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Reformed

by Caias Ward


At the police station, I check my phone. I’m already on YouTube. “Balor Gets Jawed.” I watch it, even though I lived it.

Me, on the bus. Someone goes, “Hey, that’s Balor!” I try to ignore him. He gets in my face. I ask him to stop. He takes a swing at me while I’m seated and connects.

I let him get his swings in; better me a target than someone else.

“Murderer!” people yell. He still punches.

Manslaughter. I know what I pled to.

I take the punches, keeping my hands up, visible. He gets mad as I suffer nothing from his repeated blows.

I remember conflict resolution classes in Rahway. He’s not a threat to me.

He pulls out the knife. I catch it after it bends on my stomach. I break it in half with one hand and stand up. “Someone here”I watch myself gesture to the crowd“is gonna get hurt if you keep this up. Please stop.”

A Good Samaritan (as opposed to the other kind) tackles him, two others hold him down, and other people cut off his friends, stare them down. I keep my hands…

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