Everyone made fun of David. He was born premature but ended up being an obese child. From the time he started Kindergarten he was teased. Fatty fatty two by door can’t get through the kitchen door. Hey watermelon boy.
Even when he was home there was no place to run. His parents picked on him and made rude comments about his weight. The more he was ridiculed the more he remained in his bedroom. He did his homework and ate in his room.
As he got older he would play his music loud enough to drown out all noises in the house. His nice bike that his grandparents had bought him for his birthday was used primarily for going back and forth to school.
When Grandpa and Grandma would invite him over to their house for an over night visit; this is the only solace he received. They didn’t judge him. In fact they offered him many snacks all being healthy. They made David feel very special; like he was the only kid in the world.
On his 13th birthday he made up his mind he was going to lose the extra weight. Instead of racing home on his bike he remained behind and ran the track behind the school. At home he measured out his own food making sure he didn’t go over the limits of calories.
He went to sleep earlier so the urges to snack were removed. On the weekends he walked around his neighborhood until he was walking two miles each day. Kids at school started noticing and little by little girls were turning his way.
This gave him even more gumption to keep on pushing himself. He was no longer running the track for a half an hour. He was now running for over an hour after school. The weight dropped quickly. Everyone around him was now paying him big compliments.
His parents took him to the store for clothes shopping. He was able to pick out more modern and up to date clothing. Sometimes when he looked in the mirror he had to take a double look to recognize himself.
One day he was running the track and he collapsed. It was a good thing that the coach had his team out practicing for baseball. One of the team members noticed David on the ground and yelled,” David’s down Coach. Come on everybody, let’s go check him out.”
When the coach checked for a pulse he could barely feel it as it was so soft. He told one of the kids,” Run as fast as you can and have the office call 911.” Soon the ambulance had arrived and found David barely breathing.
They rushed him to the hospital where they discovered he had suffered from a heart attack. Wow, at 13, a heart attack. Several tests were taken and when the results all came back the doctor sat down with the parents of David.
” David has definitely had a heart attack. He has over worked his heart at his young age. What would make him want to over exert himself to this point? Do either of you know?”
The parents looked at each other and hung their heads down saying, ” No we don’t have any idea why he did this. He wanted to wear clothes that mainly skinny kids wore is all we know.”
The doctor looked at them and he knew by their guilty looks that they had placed the idea in David’s head that he was ugly and fat. He told them, ” Well I am not sure what is going on in the home but a change is needed. He is dehydrated and his blood levels are low. To have a heart problem at this age is unreal.”
He stood up and went back to watch over David. The parents sat out in the waiting room saying nothing. Their guilt eating them up for helping this to happen to their son.
When the doctor went home that night he was telling his family at supper about the young David. One of his daughters asked,” Dad, who is it? What grade is he in? Do we know him?”
” I can’t reveal his name. It is against policy but I can tell you he is around your age.”
The daughter said, ” We have this one kid. Everyone picks on him all the time. The kid’s name is David. He just loves to eat and got himself so fat we all sort of teased him. I know it was wrong Dad, but you just couldn’t help it when you saw him waddling down the school halls. But he has changed. He decided to lose some weight and now he is looking really good. He fits in with the rest of us.”
The doctor hung his head in shame. My own daughter played a part in this. I thought I taught her better than this.
” Everyone has a reason for being different. Whether it is our skin color or our weight, we all have the same hearts. We all feel pain and hurt the same. We all want to feel wanted and needed. No one wants to be made to feel different” Dad said.
” I am ashamed of you. I thought I taught you better than that. How would you feel if you were David? asked the Doctor.
Tears started to fall from her cheeks as she realized what she had done to this student. She had known better but didn’t want to look out-of-place by standing up for David when her friends were making fun of him.
Without the Doctor saying his patient’s name everyone at that dining table knew it was David. The table got very quiet as they finished eating.
About a month went by and David was able to return to school. He had suffered no permanent damages. His age had protected him. When he rode his bike to school and entered the front doors he saw banners hanging from the ceiling.
Each one of them said “Welcome Back David”. There were colorful balloons with streamers hanging from them placed all over the commons. There were arrows pointing towards the auditorium. Strangers to David walked up to him and told him to follow them.
David did as he was told but wondered what in the world was going on. When they entered the double doors they were welcomed by the entire school. All the kids and teachers stood up and started clapping.
Two students guided him to the front and lead him up on the stage. The Principal went to the microphone and welcomed David back to school. David’s classroom went up to the microphone and publicly apologized to David for the way they had treated them. After each student had spoken he was shocked beyond belief.
The two biggest kids that picked on him walked towards him and handed him a trophy. It was a big gold statue of a boy standing with his head held high. He was holding books in one hand and waving with his other hand. The words on the trophy said, To the Most Honorable Student.
David looked at the trophy with tears in his eyes. All of the disappointments and bullying had vanished. He looked up and out over the audience and said, ” Thank-you everybody. I don’t know what to say but thank-you.”
The student body stood up and clapped and cheered him. There was never a lesson they had been taught that school year as important as the one they had learned from David.
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