It was a regular Saturday afternoon. I was at the Kiwanis Club enjoying computer time. However, my computer time was different than most other kid’s computer time.
Most of the kids were playing games. I was learning about the computer’s operating system by exploring various DOS commands, and learning how to program in BASIC by exploring various games’ source code.
This particular Saturday, there were a couple of new kids. They saw me working on my computer, and thought I didn’t know what I was doing. They proceeded to tell me how to start playing games.
I didn’t have any social skills, so initially I just ignored them.
But then they got aggressive, and starting pressing buttons on my keyboard.
After a while, I got frustrated and hit their hand.
The next thing I know, we’re all dismissed and these two kids start following me home. They suggest that they just want to make-up and be friends. They sounded sincere, yet I didn’t trust them.
Almost to my house, they invite me into a building. I don’t know why, but I went inside with them into a stairwell.
There, they both proceeded to hit me, jump on me, and yell at me. It was horrible.
After a few minutes, I managed to run out, crying all the way home.
My sister, Rahat, consoled me. She got the story and called the club to complain.
Word may have gotten back to the parents of those two kids, but nothing else was done.
I’m not sure if that had me stop going to the Kiwanis Club or not. Would things turn out very differently if I was just able to communicate my computer situation with the other kids?
Many years later, I was buying ice cream from an ice cream truck in my neighborhood, and somebody approached me. As usual, I didn’t recognize who it was. Then the person said with a giggle, “We beat you up pretty bad in that stairwell, didn’t we?”
I walked away and walked home.