“Who the fuck are you to decide that?”
He had heard it somewhere.
It was that fateful day when he saw a kid getting shit on for claiming that he had the power of God and anime by his side. It was a long tiring day. He had been holding that hot piss for the last thirty minutes since he had drunk too much water before proctoring an exam.
The building’s comfort room was busted. Well, not that busted, but that looming smell of shit got so strong that it was powerful enough to unclog his nose and make him quit smoking in fear of suddenly becoming a terrorist. That and he would feel his own piss seep back into his body to protect the purity of this shithole.
He had to cross the school grounds while holding that in.
He inched his steps, faced forward, kept his face straight, and nodded when someone said hi to him. He had to protect that level of credibility. He’s a ticking time bomb, a landmine. A simple fist bump or a pat on the back would blow him up. But it’s not like he could pretend that he didn’t exist at that moment. Students were cheeky and fickle, so were their parents. And if he wanted to start his cactus collection that he had been planning for the longest time, he couldn’t get fucked by the Student Evaluations now.
That being said, he waved his hand like a traditional politician, with a bright, nervous, sweat-drenched smile, and cursed the students for noticing that he was alive. He was able to cross the field without letting much of a drop of his smothering piss. Little did he know that a crowd had gathered in front of his prospective building because a group of kiddies decided to beat someone up.
Enteng chuckled as his vision slowly recovered from that painful blur.
Five people decided to gang up on a kid. Still, this didn’t seem like something that blew out of nowhere. Punches were being thrown. They were shouting at each other. They were talking about what happened with their mothers last night. They were talking about the job of their mothers. A lot of things about mothers were thrown in here.
It was like a hodgepodge of speculations, but that’s hardly the problem right now.
Everyone was watching.
No one was stopping it.
Everyone had this shit-eating grin drawn over their faces as they held up their phones for the rest of the world to see. He got it. These were kids. He never really did understand the nature of technology, but he could at least understand how great it felt to see someone acting pathetic, to be able to know that someone was worse than they were–even if it was just a lie.
No one laughed out loud.
But no one stopped this fight.
There was a day that Enteng would’ve laughed it off or break the fight when someone got really hurt. Children punching each other had a certain flair that made him want to just grab popcorn and watch, but he wasn’t having it today.
Thus, he braved the path forward. He darkened his glare and lowered his chin as he did the best to endure the brushes of everyone’s shoulders that would have him blow his pants like a broken dam.
The four others were laughing and cheering. Only one was left. He was on top of the other and kept punching and punching, spitting at this poor frail kid that had lost the will to fight and ask for help a long time ago. He’s going to black out in the next strike, so Enteng stepped in and held his feeble arm back.
“Stop this, now.”
Enteng’s voice was supposed to be calm, but it got graver because of his unwavering desire to find the nearest toilet.
“This guy started it!”
The boy broke free and punched the kid below him again.
“I’m just finishing it! This shitter kept telling everyone that anime is real. He kept saying that he’s friends with an alien that shoots beams from his palms and could blow planets. He said that his friend could beat up my dad, who’s a policeman. I showed him. I showed his lame ass!”
He punched him again. He spat at the other kid and smiled at him. Hoh. This guy was proud of beating someone up. He’s taking pride in beating up a kid because of a silly cartoon, and he’s proud that he’s having a teacher, who’s about to piss, stop him. Enteng’s left eyebrow twitched.
Enteng tried to pull the child back, but he struggled and elbowed his balls. He closed his eyes. He saw that bright light, his hometown, and heard the angels sing, as he mustered all of his strength to scream deep inside his soul so that he wouldn't show his weakness or wet his pants with piss.
The crowd went silent, but the one that rejected him seemed to take pride in torturing a man’s will. The man who had sought to sacrifice so much in order to keep his authority and his pockets full so that his wife would let him start his cactus collection. Enteng’s left eyebrow twitched again. He kept his eyes closed as he forced up a smile and squatted down to meet the kid’s eye level. Oh, the amount of power and internal screaming it took for him to do that without letting much of a whimper.
“Do you believe in Santa Claus?”
“Yeah, what about it?”
“I see. Did you see your pets die?”
“Die? My Ma and Pa told me that Mr. Wiggles went to college so that he’ll be able to reach his real family soon.”
“Okay. Did your mommy kiss your boo-boos when you fell down and scraped your knee?”
“What?” He laughed and looked around with his tongue out. “Are you going to tell me too that hitting other kids is bad, Teacher?”
Ah. This smug ass motherfucker.
“Do you know why it’s bad to hit other people?”
“Why? Is it because of Papa Jesus getting sad in heaven? Why didn’t he stop my fist then?”
“See.” He groaned and got on his feet. “Santa is just your parent giving you what you want so that you won’t bitch around during the holidays. Mr. Wiggles is probably rotting underground. And your mom’s kiss ain’t so special that he could take the pain away. Also,” he rubbed his palms together. “this is the reason why you shouldn’t hit other people.”
Enteng punched him in the face.
The crowd screamed, some even ran, probably to get another teacher. The other four kids blended in with the crowd, most likely to save their skin. The bullied kid was watching him, and the other one that he punched held the swollen side of his face with tears.
“Does it hurt?”
The kid nodded.
“Good.” Enteng walked towards the building and the crowd parted for him. “The other kid is lame because he believes that he’s with friends that could blow up the entire planet?”
He looked back, glaring to make a point and to control his ballooning bladder.
“Who the fuck are you to decide that?”
The parent sent a complaint and got him fired. He had to retire early, but at least he and his wife got to make a garden out of their home.
Right. He was that kid.
And now, he’s fighting for him.
He was kneeling. His ears rang, and the world before him pulsed from light to dark at every second. His heart raced. His body screamed for him to stay down. That boy, Uncle, was there, holding his line, taking punches that sprayed his blood to the ground and hitting back with his knife that drew arcs of dark-red blood.
Both of them were screaming.
He crawled forward and found his machete. It burned his lungs to breathe, but he grunted to plant his feet on the ground. And his feet touched something.
His eyes widened and gleamed with violence. Pathetic. He nodded and took a slow but deep breath through his nose as he combed his hair into the back of his head. It stung, but he didn’t care.
George was on the ground with his little pot shattered.
Nobody ran. The only person he intended to save rushed in here to get battered just to cover for him. And the only ally that he got was a trembling tall man freezing as the fight continued to unfold. This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work at all.
“Stand up,” Enteng looked at that guy that he saved before. “We’re killing that thing right here, right now.”