You saw him standing there, afraid. He struggled to hold back his tears, filled with panic and distress. A boy, collapsing within from the endless abuse he faces. It’s winter, the sky painted with grey clouds since May, the air is numbing and bitter. Surrounded by concrete, a sense of imprisonment looms, the forest of school buildings darkens as the gloomy clouds thicken. You hear the cold breeze funnel through alleyways, brushing past trees with enough force to displace new green leaves. A sound which tickles your ears but roars to your fears. The threat becomes more and more certain as the aggressive lump, the bully, closes in.
Look at him, for months you’ve noticed him prowling around the school yard, seeking out targets, separating them from their friends and beating them up. Like a parasite, feeding his ego at others expense, he was left to cause ruckus without any disturbance, no one had the nerve to stand up to his contentious tactics as he crushed individuals one by one with freedom and ease. His head, large and heavy. His mouth opens releasing a sound, much like a tiger, demonstrating the true meaning of fear and terror.
It was only a little past 3 in the afternoon yet the pallidity which comes with winter surrounds you, closing in on the school, coating as far as the eye could see in mist. The boy trembled lightly, trying to mask his fear from the predator, the winter air was sharp yet streaks of sweat continued to dash down his forehead as the inevitable approached with conviction. “Why don’t you leave me in peace? I’ve done nothing to aggravate you.” The words spilt out of the boy’s mouth, feeding the aggressive ego standing opposite, fists clenched and face dark red with uncontainable rage.
And you, frozen in the corner, paralysed with emotions as the situation carried out. The little-boy inside you convulsed in submissive fear as the attack took place. You were guilty, you knew it. The first signs of the panic arrive, a sense of claustrophobia grows, a constrictive feeling as if the air encloses on your emotions. You could have, should have stood up to his offence and ended the aggression right then and there, potentially freeing other victims from the mistreatment. Instead, you took refuge in the shadows, hidden away with your thoughts. No one could see your inner coward but yourself.
Walking home, the streets look nothing like the previous day, in the daylight. Evening was setting in, it was as if everything disappeared and the world was suddenly confined. New meanings of darkness and regret open up.