Five Fifteen

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II

So I fell for his act. As of today it’s been exactly 7weeks since I first met the guy who I despise the most. You guys possibly have thought that he and I became good friends but in fact the anger that I felt the first time I got to talk to him grew bigger and bigger, day after day I got more aggravated by him. For the past few weeks a lot has happened. I got suspended several times because of him. He always drag me to things that I never wanted to do but for some reasons I always find myself standing by his side. We got caught cheating because he asked for my help and then after that he started to act tough and got caught in a fight and obviously I was involved and the worst of all, he brought cigarettes and drugs, probably just molly and since I got entailed by all of his foolishness, the principal of our school thought that perhaps I am somewhat his abettor. I almost got kicked out because of him. Being a student for about 12years I never experienced this kind of things, though people say that there’s always a first to everything, I don’t think there should be a first to what I have gone through.

As soon as I got back to class, I immediately stopped helping him in our Biology class and started ignoring him. Everyday he never ceased to exasperate me but I try my best to manage my anger since he can’t manage his own stupidity. As I am about to go out of our classroom Mr. Hunter called out for my name and told me to stay because he needed to talk to me about something important. I got nervous because what first came to my mind is that Jack did something again and he somehow found his way to entail it to me once more. The sweat keeps on dripping from the side of my cheek, couldn’t tell if it was because I am tense or just because it’s summer, and the weather is 43°C.

“I noticed that you stopped doing what I asked from you the first day our class started.”—as he talked, he looked at me straight in the eye as if he wanted me to give a hundred reasons as to why I did that.

“Professor Hunter I think Jack caused enough damage to my reputation and I couldn’t risk getting involved with him and with every bad decision he makes. He always bring trouble in my life, that’s all he does. If I don’t stop getting caught with every shenanigans he do, I’ll fall apart. Maybe you’re not seeing that but I know I will, eventually.”

“You still don’t get it do you? It wasn’t just a mere favor that I asked from you dear. It was a challenge. If someone’s gonna help Jack, God forbid but I know that you’re the only one who can and who will. Jack suffered a lot when he was just a child and—.” I interrupted him because it’s not fair for me anymore and Jack doesn’t deserve the help that I can give, will give and had given.

“No! Why the hell would I care if he suffered or not? I’m done helping his hopeless soul. I cared, I tried, but there’s nothing working out for him. I’m sorry prof. but I think you should just find another student that’ll be able to handle him.”—I turned my back against him and walked towards the door and then he mumbled as he drew his hands to my shoulder “I’m sorry,” there was an urgency in his approach as if he doesn’t have any other choice—“but I’m tying your report card to his grades, if he fails, you fail as well. I’m sorry but this is the only way.” He shook his head as he patted my shoulder.

“But I already told you that this is not fair! He needs saving I know that! But how about me? I’m the one who needs saving from him and besides, why did you even choose me? He doesn’t like me you know?”—I continued speaking, giving every reason that to why I shouldn’t be the one who give him what he needs but he laded aside every word that I threw at him.

“That’s not true. He’s a fine man it’s just that he’s been broken for a long time. He needs someone who will understand him and pull out what’s good left inside him. I’m not asking you to be his study-buddy, I’m asking you to be his friend.”—as he continued he ordered me to take a seat as he told me what Jack has experienced in his past life before he even found him. The sincerity in Mr. Hunter’s voice made me utter the words that I could’ve never imagined I would tell him.
“Okay. You win. I’ll help him.”


The following day, as I was about to go to our classroom for my biology class Jack suddenly called out my attention “Tyler!”—I stopped but then I continued walking and decided to ignore him and act like I haven’t heard him. But of course, knowing what kind of a person he is, he called out for me again and again until I couldn’t do anything but to face him. He’s very persistent, I’ll give him that. I looked back and asked “What do you want Jack?” he grabbed my shoulder then walk pass at me then blocked my way while he’s wearing his usual mocking face.

“I heard that you’re going to help me again for our biology class? Or perhaps I misunderstood what professor Hunter said to me?”

“No Jack, you understood him very well. Now can you please move out of my way?”

“Aren’t you heading to our class? Let’s just walk together. And besides it’s not like you have any friends who will walk together with you.”

I know that I’ll never win against him so I just let him do what ever he wants. No matter what I say he always find answers to counter it.

As Jack and I were walking down the hallway he suddenly murmured—“Do you know what hell feels like?” His voice was soft and his eyes were in a state of epiphora. I thought a lot about the question he just gave me. For a moment the mood that he got me into made me want to open up to him but instead I answered him in jest.—“Do I look like I’ve been there? Oh right.. I actually experienced it together with you. Don’t you remember? You made my life a living hell after everything you’ve put me through. I’m starting to believe that the devil is really walking down here on earth together with us, especially with me, right now.”

“That’s cute,”—he looked at me then he put his arm around my shoulder “you need to do that more often when I’m around you know. You’ve gotta stop taking things seriously all the time and let yourself have some fun and be dumb sometimes. You need to lose your mind and go crazy without worrying about it because you know why? Nothing’s promised tomorrow. You’re funny. I like it.”

I certainly did not expect that those words would ever come out of Jack’s mouth. Again, I feel like I’m talking to someone else aside from Jack himself, he feels totally different. Could this be one of his many other facades? I really like to believe that there’s more good inside him more than the bad. I hope he can show me his true self because if I’m going to help him, I need to know who I’m really dealing with.
“Hey Tyler. What made you come back? Why’d you choose to help me again? You could’ve just left me. I mean I know that Mr. Hunter obliged you to help me but it’s still your right to refuse.”

To be completely honest, I don’t know what to say. I mean I really don’t know why I came back to help him. There was nothing to say or maybe I just couldn’t find the right words that I should tell him. And since I couldn’t answer what he asked I threw another question to him instead. —“Why’d you ask? Is my reason for coming back that important to you?”

“I just want to understand why you’re doing this. I mean after everything I’ve put you through if you’re still in your right mind you’ll stay aloof from me.”
“Perhaps I’m crazy then; for thinking that sometimes even though people can be as bad as the devil itself, they can change. I still see the little goodness in their eyes and sometimes that’s more than enough reason to stay and do your best to try and save them or at least just help them.”—I don’t know where I got those words that I just told him but something felt different. Even though he made a lot of mess in my life I couldn’t stay angry with him. Maybe because I know what it feels like to be him or just simply because I understand him and all of his needs.

“It feels good Ty.”— he looked at me wistfully then he continued “You know how messed up I am, how I let things ruin me. But despite everything you still understand me. For a long time I’ve been lonely. Meeting someone who can and who will understand everything about you actually feels great especially when you’re living in a world no one understands. Thank you.” I removed his hand around me and then I let my hand walk through his fingers as I grabbed it and held it tight.

“Don’t thank me yet. We still have our final exam and there’s still a lot to know about you.”— Right from this moment I knew that I’d really do my best to be of any kind of help to him. He’s a mess and I want to fix him because even though I met him in the dark, he’s the one who lit me up. He gave me a purpose.
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