Hey, so I hope you guys like this story. I don't know how often I'll be updating, but I hope to do so frequently. Enjoy.
When the school hires a speaker to teach its students about bullying, most people tune it out and ignore the speaker's wise words. They immediately assume, "We're not like that. This is a waste of time."
But I didn't. Every time we were sent into an assembly to listen to a speech about bullying, my ears tuned in and I drank in the words with a thirst that rivaled a rabid vampire.
From the early age of five, I was fascinated by the nature of bullies. It intrigued me of how their thought process worked.
Some may be thinking, "Why? Five year olds are all friends. They could care less about harming each other."
This was not the case in the small town of Forks, Washington.
Sitting in the back row of Ms. Lusins's kindergarten class, I watched as a shy, awkward boy with copper hair shuffled to the front of the room. I smiled softly, giggling at his self-conscious demeanor.
He spoke quietly, introducing his pet frog Marvin. My friend Lauren had whispered snidely about what a stupid name that was for a frog. Though I didn't even know what being snide meant back then, I knew it wasn't right.
Ignoring her, I listened intently as he told us all about the green amphibian. He'd taught it how to hop on command. A wide smile grew on my young face as he demonstrated.
He then told us about how Marvin was his best friend- that he was the best listener when you needed to just talk. Looking down, he mumbled out what sounded along the lines of, "I'm done," and sat down.
Tyler, the boy Lauren had confided in me that she had a crush on, sneered in the boy's direction and said, "What a loser."
I frowned, not liking his tone and words. Ms. Lusins smiled her warm, kind smile and said, "That was very good Edward. Wasn't it class?"
I nodded and started to clap for him. I had been smiling, but it faded as my friends all scowled in my direction. I was startled and confused. We had cheered for everyone else, why not him?
Tyler booed and soon the other boys joined in. After much shushing, Ms. Lusins calmed the class and led a crying Edward into the hall.
I frowned at my friends and said, "That wasn't very nice."
They ignored me and continued to talk about whatever it is kindergarteners talk of.
Although I tried to forget about it, that day's event kept popping up in my mind. I couldn't understand why my friends had not liked Edward's show-and-tell presentation.
In all honesty, it was much better than Tyler's pet rock.
Sure, he looked odd, with his messy hair. His arms were a little too long, and he just flat out looked different than most of us. But why did that matter? It didn't seem to justify my friends' actions.
Later, during lunch, a flash of green passed by me. Squinting, I saw Marvin hopping across my table. Reaching out, I cupped my hands and caught him. The girls around me screamed and squealed while I held the squirming animal in my hands.
My thumb stroked his slimy flesh, and soon a frantic Edward was searching our table.
I stood up and walked over to him. "Looking for this little guy?"
He turned and looked into my hands, and let out a relieved sigh. "Thank you!"
Handing him over, I smiled at Edward and said, "He's so cute."
Edward replied, "Girls don't usually think he's cute. They think he's gross."
Shaking my head, I said, "Well then they don't know what they're talking about."
He thanked me again and ran off. Sitting back down at my table, I giggled to myself.
The day passed by and soon I was walking out of the school toward the bus lanes.
Hearing yelling, I turned and walked over to where I saw Tyler, Mike, and some other boys were crowded around something. Or someone as I would soon find out.
I pushed the boys out of my way with my tiny arms and saw Tyler holding Marvin, Edward's frog.
Edward was trying to jump up and grab him, but Tyler always seemed to keep the frog just out of Edward's reach.
Edward's face looked desperate and panicked. His movements were frantic to get Marvin back.
Suddenly, Tyler threw his hand forward and Edward let out a surprised scream. Soon his screams morphed into sobs though.
There, on the school brick wall was a splattered, and very much dead, Marvin.
The other boys laughed and cheered on a proud looking Tyler.
Glaring, I stomped over to him and pushed on his chest.
He pushed me back, and I almost fell on the ground next to Edward. I kept myself up, however, and continued to glare at him.
"What's wrong with you? That's killing!" My young voice screeched at Tyler. The murder seemed unjustifiable.
"It's none of your business Isabella, so why don't you go run off and play with the other girls." His voice was cruel, and as he turned away, all of the other boys followed him. Crouching down, I reached out to touch Edward's shaking shoulder.
He flinched away, and then looked at me with tears rolling down his face. The tears welled up in mine as well and I said, "I'm sorry. They're so mean."
His head nodded, and I scooted closer to him before hesitantly hugging him. My grandma always said that was the best way to cheer someone else up.
His trembling arms wrapped around me, and we held each other until a teacher came and scolded us for missing the bus.
We were sent to the office to call and wait for our parents. While we sat in the cold wooden chairs, I turned to Edward and said, "You wanna give him a funeral?"
His head turned toward mine with a confused look. "What?"
"You spoke so kindly of him. He sounded like a great pet. A great friend. We should send him away the right way." Nodding to myself, I grabbed his hand and we snuck out of the office and back to the side of the building where Marvin still lay splattered against the wall.
The ghastly sight started the tears again for Edward, and I gave him another hug. Then we shifted uncomfortably, not knowing what to do.
"You should say something nice about him."
Nodding, he spoke. "Marvin was a great frog. He was smart and funny. He croaked at all my jokes. He didn't deserve what happened to him. It's my fault." His voice cracked toward the end.
Continuing, "He was the greatest best friend a person could ask for. Bye Marvin." His tear filled eyes looked to me questioningly. I nodded.
"That was so sweet. I'm really sorry."
Edward simply nodded before we returned to the office to be picked up by our parents.
When my dad brought me home, he asked who the boy was.
I broke down crying in his police cruiser, sobbing out the whole gruesome story of how mean those boys had been to poor Edward. Charlie nodded solemnly, taking my five-year old problems seriously, and carried me into the house.
My little arms wrapped around his neck and I sobbed into his chest as he sat us down on the couch.
Prying my face away from his torso, Charlie forced me to look at him. My big brown eyes stared at his face, searching for answers. Whimpering, I asked why the boys would do something like that. Sighing, he sat me up on his lap and began to speak.
"Bella, not all people are nice. In fact, some are really mean. People like Tyler- they feel good about themselves when they hurt others."
My young mind couldn't comprehend something so odd. "Why?"
"I don't know. But there's not really a way to force him to stop. He's a bad boy and you have to realize that he did what he did without a reason."
My lips trembled as the sobs tried to start again. Charlie quickly tried to finish.
"But what you can do is be nice. Stand up to him, and stand up for that boy- who was it? Eduardo?"
Giggling, my tears slowed as I curled into my daddy's chest. "Daddy, his name was Edward."
He tickled my sides and we both laughed. "Edward it is then. You can be nice to him. He's going to need some friends, and the best thing you can do is be his friend. Think you can handle that, Bells?"
Nodding, my childish mind became determined. I nodded solemnly and answered. "Yes. Me and Edward are going to be best friends."
From that moment on, I made it my mission to make sure that Edward would have a best friend even though Marvin was gone. I might have cooties and be an "icky girl", but he would always have a best friend to talk to.
It became routine for my father to come home from work and be bombarded by my questions. Soon he would automatically sit at the table as I sat there and threw my questions at him.
I questioned him on all things bullying.
I asked him why they acted how they acted.
I asked him why we let them.
I asked him why Edward was being picked on.
I asked him how Tyler would turn out when he got older.
I asked him if it would ever stop.
The list was endless, but Charlie never failed to answer my question patiently and in detail. He never became frustrated, even when I repeated my questions.
He once got home and leaned down to pull me into his chest. He held me for a while, and I smiled as I was enveloped in his fatherly warmth. He spoke softly, as if he would cry any second. "I'm so proud to have a daughter like you. That boy is lucky."
I was ecstatic at my father's words, and I repeated them in my head over and over again.
Even when things got to be at their worst, those words kept me going.
So today I stand in front of a room of students my age and begin to tell the tale of how bullying had changed my life. How it tore apart my best friend at an early age. And I tell them of how much it hurts to see the one you love so much be pushed around.
I finish my speech and nod at the crowd of high schoolers. I thank them for listening to me and a loud rush of applause rings out around the gymnasium. I smile and walk out, shaking my head.
Walking out into the parking lot, a silver Volvo waits for me. A copper haired boy smiles at me, and I rush into his arms. We both bask in the warmth of each other, and in the next few moments, I relive the last twelve-thirteen years.
I remember the hardships we have faced, and the memories we've made. And I think of all the memories we're going to make in the future.
Sitting in the car, I lean back and rest my head on the back of my seat.
Drifting off to sleep, the last thirteen years play out like an old movie, and I take a seat in the theatre, happily watching.
What'd you think? Was it alright? Constructive criticism is welcome- hater reviews are not.
P.S. Feel free to point out grammatical errors- I'd actually really appreciate it.