Andre Mascarenhas - 56

AUG. 11, 2020

Curtain Hug

This is a story that happened years ago, but for some reason, I still remember it in detail. The incident occurred when I was in the 8th or 9th grade. I was playing a game of football in the school field, after the school day was over, just getting in some physical activity before the school bus would start its engine and leave for home. I played little of the game, but I spent quite a bit of my time just chatting with my friend.
When I turned to go back to my position, I saw three kids (probably in their 3rd or 4th grade), who were fighting. Two kids were fighting against the third kid, but with stones. The stones were small, probably around 2–3cms big, but they affected the third kid a lot, as they were throwing these small stones on his head, while he was on the floor crying. It would obviously hurt a lot for such stones to be thrown at the head of such a small kid, and he was obviously crying because it hurt.
At first, I just stood there, for some reason not wanting to be involved. I was introverted and was still not comfortable talking to people irrespective of their age, but it had escalated to a case of bullying, and it had to stop. After I saw the kid throwing another stone onto the head of the third kid, who already had tears pouring down his face, hands above his head, clearly trying his best to block off the attacks, my body just moved towards the kid. I moved before I even processed what was happening and shouted at the kids. I made them aware that they had won, but there’s no point continuing when the kid is already crying. They put down the extra stones they had and went away.
I looked at the kid’s face and told him that everything was alright. He wasn’t looking good and was in quite an emotional mess. I told my friend that I’d return and accompanied the kid to the infirmary. I didn’t force him, but the kid just followed me, wiping off the tears, no complaining or anything. I noticed that he clearly accepted the help, and just went along with it. We reached the infirmary, and I told the nurse what happened. She took him in and examined him, after which I left to catch my bus.
I think that it’s quite a minor incident; after all, the stones weren’t so large that throwing them would cause some fatal injury, so I don’t know why it stuck with me, despite the incident happening roughly 8 years ago. I guess it was because I surprised myself by stepping into this situation of bullying. Like I mentioned previously, I didn’t like to be involved in anything, I just wanted to be with myself. But for someone with that attitude to step in and help a kid, guess I was a bit more mature than I thought I was. To me, it’s just one of those stories, where I look back, and I actually feel proud of myself (like some superhero, I guess). I have tons of regrets in my life, but just thinking of that case, where it had just escalated to straight-up bullying, guess I have some things to make myself happy, and to just stop thinking about stupid thoughts of sadness, and to just convince myself that I am better than what I think I am. I am proud for stepping in, and I hope I never forget this in my life.