For years Andres, my son, was being bullied. It has stopped now but for a while it was a tough go. I’ve written about the two sides of bullying. Something that always helped was to make up stories with Andres about what someone would do in various situations. He would supply me with phrases and ideas and I would fill in the gaps. It’s what led me to write Mister-Do-Nothing-Wrong.
By Ivy Cuervo and Andres Espinoza
There’s a kid at school who drives me crazy. He’s like a bee, buzzing all over the place, stinging people for kicks. He’s calm sometimes but only when his mom is around. That’s what drives me crazy because he’s like the perfect kid one minute and then Nemesis Number 1 the next.
this kid can’t keep his nose out of people’s stinking business!
I’m not mister-‐do-‐nothing-‐wrong. It’s just, this kid can’t keep his nose out of people’s stinking business! Last week while we were making papier mâché crafts in class, Nemesis Number 1, as I call him, came up behind me and said “What you doing?” He scared the bejesus out me and got my shirt dirty with glue. Seriously, who scares people for no reason.
In class it’s even worse. He won’t stop bugging me. When I try to focus he keeps getting in my face asking “What you doing?” He even waves his hands in front of my face to get my attention. I gotta say, one time it was pretty funny and the whole class was laughing. But most of the time it is not funny.
During recess he runs after me. I don’t let him catch me, but when he gets close he screams, “What you doing?” It makes me want to pull my hair out. I’ve told him STOP. DON’T BUG ME. GET LOST. NO! Nothing works. Not even when the teacher sends him to the office.
This kid is a menace to society and I can’t take it anymore.
When I tell my mom about Nemesis Number 1 she says “Maybe he’s just looking for attention.” I don’t tell her this, but in my head I’m thinking “Seriously? Seriously mom! This kid is a menace to society and I can’t take it anymore.” So I decided, after much thought and consideration, to put an end to this madness.
My plan is simple -‐-‐ yell at the kid until he stops. Now, don’t judge me. There’s just no other way. It’s time to get my villain on. This is how this is going to play out. Next time he comes up to me and asks, for the gazillionth time, “What you doing?” I’m going to do my best scary-‐mom-‐voice impression and lay it on him.
It’s time to get my villain on.
As I prepare myself for D-‐day, I wonder if being mean will do the trick. I don’t want to be a bully but he needs to understand it’s not okay to follow and annoy the socks off me all the time. I know what I’m going to say: “That’s it! No more mister-‐nice-‐ guy. STOP following me. You are not my friend so quit trying to be. You annoy me and I’m not putting up with it any more!” Oh yeah, I’m ready.
The next day at school I keep my eyes open out for Nemesis Number 1. That morning, surprisingly, he doesn’t come near me. Lunchtime arrives, nothing. As the bell rings for the last school recess, I feel the hairs on my neck stand up. Someone is behind me. I wait. Suddenly I hear “What you doing?” I turn around and bingo! It’s Nemesis Number 1. I clear my throat and say, “That’s it! No more mister-‐nice-‐guy. STOP following me. You are not my friend so quit trying to be…”
Before I can continue, I notice his eyes get watery. Oh no! He’s not supposed to cry, he’s supposed to yell back at me and be annoying. Nemesis Number 1 says softly, “I’ve been trying to be your friend the entire school year but you don’t pay attention. What did I ever do to make you to hate me?” He doesn’t give me a chance to respond. He runs back to his desk, puts his head down and quietly starts to cry.
This is for the best. He won’t bug you again.
At that moment I don’t know what to do. I feel like a jerky-jerk. I shake my head and tell myself “This is for the best. He won’t bother you again!” But it doesn’t make me feel better. I made a kid cry. That day I go home and I don’t even feel like playing video games.
I didn’t know he wanted to be my friend, I thought he wanted to annoy me to death. “What do I do now?” I ask myself. As I get ready for bed I tell mom what happened, except I don’t tell her it was me who was mean to that kid but a friend. I just don’t want to disappoint her.
She listens until I stop speaking and says “You know we can’t change the past, only the now. We all get angry and sometimes we do not such nice things. But when we make a mistake we need to make it right. Think about it this way, how would you feel if you were that kid?” She pauses before saying, “I hope your friend does the right thing.” And just like that, I feel 10-‐times worst.
Nemesis Number 1 looks really sad.
As I get ready for school the next day all I can think about is what I’m going to say. Nemesis Number 1 looks really sad. When I’m in class I look over to where he’s sitting and he immediately looks away. “This is not going to be easy,” I tell myself.
When the bell rings I realize it’s now or never. I’m hoping for never but I know I need to fix this. As I head outside for recess I search for Nemesis Number 1. He’s already sitting by the bleachers sitting there all alone.
I walk towards him and he looks up. He says, “Go away!” I guess I deserve that but I can’t let him scare me off. “Listen”, I say, “I was really mean to you the other day. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. But you’re always bugging me in class, during recess, you’re always there asking the same question. It’s been driving me crazy!” He looks at me and doesn’t saying anything.
As I’m about to say sorry he says, “You know when I moved here from my other school you were the only one who was nice to me. I thought we could be friends. I’ve heard you talking about Minecraft and I know we could play together. But you were always so busy. I didn’t know I was being annoying.”
I’m shocked. How was I supposed to know he wanted to be friends? I guess I wasn’t paying attention. I put out my hand and say “I’m awesome at Mincrecraft!” He finally smiles, shakes my hand and says, “I’m more awesome.”
I guess that’s where it all started. We are best friends now. He still drives me crazy. Some days when I’m busy he still comes up from behind and asks “What you doing?” But now I just crack up instead of get angry.