Have you ever been the target of someone else’s aggression simply because you were … you? I have. I was twelve. Her name was Virginia. She was a short little Mexican girl. She had one of those cocky, aggressive attitudes that despite her small stature, forced its way into the room. I really didn’t talk to her much. She was one of those girls that unless you were in her circle, you avoided eye contact hoping not to be the recipient of her sneering comments.
I’m not even sure why she didn’t like me. As a matter of fact, I didn’t officially know that she didn’t like me until she marched up to me on the bus that fateful day telling me that she was going to ‘kick my -ss’ when we got off the bus. What’s a kid to do when that happens? I didn’t know why. I don’t even remember if I asked. I was pretty timid at these things. While I was sandwiched between two brothers at home, I would never scuffle with them. It just wasn’t in me.
As I walked the 50 feet from the bus stop, I felt like I was being ushered by an unseen force. The children were gathering, excited at the prospect of seeing two girls claw at each other like cats. I didn’t have a clue why I had been chosen for this position, but there she stood telling me to hit her. I just looked at her. I didn’t want to fight, but my mouth couldn’t find any words in that moment. She continued to taunt me. I continued to just stand there.
Then it happened, she threw the first punch. Then the next came, and the next, and the next. I tried my best to defend myself, but my arms were two flailing limbs not doing much other than making a mockery of what was already a very sad scene. She grabbed my hair and yanked me around like a rag doll. All the while, I could hear not just her voice, but the voice of all the other children … all laughing and whooping it up at my expense. Other than my useless attempts to diminish the blows, all I could do was cry. This of course just added more fuel to their fiery commentary.
After what seemed like hours, Virginia must have decided I had enough and she stopped. She didn’t say anything to me. Just looked at me, then walked away. I just stood there, blood pouring from my nose, eyes bruised, hair a shambled mess .. crying. I walked home by myself. The show was over. Who wants to walk with the loser?
I don’t know if that was some sort of test, but Virginia never bothered me again. I certainly wasn’t much of a challenge. I didn’t even fight back. Surprisingly, I didn’t hate her. It’s hard to hate something that you just don’t understand. I just continued on, being me. Polite and respectful to others. Mild mannered, not causing much of a ruckus. Smiling at those that no one else would smile at. Finding myself seeking out the seat that no one else wanted to sit in. Enjoying school and being content to just be. Doing my best to do what was right, even when it felt uncomfortable.
Now as an adult, I find that the face of Virginia was really nothing more than Satan in disguise. Constantly taunting, toying, and bullying me around. Doing his best to make a fool of me, as he sits back and has a good laugh. Just like that fateful day, he continues to succeed at humiliating me and giving the crowd a good laugh. As much as it hurts, and as much as I continue to cry, I have a hard time hating. Certainly, I’ve had moments where I may have felt that, but as quickly as it comes, it leaves. What has never left, is the complete lack of understanding to why these things happen.
Satan continues to call at me, ‘So, you wanna’ fight?’ To which I reply, ‘No. I really don’t.’ This was never supposed to be my battle. I don’t understand this and I don’t understand how you are able to get people to do horrible things to each other. So I’m going to do what I always do, continue on .. being me .. doing my best to do what is right, even when it feels uncomfortable.
Jesus is coming back …. SOON.