The Big Brother and the Bully

When the boot's on the other foot!

The Big Brother and the Bully

I was 11 years old when I became a brother. My parents second child was my sister Rachel. I was so happy when informed of her birth, because all the kids in my neighborhood had brothers and sisters. It would get pretty lonely being an only child. so having a sibling was all I ever wanted. At 13 we moved to another neighborhood on the better side of town, and my mother was pregnant with her third child, Raleigh. Let me tell you this kid was tough. When I was in high school and would bring a friend to my house the first thing he would do was punch them right in the nuts, laugh, and run out of the room. This is when he was about three. Once when he was five a friend of mine hoisted him up and pretended he was going to put him on the roof, and Raleigh hauled off and slapped the shit out of him, leaving a small hand print on his face.

I never saw my little brother cry. One day when he was about 7, or 8 he had gotten mad at me and punched me in the arm. being his big brother and somewhat of the disciplinarian (our parents divorced, and I watched him and my sister while our mother worked) I punched him back. This goes on a couple of more times until he is red in the face and really wanting to hurt me. But he knows he can't so he just holds his arm and mean mug's me trying to hold back tears. What can I say? I wanted him to be tough. The world is unforgiving and you have got to have grit to make it.

When I was twenty four years old I had been living across town, and would stop in to visit, catch up and everything. One day I stopped by and Raleigh has a set of stitches across his forehead. I ask my mother what that is about, and she is hesitant. But explains that the teenage girls that live behind us had some boys over, and they were teasing our dog Maxeane. Raleigh, just 10 at the time tells them they need to leave his dog alone. so this fourteen year old picks up a log and throws it, hitting my brother in the forehead. Now my mother can see the anger rise in me, and before I can ask "where does this little punk live" she is telling me she handled it, and that her and my step-father talked with the kids mother.

When summer rolls around my mother asked me if I could come watch Rachel and Raleigh while her and step-father were at work and I agreed. Raleigh had gotten into mowing lawns, and the last summer he had made like $500 dollars. So he was excited to get out and start making some money at the start of summer. I get to my mothers and my brother and sister are both eating breakfast, Rachel being the antagonist big sister is giving Raleigh a hard time, and just being a typical teen. Raleigh is trying to finish up so he and a friend that showed up behind me can leave and get started mowing.

Now, it has only been three months since the incident with the fourteen year old had happened. it was still fresh in my mind, and I had already heard about a couple of other instances of this teen bullying Raleigh. So Raleigh and his friend Tory leave to go mow lawns. I sit down on the couch turn on my 64 bit Nintendo to take another run at 007 Goldeneye on the hardest setting. I had been trying to beat this game on this particular level for three months! I start to run through, hear the front door open, and in come Raleigh just looking defeated. I say "hey! whats going on?" he says "Dennis is won't let us pass him up the street!" "is this the kid who hit you in the head?" he excitedly say's "Yes!" because he knows now this kid is in for a big surprise. I ask "where is he?" he tells me he is across the street sitting on the curb and waiting for them to come out. I tell him to stay here I will take care of it, and I head for the front door. As I walk out I can see the little shit sitting with his friend and a little smirk on his face. Quick disclaimer. the statute of limitations has ran out on this incident by at least 15 years, and if there are children about just know there is about to be some bad language used in these next few sentences. So I am walking twards him and he has the look of one of those teenagers you see on the boot camp shows that thinks he can't be touched by an adult. I don't say anything, I just walk right up where he is sitting, grab him by his throat, and stick my finger right in his face. his friend is just frozen in fear and can only lean away from us. I say to this kid "look here you little motherfucker you leave my little brother alone. if you so much as look at him funny I am going to whoop your ass, and your momma is probably going to have me thrown in jail. And guess what? the next day when I bail out. I am coming to your house, and I am going to whoop your ass again! don't fucking mess with Raleigh again. don't even look at him. in fact you see him walking down the street, you get out of his way!" I look over at the friend and I say "that goes for you too!" he vigorously shakes his head yes, and I let go of the bully, turn to see Raleigh watched the whole thing and had a huge smile on his face. I say "go mow your lawns" and him and Tory run off with the lawn mower.

The weekend passes and my mother , some extra time off, so I come back to watch them in the middle of the week. I see Raleigh and I say with a smile "hey, did that punk mess with you?" He says with a huge smile and a bit of a laugh "no, he turns around and leaves the block when he sees me coming!"

Today I am 44, and my baby brother is 30. He served ten years in the army and did a tour in Afghanistan with the 82nd airborne. He is now a police officer with the Fayetteville, Arkansas police. But he will always be my baby brother!

siblings
Read next: Allie on the Sand
Shawn Conwell

I was born in middle America in a place called Tulsa, Oklahoma to a young couple fresh out of high school. My mother and father were also born here, a product of the Baby boom on the later end of the generation. Both were the youngest.

See all posts by Shawn Conwell