This post is part of the A to Z Challenge. Each post will be associated with a letter of the alphabet with the theme ‘Letters to my younger self’.
Dear 12-year-old me,
Sometime next week, Allen will be his obnoxious self and taunt you. Again. And this time, of all things, it’ll be about the fact that you’re neither Chinese nor Malay nor Indian but in fact, lain-lain (other). Being different means being a target. Previously, you managed to hold your tongue each time he cut you with his careless words. A miracle, considering that you have a short fuse.
Somehow, next week, your buttons will be pushed to the limit and while the entire class is lined up outside the classroom, getting ready to go in to start a new school day, his hurtful words will cause you to lunge at him and wrap both your small hands around his thin neck.
“Stop talking! Stop talking!” You’ll shriek as your hands tighten. You’ll be oblivious to your own actions, out of control. You’ll stop only when he starts gasping and his eyes start to water. When your classmates put their hands on you, you’ll start to come back to yourself and pull away. Immediately, regret will fill you. You didn’t mean to do that. You really didn’t. Only a bad person will want to hurt someone else and you know you’re not a bad person. You’re not.
You’ll watch as Allen rubs his neck and your hand print emerges. You’ll back away and wish you can take back your actions, to just ignore his taunts and to stay where you are. Your classmates will look at you with fear in their young eyes. You never realised before that you could be cruel. You will then.
So, my advise to you, my dear young, angry self, is to resist. Your anger equals Pompeii which means that you need to have a tighter hold on it. So please, when Allen calls you out next week because perhaps he’s bored or just stupid: resist.
Resist giving in to Allen, to your temper, to temptation.