When I was a boy, I had a friend who was hit by a car while on his way to school.  He died from his injuries.  At the time that this took place I didn’t understand the pain of losing a friend or family member, I was too young to really understand death, just that it happened and whoever died was going to a better place.

That this happened is a tragedy, but the bigger tragedy still is the information and story around it that I find myself recalling from my youth.  I may not have been old enough to understand, but I was old enough to remember the things I heard and the things I knew about my friend.

He was new to our little town, and being the new kid in town, he really didn’t know anyone.  The only reason I knew him at all is because we played hockey together.  I also knew that he went to a different school than I did, and I knew that he didn’t like school for some reason, but the other boys on our hockey team and I felt he was great, and he fit in with us, but most of the rest of us went to the same school.  When you’re a kid, nothing else really matters unless someone else tells you it should, we didn’t know or care if he had friends at his school, we liked him.

Until he was hit by that car, no one knew that he didn’t fit in at his school, and none of us would have expected him to be accused of being a bully.  He was just a good kid from where we stood.  The scary thing to me looking back on it is this, how does a boy who is new at a school, and has no friends there become the target of finger-pointing after his unfortunate death.  How did the parents and students of our little town turn the finger at him to proclaim him the problem after this awful event?

Truthfully, I can’t say I know with any certainty, but there is one detail I haven’t told you yet that changes the story.  My friend, the boy I knew, was hit and killed by the older brother of his alleged victim.

He was like any other boy I knew,

Finding trouble, and earning bruises black and blue.

A decent kid, just like us all,

But that’s not what was said late that fall.

He bullied a boy, even older than him,

Teased him so much, the results were grim.

That boy had his brother, run him down,

And his name was tarnished all through town.

It’s hard not to wonder if the rumours weren’t true,

If maybe that boy turned my friend black and blue.

Did the real bully, make a victim a different way?

Without my friend here, it is hard to say.

I do know for sure a bully lived on,

But I doubt that day another was gone.