Sunday Shorts: 3 Tiny Tales About Girls Who Stood Up To Bullies
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1. Take No More, Fake No More
For months, every single day of school had been a nightmare. It started when people realized or rather “doubted” that I was gay. Yes, I was - I am. My classmates wouldn’t sit on the same seat as me, I had a separate seat in the corner of the class. They would call me names, throw things at me, make loud jokes at my expense and toss my bag and notebooks out of the window. Every day they seemed to find a new way to bully me, while I quietly sat by myself, trying to keep my tears and anger bottled up within me. And then one day I decided it was enough. Before anyone came to class, I went and sat on the first bench. And when my bullies arrived, I said: “Hey! I sat on every one of these benches, but I like this one the best. Please make yourselves comfortable.” They were almost shocked to see me speak, and I think my confidence intimidated them a little. It didn’t stop at once, but I kept fighting back till they finally accepted that I deserved as much respect and love as any of them.
I know I am no match to her, but something needs to be done. Today, of all days, I can’t stay quiet. So, I am plucking courage from every fiber of my being and refusing her. I know she will get back at me for refusing to fetch her coffee … but today isn’t about her. It is about my daughter who has been complaining about girls at her school making her do their homework, in exchange for them being friends with her. It is about my daughter who is standing beside me right now, watching me refuse an unfair demand. The thing about courage is that it can be taught only through small actions, not lofty words. So, today, I had to let my daughter watch me fight my bully to teach her how to fight hers.
When I was in school, I was forced to share my lunch with a girl because she would never carry her own tiffin box. I vaguely remember telling her to carry her own lunch box that day. It obviously didn’t go down well with her. Every single day, she would find ways to trouble me. She would intentionally push me, lock me in the washroom and sometimes even spread false rumours about me! I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. But, then I realised that I’m no coward. No one can hurt me unless I give them the power to. The next time she tried her stunts with me again, I fought back. At the risk of being labelled a snitch, I complained to my principal. It turned out that she’d been bullying other people too - it was just that no one had spoken up. Eventually, her parents were asked to take her out of our school. I never heard from her again - I just hope that whatever school she went to next, she didn’t make life as miserable for other people as she had done for me.