“No breakfast?” asked Julius, noticing Craig’s empty hands.
“My boy’s bringing it to me,” he said with a smirk.
“Your boy? What do you mean?” asked Julius.
“You know, that little pipsqueak they make me bunk with.”
At that moment, Shorty approached the table carrying a tray over-flowing with food. He set it down in front of Craig. “Hey! I told you I wanted ketchup on my eggs, you idiot. Now go get me some!”
Shorty cowered and stepped back a step. “Sorry, Craig. I’ll go get some right now.”
Julius stood up. “Just a minute, Shorty. You don’t have to get ketchup for him. Craig can get his own ketchup if he wants it.”
Craig glared at Julius. “Butt out o’ this, black boy.”
Julius ignored the racial slur and calmly addressed Shorty again. “Go get yourself some breakfast, Shorty, before it gets cold.”
“I-I-I don’t mind, Julius. Really I don’t,” Shorty stammered, taking another step back before turning and running back to get some ketchup.
Hunter could feel himself getting hot. He could feel perspiration beading on his forehead. He looked back and forth between Julius and Craig.
Julius slowly lowered himself back down onto the bench and stared at Craig, his dark eyes hard as steel.
Craig stared back with as much resolve. “I said to butt out o’ this. It ain’t none o’ your business.”
“It is my business. Shorty is my friend, and I will not sit by and watch him being bullied.”
“You callin’ me a bully?”
“If the shoe fits, wear it.”
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