Four

I step back, trying to regain myself from the trauma I’ve been through in the last couple of minute and when my eyes finally clear up, I see the two guys struggling on the floor, and throwing punches at each other and more students gather around to watch. Although I feel grateful for being rescued, I do pity the boy who just saved me because I know he officially just ruined his life in this school.

After a few minutes of endless fight, the new guy gets up from Bruce, battered on the ground and he walks towards me, his mouth bruised and there is also a cut a little above his brow and there. Although I can tell he is feeling some pain on his face, he still flashes me an amusing smile.

“Hi, my name is Arthur O’Brien. I’m new here and I think I’m not in the wrong block.” He says with a thick British accent as he extends his hand to take mine. His blue eyes twitch in adoration as he stares at me and this is the first time someone has ever looked at me with this way and I can’t help smiling and offering him my hand.

“I’m Karen, Karen Butler.” I reply, trying to fight off the smile on my face, as he takes my hand to his lips and places a soft kiss on it, “you didn’t have to, you can get into-” he shakes his head, not letting me finish my sentence.

“My parent raised me to believe that every girl deserves to be respected, so I’m sorry, but I have to stand out for that anytime any day.” He turns from me to the rest of the student standing around. “What is wrong with you people? What happened to standing up to what’s wrong? And what is the fun of watching a human suffer when you know you’re also a human?”

No one replies him and he sighs, turning back to look at me. “Is everyone in this school a moron?” he asks, following me as I walk towards history class.

I hide my laughter and shrug. “I don’t know. Are you new? I don’t mean the school, I mean like from far away? Your accent…” I ask suddenly, turning to look at him.

My question must have sounded off because he laughs and my cheeks grew warm. “My dad is a lawyer. He got transferred here from his firm in the UK last week.”

I take a moment to analyse his features, thick black locks which I noticed have been falling to his face now and then, his full brow, deep blue eyes and not just any type of blue eyes, those you only get to see in movies, except this isn’t a movie, and it’s a reality, my reality. His perfectly sculpted nose and his full red lips and his light skin, my eyes raise up to search his face out and goodness is he a delight?

“Like what you see?” he asks, grinning widely as we enter the classroom and I take my usual seats and weirdly enough, he decides to a seat beside me.

I hide my red face in my bag, which I am currently searching through to bring out my history notebook from. “When I look up again, his eyes remained on me. “I… I, I’m sorry if it was creepy, it j-ust.” I stutter stupidly and look away; then I take a deep breath before looking up back at him. “All my life I've been bullied in this dumb school and the only person who has stood up for me was my guardian William, and you are so cute and I know that can’t be real, so I’m trying to see if there is a little deformity in you that made you do what you did.”

Pain flickers in his eyes a little when I say this before he gets up from beside me, “I don’t have a deformity, Karen,” he says, getting up from beside me and I feel like I’ve done something criminally wrong. “If there’s anyone with a deformity, then it should be those morons who were standing there and watching while that dumb dick assaulted you before them.” His face grows a deep shade of red and I know he’s truly pissed off, “Have they gotten to you so much you don’t see that?”

“I’m sorry, Arthur; it's I didn’t know what to think. And I’m not really what anyone would stand up for.” I mumble.

If he heard me, he doesn’t show any react reaction. Instead he asks, “Why?”

My brow furrows in confusion. “Why what?”

“Why did you let him get to you?”

I sigh in pain and regret, “It’s a long story.”

“I have time.”

AFTER History class, I head for my Economics class, and Arthur follows behind. “Are you also having economics?” I ask, my brow rising along with my question.

“No, music.” He replied, still keeping pace with me.

“Okay, do you want something?” I ask the only thing left to ask.

“Can we hang out after school?”

His question takes me by surprise and I stop walking. I turn to him because, clearly, I’m feeling the teasing coming on.

I cross my arms around my chest, and all emotion vanishes off my face. “What would happen if I say no?”

Something in him seems to go dull, and he looks down at me, “I’ll respect your wish.” He unfolds my hand and gently brings it to his lips and places a soft kiss there again before walking off.

My first instinct after school dismissed is to run home because Bruce may be down, his other minions were still around, and I also need to avoid Chloe and Arthur, the new boy. So I take my bag and put in my stuff and books and I am about running out the door when I collide with Chloe and that is where I’ve been in the last four-minute.

“Why are you avoiding me, Karen?” she asks in a serious tone. I know she’s angry.

I give her a ridiculous face and laugh a little that does not help; the situation. “Avoid you? Why would I do that?”

“Exactly the question I’ve been asking myself the whole day until I met Michael twenty minutes ago and he told me what had happened earlier today.”

Oh, I forgot the part where half the school saw Bruce get dirty with me. “You already heard right?” tears well up in my eyes and I bite down on my lips to keep them concealed. I turn my back and walk away.

“Don’t you dare turn your back on me, Karen Butler; I’m still your best friend”

“What was it you wanted me to say, best friend? That Bruce’s hands were on my butt and he had me pressed to his crotch and he threatened to have his way with me in front of everyone if I dare show my face at prom with any other guy who is not him?” My voice rising as each word falls from my mouth along with the tears in my eyes.

Chloe covers her mouth in surprise and walks towards me, but I raise my hand up in protest. “Michael didn’t tell me that. He told me he arrived at the scene of Bruce being beaten into unconsciousness.” She tells me, her eyes beholding nothing but the truth. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know.”

I shrug, my voice returning to its normal pitch, “It happened, and it’s over.”

“I’m glad Bruce got knocked out.” She walks up to me and wipes my tears away from my face.

I smile, “Me too,” we marched out together towards the limo waiting for us at the parking lot.

“Who is the new guy, anyway? I hear he is cute.”

I roll my eyes at her obviousness. “He is.” I admit a smile crawling into my face again, “his name is Arthur O’Brien, and he’s new.”

“You’re gonna have to tell me all about him.”

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