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When I was a kid, I stole a bicycle. To be more precise, I didn’t even steal it, but forcibly “took it for a ride” from a boy I knew, broke it and intimidated the owner into telling his parents that he had broken it himself. We were kids, I was 12, he was about 10. It seemed to me at the time that “little kids” should be taught to “respect their elders. We got it from the older kids, the little kids got it from us. A kind of countryside hazing during the summer vacations. And since I was also the “local” country boy, and he was the “city squirt,” I just had to beat him up.

I was ashamed of what I had done almost immediately. I was afraid that his parents would come to my parents’ house and I would get in serious trouble. But he didn’t tell anyone, and I was happy that everything had worked out so “well.

I was ashamed of what I had done almost immediately. I was afraid that his parents would come to my parents’ house and I would get in serious trouble. But he didn’t tell anyone, and I was happy that everything had worked out so “well.

Gradually we grew up, wised up, and our principles of life changed as well. This kid grew up, too, and became a big, tall man, one and a half times heavier than I was. Now I lived with a sense of fear, every day fearing his revenge for that ill-fated bicycle. But surprisingly, he didn’t touch me. Not because he was still afraid, and he had plenty of friends. Probably just squeamish. When we met casually, he would pretend not to notice me, and sometimes he would look at me in a peculiar way and say: I remember everything, you should be wary of me, because I haven’t decided what to do with you yet.

I have long since repented of what I did. Not out of fear (although, to be honest, that’s why I did it too), but I just grew up and realized that you shouldn’t take things from others, that you should take responsibility for your actions, and that there is always someone who is stronger and smarter than you. I do not know what to do, how to find peace of mind. Perhaps my confession here will help me in this, since I don’t go to church and I don’t believe in priests.

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