“Townies, Cronies, & Hayseeds II”

(A Collective Grudge)
Chapter 1
Back When

Sixteen-year-old Brielle Bennett sat in front of Thomasville High School reading the new and recently published Shannon Crooke McGregor novel when she was approached by seventeen-year-old Bobby Crabtree, his girlfriend Rita Winchester, and friends Ashton Childers, Kevin Kearns, Aaron Hughes, Jada Ames, Austin Eves, Philip Adams Jr, and Sarah Dickerson. They immediately noticed the book Brielle was reading. The title of the book, in big bold letters, across the top of the cover, read “Scars Never Healed.” Across the bottom was the name, Shannon Crooke McGregor.”

Brielle, a shy and bullied girl at Thomasville High School, needed to confirmation that she wasn’t alone, which was one of the many reasons she idolized Shannon Crooke McGregor, the famous author who had lived in Thomasville as a teenager and who had attended the same school. Shannon escaped the chains the held her in place, which were the same chains that were now holding Brielle in place, and if Shannon could go on to become famous, then perhaps, she could too.

A Forbidden Book

Brielle was startled out of her reverie when someone suddenly snatched her book out of her hands.

“Well, well, well! What do we have here?” Bobby jeered as he looked at the book, surrounded by his friends, who were laughing and jeering behind him, “Shannon Crooke McGregor!” He read aloud before glaring at Brielle.

Bobby angrily shook the book at Brielle.

“Really, Brielle? Shannon Crooke McGregor!”

Bobby then threw the book back at Brielle, hitting her in the face with it. He then took her by the collar of her blouse and jerked her up from the bench she was sitting on.

“You support the bitch who slandered this town and this school? You know? We’ve always hated your guts! That’s right! We hated your guts before! But now! We fucking loathe you! You’re enemy number one now! You’d better watch your back from now on!” He growled before shoving her back down on the concrete school patio.

Brielle reached to grab her book but, in a rage, Bobby kicked it out of her reach and the book went sliding across the patio and hit one of the garbage disposals. He then walked away with his friends laughing behind him. Rita looked back at Brielle.

“Stupid bitch!” She called back…

dreamstime_xl_37284171

Graduation

…Over a year later, during graduation, Brielle received her diploma and walked back to where she had sat amid jeers and boos. Only her family clapped and cheered for her.

“Don’t pay any attention to them, Brielle. We’re proud of you, sweetie.” Brielle’s mother called out to her from the audience.

Just after the commencement ceremony was over, Brielle hugged each of her family members in festive and celebratory happiness. Her mother and father were so proud of her, and Brielle was excited for the future.

“I can’t believe it’s over! It’s really over!” Brielle gushed with tears of joy in her eyes. She hugged each of her brothers.

An Evil Pact

Not far away, Bobby and his friends, also in their graduation caps and gowns, stood together, all glaring at Brielle, watching her smile and pose for pictures with her family and few friends. They turned and looked at one another.

“She only thinks it’s over! But it’s far from it!” Rita sneered. Each bully stood in unity and put their hands-on top of one another’s.

“We need to make a pact. She still has to live here.” Bobby said, “So, we start a little campaign.” He suggested.

“Ha! When we’re done with her, she’ll have no job prospects, no prospects for college, no marriage prospects- we’re going to isolate her and drive her to poverty! She’ll live in squalor when we’re through!” Rita growled.

“And if that don’t work, we kill her!” Bobby pledged, with his friends cheering in agreement.

A New Life

Unbeknownst to the bullies, however, Brielle had other plans. She hopped a Greyhound bus and left Thomasville the following week, heading to sunny California.

Brielle tried getting into acting. Apart from a few guest appearances and bit parts in a few movies, she couldn’t seem to get her big break. While she tried her hand at acting, she worked in a gentleman’s club as an exotic dancer and made good money. She soon gave up on acting and decided to make a career in dancing. Although four-hundred thousand dollars a year was nothing to sneeze at, it was still peanuts in southern California.

At twenty, Brielle met and married a businessman, then had three children…

Other Bullied Classmates Are Still Afraid to Tell Their Stories Today

small town bullying

Even today, thirty years later, there are other targets from way back who are afraid of telling their stories. Some are scared that it may somehow get back to the people who bullied them. And that the bullies from high school will hunt them down and harm them or their families if they speak out. Hey, Oakley’s a small southern town and they have to live there. Luckily for me, I got out of there.

Their worries aren’t exactly needless either. Many of them live in the same small town the bullies do, and the bullies have powerful connections. Many of the classmates who bullied me are either working in law enforcement (Isn’t it funny how most people who were bullies in school seek out careers that give them a little power and authority?), or ended up with spouses in law enforcement.

People in small towns never forget who they hated in high school and seem to carry grudges for a lifetime. Many of them would jump at the chance if they could bully the person again for old time’s sake. Trust me. I know these people, and they wouldn’t think twice about it!

Hate is blind

I’ve heard countless horror stories from others. They were stories about how these former bullies from high school would have certain people they didn’t like pulled over and plant drugs in their vehicle to press bogus charges of illegal possession and ruin their lives. It happens more than we realize. So far, when passing through, I’ve been very fortunate.

I’ve also heard another story from a very reliable source about how one of the women who bullied me in school, handled marital issues with her husband.

Because she was angry and wanted to get back at her spouse, she sent a picture of herself and another man in their home to her husband’s phone while he (the husband) was at work at the police department, all to prove a point to him that she could leave and have any other man she wanted.

In doing that, she baited her police officer husband into losing his temper, leaving his shift and coming home to fire several shots into the home they shared, placing both herself and their children in grave danger. Yep! Talk about stupid!

 

Luckily, neither she nor the kids were hurt. However, if she would do a damn fool thing like baiting her spouse to do something foolish and make herself out to be the innocent wife who’s so abused and mistreated, then she’d bait someone else with whom she wanted to get revenge on. And most of her friends, who were also bullies, are the same manipulative way, which is why I make it a point to keep them at a long distance from my loved ones and me.

I’ve committed a grave sin by writing and publishing a book about being bullied in high school, and yes, they know about it. Although I never used their real names in the book, I received quite a few nasty and threatening messages from them after the book became available, and a few other classmates bought it.

One woman even informed me that she had contacted several classmates, and they all wanted to meet me somewhere where we could “have a meeting” and “have a well-needed discussion” over what I’d written and published.

nope refuse bullying

Emoticon making deny sign

That meeting didn’t happen. And it never will because I wouldn’t trust any of them as far as I could throw them. You never know what they may be plotting or what might happen. Had I stupidly agreed to meet with them, there’s no telling what I would’ve walked into. So, I bade them thanks, but no thanks.

No reunions for me. I hope my classmates have fun, but they’ll have to do it without me.

There are times I still get nasty messages from a classmate or two, not often, but it does happen. It doesn’t phase me any because number one; they don’t know where I live. Number two; I could care less.

gut feeling

If I must do any business in the town, I do it without worrying about the possibility of being seen by the wrong people. I know that they would be a fool to approach me today.

The bullies know that if they try anything foolish, and if anything happens to me, anything at all, they will only prove every word I wrote in “From Victim to Victor.” Also, people from everywhere will come around asking questions and guess who they’ll go to for answers.

They will only make themselves suspects.

In essence, “From Victim to Victor” is my protection. The book can serve as a shield from any retribution my old bullies may want for my daring to speak out about the notoriously vile and ignorant way they acted years ago. These people know not to bust themselves.

My other classmates, who were also victims, do not have that protection going for them, and I can only hope and pray that they are left alone to live their lives with their families in peace.