Star of Youth

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Chapter 7

After his painful discovery, the sun’s rays woke Ari up. He slowly opened his eyes and stared at the alarm clock, which said 7am. He let out an exhausted sigh and hoped what happened yesterday was a nightmare. And then Ari looked at his computer chair and saw the toy crossbow his grandma had bought him. Realization struck him as he tried to deny the truth and covered his head with his pillow.

“Wake up Ari! School starts soon!” Vanessa said as she entered with an angel-like smile.

While he had his head hidden under his pillow, Ari asks Vanessa why did his mom cry the whole night. Vanessa stuttered and then swiftly grabbed a lie from her shocked mind.

“We chatted about her childhood.” Vanessa told with masked emotions.

“Is everything okay?” Ari questioned while looking at his grandma from beneath the pillow.

Vanessa then caressed Ari and responded with gritted teeth: “Of course everything is.”

“Now, let’s go prepare for school, shall we?” she added.

In the meantime, Susan got ready for her shift but before leaving she shouted at her granny and brother: “I’m going to work. See you later!”

Vanessa then rushed from Ari’s room and she shouted and waved back at her granddaughter to have a great day from upstairs.

As she got on the bus, her phone rang from a message Tinna sent her.

“Hey!!!! I got exciting news for you today!!!”

Susan then let out an annoyed sigh and typed: “What is it?”

“Alvin is planning a party! You must come and talk to him!” Tinna replied, excited as always.

Facepalming her face Susan replied with a text with: “You know he rejected me, right?”

Tinna then replied with: “You just need to give him a second chance.”

Furious, Susan wanted to throw her phone out of the bus window full of hatred for Alvin but her heart was in agony, begging god to give Susan another chance.

Then the bus stopped, and Susan left the bus with an avalanche of negative thoughts.

During Susan’s inner battle of thoughts, Ari walked to school with his granny. He felt like his mouth was stitched together. Ari stared at the ground without being able to glare at his beloved grandmother, trying to deny what was about to happen.

Inside Vanessa’s mind, she tried to grasp a topic to cheer her grandson up as they were approaching the school with every step.

Ari lifted his head up and gazed at his school. He then grabbed Vanessa’s hand and told her he was afraid.

“Don’t be. It will be okay…” the young grandma said with a comforting smile.

Ari then took some steps forward as other kids entered school. He stopped at the doorstep and he ran back to his grandma and he hugged her.

Vanessa’s heart felt like it was about to melt, and she embraced him with love.

In the meantime, Susan was serving in the coffee shop and Tinna put on her apron and she waved at Susan across the cafe.

Susan waved back, and Tinna scuttled to her friend and showed her phone. The phone showed a message written by Alvin. It said that Tinna and her bestie are invited to a party that will be in two days.

“Ugh, he can go fuck himself for what I care.” Susan said to Tinna, trying to hide her rage.

Tinna then tried to calm her friend down but the furious Susan tried to explain that he was just wasting their time.

Another customer came and then Susan just told Tinna to keep quiet before she went to take their order.

During this time, in Ari’s school was recess time. He writing lyrics into his little notebook and as he wrote the sentence: “This is my time to shine.”

Shortly after his bullies, Vanessa insulted him. Ari grit his teeth and swallowed his saliva after gazing at them.

The bully grabbed a chair and turned it towards Ari before sitting down in front of him.

He put a smirk on his face to give a feeling of an extremely punchable face.

“How is your friend?” the bully asked Ari.

Ari sat in complete silence and avoided eye contact at all costs with gritted teeth and a clenched fist in his hoodie’s pocket.

“Oh my. Did something happen to your friend?” The bully reacted.

After hearing this, Ari breathes more unevenly. His thoughts became foggy and all he wanted to do was to punch his classmate in the face.

Then another class tried to grab Ari’s little notebook with his dirty hands.

Ari snatched and pulled the notebook towards himself to keep his secret song to himself. But the boys unite to overpower him and they rip the pages from the notebook and then tearing them through the pages one by one.

“Stop!! Please stop!!!” Ari begged the bullies.

He then grabbed the bits of the notebook with his lyrics and tried to recover as many words as possible, and he put them in his pocket.

“Know your place, dickhead!” the boy shouted at Ari before leaving his class with his buddies.

“This is just the beginning, asshole!” another boy stated, and he threw the remaining of the notebook into his fragile classmate’s face.

The bullies left the room, and they chuckled at their destructive art they left behind.

Then crushed, Ari stood up and grabbed the bits of the notebook and knew this was the beginning of another cycle of never ending stress.

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