Cowardice: A lack of bravery
Cowardice: The inabilities of a child to walk into the school gate because he’s afraid of the bullies that he knows await him behind the bike shed.
No matter how much he stalled Mark knew he couldn’t delay the inevitable, he knew even if he was the last person off the bus he’d still have to exit the bus and make his way through the front gates of Kingston Secondary College. It wasn’t the school he was afraid of it was Anthony and his gang of mates who for some reason had taken a dislike to Mark and everything he did.
Having already been late for school on Monday, after deliberately walking to school and taking the long route to get him to school at recess and wagging all of Tuesday Mark knew that he had to turn up to school on time for Wednesday’s school bell or risk having the principal contact his parents. But that didn’t change the fact that he was scared witless that Anthony would be waiting for him.
He’d spent the previous night laying awake thinking of ways he could handle his school entry. In the classroom he knew he was relatively safe but in the yard he was a sitting duck. Anthony and his mates could be hiding anywhere in the yard and they could easily ambush him without warning so his only choice was to make a beeline to the classroom as soon as he got off the bus.
Cautiously Mark stepped down from the bottom step of the bus, onto the footpath and up to the cyclone wire fence. Holding the top rail of the fence he looked left and right to see if he could spot an ambush. There were kids everywhere, some mulling around like they were cows in a paddock and others gingerly making their way forward to another day at school. Mark wished he was one of those students.
To his relief he couldn’t see Anthony or any of his gang, but he knew that didn’t mean they weren’t there. Slinging his bag up onto his shoulder he fell directly in behind a group of year twelve students. He had no idea who they were but they were tall and as a group they did a reasonable job of hiding him.
Mark followed his group past the canteen, across the basketball court and onto the oval before he realised he was too focused on protection and not focused enough on where he was going. He’d gone too far, he’d walked straight past the entrance door to his building and now he’d have to back track.
Turning without looking he started walking quickly in the direction of his building. Despite the warm weather he was shivering and every step made him feel like he was going to fall over but he pushed on. Although his legs didn’t seem to want to work he picked up his walking pace and was nearly running as he mounted the first step of his building. He skipped three steps in his haste to get inside but he made it and made it safely.
Although he was inside the building he knew he wasn’t totally free and clear. He knew he still had to walk half the length of the corridor before he could step into the safety of his classroom. The crowd of students walked in both directions and there was no way for Mark to see who was in the crowd, for all he knew Anthony and his mates could be part of the crowd.
Mark walked on, he bumped off several students, was shoved left and shoved right but he stayed on his feet and kept moving forward with every step. His blood was pulsing and he could feel the sweat running down his spine.
Mark heard someone from behind him yell.
“Hey dipshit!”
He knew the voice belonged to Anthony but he could see the door to his classroom so there was no way he was stopping. He powered onward ignoring the insult and focusing only on the classroom ahead.
Ten seconds later he stepped into the classroom where Mrs Rickles was sitting at her desk.
He was safe!
Sadly many other kids in this world aren’t that safe from bullies. Sadly many other kids are bullied to the point where their lives are so badly affected it takes a long time to recover, if they ever do. Sadly these poor kids are often labelled by the bullies as being cowards when in actual fact it’s the spineless, heartless, idiotic, bullies who are the ones that suffer from cowardice.