Keep It Gangster

We were young
I, the oldest, by only four months
However a whole school grade ahead
But not yet 13
The years have a way of blending
To where I struggle to remember the chronology
In New Zealand – when we were adolescents there was Intermediate
In America they call it “middle school” I think

That’s where we met

She was one of those hot girls
That all the boys wanted to pash

I wasn’t

I was an avid reader
I spent my time in the library
Mostly hiding, trying to avoid my bully
Or bullies in general
I was an easy target

She was in the bi-lingual unit
That’s where the Maoris were
Those were the people I tried to avoid
In the library

The Maoris

Maoris didn’t read
They picked on people
But their favourite prey
Was Maori girls like me
Shy, quiet, smart – a different kind of their own kind

Not so easy on the eye

She and I somehow became fast friends
I don’t recall the how
We also became fast(not)friends
Only I do remember how that happened
My bully-slash-friend decided I wasn’t to speak to her

So I didn’t

I listened to that bully
A lot
I would do anything she ordered
Until one day I cracked
She ordered that I give her my dollar

Every other day I would give her every cent I had
But on this particular day I had only one dollar
I wanted that dollar, I wanted a “dollar cookie”
I’d had enough, so I said


That was the very same day I decided I wasn’t a doormat
I was going to be “gangster”
Those Maoris weren’t going to pick on me anymore

They never picked on me again and won
And I’m still gangster

Growing up is a perilous journey
Upon which at some point along the way
You learn the value of forgiveness

I am still friends with my adolescent bully
Just as I am with the first girl to ever hurt my heart

But don’t get it twisted
Forgiveness is not a means to my memory loss

To keep it gangster

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