The bell rang signaling dismissal time for us kids. My classmates were quick in getting out. I had to pack my stuff before I leave the room. I was left alone and the room was silent. “Hello,” someone called from behind me.
“AH!” I was startled. It was a girl. She had black hair and she had a headband. She was wearing a blue jumper over a yellow shirt paired with those kiddie rubber shoes. She was smaller compared to the other kids—to us. Her features gave me a hint that she wasn’t Swiss. She had smaller eyes than us but not that small. Her eyes looked cute on her. She had fair white skin. It gave me a hint of what she was—Asian.
She giggled, “Sorry. Did I scare you?”
I was nervous for a moment. It was the first time I ever interacted with someone my age. I usually talked to someone as old as William or Fred. And I spend my quality time with my gadgets.
I stuttered, “N-No… no.”
“Really?” she asked.
I started to gain confidence… a little, “Yes. You did not.”
“Oh,” she smiled. “Good.” Her smile was indescribable. It was just so… cute. She rummaged through her back pack and finally found what she was looking for.
“Want some?” she showed me her transparent lunchbox. Inside it were lots of cookies.
I looked around her lunchbox studying what she was showing me. I asked, “What’s that?”
She removed the cover and got it closer to my face. “Cookies,” she grinned. “Go on. Don’t be shy. Try them!”
I looked at her to see her reaction as I reached for some cookies. Her expression never changed. She was smiling all the time. I finally took a small bite and wow… for a moment I felt like floating in the air. “What is this thing?” I asked in awe while chewing.
She chuckled, “It’s cookies! My aunt baked them. She told me to give some to my classmates. Did you like it?”
I took another bite but bigger than the one earlier and said, “Yes! I like it very much!”
She smiled. “What’s your name again?”
“Devon,” I replied, “Devon Hirtzel.” Then I asked, “What’s your name?” She was probably the first person I’d ever asked for a name.
“Faye. Faye McLane.” I thought it was an odd surname for an Asian. It sounded Western. I just didn't bother to ask anymore.
“Pretty name.” I didn’t know where that came from but it just came out of my mouth. And I swear I could see her blushing when I said that.
“Thank you,” she sheepishly said.
“Wow,” still amazed by the taste of the cookies—the very first cookies I’d ever had in my entire life. “I want my mom to make these for me, too.”
“You can tell her!” she grinned.
My expression saddened. Suddenly, I lost appetite in eating but the cookie was just too delicious I could not stop myself from eating. So despite the fact that I was sad talking about my mother, I still ate it then finished it.
She saw my sad look, “Aw… are you sad?”
“Yes,” I said. I was too honest back then. I did not know how to hide my feelings. Of course, I was a kid.
“Why?” she asked with concern.
“Because my mom won’t cook this for me.”
“Because she is busy.”
Seriously, I didn’t know that I had long patience when I was a kid or perhaps I thought she was worth the answers. “Well… she has work.”
“Oh… I see,” she finally stopped asking. Perhaps she realized she was asking too much or maybe she had information overload. Then she remembered something. She whispered, “Hey, don’t tell anything about the cookie to James, okay?”
I was surprised. James? But that’s my stepfather! I thought.
“I already gave him too much. He liked it and he always asked for more. He even stole my cookies once. I didn’t eat anything,” she said now she wasn’t smiling at all.
I just said, “Okay. I won’t.” I smiled. But in my mind, I started to think more badly about James. Why would he want a cookie? He’s bad. If mom knew about this, she would not like it.
As we got out of school going to the parking lot, I already saw William from afar standing near our car parked there. There were kids playing while they wait for someone to fetch them. Suddenly, someone blocked our way. A big fat guy. He was a red head and he wore an olive green sweater paired with khaki shorts and rubber shoes. He was really huge for a kid.
“Cookies,” he smirked. I looked at Faye and she looked terrified.
“But I already gave you many. My aunt said to only give my classmates a taste,” she said. I could feel the anxiety and fear in her tone.
“Nu-uh-uh. Don’t lie. It’s bad to lie, Faye. Now… cookies,” he extended his hand waiting for Faye to hand him over the cookies.
She was about to get her lunchbox from her bag when I suddenly shoved him but it didn’t make him fall to the ground or anything. I could not simply do that because first of all, he was heavy. Second, the force I used wasn’t strong. I said, “Leave her alone.” Again, another thing I didn’t know where it came from.
It was obvious he didn’t like what I did. He clenched his fist and put it in front of my face. He said in an irritated tone, “What cha’ gonna do? Push me?”
“I just did.”
“That’s it.” He held my collar and pulled me up. I was struggling kicking to try to reach his body. I was now at his eye level.
“Stop it, James! Here!” she threw her lunchbox a few feet away from him. Then I realized, Oh… so this is James. It got his attention which made him drop me. I fell on my buttocks and it really hurt.
“Ow,” I groaned.
Faye held both of my arms and pulled me up, “Are you okay?”
I glared at James as he picked up Faye’s lunchbox. That wasn’t very nice, I thought with all anger in my mind.
“Devon? Are you okay?” Faye asked once more. But I was too focused on James that I did not have the time to think of what to answer to her. I saw him laugh triumphantly as he held the lunchbox up in the air. He even kissed it.
Faye was continuously shaking me as if I was in a daze. “Devon? Devon? Please answer me!”
My anger still hadn’t faded. I was breathing so heavily as if I just ran a mile. I focused on James. I thought of how to bring him down. There were puddles around the asphalt. It started forming ripples as if something small were dropping on them. Then it was shaking. James stood up and he was wearing a big smile. Those do not belong to you! The puddles from his side started to rise like waters in a small fountain and they joined as one. James didn’t seem to notice. He was too busy with his cookies. The water began to squirt on him like in those water guns with force enough to let him drop the lunchbox then they feel back on the ground. Man! Seriously? A squirt? I complained in my mind.
“AHHH!” he exclaimed.
I myself was shocked. I stopped glaring and I started to become confused. “W-What happened?”
I turned to look at Faye but she was also too stunned to answer. I looked around and the kids all stopped playing. They were staring at me but I didn’t know why. There was silence.
“Why'd you do that?!” James asked in anger.
I was terrified. Did I… do that?
“I was going to eat!!!” he stood up.
“I-I didn’t! It was the water!” I tried to tell him but it didn’t work.
He walked towards me with clenched fists. His eyebrows knitted in anger. “YOU’RE DEAD—!”
Someone put his hand in James’ chest to stop him from going closer to me.
“Alright, that’s enough both of you.” It was William. “Sir?” he turned to me. “Are you alright?”
I nodded. He knelt down.
“Why are you asking him?! He pushed me!” James yelled. He's just over reacting.
William looked at him as if analyzing what he just said. He turned to me again and asked, “Is that true, sir?”
I shook my head. “No.”
“LIAR! I’M GONNA TELL MY DAD!” James said then he walked away stomping.
We watched him go away until he was out of sight then I told William, “William, please believe me. I did not push him. It was the water. The water squirt like a water gun then—”
I saw his expression but I did not understand it. Maybe he was just as confused as I was. He looked around and the kids didn’t even move an inch. They saw it all. William put a smile and said, “Go on. Continue playing, kids. Nothing to see here.” Then the kids obeyed him. They continued playing.
“William?” I said.
He turned to look at me. He sighed and said, “Young sir. Let’s go home.” He took my back pack from me and carried it.
I tried to reason out, “But William—!”
“Sir. Please, let’s just go home,” he said then he walked to the car.
I looked back at Faye and her expression was sad at first then she smiled. She came to me and whispered, “Thank you.”
That made me smile as well. Somehow it made me forget that I was in trouble. I followed William to our car. He was there and the door was already opened for me. I looked back again and saw Faye at the same spot looking at me as well. I waved her good-bye and she did, too. I get in the car and William closed the door. He started the engine and we went on our way.