Pocket Aces


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Once upon a day in middle school, a new student arrived on campus. It was late April when he was transferred, for the third time, to the last middle school in the district. He carried with him an unfortunate curse: a provocative and transformative effect on others, often times evoking intimidation into the atmosphere due to his unbeknownst sensitivity and intense feelings.

It was his first day.
Homeroom was homeroom, a self introduction to the class provided him much attention, for better or worse. He caught up the attention of two sharks but brushed it off quickly as he moved toward second period P. E.

He didn’t have a uniform yet.
So, he ran the mile in his jeans and got second place. He felt as though something about this number one resonated with him. He respected him, even looked up to him, for reasons even he did not know.

Yet they said nothing to one another, yet.
After the mile run, the two boys from math tailed closely behind while muttering belittling and offensive remarks. Once again, he brushed it off. Second period was over briefly.

The locker room chatter became quiet.
Nobody really spoke to him except the teachers, who gave him his p.e uniform. Although he didn’t need to change, he was assigned a locker adjacent to the ‘one.’
He saw many traits that he both admired and respected. And as the passing bells rang, they nodded in acknowledgement.  And this he respects so he used it as fuel to drive himself to become the best he could be. He would forever remember him as the ‘one’ who was superior.

Math was once his favorite subject.
But there he found solace by dreaming of the way things should have been. When the teacher noticed this, he would call upon the boy and he would answer a question. He anyways answered correctly without missing a beat.

He was ahead of the class but he wasn’t ‘the’ head of the class. He wasn’t the one.
Despite this, he would constantly use his intelligence to innovate the learning environment. Noticing this, the two boys from homeroom tried to copy off of him,they wanted to cheat off his answers. Normally, he’d have let them, he would have let anyone. But today, he chose to cover his answers. When that didn’t work, he began writing his answers backwards so that those cheating would answer incorrectly.

The teacher found this to be amusing.

It happened in passing.
He was walking straight with his eyes to the floor, his head in the clouds when suddenly a force pushed him from behind. He unexpectedly slips and rolls forward but as he turned around to see who was behind this, he met a knee and he fell to the ground. Immediately after, a Nike Cortez kicked him in the side of the head, leaving him with a solid check mark on his cheek.

He attempted to stand but another set of hands pushed him back down to the floor where a barrage kicks nearly left him down for good until a boy, the one from earlier who beat him in the mile, charged into one of the assailants and begin fighting. While this occurred, the boy seized the moment to exploit the opportunity–he struck quickly–he struck hard. He hit the other assailant in the side off the head. It had now become two versus two.

As quickly as it had started, Supervision came and separated the boys from fighting. In the principals office, the boy asked number one why he came to help him when he really didn’t need to.

The number one boy simply smiled.

……Fifteen years later.. He still never mentions it, as if nothing had happened.