It was the fourth grade for Matthew, and he was having a hard time making friends in elementary school. He tried his best to fit in with most of the kids in elementary, but it was impossible for him to do so. He was too “different,” and most kids despised him. Matthew was able to make a few friends here and there, but for the most part he was an outcast. Kids looked at him with disgust, and he didn’t know why.
One day, a new kid named Bryan came to Matthew’s elementary school. Most students could tell that Bryan came from a poor household. He had ripped jeans, and his shirt was stained and had holes in them. All the students immediately liked him. However, they noticed that there was something unique and interesting about Bryan that made him stand out. He was wearing red aviator sunglasses. The red aviator sunglasses with a silver lining had a clean look to Bryan and added a certain regal look to him. He was instantly royalty at his new school, and the kids could not help but adore him.
Bryan happened to be in Matthew’s class. The teacher, Mrs. Smith, introduced Bryan to the class and told Bryan that he had to take off his glasses. Before he did, Bryan looked around at all his classmates, and he immediately had a distaste for Matthew. Matthew was wearing a nice polo shirt and some kakis. When Bryan took off his glasses, Mrs. Smith told him to sit next to Matthew, and he reluctantly did so. Matthew quickly introduced himself to Bryan.
“Hi, I’m Matthew, it’s nice to meet you,” Matthew said.
Bryan took another look at Matthew and noticed that there was something different about him. Matthew seemed normal to him. Even though nothing had changed with Matthew, Bryan had a hard time looking at him with disgust. Why was this?
Bryan didn’t say anything back to Matthew because something told him to keep his distance. There was just something odd and unsettling about Matthew.
Mrs. Smith passed out math sheets that had multiplication problems on them. She told them to work on the problems and turn them in when they were done. This worried Bryan. He wasn’t really good at math, let alone multiplication. He looked around him and saw that virtually all the kids around him were going through the math problems with ease. Bryan started feeling uncomfortable looking at the problems and wanted to run out of the classroom immediately. Meanwhile, Matthew finished all of his math problems and saw that Bryan was struggling with his. Matthew decided to help him.
Matthew asked, “Hey, do you need help with the math problems?”
Bryan gladly accepted help from Matthew, and he was thankful that Matthew was also teaching him how to solve multiplication problems. He noticed that kids were giving Matthew a hateful look, but he didn’t understand it. It confused him as all he saw was Matthew being helpful. Mrs. Smith saw Matthew helping Bryan with his math problems, and she couldn’t help but smile at the kindness of Matthew. He was always such a sweet, helpful boy to anyone, Mrs. Smith thought to herself.
After they were done answering questions, Matthew and Bryan started talking to each other, sharing laughs and getting to know each other. All the while, Matthew was thrilled because he had thought that he was getting a new friend.
During recess, Bryan put back on his red aviator sunglasses, and he was a shining star once again. A crowd of kids surrounded Bryan, and he welcomed it. He welcomed their praise, love and admiration as he was a kid with red aviator sunglasses. Bryan was deemed popular on the spot by the kids, and it meant so much to him.
However, he noticed something odd beyond the crowds of kids surrounding him. He noticed that Matthew was standing in a corner content with himself. Why was he content with being alone? Did he think that he was better than everyone else? Did he not think that Bryan’s sunglasses were cool? He looked at Matthew once more and realized why he felt the things that he felt. He saw Matthew through his red aviator sunglasses, and he knew that he had to do something to appease the hatred that he felt for Matthew. The kids saw him staring at Matthew, and they were in disgust with Matthew as well.
One kid said, “Yeah, we can’t stand him, either. Someone needs to teach him a lesson.”
The other kids agreed with the statement, and Bryan said, “Yeah, definitely.”
So, Bryan told the kids to follow him as he was marching towards Matthew. As he was getting closer, Bryan saw immediate terror on Matthew’s face. He couldn’t help but smile at this. The kids formed a circle around Matthew, and Bryan was face-to-face with Matthew. Matthew tried to ask what was going on, but before he could even utter such words, he was pushed by Bryan. Matthew stumbled at first but then he quickly regained his balance. He was pushed again by Bryan, but someone ended up tripping Matthew, and he ended up on the ground. Bryan and other kids started punching and kicking him on the ground, and Matthew was barely himself. Then, one of the other kids ended up getting on top of Matthew and pulling off his nice polo shirt. The shirt got to Bryan, and he decided to spit on it, step on it, ball it up and throw it in a trash can nearby.
Bryan looked at Matthew’s kakis, spat on them and yelled, “You think that these pants make you better than me. You ain’t nothing.”
Kids were laughing, and teachers ignored what was right in front of them.
One kid said, ” Hey Bryan, you know that there’s some more trash on the ground, right?”
Bryan chuckled and responded, “You’re right, bro. I gotta throw trash away, I can’t just leave it on the ground.”
So, two of the kids ended up picking up Matthew, taking him to the trash can and throwing him in it. There were tears that were coming out of his eyes, and he tried his hardest to stop the tears from falling down his face, but it was impossible. He had to cry. There were kids surrounding the trash can, looking down at Matthew and laughing at him. However, he could only see one kid laughing and taunting him, and it was Bryan, the kid with the red aviator sunglasses.
Matthew walked home beaten up, bleeding and defeated. He wondered why teachers didn’t help him, but he quickly took one look at himself and understood the reason.
When Matthew got home, his parents saw the state that he was in and immediately asked him what happened. He told them everything that had happened to him, and they couldn’t believe it. How could someone hurt their sweet, innocent child? They were outraged that no teachers stopped the fighting, but they understood the reason. Matthew’s parents told him that he needed to defend himself, and if it happened again then they would go to the school. However, Matthew saw things differently. He wanted to do more than just defend himself.