Danny Fitzgerald was the king of our neighborhood. It wasn’t because he was an admirable person, nor was it because he was a great athlete, or one of the more popular guys at our school. He was the neighborhood king because we feared him. Danny Fitzgerald was a bully.
In hindsight, he and his two brothers were probably victims themselves. Everyone was familiar with the alcohol infused, door slamming, window shattering melees his parents got into almost every weekend… but for all of us, he was our worst nightmare.
We always kept an eye out for him with an escape route in reserve, so we could dodge his cruelty. Still, there was one place where we couldn’t avoid him, a place where we were all at his mercy… the bus stop.
Mornings were easier than afternoons. On the way to school we all kept our distance until the bus pulled up. Then we would scurry on board like frightened cockroaches in order to avoid his spitting, cuffing and kicks.
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