When I was a kid, my mom called me "Bunny" because my two front teeth were really big. She said it with great affection and I felt loved. I hopped around her feet like a little bunny rabbit.
Then, in high school, this one boy noticed my teeth.
He singled me out and decided to call me "Rat".
He got all the boys to call me Rat. "Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat!!!"
I tried to pretend they weren't there, that it wasn't happening. That I was safe.
Their laughter echoed all around me as I walked down the hall. Someone ran up behind me and shoved me to the floor. My books scattered...
It's really important not to cry at school....so I waited until I got home.
It went on for years.
Fast forward .
And I'm at my 25 year high school reunion. I see the boy has grown up into a family man and by chance I end up talking with him and his wife. He shyly asks if I remember him.
"Of course I remember you. You used to call me "Rat" because of my two front teeth, " I say. ""Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat! Rat!!!" the laughter echoed all around me as I walked down the hall." I'm smiling confidently as I say this to him.
His jaw drops. "We called you "Rat"? But... in a good way, right?" He looks hopeful. His wife looks from me to him and back again.
I shake my head, smiling. "No. In a mean way." I smile again, my big front teeth shining, and I walk away.
I heard later on from a mutual friend that the wife really let him have it.
It's hard to believe this nice family man had been a horrible bully when he was a kid. And he had no memory of it.
My mom still calls me "Bunny".
What would you say to the bullies if you met them now?