Dear Teenage Boy at Chinese restaurant Saturday,
I'm so ashamed of myself. I did nothing when your jerk of a father was yelling at you, calling you names, and even when he yanked you up by your elbows and shoved you around. I AM SO SORRY!
My friends and I just sat there and watched, shocked and not sure if we should get involved. We should have said something, but didn't because we were afraid of getting into a confrontation with your idiot father and scared that if we got involved, he'd take his anger out on you even worse later (which he probably did anyway).
We were cowards and I haven't been able to stop thinking about what we SHOULD have done. We should have taken your dad aside, let him cool off, and told him that the way he was treating you was not okay. We should have asked you if you were alright, asked if you needed anything, and stayed with you until you felt safe or could have a friend pick you up. There's SO MUCH we should have done and didn't. I think everyone in that room was scared that if we spoke up we'd come across as nosy and not minding our own business. You ARE our business and we failed you.
I can't go back and change what happened, but I promise you that the next time I see someone in your situation I will think of you and actually DO something instead of staying silent out of fear. Stay strong and remember that it's your Dad who's messed up, not you.
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!