Feb 18 2012


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The Bodyguard

Friendships are formed under all sorts of circumstances. The beginning of my friendship with Andrea was unique and definitely unforgettable. It was the summer before my freshman year in high school. I was sitting in the back of a school bus, and we were on our way to Band Camp. Yes, I was a band nerd for a few a years in high school. Andrea was a senior and was sitting in the middle of the bus.


A sophomore boy says, “Iric. I dare you to yell out ‘Amazon’ as loud as you can.”
Me: “Why?”
Sophomore: “I just dare you to. Are you chicken?”
Me: “No, but I don’t see the point in yelling out the word.”
Sophomore: “Chicken!”
Me: “Amazon” at the top of my lungs.


It’s amazing how lonely you can feel sitting on a crowded bus. As soon as I yelled out that word…it seemed like the entire back of the bus left me. Andrea turned around to the sight of twenty fingers pointed at me.

I just shrugged and mouthed the word, “What?”


Andrea’s walk to the back of the bus to kick my butt seemed like an eternity. Andrea was over six feet tall and, let’s just say, not skinny. My only options for an escape on a moving bus at this point were:


Emergency exit door at the back of the bus.
Jumping out of a window.
Trying to run around Andrea.


As soon as I started to make my move to get around Andrea, she grabbed me. She put me in a headlock (her signature move I would soon learn). She told me that nobody calls her “Amazon” and gets away with it.


Me: “I didn’t know you didn’t like that word.”
Andrea: “You do now. I have one word that you’re not gonna like…butt-kicking”
Me: “Isn’t that two words.”
Andrea: “Oh, you’re a smart one, huh?”


Andrea lifted me over her head. I tried to speak to her, but it was too late…I was airborne. I remember looking at everyone’s faces as I was in the air. The sophomore boy who dared me to say the ugly word was smiling and shaking his head. Everyone was laughing as I was thrown over two rows of seats. During my descent, I noticed that I was about to land on the only cute girl in the band. Thankfully, I was able to hold my arm out and redirect my landing. I landed at her feet.


Cute girl: “Andrea doesn’t like that word.”
Me: “I kind of understand that now.”
Cute girl: “I hope so because she’s not finished with you.”


Andrea then punched me in the stomach and knocked the wind out of me.

Andrea: “I’m going to let you off easy this time. Next time I won’t be nice.”



At this particular camp were two groups: our high school band and another high school’s football team.

During camp, whenever the band and the football team would cross paths, the football team would make fun of everyone in the band. They were relentless with their rude comments. One extremely hot afternoon after we had finished our last practice before lunch, a few of us went to the water fountain to get a drink. I filled up a thermos with water, then one of my friends went to get a drink when all of a sudden; he was shoved aside by the captain of the football team.


Captain: “The water is for people that actually need it. You nerds don’t work hard enough to get thirsty.”

Me: “If being a jerk makes you thirsty, you must be thirsty all the time.”

Captain: “Oh…you’re a funny guy. Call me a jerk to my face.”

Me: “I thought I already did.”


He then yanked my thermos from my hand and started pouring water on me. I smacked the thermos to get him to stop, and the thermos ended up hitting him in the face. The next thing I know, he tackled me, and started to punch me.


Out of nowhere, Andrea shows up, and puts him in a headlock.


Andrea: “I’m the only one that is allowed to kick his butt.”
Captain: “Let go of me or else I’ll hurt you too.”
Andrea: “I’ll let go of you when you and your friends start being nice to everyone.”
Captain: “No way. Take your ugly hands off of me.”


Andrea let go and he punched her in the face.


I was shocked. At that moment, I started to charge after him, but was stopped in my tracks. For the next few minutes, I watched Andrea beat him up until he begged her to stop. Yes, Andrea just beat up the captain of the football team. He left with a bloody nose, and the next day, a black eye appeared. There were several football players and a handful of band members present during Andrea’s Rocky impersonation. No words were said. The football players just helped their captain to his feet and went on their way.


I walked next to Andrea on our way to lunch. I was about to say something when she interrupted me, “I have no idea why I’m being nice to you. I don’t even like you.”
I simply said, “Thank you.”


After camp, Andrea and I started talking more. We became friends, and I realized that underneath her tough shell, she was really a nice person. She was also funny, and I didn’t realize how smart she was. I was only a freshman and having a senior as a mentor was helpful. Having a mentor that could kick butt wasn’t bad either.


During lunch hour at school, Andrea would challenge boys to arm wrestling matches. She was undefeated.


One day at lunch, a friend of mine was jokingly harassing me. Andrea came behind him and put him in a headlock.

“Don’t bother Iric. If you do, I’ll bother you”


After that day, the word of my personal bodyguard spread throughout the school. No one messed with me after that day. Of course, people would tease me because I needed a girl to fight my battles. It was good that I never found myself in too many battles.


It would make me angry when I heard people making fun of Andrea. I would put them in their place and tell them they should take the time to know her. If they did, they would like her. Still, they would talk about her behind her back, and tease her. I always stood up for her no matter what, and somehow I knew that she did the same for me.


I finally convinced her that it wasn’t lady-like to challenge boys to arm wrestling matches. To my surprise, she stopped. I also told her that her wardrobe needed to change a bit because it didn’t really show off her soft side. After all, we are a society that is all about first impressions, right?

One morning at my locker, I had the surprise of my life. Andrea came up behind me and said, “Good morning.”

I turned around and my mouth fell open. She was wearing a dress, and she was even wearing make-up. She was so happy by my reaction…she laughed. I told her that she looked beautiful.


Andrea started to show her softer side towards everyone. More and more people were becoming friends with her. I couldn’t be happier. At the end of the year, she was asked to prom, which she happily accepted. Andrea applied to a few colleges and was accepted to her first choice.


The last day of school, I was cleaning out my locker, and Andrea stopped by.
Andrea: “I’m going to miss you.”

Me: “I’m definitely going to miss you. Who’s going to protect me now?”

Andrea: “If you need me, let me know, and I’ll be there.”

Me: “I’m really sorry about the bus and yelling that stupid word.”

Andrea: “Don’t worry about it.”

She gave me a hug.

Andrea: “I wanted to tell you, thank you for being my bodyguard.”

I was stunned by her comment. Everyone knew that she was my bodyguard, not the other way round.

Me: “What?”

Andrea: “Everyone used to make fun of me and I knew you always stood up for me. I heard you one day, and it made me happy to think I had a true friend. You stood up for me as much as I did for you. The truth is…I don’t know how I’m going to make it without you.”

Her words were one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Me: “You’ll do great. You’re awesome and you finally let people see the real you, so they can’t help but like you.”

I closed my locker door. We hugged one more time.

I turned to walk away and Andrea put me in a headlock one last time.

© 2012, Iric. All rights reserved.

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1 comment

  1. Too-Too

    I love this story! I just told someone the other day that you cannot judge a book by its colorful cover because the story inside might be the best one you ever read!

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