This is a true story about a little person standing up for what he believes in, friendship.
Joe Stewart was a friend of mine who happened to be a little person. He stood at three feet even and was the brunt of jokes ever since I first met him in the second grade. I stood up for Joe on many occasion but he was outgoing enough to laugh off all the disrespectful humor thrown at him on a daily basis.
You know how it is to be the odd man out but Joe suffered from that everyday of his life. His trials and tribulations were agony on him but he never let it show. He smiled all the time and kept pounding away at life’s discrepancies. The world is made up of many people like Joe. In our world we have the short, tall, ugly, fat, stupid and many would say these were handicaps people have to deal with but not Joe, he knew people with these handicaps outnumbered the beautiful people, perfect people as he called them and they were indeed the freaks.
It was the sixth grade and the last period of the day. Joe and I were walking out of the classroom when the school bully, Gary Mikulski cornered us in the hall. “I am going to kick your butts outside if you don’t come up with five bucks.” He said grabbing my shirt color and pushing Joey up against the lockers and he went down. Gary was huge for his age. Gary was about six feet tall and had the build of a wrestler. I looked at Joe and asked if he was ok. He was brushing his clothes off and said “Yeah, why is that guy such a creep?” “I just smiled and said “There is one in every school.” We walked out of the doorway and onto the street.
On the way home, from behind a bush walks out Gary and three of his friends. They surrounded us and Gary demanded money from us again pushing his fist into my shoulder. “Come on, faggot, give me the cash and I will let you live another day.” Two of the goons had Joe by the arms ready to hurt him. I looked away from Gary and he punched me in the stomach and I went down. The three other goons started beating Joey and he also went down. They ran as Gary yelled “Tomorrow, after school, five bucks.” I helped Joe up and asked if he was ok. “Yeah, I’ll live.” He said as we walked home.
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