I got bullied in high school. I moved to a rural high school from the city and that made me different. Mean girls cornered me in the bathroom and threatened me with things that never came to fruition. They didn’t need to do them. The fear was enough.
But it wasn’t just girls.
Once in class a boy who sat in front of me took it upon himself to turn around tell me in detail how nobody liked me and why. I had been told to smile and be nice when people were mean to me. Please don’t teach this to your daughters. It is the most demeaning, ridiculous anti-bullying technique there is. It does not work, it only teaches girls to be kind to someone abusing them. But back then I didn’t know this yet, so I smiled at him.
As I smiled, the fuse box to my immediate left exploded. Sparks shot across the classroom in a wild arc. I looked out at my horrified peers from within the explosion. The bully boy in front of me wore a terrified expression.
The teacher ushered us outside. My long hair was burnt and melted beyond repairing in the explosion, but no one was hurt.
The bully boy never spoke to me again. Word went around the school in a whirlwind. Everyone left me alone after that day. It was peaceful. In a few short weeks a transfer I’d requested came through and I left that awful period of my life behind forever, but sometimes I think about that fusebox explosion, and wonder if I had friend somewhere I didn’t realize.