The children entered the bus loudly the way that most children do. Each of them had a better story than the next, and each was determined to tell it louder than the other. But not all of them. One girl slipped quietly to a seat towards the rear of the bus.
As the rest of the bus filled up, it just so happened that a group of boys took seats surrounding this girl. Which might have been ok, but today it wasn’t.
It didn’t take long for their attention to switch from sports or homework, to this girl who was sitting there quietly. On this day, not of any fault of her own, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
They started asking her questions. The questions seemed innocent at first. To the casual observer, nothing too serious. But this wasn’t the first time she had experienced this. She knew what was coming. What was going to again play out on this school bus was a classic case of bullying: superior power inflicting pain on a weaker, more vulnerable target repeatedly over time for no good reason.
She felt that the best course of action was to ignore them. And who could blame her? But the boys had a goal, unspoken, but shared among all of them. So the questions continued.
In the face of her silence, the intensity of the questions increased. Now each boy was trying to best the other as to who could take it further, who could land a stronger blow. Her home life was now introduced, her poverty. Stories the boys had heard, rumors that were flying around about the family, shared perhaps by their parents, were all now relayed to this child on a school bus.
But everyone has a breaking point, and this child was no exception. There is only so much that a person can take. So finally, it happened. The goal of the boys from the beginning. She snapped. She screamed at them to stop, so that her voice filled the entire bus. Now, a deathly silence filled the previously noisy bus, heads whipped around. All eyes were now trained on the girl. As if the pain of the mockery was not enough, she now experienced deep shame. The boys, having accomplished their mission, went back to laughing and talking among themselves. The girl? She sunk her head on her chest and sobbed.
On a bus full of children, she was desperately alone.
Murdered, without a drop of blood being shed.