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interview with my bully: the bully who asked me out
So in the spring of 1998, my class gathered in the school library to plan our senior pranks.
\"We should guide all the highway traffic to the school parking lot!
It was suggested.
\"Let\'s cover everything in Vaseline!
I have been playing, but I have had a hard time.
Eight months ago, my boyfriend was killed in a car accident.
He is different from everyone else: almost innate kindness, too clever as I am.
On our way to the prom, we sat in the limo talking about \"The Great Gatsby \".
\"I know this would have liked a friend and the high-level prank I proposed ---
A series of strange unexpected things happened during the day, such as hiding the alarm clock on the ceiling and changing the teacher\'s desk.
But when I first started my speech, Caleb Grossman (
Not his real name)cut me off.
\"Jenny\'s idea was stupid,\" he announced to the class, and some of them began to sneer.
At least in my literature, Caleb is the perfect foil for Benobsessed brain.
Both boys are smart, but Caleb is as cruel as Ben.
In English classes, Caleb often mentions the nature of my relationship with our teachers.
He criticized me in the discussion.
I often see him looking at me with malicious eyes, as if to say: Little girl, you \'d better be careful.
\"My prank is called the plague of 98 years,\" Caleb continued . \".
\"We will buy 10,000 locusts and distribute them at school.
Sadly, our high school mascot is grass grasshopper.
\"How should we pay for 10,000 locusts,\" someone asked . \".
\"It\'s easy,\" Caleb said . \" Then look me straight.
\"We will use the funds of this memorial fund.
\"I don\'t remember how I left the front of the room.
But I started to cry when I was safe.
I can\'t stop.
I cried in my free time, skipped my physics class and was finally allowed to leave school early.
Before I left, a teacher got Caleb up. to-
Face to face with me in the school hall.
\"I\'m sorry for what I said.
Caleb has no expression on his face.
He might as well have been talking to the wall all the time.
\"Okay,\" I said, and walked away.
But this is not good. I felt furious. I felt bullied.
Of course, it\'s not easy to define bullying.
Look at the controversy over the recent revelations about Mitt Romney\'s high school behavior.
What could be the school-
Age funny is a violent attack on another person for one person.
Caleb\'s attitude towards me also constitutes actual bullying, and even at the time I was worried that I was overreacting.
But as an adult, I can see that his aggressive behavior in the classroom is a subtle sexual harassment, his outrageous comment on my boyfriend who is still mourning-hit in front of 120 classmates ---
I feel like this is the culmination of a long and systematic movement designed to hurt the most important part of me.
I did not speak to Caleb after that failure.
Come and go after graduation.
I went to college and moved to New York as a reporter.
I started writing a novel inspired by Ben\'s death, and when I wrote it, I thought of Caleb.
Neither he nor I am a social nursery in our school.
We are all abandoned of some kind.
In another world, we will unite against more people than against each other.
But we are Nome.
In my book, Fighting dogs became a central theme.
Caleb has been thinking about me, as it turns out.
I received the following email a few years later: Hi Jenny: I am Caleb--
You may remember me. We studied together for about ten years.
I believe we played both Orpheus and persephine in season 4 of Sue Jagger\'s The Tragedy of Orpheus.
I have my own apartment at the bottom of the fog and have a job in the city ,(where)
I will work for the near future.
I have my own car, too.
Anyway, I hope everything goes well and look forward to hearing from you soon!
The first thing I think is: of course I remember you.
You make fun of my dead boyfriend in front of the class.
The second thing is: I didn\'t play Persephone when sue Jagger was in the fourth grade.
I read the notes over and over again and wondered why Caleb\'s email sounded like a proposal on the 16 th --century Europe.
\"I have a great job in mud --pie-
The manufacturers association can provide you with five ducks and a cow . \"
But I couldn\'t help it: I wrote back immediately.
I need to see what\'s going on here.
It turns out Caleb wants to take me on a date.
It seems like a prank. a long-
The mean maraschino cherry delayed my time as if his task had not been completed.
But I\'m so curious. I said yes.
The day before our appointment, I received a lengthy apology email from Caleb.
Jenny: I\'m embarrassed to say that I can\'t find the Ymme schedule anywhere I like best ---
At westend Bistro in instanceEric ripert.
However, I booked an alternative room at 8: 30 in several very viable places.
Caleb went on to list the qualifications of the restaurant and each restaurant, as he was a servant of some Chamber of Commerce: at Sabores, he wrote, \"thanks to the master of executive chef DanielAmaya
The atmosphere is relaxed and vibrant, and there is a lounge. like.
At Mattis, he told me, \"one of Washington\'s most important wine experts, combined cooking and visual arts to create an atmosphere of dining happiness.
Finally, the email concluded, \"This is a tacky but perennial default favorite: Benihana.
I have gained a great sense of community belonging from eating with others (
I\'m from a broken family).
Apparently the Caleb who tried to date me was very different from the villain created in my mind.
He doesn\'t seem to be so mean.
Almost a child.
My best friend in high school sent me a message: \"It\'s so strange, Jenny.
Will you call me when you go home before you go ? \" I went to see Caleb and got ready to stand up.
I chose the \"hip and vibrant but low-key and quiet lounge --
Like \"Sabores\", pick a table in the well
Part of the restaurant was lit.
Caleb came and ordered us a ridiculous meal and served me a drink.
I told him I was driving and had a cocktail.
We had a big talk while eating, but I had little brain space to listen to him.
I just keep thinking: Does Caleb remember what he\'s doing here with me? I did not mention it, nor did he.
On the contrary, he kept praising me. I was very uncomfortable and left early.
I came home and found the following email: Jenny: Thank you again for meeting me for dinner tonight.
I have fallen in love with you since the fourth grade and it is a dream come true!
You have grown into a truly impressive woman and I hope we can stay in touch!
It\'s right there. An explanation.
I \'ve always thought of him as a bully, but he\'s really a misinformed kid and can\'t read social cues.
When I was in my second grade, one day a boy made fun of me and my teacher said he did it just because he was obsessed with me.
Later, in the fourth grade, it was Ben who had a good impression on me. It took me a few years to get a return, and I still felt a lot of guilt about it.
Now, I feel like Caleb is trying to push himself into Ben\'s character.
He provided a heat.
Hot air balloon tour, dinner tour, ironically, a pilgrimage to F.
Scott fitzgerrard\'s grave
But I don\'t want Caleb to replace the boy I lost.
I think of all the experiences Ben and I have never shared and I feel guilty again.
I saw who he was and wondered how good he would be in my life. It was so slow.
Finally, Caleb made a confession.
It\'s wrong to admit what we think of each other.
In an email he wrote: Regarding the ofidge tragedy in the fourth grade, I am now aware of Rebecca Marshall-not you --
He played Persephone to my Orpheus.
I want my mind (heart)
There is a way to rewrite the past, as it hopes!
I have feelings for Caleb.
I understand what he is eager to pursue, but he will never have it because I feel the same way.
But I also know that things in the past can\'t be rewritten or even modified.
The last line of The Great Gatsby describes the ships that keep coming into the past, but I won\'t let Caleb pull me back into those ancient struggles and teenage desires.
I\'m moving forward.