I was in junior high, probably seventh grade, when it happened. School had just ended for the day and I was getting ready to board the bus for the long ride home. In between my bus and the next stood a young girl whose eyes were overflowing with tears. Her face was red and she was clearly terrified. A much, much bigger girl was standing on the young girl's lunchbox, refusing to give it to her. The lunchbox (they were metal in those days) was crumpling under the weight of the bully, the young girl was shaking with fear, and the bully was sporting a nasty, I'm-bigger-than-you-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it grin.
I'm sure the little girl was thinking that she would get beat up, her lunchbox would be ruined, her mom would be angry with her or any number of panic-stricken worries. As I came by, she looked up at me with an expression of defeat...and a little bit of hope. I can still see her face to this day...clear as a bell.
Here's the part where I tell you that I laid into that bully. Told her how nasty she was and warned her never again to pick on someone smaller than her. Comforted that little girl and swore to protect her from any and all big people.
I didn't do anything. I walked right by and got on the bus.
I remember very little from my younger days. But, I remember her.