One of Nolan’s church friends invited him to a birthday party. They went to a hotel. It was a great idea. The kids could swim in the indoor poor, order pizza, stay up late and in the morning it was someone else’s mess to clean up. Smart move on the parent’s end of things and a lot of fun for the kids. Nolan brought his awesome new water gun. Everyone wanted these water guns and for what seemed like the first time in his life, Nolan got the coolest toy on the market. He just had to bring it to the birthday party.
As the kid was running away with Nolan’s favorite thing, Nolan started cussing at him. He cussed like the people in the movies. Everyone in the hotel heard him including the entire birthday party. He had never acted like that before and instead of being upset with him, the other kids acted like it was the most respectable thing he had ever done. Nolan was confused now but his angry shrank as he felt accepted and encouraged for all of his foul language. It didn’t make sense, but he needed something to go his way so he soaked it up.
That night after pizza, when the adults were asleep, the boys were all watching bad movies, joking around and telling stories, including Nolan’s story from the pool He almost seemed to fit in. Then a strange thing happened. A woman came walking by the window of the room. The boys were messing with her and asking her to do things. She was a grown up but she was dancing around and showing her body off to the boys. They all went half crazy but Nolan felt a little sick to his stomach even though he was also excited.
One of the boys was 14 and he knew all about girls. He was also street smart enough to realize this woman was a hooker! He waited until she got out of sight, then he ran downstairs to hotel security. They set up and quick sting operation in the hallway or at least that’s what he said happened, they didn’t see it. But he told them he offered her money to do something to him. Then she got arrested. Nolan had never been around anything like that before. It was the story of a lifetime, maybe the boys at school would listen to his story and stop messing with him.
When Nolan got back to school that Monday, the kids had already heard. They heard about his cussing and they heard about the hotel prostitute. Nolan didn’t know who had talked to who but suddenly he was interesting to the kids that normally hated him. The new kid even took interest in him now. They asked him questions, they talked about him, they laughed with him and not at him. It was the most respect he had ever gotten, it was the most love school kids had ever shown him. All he had to do was be around a couple of crimes and cuss someone out and he was a superstar for a day.
At lunch that day someone got into one of the kid’s lockers and stole a football. The teachers made an announcement about it. They didn’t know who the thief was but they wanted someone to snitch. If they heard anything they were asked to come say something, privately. At recess the new kid came up to Nolan and asked him to come look at something. Nolan didn’t trust him but it seemed like everyone wanted to be around him today, so he risked it. The new kid showed Nolan the stolen football in his own backpack.
Why would he show Nolan this? It didn’t make sense. But the new kid knew that the kid who owned the football called Nolan stupid every day. He told Nolan not to tell anyone but the two of them were going to stick it to that guy. The new guy wasn’t wrong, Nolan didn’t like that kid at all and he never said a word about that football. But it was all weird, he had never been a part of anything like this. It was like the cussing story let it be known that Nolan was ok, he was a bad kid too. The mean kids suddenly trusted him and wanted him in on the meanness. It was all so strange.
It wouldn’t be another 2 or 3 days before the kids started to pick on Nolan again, except for the new kid. Nolan never told his parents about any of this stuff. They wouldn’t want him around things like this. They didn’t want him to cuss or get robbed. They didn’t want him around prostitution stings. They didn’t want him helping people steal. They didn’t want anyone calling him stupid and making him feel worthless. And they definitely didn’t want him getting bullied so much that he hated school. They never wanted any of this for Nolan, that’s why they had him involved with church people and send him to a Christian school.