Out over the trees the eagle soars, wings open floating in an up draught. All around it darting in and out pecking at it a little bird squarks and squeals. The eagle seems oblivious to how frustrated the little guy is that he’s clearly in their territory.
“Oy dopey wake up you loser’ the little bird says taking another dive. With a whack my hat is flicked off my head and falls into the seat in front of me on the school bus. The kid behind me jabs me in the back ‘I said wake up dopey’, my attention is now clearly back inside the school bus. I’m 10 years old, on a bus full of high school kids and I just want to get home. The big kid sitting in front of me hands me my hat back while glaring over my shoulder. ‘He’s just a kid james’ the older guy says ‘why don’t pick on someone your own size.’
I put my hat back on my head and glance out the window, the eagle is clearly aware of what he’s got himself into because he’s turned around and is chasing the little guy over the trees. James doesn’t like being told off, he grabs my hat back off my head and gives the kid in front of me the finger.
My eyes are starting to well up, I’m shaking and I’m really scared. Suddenly the older boy in front of me is standing and I don’t know whether to be terrified or relieved. He climbs around his girlfriend out of their seat, leans over, grabs my hat, hands it back to me and sits down next to me.
A hand is extended ‘g’day buddy, my names Sam’ he says, I shake it nervously while spluttering ‘my names Indi.’ Sam glances behind us at James and says loud enough so he can hear us ‘don’t worry about James mate, he’s just worried that you’re more intelligent than he is.’ I saved a seat for Sam next to me every day for the next few weeks and even after he stopped sitting next to me he’d still say g’day every time he walked past me.
Fast forward 6 years and I’m in year 10, I glance over the isle to the seats on the other side and notice a couple of older boys picking on a kid from my primary school. ‘Oy Ben’ I heard myself yell ‘why don’t you pick on someone your own size’. Ben glared at me before snapping ‘stay out of this Indi.’ I stood up, grabbed the hat out of Ben’s hands and passed it to the kid, I sat down next to him and put out my hand ‘g’day buddy, my names Indi.’