Saturday, March 22, 2014

School Buddy: Scene Five

Snopes says this never happened, as it is an internet story that has been going around for a long time.  This is a reworking of the idea.
School Buddy

I’ll never forget the day Mark and I became friends.  I had seen him around school, and I knew he was different.  He always seemed sad and he was kind of a nerd.  He wore big old black plastic framed glasses, the lens like coke bottles, a shock of rarely combed hair, and he was shorter than most of the boys in our class.

I hate to admit it, but I never even tried to get to know him or even talk to him until one day in early September of our Freshman year.  Stanley, the local bully and a Senior loved giving freshmen a hard time.  Especially those who would never fight back.  Freshmen like Mark. 

Well, I had just walked into the bathroom and I saw Stanley and two other seniors had Mark backed into one of the toilet stalls.   They were picking him up and trying to put his head in the toilet.  Mark cried and begged and fought best he could.  Something broke in me, I wanted to turn and walk away, not get involved, but this wasn’t right.  I never could do that.  No body deserved to  be treated like that. 

“Stop it!”  I yelled.

“Another one!” they shouted.  One of the seniors left the pack and started towards me.  Well, he was a whole lot bigger than me, and I ain’t stupid.  I ran.  I busted outta that bathroom and screamed for help.  (Laughs), yeah, I admit it, my voice hadn’t really changed yet and I was a pretty soprano!  Well, Mr. Lamb our Principal, just happened to be near by and within minutes the Seniors were expelled and Mark and I were safe.  At least till they returned to school.

Mark couldn’t believe that I had stood up for him.  He invited me to his house that night to play video games.  I’m glad he did.  We became the very best of friends.  And we survived our Freshman year.  Mark was in band, I played football, he was on the chess club, I…wasn’t.  It didn’t matter.  People figured out real quick that when you messed with one of us, you messed with both of us.  Eventually we graduated high school.  And of course, Mark was Valedictorian.  I was…well, I wasn’t, but I graduated to.

I’ll never forget his speech that night.  He said, “When I was a freshman, my parents were getting a divorce.  I didn’t have a single friend, and I believed no one cared about me.  One day I stole my father’s .45 pistol, brought it to school.  I planned on getting through the day, then going to the band hall and killing myself.  I didn’t think I had anything to live for.  That day, some Seniors came around and started bullying me.  I even thought about pulling the gun and shooting them, but I was saved.  A boy I didn’t even know, stood up to them, and got help for me.  He became my best friend, and I am here today, because he chose to care.”  He thanked me.  Called me out in front of everyone.  I don’t remember much of that.  Too many tears in my eyes.  I didn’t deserve it, I hadn’t really done anything too special, but for Mark, it was enough.  It was enough.


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