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The following is an excerpt from my book published in 2012. If you are interested in purchasing a copy, all proceeds go toward the reward for Corey’s killer. http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/MichelleMetje1

– Michelle Metje (The China Cabinet – copyright November 2012)

When I came home, Corey was in his bedroom. I went in to find him lying on his bed, facing away from me. “Hi, honey! How was your day?”


“Oh? Why’s that?”

“Clarence told me he’s going to follow me home tomorrow and beat me up!” He turned over to face me.

What???” This was a frightening possibility to both of us. Corey got off the bus at 3:45 every day, and I wouldn’t be home until 4:30. Not to mention, Clarence was at least a foot taller, and had already proven he would follow through with his threats.

I don’t remember exactly how it started, I just know he’d been bothering Corey for months. At first, it was name-calling. Then it escalated to knocking Corey’s books off his desk. Then that grew to pushing and shoving him at school. This was the first time the threats followed him home.

I had always taught my children not to fight. But now, I decided to call around to different Karate schools. If the bullying was not going to go away, I needed to prepare Corey for the worst.

I called several, but only one returned my call. I scheduled an appointment for us both to check out the school.

Honestly, the first time I walked through the doors, I was very intimidated. Corey half hid behind me as the Sensei came to speak to us.

He was dressed from shoulder to ankle in black. His feet were bare, and around his waist he wore a black belt. He stopped in front of Corey, bent slightly at the waist, and extended his hand. “Hello. I am Mr. Burt, you must be Corey.”

Corey timidly took his hand. Mr. Burt continued to hold this pose until Corey looked him in the eye. “Yes… Sir.”

We went through the “introductory lesson”, and as we continued, Corey loosened up. We followed Mr. Burt to his office, and he asked if Corey would like to start taking lessons at his school. I looked at Corey as he shyly nodded his head. I sighed and signed the contract.

I brought Corey for his first few lessons, and shortly after decided I would like to take lessons as well. We advanced together quickly to our gold belts (the first you must earn). It was exciting for us both.

Unfortunately, Clarence continued his taunting. He never did follow Corey home from school, but he reminded Corey of his plan on a regular basis.

Shortly after we received our gold belts, Corey came home excited. His Middle School was hosting an Asian Day. It would be complete with Chinese food, Japanese art, and other exhibits. He told me he thought it would be fun to learn about this new culture.

On “Asian Day”, a karate school was scheduled to appear.
Apparently, the original school cancelled, and Corey was surprised to see the familiar faces of Mr. Burt and several high ranking students from his own school.

Mr. Burt took the stage, and as he looked out across the audience, he spotted Corey. “Mr. Corey. You are one of my students. You belong with us. Please come to the stage.” Corey did as he was asked.

Mr. Burt directed him and the other karate students through their drills. I hear Corey did very well.

That afternoon, on the bus, the other students began asking Corey, “If you know Karate, why haven’t you kicked Clarence’s butt?”

Corey stated, “I am not going to Karate to hurt people. I am going so I can protect myself if I have to”. Clarence was within earshot. Funny, but Clarence has never offered to come home with him again.

After that, Corey and I continued to attend classes with Mr. Burt. To this day, I don’t think he’s aware how he saved my son from being hurt.

Sometimes God can work through you, and you may never know. The trick is to keep working, and have faith that He will use you.

Gwen Carver

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