3. Cultivation: part one

When I came to the next morning, Ms. Duvinchi, the head maid, was there standing over me, “Ooh, he still lives,” she said in her thick Italian accent. “I don’t even want to know what you were doing down there,” she said before she walked out of the small washroom.

What happened that night went through my head all week. I couldn’t even concentrate on my homework. I managed to put it behind me though, and give the best presentation I could at the city finals of the E-Ex. Thankfully, it was mostly Al who did the talking. The fair was in the Little John Building at the east campus of Johansson University. The room was massive and was separated into different areas, one for each scientific theme: ecology, biology, physics, robotics, astronomy, medicine, etc. Ours was in the physics section along with dozens of other students. In total there were about a five hundred exhibits. The turn out was great with students from just about every high school in the city. Having no shame, we drew attention to our exhibit by playing some Bob Marley music, seeing how his songs have so much to do with cold fusion. We attracted a large audience who were intrigued by our project, the judges most importantly. I had my dad’s company to thank for that. Their old research was the source of most of our information.

I decided to walk around and check out some of the exhibits while Al and Chris stayed behind. I paced myself trying not to let my injured knee be a burden. As I walked through, I saw many different projects of a wide variety of topics. Some weren‘t all that impressive while others were intimidating. Both doubt and confidence were present in my thoughts, for some contestants had exhibits that looked like they spent half of their parent’s pay check on it. I tried not to give it much thought though, and remembered that I was on a mission to represent my school to the fullest, even if it meant waving a big banner that said “VIRTUE HIGH’S THE SHIT!”

Finally, I made it near the end of the exhibition hall where the theme was genetics. It was there when I saw someone who I hadn’t seen in ages. Her name was Beverly. The sad thing is that I can’t remember her last name. I don’t even think I knew it. I went to private school with her when I was about my brother’s age. You might say I had a little crush on her at some point. She always stood out amongst the other girls, she being one of the few Filipino girls in the school, and was now a beautiful young woman with long, streaming black hair and a pair of black horned-rimmed glasses that sat perfectly by her eyes. Our friendship was short lived unfortunately, and I parted ways aching to know her more personally. I thought that now was the perfect chance to get reacquainted. Her partners were nowhere to be seen and she was there alone organizing her exhibit which read What is mind, no mater. What is matter, never mind. Her project was on stem cell research. “Beverly!” I called out to her. She slightly jumped with a startle as if awakened from a daydream. She turned and looked at me absently, and soon a gentle smile unfolded across her face. “Anthony? Oh my God is that you?” she exclaimed. “I haven’t seen you in like what, five, six years.”

“Yeah, it’s been a while,” I said. “So how are you, what have you been up to?”

“Not much really. Just studying and all,” she said. “Plus all this. But how have you been doing? You like, disappeared off the face of the planet.”

“I’m cool,” I summarised.

“Well that’s great! So what school are you going to now?” she asked.

“Virtue High,” I answered.

“Really? Wow that’s a big change. So do you like get into fights everyday, cuz I always here of something happening there.”

“No, it’s not as bad as people think,” I said. “Just avoid making eye contact with certain people, that’s all. So what school do you go to now?”

“St. Patrick’s,” she replied. “Another private school. But why d’you go to a public one?”

“Long story,” I sighed. “But it’s cool though. It’s a better way of learning cuz you’re around different kinds of people, you know what I mean?”

She nodded her head in agreement. “Wow, this is insane,” she continued. “I never thought I’d see you here. Do you still talk to anyone from Helmsley?”

“Not really,” I said. “I might give a nod to a couple of people I recognise but that’s it.”

“Oh. Well, I still keep in touch with some of the girls from back then. Shauna, Terry, ya know.”

“That’s cool. So you know what you’re gonna do after you graduate?”

“Not really,” she said. “I don’t really know what I wanna do. I was lookin’ at a few schools but I’m still deciding. My sister just got into med school so all eyes are on me now, ya know. You remember Quinton?”

I nodded my head as I remembered the face.

“He’s singing now and moved out west. I hear he’s gonna get a recorded deal.”

“You serious?” I asked. “That kid was a walking American Idol. Guess that voice came in handy for something’.”

“But how about you?” she continued. “Oh yeah, and your uncle’s running for president. Have they picked out a spot for you in the White House yet? You’re probably being groomed to take the helm in your dad’s company anyways, right?”

“You’d think so, wouldn’t you,” I said on a stale note.

“You mean you’re not getting involved with Apollo Endeavours?”

“Nah. I think my dad knows better than to trust me with that sort of thing. But other than that, me and you are stuck on the same elevator. Not too sure what I wanna do after high school myself. It’s one of the reasons why I entered the E-Ex.”

“Yeah same here,” Beverly concurred. “I mean, you know how I’ve always liked this science stuff. I guess I’m just gonna get into that or something.”

“I’ve noticed. So you did your project on stem cells?”

“Yeah, but it’s what they’re doing now with stem cells that’s so interesting. Now they’re finding ways to use them to develop parts of the brain that people normally don’t use. There are hemispheres in the brain that show signs of ESP potential. I think that’s so cool; the whole idea of perceiving things with your mind. Precognition, telepathy, clairvoyance. It’s amazing.”

“Clairvoyance? What’s that?” I asked.

“You’re not just pretending to be interested are you?” she asked with a sly look.

“No, really. I wanna know.”

“Well, it’s kinda like looking out with your mind,” she explained. “You know, like seeing without eyes.”

“You mean like being aware of the environment, only with the mind?” I interpreted.

“Exactly,” she confirmed with a smile. “Say you’ve lost something. Or say someone got lost, or went missing, like a child. It might take you days searching for her, looking all over the place and asking people if they’ve seen her. But what if you could sense that child, just feel her living even if you’re miles away. And simply from that feeling you could know where she is. That’s clairvoyance.”

“Wow, that’s pretty cool,” I said. “Sounds like you put a lot of work into this project. Speaking of which, did you have a partner?”

“Yeah, I do. I have two,” she said looking around. “One of them is already here, she’s just in the washroom. But I have no idea where my other friend is. I guess she’s stuck in traffic or something.”

As soon as she said that, a sudden thought flashed across my mind. It was a thought of something terrible. Then the thought manifested into a lucid vision that I could clearly see. I didn’t want to raise the idea, out of fear of offending her, or just sounding stupid. But the thought had an urgency that pushed me to release it from my mouth. “Maybe she had a seizure,” I muttered.

Beverly just looked at me and smiled. “What do you mean-” she laughed as she was interrupted by the ringing of her cell phone. She went into her bag and pulled out a small cell phone with a pearlescent, customized face plate and answered it. The call was short and quick to the point, and as Beverly listened, her once bright face dimmed into a solemn complexion. She turned off the phone and looked at me. “Do you know Andrea?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face.

“No, why?”

“She was my other partner. That was her mother just now. Andrea has a mild case of epilepsy. She-she just had an attack and- and won’t be able to make it.”

There was an awkward silence before I said, “Are you serious?”

“Yeah. This was the first time she had one in years.” After my more than lucky guess, she was looking at me like I was from another planet. “Seriously, that was pretty weird. But I guess it’s just the two of us now. I hope we could still manage.”

“Don’t worry about it,” I reassured. “But this sucks though. The one time I get to see you since we were in elementary school, and something bad happens.”

“It’s okay,” said Beverly. “Her mother said she’ll be fine. And I’ll tell her you said hi when I see her.”

“All right then,” I said. “I’m at the other end of the auditorium by the way. I’ll see you around, okay.” We exchanged numbers and she gave me a hug goodbye, then I returned back to my exhibit. As I walked back I began to think about what just happened. I had no clue to how I knew the situation of Beverly’s friend, Andrea. I quickly dismissed it as a lucky guess.

The night continued on as normal. We did a pretty good job and scored high, but unfortunately, we weren’t among the three finalist. But despite the fact that she was short one partner, Beverly and her friend still managed to wow the judges and earned their way to the State Finals.

****

That must have been the last week I had as a normal person. If I had known that things were going to change, I probably would of spent those days appreciating my life. But soon after that week unusual things started to happen. Strange things. I developed a case of diarrhoea and I would have an attack everyday. Thankfully, they only occurred after school. On top of that, my stomach was upset constantly, and I was throwing up more than a runway modal backstage. But despite all this, I didn’t worry about suffering from dehydration or malnutrition, since I was eating pretty much everything in sight. My appetite was voracious. In the morning I couldn’t leave for class unless I had at least three pancakes with the tallest glass of milk. For lunch I would have a hotdog and six slices of pizza, then two cans of Dr. Pepper to wash it all down. My friends made sure to stay at least two feet away from me, fearing that they would be my next meal. Looking back at it now, I must have spent no less then twenty dollars a day on lunch alone. Dinner was a whole other story. Steaks, pork, fried rice, chicken, all in one sitting, or potatoes, be they mashed or baked, and not to mention lots and lots of pasta. Not a day went by that week when I could be seen in that house without something in my hand being eaten. And miraculously, I didn’t even gain any weight the entire time. Not a single pound.

If that wasn’t strange enough, what followed next was even more ridiculous. I began to have small quick shocks that were like one second seizures; small jolts of what felt like electricity springing from inside my muscles. I started to have them every so often, one day after the next. The first couple of days I had three. The next day I had six. And the next day I had twelve. But on one day I remembered having about forty-five of those jolts. This lasted for about a week and I was all too concerned. First I saw my eyes glow as if I was some kind of wolf in the night, and now I was having electric seizures. What was going on? What was happening to me?

To make matters worse, I was also having these jolts in public places. The worst of these, I’ll never forget. It was a Thursday morning and I was in my first period class- gym. We were in the pool that day; swimming was part of the curriculum. Everyone was swimming around and enjoying themselves when suddenly I began to feel dizzy. The entire pool area seemed to be alternating and twisting, like water going down a drain. I was about to throw up, but it stopped. Then it was replaced by a tingling sensation on my skin. It soon became more intense and felt more like a fierce itching. The itching then moved down from my skin like worms digging deeper into soil and made its way to my muscles. It felt like an electrical current shooting through all my limbs. I couldn’t control it. I struggled to raise my hands. They were vibrating furiously. No one else in the pool or around it seemed to notice my condition. I could feel the voltage building and building up until I couldn’t hold it in any longer when CRACKLE- a burst of electrical energy shot through the water, causing everyone to jump out of the pool like popcorn in a microwave. I was the only one left in the pool, for I was the source. I stood there motionless as my body cooled down and returned to normal. Everyone stood on the deck staring at me as they shivered from the air. I didn’t know what to do so I said the first thing that came to mind. “What?” I said indignantly, as if I was the one that should be confused.

Afterward, they closed down the pool for about a week. As far as they could tell, one of the underwater lights overheated and burst, sending a shock of electricity throughout the pool. They couldn’t be farther from the truth. After that incident, the jolts and inching continued to the point where I developed rashes on my arms and neck from all the scratching. I was embarrassed to show my skin in public, so instead of wearing the usual designer jeans with just a wife-beater, I had to wear the entire ensemble with the matching denim jacket. I even bought a new pair of Jordans to go with it. Luckily it was early December so no one cared. But I was still going through hell.

And the dreams kept coming.

The poor girl in the alleyway. There would be nights when I wouldn’t dream at all. But when I did, it always had that same girl, Elicia,  calling to me for help. But now the dream was different. Ever since that night when I dreamt of that old house with that old man, the dream had changed. Instead of waking up after the girl spoke to me, she would simply vanish. Then a large beastly looking figure, cloaked in shadow and darkness, would appear out of the surrounding gloom. It towered over me, and the surrounding darkness itself seemed to be the shadow in which it cast. But a light was shining behind it, outlining its hulking silhouette. Indeed there was a light. And this being would only say, “GHOST EYE.” Its voice was like a giant’s whisper. What did it mean? Was I going crazy? I thought about seeking help so I can get some answers, but then decided that I should wait it out and see what happens. Perhaps this was just a phase. But why was I having it? That I was yet to find out.

During that period I was constantly tired and drowsy, even after a good night’s sleep. I slept as often as a baby. Sometimes falling asleep in class and sleeping in on weekdays. But when this slumberous state had finally passed, I realized that those sudden jolts I was having had ceased, and the chronic itching and rashes had gone, along with that insane appetite and diarrhoea. But what really caught my attention was that my knee made a full recovery. With these abnormalities out of the picture, and besides the odd few dreams, I was able to once again live a normal life for a couple of days. After those two days, however, my life was never again the same.

On the third day, a Tuesday I believe, I was on my way to my locker after school. When I made it to the third floor I approached that same old, peculiar door that’s as stiff as a board to open. I pulled it open expecting it to give me trouble as always, but amazingly it opened easily as the legs of a back street hooker. At first I thought that they had finally got someone to oil it. But as I walked away, another student came along and struggled to open the door as though it’s always been the same. “That’s strange,” I said to myself.

I continued on my way forgetting what just happened. As I walked through the long halls of Virtue High, the sound of my footsteps suddenly got louder. As I continued to walk the sound got more intense. Pretty soon my foot steps were so loud, it sounded as if I was some kind of giant! I immediately stopped and looked around. People must of heard that. My steps were loud enough for people to hear a mile away. But as others passed by, they seemed perfectly natural, as if they didn’t hear a thing. I proceeded on my way, confused and puzzled. And once again the loud stomping returned, louder than ever, each step sending an echo across the hall. But as I looked around it seemed that I was the only one hearing it. I began to feel nauseous. I had to stop and lean on a locker. But even when I stopped, the stomping was now replaced by the many voices to the minuscule sounds of the school. Somehow, my ears were amplifying the sounds around me, allowing me to pick up every individual sound in the surrounding area. It felt like there were two giant speakers set upon my shoulders, blasting all this ruckus noise into my head. There was nothing but chaos. I could hear the naive chattering of the other students, the hip-hop music playing on the second floor, the birds calling to each other outside, the water flowing through the pipes and vanes of this high school, and people’s footsteps and heartbeats. Cell phones kept ringing in my head. An engine revving in the parking lot seemed like it would shatter my skull. It was unbearable. I couldn’t stand it! I quickly closed my eyes and covered my ears with my hands as tightly as possible, praying for it to stop. Not being able to take it any more, I let out the loudest cry at the top of my lungs. Then suddenly it was over. My hearing toned down to a lesser intensity. I slowly opened my eyes and released my hands from my ears. My heartbeat gently slowed down from a rapid pulse to a more subtle, calmer rhythm. When I looked up, of course everyone was staring at me. But still having their teenage attention span, they quickly returned to their gossip.

Although my hearing returned to an almost normal frequency, somehow it was still extremely sensitive. I could just about hear the silent vibrations from the vents, and the echoing of minute sounds, but it was stable enough for me to take it. I slowly stood up with a new confidence. I began to walk with amazement in this supernatural, harmonic soundscape. I was hearing things that no ordinary human could. Considering all the other strange things that have been happening to me, I began to think to myself, What’s happened to me? Am I mutating? How am I hearing these things? Is this temporary or permanent? Am I dying? I kept those thoughts in my head as I wandered around listening to the wonders of the building. I could hear the air moving past me, and tiny insects, flies, and other critters that lurked in the shadows. But in the background there was this ambient hum, a continuous tone. With enough concentration I was able to focus in on it and drown out the other sounds. I then realized that this humming was actually a myriad of individual sounds. I looked to see where one of these was coming from. It was a fire extinguisher, it was emitting a sound! Every inanimate object was emitting some low pitched sound. I didn’t know what it was. Was it the sound of their particles vibrating at a molecular level, or was it the sound of the light they were reflecting, or was it both? Either way, I was able to single out everything in the school simply by the sound it was making. From that single spot where I stood I could hear the socks on my feet, a piece of eggshell in the cafeteria, a couple making out in the girls washroom, a gym towel, droplets sitting in a water bottle, and an ipod. I was freaking out, and yet I was astonished. It was incredible!

I remained in this state of consciousness for God knows how long. I was so bewildered that I lost track of time. It was then when I noticed several guys rushing to the east wing of the school along with a lot of commotion from other students. What’s this all about? I thought to myself. I was about to ask someone of what was going on, when I suddenly overheard Anna, one of Elizabeth’s friends who was short and a bit on the chunky side, anxiously informing the rest of her crew that Chris had just been ambushed by Elizabeth’s ex-boyfriend Justin. It was unlikely that Chris could smooth talk his way out of this one, and a fight was sure to happen.

I took no time to listen for additional information. I immediately raced off to the scene. Down the hall, past the doors, across the breeze-way, I was running as fast as I could, faster than ever, but I barely noticed that I wasn’t even fatiguing, even though I was in a full sprint. But my friend was about to get his ass served to him, and knowing Justin Thomas, Chris didn’t stand a chance. That was all that mattered.

The fight was in a secluded area outside the school. When I finally got there, there was a crowd of people and not a staff member in sight. Luckily, the battle had not yet begun. “I hear you’ve been tryin’ out my girl, you cock sucker!” said Justin with unmistakable hate and anger in his voice.

“Hey! She ain’t your girl all right!” spat Chris, “She’s through with you! It’s O-VER! So why don’t you take your sorry ass on home so you can whack-off to some bitch in a magazine!” After hearing that, a low soft “OOH” sailed its way across the voices of the anxious students. Chris was bluffing. I could tell. He never faced anybody of Justin’s stature or status for that matter. And he obviously wasn’t too confident if he would be going home with all two hundred and six bones fully intact. I could see the beads of sweat forming on his forehead. His lips were also trembling. I stood there watching for Justin’s next move. Surprisingly, he took Chris’ statement quite well.

“Listen, you little cum shot,” said Justin as he held back his rage. “I will pretend I didn’t hear that, and let you walk home with all your teeth. Just stay- the fuck- away from her. You hear me?”

Chris then answered with quivering fear in his voice, “No, Justin. She’s mine.” Once again the “OOH” returned. Justin’s lips tightened like a straitjacket. His fists became as hard as boulders. There was anger in his eyes; ablaze like red-hot fire. And in a single blur of his arm, he took a swing at Chris, and POW, he knocked him down to the ground. Chris laid on the concrete with his hand on the side of his face, covering his wounded left eye. “Ah, fuckin’ shit!” he screamed in pain. Before Chris could get up, Justin was about to finish his work on him. I immediately jumped in between the two enemies. Why didn’t I act sooner? At that point, I wasn’t really quite sure what I was doing. All I knew is that I had to do something.

I said, “Take it easy man, he’s already down.”

“Bud out, rich boy,”  replied Justin. “This doesn’t concern you.”

“Oh yeah? Well I’m makin’ it my concern.”

“Do em’ like you did Chris, man!” outburst one of Justin’s boys.

“Shut up,” ordered Justin. He then turned his head to face me. “You’re one brave son of a bitch you know that?” He looked down at me with contempt.

Justin and I weren’t enemies. We weren’t exactly friends either. But obviously he wasn’t too fond of me at that moment. And he being a star on the high school football team, I wasn’t any more confident in the results of this situation than Chris was. Where’s Al when I need him, I thought to myself. “Listen, guy,” I said. “I don’t wanna fight you. Chris here is already knocked down, alright, you proved your point. Just let me grab him and we’ll leave.” Justin’s position did not waver one bit, and knowing that his steroid to blood ratio was probably forty to one, I figured that reasoning with him was out of the question.

“Your boy here‘s been messin’ around with my girl,” Justin continued. “Someone here’s gotta get an ass-whoppin’. And if it ain’t gonna be him, it’s gonna have to be you.”

Suddenly, I felt a deep, indescribable anger within me. I looked at him with a hate that came out of nowhere. It was a combination of pity, disgust, and detestation all rolled into one and all towards Justin. “Listen to yourself,” I said, shaking my head with narrowed eyes. “All that juice in your brain has clouded your judgement.”

That struck a nerve. “What the fuck did you say?” Justin drew back his arm and shot it towards the side of my face, all in a split second. I could still feel the force of that blow: like a swinging log ramming into my head, like I would be brought down like the Twin Towers. I imagined that consciousness would be yanked out of me, but it wasn’t.

Justin held his fists in their ready position, with bewilderment displayed on his face. I was still standing! I straitened myself up with my hand on the side of my face. “Ow?” I said with confusion. The hit didn’t hurt as much I thought it would. Actually, there was hardly any pain at all. I thought that Justin was simply playing around, but then he tensed up his muscle again and returned another. This time it hurt a little, but I continued to keep my balance. I swung my head back to face him, just to let him know that he was going to have to do better than that. When our audience saw this they were amazed. Even Chris, who lay defenseless on the cold hard ground, was staring at me with shock. Everyone knew that no one has ever taken a punch from Justin Thomas and managed to keep both his feet firmly on terra firma.

How am I still standing? I thought to myself. Justin must be weaker than I thought. Or was he. I knew there had to be more to this. Maybe those years of kung-fu lessons had given me a higher tolerance to pain. Or perhaps those weird things that have been happening to me had something to do with it. I removed myself from my thoughts to focus on the task at hand. I prayed for a miracle to intervene. But already being fortunate enough to be born into wealth, I knew that luck wouldn’t give me a break this time.

Justin was now more enraged than ever. Seeing how I took those shots simply fueled his anger. Before anyone could think, he unloaded a truck load of jabs, cuffs, tumps, and blows to my face, chest, and stomach. What felt like an eternity was actually a few seconds. His blows were finally taking effect, they were wearing me down as he knocked me around like a rag doll. I couldn’t just stand there and let him beat the shit out of me, so I quickly ducked out of the path of the next jab. Justin proceeded with his attack. The crowd that surround us had grown from two dozen to four dozen. They were on their toes with excitement as they cheered us on. FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

I continued to dodge and weave between Justin’s swings, making him look like a fool. His face was even redder now with a combination of rage and embarrassment. His boys were standing by to get what was left of me when he was done. I was dodging and weaving so fast and so smoothly that I felt as if there was some kind of flow to my movements, as if I wasn’t of solid material. Make note of that.

Pretty soon Justin’s repeated attempts to connect one of his swings began to get on my nerves. Once again the rage began to swell in me. When I was far enough for me to safely communicate, I said, “Listen, Thomas. I’m trying to be the peaceful guy and settle this in a non-violent manner. But if you don’t simmer down and listen to reason, I may be forced to do something that I won’t regret. It’s in your best interest that you leave.”

Justin did not heed. Instead, he responded with, “What? You think you got balls, rich boy? You think you’re hard?”

There was a pause of silence. I heard the wind blow.

Then he continued, “You think you’re better than me?”

I took a moment to think of what I should say, something I didn’t usually do. “Um, yeah,” I responded nonchalantly. That was it. Justin had enough of this shit, and he launched a jab towards my face that could end all fights. What then followed changed the way I look at myself forever. Right before Justin’s fist was half way to my face, something took over me. It was as if all conscious thought fell asleep at the wheel and instinct took control. My hand suddenly shot up and caught Justin’s fist in mid flight, all in a tenth of a second. This new side of me allowed anger to flow into my hand, and I began to tighten my grip on Justin’s helpless hand to the point where I was literally squeezing it with an inhuman strength. My hand was closing so hard that the bones in Justin’s hands began to crack under the pressure. It sounded like nuts snapping in a nutcracker. I could feel his metacarpals and phalanges popping beneath his skin. Justin screamed in agony. But this new side of me was not turned off. This felt good! And with one swift twist of my hand, I twisted his arm. A quick snapping sound confirmed the break. Justin let out another cry. His boys were immobilized with shock. But I wasn’t finished. I let go of Justin’s twisted arm, spun around, and returned with a swift roundhouse kick to his face. He flew back twenty feet and was caught by three spectators. And that was the end.

But this new side of me still wasn’t satisfied. It wanted more. It wanted blood. I was just about to rush over to Justin’s helpless body and rip him apart, when out of nowhere Al sprang up in front of me and struggled to hold me back. “Whoa! Cool it, man, chill out!” he shouted. It took a few seconds for me to simmer down. When I finally got a hold of myself, there was a moment of dizziness and disbelief. My mind went blank for a second, and for a moment I felt as if I was in that shrouded stage between dreaming and waking up. What just transpired became a blur and I was overwhelmed with shock. I looked around and it seemed like a quarter of the school was watching me with amazement. I gave one last look at Al. He was still restraining me. There was this look of disbelief and concern in his eyes, as if he no longer knew me. At that moment, I released myself from his grip and ran off as fast as I could. One thing I knew for sure was that I wasn’t going back to school the next day, or perhaps the day after, or even the day after that.

I didn’t bother calling for the Rolls Royce to come pick me up. I made my way to the nearest maglev station on Osgood. As I waited on the platform, hundreds of thoughts were running through my head. What the fuck just happened! What the fuck just happened! What the fuck just happened! a million times over. Puberty was one thing, but this was really messed up. I had no idea what was going on, and I didn’t know what to expect.

Finally the maglev coasted into the station. I got on board and grabbed a seat before they were all taken. The magnetic train then slid out of the station and sped off. Sitting by a window, I began to reflect on the event that just took place. How would my friends see me now? I thought to myself. Then I remembered Justin. How badly did I hurt him? I wouldn’t know. Everything was a blur. But strangely enough, this unusual sense of self-satisfaction began to seep its way into my mind. And a new sense of confidence began to reassure me. I beat up Justin, I thought to myself, Nice! I continued to contemplate on my thoughts as I watched Lucicrescens whiz by outside. Staring outside the window of a moving vehicle was how I did most of my deep thinking, if any. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t notice that my head shifted to the side a little and I involuntarily began to stare at a cute looking brunette across from me. She was wearing a tank-top, miniskirt, and had the sexiest legs, with that golden complexion one can only get from South America or really good genes. She had a bellybutton ring that seemed to wink at me. But like an idiot I didn’t realize her boyfriend was right next to her. My eyes were fixed on her, but my mind was light years away. Of course, she noticed my gazing, smiled at me, and gave me a simple wave of her pinkie finger. At the same time, her boyfriend noticed this wordless conversation, and clearly took it the wrong way. “Hey! You see somethin’ ya like?” he called out to me.

“Excuse me?” I asked, coming back to reality.

“Nah, don’t gimme dat shit!” burst the boyfriend. “I saw you lookin’ at her like a little pervert. You mind your own business, ya hear!”

As soon as he said this I wanted to knock him down on his ass. Too bad he was already sitting. I had an urge to provoke him so he could start something, just to see if I could do him in like I did Justin. I joggled with the thought of winking at her in clear site of her boyfriend, or blowing her a kiss then shoot a glace at him. But I concluded that I didn’t need any more drama for the day. So I just let it slide. “Yeah, I’d be sure to do that,” I finally responded.

“You better,” the boyfriend replied. He then turned back to his girl. However, he kept an eye on me throughout their entire trip on the train. I did my best to ignore him. Finally their stop arrived and they got off hand-in-hand, the girl sneaking a quick glance at me. I was finally able to relax.

When I got home, I was mentally exhausted from all the thinking. From the time I walked in to when I made it to my room, not a single thought entered my head. After I showered in an attempt to wash off the sense of filth that was festering on my skin, I put on a change of clothes and headed down stairs to the kitchen. There I met Jonathan sitting at the table- with a girl. I paused for a second, then finally I began to think again. “Eh, Anthony,” Jonathan called out. “You’re home early.” Of course he still had on that stupid toque.

“I guess I am,” I said, still puzzled from what I was seeing.

“Uh, this is Tiffany. Tiffany, this is my brother, Anthony,” Jonathan introduced.

“Hi,” she said in a shy voice, her long, dark, oriental hair passing over her shoulders.

“How’s it goin’,” I responded. Just then the toilet flushed in the near by washroom, and out stepped another girl, a brunette.

“Hey,” this one said, also in a shy voice. Embarrassment was already seen on young Jonathan’s face.

“I must be really early,” I said to myself.

“Uh, Anthony, this is Susan. Susan- Anthony,” Jonathan again introduced. Susan then gave me a dainty wave. In a hasty attempt to get out of that awkward predicament, I grabbed the first edible product I saw and posted my retreat. “Well anyways,” I stammered, “I better leave you three alone. Those pirated movies aren’t gonna download themselves, you know. Nice meetin’ you guys.”

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