Their constant insults and jeering laughter meld into one continuous sound that makes you want to cover your ears and just yell at them the shut up…but you already knew in some desolate corner of your mind that it would only make the bullying worse.
Then came the kicking and shoving. Body braced with the only thought of them oncoming pain you were about to experience- It still didn’t lessen the abuse. A stinging kick to your shin that would certainly bruise later…a forceful shove into the wall…a cut made just a little under your eye.
“Aww…would you take a look at the little freak. Are you hurt?” a girl cackled, while the others immediately followed suit.
Swallowing thickly you spat, “Do me a favor and get the hell away from me.”
Another kick in the stomach that makes you crumple to the ground in agony. “Why don’t you do me a favor and just die? There’s no need for useless scum like you now is there?”
You smirked, [EyeColor] orbs glinting dangerously. “I could say the same for you.”
The crowd started dispersing soon after she left, but not before slapping you across the face. The attack left a stinging mark on your cheek as you tentatively touched it just as the first bell rang.
Well…no use for going to class. Even if you did happen to make it to class you would be late, in pain, and laughed at. Not something worth looking forward to you thought with a sigh.
“Classroom 3-A…where could that be? Ve~?”
Looking up just as the oncoming stranger looked down, the two of caught each other’s eyes and you looked back down to avoid any more awkwardness. He’ll probably just treat you like the rest of the school, moving on without another word or look towards your direction. Instead, you were surprised to see his face peering back at yours. You jumped.
“You’re hurt, bella.” He looked at you sadly, eyes drifting towards the cut that was probably still bleeding pathetically.
Quickly covering your cheek with your palm, you winced slightly before quickly answering, “A-Ah…that’s um…I tripped. So yeah. No problem.” By the looks of it, this guy was probably a new student. Plus his accent...he must have transferred.
But you doubted the transfer student was even listening to you because he was still busy fumbling around in his bag. “Here,” he takes out a napkin from said bag and presses it softly against your cut, “Does that feel a little better, ve?”
Blushing brightly you retorted, “I-I’m fine r-really! There’s no need to-“
You could feel his fingertips pressed against your cheek…if only the napkin would move out of the way. He smiled, and you felt the pulse of your heart quicken to a dull throb. “Relax bella~ You will feel better soon.”
So there you sat, the two of you staring off into the distance as a billion thoughts were jumbled up and bouncing around your head. You were sitting with a transfer student, his hand on top of yours, and you were pressing a napkin to your face. How did bullying come to this…?
He had wanted to bring you to the nurse’s office but you shot down that idea quickly after telling him how many times you’ve been there already and how you didn’t really want to trouble her anymore. Then he suggested bringing you to class which you also dismissed with a simple “I don’t want to”. As much as you didn’t want to be found sitting in the corridor of a school hallway with the new Italian student- you found out after asking him a few questions, it hurt to move so if you were caught you didn’t think you’d care much anyways.
“They hurt you?”
The question broke the silence as you adjusted yourself so it was a little more comfortable. Removing the napkin, you folded it neatly into a small square before answering, “Yeah. It’s been going on for awhile. Not that big of a surprise.”
“Why?” his voice was confused, slightly worried. You felt kind of happy that this next to complete stranger cared about you in some way.
“A lot of reasons actually. Long story short, I’m different…and some people don’t like that,” the stinging pain on your cheek seemed to be getting better but it was still a reminder.
“T-They shouldn’t be doing that to you, bella,” he mumbled, warm hand grasping yours a little tighter.
You laughed, but it was a bitter one. “Thanks for everything. But there isn’t really anything you can do. They’ll keep doing what they want and the more you oppose them, the more pain you’ll suffer.”
You turned to look at him, this time slightly surprised to see determined brown eyes staring back at you. “I-I’ll protect you…I’m not that good at fighting but I don’t want you hurt!” his once-smiling chocolate brown eyes were masked with sadness and your heart nearly broke when you saw a single tear race down his face.
Wiping the tear quickly away with the back of your hand, you hugged him back with as much force your broken little body could muster. For some reason you felt compelled to show this act of affection, perhaps it was because of the way he promised to protect you and in a way…it made you feel a little bit safer.
“You don’t have to fight anyone Feliciano,” you gave him a single smile; looking back at the boy you could now call your friend. “As long as you’re here with me, smiling that happy smile of yours…I’ll be happy. Sappy I know, but it’s true,” you kissed his cheek gently to show how sincere you were.
“O-Okay,” he tried smiling back at you and you laughed- this time for real.
That day, you were busted by the school principal for being found dozing off on the shoulder of the newest transfer student from Italy in the school corridor. Many rumors arose soon after, but you paid no attention to any of them. Somehow your new friend (you wouldn’t admit he was becoming something more) managed to raise your self-confidence and the bullying ceased after you stood up to the bullies once and for all.
Maybe it was a happy ending, but at the end of the day…the only thing you were most thankful for was that transfer student who was kind to you in the hallway. And who everyday when he walked you home from school would whisper-
“I’ll always protect you [Name].” And sealed that promise with a kiss.