“What’s with that face? Too shocked to see me? And you call yourself the rulers, for God’s sake. Even a shrimp like that can punch you down. You’re not worthy for the throne. Take those titles back to trash, got me?”
All the guys are taking a step back. They really are afraid right now. Even the leader is turning all white. Indeed, this student is just not normal. Each word from those lips sounds so cold, and it really can leave you frozen. The eyes gave out an intense stare, and the presence itself emits a really murderous aura. Yet somehow, really, this sounds weird enough, but I find this student, beautiful.
“You…you are The-Invisible-Han!”
“Glad you remember me.”
“Don’t sit there!”
It was my first day in the class, and there are 2 empty desks at the very back. I was about to sit next to the window when a girl stop me.
“Why? Does it belong to anybody? As far as I’m concern it’s empty, isn’t it?”
“It might look like it, but…it actually…belongs to someone.”
Upon saying it, the girl’s face changed a bit. She looks kind of afraid. I wonder why.
“It’s The-Invisible-Han.” Somehow, she whispered the name.
This time, a guy answered me. Upon hearing the name, the noisy class drop silent. All the chatters stop. And all the eyes looked full of fear. I was about to ask more when the guy cut me short, looking at me straight in the eye.
“The name says it all, invisible. This person is nowhere to be seen, and its better this way. You don’t want any trouble with this person, trust me. This…is the most feared student in this whole school or maybe this whole neighborhood. This person is very, very dangerous. Legend says it that nobody, I mean, nobody have ever win a fight against this person. We…we don’t want any connection with this person. Thus, we are all referring to the owner of this desk as a ‘person’. No he, she, or whatever. It’s ‘a person’ or the name, The-Invisible-Han, or T.I.Han or just T.I., got it? I suggest you to stay away from this person too. It’s for your own good. And please, don’t ever, ever mention the name again. Just leave the desk as it is, ok? I beg you.”
With that, the guy turns around and sit, everybody else also start to mind their own business. I sit down at my desk, and nobody spoke to me until the end of the class. In fact, nobody even turned back at me, afraid they might catch a glimpse at the desk beside me. And that continues on day after day. I felt invisible in the class, like I do not even exist. Just like The-Invisible-Han.
The sudden question brings me back to reality. All the guys nodded and hang their heads low, do not dare to make an eye contact.
They do not need to be telling twice. The moment I turned back, they are all long gone. I felt a great relieve and find the situation quite funny, the way the runaway, that is, that I forgot the more dangerous person are standing right behind me.
And I immediately remembered the presence. Slowly, I turned back to the voice.
“Fight me. I need an exercise.”
“You heard me alright. I said, fight me. Those guys are just a wimp, not fun at all. I saw your punch, and that’s cool.”
I could feel my jaw dropped. Fight? Me? I was bullied just now, and this person wants to fight me?
“Come on, attack me. What’s your name, shrimp? It’s always good to know your opponent first.”
“I said, what’s your name?”
It felt like a long time since people last asked me that. I did introduce myself in the class on my first day, yet nobody really has called my name. I wonder if they even remember it. I doubt them not. At home, as I am the only child, my mother only called me brother, for I used to have a younger sister, but she died last year. So, it felt rather weird to say it out loud, for I do not usually say my own name often.
“Yong-jae. Kim Yong-jae.”
“What should I call you then? I think Yong-jae will do, ok?”
I do not know how to respond, this person is saying my name, and decided to call me just that. It supposed to be normal alright, but not for me, so I just nodded a little. Yet deep inside, I felt so happy, somehow.
“Ok. Don’t hesitate, Yong-jae, just attack me.”
All the happy feeling disappear instantly on the word ‘attack’. This is crazy. I had never fought with anyone in my whole entire life. Yet now, this person is getting ready for one. I do not know what to do. If I refuse, I might get killed, if I did, yeah, just give a punch and surrender. That would do. At least, I did attempt to attack. This person cannot blame me.
“Don’t ever think of surrender after one punch. Attack me, seriously.”
No way, this person can read my mind or what?
“Your face tells all.”
Great. Now what should I do?
“I can take that badge of yours if you refuse. Don’t make me do it, seriously. I can really take it from you.”
No way, not this badge, again. I could not bear that. Guess I have no choice then.
“That’s a better face.”
There’s a grin. I took a deep breath, hold my fist, and let out a punch, aiming at the body, my eyes closed, out of nervousness. And a hand grabs hold of my fist.
“That’s not quite good enough, perhaps.”
I opened my eyes, and saw this person, T.I, grab hold of my small fist with one hand. The other hand was juggling something. Wait, that was…
“I told you right? I really can take it from you.”
That was my badge. When did…?
“When you closed your eyes just now, I slip into the pocket. Easy enough, you know.”
“Give it back.”
“No. Not until you give me a punch, a real one.”
“Give it back.”
“You know well that I won’t.”
“Give it back.”
Just like before, my mind went blank, and I start to let out punches, one after another, which was effortlessly blocked by T.I. Yet I kept on throwing punches, as the bad memories flooded my mind, how my father suddenly died, our family was kicked out from the house, forced to move, isolated in the class, bullied by the bad guys, everything just kept on replaying in my head. My depression had come to a limit that I could not stand it anymore. I felt like my heart going to explode. I let out one last punch and screamed.
That punch, was caught by T.I’s right hand. I felt my body powerless; I used up all my energy in that last punch. I fell to my knees and tears start falling from my eyes. It hurts, so much, that I could not stop crying. My body shakes uncontrollably. I could hear T.I saying something but I could not make it out what. My head felt so dizzy and suddenly everything went blank.