The bell rang as Jae was trying to dry his blazer with the toilet Hand dryer. It was still a little damp but it was wearable. He put it on, slung his bag over his shoulder and made his way to his fifth period English class.
As he walked through the classroom door he felt some hands slap him on the back of his head, he turned around and saw Derek and one of his lackeys, a kid with a thin ugly face and a lot of acne scarring, his name was Sam.
When Jae made eye contact with them he instinctively looked down to the floor.
They laughed as they shoved past him and sat in their seats.
Jae’s knuckles went white, he was clenching his fists so hard, he was so frustrated, but he couldn’t do anything he was weak.
Jae Reed was tall, six foot 1, but he was also extremely skinny and asthmatic. All his life he’d never been able to put on any muscle or gain any weight. Although he wasn’t strong Jae didn’t have a weak mentality, he had tried to fight back at first, he had punched back at first, he had yelled and sworn out loud. But all his retaliation came back ten times worse.
Derek Cole did boxing and was also extremely cruel and ruthless. Derek was also really popular. All his mates would come together, and Jae would get surrounded. A single man being able to fight against large numbers was something you only saw in a martial arts movie. Jae wasn’t Jackie Chan or Bruce Lee, he was just some skinny teen, so of course, he had gotten the shit beat out of him. After a year of all the abuse, he had realised staying quiet and just taking their bullying made the harassment decrease.
If he stayed out of their way if he kept his head down then life got a little bearable but he hated it. He hated being the coward, he hated having to be submissive to those Jerks! One of these days he promised himself he really was going to put Derek Cole in his place.
Jae sighed as he sat down, he said that, but all the training he’d been doing in private hadn’t been working. Despite joining a gym and learning kickboxing for the last six months, all he had gotten down was the form. There wasn’t enough strength behind his blows and for some strange reason, he wasn’t putting on any muscle.
He had even increased his meals, and gotten a more protein-based diet, but he still wasn’t achieving the results he desired. A friend he’d made at the gym would reassure him, saying “Don’t worry Jae you have a fast metabolism, and every person has a different journey to fitness, and different body types progress in different ways.”
But Jae didn’t have time to wait until his body finally formed the muscle strength he required. He wanted to kick all their arses before the end of the school year. After GCSE’s some of those dick heads might drop school altogether and go into work or an apprenticeship. Others might not go onto Fair Academy’s sixth form and might travel to Sixth form centres or Colleges elsewhere to do their higher education. By the end of the year, he may never see all the arseholes that had harassed him ever again and he’d never get his revenge.
He wanted to join more mixed martial arts classes but the gym he was currently going to didn’t have a big selection, it was a small Gym in Twicking. There was a bigger gym near Fair Academy, but Jae didn’t want to risk joining it and be discovered by his bullies. And other better gyms were further out. He didn’t have a license yet so he couldn’t travel that far, nor did he have enough allowance to sign up for expensive memberships or get the train out to all these places.
The entire situation was just frustrating.
“I’m returning your papers from last weeks class test. Some of you did very well, others could have done better.” Miss Heather announced. Miss Heather was a tiny lady with a squeaky voice. She had her brunette hair tied up in a bun and she wore an ugly green sweater and appeared quite strict but in fact, she was one of the more caring teachers in the school. She had always looked out for Jae if she saw him being bullied and was the first to report anything. Her kindness was a double-edged sword though, it had probably made him even more harassed in the past.
Miss Heather came up to Jae’s desk and gave him his paper “you did exceptionally well” she said as Jae saw the A+ on top of the essay.
Before Jae could feel happy with himself he heard Miss Heather say to the class, “English isn’t even Jae’s first language yet he’s doing better than half of the class. This is the top set English class, you all are meant to be the best in the school. After Christmas break Exams will be only months away, I expect everyone to be getting at least an A in the mocks. If you need inspiration look towards Jae.”
As she spoke Jae felt the heat of everyone staring at him, he was getting especially venomous looks from the group sitting near Derek on the other side of the classroom. He wanted to dig himself a hole and bury himself inside it. He couldn’t believe Miss Heather was saying this, she might as well have kicked him in the face.
“Be proud of yourself!” Miss Heather said as she patted Jae on the shoulder before she went back to handing out the rest of the papers.
Jae looked up and he saw Derek’s cold blue eyes glaring at him. He didn’t need to be a mind-reader to know that Derek was planning on beating the shit out of him all over again.
When the final bell rung, signalling the end of the school day, Jae packed his bag quickly. He didn’t want to hang around the school for even a second longer.
“You all should have written the homework in your diaries, I expect it on my desk on Monday. I hope you all have a good weekend.” Miss Heather called out as students fled from her classroom.
Jae walked out of the classroom doors and was just about to run down the hallways, out the school, and to the train station, but then he felt a hand on his shoulder.
“Where do you think you’re going Mr “A grade” student, don’t you think you should hang out with me for a change. You always go straight home, it’s no fun.” Derek said coldly.
Another arm went around his shoulder, it was Sam, “Yeah Jae come hang with us.”
Jae couldn’t help but shake, if he left school with them it would be very bad. The last time he’d left school with them they’d taken him to a quiet alley and about six of them had taken turns punching him in the gut.
“I thought you were hanging out with me today,” said a calm voice from behind them. It was Stephanie.
She had also been in their English class, she casually walked up to Derek and linked arms with him, her breasts pressing against Derek’s arm, “Don’t be childish.” she muttered.
Jae hated the fact that he was feeling thankful to Stephanie, she was the reason he was in this mess. But if Derek went with her, he would leave him alone.
Derek had a strange look on his face as he stared at Stephanie, Jae didn’t know what was going on between them but Derek looked weirdly angry and annoyed.
“You’re seeing your Dad today, did you forget? We can’t hang, plus I and the boys have a fun little outing planned with Jae today. Ain’t that right Jae?”
Derek tightened his hold around Jae’s shoulder, “Y-yeah that’s right” he said reluctantly. Stephanie was giving him a pitiful look.
“Fine then,” she said as she turned away, her platinum blonde hair swaying and following behind her.
“Well aren’t you an obedient and good dog.” Derek laughed as he led Jae outside the school. As they walked more of Derek’s lackeys began to join them.
As they noticed Sam and Derek walking with Jae they all seemed to laugh, as if they could sense something fun about to happen.
By the time they walked onto the street, there were ten of Derek’s mates hanging around them. Jae had no idea where they were taking him but he knew this Outing wasn’t going be fun.
He felt his stomach knot with fear as he noticed they were walking further and further from the station.
After a while Jae heard Sam laugh, “We’re going to that place aren’t we?”
Derek grinned, “I love the fact that you can read my mind, Sammy, you know we’re about to have some fun.”
“Bois” Derek, yelled, “We’re taking Jae to Gallows Park!”
There was a brief pause before his boys started laughing.
“You’re sick Derek”
“Jae’s gonna get fucked.”
“This is fucking messed up.”
Jae didn’t know what or where Gallows Park was, but their reactions made him less than optimistic.