Last week, I told you about an embarrassing incident in my life and how I wish I could go back and change it. I also promised you another thing I would have liked to change in my past in this week’s blog. So, here is the second thing I would change if I could.
- I’d have stood up to that school bully a lot sooner than I did.
She made my life miserable for over a year. It was something that left a few scars on me and dinged my self-confidence. I think because it did leave some lingering hurt, I use this in my books a lot. In In Another Life, there’s a guy, Paul, who is a bully. He tries to intimidate my hero, Cash, as well as Chloe. Both Chloe and Cash stand up to him. Cash even puts a camera in his car and video tapes the guy to show he’s the one who keyed his Jeep. But there’s something that Cash realizes. Bullies are generally bullies because of some issue going on in their own lives. It doesn’t make it right, but Cash decides to cut this guy a little break.
“What the hell is your boyfriend up to?” A voice says behind me.
I swing around. A very angry Paul is storming toward me. Cash told me he was sending the video, so I know what this is about. “I’m pretty sure he explained it in his text,” I say and I know that, too, because I helped him write it.
“He’s trying to mess up my chances at a football scholarship, isn’t he?” He gets in my face.
I take a step back. “Get the hell away from her.” I hear Cash, and he’s running toward us.
“What are you trying to pull?” Paul yells at Cash.
“Not a damn thing. Read the damn text. Now get lost,” he says.
I see Cash’s fist held tight at his side. His expression is rock hard. Anger tightens his face. He looks ready to fight.
“What are you going to do? Take it to the coach?” Paul says.
Cash takes my arm. “Come on.” I start walking with him.
Paul bolts in front of us and takes a defensive stance. Cash releases me and grabs Paul by his shirt and slams him into a car. “Listen to me. I know your father is a piece of shit. I had one like that, too. I’m giving you a break, but it wouldn’t take much to change my mind. Now get the hell away from me! And stop trying to be like your damn father! Got it?”
In The Mortician’s Daughter series, One Foot In the Grave, Riley had a huge issue with a couple of mean girls. Riley even ends up being hit and even gets a black eye. In the second book these girls are still up to no good. I love the scene when Riley finds her spunk and uses her smarts to teach the bully a lesson.
I grab my cardboard pizza and am heading to Kelsey in the back when I’m smacked in the face with a bread roll, which drops on top of my pizza. Laughter echoes. I look around for the guilty person, but there’s really no point. It’s not like I’m going ape-shit on anyone’s ass.
I’m the one who hates conflict.
Then I see the table that’s laughing the hardest. It’s Jamie, Jacob’s ex, who has it out for me, and her minions. Candace, Jamie’s friend, waves at me. Yeah, she’s the one who picked on me the first week of school and caused a scuffle that led to me getting a black eye.
I don’t know what happens, but suddenly the idea of going ape-shit on someone is sounding better and better. I square my shoulders and head straight to her table.
I should be afraid. I should be smarter and turn around. But all I feel is anger.
I stop right behind Candace, who is looking over her shoulder at me, sneering. “Did you give her the book?” Jamie asks.
So that’s who put the book in my locker? I feel my face get hotter. “I think you lost this.” I hold up the roll and then drop it. It plops in her bowl of chicken soup.
Okay, I know this doesn’t qualify as going ape-shit on anyone, but at least I’m not slinking away. I’m turning to leave when I hear, “Freak. Does your dad get it on with the dead women in his funeral home?”
I swing around. Everyone at the table goes silent. Everyone’s holding their breath to see what I’ll do.
Honestly, I’m kind of waiting too.
Oh, I know what I want to do. I want to hit her. I’ve never ever wanted to hit anyone before. Until now. But my gut says that’s what she wants. I swallow air and try to roll back my emotions. To reevaluate. Refrain from acting. Rethink my position.
I’m not going to hit her. Not going to give her what she wants. But I’m not just walking away, either. I’m going to outsmart her. I lean down, get close to her ear, just to show her I’m not afraid. Then I whisper, “Disrespecting the dead is dangerous. Be careful.” I’m impressed at the spookiness level in my tone. “Be very, very careful.”
She laughs, but when I pull back I see it in her eyes. Fear. I think I even smell it on her. Then again, that might just be her chicken soup.
Yeah, I know I’ve probably upped my freak level, but with only three months left of school, it might be worth it.
So what about you? Did you ever have to deal with a bully?
The winner of last week’s giveaway of a tote filled with swag is April. Congratulations! Please email me at Christie@christie-craig.com with your postal address, and I’ll send you your prize.
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