“Are you okay baby? Or should I call your brother?”

I sat looking blankly at the wall. I was afraid to see anywhere else. My eyes constantly forced themselves on the ridges of the wall and the bits of plaster that hanged lightly. The screams were clear in my head. They called me a ‘baby’. Just because I didn’t fight them back.

I just never listened to them. They were bullies and they didn’t care. They would tease me and I only cried the first time.

They teased me because I had no father. If I had one he would’ve caught them. Like other fathers do. But my father left us when I was a kid. I have a older brother too. But he’s too occupied in his friends and his life to even notice me.

That was a young sunny day which was also the starting of the last week in school before the holidays. The school was going to end. No one seemed as happy as I was. I danced around for I had to face the bullies only this last week.

“Where do you think you goin’?” One of them asked as he put a hand on my shoulder.

I flinched and turned around. “Nowhere.”

Did they knew I was getting scared now?

“Do you want to go to where your father went?” They laughed.

I started to walk and ignored them.

“Where is your daddy, little baby? Did he leave you? Didn’t he love you?”, the biggest of them said.

It was enough to make me cry.

I felt the salty taste of tears in my mouth. I turned back and ran .  The water blurred my vision and after some time I didn’t know where I was running. But I didn’t want to stop. After some time I heard no one was following me so I stopped. I was running in the wrong direction and now I had to walk the whole distance to go home. I slowly walked but my mind never forgot that incident.

I often wondered why my father went away. I knew he loved us but then why couldn’t he stay with us?

I reached home and I saw my brother enter his bedroom. I was prohibited to enter his bedroom. It was his secret place. He never wanted me. We rarely talked. I remember one time he had to call me for lunch. I waited for him to call me but he just knocked my bedroom door and went away. That day I realised I was a burden on him too.

Today I was really tired and I jumped on my bed and took a pillow to rest my face which was now puffy because of the tears.

I woke up and I saw it was almost evening and my mother was still not home. She worked as a salesperson in a shop. It was not paying enough but still it was enough for us to survive on.

I started my homework. There was a small knock on the door. I wondered who would it be. Only me and my brother were at home. The door slowly opened and I found him standing sheepishly and scratching his hand.

“Hey, I just wanted to talk to you.”

“About what?” I asked full of surprise.

“Umm..I heard about them bullying you.”

“Who? What are you talking about?” I acted to be normal as if nothing happened.

“Don’t act. I know about them. They’re my classmates. Why didn’t you tell me anything?” He was starting to get annoyed but not on me. On them.

“You never talk to me. How will I tell you?”

He remained silent.

“Why do you not talk to me? What have I done?” I asked innocently.

“You remind me of him. Of our father. You look like him. That day when he left he tucked me to bed and said goodbye. I didn’t knew then that he would leave us. I’m sorry. I was stupid to think you are like him. You are not like him. You confront the mistakes you did.” He took his eyes off me. “Rather than running away. Tomorrow we’ll go together and teach those boys a lesson. Okay?”

I didn’t realize that I had been crying and smiling at the same time.

“Okay.” I said and hugged him.


Many people suffer from bullying. This short story was just a small attempt to stop what's going on. Taking help is not a bad thing. It doesn't make you weak. Staying quiet does. 

Published by Vrushali Pathak