When he had first arrived at the prison and checked in what remained of his personal effects, Todd had no idea what was in store for him. He imagined much more time to socialize with fellow inmates and cafeteria-style meals. Instead, he spent very little time with the other inmates and the rest of the prison population. Perhaps the edge on his personality was too soft, or rounded, but any time he did come in contact with the other inmates, he was often bumped, scowled at, flat out pushed, or grilled.
There were only 3 meals a week that were served cafeteria style. At the very first one, he was intentionally tripped, sending everything on his tray flying in front of him. While he missed the food, the wound to his pride hurt quite a bit more. “What landed you in here? Did you go over the speed limit?” a voice called out, mocking him.
After successfully making his way through the public school system, Todd did not imagine he would find himself in a place where bullying was so prevalent. Thinking better than fighting back, he simply went about picking up the remnants of his lunch.
“Here, let me help you,” a voice, paired with a scrawny, middle-aged man casually floated above the din in the room. “The more you acknowledge them, the more they will keep harassing you. I’m Cliff. Come have a seat with me.”
As he said this, he did not reach out his hand, although the eyes of the two men locked together and each of them looked as if they were waiting for the other to initiate a shake.
To be continued…