Trigger warning: Felix's part chapter contains physical violence/abuse/bullying which can be triggering to some readers.
Today, Morrow has decided to keep an eye out for Felix. When she had decided that the day before, she didn't know where these thoughts came from. Now she knew. Felix didn't remember her from the night he saved her. This way, she could help him, as he helped her. Maybe he would eventually recognize her, maybe he wouldn't. It didn't really matter, either way, she would help him. And hopefully, in return, she could finally get rid of the guilt and debt she felt like she had to pay.
She waited near the entrance of the school but when the bell rang, he still hadn't shown. He was probably late, she thought. A bit disappointed she went to class and hoped to see him in the break, which was over two hours away.
They were sitting at the lunch table they had claimed at the beginning of the year. Or Nathalie and Stephanie did. Abi, Inez, and Morrow were just happy to join their crew.
'Huh?' She turned her head, half towards Nathalie.
She looked at Morrow, an amusing grin on her face. 'What's up with you? I called you like three times and you didn't even respond.'
'Her head's in the clouds,' Stephanie said, stuffing her face with some salad she brought from home. 'Thinking about some guy, am I right?'
Morrow rolled her eyes and shifted her gaze to Stephanie. 'Whatever. I'm just a bit worried.'
Stephanie stopped chewing and even Nathalie looked surprised. 'What's up with you? Since when are you worried about someone other than yourself?'
'Right?' Stephanie exclaimed. 'And not even denying the fact that you were staring. Who were you staring at anyway?' Stephanie tried to get to see Morrow's point of view.
But the subject Morrow was thinking about, wasn't there yet. It was the first break and he could have a first and second period off, but still, she couldn't get rid of this nervous feeling. After what happened yesterday, it worried her. Things could be different for each person, but knowing what she does, having a panic attack, and going to school as nothing happened, would be devastating for someone's mental health.
'I'm going to check something. I'll be back soon.' Morrow packed her stuff and without saying anything she walked towards the exit of the school building.
'Morrow, what the hell?' Stephanie said surprised.
On her way towards the exit, she came by Abi and Inez. 'Morrow, are you okay?'
She ignored them. Her feeling was telling her something was wrong. Very, very wrong. The first day she arrived, this Felix guy was talking with three guys, Ben, Theodore, and Oliver. Bullies of the first rank. Then, Felix had a panic attack yesterday and she had a quick chat with the three of them. No bully likes to be told what to do and what not. If her feeling was correct, she made a big mistake.
When she arrived outside the sun was shining and it was warm for once. Probably one of the last times before fall set in.
The corner she was looking for, was quickly found but it was empty. There was no one there. No bullies and no Felix. Confusion washed over her as she walked back towards the entrance.
'Hé, Morrow!' Nathalie half-walked, half-ran out of school. 'What's going on?'
Morrow shook her head and tried to shake off the bad feelings that were nestled deep in her stomach. 'Nothing, I'm just worried about someone.'
'Since when are you worried about another person?'
That one hurt, but Morrow had to admit: it was kind of true. She usually didn't care that much to the point she was worried about another person than herself. Of course, she cared about others, but as soon as there were problems she could easily take her hands off. So why not now?
'Whatever. Let's go back inside.'
Nathalie followed her back inside, but Morrow couldn't escape her confused gaze. Morrow was just as confused. Why couldn't she simply let go? Why was this particular guy different?
Trigger warning: this part contains physical violence/abuse/bullying which can be triggering to some readers.
When Felix went to school that day, the day started rough. He woke up late, his mother did as well and they both had to rush to work and get Ethan to eat faster than usual.
He didn't mind the rush, but everything went wrong that morning. Ethan was eating excruciatingly slow, he spilled his milk all over himself, which resulted in him needing to change again. His mother was out the door with a quick kiss and she expected Felix to drive Ethan to his school. This made Felix too late for his class. Luckily, the teacher didn't mind that much but he did get stares from the rest of his classmates.
He could almost feel the stares of Ben, T, and Oliver on his back and dreaded the moment he would have to be alone with them. This happened between the first and second classes. Felix had to use the bathroom. Normally, he wouldn't go since the bathrooms didn't have cameras, but because of the hectic morning, he didn't have time to go to the bathroom at home.
When Felix exited the bathroom stall, they awaited him already. He didn't see Oliver but he was probably waiting outside.
'Hi, Felix.' T's voice sounded slimy and he had a crazy look in his eyes. For some reason, it didn't have the usual effect on Felix. Normally, his bones would've melted by now, but he was still standing. Fear and anger have always battled in him but at this moment anger had won. He was annoyed, to say the least.
'What do you want?' His voice sounded way too disrespectful, but he didn't plan on taking it back. Not today. He walked towards the sink to wash his hands and grabbed the soap.
Ben snorted. 'Excuse me? Why so rude? We were just saying hi. But I am glad you asked.' He leaned against the sink where Felix was washing his hands under the cold water. T was behind him and blocking his escape route. 'Tell me, you have a girlfriend now?'
'What?' He went on washing his hands. He snuck a quick glance at Ben through the mirror. 'No. Where did you get that?'
'We had a little chat with miss cotton candy.'
'Who?' It took Felix a minute of staring at Ben before he got it. 'Morrow? You mean her?' He walked to the paper towels to dry his hands, and both Ben and T followed him, enclosing him against the wall.
'She had pink hair.'
He nodded. 'Yeah, that's Morrow. What did you want from her?'
'Aren't you listening? She had something to say to us.' Ben told him, his voice sounding deeper and more threatening than a second ago.
'Yeah? I bet you didn't like that? Look,' he said, throwing away the paper towels. 'If you have a problem with Morrow, you talk to her. Now, can I go?'
Ben looked surprised. 'What's this courage you're having, huh? I remember you coming in late today. That's not good of you.'
Felix rolled his eyes before he knew it, and out of nowhere, Ben's fists hit his face. Pain shoots through his face, followed by dizziness.
'You don't roll your eyes at me.' He snarled.
'Fuck, dude!' Felix exclaimed. He grabbed his nose and felt warm blood already streaming out of it.
Another fist hit his stomach. 'Don't curse at me, either.'
Ben knocked his breath out of him, leaving Felix breathless and seeking support from the wall. He grinned. 'Is that all you got? You're telling me I have issues at home, but I'm not the only one, am I?'
He could barely finish his sentence when T hits the other side of his face. He hadn't seen it coming and it made him feel even dizzier. Fear spiked in him but he pushed it down. 'You can't even take me all by myself, can you? This puppet needs to-'
This time he couldn't finish his sentence. Two more punches were landing on his face and he collapsed onto the ground. He coughed while he was trying to clear out his head. Things were echoing now and he saw Ben twice.
'Don't try to be so tough. You are a nobody and no one cares about you. Just shut up!'
Felix's anger started to fade away and fear came through again. Maybe they were right. He didn't want to burden his mom with all this, and who else did he have? The teachers didn't do anything, they simply looked away or looked apologetic.
Ben withdrew his hands, but that's when T's started to show up. He had a crazy look in his eyes like he was really enjoying this. One blow after the other made Felix's conscience start to fade away and the punches were beginning to feel weaker. Like he was starting to feel numb to them.
'Guys.' Oliver's voice sounded far away but the punches stopped for a second when Ben and T both looked up. From Felix's point of view, he could see Oliver entering the bathroom and standing in the doorway. 'Let's go.' Oliver sounded restrained, pragmatic as always.
Ben crouched down and put his fingers in Felix's hair to hold his head up. 'I hope you've learned your lesson. You better don't get any ideas of telling anyone about this. Got it?'
Felix nodded the best he could. The cold tiles now coming through the haze he had been in. Ben dropped his head on the floor and dragged T with him. 'Let's go, T. We're done here.' Then they were all gone.
Felix didn't know how long it lasted but when he opened his eyes again, he was still alone and his head felt warm and aching. Now that the adrenaline was gone, he could really feel the pain spike in his face and slowly in his body from lying on the hard ground.
Struggling to get up, he eventually managed, washed his face, and sighed a couple of times. There was no way he could go to class looking like that. His lip was split as was his eyebrow and he started to swell due to the bruising. (getting punched in real life doesn't look cool at all). He didn't want to alarm the teachers. Things would only go worse when the teachers started asking questions.
So, he packed his bag, gathered his books which had fallen out, and walked out of the bathroom, out of school and he went home.