Saturday, 22 October 2022 13:08

Bullying in schools by Mélanie Reymann Featured

Bullying in schools by Mélanie ReymannI'm Anna, 16 years old, and I already can't stand my life anymore. Oh, no I don't want to end my life, but I'm angry! Angry at my father who has already replaced my mother with Lucia - that's my "stepmother", if you can call her that way. It's been six months, six months since Mum died of fucking cancer and my dad has already replaced her with this... woman. You can see how much mom meant to Dad.

Let's change the subject. It's been three months since we moved to a new house. Three hundred km away from my friends, my school, and especially my passion, boxing. Boxing is my whole life, medals, cups, I did a lot of competitions, but it's over... and my father doesn't care. Tomorrow, it's the beginning of the school year, in this new bourgeois high school, where I'll be in a boarding school (finally good news). I feel that I'm not going to like it, but I have no choice. A little more than a year before my majority (I'm from the 18th of October), finally freedom and I'll be able to get out of this crazy house.

3rd September: 8 a.m.:

I start with math, my favorite subject... I sit in the last row; a guy sits next to me.

-Hi, are you new here?

-Yes

-I'm Jonathan and you?

-Anna.

-Nice to meet you. Can I stay next to you?

I say yes and we continue to talk for the whole hour. He seems like a nice guy. At the end of the hour, he proposes me to meet his friends later after school. I told him that it won't be possible, maybe another time.

Two weeks later:

Things are getting weirder and weirder, ever since I met Jonathan's friends a week ago, they stare at me and laugh at me when I walk past. I'm more than fed up, who do they think they are.

-Jonathan.

-Anna, what brings you here?

-Look, you can tell me what's going on with your friends.

-I don't know what you mean.

-Don't take me for a fool.

-Don't talk to me like that, Anna.

-I'll talk to you any way I want.

He takes me by the neck, I had difficulty to breathe. He whispers in my ear:

-What did I tell you? Calm down and you are going to make what I say to you. Do not take yourself for someone superior to me. OK?

He squeezes even harder, I choke more and more. He wants an answer. I make a move of acknowledgement and try to tell him yes. I should have hit him with a headbutt. Why did I stop boxing again?

-I prefer that and of course you will keep it to yourself. Go away.

I run as fast as I can to the nearest toilet and look at myself in the mirror. Who does he think he is? You'll see what I'm made of. Next time he'll know what my name is.

The next day:

I settle in my usual place at the back of the classroom. I see Jonathan and his clique (I roll my eyes)enter the classroom.  He stares at me and smiles. He comes over and sits next to me.

-Hi there, so you're doing better than yesterday?

My roommate, Lou, turns around to look at us and asks me with her eyes "are you okay?" I tell her I am. She is puzzled but turns away from us.

-I hope you didn't say anything to your new friend, otherwise...

I turn a deaf ear and lower my eyes so as not to get angry. He stays next to me for the whole hour. At the end he leaves to join his friends. I take my time to put all my things away. Lou joins me:

-Look, I know what he's doing to you. He's starting to threaten you, then he's going to start the serious stuff.

-Don't worry, I can defend myself.

-No, please, be careful. They're dangerous all together, you're not the first. My best friend had to go through all this and—

She starts to cry.

-And? Calm down, please don't cry. What happened to her?

-She died. She killed herself.

-Wha… what?

-They hurt her a lot, physically and psychologically. She was a vulnerable person and they knew it.

-But it's horrible. Don't worry, I'll defend myself.

-You don't understand.

I take her by the arm to leave the classroom and take her to our room. I tell her all about my life before and that I was a top boxer. She can't believe it, and asks me why I am alone all the time. She says it’s confusing.

-Look, we must go to the police or the director, so that he can arrest these lunatics.

-But that's not possible, Anna, don't you think I've already done that, they don't care.

-Well then, we'll have to do it ourselves.

Two days later:

Jonathan and his group leave the school. Why? Nobody knows, but Stella, Lou's best friend was avenged, that's the main thing right?

Being a "stronger" person does not mean hurting the "weaker" person but helping them to overcome this.

Additional Info

BIO: Mélanie Reymann is a English student in Mulhouse, France, and attends the Lycée Schweitzer High School.  Her school held a fiction contest and Mélanie was one of the winners. The theme was societal issues. Mélanie chose to write about bullying to raise awareness about it.