Once again, I know I am more than likely preaching to the choir but it is a known fact that often bullies can be those who are supposed to friends. I shared my own experiences from this in my post from a few months ago titled: “With Friends Like These.” In that post, I compared myself to the Butters character from the TV show “South Park.” I had a desire to be liked by people but because of my Asperger’s Syndrome and DAMP, I didn’t properly pick up on social cues and as a result, it got me into trouble. The main culprit in this was a boy named Gene Lamarque, who influenced my creation of the character, Gene Lancaster, in “He Was Weird.”
In the story, Gene makes friends with Mark, who after a month since moving to Ramsgate, has no friends and is quick to accept any offer of friendship. At first, things seem good in the friendship but it’s not long before Gene begins to show his true colours. The first major instance is on the school trip where Gene incites others in the class to tease Mark because his mother packed his lunch in a shoe box. Mark gets very upset and retaliates by throwing food at everyone, which he ends up getting in trouble for.
Not long after, during an event forever known as ‘The Episode,’ Mark is beaten up and has his bike wrecked by two boys. Not only does Gene desert him in his time of need, he rubs it in further by telling Mark that he’s going to be a witness for the bullies. It should have occurred to Mark by then that Gene is not a credible friend but Gene manipulates him by the fact that he didn’t bear witness against Mark during the episode.
Things continue in this vein throughout the story. Gene takes every opportunity to humiliate Mark in front of others or get him in trouble, like the incident with Curt Cadell in the last post. He was present there but did nothing to aid Mark. Then in seventh grade, Gene develops a new trick. Having always been the mouthy sort, Gene winds people up to the point where they get annoyed but then runs away leaving Mark there to take the brunt of their wrath. He takes quite a few beatings on account of Gene. This progresses to where in the case of a boy named Terry Cratt, Gene isn’t even there but Terry takes all of the things Gene had said to him out on Mark. His logic was that because Mark had laughed at some of the things Gene said, he is guilty too.
On the few occasions where Mark finally stands up to Gene, he is quick to play the hurt victim leaving public opinion against Mark. One case is when he really gets on Mark’s case because of a mistake he made during a football game. Mark snaps on Gene but everyone seems to be taking Gene’s side. One of the girls present really has a go at Mark and after calls him “Joe Maniac.” It seems that no one seems to see how Gene has treated him.
A couple of days before Mark’s big day of revenge, Gene does something that actually saves his life. When he is mistaken for Mark during an awards assembly at school, he owns up to the mistake. That is why on the day Mark shoots up the school, when he sees Gene coming towards him, he only shoots him in the legs. However, the reason for that was because Mark remembers the many times Gene pretended friendship only to betray him to the bullies.
After the shooting, there is some sort of justice on Gene. When Andrew Blumenthaw comes out of hospital, he gets his friends to press gang Gene into pushing his wheelchair. Andrew points out the fact that Mark isn’t there to be his stooge any more.
Someone who has read “He Was Weird,” ask me if I really had a friend like Gene. Her response to when I answered in the affirmative was “Oh my God!” I have long since realised that Gene wasn’t a good friend and actually, he was a bully. He might have thought he was and would even point out supposed wrongs done to him by me. I would hope by now, that he would have learned his lesson about mouthing off to the wrong person, because I wouldn’t be there to take the beating for him. If he acknowledges that and apologizes, then I will fully forgive.
Next post: Tommy Allen
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=1445881831&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird