The Secret Keeper – Braving the Bullies

He was a brave, but timid little boy. Born into a large family, his particular wants or needs were not usually met by his parents. His older brothers and one of his sisters, Mary, fulfilled his wishes. Because of this relationship, Joey grew extremely close to Mary and this closeness turned into dependency.

Every day, rushing to get ready for school he waited for Mary to help him pick out his clothes, urge him to brush his teeth and  comb his hair. Joey loved this attention that was lacking from his mother. His mother loved all of her children, she thought equally, but Joey seemed to be often overlooked.

This morning, Joey was ready for school and waiting for Mary to walk him to his first grade class. She was responsible for his safety to and from school, and took her job seriously. This day, her inner mother had to take over her twelve year old mind.

As they walked down the sidewalk the usual bullies would tease them asking for lunch money, commenting on how he was such a baby he had to stay near his sister, the usual bully chatter they experienced every morning. Mary was not that tall either, but she was strong and even stronger willed.

The boys were raving over how cute she looked in her new jeans. She was small, but already  a beautiful girl. Joey didn’t realize exactly what was going on but he felt uncomfortable. Mary held her little brother’s hand tighter and urged him to walk faster.  

About two blocks from the school, the crossing guard was not yet in view. The larger bullies started getting closer with their bikes, trying to scare Joey and they were succeeding. Joey closed his arm in Mary’s and they walked along quicker. They were almost to the crossing guard when one of the bikes hit Joey.

Mary turned to the boy that hit Joey and shoved him off his bike. When the crossing guard heard Joey’s hurt cry, he ran to help. The other boys on bikes hurried off to school. After checking to see if Joey was all right, the guard took Mary and Joey into the school.

Joey was bruised but fine enough to continue to class. Mary gave him a hug and went to her own class, confident, knowing, if necessary, she could take care of them both any time.


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