She had long red hair, which made her a victim of constant ridicule. Jane was always in a state of melancholy as she went about her daily life in school. The whole class now was reacting in a mocking manner when Jane entered the class. However, Rhys was different while staring out the window of the class. Mr Frank, the English teacher began the first lesson of the day.
Jane saw something sticking out from her desk. She read the letter which actually contained a drawing. The school bullies, Roy and Jake, had drawn a hideous creature with red-hair and wrote Jane’s name under it. In anger she was now tearing the paper, when everyone began to laugh at the joke from Roy and Jake.
She told herself she will not cry, because that will show she had weaknesses. The bell rang for lunch and Jane went to the place where she could outlaw herself from everyone. Her red hair was now in a pony-tail. She always had a desire to cut all her hair off or maybe dye it.
“Jane, mind if I join you?” said the aloof Rhys who was sitting before she could reply. They chose to be quiet. No-one said a word to the other. The moment was awkward but somehow pleasing. Rhys was the only person who didn’t tease Jane about her red-hair. Jane was thinking that Rhys maybe was playing a prank or joke on her.
“Do you like books?” Questioned Rhys who could not tolerate the silence. His sole purpose was to understand and get to know Jane better.
“What do you take me for, a fool?” She gave an answer to his question with a question. “Do you honestly think that I can’t see through your act? The least you can do is be like the others and openly mock me,” said Jane in fury. The bell rang to which she immediately got up and began rushing to class.
Rhys was left alone. However, he came to realise that the scars in Jane’s heart will not heal by being friendly. In class Jane was the recipient of more insults. The last period of the day was underway. She read the time-table stuck in front of the class. Today was her day for class cleaning alongside a few other students.
School was now over and all other students began dispersing while Jane dreadfully had to remain in class. The other five students who were to also clean the class never once would talk with her. She was all too familiar with alienation that she felt no more heartache.
“Well, well, well… If it isn’t the red-haired freak,” said Roy who was with Jake. The two made sure every teacher was gone before they began tormenting Jane. Jake was pulling her to the chalk board as Roy was holding a chalk duster. All the other students were laughing and applauding Roy and Jake’s actions. She was hit on the head with a duster from Roy. Before he could hit her again his hand was stopped by Rhys.
Rhys made a choice that today he would finally help Jane. Roy threw a punch at him, which Rhys dodged easily. He in turn gave Roy a solid fist in the stomach. Trembling from fear, Jake took his partner in bullying and ran away. Jane could take no more when she burst out in tears. She was crying not from the bullying she got but because someone for the first time helped her.
“Jane I love your hair,” said Rhys while he was hugging her. Even though he never believed in love, for the first time he actually thought of giving it a try.
“I’ll walk you home, but promise me you will give me your phone number,” stated Rhys.
“OK,” replied Jane as she gave a wonderful smile. The first time that Rhys ever saw her smiling.
Tell us what you think: Have you ever been bullied or bullied someone? How did it stop?