• I stood tapping my foot in the hall, waiting for Klouse to get his things together. He always takes so stupid long. I though to myself tiredly as my stomach growled. He wasn’t really taking that long. I had got out of class early, and the bell had only rung a minute ago, but I had forgotten my lunch that day, so I was in a rush to get home and eat.
    “Hurry up Klouse! I wanna go home and Tyler is waiting!” Since Klouse was only in grade one and Sarah and I in grade three, there were two older boys who lived near us that took turns walking us home, Tyler and Stephen. Today was Tyler’s turn, and I could see him walking down the stairs. Klouse came bustling out of his classroom, stepped on his scarf and fell flat, sending papers and books flying from his small arms with a loud thump.
    “Klouse! Are you ok?” I helped him stand back up, and he wiped a couple pf tears from his eyes.
    “I’m fine. “ He said, suddenly standing up strait and tall, and went to pick up his things. “I don’t always need your help you know. I’m almost as big as you now.” I couldn’t understand why he was acting like such a jerk when all I wanted to do was help him, and then I saw Tyler out of the corner of my eye. Of course. Klouse wanted to be just like that cool eighth grader and he never saw Tyler take help or cry ever. Tyler hadn’t seen Klouse fall, and was still busy talking to his friends. Once Klouse had all his things put in his backpack, and his scarf tied right, we walked over to Tyler.
    “Where’s Sarah?” He asked. I opened my mouth to answer, but Klouse beat me to it.
    “She’s sick. She got’ta stay home.” Tyler shrugged.
    “Let’s get going then.” He turned and headed for the door, Klouse and I scurrying after him. He pushed open the solid double doors of our school and out we went.

    As Tyler had opened the door, a strong gust of wind flew into my face, and I couldn’t see past my hair that was wiping in my face, so I didn’t notice Stephen and some of the other guys the Tyler hung out with had joined our group. I was in the middle of pulling the fall leaves from my hair, if I remember correctly, when I noticed the four new people walking with us. I was surprised at first. Tyler and Stephen usually walked us home alone, only sometimes did Stephen’s sister walk with us too. Never had all their friends come. Klouse and I went straight to shy mode, neither of us making a sound, just following behind like shadows. The group of boys stopped at the corner store, and Tyler told us to keep going, they’d catch up. Stephen argued with him that they shouldn’t leave us alone, but Tyler won. On we two went.

    About a block and a half later was when things got bad. I don’t know what came over Tyler, but he was not himself. You see, Tyler carried a knife with him always. It had a carved black handle, and a smooth blade, and he always had it in his back pocket. Klouse loved the knife, it was beautiful, and it was part of why Tyler was Klouse’s hero. That block and a half later, Tyler and his friends had caught up, and Tyler was playing with his knife.
    “Hey Kid” He called to Klouse, kid being what he always called him. “Do you want me to kill ya?” the boys I didn’t know laughed.
    “W-what?” Stammered Klouse.
    “You heard me. I’m gonna kill ya.” He was grinning wide now, but it didn’t reach his eyes. Stephen was glaring at him so hard I thought two holes would appear in Tyler’s back. Klouse just stood there in shock of what his hero, his friend, had said. Not knowing what to do, I grabbed Klouse’s and began to run as fast as I could, dragging Klouse with. Behind us I could hear the older boys laughing at us, mocking us. We ducked into a back alley, and Klouse slumped to the ground and began to cry.
    “Come on. Only two more blocks to home.” I said, pulling him up, tears rolling down my own cheeks. We ran the whole way home.

    I had never seen my mom angry. Or my dad. I only thought I had seen them mad. Their reaction to what we told them showed me different. I had never seen them so mad, and haven’t since either. When we got home, Klouse ran straight into the kitchen where my mom was and buried his face into her legs, and began to cry in earnest.
    “Sweetie!” My mom said surprised and scooped him up. “What’s wrong? What happened?” His small face was red and puffy from crying, tears running down his soft cheeks and he couldn’t say a word. Instead he just put his head on her shoulder and hugged her tight. “Kel! You’re crying too! What on earth is going on?!?” I slowly explained to her what had happened, and I watched her face go from worried to furious. You know how on cartoons you see a person’s whole face go red and steam? Apparently it can happen in real life too. My mom carried Klouse to the living room and put him down on the couch, and I sat beside him to try and comfort him. She strode back into the kitchen and grabbed the phone, closing the sliding door behind her.

    Later that evening when dad came home, mom did the explaining, and he reacted much the same as her. Claming himself down, he called us kids from the back yard, and brought us to sit on the couch with him.
    “Mom tells me something bad happened today. Could you tell me exactly what happed?” Klouse only managed to get halfway through before I had to take over.

    The next thing Tyler did was really stupid. I still cannot believe to this day what he did. He came over to our house, (Sarah answered the door and he asked to talk to our parents) and said that we were lying! He only came over to tell our parents that whatever we said, that we were lying. He had no supposed other story, and denied that he had said any of that. Once he had felt he had said enough he left. My mom walked us to school the next day.

    It was in the middle of art (if you can call the stuff you made in grade three art) when I was called to the principal’s office.
    “Oooo! Somebody got in trouble!” whispered Derek who I sat beside. I elbowed him in the ribs and walked out of the room.

    “Come in Kel.” Said Dr. Henderson. I could See Klouse already sitting in one of the two chairs in front of his desk. When I walked in I was surprised to see mom standing in the corner, leaning casually against the wall. “Your mother tells me you guys had a problem the other day with one of our students.” He leaned forward in his chair, and looked at us each in turn with beady eyes in what I assume was a meaningful look. “Tell me what happened. We did. It took up the rest of art, my favorite class.

    Since Klouse and I were so small, I missed a lot of what I wasn’t directly involved in. I know that at some point the police got involved, and it was later moved to court, where Klouse and I had to testify. I was surprised and happy to see that Stephen was there, and he also testified, saying that Tyler had indeed threatened us. After I had given my testimony, I went upstairs to a small waiting room and watched Aladdin with Sarah, Klouse and Stephen. Being older now I would have stayed and listened, to see what was decided, but being only eight I didn’t really care, other than the fact we won, whatever that meant.

    I asked my parents a couple of weeks ago about what happened to Tyler. They told me that two weeks after the trial, he called social services and asked to be removed from his family. His Parents, both drug and alcohol addicts, had always been abusive. His father physically and his mother verbally, but after the incident with us, it went to a whole new level, which included several broken bones and the need for a lot of therapy. I heard from some old school friends that he committed suicide a year ago, but I can’t be sure of it. I feel sorry for him now, but I don’t think I’ll forgive him what he did.

    I’m sure this seems small and rather silly now when you look at things that are happening at schools now a days, but think about this. This happened eight years ago, in a nice neighbor hood, and has shadowed most of mine and my brother’s life. You always hear what happens in other places, and you never think it could happen to you, but it can. Until that day eight years ago, my brother and I had a naïve view of the world. We though everyone was good, kind, our friends. To have that idea taken away from you by someone you look up to, by someone you think is your friend, and at a young age, is not very nice.

    The point I’m getting at through all this is stop bullying. You know that nerd who has no friends, that girl who spends every day in the library with a book, that guy who still likes pokemon, what ever the case, just because it’s funny to you, doesn’t mean it is for others. Everyone has feelings, we’re all humans. You may say it’s all harmless fun, but it is really that harmless?