‘Ow! Watch it, Mollison! I’m injured here. You wanna share my pain?’
Oliver pulled himself up to his full height. He was a half head taller than any of the other boys in the sixth grade, and although he was thin, his height still had its advantages.
‘I’m sorry, Nits,’ he said in a firm voice, looking down, directly into the angry face. ‘I must have tripped. I was trying to get through to my friends.’
Nits glared back, but Olly’s gaze did not waver.
‘Yeah, well, you better be more careful,’ Nits growled, breaking the eye lock. ‘Don’t mess with me, Olly Molly.’
He turned muttering to his supporters about the stupidity of nerds. There was much backslapping and laughter as the group moved off to other tables.
Olly exhaled and slumped back into the seat.
‘Wow,’ Binka breathed. ‘You weren’t scared at all.’
‘Oh yes he was,’ Frankie grinned.
‘Oh yes I was,’ Olly confirmed. ‘Frank and I have been putting up with the Boneheads for years.’ He swigged from his water bottle.
‘Nits is the worst. Mack is the most reasonable. The others are just followers,’ Frankie continued. ‘They aren’t as tough as you think they are, but, when they are all together like that, it’s scary. You can’t let them know you are scared though.’
Olly looked over at the Boneheads. ‘That’s what they’re looking for. Once they see that you’re scared, they know they have power over you.’
‘And they’ll come after you again and again,’ Frankie nodded.
‘Like lions going after a weak member of a herd of antelopes. That’s why we stick together.’ Olly offered his knuckles to Binka who happily touched them with his own.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish