The Ballet Bully
A Testimonial of a Former Bully
This story is from a prompt shared on the Facebook group Vocal + Assist.
Hello, my name is Winchester Monroe, and I am a bully. Well, I don't bully people anymore, but I used to.
I still refer to myself as a bully because much like alcoholism, bullying is an illness that you never get over, but you can learn how to control it. In many ways for me bullying was an addiction.
It gave me a rush when I would push someone around. But once the rush wore off, I would feel guilty. The desire to be stronger and more controlling than everybody else was stronger than the guilt so the bullying side of me always won out to rational behavior.
I always picked on people much smaller than me. I was a good-sized boy, so it was easy to find people to bully on.
When I was 12 years old, I started picking on little 7-year-old Mikey Finnegan. He used to live down the street from me. He had something wrong with his legs, so he had to wear these clunky metal braces on them. When I first saw him, I just knew he would be perfect to pick on. He was small and skinny and walked funny. I snuck up from behind him and said "boo" loud. That scared him so much that he almost lost his balance, but he didn't. I wanted so much to see him fall that would have been so funny. Instead, I threatened him and told him he better run, or I would push him down. He tried to run but couldn’t. Right at that moment 19-year-old Tommy Morgan came walking up. He was always playing his harmonica. So, I walked the other way. That time Mikey got lucky.
When I was 15 years old, I used to pick on this little 11-year-old girl named Elizabeth. She was a puny skinny thing perfect for a bully like me. She used to wear her hair in braids. I would come up to her from behind (I always attacked my victims from behind) and I would pull on her braids just hard enough to make her cry. I would stand there and laugh at her and call her a cry baby.
Then one day Elizabeth's older sister, the 14-year-old Isabel, approached me at school.
"Winchell Monroe!" Isabel startled me with her unexpected stern and authoritative voice. She was this fiery 14-year-old 4-foot-11 girl with long dark brown hair and sparkling brown eyes. I think I fell in love right at that moment.
She just laid into me, "You better never touch my sister again or I will beat the living daylights out of you," she said as she doubled up her right first and shook it at me.
Normally I would have just laughed it off and said something derogatory back at her. But this time I just stood speechless. She was so beautiful that I did not know how to react.
Nobody had ever disarmed me before and so completely. I just knew I had to have her in my life. But how would I do that? How would I get Isabel into my life? I was the neighborhood bully. I was picking on her sister. Then she blew my mind with her next comment.
Continuing in her tough and stern voice Isabel said, "Winchester Monroe, if you weren't such a bully, I would consider going out with you." She paused for a few seconds and as she began walking away, she said, "You're a good-looking boy."
Right then I figured I had to say something, "So, what do I have to do?"
Isabel stopped and turned around and in a 'matter of fact' voice she said, "What?"
"What do I have to do to get you to go out with me?"
She just looked at me. Kind of shaking her head, nodding no. "Well, Winchester Monroe you would," she continued shaking her head and hesitated as she spoke. I could tell she was winging it, "You would have to join..." and I couldn't believe my ears. She said I would have to join her ballet class. Even more shocking to her was my response. I said to her, "Okay."
The first ballet class was embarrassing for me - wearing the tights and all. I was wiped out after that class, the exercises and movements were very tough. It was a strenuous workout. But at the end of the class the instructor told me that I had a natural ability for ballet. She wanted to groom me for the male lead in an upcoming recital.
After several months of ballet lessons, I became the top male dancer in the company.
Isabel and I? You may be wondering??? Well, yes, she and I went out on a few dates back in the day. She began calling me 'Twinkle Toes' because I am so light on my feet.
As a matter of fact, I've gotta go. Isabel is waiting for me in the kitchen. We're going to cook dinner for our date night with our 2-year-old son.
About the author
Writing is a distraction for me. It takes me to places unknown that fulfill my need for intellectual stimulus, emotional release, and a soothing of the breaks and bruises of the day.
Very well written. Keep up the good work!
Original narrative & well developed characters
Heartfelt and relatable
The story invoked strong personal emotions
Expert insights and opinions
Arguments were carefully researched and presented
Niche topic & fresh perspectives
On-point and relevant
Writing reflected the title & theme