Shin always was impulsive. He also wasn’t used to the abuse yet, but he did seem to be a glutton for it. He kept coming over to me, trying to be my friend and little by little the spoiled brat was cracking my shell. But, as he cracked my shell, I still tried to keep him away, no longer for my sake, but for his. I didn’t want him to get hurt and beat up for being with me. He was such a little idiot; he didn’t understand what I was. I wished that he would learn; I really wanted him to stay away from me and I tried to tell him.
Shin used to have a goofy, innocent, very childish grin and he flashed it to me whenever I tried to tell him to keep away from me. It was a toothy, adorable expression; it used to get him out of all sorts of trouble with his mother. It didn’t work on me. I still tried to get him away from me. I really didn’t want him to suffer as I knew he would. I knew how they were and he didn’t, but he didn’t seem to believe me. He always was an idiot.
It took a couple of months for the students to get completely fed up with him trying to be my friend. I suppose they noticed how I was resisting, but he was so persistent. They also just didn’t like Shin very much because he was “the Chinese kid.” He was different and they decided to teach him what that meant.
They waited until recess and practically the whole school ganged up on him. They yanked him away from me while he was bugging me about a book that I was reading. I don’t even recall what the book was because I wasn’t going to be reading it for long. He yelled for me, as if he knew what they had planned for him. He wanted me to help him as they pulled him away to be mutilated and shamed.
I only watched as they dragged him off. I was too terrified to move. I knew how painful his beating was going to be, but at no time was I glad that it was him and not me. Some people might think that, but I didn’t. I just didn’t want to get hurt again. I didn’t want to feel that pain if it could be avoided because you never get used it. It doesn’t dull over time. It always hurts.
I closed my eyes and tried to ignore his screaming as they started in on him, taking turns punching him all over his little body while a couple of boys held him still. I knew how it started and I knew how agonizing it felt. Soon they would get into kicking, scratching if the girls wanted some licks, and hitting with rocks for those that just couldn’t seem to hit hard enough, in their own opinions of course. When he started calling my name like a prayer, I just got up and walked away.
I just wanted to get out of earshot. I didn’t want to hear him begging me to join him for what was pretty much a lynching without death in my opinion. I heard them laughing and cheering while he cried out for me; not for anyone else, only for me. I listened as they called him racial slurs; the funny thing, in retrospect anyway, was that since they were so incredibly stupid, they were using the wrong ones. Tears filled my eyes as I tried to get away from the noise, but no amount of distance between us seemed to quiet down his screaming.
I wasn’t paying attention as I tried to get away and I tripped over what appeared to be an abandoned stickball bat. I turned to look at it with angry eyes; I was upset that it slowed my retreat down. Then I heard for him calling me again, screaming for me to help at the top of his tiny lungs. My anger then changed from the bat to myself. I was angry with myself.
I asked myself, what kind of person would leave a friend to such a horrific fate? I knew how badly such a fate was and I didn’t even have someone to call out to. He did. I knew that if I had someone to holler for and that person left, I’d have died on the inside quite a bit.
I barely knew what I was doing as I tossed my book aside like the useless piece of crap it was at the time. I picked up the stickball bat and slowly, methodically made my way back to the crowd. I then began swinging like a girl possessed, but they weren’t wild swings. They were all right on the money; I hit everyone where I wanted to with frightening precision. It was the first time that my demons came out to play. It was a good thing for those kids that I didn’t have a real beat or I’d have seriously injured those pricks.
I saw her swinging that stick. The look in her eyes, I would never forget it and that was not because I would see it again several times through out our lives. The look in her eyes wasn’t that of a human, no regular human anyway. It was like I was looking at the devil in her skin. It was like she was a soldier on the battlefield and to continue on fighting, she had to remove herself from her mind and the slaughter, but while she was gone, a demon took over her form. By the time that she made it to me, I was scared of her again.
I would say that was the first time that she looked like a dragon, but it wasn’t. She was a demon at that time to me. I thought that she might crush me with her weapon just like she had done all of the others. Instead, she stopped once she got to me and stared at me with a maniacal look in her eyes while trying to catch her breath; it was as if she was telling me to look at all of the beautiful agony she dealt out just for me. No one else at the time, not even herself. It was only for me.
I truly don’t believe that she planned on making it to me, but I do think that I was as far as she wanted to go. She just stood there once she was before me. After that, we got fucked up together.
I guess it was selfish of me to scream for the harpy as I had done. I wasn’t thinking at the time. I just wanted the beating to stop. I just wanted some help. She gave it to me, but it got her beaten up in return. But, it was nice to know later on that I was the reason that she fought back for the first time.
The crazy thing was that she and I ended up going to the principal’s office. The story that they were trying to sell was that we started the whole fight. Us, just me and her; the miniature versions of Bonnie and Clyde, I guess. We were two six-year-olds that didn’t even associate with anyone and we started a fight with the whole damn schoolyard? Those people were fucking bonkers if they seriously expected our parents were stupid enough to buy that.
As we sat outside the principal’s office, I noticed her crying in the corner. She had just gone psycho on everyone and taught them to think twice about messing with her and she was the one crying. I walked over to her and sat down with her. I put my short arm around her shoulders and she actually cried on me. I know now that she was crying out of fear and not pain. At the time, I thought that she was hurt since we did just get jacked up by the whole school. So, I held her because I didn’t know what else to do; it wasn’t like I could stop any agony that she was in.
My mother showed up before her parents did. My mother wasn’t working at the time; I think she was on leave or something like that. Anyway, she came into the office and looked around for me. I called out for her and she came to the corner.
“Oh, little man, what happened to your face?” my mother asked when she saw me. She was used to me getting beat up, but I had implored her to not go up to the school. I wanted to handle it myself, which only led her to stating with a smile that I was my father’s son.
“Got into a fight,” I proclaimed proudly. Getting into a fight wasn’t something to be ashamed of at my house, losing the fight was frowned on, though. I liked to believe that my mother understood that I couldn’t beat a whole school at the age of six.
“Again? And what about her?” my mother asked when she noticed that I was holding a weeping girl.
My mother nodded, but before she could say anything, the secretary called her to let her know that the principal would see her now. She smiled at me and picked me up. She also took my partner-in-crime gently by the hand and we all went into the office. Oh, the principal was about to be in for a nice surprise.
“Mrs. Toriyama?” the fat, balding man with a comb-over said as my mother sat me and my partner down in the pair of seats in front of the desk. His voice was one of confusion; oh, it was just priceless. The look in his fat face was so bemused.
The guy was puzzled for one simple reason, my mother is not Japanese. My mother isn’t even Asian. She looks African-American, but she’s actually half Black and half White. It throws a lot of people for a loop to this day. It even used to confuse me, but that was only because I had no idea what to consider myself. I settled on telling people that I was half Japanese just because that was about the easiest thing to do. After a while, I started telling people I’m a Martian because it entertained me to tell them that.
I have always made it a point to never tell anyone my mother’s, I suppose I could say ethnicity, because I like the look of shock that appears on people’s faces. It was always amusing. The principal certainly was no exception to that rule.
“Yes, I am,” my mother confirmed to answer the fat man’s question. She was married to my father for years by that time, but it struck people as odd for a woman clearly of African descent to have a Japanese last name. My parents were always into shock and awe, even when it came to each other.
“You’re his mother?” the principal asked while pointing at me. Was it so hard to believe that a woman that appeared to be African-American could have a son that appeared to be Asian? At the time, in that school, yes.
“Yes, this is my little man. Is that a problem?” she countered.
Another thing about my mother that could be important was that she was young when she had me. She was seventeen to be exact. So, she was twenty-three at the time and she looked younger than that. She had slightly chubby cheeks that made her look like a teenager and a short haircut, so it made people assume that they could push her around. Always a bad thing to assume.
“He and his troublemaking little friend started a fight in the schoolyard,” the principal reported.
I didn’t understand why my so-called friend was being called a troublemaker, but as it turned out, the principal didn’t like her for the simple fact that her parents cared about her, as far as I could tell anyway. They went up there often to try and find out why their daughter was coming home looking like she was in a plane crash. I guess, he didn’t like trying to get them to understand that their daughter wasn’t supposed to be cared about or something like that. Obviously, like the rest of the world, he knew how she had come into the hands of her parents and had an opinion on the matter as if it was his business.
“Wow, you started a fight?” my mother asked me while rubbing the top of my head.
“I dunno,” I said because I really didn’t know. I suppose if it was looked at it in a bizarre way, I did start the fight. I had provoked those wild, totally uncivilized brats by hanging around their whipping girl, but that wasn’t really any of their business. I could be friends with whomever I wanted.
“You know, you’re not supposed to start a fight you can’t finish,” my mother teased. She was pitching me one of my father’s lines; his favorite thing to tell me even now is to never bite off more than I can chew. I have always had a big mouth, though.
“I did finish it, just didn’t win,” I replied with a grin, which caused her to laugh.
The principal frowned; I’m guessing that he didn’t approve of my mother apparently encouraging my behavior. He then went into explaining how my partner and I started a fight with the whole schoolyard. He even told my mother that I had a stick like my partner had and we wailed on everybody. At that point, I stopped listening.
I busied myself by biting my fingernails and watching a girl that I now knew was a demon cry. I noticed my mother glance back once deep into the conversation; it turned out that the demon’s parents had entered the room. They went to her and she stopped crying immediately. I had never seen anyone go from bawling to dry-eyed in under a second; I couldn’t even do it when I was fake crying.
“Well, Mrs. Toriyama, what do you think of that?” the fat man inquired after he finished talking and my mother hadn’t responded. He probably would have preferred that she remained silent.
“Oh, you mean you’re done spinning this extraordinary and fantastic tale where my little man and this pixie beat up the whole fucking schoolyard while being two feet tall standing on each other’s shoulders and weighing fifty pound together with bricks in their pockets?” my mother commented.
I began to grin while the principal seemed rather offended by her words. My mother was not one for bullshit. She was also not the patient parent. She liked facts; the only place she accepted scenarios was at work, which would take too long to explain.
“Are you calling me a liar?” the principal growled.
“Sounds like an accurate enough term. You called me here to tell me some bullshit about two six-year-olds beating up the entire schoolyard. In other words, you wasted my fucking time and their time. Why don’t you get off of your fat ass and go find out who kids beat these two up?” my mother suggested.
“Mrs. Toriyama,” the principal barked at her like she was a student.
“Watch your tone,” my mother warned him. Once again, she was not the patient parent and she was never a woman to anger; it led to very dark and bad places.
“Watch your language,” he countered.
My mother made a fist for a moment. I thought I was about to be in for a show. I mean, the principal did not know who my mother was. He might have thought he was messing with just some young, little colored woman, but if he kept it up, he would be in for the shock of his life. And then, my mother seemed to change her mind; how dull and disappointing.
“Come on, little man. You and your friend don’t need to take this shit. My child’s coming home with cuts and bruises and shit while telling me kids are calling him a chink and you call me in here for this,” my mother mumbled and sucked her teeth. She was genuinely upset by the fact that the school had tried to make it out like the whole mess was our fault.
“Trin, you coming?” I asked as I climbed out of my chair. She was quiet; I thought that she might be in trouble for getting into a fight. My mother turned her attention to Trin’s parents.
“Don’t bother to listen to this marshmallow. Trust me, it isn’t worth it,” my mother informed the Possibles.
They seemed to take her word on it; we didn’t know it at the time, but they had a lot of experience with the fat fuck of a principal. Trin’s mother picked her up and they walked out of the office with me and my mother. Our parents inspected us to make sure we weren’t too injured. Once they were satisfied with us, they turned to each other to talk some things over. I didn’t pay too much attention.
We all got around to introducing ourselves, except for Trin; she was a very timid person back then. The Possibles then did something that I wasn’t used to; they didn’t look shocked when my mother told her their name. My mother’s name is Tashawna Toriyama; I even have trouble saying it with a straight face. But then again, I can’t tell people my whole name without laughing either, so I’m just a messed up mind more than likely.
“Oh, so, you’re the little boy that Trin talks about,” Mrs. Possible commented as she looked down at me.
She talked about me? I was more than surprised by that news. I looked at Trin and noticed that she was blushing, so I figured that it was true. Wow, she talked about me when she went home and from the smile on Mrs. Possible’s face, she must have said good things.
“Oh, Shin, this is the girl that you don’t shut up about?” my mother asked, causing me to blush. Great, now we were both looking like tomatoes and idiots. “Hey, maybe she can come with us to the park tomorrow after school,” my mother suggested, looking at the Possibles.
“Trin, you want to go to the park tomorrow?” Mrs. Possible asked. She only nodded and just like that we had a play date. From then on, we were always together either with her parents or my mother watching us.
We continued to get beat up in school almost every day for a long while, but the principal never tried to sell our parents the story that we started it again. He hardly ever called our parents; I don’t think he liked my mother much.
I’ve never been scared of Trin again, even though I had seen the demon in her. But, I’m secretly proud of being the reason the demon came out. She didn’t know she had a devil in her until I showed up. She called it out to help me before anyone else. I have always taken it as an honor, but I don’t want that harpy to know.
Next time: Shin has a Possible Christmas. We should get to see Kim getting in trouble with the duo by then.
A/N: do you like it switching POVs like that? Should I stick to one POV per chapter or switch like I did here?