Bully

Chapter 1

..............

the beautiful lie is sung from the hallways,
taught by the teachers,
praised by the parents,
chanted by the children.
"sticks and stones may break my bones, but names shall never hurt me."
how lovely it must be to believe this.
to think that what is said can never be as painful as what is inflicted.
and in the smallest class,
with the smallest children,
a boy will sit down at the back by himself.
he will laugh off the names that are hurled at him,
and run home to his mother when he is pushed down in the playground,
but he will never speak a word of the poisonous air that is thrown at him every day.
in second class a new girl will arrive,
and they will call her ugly.
she will sit beside the boy in the middle of the classroom,
and soon they will be moved to the back in order to avoid the hailstorm of spitballs they are pummeled with.
but even from the back of the classroom, it is hard not to hear the whispers,
and by fourth class they are learning not of deep seas and division,
but instead of hatred and fear.
in fifth class there is a drawing of a dog on her desk in black marker
and below it reads
"beware of dog"
she will not cry because words should not cause you pain.
the boy will wipe the words off her desk
and he will be taunted for being kind.
kindness is a weakness that must not be displayed by children.
how dare you be kind.
how dare you.
and ten years on she will have a husband,
two children,
a cat.
she refuses to go near dogs,
and every time she see's one all she can remember is the drawing on her desk,
and although she is reminded of her beauty every day
she can not bring herself to believe it;
if she was beautiful, she would not have gotten called ugly for eight years of her life.
and now her children are growing up with the same culture,
but their definition of the word "beautiful" starts with the word "mum."
the boy will grow up too,
and ten years on it is obvious where all the name-calling has landed him.
for thirteen years the boy was led to believe awful things about himself
and he had no trouble believing them.
he attributed these factors to be why his parents left him when he was three,
and decided that the after-life was more like an after-party.
he planned the angles of his death in math class
and the teachers yelled at him because the pills the doctor gave him to make the pain go away made his fingers numb
and he could not write.
ten years on he will be called an inspiration by his friends,
but how can the boy that people talk about behind closed doors be an inspiration?
how can someone who's personality is made of pills and medications possibly be considered inspirational?
it is unclear.
and when he is sixteen, he will try to take his own life for the third time.

in every country there are multiple replicas of one building.
four walls standing tall,
and between them we are taught the rules of hatred.
we are taught the definition of ugly,
and how to spell freak.
we are shown how to paint despair
and how to multiply fat and weird to get a result of depressed.
we teach our children
"sticks and stones may break my bones, but names shall never hurt me."
and although we know this is not true,
we continue to preach it as though it were gospel.
so years on, the adults who believed this lie as children spend their days blundering in their own personal darkness
are told to "get over it."
the boy who's personality was made of pills
was told by a classmate (who still had someone to call mum and dad)
to "get over it."
when every will they learn
that it is not as easy as it looks?
because we taught the darkness.
we preached the darkness
and then we shout at those who believed it.

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