“What the hell…”
He said it with the same face… His expressionless face… So proper… So professional… So polite… So… So irritating...
W-What?.. Work harder?
He turned again and started to walk away again.
I wasn’t thinking, but I acted… I lunged towards Ren, throwing my fist at him with all my strength…
But Ren quickly spun around and caught it…
We stayed like this for a few seconds… My teeth were tightly clenched together, I was breathing heavily, and my eyebrows were narrowed down.
But after those few seconds, I caught a glimpse of Ren’s eyes widening… But I don’t care!
“Don’t screw around!”
I threw another punch straight at Ren’s face, and even though his other hand was free, it landed…
I watched him fall to the ground with a bit of blood coming out of his nose…
But this wasn’t enough…
I went on my knees in front of him and started repeatedly punching him. Alternating arms and punching with as much force I could conjure...
“Screw you, Ren!.. Screw you, screw you, screw you, screw you, screw you, screw you, screw you!”
My breathing was heavier.
“Go to hell! Go to hell! Go to hell! Go to hell! Go to hell! Go to hell!”
I raised my voice at him.
“That’s BS Ren! Tell me the freaking truth!”
His face was indistinguishable due to his blood covering it.
“What the hell are you doing differently!?”
“What the hell am I doing wrong?”
“Am I just not enough of a threat to you!”
I said it… My feelings… My thoughts… That’s the main source of my antagonism towards him!
I saw Ren raise his eyebrow through the blood.
“Hey Ren, is that it!? Do you just not see me as a threat!? Dammit, stop insulting me!”
I swiftly wiped the sweat off of my forehead.
“It pisses me off… You know, I notice that you’re so listless. You don’t acknowledge the things you do… You hang out with that idiot Connie… Dammit, are your accomplishments just second nature to you!? Are you laughing at the rest of us!? Stop, it’s so freaking aggravating…”
I punched him again.
“And your attitude is so condescending… You make it seem like my achievements are barely anything to sneeze at…”
I straightened my back…
“Why can I never surpass someone like you!? How are my efforts below yours!? Why is someone like you so superior to me!? Gaah!..”
I never gave him an opportunity to answer… Instead, I just went back to beating him. My fury… I wanted Ren to feel every bit of frustration that I feel, so I couldn’t stop myself.
Ren Morales… I hate him — I hate him so much… I wish he never existed… Things would be better if he never existed! He’s the root of everything — my frustration, my social exclusivity, my wasted efforts. And he laughs in my face while it happens… Acting callous while I try my hardest when he just exceeds me — it’s so annoyingly condescending!
I don’t know how long I was punching Ren for. But after that amount of time, someone called me. I turned my head to the source and saw a man in the distance angrily pointing at me — a teacher.
Oh. Was I too focused on my anger to realize reality? I wouldn’t see the problem with releasing my pent-up resentment on Ren, but others, especially a teacher, would.
When he started running towards me, I ran away.
“Hey, you! Stop it!”
I didn’t listen and continued to run. I hope he stops to check on Ren instead of pursuing me…
I should check on Bailey… She seemed to be in a hurry, so something might be happening! But I should have chased after her sooner.
I descended the stairs that Ren takes to go home. I walked towards the door… And my eyes widened when I looked out of the glass.
Bailey is beating up Ren? W-Why? I know Bailey can be pretty hot-headed at times, but what happened? Did Ren do something? But he’s the nicest, most laid back, and most respectful person I know! How could that type of person possibly piss Bailey off?
I quickly walked towards the door…
But I was stopped. Something or someone was covering my mouth and dragging me away. It was Connie — where did he come from?
“Hmm! Mmm! Umu!”
I kept struggling to get myself free — flailing my limbs and biting his hand — but to no avail. Connie kept tenaciously dragging me until we were out of the stairwell and in the main hallway.
I pulled his hand off.
“What the heck!? Why did you do that!?”
I was distraught and panicked.
“Obviously to prevent you from disrupting them…”
“To prevent me!? Can’t you see that Ren’s getting beat up by Bailey!? We need to stop them!”
Connie smiled and shook his head — what?
“Valerie, do not interrupt…”
But his smile was small… I could tell that he was serious.
“Just don’t! Look, encounters like that are good.”
Connie looked away from me. I think he was thinking about something… He looked philosophical.
“I’m sure Bailey is mad about something as usual, and it’s definitely at Ren. She just needs a good punching bag to let go of that anger, and the one she’s mad at will work the best!”
He started walking and signalled for me to follow.
But I can’t accept it…
“You needn’t worry about Ren… He’s strong enough to endure a few good blows from Bailey… And…”
I looked at his thoughtful face.
“He’s too nice to hold a grudge against her… Heck, he’s too nice to even be mad at her.”
But I still can’t accept it…
“Oh, and Bailey? Sure, I don’t know about her to the extent that you do, but don’t worry — a small glimpse was more than enough… She’s mature enough to hold back… She’s self-conscious enough to feel remorse… And…”
He rubbed the back of his neck.
“She’s nice enough to forgive…”
I looked at Connie in shock and awe… Wow… How mature…
“I see… Okay, if you say so, I won't worry… But there’s a lot of blood coming out of Ren! That can’t be good!”
“Oh shoot, really? Sorry, I just caught an unclear peak at them and immediately hid… I guess Bailey’s not that nice…”
“B-But I’m sure she won’t kill him…”
“Then we should interfere, right?”
“No… She knows that we’re his friends, so that’ll just make her feel even more remorseful.”
Connie grabbed my hand and stepped forward.
“C’mon! We’re taking the toddler route and snitching to a teacher!”
And with that, we went to seek a teacher…
Bailey, what’s going on? You know you can always rely on me, your friend, to share any troubles, right?