They couldn't believe what they found. They shook their heads in disbelief as they read on "...Straight A student, works well with others, is a leader, never complains, always hands in work on time and if not makes up for it with extra credit, loved by teachers, is in National Junior Honor Society, Student Council, Mock Trial, and Bebert, is constantly volunteering for community service, takes fall for others, etc. etc."
Loyal spoke first "How... but...how does he do it?"
Swift Heart had a puzzled face and asked the lady at the desk "What is Bebert?"
She responded quickly "It's a CPR, disaster preparedness and recovery club. Why are you looking at his file? He is too good a student to be in trouble. He even volunteers at the soup kitchen."
Grumpy shook his head "He didn't do anything it's what's being done to him."
She raised an eyebrow "What are you talking about?"
Loyal Heart looked at her in disbelief "Are you serious? Since he is in all these clubs are their photos of him?"
She nodded and handed him some. As he looked through he shook his head. What would seem like normal attire would also cover up bruises and cuts. One was with Nathan at the Red Cross in jeans and a long sleeve shirt.
Another he was wearing sunglasses at a mock trial.
Tenderheart shook his head and asked "What class does he have now?"
She typed into the computer and said "He should be finishing up Technology soon. Then he has Social Studies, his favorite might I add. Also right after he has lunch. He usually eats outside with his friend maybe you can catch him there?"
They nodded "When is next period?" She looked again and said "Right about now."
Just as she said it the bell rang and she handed them the room numbers which they gladly took and left to see if they could talk to him about meeting them for lunch.
Fortunately his class was running late and when they were dismissed they waited to spot Nathan. after a minute or two of waiting everyone seemed to have left but Nathan was nowhere to be seen. Peering inside the room they saw him sweeping up and were about to walk in until they heard the teacher "Mr. Franches why are still here?"
He look at him confused "I was just sweeping up sir."He crossed his arms and said "But your group didn't cut today. In fact, you have been done for three weeks."
He looked at him and said "Sir if I don't do this no one will and we will all be punished."
The teacher gave him sad eyes "Nathan you don't have to do other's work."
He looked at him and said "No sir I do have to do other's work for all it takes for evil to arise is for good men to do nothing."
With that he threw out the garbage and grabbed his stuff the teacher called after him "You need a pass?"
He yelled back "No sir!" Loyal Heart looked at the others and shrugged. Just as Nathan walked out he said "Nathan wait!"
He jumped and said "Oh hi guys." With a smile.
They gave him looks of concern and Loyal said "Nathan why?"
Nathan raised an eyebrow, "Why what?"
Loyal crossed his arms "Why clean-up for others?"
He gave Loyal a look and said "Because I do the right thing." He rubbed his eyes as if it hurt "Always."
Loyal was about to say something but Tenderheart beat him "Look we know you have to get to class just can you meet with us outside at lunch please?"
Nathan nodded "Yeah sure I'll just have to tell my f..." He trailed off then said "I'll be there." Then walked down to class.
The group walked into the office undetected and asked the lady "Can you tell Nathan's teachers to meet us?" She nodded and called them all.
After they all arrived in the room and got over the fact that weird animals were there Loyal Heart began to speak "Thanks for coming, we have some questions for all of you."
Some nervous grunts could be heard but they all nodded. Tenderheart began "Alright do all of you know Nathan Franches?"
They all smiled at happy memories it seemed and they nodded. Swift Heart swallowed and said "We think he is being abused by his brother and maybe family."
Some of the female teachers gasped and almost all of the males hand formed fists.
Playful spoke up "Now, now relax we just want to know has he had irrational behavior lately?"
One of the female teachers raised her hand "Yes?" She coughed and said "He got into an argument with me because I yelled at him; but he's really a smart kid and he feels like he is older than he is and wants to be treated as such."
The others nodded and another teacher spoke up "He was giving a report and did a good job so I patted him on the back and he flinched at first. I just thought I caught him off guard and his body was reacting naturally."
They all nodded another raised their hands "He was walking down the hall in obvious pain and he fell down. I went to help him up but he just waved a hand and got up and limped again." She shook her head as if saying to herself "How could I have been so stupid?"
Story after story of pain and misery and defiance keep coming till finally the last one finished. Nodding Loyal Heart said "Thank you." And they all left checking the time the group went to get ready to talk to Nathan again.
Nathan was walking to his meeting spot when his brother checked him into a locker, hard. As Nathan tried to get up his brother kicked him.
He continued to kick and Nathan keep trying to get up "Stay down punk!"
Nathan spat at him and said "Never."
His brother punched him and walked away.
One of Nathan's teachers saw him and ran up to him "Nathan are you ok."
He nodded while holding his side "Yeah fine."
His face seemed to swell the teacher shook her head and said "Come on let's get you to the nurse."
He shook his head and said "No need I'm already gone." Then he fell to the floor