Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta bullying. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta bullying. Mostrar todas las entradas

miércoles, 30 de agosto de 2017

The ways of the mind

Day and night, he went to the gym. And when he wasn’t there, it wasn’t strange to see him on a swimming pool, playing tennis, kicking footballs on a park or just jogging around the neighborhood. Jason had been a chubby kid fro ma very young age and the bullying he suffered in primary school and then high school, made him start his training. He finished high school from home and once he entered university, he was an entirely new person. Many of those who had mocked him, were now envious of him.

 Of course, Jason loved that. He really liked to see the face on the people that had pushed him into lockers or shamed him in the changing rooms after gym class. He had seen a number of them in his university and it was always a pleasure to see their faces when they realized who they were looking at or, even better, who they were talking too. Even the many girls that mocked him in school were now falling for him left and right, forgetting their past words directed at him.

 He had been called a “pig”, a “hog” and a “chubby little fag”. Children can be mean, that’s true. And it’s always blamed on the parents, rightfully so. But Jason had discovered, with time, that all those people that had mocked him earlier in his life had always been that horrible. Yes, maybe they learned at home or they picked it up from the television, but the fact was that they hadn’t outgrown their bullying ways. Even in university, Jason saw how many were made fun of.

 For a while, he tried to help those people that had been left out by society at large, either because they were fat or maybe because they were gay. There wasn’t a single minority that was out of range for those that mocked them. He went to several meetings of college groups, he held rallies and supported the so-called liberals to help improve the situation on campus and he even experimented on a private level to fully realize he was as open and really free as he thought he was.

 The first year in college was good but then he grew annoyed by the crowds, by those who wanted everything to change. They wanted the world to see itself through their eyes, instead of trying to be part of the community. He met very angry people and extremists, where he would have never thought to see any of those. He stopped going to the meeting, supporting political candidates and even helping shamed people to stand for themselves. It had become a burden on him and he felt it wasn’t fair to carry someone’s load when he had so much to process by himself.

 He focused in only two things: his studies and his workout regime. A year before he got his degree, he was able to pay the rent for a small apartment not so far from home. He had gotten a job at the gym he worked out and that had given him enough money to get where he wanted to go. He was to become a real state agent and he would try to be the best at it. Jason had always loved many of the things related to that job and he was certain he could get his license in a heartbeat.

 He started as a part-time intern in a real state agency. There, he could get all the necessary experience to get his license and maybe even get noticed by some of the bigger agencies to get hired for a full-time job, hopefully being the person that shows people houses and apartments. That’s what he wanted to do, for a long time. Jason was even willing to leave the gym regime in order to get his dream job, although he would still try to workout as much as he could on nights and weekends.

 One day, Jason had left for his job from his tiny apartment. It wasn’t a perfect life, but the liked it a lot. He really loved to go and learn a little bit everyday. He had learned some architectural terms, as well as many things an engineer should know about how houses work. He had even been taught how to properly accommodate furniture in order to secure a sale. He was really in love with it all, with every single detail. And it showed. People would often tell him they thought he looked better, somehow more energetic.

 That morning, when he felt on top of the world, an SUV came roaring through his street. Jason woke up really early, so he knew it was uncommon for that to happen. Nevertheless, he didn’t looked back to the noise, as one would have. He was busy thinking about his day, he was busy being too happy about himself and his achievement. He was to busy to notice the SUV had veered towards the building and that it was going at full speed on the pedestrian side of the road.

 A neighbor called the ambulance, several others watched from their windows or from their doors. No one else helped, no one else said a word. The woman that had found him had lost a husband recently, so she knew exactly how it felt to lose someone like that, in the blink of an eye. So she decided to call and help another family not being torn apart. The ambulance took a bit too long to get there. When he got to the hospital, Jason had lost a large amount of blood and the doctors where not optimistic. It was nothing short of a miracle how he recuperated, in a way.

  The hardest moment was when he woke up. Jason knew immediately what had happened. He didn’t have a hazy memory; he didn’t pretend he didn’t know what was going on. The moment his eyes opened, that young man knew his legs weren’t working and they might never work again.  He touched them softly and, when the nurses weren’t there, he pounded the hard, in rage. He wanted to die several times during the course of the next few weeks. Aside from his legs, the rest of his body was fine.

 Well, except for his brain. Because he was pissed with the world, with life and with everyone that owned a fucking SUV. He couldn’t understand how people drove drunk. That was what the police had told him, that a drunken man had being the one that had put him on that hospital bed. But they could not really prove it because the SUV had never been found as no surveillance cameras had ever being installed on that street. No neighbor had seen anything, or so they said.

 Jason grew to hate everyone, especially the days his mother and father came to his house to take him out for some fresh air. After being the most admired man in his gym, he was no a ghost of his past. In a way, he was that “chubby fag” again. He hated everyone for being able to walk and he preferred to be inside, away from others, sheltered from their laughs and their lives. His was over, so he didn’t really mind about anything else. As far as he knew, his life had come to an end.

 However, a young policewoman had entered the force recently. She was called Susannah and had freckles all over her face. She had being bullied at school and now she was a real police office. She investigated Jason’s accident and, with resilience and intelligence, she was able to discover that the person that had run over Jason had not being drunk. Furthermore, he was a former student in the same high school as Jason and also in the same university. He was called for questioning shortly after.

 Months later, he was sent to jail for attempted murder, as he confessed he had hated Jason from day one in high school. He hated that people that he deemed “less” could become successful when others like him, so successful in early life, were now facing the hard reality of life.


 Susannah explained it all to Jason and he thanked her for giving him back his life. Inspired by her, he went back to the gym to try and recover his legs. Nothing was lost forever, not his real estate license, not his legs, nor his will to live. Jason would never again let go.

martes, 25 de octubre de 2016

Cheese, bullied

   Every single time she ate cheese, she suffered from stomach ache and the most awful and embarrassing case of gas that anyone could suffer. As many people with the same problem, Lila had learn to ask every time she ate in a restaurant if the meal she was about to ask for had any traces of cheese. Some people did the same with peanuts and others with other types of food, but her problem was with cheese. However, she did have to see cheese ever single day at home as everyone else was able to process it normally, so they ate it.

 She really didn’t like to be a nuisance, a problem of some kind. She knew it was very annoying for other people when she had to ask for traces of cheese. And when people didn’t want to understand what the problem was, it was extremely embarrassing to tell them what would happen if she ate just a small piece of cheese. She would go very red and her voice would tremble and every person would feel awkward because it seemed she was over sharing when she was just explaining how awful it was for her to eat something that could even kill her.

 Lila had discovered her condition in high school. It was one of the worst memories for her to remember. When she was a very little girl, she actually loved cheese and her mother would always put some string cheese on her lunchbox because she knew how much she adored it. Lila would eat it very slowly; enjoying every single piece as if it was some kind of delicacy that only a few people had access to. Her friends always thought it was something very weird but they never said anything about it, at least not back then.

 Years later, when she became a teenager, she still had much love for cheese. But it was one day in high school when they were presented with pasta for lunch and she decided to practically cover her plate with Parmesan cheese. Her friends laugh and she did it partially to be funny. When a teacher noticed what she was doing, he told her she had to eat that whole plate of food if she didn’t want to be taken to the principal’s office for wasting food and playing with it instead of eating like all the rest of the students.

 Lila accepted the challenge and ate the whole plate. The teacher watched her do it as well as her friends that applauded her once she was done. It was one of those really cool moments in school when teacher get served when they’re being impossible and just ridiculous. However, only five minutes after finishing or so, Lila began to feel really bad. She felt as if someone with a knife was cutting her stomach from the inside. It was awful. She tried to resist the pain for a while but she finally asked her teacher for permission to go to the nurse’s office.

 And just as she did so, she farted. It was loud and clear and charged with a foul smell that filled the rather small classroom. Every single person there complained and laughed and booed her. She had to run away, having the door behind her open. Her body had betrayed her in the most awful way possible and, to be honest, she didn’t even think about the nurse when she ran out of the room. She regretted leaving her backpack. What she really wanted to do was to go home and never come back to any of her classes for the rest of the year.

 However, that was not possible. She wandered around school until a teacher saw her. Then, she almost ran to the nurse’s office and told her what had happened. Nurse Holly obviously wanted to laugh but tried not to and instead told Lila to lay down in order to be properly examined. As it was obvious, her stomach was bloated. That and the foul gad indicated she had something to eat that wasn’t very well received by her stomach. The nurse asked her to remember what she had eaten so they could know what it was that caused it.

 Of course, the huge bowl of pasta came to her head fast. Nurse Holly said it could be either the cheese or the pasta because many people in the world weren’t able to eat either of them. So she gave the girl a pill for her ill stomach and told her to remain there for a while until it worked. Then, she could choose going back to class or going home. It was only an hour and a half to go to the end of the school day so there wasn’t much difference, she said. She clearly didn’t know how embarrassed Lila was about had just happened.

 Her mother came to pick her up and she wasn’t very happy about it as classes would finish in only an hour. She told her daughter she could’ve resisted a little bit more and just come on the school bus as every single day. She was obviously not very happy about having to pick her daughter in school because it disrupted her schedule. She was a realtor, selling properties in the area to people that wanted to live in one of the most well taken care of area of the city. She made a very nice living, so her daughter interrupting wasn’t the best thing to happen.

 When Lila arrived home, she quickly ran to her room and closed the door. Her mother didn’t understand how embarrassed and humiliated she felt after what happened. She had tried to explain but her mother was too busy with her things to actually hear her daughter speak for a couple of minutes. So Lila would rather just be alone in her room and suffer her stomachache there without anyone that would make her feel annoyed or underappreciated. After all she was teenager in her most difficult years.

 She didn’t really want to go to school the next day but her parents said that food poisoning was not an excuse to miss more than one day of school. And they were so strict that missing an hour was for them the same thing that missing a full day. So Lila had to hop in the school bus in the morning and from that point on she felt every single look on her. She could even hear the laughs and jokes but she tried hard not to care or, at least, not to be aware of everyone for the rest of the day. She just wanted every class to be fast so the day could finish soon.

 However, that rarely happens in high school. Her first subject was History and, for her, there wasn’t a more boring assignment. She normally wandered off in that class, drawing doodles on her notebook or passing little notes to her friends, normally talking about some boy or mocking the teacher. But this time, she wasn’t included in that activity. She noticed when one of the girls turned around, looked at her as if she was garbage and then passed the note to another girl sitting beside her. That felt even more humiliating that the fart.

 Her social life went in decline since that awful day. So much so than the following week, Lila didn’t have someone to sit with her at lunch. And then, the jokes got meaner and they weren’t whispered anymore but yelled in the hallways and everywhere a large crowd was inspired to laugh at her and imitate the sound of farts with hands and arms and mouths. It was very humiliating. Lila tried to talk with the principal but he dismissed her saying that she was imagining things, as people didn’t get bullied in his school. And then it became clear to her: she wasn’t the only one.

 Many others were bullied in school. Of course, not for the same things as her, but it did happen and more often than the school would admit. They teased a boy for being gay and a girl for not dressing “fashionable” enough. And of course, they teased people for being fat and others for being poor. So Lila decided to punch back and tried to talk with every single one of those who had been insulted, pushed around and called names. She wanted them all to be with her in order to do something that, she thought, would make things change.

 Her mother had sold a house to a very renowned news anchor and she had become friends with him. Lila convinced her mother to let her talk to him and her mother, seeing how insisting she was, accepted. The man thought it was a very important local subject and assigned someone to it. A week after, everyone in the city knew about how bullying was going rampant in schools for the stupidest reasons and how no one was doing anything to help. The report had serious consequences and all because of a plate full of cheese.

martes, 19 de julio de 2016

Early

   Gustav had been waking up early for year. Since he was a baby, he had a thing for waking up his parents very early in the y day and not been able to sleep until it was later in the day, so late that their whole morning routine was disturbed by his actions. They didn’t need a clockwork because his timing which was always perfect. Every single morning at nine o’clock he would start crying and would do it for about two hours until he stopped and resumed later that day, in the evenings.

 After that, in preschool, he was considered a very different little boy. He woke up before his mother and his father and was able to serve himself a glass of orange juice which he drank as he waited for them to wake up. The bus picked him up at seven and he woke up at six every single day, no exception. As he got older, he was able to dress himself and work the shower in order to have the water in the right temperature, the one he preferred.

 In his preteens, he was teased by all the other kids because of such things. As per usual, they didn’t like him because he was so different. He wasn’t a genius or anything like that. His parents thought he would demonstrate at an early age his remarkable brain and that they would have to homeschool him because of how special he was going to be. But the truth was much different: he was only different because his eyes started to bother him from an early stage and glasses were needed sooner than expected.

 Gustav knew he needed the glasses but he was sure to take them out whenever he was able. He liked to take them off in the bus back home or in class when he was sleepy. Most adults didn’t like when he did that but the truth was he had never grown accustomed to sing them. Sometimes, on weekends, he wouldn0t use them at all, instead playing around the house like a normal kid having no problem with his vision.

 As a teenager he was still harassed by his classmates, pushed around occasionally, especially after gym class. It was the favorite moment of the week for jocks who were eager to prove themselves more important than everyone else. Even then, he was the first to arrive to school and that granted him with a special knowledge of everyone’s ways to do things.

 He realized the people that annoyed him had a really bad problem with sleeping so what he did was just avoid them in places they would never go on and if that wasn’t working, he would always know which classrooms were available to tell them in order for him to be released and them to have a nice nap or even for kissing their girlfriend. Whatever it was, Gustav knew it was useful information.

 Even in college, living away from his parents, he woke up very early in the morning to read the notes he had taken the way before. It was his technique for remembering stuff. The other good thing was that he always had a great seat in the earlier classes of the day and sometimes they did put up the most interesting ones very early.

 Different from high school, Gustav became one of those people that everyone knew in college. At first, he didn’t really have any friends but every single person knew who he was. He soon made real friends and in no time he was going to parties and drinking and smoking and doing every single thing teenagers do if they want to defy the authority out up to control them. After all, Gustav was only special in so many ways and, sadly, not really in a significant one that can save anyone from anything.

 Even after weekend long parties, he found himself waking up drunk or with a huge hangover very early in the morning. No one ever did that so that made him very notable in his group of people. It wasn’t that they made fun of him but rather that that they seem to be really captivated by how strange he was. And he knew they were all looking at him so he decided to be more interesting and started changing his clothes and doing more interesting things with that extra time he seemed to have every single day.

 He started to smuggle drugs into the campus the second year he attended college. Some guy he had met at a party told him about the huge amount of money he could get just buy passing the product from one person to the other, he didn’t really had to sell anything, he just had to help the product get to the real buyer. He never really knew who that person was, but he was very excited about being involved in such a thing.

As he woke up so early, he could easily grab the packages from one site and put it in the next without anyone saying anything. The only people that were awake so early were the members of the cleaning crew and many of them were also involved in the network of drug handlers. He was proud of himself because he had proven himself to be useful in some way. He had never felt that, not in his career and not before at home or elsewhere.

The smuggling business lasted for two whole years until some idiot was busted with a large pack of ecstasy pills in a park, at night. Apparently, she had the stupid idea of trying to rob one pill from the package and when she opened it every single pill jumped out of the small bag and fell into the grass in the middle of campus. The police was notified fast by some older woman and the girl was arrested and possibly sent to prison fro drug trafficking. The thrills ended for everyone that day.

 He knew he was lucky that he never got caught but, even so, Gustav was kind of sad that part of his life was over. Soon, he would graduate and he would have to confront the real world on his own. The truth was he didn’t feel ready to take on anything by himself. He used his morning time to walk around, to get to the roof of his dorm and lay down looking art the sky and watching the last stars of the night disappear. He thought of his decisions and his possibilities in a world that asked everyone to be exceptional, special in some way but no one really was.

 When he received his diploma, he came back home for some time. It was nice to see his parents again and feeling they were as proud of him then as they had been years before, when he thought he was the most special little boy to live in the planet. They were really nice people, honest and full of good principles that they had tried to put into his son. But they had failed and that’s why he couldn’t be in their presence for long. It could get very exhausting.

 Soon, he got a job in the city so he moved to a small place and started making a life for himself. He was lucky enough to land a job that required him to be very early every day so he didn’t really mind. He was a cameraman in a morning show and that always happened very early. His coworkers were always very tired in the morning, having to drink two or even three cups of coffee to actually work. He didn’t need that.

 His superiors realized that and decided to assign him to a reporter that was in charge of all the “night stories”. He went all over the city in the darkest hours to report on what was happening like road accidents, cases of violence, curious occurrences and all types of things that happened really late or early in the day. Gustav felt he was in the perfect place, being able to do his work in the best way possible.

 After his first six months, his boss was so impressed with his work that he decided to assign him the job of reporter after the one they had decided to drop out because of the “difficult job schedule”. Gustav was very thankful because he had never thought of being in front of the camera instead of behind it. He got some classes on how to speak properly and he documented himself on the city. By the time he started, every person looking just fell in love with him.


 For that work, he received a lot of praise including several awards that made him kind of a famous personality in TV. He eventually got married and received many other proposals for similar jobs and he would consider them all because he had finally understood he did have something that made him special. It was just it wasn’t the most amazing thing ever.

miércoles, 20 de abril de 2016

Sweet life

   Peter had in front of him a huge selection of pastry. As the correspondent of the most important magazine in the business, he had the advantage of being able to go to any bakery in the city and being treated like royalty there. The owners would normally go out of their way in order to please him, showing him their latest innovations.

 They often tried too hard, combining too many flavors in one single piece of confectionery or trying to make a fantastic setting for the dessert when the flavor was not really the best part of it. And Peter always had the last word. He had eaten it all, everywhere, and his palate was respected by every single person except, of course, the people who he had damaged with his articles.

 He had being the cause of closure of more than one bakery, cupcake store and tearoom. With his writing, he really crushed the lives and aspirations of many people, all of whom only had the simple dream of baking the best desserts possible. It seemed like a simple dream, an easy one if you will, but it wasn’t because the competition was tough and everything had already being done. Nothing was good enough and every single idea had to be checked thoroughly in order to know if it was really original or just another copy.

 However, Peter was just another man. He only had this kind of power in a small community, where they all knew who he was. For many of his friends and people that knew him, Peter was just a big guy obsessed with desserts and he had been that guy since high school. However, people respected him because he had turned his love of sweets into a career and that wasn’t something just anyone could do.

 So you would think he should have been a happy person, doing what he had always wanted which was eating and writing about it. Well, Peter certainly wasn’t what you could call “happy”. The first reason was that he was overweight. He had always been and had been mocked tirelessly by his fellow classmates back in school. He had been called all kinds of names and had asked his parents to educate him at home because he couldn’t really take it anymore. He felt trapped.

 That was when he started learning more about what he ate and his interest in food grew and in turned into a career. He wasn’t just a fat guy who ate desserts for a living. He was also a man that knew every single nuance of every ingredient that had ever been using in the making of any sweet good. He could tell the ingredients of any dessert after just one bite and that made him a huge star in the small world he had entered in. But he was still mocked.

 Of course, it was always the people that he had attacked with his articles. They felt the best way to attack him was to create rumors or to write pieces about him online. With the Internet, he often saw videos appearing all over the places with pictures of him doing pig sounds and things like that. People were never really creative when it came to insulting. They always attacked the same spot and, to Peter’s chagrin, it always worked. Because he was fat and he didn’t want to be.

 But his job depended on him eating. He couldn’t just stop eating and then go on with life as normal. That wasn’t an option. Besides, he loved eating and the flavors and everything that had to do with confectionery and sweets. He had never properly learned to do it himself because he thought it would be counterproductive. In other words, baking himself would not help his problem and would only fuel the hate that people felt towards him

 So one day, in secret, he decided to try several ways to lose weight. The first attempts were somewhat light, relying on a diverse set of pills and massages and kind of “magical” techniques to become skinny. Of course, those didn’t work at all. He was hoping they did but none of those products ever worked, except on the ad were the fat guy or lady always becomes this weightlifter or something like that. So after one month, he moved on to dieting.

 That wasn’t as hard as he thought. He just reduced his meals drastically, trying to eat healthier and less without really pulling the plug on the desserts. He just couldn’t do that because most of them he had to eat because it was his job. That sounds like an excuse but it certainly wasn’t. His boss was very pleased with his work. After all, it was the best food magazine in the country, so any absence or refusal to work would be just devastating.

 The diet thing kind of worked but it took time and, like anyone in his position, Peter wanted to have instant results. He wanted to be leaner and more beautiful in the blink of an eye but that wasn’t possible. So he decided to go to a doctor and try to learn more about his body in order to know how to solve the problem.

 It was really confusing to have to go and eat at least four different desserts in the morning and then having an appointment with his doctor in the afternoon and complain about his weight. It was crazy but he had no other way of doing things. The doctor told him that he was fat because of the food. It wasn’t a hormonal thing. So he could lose the weight easily. He gave him advice on dieting and sent him on his way.

 Four months after that, people started noting Peter had changed his posture and walked a bit differently. His waist seemed less prominent, as well as his behind. Everyone looked at him; especially in the bakery shops where they noticed his face had changed too. He had a bit more color in his skin and seemed to be happier. Of course, his enemies took the time to attack him for this changes too, saying that a person that wasn’t proud of who they were, was always a danger for the rest because you could never really trust them.

 Those were real haters, never really setting on one thing, always having an excuse to attack someone. But, strangely, Peter lost any interest in them. His relationship with many friends had improved, mainly because they noticed he really cared for his health and that he had qualities they had never realized like a great sense of humor and a way of giving very good advice. They had never realized that because they judged too soon and Peter had paid for that.

 But things were changing. Even his boss noticed the small changes and decided to have a talk with Peter. He asked him if he wanted to have some time for himself or if he needed someone to talk to. The boss thought his weight loss was due to something bad but then Peter explained and he understood. Incredibly, his boss cried and explained he had a son who was having kind if the same problems, being bullied at school and all. Peter promised to talk to him.

 He realized soon that it wasn’t about being skinny. That’s not why people pay attention to other people. It’s when they notice you have the will to care about yourself that they make contact with you. If you are a decent human being you don’t really care about someone’s weight or their physical appearance or anything like that. But it certainly makes you interested if someone is making the impossible to improve themselves, in any way possible.

 Peter did it with his body but many people try to learn new things or create new stuff for others. He realized that’s what people really were interested in and soon, although he didn’t loose all the weight he had envisioned, he became happier with his own self. He would always be more willing to help the bakers that were starting and just ate less because he had more to do.

 A couple of years after his decision to make something different, he met a baker named Anna and they married and had two girls who became the love of their father. And Anna was always there for him, supporting Peter in new adventures like writing books about his passions, whether they were sweets or fighting yourself.


 Of course, haters were still around. But Peter just lost his ability to care about them.