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When childhood bullies return on Facebook

Back when Facebook was new and friend requests came with the kind of anticipation once reserved for getting a handwritten letter in the mail, I remember once getting a friend request from this guy Greg.

I stopped. I breathed in sharply. Greg?

I looked at the name again. It couldn't be him.

The Greg I knew would not possibly think to friend me. The Greg I knew would probably be in prison. Isn’t that what happens to boys who hang cats when they grow up? (I saw the cat.)

Oh yes, I remembered Greg all too well.

This was the same Greg (and oh, how I’m resisting using his last name here) who bullied me in elementary school. He and his dim-witted friend Randy would physically detain me on my way home from ballet.

I was small. They were big. They’d block me as I made my way up the long hill of their street. Then Greg would raise a foot and stake a claim on top of the basket of my yellow Schwinn with the banana seat and high handlebars.

They kept me until after dark, as I pleaded for release. Just me and these boys. Reasoning did nothing. There were no cell phones.

I can’t say it scarred me for life. But I certainly remembered it. And him.

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