People Change

By A Friend • January 18, 2023

I was bullied a lot in secondary school (11-18 years old for people who have different school systems). There was one main culprit, let's call him C. Over many years, this boy physically and verbally abused me every day. This went on for a long time. Eventually we left school, no idea what he went on to do, I think it was construction. Many years passed.

One day I was walking to the supermarket, (I was 26 at this point) having a smoke and who should I bump into? C. There was a shocked look of incredulity on his face as he tried to figure out who he thought I was. He asked me, and I told him I was exactly who he thought I was. What followed was the most honest and sincere apology I've ever heard in my life.

I will remember that apology for the rest of my life. He could have just pretended he didn't notice me, but he stopped me and apologised. There was legitimate shame in this mans voice for the things he'd done to me in the past. I forgave him instantly. I carried resentment toward him around for so many years and in a second it was gone. I was completely blindsided. That day, I regained a bit of faith in humanity, and I had a fantastic rest of my day.


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