That summer my mother took my little brother, baby sister, and myself back home to California. My demons three were happy because that’s where they first tried to take my soul.
The darkness inside had consumed me by this point and I learned to embrace it. Being a Star Wars nerd I realized that I was not a Jedi after all, I was a true Sith.
Every day during the summer I trained in our back yard. I would stack up 2x4 boards and practice my punches and kicks. I would imagine they were my bullies back home in Texas. The only blood I drew was my own whenever I broke a board, but it would have to do, since I could not draw theirs. I was never going to lose another fight, no matter who it was.
The summer passed quickly and I found myself enrolled in school in California once again. I was the last to attend the same middle school my three older siblings had before me. I was prepared for any bullies that may come my way, but my demons three threw me for a loop.
One good thing came from being in California, I had a place to play and run around so I lost a lot of weight by the time school started. I was still fat, however, I was not the push over I once was. I had a few students who picked on me, breaking into my locker and flushing my books in the toilet. Gym class was the same, a bully’s hunting grounds.
After two weeks the biggest bully in school decided to get physical, they always do. This guy was huge, a muscle head, and there was no way I could match his strength. As he began to choke me my inner darkness took over. When the fight was over, I left him on the floor, as I walked away, his blood on my shirt and the thought of picking on me again a thought far from his mind. The only thought on my mind, I would need to buy a new gym shirt.
Word got around quickly and the students left me alone, until the ultimate bully came along. This was a bully that I never even thought existed, I’ve always been taught to trust them because of who they were, my teachers.
One teacher in particular started on me and all the other students jumped on the band wagon, literally, as this torment came from band class. This was a kind of battle and I was out numbered, defeated, and losing.
Christmas time brings a high rate of suicide. Despite all the jolly cheer everywhere, death and darkness fills the air. My demons three kept whispering in my ear what my bullies were saying to my face, everyone would be better off if I would just kill myself.
I was fascinated with the Samurai culture after my grandmother had given me a book about Bushido, and I knew how I would do it. I was going to kill myself under the same tree I almost ended everything the first time, and this time I would not fail.
I was so full of hate, full of rage, full of deep dark emotions. I was mean to my cousins and siblings for no reason. I wanted the world around me to burn. Death was always hanging around me and I could feel his dark breath breathing down the back of my neck.
I had an anchor that kept me from falling into my dark abyss forever, my grandmother who would make me breakfast and read to me from the newspaper at 4 in the morning before I went to school, but that tether was wearing thin as time went on. It was not enough to keep me from my seppuku.
Before we broke for Christmas break a bright light came into my life. She was able to draw me out of my abyss and bring me back to the land of the living. She kept me from returning to the darkness. As the new year started I was happy, something I had not felt in almost a year.
My demons three did not like this twist of events. They decided that I needed to be punished. We were at war and who was I to think I could ever be happy. They were to teach me another harsh lesson. I did not want to fight anymore so they hit me hard.
My birthday was supposed to be perfect. She had planned something special for me when I got to school, so did my demons three. They took my light away, plunging me into the darkness, drowning me in it. Death did their bidding. Another life I loved had been lost for no other reason than I loved them more than I loved myself.
Two weeks later we left California for Texas. School was almost over so my summer started early. I was back in my old hood but unlike before, I stayed in my room most of the summer. I had slimmed down enough in California that the weight I had put on over the summer balanced me out to be more muscular than I was before.
My solitude came to an end as school started once again. I was back to the arena where I got my first taste of blood. While a few of my original bullies still attended this school, I found out that the one that broke me, the one who’s eye I blinded, was no longer there. At least I would not have to face him again.
None of the students had recognized me, even though we had all of our academic classes together for an entire year before. I was known as the transfer student from California. Girls who had laughed at me before were suddenly wanting to talk to me. The darkness inside me told them to fuck off, but that only made their desire for me worse. I was a bad boy without meaning to be.
It took three weeks before things began to settle down and old routines took place. I was betrayed by my love of music. I was too poor to buy my own trumpet so I had to use my older brother’s hand-me-down coronet. What gave me away, and made me the laughing stock of the band before was the bent bell on the coronet.
Word spread quickly about who I really was and how I tried to fool everyone. The bullies in Texas were much more hard headed than the ones in California and they fought on a much harder scale. They didn’t care that I wasn’t the same plump “butterball,” as they use to call me, they wanted their old punching bag back.
The girls who wanted me now hated me. They were teased by the guys that they were stupid and how could they like me. They wanted their revenge as well and poisoned their boyfriend’s ears with words of violence. Tension was building and it took a week before it finally broke.
As I walked out of my history class history repeated itself. I was jumped from behind. Two guys had shoved me into the lockers and held me there, while another held my face against the metal grate of the locker.
“You don’t have the balls to fight me one on one,” I taunted.
My answer was a punch to my kidney, awakening my darkness. I began to smile.
“That’s all you got.”
I was spun around, which is what I was hoping for. Letting go of me briefly was their mistake. I kicked the boy in front of me as hard as I could in the balls and when he doubled over my knee came up to break his nose.
My hands were free so I throat punched the boy to the left of me and punched the boy to my right across his jaw. He took off running, leaving his friends behind. The girls looked on in horror as my smile continued to grow. The blood on the floor was fueling my fire.
The last time I received a beating by this boy and his friends I was bombarded with kicks to my back and stomach as more and more boys joined in on the beating. It was only fitting to return the favor. I kicked and stomped the boy who could not breathe as it was, chocking on his own blood from the broken nose he never expected.
I kicked and I kicked, cussing at him until I was tackled to the floor from the side. I tried to fight my way free of this man’s grasp but I couldn’t. He was much more well trained than I was. Despite his age, I could not defeat this Marine. He was my history teacher.
The other teachers in the hall took the boys away quickly. Only after the halls were cleared of students did I hear the deep dark voice whisper in my ear, “Another victory… for us.”
To be concluded...
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