An excerpt from my all time favorite novel,”BULLY”,is sure to leave you overwhelmed and emotional.A beautiful novel about friendships, betrayal,revenge and love:rekindled.
The protagonist buries the hurt deep in her heart for such a long time,that, when she comes to the realisation that it all needs to be brought out in the open,leaving her vulnerable, this is how it all spills out in front of the reason for her misery:Jared.Her friend.Her love.Her tormentor.Her bully.
“I like storms,”I started.”Thunder,torrential rains,puddles,wet shoes.When the clouds roll in,I get filled with this giddy expectation.”
“Everything is more beautiful in the rain.Don’t ask me why.”I shrugged. “But it’s like this whole other realm of opportunity.I used to feel like a superhero,riding my bike over the dangerously slick roads,or maybe an Olympic athlete enduring rough trials to make it to the finish line.”
My smile spread with the memories.Memories of Jared and me.
“On sunny days,as a girl,I could still wake up to that thrilled feeling.You made me giddy with expectation,just like a symphonic rainstorm.You were a tempest in the sun,the thunder in a boring,cloudless sky.”
“I remember I would shovel in my breakfast as fast as I could,so I could go knock on your door.We’d play all day,only coming home for food and sleep.We played hide and seek,you’d push me on the swing,or we’d climb trees.Being your sidekick gave me a sense of home again.”
I exhaled,finally relaxing, and my eyes drifted over to meet his.I saw him breathing hard,almost as if he was frozen.Stay with me, Jared.
“You see,”my eyes stayed on him,”when I was 10,my mom died.She had cancer, and I lost her before I really knew her.My world felt so insecure, and I was scared. You were the person that turned things right again.With you,I became courageous and free.It was like the part of me that died with my mom came back when I met you,and I didn’t hurt anymore.Nothing hurt if I knew I had you.”Pools of tears filled my eyes as the class leaned in to listen to me.
“Then one day,out of the blue,I lost you, too.The hurt returned,and I felt sick when I saw you hating me.My rainstorm was gone,and you became cruel.There was no explanation. You were just gone.And my heart was ripped open.I missed you.I missed my mom.”My voice cracked,and I didn’t wipe away the tear that fell.
“What was worse than losing you was when you started to hurt me.Your words and actions made me hate coming to school.They made me uncomfortable in my own home.”I swallowed, and the knot in my chest loosened.
“Everything still hurts,but I know none of it is my fault.There are a lot of words I could use to describe you,but the one that covers sad,miserable,angry and pitiful is ‘coward’.In a year,I will be gone,and you will be nothing but some washout whose height of existence was in high school.”My eyes were still on Jared,and my voice grew strong again.The ache in my face from trying to hold back tears, eased.”You were my tempest,my thunder cloud, my tree in the downpour.I loved all those things,and I loved you.But now?You are a freaking drought.I thought that all assholes drove German cars, but it turns out that pricks in Mustangs can still leave scars.”