I turned thirteen that summer. It was a memory that always inspires me. You see, there was a group of us who decided that it would be better if we didn’t use our fists to fight back, when we were bullied. We did not want to be faceless children, we desired acknowledgement.
Our little group of five who were just heading into our teen years, needed a name… something not too fearful, but something that stated what we were all about. After a few clubhouse meetings and a vote, it was decided that our name be, Handshake. Now I know what you’re thinking, “That is a lame name for a group of boys”. but let me assire you that name desctibes us the best.
We Shakers, we wished to be known as, needed a manifesto, something to state our intentions and something to state our cause. After throwing out ideas and language, we came to a point where we were almost there, almost had it declared as ours. But as time often throws a wrench to the plan, it was getting dark and we had to stop, (which I felt was the best idea, because enough was written to make our point), and we had to get going home to eat supper before one of our moms called out the National Guard!
As luck would have it, when we met after school ended the next day, there were three more boys and one girl waiting outside the clubhouse. They wanted to join and become a Shaker, too, which I found delightful. After the minutes were read by Tommy, Jake thought that we should interview the candidates still waiting for us outside the door. It was decided that each of us would ask a question to each of them.
When it got to my turn to question them, I held up a mirror, well, it was a shard from a broken mirror I found along the edge of the sidewalk. I held it up, reflecting their image back to them. I didn’t say a thing, I just held it. One boy was feeling uncomfortable seeing himself and he started to walk away, mumbling something about our group being a bunch of losers. But that didn’t stop me from holding that mirror, even a little higher, still not saying a word. A few minutes passed and the remaining two boys walked away, as well, and as well, they were better off not staying.
This left one remaining inductee, the girl. She stood there and I could swear I saw her lips moving (she must have been talking to herself). then her lips formed the most beautiful, perfect smile when she uttered, “How do I know you’re for real? How do I know that you boys formed this group as the anti-bullies and not the other way around?”
This is when Jake whipped out The Handshake Manifesto, where her line of questions had an answer. The Handshake Manifesto declared that we pledged to be more honorable than ashes are to the fire, more honest than honest Abe was To The People and more tolerable of peoples differences than a blind man who sees no colour, gender or age. The girl read each word with a glimmer in her eyes and the same perceptive smile shown when looking at herself in that mirror shard. When she spoke, we all listened to what she had to say, which was kind of funny, for no one ever listened to that girl before. That girl, with eye glasses as thick as the soda pop bottle. After she spoke, she grabbed the hammer with the broken claw end and smashed that shard of mirror to a billion pieces, shining light all over the clubhouse.
At this point, without prompt, we stood up and extended our arms to shake her hand and celebrate the Handshakes newest member, Faith.
~dld october 2nd, 2010
— –Did you miss a prompt this week?➞ On Location, Mondays: Almost there➞ Take it Away, Tuesdays: I turned thirteen that summer.➞ Words, Inc., Wednesdays: (1) mirror, (2) dark, and (3) luck➞ Plot Thickens, Thursdays: A handshake
➞ Member’s Pick, Fridays: Ashes–**Weekend Canvas Exercise