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Remember School was School

By Christopher Clark #511663

I remember going school shopping for the first time. It was so exciting seeing all the backpacks, color pencils, different color binders and notepads and of course my favorite…the handy dandy lunch pail. You had to have one. Brown paper bags was a no no lol.

I remember my mother shopping for clothes and her buying a nice amount of different color shirts. My grandmother always bought me pants, socks, tee-shirts, underwear and my shoes. For some strange reason all my jeans had a triangle on one of the back pockets, which I hated. I always asked my mother ‘why does grandma keep buying me triangle pants?’ Which later in life I found out those triangle pants were an expensive brand in the early 90’s by the name of ‘Guess’. She just laughed and said, ‘anything someone buys you, be appreciative’.

I remember trying to stay up before the first day of school, that’s how excited I was. I wanted to show off all the new clothes I got. I even went so far to try and sleep in them until my mother came upstairs and said ‘what are you doing? Take that shit off and get cho’ butt to bed’. I hurried and took them off and then whimpered ‘meanie’.

I remember my first day in a completely new school. I was nervous and excited at the same time. Entering the class, I was looking for my new best friend. For some strange reason these kids in class were nothing like your friends in the neighborhood. They didn’t have that rugged look. We had to stand up and say our name which was so frightening at the time. Once that was out the way things kind of flowed easily.

School was a place where you could get away from your siblings, mother, father, and worst of all violence. We didn’t have to worry about being shot down or someone bringing a gun to school in elementary or middle school.

As I got older, I began to figure out things and I became the bully. It felt good at the time. To actually talk about someone and make them hurt. But really, I was the one hurting deep down inside. Not being accepted was a scary feeling so I talked about others who were less fortunate to try and impress others. I did this all the way up to high school. One day I did it and got physical with this particular person and he started to cry. I felt like shit, so I helped him up and told him I was sorry. That person’s name was Donald. Me and Donald became real close. He was less fortunate and didn’t have much. I gave him clothes and shoes I couldn’t fit to keep him looking better. People that use to bully him stopped because now he had so many friends from just being with me. I remember one night we had kept Donald out too late, and we didn’t want him walking home by himself. So, it had to be like 10 of us on bikes taking him home. He knocked on the door and older lady had looked out the window and from the look on her face she seemed startled. Donald then said, ‘aunty it’s alright, these are my friends’. She opened the door and I stood next to Donald, and I let her who I was and we were making sure Donald made it home safe. She thanked me and said that this has never happened before and gave me a hug. Right then and there I had a best friend that I didn’t even know that was going to be in my corner for the rest of my life.

Donald was mentally challenged but he was very smart. We didn’t attend the same school but all I thought about was all the people I had hurt in the past. Those next few weeks in high school I went to all those people I had bullied and apologized. Some forgave me and some didn’t. I even went so far to have them hanging with me and making them popular. But no one was as popular as Donald.

I have been incarcerated for over 18 years and till this day Donald has remained my friend. He has been by my side more than some of my own family members. Never in a million years I would’ve thought that a guy that I put my hands on would have been my best friend.

So instead of being the bully be that person who stands up for the people who are being bullied. The problem in schools today is that we have no one standing up for the ones being bullied. You never know how many lives you’ll change and more importantly how many lives you’ll save.

Christopher Clark #511663
Macomb Correctional Facility
34625 26 mile Rd.
Lenox Township, Mi 48048

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