Growing up, it was common knowledge that my cousin was afraid of seaweed. Naturally, we terrorized him with it. Pieces in his bed, pieces in his shoes, and my favorite: pieces in his bathing suit. Every time, we were guaranteed a scream and a scramble as he tried to get the seaweed away from his delicate self.
Nothing, though, compared to what we’d do to him at the beach.
I’ll fully admit that we were bullies back then. We didn’t know what we did was wrong; we just thought it was funny. And since Ben laughed it off at the end, even if he’d cried while it was happening, we thought it was okay to continue. Kids will be kids, right?
I was the oldest, and therefore the biggest. Ben was always really skinny and small. I could manhandle him pretty effortlessly. I’d dunk him underwater, I’d toss him around; all that. But I’d also hold him still as my other cousins draped him with seaweed.