In the suns brightness, above the street. The sounds of the soft wind echoed throughout the landscape as the trees by the roadside shook. The only individuals using the road were students traveling to high school; there were no vehicles there. At this school, Gideon Brangwen was a senior student.
As students chatted on the route, laughter could be heard.
At the edge of the road, Gideon strolled. He was brushing a few of the long bangs that he had grown to the tip of his high-bridged, sharp nose. He was moving with tremendous caution, his eyes darting all over.
He was concerned about the way the other students were acting around him. In contrast to before, when they had little to no interest in him, this time they avoided approaching him or even looking at him, as if he had a contagious illness. The other sides of the street were also crowded with students. All but the direction he was moving. He was the only one walking, his side was empty.
Gideon simply let out a breath in response to his finding.
”Get out of the way! ”
The absence of sound was, however, shattered when a number of voices were heard all along the street. In addition to the whines of students who were struck by persons running away from the school in the opposite direction. Five students, all guys of the same age as Gideon, emerged from the crowd, but their bodies and faces bore the scars of the numerous battles they had taken part in. They were referred to as the schools bosses. They stopped right in front of Gideon, their eyes blazing with rage and violence.
The one in the middle turned to Gideon and said, ”Weve been waiting for you. ” He was the tallest and strongest of the group of five. He exuded menace thanks to his two-by-three haircut and tanned skin. He wore band-aids on his forehead and both cheeks, indicating that he had recently been in a fight.
Surprised, Gideon turned to look behind him to see if anyone was there. However, he didn see anyone or anything that the people in front of him were referring to. He feigned a giggle and then scratched the back of his head as he realized he was alone. ”Carlos, right? Ha, thats strange, you seem to be speaking directly to me. ”
Carlos came up to him. Carlos threatening demeanor softened as he laughed and rested his muscular arm on Gideons shoulders. ”Whats the deal with that response, Boss Hunter? Your conversation with your father had to be gruesome for you to end up acting like that the next day; thats not how the schools king should act. ”
Then the four other people began to chuckle.
The one with long, brown hair and a scar on his nose said, ”Boss Hunter is just kidding you. ”
”You know him, he just loves to mess with us. ” Said the skinhead.
”But, man! I still can believe we managed to overthrow that gang yesterday; even though Boss Hunter received a chest injury, we are now the rulers of this district! ” The one with the red, spiky hair exclaimed.
”What Boss Hunter got was just a scratch, and don forget that more people are joining our gang now, and we did it all in just one week under Boss Hunters leadership. ” The shortest but most muscular of the group announced excitedly.
After hearing what he believed were absurd things spoken by the five individuals surrounding him, Gideon awkwardly chuckled, lowering his body by bending his knees and staring at them in astonishment. ”Ah… I think youve got the wrong person. My name is Gideon, ” he said, closing his eyes as soon as he touched his bruised chest.
Carlos, on the other hand, simply tapped Gideon on the shoulder and laughed even louder. ”We know, but weren you the one who insisted on being called Hunter because you prefer it? ”
”Ah… thats nice of you; you
e more thoughtful than you appear. ” Gideon stepped away from Carloss arms and slipped out of them. ”Look, as much as I want to talk to you guys, I have an exam I need to pass today without even reviewing and without even knowing what we studied last week… so I gotta go, ” he said, turning his back on them and waving his hand while running.
”Yeah, lets just hang out later, ” Carlos said, laughing. ”And oh, Millie is looking for you. Good luck hiding from her, shes out for your blood this time! ”
Gideon walked faster, his eyes narrowed. ”Millie? That name rings a bell. ”
After some time, Gideon arrived at his classroom. Directly in front of the shut sliding door, he came to a stop. Inside, there was the sound of laughter and conversation. Gideon breathed softly while he closed his eyes.
”This can get any worse, can it? ” He opened the classroom door and looked at his classmates, who immediately shifted their gaze to him.
As Gideon approached, the usually raucous space fell utterly silent. Everyone was hunched over and motionless, looking down. And when Gideon walked up to his desk, none of them even attempted to glance at him.
There were thirty students in the classroom, including Gideon.
By taking a seat near the back of the rooms window, Gideon made an effort to ignore them. He cleared his throat in an effort to lighten the atmosphere, but what he noticed next was the swift and coordinated lifting of his classmates shoulders.
When he understood what was happening, he shook his head and rubbed his palm on his forehead before turning to stare out the window.
”Isn the weather lovely today, Brangwen? ”
He raised his bangs and faced the person seated next to him. The student who was smiling at him while wearing big glasses was in complete contrast to everyone else. Like Gideon, Miguel belonged to the group of withdrawn, lonely students in the class. Only Miguel had been targeted for bullying due to his impressionable and naïve demeanor.
Gideon gave a slow nod. ”Yes, it is, Miguel. ”
Miguel rubbed the back of his neck. ”I will just call you by your surname if that is okay; I am not used to calling you Hunter as you requested. ” His smile widened. ”Anyway, you already told me not to bring it up again, but thanks for helping me out the other day; those guys will not bother me again because of you, but, as you advised, I am going to learn to stand up for myself from now on. ”
For a split second, Gideons pupils trembled as he fixed his gaze on Miguel. The expression of surprise on his face soon changed into a warm smile.
He sighed. ”Perhaps I bumped my head while sleeping last night because I don remember doing any of that, but I am relieved to hear that not everything I did was heinous acts. ”
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