Jerks: Short Story

Why Am I Like This?

The story of a bully who was a victim

Gracie Sweeney

 

The hallways of Burnaby high school had never seen anything so horrible. Oliver Garf, the captain of the chess team, had been targeted. His locker was covered with blue, yellow, and white graffiti hate messages, it was the school colors Oliver proudly wore that depicted these cruel messages. Oliver stayed calm since he knew exactly who had done this. He had been bullied by this jerk since grade 6 and they were now in grade 11. It was Liam Jefferies, the jerk that just barely passed grades 9 and 10. Oliver never understood why he was targeted by Liam but he knew he couldn’t handle this anymore, he was going to end this bullying once and for all.

Oliver had tried going to the school counsellor before for help but all it got him was a meaner and more aggressive bully. This time he was going to confront him directly and finish this. Even though Oliver’s anger was fuelling him to walk up to Liam he still had butterflies in his stomach because he wasn’t quite sure how this was going to play out or even what he was going to say. The hallway stretch to Liam’s locker seemed never-ending and the longer Oliver walked the more self-conscious he got. Finally, Oliver arrived, standing in front of Liam shook Oliver to the core but he knew it needed to be done.

“Liam, what you did to my locker wasn’t right. You need to stop with your tricks and jokes, I’ve had enough, and if you don’t stop now I’m not sure what I’ll do but watch out.”  Oliver spoke with increasing volume but there was still a hint of a quiver in his throat.

“Whoa, big guy what are you going off about. I did nothing to your locker, honest,” he spoke in such a tone you couldn’t tell if he was lying or telling the truth. Immediately Oliver assumed he was lying and went off again.

“I know it was you, it’s always you, for the last 6 years I’ve only been tortured by you.”

Liam couldn’t deny that he had done some cruel things to Oliver over the years, but he didn’t want to admit that he had also done this.

“Look here you dork, don’t try to call me out at school. If you want to settle this meet me behind the area after school and be ready to fight,” with that Liam stormed off. He didn’t like to be called out especially by a guy he thought so little of.

Oliver didn’t know what to think so he just proceeded with his day as usual after cleaning up his locker. Unlike Oliver, Liam went home, and sat alone, crying. He was the youngest of three kids. When his mom died and his older siblings moved out his dad began to drink, and when he drank he became aggressive, verbally and physically. Liam had never told anyone about the abuse, not even his siblings when they visited, but he knew the only reason he did so bad in school, and why he was so horrible to Oliver was because of his father. His father was away for a few days for work so he knew he would be safe at home. He didn’t want to fight Oliver so he decided he wouldn’t go. He told his buddies that he was sick with a fever and couldn’t walk without puking to cover up the real reason. He didn’t want to do any of this anymore, he even thought about ending it all, but he knew he couldn’t take a knife to himself.

Oliver heard about Liam’s spontaneous sickness and decided to pay a visit to his house. Oliver approached the house with a bowl of soup, he couldn’t bring himself to believe that there wasn’t something wrong with Liam. Even though he hated him for all the years of torture he couldn’t do it. Liam was shocked to see Oliver at the door but he let him in any way.

“I’ve come to establish peace, even though we didn’t fight and settle this old school way I want this whole thing to be over. Please accept my offer I really can’t do this any longer,” said Oliver as he first entered holding the bowl of soup.

“I accept your offer, I don’t want to be a jerk any longer, I had a realization while I was at home and I’m going to try and do better. I’m really sorry Oliver, I hope we can become friends.”

“Thanks, I really appreciate that,” replied Oliver. There was a long train of silence since neither boy knew what else to say until Liam spoke.

“I realize now that I was bullying you because I was jealous of you. You are smart and you always seem to be happy. I’m almost never happy I’m constantly worried about what my father is going to do when I get home. . . he has been abusing me,” as Liam said this it felt as though a bag of rocks had been lifted off his chest, he had kept this in for so long and he was glad to tell someone.

“I’m so sorry I had no idea. I know we haven’t been friends for that long but you need to tell a counsellor at the school, they will know what to do with this type of issue.” Oliver got a phone call from his mother right after he said this. She wanted him to come home for supper.

“Thank you, Oliver, for coming over, I will think about telling a counsellor. Bye,” Liam knew telling the counsellor would have severe changes, he would be taken away from his dad, and have to move in with his grandparents. He knew that was the best option. The next day at school Liam went to the counsellor’s office and told her everything. Even though he was going to be taken away from his dad he wasn’t that upset because he knew he had a true friend in Oliver.

 

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