You are not alone, Oli.
It started in seventh grade, guitar class. I was so happy then. Then he walked in, his brown eyes found mine, and his face spread into one of those smiles that seemed to say “I know you, I know your secrets, and I will tear your life down, brick by brick.”
It started with the little things. He and his friends would bump into me, call me the wrong name, retune my guitar when I wasn’t looking. Later, they would take my gum and pass it out, hide my books, dent my guitar. By the end of the year, they were pulling my chair out from under me, pushing me over, ripping my papers, breaking my pencils.
Throughout all of this, the teacher turned a blind eye.
After the first year, I told my friends.
After the second, my friends started getting bullied.
After the third, people stopped approaching me; they knew better.
After four years of this, and I finally worked up the courage to tell my boyfriend (I’d been dating him for about two months at the time). It took a lot of convincing, but I eventually told the school counselor everything.
And then, magically, they stopped.
Then, two weeks ago, (about a week after I told the counselor), I realized that they’d started up again.
They had taken to doing things that leave no proof (glares, calling me by the wrong name, bumping into me in the halls). Even if there are witnesses, the things they do could easily be called accidental.
I was fooled until I tested if they were doing it accidentally… and they weren’t.
Four years of hell, and you’d be surprised how far a glare, a name, or a bump can go, especially when that bump knocks your lunch onto your brand new boots.