The peaceful silence of the girls bathroom is a much needed relief after what happened in the schools cafe earlier…. However….
”Did you enjoy getting back at that Abigail girl? ” Zaku asks as he faces the wall while I change.
”It was rather pleasing to see her get so riled up, but more importantly, what are you doing in the girls bathroom? ” I question, glaring at Zaku.
”I wanted to be in your presence. Is that so much to ask? ”
Letting out a long sigh, I finish getting dressed. ”You can turn around now, ” I comment before grabbing my backpack from the bathroom floor. I haven even gotten one strap over my shoulder when Zaku suddenly reaches out and hugs me. ”Wha- what are you doing? ”
”You did a great job, Lilian, ” Zaku quietly praises as he strokes my head. ”Im proud of you for finally stepping up. ”
[What… What is this feeling in my chest? Is it because he said that hes proud of me? Or is it because I finally stood up for myself? My chest feels so tight and warm. It feels like an emotion that I haven felt before.]
” Zaku calls out after a while.
”I love it that you are hugging me back, but you
e going to be late for class if you don head out. ”
Realizing that Im still holding onto him, oddly tight for some reason might I add, I snap out of my thoughts and shove Zaku away from me. ”Go back into my shadow, Zaku, I must go now, ” I demand after clearing my throat.
With a small laugh, Zaku disappears into my shadow but not before kissing a lock of my hair and giving me a little wink.
[Why do I feel oddly eerie right now? Zaku isn planning on doing something, is he?]
”There you are! ” Isa whispers after I return to first block. ”What took you so long to change clothes? ”
”Just talking to myself like I always do, ” I jokingly respond.
Shaking her head, Isa looks back at the board.
”We really need to sneak you out of that house one day. You
e gonna be the first of us to end up in a psych ward. ”
I couldn do anything but awkwardly laugh since they aren completely wrong. Im already barely hanging onto my sanity as it is with the sheer amount of pressure on me, so it wouldn be a surprise to anyone if I ended up in a psych ward.
”Here, I grabbed one for you. ” Isa passes me a worksheet that the teacher is briefly explaining about.
As I grab the worksheet, I notice a girl staring at me from the corner of my eye. Curious, I turn to see who it is when I realize that she was the girl who was sitting at the table next to Abigail and Nicholas this morning. She sees that I caught her staring and immediately lowers her gaze. It wasn until after class that the girl came up to me.
”Um… excuse me, ” the girl mumbles after she tugs on my shirt.
Feeling the slight resistance behind me, I face the girl. ”Oh, hi! Whats the matter? ”
”Do… do you think you can help me? ” The girl can muster the courage to look me in the eye, but I can tell from her slowly tightening grip on my shirt that shes desperate about something.
I grab the girls hand then turn to Isa and John who are waiting for me. ”You guys can go on ahead. I want to talk to her for a minute. ”
”Ill tell Mrs. Lyne that youll be a bit late for second block. Its just a teachers assistant block, so attendance isn really an issue, ” Isa replies before waving goodbye and disappearing through the door with John in tow.
”Wheres your next class? ” I ask the girl.
”Upstairs C Hall, ” she whispers as I grab my bag.
”Ill walk you to class, and you can tell me what you need help with. Im Lillian by the way. ”
”Im Sienna. You were really cool this morning, ” she comments a bit louder this time.
I chuckle at the thought that someone sees me as cool. ”Thanks, I guess. What is it that you need help with? ”
Walking down the busy halls but still clinging onto my shirt, Sienna quiets down again. ”Can you help me get rid of my bully? I really admired how you were able to stand up against Abby and Nick, and I thought that, from bullied person to another, you could give me advice or be with me when I get bullied so that I can stand up to them too. ”
[Sienna is a junior who happened to skip a grade, so shes actually two years younger than everyone else in her class. I can see why others would bully her so that she doesn think too highly of herself.]
”Who is it thats bullying you? ” I ask as we proceed up the stairs.
”Rachelle Blight and Fiona Greenwell in the junior class. They have been picking on me since middle school when I skipped 7th grade and got stuck in their class. ”
[If I remember right, Rachelle is Abigails underling in cheerleading. Shes always stuck to Abigails hip whenever she can help it. However, I don know Fiona. I wonder who she is.]
”Sienna, do you think you can bare with the bullying for another day or two? ”
The timid girls hand releases from my shirt and quickly grabs my free hand. ”Please, don make me wait any longer. I don know if I can handle it any more. When I saw you this morning, I knew that I had to ask you as soon as I can. I can take their bullying anymore. Please. ”
One by one, I can feel the individual tears fall onto my hand as Sienna hides her face in her hair while we walk down the hall.
[Shes on the verge of letting go of everything if she can free herself from those two girls. I know how liberating it feels to get back at someone who has done nothing but hurt me, so I want this girl to feel the same thing. No one should get picked on just because of their accomplishments.]
We make it in front of Siennas classroom, so Sienna starts to wipe her face. Knowing the anxiety of letting other see my crying face, I cover Sienna and lift up her head by her chin. ”Today will be the last day you cry like this. I promise to help you, but you need to stay strong at least until tomorrow, ” I warmly advise as I wipe her eyes with my handkerchief that I keep in my back pocket. ”Can you do that for me? ”
Her slightly puffy eyes gaze up at me with a small twinkle that wasn there when I first saw her in class. Her face slowly turns red as she quickly nods to my request. ”Good, ” I mutter while fixing her hair out of her face. ”Now, go inside. Youll be late. ” I wave goodbye as she does the same then proceed to walk down the emptying hallway.
”Zaku, ” I call out.
”Do you wish for me to gather intel on those two girls that are bullying your new friend? ” Zaku asks from my shadow.
”Not only just on the two girls but also on Sienna. People don just skip grades because they are naturally gifted. Those
aturally gifted people are just kids who were conditioned to do well and now think that that is the only thing that they can do in life. ”
e saying that your new friend reminds you too much of yourself? You are one of the
aturally gifted people after all. ”
I stop in the middle of the hallway. Glaring down the staircase, I can feel my heart beating rapidly.
” I scoff in disbelief.
”Thats what everyone else thinks. Behind every
aturally gifted person is a parent or two who are pressuring them to do well without giving a care in the world about how the person feels. ”
Appearing in front of me with a bothered expression on his face, Zaku takes my hand and rushes me down the stairs. ”Follow me ” is all he says as I submissively go along with his sudden demand. It wasn long until we reached an empty classroom. Throwing me inside and locking the door behind him, Zakus overwhelming presences cascades a dark shadow over me. ”Why?! ”
”Why what? ” I ask, stunned by his darkening demeanor.
Zaku grabs my shoulders and pushes me down onto the teachers desk. ”Why are you helping others before you help yourself?! You are the most hurt out of everyone here. Why can you use my powers to help free yourself first? ”
As the clouds move out of the way, the sun peaks through the closed blinds behind me and shine bars of light over Zakus face. Once I can clearly see Zakus face, the pained look in his eyes as he stares down at me nearly pierces my heart.
[I vowed that I wouldn make him cry, and yet here I am witnessing this poor man wanting to cry because of me. Im such a bad bride.]
Reaching up, I gently caress Zakus face with my hand. ”Im sorry. Please don cry. ”
Zaku nuzzles his face into my hand then side-glances at me. ”What are you sorry about? ”
”Im sorry that I caused you to worry about me. Im sorry that Im not putting myself first. But you also know that its in my nature to put others before myself. ”
Releasing his grip on my shoulders, Zaku rests his head on my chest. ”Its not in your nature to put others before yourself. Its just that you never knew what it felt like to be selfish. You have me now, so you can be selfish all you want. Ill protect you from anything that happens from it. ”
I pet Zakus head as I look up at the ceiling. ”Ill try to be more selfish from now on, but it will take some time. For now, lets help Sienna with her problem, then we can deal with mine. Okay? ”
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