The Bully

Bully

by

Neu Weetee

The view outside the library window is violet-shaded, making it difficult to tell if it is the cool hues of morning or an ongoing sunset.

The boy arrives tired, not having slept a wink. The sunlight he gets when he goes out is the only thing that drives endless thoughts away. He is here, finally. Coming here, to the library, is eventual. He has to pen his thoughts down. He will not be driven over the edge.

There is a girl in a red school-house t-shirt and beige skirt here before him. She sits on his right. The only other thing he notices about her is that she sporadically switches between shooting messages off her phone and scribbling some homework down.

The girl disappears as he writes. The writing heals, because as he writes he no longer plays by the real world’s rules, his life no longer an algorithm of events and achievements, his self no longer the sum of shattered pieces, and so he forgets. He burrows his head down and pens frantic strokes, his hand playing catch-up with his head. He doesn’t realize it, but on the concrete train track right ahead, nineteen trains would come and go before he lifts his head again. When he does, the sky and trees are still tinted with the same unfathomable violet. When he lifts his head, he sees the dying branches sway against the tiled office blocks, the construction workers huddling off to the construction site beside the town hall, the cars going somewhere, another train slipping from the right to left and gone, he also feels it again – the unknowable dread in the stomach’s pit, the same that drove him here. It is smaller now, somewhat nullified. But it hangs there, still.

He looks down on the paper and reads what he has written. They ease him in, both the smooth ones and the cringe-worthy. They ease the shroud in him away.

He eases back into them.

The next time he lifts his head, it is because of a heavy tap, although it may have been more like a violent shove on the shoulder.

The guy is a jock, taller than he is although he is himself tall. He feels obliged to stand up. The jock makes a side-swaying head-motion that says get the fuck out. The schoolgirl looks at him and the jock, and the boy looks at both of them. The seat is meant for the jock all along, even though the girl is kind enough to let him use it for a while, even though in plain sight on the wall is a notice that clearly says No Reservation of Seats.

He looks blindly at the jock, who is now gesturing with, again, head motions, but this time in an up-and-down cocking manner. A furrowed stare that says what the fuck do you want?

The boy looks at the sign, as if the words on the laminated paper are self-explanatory, and back at the jock.

But this is the real rule of the real world, is it not? He almost says it. He looks around. The library is packed with heads and bodies, hunched-down on magazines and tablets and novels and textbooks.

He looks at the jock again, who by now has thrust himself between him and the girl, and proceeds to sit himself down on his chair, pushing him to knock against the old man on his left.

He apologizes softly, and then realizes his first words in the library were an apology.

By now the jock has placed his textbooks, calculator, shoe bag and tennis racket on the table. He shoves those that are not his aside.

The boy quickly packs his things into his own bag.

He catches a quick glimpse of what’s outside the window. If you look through the library window in that particular aisle standing up, you look through an upper glass panel, and the world outside is not violet-hued. It looks perfectly normal. You can tell it is the end of the afternoon. It is the approaching of evening. A violet-hued evening. But the boy does not know that. He does not know the upper panel of the glass is not tinted with a c3c3e5 violet window film. When he steps out of the library the world looks just the same as it did when he caught that last glimpse, with the heads of the girl and her jock blocking most of the tree lines.

And for some reason, till this day, he thinks the world looks just the same from inside the library and out, and he never went back.


Weetee consumes copious amounts of Radiohead, Dota2, Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro, and has a short story published in the collection Petua, which was sold in Kinokuniya, Popular and BooksActually. He has written, edited and interviewed for Campus magazine, Family&Life magazine, Jetbay and publications such as obscured.sg and 5minutemusic. He was also the Literature editor for obscured.sg, a writer at Click2view, Pico and Formul8, and is currently writing freelance while working on fiction.

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