“This is just too good to be true, don’t you think, Seul-ri?”
Seul-ri just stares at the letter. No answer. It sounds suspicious. I mean, come on, who in this whole world will give you a million dollar for nothing? Just go to the address, bring the letter and you might end up being a millionaire, as simple as that. But the company involved is well-known for its charity campaigns all this years. But still, why on Earth must it be me? And why must be secret? The date is tomorrow, and unable to come up with a good solution, I consult this very good friend of mine, Seul-ri, who got a very good brain compare to mine. But I forgot that brain is malfunctioned in money-relating matter. And it did not take long for me to regret it.
“If you’re thinking of throwing this away, fine by me. But I’m taking it. It’s a million dollar! Just go to this place tomorrow, give it a shot! It might be some kind of competition or anything, but who cares? If they ask for a fight, I’m up to the challenge!”
There’s a grin. Oh dear. What the hell have I done?
“Thanks for the news. Oh, you can bring a partner right? Wait, a brother? Just let me your brother then! I’m always a whole lot more manly than you are anyway. 3PM ok? See you tomorrow!”
“Wait, Seul-ri, where are you going? We are not finished yet!”
“I’m doing some exercise. See you tomorrow!”
“Exercise? It’s almost dinner time already…oh.”
There’s a larger grin and a little wink now. Oh dear. Here we go again.
“Good luck, Seul-ri.”
There’s the usual trademark. Without turning back to me, Seul-ri just walk on. I let out a sigh and heads to the pharmacy. Someone’s asking for plaster tomorrow.
My family moved to this neighborhood early this year. Before this, we live in a small village where people are rarely seen. Being the new kid on the block, I am quite shy to approach others. I have a small frame and quite short compared to my peers, that nobody will ever assume that I am actually a high school student, so I usually end up being picked on by bigger boys. They just teased me at first but then they started to bully me. Wanting to avoid being one of those victims and aiming to defend myself, I took up taekwondo. But that did not make them stop, it became worse by day, and I find myself helpless in front of them. I started to hate school, and everybody there, for I do not have any friends at all. To me, school is just a place to learn and get bullied. Yet my mother knows nothing about it. I bet she had her doubts, but I kept silent. I do not want to burden her much. She already has her hands full with the family, since father died years ago. As the days flew by, I became more and more depressed.
“Here he comes, our big brother! So, where’s the money? I assume you don’t forget about it, right?”
It was after school, near the field. I knew this is coming, and I already planned to runaway right after the bell rings, yet they got me. There are almost 7 people altogethers; some of them are my own classmates. I look around, and there was no one on sight. One girl who was passing by caught me in the eye and quickly gets away, pretending to see nothing. And that girl is a prefect, for god’s sake.
“Looking for help? Don’t bother; nobody’s going to help you. In fact, nobody dares to go against us, anyway.”
They laughed hard.
“Let me tell you something, new kid. We are the rulers in this school. Having said that, you, kid, should bows to us. Yes, bow!”
One of them, their leader, I assume, pushed my head down. Low enough. They laughed hysterically.
“As you don’t have money, guess we have to take this instead. What do you think guys? It looked kind of cool, right?”
I looked up, and my eyes widen. Right on his hands are a badge that I treasure very much. It must have fell from my pocket when I ‘bows’ to them before.
“No, that’s the last gift I got from my father before he died. You can take everything but please, not that badge.”
“Oh? So this must be valuable. I’m having this. Thanks, kid.”
“No, give it back, please. I beg you.”
“Be grateful, kid. At least we don’t hit you. Remember to bring the money next time, got it?”
They just laugh. The leader starts to move away. I could feel my hands shaking. I have my sight focused only on the badge. I could not think. My mind went blank. And all hell breaks loose after that.
I must have gone crazy for a moment, for the next thing I know is I already punched the leader, right on the face, making him fell flat on the ground, my beloved badge on my hand. I could feel my whole body shaking. I want to run but my legs would not move, as if it was pinned on the ground. All of them are furious now, holding their fist together. They might kill me for sure. The leader holds my shirt and ready to hit me when a big black book came flying out of nowhere, hitting him right on the head, making him fall once again.
“You got a nerve.”