If you saw me now, a PA for a straight-talking boss in the finance industry, wearing pearls and silk scarves sticking up for the younger recruits in the business, I doubt you’d pick me as a high school bully. There’s nothing about me that suggests tough, or rebellious, or anything really, but fair-minded and, well, nice.
But I was a bully of the first order, and it’s something I’ve been agonising about lately, even though I left school 30 years ago.
Have you seen the movie Flatliners? That’s what brought all this uncomfortable emotion bubbling to the surface. Kevin Bacon’s character David flatlines, and is transported back to grade school, where he bullied a girl called Winnie Hicks. He and his evil little mates dance around her, calling her names, catching her in a childish circle of hate and intimidation.
I watched it again a few weeks ago. And all of a sudden I remembered Caroline and the many times I made her life hell.