Beyond the Western
An Unlikely Friendship
Scott A. Gese

Image Source: Graduation Teen / Pixels

A high school jock comes to the aid of a classmate being bullied.

Beyond the Western

When Alex Bigton walked into the school restroom between classes, he walked right into Boomer Watts, the class bully. Boomer had a kid named Jared pinned up against the wall. He was tormenting the kid and threatening to “kick his ass”.

Alex didn’t care for Boomer and he got in his face. “Hey, what do you think you’re doing? Get your hands off him.”

“Mind your own business, Bigton. This retard shouldn’t be in this school or in my graduating class. I’m just letting him know how I feel about it.” replied Boomer.

“Just because he doesn’t meet your high standards doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be here, or graduate.” Alex gave Boomer a shove. “So like I said, get your hands off him.”

Boomer backed off, but gave Jared a warning. “Watch your back, retard. You’re on my shit-kickin’ list.”

You lay a hand on him and you’re on mine. Got it?” Remarked Alex.

Boomer flipped off Alex as he left the restroom.

Alex ignored him. “You OK, Jared?”

“I’m fine, thank you,” he replied as he wiped the tears from his eyes and started to leave.

Alex stopped him. “Jared, I never see you hanging around with anyone. Don’t you have any friends here?”

“No, not at school. I’m the ‘retard’ remember. No one wants to hang with me.” Jared tried to go past Alex, but he stopped him again.

“Listen Jared. You might march to the beat of a different drummer. That doesn’t make you a retard, got it? People like Boomer don’t like people who are different because their shallow minds think everyone should be like them. Bullying people is how Boomer deals with the fact that they’re not.

From now on, you do have at least one friend here. I’m it. You can hang with me all you want.

Any time I hear of someone giving you a bad time, I’ll stop them. You being bullied is going to end, starting today.”

“I’d like that,” replied Jared. Thank you, but why? You’re one of the popular kids. You’re big and you play sports. Nobody messes with you. Why are you letting someone like me hang with you?”

“Because I think you’re a decent kid and I like having friends who aren’t full of themselves. Besides, We all need friends and I think you could use one right now. Do we have a deal? ”

Alex offered Jared his hand. They shook on it and both left for class.


Over the next few months Alex was true to his word. He and Jared hung out together.

Alex let it be known that the bullying Jared days were over.

He had to get “up close and personal” with a couple of his classmates, but once word got around that there would be consequences if you messed with Jared, the bullying finally stopped.

Alex and a couple of his friends took it upon themselves to be Jared’s escorts at school sporting events. Without the added pressure of being picked on, Jared’s grades improved.

By the end of the year, Jared had proved himself to be smarter than anyone had thought possible. He earned more than enough credits to graduate.

Alex knew Jared didn’t have a walking partner, so he offered to walk with him.

Shortly after graduation, Jared told Alex that he was moving out of state with his parents. He was pretty upset about it. Alex had a long talk with him to try and calm him down.

“Listen, Jared. You and I are friends, right? And friends are always there for each other, right? I’m here for you any time you need someone to talk to, for any reason, I’m only a phone call away. Don’t ever forget that.”

Jared took a piece of paper, wrote on it and handed it to Jared. “Here’s my email address and my phone number. I mean it, Jared. Any time you need a friend, it’s like I said, I’m only an email or a phone call away. You keep in touch with me. Let me know what’s going on in your life. I want to know when you find a job and I especially want to know when you get a girlfriend.”

Jared smiled at the prospect.

Over the years the two kept in touch, and as promised, Jared let Alex know when he found the woman of his dreams.

They were reunited at Jared’s wedding when Alex was his best man.

© Copyright 2019 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.