” The boy said smirking.
“I am no idiot.” I managed trying not to hate the boy who seemed to get thills out of picking on others. “A real bully.” Mom would say.
Finally the boy shut up, maybe what I was saying got to him or maybe he was not use to people standing up to him,sticking up for themselves the way I had. He was proabably use to people letting him walk all over them. I may have been new to Pinelake middle school but I had seen bullies like him before, and Mom had always told me not to let the bullies get the best of me.
“Hanna don’t let anyone sell you short.” Mom reminded me often. “Your a strong girl, your legs don’t change that.”
I was once again glad I had listened to Mom, she spoke wisely and spoke out of love. She and I had a very close relationship and eventhough I was upset with the fact she had moved us in the middle of my Seventh Grade year.
I tried not to complain to much about the move, because I knew it would not change anything and I really didn’t want to hurt Mom. I tried to remind that Mom was doing the best for me, even if at the moment I was confronting the school bully I didn’t feel like it.
I was going to make the best out of the situation though even if it meant having to confront bullies. I was not going to let anyone walk all over me. It may not always be easy, but I was going to stand up for myself no matter what. Mom had instilled that in me long before I even entered school.
“You have to be able to stand up for yourself Hanna.” Mom reminded me often.
“I know.” I said,a nd the truth was I did know. Mom spoke the truth, and I was thankful she did so. She would not allow me to feel sorry for myself and that was to my advantage.
“Why aren’t you afraid of me?” The boy asked.
“Because you don’t scare me.” I said leaning heavily against my red walker. I was surpirsed to realize my words were true , I was not afraid of the bully, in fact the boy seemed a little sad to me, maybe he acted this way because he was lonesome. If he had friends he may not always have the need to pick on those who perceived as weaker than himself and that seemed to be everyone in seventh grade at Pine Lake Middle School.
The boy didn’t say anything for a time, it was as if the fact that I was afraid of him left him speechless, he was obviously not use to being confronted the way I had confronted him. He was more use to kids cowering around him and I was not about to do that. I had taken the lesson Mom had instilled in me to heart. I was not going to be walked on.
“My name’s Jack new kid, what’s your’s?” The bully asked
“My names Hanna not new kid.” I responded.
“You are different than the other kids.” Jack said.
“I was born twith Cerebral Palsy, that’s why I use the walker and the leg braces.” I explained. I discovered long ago that it was better to just explain what my problem was, and if the listener was smart they would realize they couldn’t “catch” anything from me.
“I mean you are braver than most of the kids, they go the other way when they see me.”
“Mom always taught me to confront the bullies.” I explained simply.
“I’m use to people being scared of me.” Jack expalained.
“Is that what you really want people to be afraid of you?” I asked, sensing that was not what he wanted.
“No.” Jack admitted.
“What do you want?”
“Well from now on you can consider me a friend, but if you want to make more friends and keep them you have to stop bullying everyone.” I told Jack.
“Thanks.” Jack said, I had given him what he needed most friendship.