I Don’t Know How To Fight Back

My problem is that I wasn’t an aggressive person throughout my school years.
I wasn’t a person who hits others.
Basically, I wasn’t rude to anyone.
Until the 7th grade.
I didn’t know any curse words, or what they meant.
Or when they are used.

An incident happened to me when I was young.
To me, it was a big deal back then.
In first or second grade, there was this boy.
He used to wait for me outside of school,
Just so he’d grab my bag, throw it to the ground, and then run away.
He was bigger than me, and I used to be scared of him.
So I wasn’t able to stick up for myself.
I would just take my bag and leave.

I would get beaten up every day.
And my bag would thrown to the ground, and I wouldn’t tell anyone.
Until my mother came to pick me up from school one day.
And she saw it happen one time.
“How could you let him do this to you?
And leave your bag get thrown on the floor
Why didn’t you slap him?” she asked
“I couldn’t,” I replied.

I still remember this incident like it was yesterday .
When I would see the kid later, I wouldn’t know what to do.
Until one day, my father came and decided to hit him for me.
So that he wouldn’t do anything to me anymore.

Why did my mother want me to slap him?
What would a slap do?

Throughout my school years, there was always someone like this kid.
One time he’d take my lunch,
And another my pen.
Until I could find a way to make him my friend,
Or to become friends with someone who knows him.

Until I decided that I couldn’t live like this anymore.
There was this boy called Medhat.
To me, Medhat was the target.
A screw up who comes late to school and causes a lot of problems.
So to get my parents off my back and to avoid what my friends say about me,
I had to be like Medhat.
In 8th grade, I started looking to befriend the likes of Medhat.

One day, I did a stupid thing
I saw Medhat smoking a cigarette, so I went and told all the kids.
“Medhat smokes! Ever notice how red his eyes are in the morning?”
I didn’t even know that red eyes had anything to do with smoking.
But I just told them that.
Medhat found out.
He grabbed me and beat me up in the street.
Until my cousin saw me and came over.
My cousin went to school with me, but he wasn’t my friend,
Because I wasn’t a cool kid.
He was raised here in Aswan, not like me in Saudi.
So he wouldn’t hang out with me.
He’d hang out with people like Medhat.
But that day he came over and beat up Medhat in front of me.

After that, I would look for the bad kid in every group befriend them.
Because to me they’re the ruling class.
They’re the ones who no one would hit.
I would go out and spend time with them.
From 8th to 11th grade, I did everything the ruling class did.
I did it, without being convinced.
I don’t know how to fight on my own,
Because of the way I was raised and the stuff I just talked about.

I spent a long time being friends with these people.
I skipped school just like they did.
And ran away just like they did,
So that I’d appear cool and in command and stuff.
And I’d retaliate when bullied.

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