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Unlike Brian Cullen, whose bullying was more psychological, Jim Nickerson’s bullying of Mark was actually physical. It started when all the eighth grade jocks decided to make Mark pay for getting their beloved coach and substitute teacher in trouble with the police when he indecently assaulted Mark. Jim was among them and like his compatriots, he too resents Mark for quitting the American football team. Jim’s individual bullying happened not long after. It started one day when he was walking behind Mark in the hall in school. He thought it was funny to repeatedly punch him in the back while walking down the hall. When Mark retaliated and punched him back, Jim took exception and with the help of his friends, got his ‘revenge.’ However, that revenge wasn’t enough. The next day, again with the help of some friends, Jim got Mark on the playground and reigned more punches down on him.

Having decided he’s had enough, Mark reports the incidents of violence to the school principal. Unfortunately, getting Jim in trouble only serves to escalate the violence. A few days later, he catches Mark at baseball practice and gets his ‘revenge’ for getting him in trouble. Fortunately, for Mark, his grandfather is there to pull Jim off of him before too much damage is done. That only leads to the grandfather getting arrested and questioned for assault on a minor although no formal charges are ever brought. Another positive to come out of it is that Mark’s family place a restraining order against Jim.

Like going to the principal, the restraining order has the reverse effect. Not only does Jim wear his restraining order like a badge of honour, he openly violates it. There are more instances of Jim bullying Mark by pushing him over in the playground. When the police are informed that Jim has broken his restraining order, they do little about it citing they are unable to prove it, not that they make much effort to do so. Therefore, it is little wonder than on Mark’s day of vengeance, he lists Jim Nickerson as a target and simply makes sure he guns him down when he opens fire on the group of eighth graders. Of course, he makes sure Jim is dead by firing another burst of automatic fire into him while he is laying on the ground.

If you were to change the “N” in Jim Nickerson’s last name and start it with a “D,” you would have the bully who influenced my creation of the said character in “He Was Weird.” I must confess that in the real life situation, there was no police, no restraining order and no arrest of my grandfather. In fact, my grandfather was never involved in any of Jim’s bullying of me. However, the punching in the hall and the playground as well as the threat of getting me for reporting him to the principal did happen. He did give me one last punch, stating it would be worse if I told on him again. For him, that was enough, the knowledge that he could do whatever to me whenever was enough to keep me feeling intimidated for the rest of the school year. Time does heal and like with the others, forgiveness is on hand if he acknowledges his wrongdoings towards me.

Next post: Joe Callazone

To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440753447&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird