I was picked on a lot during my childhood. I was a short scrawny kid and I wasn’t strong enough to defend myself. Some of the people who try to pick on me assumed that I knew karate because I was Asian but I didn’t know the first thing about it. If there was on time that stood out like sore thumb, it was the time that I was surrounded by a small group of kids in my class. I never saw those kids again, none of them except for one kid named Mike.
Mike and a couple of other kids picked on me because I was the new kid in school. I would have avoided being surrounded by them if I stayed at school for lunch but I was shy and I wanted to go home. On my way home for lunch, I was surrounded on the sidewalk by three of the kids in my class. I didn’t know what to do and they wouldn’t leave me alone so I took off my backpack and swung it at them. One of the kids got a hold of my backpack and yanked it away from me. Now, I was defenseless. They surrounded me every closer and wanted to beat me up until a man showed up and told them to leave me alone. If it wasn’t for him, I’d probably have my ass kicked.
When I left Sanford Avenue School, I never saw those kids again. Or so I thought. When I got into high school, I met up with one of the kids that surrounded me. I didn’t want any trouble so I hoped that he didn’t remember me. We had gym class together and there, I also met up with a few classmates from previous schools. When that one kid saw me, he came up and talked to me for a bit. As it turned out, he wasn’t the same kid that tried to beat me up. Mike was more grown up and a bit more mature.
A couple of nights ago, I was at my friend’s house for his birthday. There were a lot of people there, including Mike. I didn’t talk to him much since we didn’t hang out as often. Everyone was partying and having a good time. I was sitting on the course watching some TV and having a few drinks. When I arrived at the party, the birthday boy wanted me to take a shot of Tequila with him. I couldn’t turn him down since it was his birthday. After taking the shot, I grabbed a bottle of Corona and went to sit down. When I was done with the beer, my girlfriend went and grabbed me another drink. I think it was Vodka mixed with Sprite or something. As soon as I finished that, I had to go to the washroom because the alcohol didn’t want to sit in my stomach. The washroom didn’t help much so I told my girlfriend that I was going outside to get some fresh air.
The walk to the front down was pretty bad since everything was starting to spin. When I got outside, the cold air helped a little but not much. There were a couple of people outside talking and they started talking to me as well. I tried to keep my answers short but the questions that they were asking couldn’t be answered with a few words. I took deep breathes in hopes that the cold air would cool me down a bit but it didn’t help.
Standing around outside and talking was Stephanie and Mike. I don’t know if they know each other but they were just chilling outside. After a few minutes, Stephanie went back inside and it as just Mike and I. After a few minutes, we started talking about our childhood and how we met. Mike and I go way back but we weren’t the best of friends back then. We hung out during the odd times but it was nothing major.
Mike was telling me how he’s trying to get his life back on track and do something with it. He was pissed off at his parents for not helping him as much as they should have. From what he was telling me, they weren’t much of a parent. They didn’t even attend his sister’s baby shower. He didn’t want to wait around for his parents to get his head straight so he took the initiative and did his own thing.
He told me that he had plans on moving out west to Vancouver to work for his uncle’s business. But before leaving, he wanted to apologize for all the bad things that he has done to me.
Mike: Listen, I know that there are some things in the past that I’ve done that I’m not proud of. There are some things that I’ve done to you and I want you to know that I’m really sorry for doing it.
Me: It’s okay, Mike. We were kids. Kids do stupid things.
Mike: Yeah, I know but I feel really bad about it.
Me: Don’t worry about it too much.
Mike: You’re a good guy and you didn’t deserve that.
Me: It’s okay, really.
Mike: We used to walk home together. You remember that?
Me: Yeah man.
Mike: Yeah, so I want to say that I’m sorry.
Me: You’re a good man, Mike.
I don’t know if he was all apologetic because he’s been drinking or because he really meant it. He didn’t seem like he was drunk or anything. Everything he said sounded very sincere. He shook my hand, stared me right in the eyes and said that he was sorry. I can’t turn down an apology like that.