It was Steve’s last day of high school, and he couldn’t wait to see the back of that place. Apart from his only friend, Michael, he’d been relentlessly bullied by the ‘popular’ bunch, who’d gradually turned most of the school against him. As he sat at his desk in science class for the last time, he remembered that awful day when Billy, the ringleader of the group, had sprayed an aerosol can at a lit Bunsen burner after Lily, a sweet, quiet girl who used to sit next to Steve in class, had tried to stick up for him. She’d never returned to that school, and Steve didn’t blame her. His parents had tried to move him to another school too, but countless meetings later and he was still here.
But, he’d stuck it out, and now he never had to speak to Billy and his group of bullies again.
Two Years Later:
Now in college, Steve was finally pursuing his dreams to become an engineer, but he felt like something was missing. His bad experience at school had left him with crippling anxiety, and as a result, he’d decided to stay home with his mom and dad, commuting to the nearest college every day for class. He’d made some friends but felt like he was missing out on the college lifestyle because he was so scared of getting bullied all over again. Michael had gone to college over a hundred miles away in a different state, and Steve found himself spending more of his spare time visiting his grandparents. This evening, he was going to help Grandpa pick out a new lawn mower.
His classes and homework for the day finished, Steve got in his truck and drove to his grandparents’ house, where he was welcomed with a big hug and an ice-cold glass of lemonade from his Grandma – just what he needed in the scorching July heat. Steve didn’t know what he would have done without his grandparents – as their only grandchild, they’d supported him through thick and thin and helped him believe in himself even at his lowest points. His Grandpa always said that Steve had a knack for outdoor equipment, and he’d never go to the store to buy a new product without him. Tonight was no different – at the store, Steve meticulously went through all the pros and cons of the different mowers until they found the perfect match for his Grandpa’s needs. ‘Son, people should pay you for this!’ Grandpa exclaimed.
Three Years Later:
Grandpa’s words that night got Steve thinking. ‘What if I could charge people to help them pick the right outdoor gear?’, he thought to himself. In fact, it would be the perfect job – he’d always had a passion for outdoor equipment, ever since he was ten years old and he helped his dad pick out a snow blower that winter. And, he loved to help others; he’d resolved to be the complete opposite of his bullies. So, Steve set to work and Verellenhc.com was born.
Now, Steve writes guides and tips to help others pick all kinds of outdoor gear, and answers hundreds of emails a week. And, the years of being bullied are well and truly behind him. Now a father, Billy turned up at Steve’s front door in tears to apologize. The two became firm friends. Today, Billy works for Steve as his accountant and together they run a text helpline for bullied kids.