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Standing Up to Bullies

A tale of challenges, resilience, friendship and love

By Ameer BibiPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 6 min read
Image created by author via Bing AI

My younger brother, Tajammal Hussain, is no longer in this world but will always be in my heart. I was the only sister among three siblings. The eldest treated me like a ‘big boss’, while I treated the youngest like my son. Even though I was in the middle, both of my brothers were always there for me when I needed help.

Like most boys, they fought with each other, but they always kept me safe. One early morning, I had to reach my academy at 5:00 am, and nobody could drop me there. Usually, Dad would, but he’d had a heart attack recently and was too weak. So, I had to ask my mother for help.

My mother awoke my elder brother, who had this duty after our father’s illness. But that morning, he was lazy and didn’t want to pedal for 30 minutes after waking up.

I repeatedly asked my mother about our physics professor’s strict punctuality. He would only allow me to enter the class if I arrived on time. I was worried about not reaching on time.

My mother was trying to speak in a low tone so that my father wouldn’t hear and get disturbed that there was a problem with his daughter’s studies due to his health.

Meanwhile, I shouted at my brother, ‘Who will drop me to the academy at that time if you do not? You know Dad always gets me there on time.’ He replied, ‘Look, I’ve been taking you for the last two weeks, but today I’m tired.’ I answered, ‘What do you mean, tired? You slept the whole night.

I was about to cry when my younger brother, who was almost 1.5 years younger than me and, because of his shorter height, thus looked smaller than his age. He also had a small bicycle. He got up and said instantly, "Come, I’m going to drop you off."

"But it’s too far," my mother interrupted.

“You’re too young to travel with your sister at that time,” she said. “It’s okay, I know; my sister is brave enough to protect both of us.” But she can’t go on the cycle alone, and I am an expert in cycling. I will take her.” We took a chance. It was surprising how much we talked during the ride. One funny thing: he couldn’t pedal while I sat on the bike, so I had to sit while he glided along a rolling bicycle.

Now, my mother could trust his abilities to take me early in the morning to a far distance. However, one morning, an unfortunate incident happened. Some random boys started to chase us. I did not notice as I was revising my test most of the time while sitting. But my younger brother had been seeing it for some days. He did not disclose it to anyone so my mother would not worry.

Initially, they followed us, and when they confirmed that this younger boy was taking the girl each morning on an empty road, they planned something tricky and negative.

Thus, one morning, some stray boys started following us. They sometimes came right in front of my brother's bike to confuse him, and sometimes, they would try to collide with his bike on purpose. I was furious. They were all older; my brother was about 13 or 14. I sternly told them loudly to stay in their lane and not disturb us repeatedly. But they were stubborn, laughing and saying sorry repeatedly.

Unfortunately, the road was completely deserted at that time, with no traffic police or any other vehicles nearby. And they were taking advantage of that. We kept ignoring them for quite a while. But suddenly, they formed a circle with their bikes when my brother and I reached the centre, and they started bullying us even more when I got off my bike.

They began taunting us, saying they would beat us up. “This kid couldn’t even ride a bike himself.” My brother was both healthy and hot-tempered. I was afraid a fight would break out, and I didn’t know what to do.

One of the boys got off his bike and approached us, asking where we were going so early. Initially, I hesitated but tried to appear as confident as possible. As soon as he grabbed the handle of our bike, I grabbed his arm and shook it hard, asking what the problem was. “You’re disturbing and teasing us and instigating others to misbehave.”

They started laughing more; they wanted the little guy (my brother) to join their group. But I knew four or five of them and only one of my brothers. Initially, they came our way, blocked us, started a fight, and said that we misbehaved with them and had no manners to talk to elders.

Suddenly, I roared, “If you’re sensible and intelligent, look at yourselves and this kid. Have some shame. There’s no comparison between you and him. If you want to show your strength, wait on the road. I’ll let a boy your age pass by, then confront him.

Fighting with a younger person isn’t bravery. Shame on such men who, to show their masculinity, pick on a weaker girl and her little brother. Go to the border and use your energy there. One of them got embarrassed. When he heard me, he quietly backed off, signalled to everyone, and they left. Meanwhile, some people also stopped there.

An older man was passing by, probably having finished his prayers or maybe on his morning walk. When he came over and understood the situation, he said, "Dear daughter, it would be better to take a rickshaw to the academy at this time because you can encounter such stray dogs anywhere. They never stop barking."

That day, I reached the academy a little late. One of my college classmates was there, and she asked me what happened. I was already quite upset, so I told her everything. Sharing my stress with her made me feel relaxed. She also advised me not to tell my mom, as it would unnecessarily worry her, especially since my dad’s health was already poor. I had the same thought and told my brother not to say anything when we got home.

The next day, Alia informed me that she generally comes alone in the morning by rickshaw and returns home by rickshaw from the road adjacent to my house. Therefore, I should accompany her. We couldn’t afford the rickshaw fare, so I declined at first. But she said her father had advised her and insisted I was like his daughter. He wouldn’t allow me to travel alone on a bike with my younger brother because her sister had experienced a similar situation.

Her father spoke with the rickshaw driver. Since she was already paying three times the regular fare, Alia’s dad clarified that I wouldn’t have to pay. It was all planned by my friend, who was like a guardian angel. She would bring me to the academy every morning; I don’t recall how it happened. Sometimes, she would say, "I was travelling alone, but now that I’m here with you, it’s as if I feel safer and more comfortable."

My bike journey taught me valuable life lessons. When faced with a challenge, I realized the importance of being willing to change and adapt. I also recognized the need to stand up for myself and trust my intuition in challenging times. In addition, I’ve learned the value of seeking help from others and confiding in friends at stressful moments. Ultimately, I am stronger and more resilient because of this experience.

Whenever I see a girl on a bike with a younger boy, I think of him. Rest in peace, my dear brother. You were my first male friend, too.

____________________________________________

Note: I initially published this story in Modern Women on Medium

💏💏 It means a lot that you read my story. Your kind words, hearts, pledges, and tips motivate me to write more. Thank you so much for your support. 💏💏

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About the Creator

Ameer Bibi

I am a mother of three. My life is full of stories and I love to read human stories.

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Comments (8)

  • Farah Naz18 days ago

    It's a heart touching story....

  • A wonderful uplifting story of corage

  • Sian N. Clutton29 days ago

    Blimey, I wasn't expecting that. How touchingly honestly. I'm sure your brother is proud of you, wherever he may be.

  • angela hepworth30 days ago

    So personal and courageous.

  • Babs Iverson30 days ago

    Fantastic family story that included great advice!!! Loved it!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Ainy Abrahamabout a month ago

    I am impressed that you showed courage and took the stand for your brother. Unity is strength.

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    I'm so sorry for your loss 🥺🫂 Alia and her dad are such nice and good hearted people. I'm so grateful for them. Sending you lots of love and hugs ❤️

  • shanmuga priyaabout a month ago

    It's really a compelling story ... thank you for sharing your personal experience...

Ameer BibiWritten by Ameer Bibi

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