It stung. The gut punch from a boy I believed to be my friend. So many thoughts rushed through my head.
Hit his ass back.
I don’t like folks hitting or touching me.
Is this for me? Can I get used to it?
How could he betray me like this?
In the end, my wise voice ascended above the others. As a fifth grader, I don’t know how much wisdom I possessed; but it seemed that the lessons from my ancestors and the values they taught me overcame all the other thoughts.
I smiled and nodded to him quietly as I fought back a tear in my right eye. My smile was tempered by the pain of betrayal that I felt. Despite the voices demanding retribution, I resigned myself to walk away in strength. rather than submit to an inauthentic mode of being.