A Nice Guy

2 Oct

As his fists clinched tighter and tighter in the pockets of his rough blue jeans, Eric could feel the adrenaline pump from deep inside his body to the outer rigid edge of his fists. “So what? You gonna do something?” the bully aggressively asked. Eric responded with an undetected left hook across the bully’s crooked jaw. Eric’s response was felt throughout the entire school.

As a stereotypical “nice guy,” Eric would put the needs of others before his own, do favors, and was respectful towards those around him. He was generally liked by many and wasn’t really anything special, just a kid going about his day to day. Being freshmen in junior high, most kids had to figure out how to survive their remaining time of their freshman year without being messed with. There were different options of avoiding trouble; one was hanging with a large group, survival by numbers. There was also the option of being friends with everyone including the bullies, but this was hard because most bullies were not quite right. Eric heard his friend Thomas had been thrown in a trashcan, and another friend involuntarily had his underwear revealed to the kids in the cafeteria. Although Eric was happy he had not been victimized, he felt sorry for his friends and he wished someone would do something.

By mid semester Eric was feeling pretty sure nothing would happen to him, he entered the school hallways with a kind of confidence that drew the attention of an unwanted observer. Joey, one of the toughest bullies in the school, which rumors say had a crooked jaw from fights during his time in juvey, noticed Eric’s confidence. As Eric was about to enter his classroom, he found his face being introduced to the cold tiles of the school hallway. When Eric finally realized what had happened he got up and confronted Joey. “What did you do that for?” Eric nervously asked. “ You got a problem,” said Joey, eagerly awaiting a response in anticipation of a fight. Eric cowardly said, “no, no problem” as he walked to his seat.

All day he had replayed the confrontation in his mind, disregarding his teacher’s lessons. Not knowing how it felt to be a victim of a bully, Eric had realized the pain and shame he and the other victims had felt. In his mind, he could have seen Joey’s attempt to trip him and kicked his leg out of the way or even hopped over it with a Jackie Chan-like leap. On his way home that day, Eric decided that an incident like this would never happen to him or anyone else again, and at that moment Eric vowed to confront this bully and all other bullies that tried to hurt others.

Soon after his decision, Eric knew he had to prepare himself for his upcoming conquests so he had studied from the best teachers he ever knew. He watched Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Van Damne movies and especially Rocky I-VI. He watched and examined the movements of the fighting techniques mimicking their every move. After a few weeks Eric felt confident enough to confront Joey.

As Eric entered the school that day, he felt confidence like never before. Eric was not carrying any books, for he had only one class today and he was the teacher. As he entered the halls to the main building of his school, Eric spotted Joey in the distance pushing around a couple of kids. With the confidence of Cuck Norris and the Swagger of Rocky, Eric walked right up to Joey and said, “I don’t appreciate how you tripped me the other day, and as a matter of fact I don’t like how you treat others around here either.” With a look of shock on Joey’s face, he took a moment and said, “So what? You gonna do something?” Just as Joey responded, Eric smirked and cocked back his right fist…


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