“I defy your challenge, Mark Winfield!” A body blocked my way as I made my way towards the door after class. “A pathetic foreigner like you has no right to challenge me.”
“Huh? Challenge? What challenge?” When I looked up, Chihu was glaring at me with his arms crossed in front of his chest.
“I’ve been the top student in all my classes since senior kindergarten. I’ve never gotten a grade lower than 98%.” Chihu stuck his nose in the air as he spoke. His eyes radiated the same kind of determination as the top Missionaries at the Lindon’s organization. “And I’m the only student this year who was recruited to Felix Martin with on full scholarship, accompanied by a personal welcome letter from Dr. Felix Martin himself.” He leaned towards me with a scowl on his face. “You don’t stand a chance against me, Mark Winfield! I advise you to back off before you get yourself hurt.”
“Uh…haha…congratulations on your full scholarship! It’s quite an accomplishment.” I took a small step back. “Please don’t get the wrong idea, I have no intentions of competing with you. I’m just an international student who’s here to have some fun. Ahahaha!” I let out a nervous chuckle. What have I done to make him so angry?
“Gah!” He let out a deep grunt and squinted his eyes. “Don’t you think you can fool me with that seemingly friendly cover up. I know exactly what’s underneath that your cowardly disposition. If you ever…”
“Hey Chihu, are you finished there?” A girl called from a few seats away. “Eddie and I are going to the library now, are you coming?” The chubby guy standing next to her must be Eddie.
“Yes, honey. Just give me a second to finish up here.” Chihu’s stern menacing look instantly shifted into a friendly smile when he faced the girl.
“Are you having a nice chat with Mark?” She asked, clearly oblivious of what he had said to me. She wore the same set of school uniform as Susan and Jody. Her long blonde hair was pulled back with a large hairband, revealing her unusually large forehead.
“Of course, we’re having a very nice conversation here.” He answered. “Just be patient and wait for one more minute, ok?”
“Ok, one minute. I’ll time you.” She glanced at her wrist watch.
“Diana, you don’t have to be so strict with him.” Eddie said to the girl. “He doesn’t do this often. And plus, we’re not in a rush.”
“He always times me when he waits for me. It’s only fair this way.” Diana gave Chihu a hand signal. “You have one minute starting now.”
“That’s because you’re always chatting away with other people.” Eddie defended Chihu. He wore the same uniform as Chihu, but it didn’t have quite the same effect because of his barrel-shaped body.
“If you two don’t need my help right away, then you can leave now.” Chihu answered in a cold tone. “I’ll find you in the library.”
“See, now you made him mad!” Eddie frowned at Diana. “Are you going to help me with all the homework?”
“Don’t worry, Eddie, I’m not mad. I’ll find you two in the library.” Chihu formed a fist with one hand. The hand that the two of them couldn’t see from where they were. “I might need more than a minute.”
“No, it’s fine. We’ll wait here. We’re very patient people, right, Diana?” Eddie signaled Daiana to agree. But she turned her face away.
“Hey, why are you guys so serious? Let’s go chill.” The familiar voice was accompanied by an arm around my neck. It was Nick Carter. “We’re all buddies now, right? We’re all Felix Martin comrades now.” He placed his other arm around Chihu’s shoulder.
“Don’t use that kind of language with me!” Chihu flinched and flung Nick’s arm away. “I have no intention of being friends with scum like you!”
“Woah, easy with your language. We’re are in a public place.” Nick patted Chihu on the head, which made aggravated him even more.
“What’s wrong with calling a drug addict scum?” Chihu took a large step back with disgust. “Too bad everyone has already left. Otherwise, your shameful identity would have been exposed.”
“You know who I am?” Nick was shocked.
“Mark Winfield, don’t think this scumbag is going to save you from my wrath, he’s only going to drag you further down into hell!” Chihu turned around with a smirk and walked towards the door. “Honey, Eddie, let’s go. I don’t want to waste any more time talking to idiots.”
“That was exactly 43 seconds. Darling, you made a new personal record.” Diana ran up to him.
“Cut it out, will you?” Eddie was embarrassed by Daiana.
“Idiot? Did he just call me an idiot?” I was stunned by Chihu’s words. What’s his deal? He was so kind in answering my question in class, and then suddenly he asked me to back off like I’m threatening his life.
“Nah, never mind him.” Nick still had his arm around my shoulder as we walked out of the class. “He’s an idiot! You know, you asked a really brave question in class, that must’ve ticked off. Hahaha!”
“But I gave him a good opportunity to show off his knowledge to the rest of the class?”
“Well, not everyone thinks like that.” He explained as we walked towards the school field. “People in Japan are a lot more reserved, and students almost never ask professors questions. Only the crazy ones who like to show off ask questions in class.”
“Then how is anyone going to learn?” I’ve always been encouraged to ask questions when I didn’t understand things during training.
“They learn by listening, of course. Isn’t that the best way to learn?” He looked at me with his droopy eyes. “Hey, since we’re neighbors, you know, you’re from America and I’m from just up north. I’ll let you in on a little secret. You gotta swear that you won’t tell anyone though.”
“Ok, I swear I won’t tell anyone.” I don’t remember exactly what went through my mind at that moment. I was still recovering from the shock of Chihu’s demeanor towards me.
“Actually, let me ask you something first.” He lowered his voice and spoke into my ears. “Do you do drugs?”
“Drugs? No, I’m not sick.”
“No, not that kind of drug. I mean the kind you get on high on.”
“Get high? What do you mean?”
“Come on, are you just yanking my chain here?” He looked around to make sure no one was within hearing range, then whispered into my ear. “Do you ever smoke weed? You know, marijuana.”
“No, I don’t think so. Why?”
“I thought you’d be interested in having some.” He pulled out a ziplock bag containing a small amount of white powder. “I’ve got connections, so I can get this stuff easy.” He flashed it for a second and slipped it back into his pockets.
“Is that weed?”
“Sheesh! Not so loud man!” He freaked out for a moment. “You know this stuff is not exactly legal here, right?”
“Why are you carrying something that’s illegal?” I remember learning about marijuana from my training. That explains the strange smell his body radiates.
“Well, where I come it’s legal. Besides… Actually, ever mind. Forget I ever mentioned this stuff.”
“Is that the secret you wanted to tell me?”
“Gee, how’d you figure that one out?” He said in a mocking tone.
“Is that what Chihu was talking about?”
“Did you tell him your secret too?”
“No, of course not. Why would I tell that asshole?!”
“I don’t know who you are or where you come from. But I do know that Felix Martin hold a special place in many people’s heart. Please don’t tint its reputation with things like drugs.”
“Hmm!” He grunted. “I hate it when people talk morality with me. You think that Chihu has any morality? He treats everyone like a piece of shit and acts like he owns this school.”
“No, I don’t like his behavior, but you shouldn’t stoop to his level.”
“I’ll never get to his level even if I tried!” He spit on the ground and walked off. “Don’t count on me to save you next time! You’ll find out for yourself what that asshole’s capable of.”
“Wait!” I stopped him by the shoulder. “I haven’t thanked you yet, buddy!”
“You still think I’m a buddy?” He was puzzled.
“Sure, as long as you don’t get me in trouble.”