I would’ve wallowed in my sorrows all day if I hadn’t seen that bitch embarrass that poor boy.
Because of her little stunt outside the classroom, I made sure to make her embarrassed too.
I saw her pull out a seat next to that boy and I quickly sat down in the chair. She was speechless. But within seconds I witnessed her face turn bright red and the waterworks follow shortly after. Seeing her embarrassed was honestly breathtaking. I was never a child that let bullying slip by. I might have let family mess with me and upset me but I wouldn’t let a bully go unpunished.
My plan worked, the teacher pulled Claire outside and I couldn’t help but laugh to myself.
Class went by and it was eventually time for lunch.
“Class, I need you to form a straight line and I will lead you to the lunchroom.” The teacher announced. The boy and I were the last ones to get up and so we were last in line.
“Thank you for doing that earlier,” the boy whispered to me. I almost didn’t notice at first because of how quiet he was.
After a few minutes, I realized what he said and I smiled at him.
“Do you want to sit with me at lunchtime?” He asked innocently.
I accepted his invitation and once we arrived inside the lunchroom, he led me to a table.
We pulled out our lunch boxes and I noticed he put down his box as fast as he had grabbed it.
I pulled out a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took a large bite out of it. In between chews, I asked, “where’s your food?”
His face turned bright red with embarrassment.
“I-I don’t have any...”
I glanced over at my lunch box and I had plenty of snacks. I dumped all of my food on the table and I let him take half of my snacks and the other half of my sandwich. It didn’t feel right to continue eating in front of him knowing he didn’t have any food.
His eyes widened when I presented him with the food.
“Thank you so much! I swear it won’t happen again!” The boy shouted from across the table.
I just smiled and said, “it’s okay, I like sharing with my friends.”
Ever since that day we were inseparable. We sat next to each other in class, sat together at lunch, and play together at recess every day.
It wasn’t until two years later we decided to become more than just school pals.
“Would you want to come over after school today? My dad is baking cookies!” I asked him as sweet as I could be.
He looked shocked but then smiled back at me and accepted my invitation.
“I would love to!”
Of course, I had asked my dad beforehand and he was happy for me. It was my first time bringing a friend home. My first time bringing a boy home too nonetheless.
However, as the day went on, I noticed Fletcher was strangely quiet.
Especially at lunchtime. I could barely get him to look at me.
It wasn’t until I pinned him against a wall during recess that I got him to admit what was wrong.
“I’m scared to ask my mom, okay?!” Fletcher shouted at me. I released him from being pinned and I said, “if your mom is scared I’m excluding Rowan, she can come too.”
“It’s not that...” Fletcher started to speak.
“I don’t have many friends other than you. I’ve never been to another friend’s house before. I have to call my mom and ask. I’ll let you know what she says.”
I watched Fletcher go back into the school to call his mom. I waited on the ground by myself until he came back.
While I waited, I fiddled with my thumbs. I didn’t pay attention to a single thing. That’s when I was hit.
A rubber ball smacked me dead in the face.
I looked up and saw a pair of girls laughing at me. I recognized them instantly, Claire and Hailey.
I tried to hold back my tears but everyone already saw what happened. The teachers that were on duty rushed to my aid.
My face was bright red and my nose was gushing blood.
A female teacher carried me to the nurse while I pinched my nose in an attempt to stop the bleeding.
While on our way to the nurse's office we passed the main office and Fletcher saw me briefly being carried away.
He quickly hung up the phone and ran after me.
“Campbell! Cam, what happened?!” Fletcher shouted as he tried to keep up with us.
“Someone threw a dodgeball at me!” I shouted at him.
“Don’t worry, I got this.” He reassured me before he ran outside again.
Despite my pain, I smiled to myself knowing Fletcher had my back.
Not long after I arrived at the nurse's office, two girls walked in. Both red in the face and bloody noses.
I let out a laugh once I saw that it was no other than my cousin Hailey and Claire.
“What seems to be the problem?” The nurse asked the girls.
“S-someone threw a d-dodgeball at us...” Hailey cried.
The nurse glanced over at me and then looked back at the girls.
“Well, alright. Go take a seat. I’ll call your parents.”
The girls sat down in some chairs while I laid comfortably on a cot.
“Hello, Mr. Murphy, I am calling to inform you that your daughter has been injured... She was hit with a rubber ball and has received a nosebleed as a result. Would you like to come to pick her up? Alright, very well. See you soon, Mr. Murphy.” I overheard the nurse talk to my father and I couldn’t help but feel happy to go home early.
I then heard her call Hailey’s mother and Hailey’s mother refused to come to get her.
She then called Claire’s mother and Claire would be getting picked up as well.
The nurse then called and asked our teachers to send down our homework and belongings.
Fletcher came down ten minutes later carrying my backpack and homework. I secretly gave him a fist bump for avenging me.
Fletcher and I then sat together on the cot and waited for my dad to come to get me.
Then I remembered he was supposed to ask his mother about coming over.
“Did your mom say you could come over today?” I asked curiously.
He scratched the back of his head, “about that... they said... I can come over!” Fletcher squealed with excitement.
I practically flew out of my seat I was so excited.
We then talked and decided that while I went home with my father, he would go home on my school bus and get dropped off at my house.
As soon as I got the word my dad had arrived, I quickly hugged Fletcher goodbye and sprinted out of the office.
What I didn’t know was Claire’s mother was also there and she was in the middle of apologizing to my father.
“Oh my God, I am so sorry! It was completely my fault! I was texting and I didn’t see you. I didn’t mean to -“
Her apology was cut off by me running to my dad’s side and hugging him tightly against me.
That’s when I realized my dad’s clothes were all wet and smelly.
I let go of my father and wanted to gag at how bad he smelled.
“Spill my coffee all over you…” Claire’s mother finished while also wincing at the sight of me gagging.
My dad quietly laughed to himself, “Kim, it’s really no trouble at all. I can just wash myself up when I get home. Don’t worry about it.”
Kim looked stunned for a minute, “David, you’re really not mad?!”
My dad shook his head, “mistakes happen. It’s okay just be careful next time, alright?”
Kimberly shyly smiled and replied, “I will, thank you so much.”
She then walked inside the nurse’s office and was met with Claire who practically leaped into her arms.
I watched Fletcher peak his head out of the office and as I walked outside I waved to him. He waved back and I felt warm and fuzzy inside.
“Are you mad, Daddy?” I asked in reference to his wet clothing.
He glanced over at me and laughed, “Baby, as you get older you have to learn to not get angry over every little thing. When Kimberly spilled her coffee, it was an accident. She didn’t mean to do it and therefore I am not mad.”
We walked over to his car and he opened my door for me. I climbed into the back seat and sat comfortably in my booster seat.
After a couple of minutes, my dad started driving but for whatever reason, he kept glancing over at a photograph that was clipped to the left wing mirror.
“Who’s that, Daddy?”
My dad smiled after I asked that question as if he was waiting for me to ask.
“That’s your mother, Sweetheart. Isn’t she beautiful?”
I nodded my head.
“Where is Mommy?” I asked curiously.
“Mommy went to go live with some very nice angels in the sky.” My dad replied I noticed his smile slowly faded over time. His eyes watered but refused to spill.
“Daddy?” I asked quietly, not wanting to disturb him too much.
“Yes, Sweetheart?” He replied a few minutes later.
“I love you.”
My dad smiled at me and yet the tears started pouring.
After a couple of minutes, my dad pulled over to the side of the road, rested his head against the wheels and cried.
Minutes went by and I didn’t say a word. I didn’t know how to comfort someone yet. I was only six years old. School only taught me so much and helping someone cope with their feelings was not one of them.
Therefore, I held back my tears and stayed silent. He needed a moment to himself.
A couple more minutes went by and my dad slowly picked himself up. He gave me a smile from ear to ear.
“I love you too, Sweetheart. How about we go home and when Fletcher comes over we get some ice cream?”
I smiled back and squealed with joy. But the memory of my father’s tears didn’t magically wash away. No, that memory stuck with me for a long time. At the time I didn’t know why, however, as I grew to be older I understood why.
When I was younger I didn’t know how to ask if he was okay. Maybe I should have tried harder, I don’t know. I never will.
All I knew at that moment was when Fletcher got off that bright yellow bus, we were getting ice cream. And I couldn’t be happier if I tried. However, that happiness was only temporary.
At three pm I waited and I waited. By four pm, I gave up hope. I grumpily stomped to my bedroom and slammed the door behind me.
I laid in my bed and the longer I rested the more angry I became. I picked up my pillow and I smacked it against anything I could.
In the midst of my tantrum, I caught glimpse of all the feathers falling around me. My pillow had burst and its contents had spilled everywhere.
The timing couldn’t have been any worse either.
Before I could think of a plan, my father had opened my door.
“Fletcher’s here! Oh... what happened here?”
I stood still and said the first thing that came to mind, “I didn’t mean to! It was an accident, I was angry and and and...”
My dad walked inside my room, gently closed the door behind him, and stood on his knees.
All of the tears I had been holding back that day... everything had come out all at once.
“I’m so sorry, Daddy... I was angry and now I made a mess. I didn’t think Fletcher was coming and I took it out on my pillow.”
I pulled him into a hug and he hugged me back. However, he didn’t say anything to me.
He eventually let me go and left my room.
I sat alone on my floor for a few minutes and soon after, I had another visitor.
It was Fletcher. But, even though I wanted to be happy that he was here I couldn’t stop feeling sad.
I looked down at my feet, “I threw a tantrum and I destroyed my pillow. My dad isn’t happy with me.”
Fletcher’s eyes squinted and his nose scrunched up.
“What do you mean? Your dad was happy when I saw him. He’s getting his car ready so he can take us to get ice cream.”
I laid on my back and replied, “I don’t deserve ice cream.”
Fletcher sighed and laid down next to me.
“You’re really upset about this. Aren’t you?”
Fletcher sat up and insisted I did the same. I reluctantly did and he hugged me. His hug felt warm and comforting. At first, I didn’t want the hug but I realized a hug was what I needed.