Chapter 1 - Xenia

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            Have you ever met someone that was… strange… but… special? I will never forget that time when I transferred to Bagong Kahoy High School (BKHS). It was my first day back then when I met him but I never did expect to meet someone like him at all. It wasn’t really my decision to transfer here in the first place but since my parents keep moving from place to place, I really couldn’t do anything about it. My story doesn’t go like any other new transfer student; not nervous… not unsure… but always somehow excited. As always at every first day of school I wait outside of the corridor of my classroom-to-be waiting for the teacher to invite me in and introduce myself.

When I came in through the classroom door then introduced myself to everyone I noticed someone… strange looking student seated at the back of the classroom. Physically, nothing was strange about him nor is the way he sits is strange… when he looked at me intensely, I don’t know what was strange about it but something was definitely strange about him.

I was then a bit curious about him then. I have been the new student a number of times so I was able to fit in quite quickly and find out things. I’ve found out the strange boy’s name was John Henry Nicole. Rumors said he was weird yet amazingly smart as well as being the silent one and the usual target of bullies.

I was even more interested in him but when I tried to talk to him, he was silent as the rumors said but he had a strange way at looking at me. I can’t make out what was he thinking back at that time but it seemed he was shy and nervous when he looked at me. I kept asking questions but none he answered but he only uttered softly the words “Thank you for noticing me” with a grin then walked away. After he left I noticed something in my hand, it turned out he gave me a small mirror in my hand without me even knowing it… I was even more curious about him.

Some time passed, I guess it was a week since I came when it happened. There was a gang at our school that no one ever dared to mess with but was the number one trouble maker. That day began with a prank that gone wrong on one of our classmate… a smoke bomb exploded in his locker when he opened it but the bad part was the explosion nearly injured him. I don’t know anything about bombs but I don’t think smoke bombs were meant to explode so aggressively so it must be a prank gone wrong. John looked closer at the scene afterwards the accident.

Later on that day the gang no one dared to mess with was guilty of the incident. I don’t know what was going on but at the afternoon that day the gang leader, Derek approached John with a swift punch.

“So you think your big and tough huh Einstein, let’s see you eat my knuckle sandwich.” Derek said holding John up high setting up for another punch.

When I thought it couldn’t get worse some more members of Derek’s gang showed up looking pretty angry. I thought of screaming for help but no one was around at that time at that part of the school but us.

Since I’ve got no choice, I gathered my courage and said “Derek, don’t get yourself into more trouble than you already are in. Beating John won’t change anything” but he replied aggressively “Shut up! That doesn’t matter anymore because I’m going to get expelled because of him.”

            Derek’s gang started to beat up John but strange enough John didn’t fight back as it seemed. They beaten him so brutally that I thought I was about to cry at that time. I begged them to stop but when I approached the rumble to beg them to stop, one of them kicked me causing me to slam into the wall on my back. Then I screamed in pain because I twisted my ankle when I was kicked back.

            Out of nowhere John was able to throw two of the gang members holding him on each arm. He yelled loudly then started fighting back. He was very fast; he was able to dodge so many punches and kicks coming from different members of the gang picking them off one at a time a punch and kick for each of them. It was so stunning I forgot about how my twisted ankle hurt… I then asked myself is this what was underneath him all along?

            All of the sudden, out of frustration Derek grabbed a pipe and hit John in the face with it twice but the third John caught it in his hand then sent Derek far across the hallway with one swift kick. John was brought to his knees then let out one loud angry yell.

            Speechless back then, I slowly approached him. I saw his forehead was bleeding from the pipe wacked at him. I could not make out what he was thinking but I could see in his eyes he regretted something greatly. From the way he was shaking I knew something was wrong.

I crawled to him then grabbed him by the hand then uttered his name. John suddenly snapped out of it then looking at me slowly. “Are you alright?” he asked me where I was very surprised… I mean he’s the one who has blood running down his face.

He carried me to the clinic where everyone was staring at us, I was very embarrassed but he didn’t seem to care. He had this sad expression on his face while he was carrying me. When we got to the clinic, we were both treated. They were right about him; he wasn’t any ordinary person so it made me wonder even more about John.

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