Of Bullies and Friends
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Of Bullies and Friends
By Beth Beutler
1 "He just makes me furious sometimes," I told my best friend Randy. "Every day he has to laugh at me and make fun of me. I wish it would stop."
2 Randy responded, "I know, Brian. He makes fun of me, too."
3 Our classmate Dustin liked to act like a tough guy. He wanted people to envy him for being the strongest boy in school. He didn't realize that he succeeded in making more enemies than friends. A lot of people just wanted to avoid him. It was hard to hang around a kid like that.
4 Dustin was unusual because he was also a great student. Most of the time, I found that bullies didn't seem to do too well in school. Dustin was different. Perhaps that's what made me so mad. I knew he was smart enough to know better.
5 Randy asked me, "Why don't you talk to Dustin about it?"
6 "Yeah right," I replied. "He'd probably take my dollar away." (I always brought a dollar to school to buy an extra snack.)
7 "You never know," Randy said.
8 I decided I'd look for an opportunity to understand Dustin a little better. Our annual fall festival was coming up, and maybe I could get to know him a little better there.
9 Randy and I arrived at the festival and saw Dustin right away. He was standing by himself. I approached him and asked, "Hey, Dustin. You want to go on some rides with me?"
10 Dustin looked around as if I should be speaking with someone else. "I suppose," he said in an arrogant tone, and I felt anger growing inside me. However, I was determined to make this work.
11 Dustin, Randy and I went on a few rides together and wandered around the game booths. We stopped to get something to eat. After we had gathered our sodas and funnel cakes, I gulped and began to share what was on my mind.
12 "Dustin, can I ask you something?"
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