The next morning I arrived, I found myself making my way straight to the homeroom I just got accustomed to yesterday. The usual group of people gazed upon my entrance, as if I was some mythical creature, however, some of the girls gazes turned into admiration rather than fear. I stopped directly at Junpeis seat, his head tilting up to look at me.
"Wow-" He gasped to himself in awe.
"What are you staring like that at me for? Anyway, morning Hayashi Junpei-san." I greeted him. He smiles at me before returning my greeting much as he usually does.
"Im just curious, but have you noticed any of Torus gang giving you glares as you walk past?" The thought slipped from my mind and I quickly peered in both directions checking in for potential listeners.
"If Im being honest, Kioshi, I have and its really starting to freak me out. What if they decided to make a move against me...or even worse, against my family." His confessions were genuine. His hands tremored and his eyes watered helplessly.
I always thought Junpei was on the soft side, too feeble too altruistic, too unresolved too unrehearsed. Irrational and credulous would describe his day-to-day life. "You know Junpei, you need to man up. You need to grow your confidence and credibility as a man and one of the best ways you could attain such self-assurance, would be by learning to defend yourself to the point where you should be able to beat practically anyone in a fight."
Junpei scratched his cheek timidly. "Maybe..."
In his eyes, one thing was perspicuous and that was his inaptitude to conceptualize an unassailable version of him. The him that sat in this cramped classroom, evoked a strange feeling of nostalgia that stirred within me a vestige of my past.
"Junpei, life changes as quickly as the weather and moves so much faster than we wish it did. Phases of life will come about that will bring sorrow, guilt and pain that will break you into fragments. The roughest patches of rain always emerge after long spells of content and gaiety. So like a man that was condemned by everyone as a fool, manufacture the preventive measures before all else is washed away amongst the fools who became complacent in a wallowing sense of security that never existed." My head lowered as the words spewed from my mind. From an onlooker, this would be considered advice, yet deep down no matter my rational brains calculation, my mind irked me to send a warning to someone who once may have occupied a place in my heart that once beat full of freedom.
Junpei, upon receiving my words, looked down in mortification, clearly affected by my message.
"Ill try." He finally replied and seeming content with his words, I returned to my desk, awaiting the beginning of the lecture.
"Torus gone, huh..." I whispered, my eyes hovering over to his desk where his presence was missing.
"Hnnngggggh...." My voice materialised from my exaggerated stretches as the lunch bell rang. I attempted to saunter over to Junpeis desk to head off to lunch but was unconventionally halted by a flock of girls who like a trained pack of lions surrounded their prey. I eventually managed to free myself from their grasp, sprinting into the hallway and grabbing Junpei on the way.
"Why are we off to the cafeteria today?" His voice questioned my decision which just yesterday ate outside.
"Well, I forgot to grab the lunch that Sato made for me so I have to go and buy myself something. Trust me, I wouldn want to eat the cafeteria food if I had Satos food." I grimaced at the thought of her other-worldly cooking.
"Ah, thats right. You don know who she is. Well to keep it short, shes been my guardian ever since my parents died all those years back." I revealed with a calm tone. He looked spooked by the way I said it. Perhaps, it lacked the expected emotion?
He dropped the topic after that and we soon queued up in line. "Its not too long looking at things. I guess this isn awful." I observed closely.
"Thats only because we somehow managed to get here earlier than others even, with that horde seeking your attention." He explained, pushing his glasses further up his nose.
Then, without notice, three 3rd years pushed through a line of people and stepped past me and Junpei, disregarding everyone in concern.
"Those three are a part of the gang, they are actually the 3 top brawlers under Kenji." Junpei informed me upon recognising the troublemakers.
I casually nod and take a mental note of the words spoken to me before I grasped one of the 3rd years collars and pulled him back, making him fall out of line. "We stood here first, senpais, so take your arses to the back of the queue and wait your turn." I reasoned politely to the lot of them, the remaining two turning towards me as I did so.
One of them attempts to push me over, clearly using significant force, whilst I remained like a stone statue completely unmoved. His friend, however, managed to use that chance to slip away and re-group with his friends. The three clustered around us, the fat one being front and centre.
e a big one. Is your mother a gorilla by any chance?" I taunted with a nonchalant look on my face. His fist tightened tremendously as his veins popped from his forearms and face. I must have struck a nerve.
"Wow. Really scary. But you should head back to your family at the zoo, you monkey-brained **." Junpei throughout my taunts tried to stop me, pulling a really nervous face as sweat leaked off of him.
He couldn take more and the big guy swung at me with might. I readjusted my feet and weaved under the blow, slightly shifting out of the big guys range. The other two follow in on my retreat and dash in from both sides. I unknowingly smile to myself. I then turn my attention to the faster one on my left jumping and twisting my body delivering a 360-turning kick spin using the first rotation to send him flying and then twisting my body in the opposite direction and landing the second kick on the others solar plexus knocking both unconscious within one hit.
The whole cafeteria erupts in loud cheers, some have their phones out and others are swarming in a circle. Nonetheless, the big guy doesn back down and he tries to throw a straight only for me to skillfully evade by getting low on the ground and then sweeping the back of his knee forcing him to fall to the ground. A suffocated grunt sounded from his lungs who just had their wind knocked out of them.
I quickly position my legs over my opponents chest as leverage and hold his strong arm pressing it against my bridged-up hips to hyperextend the joint in his elbow and in one swift sequence breaking it, leaving him wailing in pain.
"AAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Soon after his cry, his eyes rolled back and he went silent. I stand up and dust myself off, then returned to the queue and got some onigiri for myself and Junpei and proceeded to leave.
On the way over to the field, Junpei breaks the silence he held throughout the fight when he backed off into the crowd and watched. "Where did you learn to fight?"
"Overseas." I say, laughing awkwardly at his amazed demeanour.
"I need to be strong. I know I do. So can you please teach me how to fight?" He pleaded on his knees with his head down. My words got through to him after all and my actions reinforced that image in his head. Just as I expected.
"Ill teach you Junpei, sure. Come to my house four days a week." I say with a smirk that spread like a disease across my face.
His eyes lit up like a puppy and I could have sworn he grew a tail for a second, but he continued by thanking me whilst jumping up and down crazily.
I wonder if this will be enough for him. Ha. Who am I kidding? Nothing will ever be enough for him to stop that day. All this will bring for him is self-loathing and desperation to surpass an unsurmountable wall that forever looms past the skies and all else known. I will make him suffer... and claim my promised. REVENGE!