22e. Pre-cacoon: defense

They caught him…

It’s lucky for him they didn’t kill him. He didn’t come out unscathed – yes he was battered and burned by cigarettes – but he was not beaten. He had a pack to back him up, but this time he was bringing in the big dogs… literally.

Yes he had a gang to come to his defense, but when they left him bloodied and bruised, he came back with his other, more ferocious gang: his three big German Shepherds, Max, Rex and Stella. He let them off their leashes and they ran through the streets as his assailants ran for their lives and clambered up trees or fences or walls, bewildered by their own sudden agility.

Satisfied, he called them back and returned them to their yard. People called him Max from then on and everyone knew not to mess with him.

I had a different tactic when it came to warding off bullies: utter silence. Not a big talker to begin with, when picked on for being different (as in Asian and not white like all the others; or not wearing clothes from Bloomingdales; or being chubbier than most of the girls in my class), I would fall into a complete silence. I wouldn’t cry or defend myself or sling insults back. I would just stay silent. Not to say all my classmates were stuck-up snobs… many came to my aid and would voice their objections on my behalf. I was the nice one, harmless, and there are people out their who can’t see the nice ones get picked on…

Freddy is one of those people. He saw me alone and vulnerable and wanted to protect me against the malicious people who would take serious advantage.

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