Life & Times - Chapter 2
Chapter 2 - Hafis's Case
Chandran finalised his story about how Eddie stood up for him in a losing battle. Lily wiped her eyes with tissues. They were silent again.
"Lily, don't you have anything to say about Eddie?" Johnny asked.
"Come on, Lily. You knew Eddie were having a crush on you since Form 1, right?" Priscilla said. "Whatever you're feeling about him, you should let it out now."
"I think I'll pass. Let Hafis continue."
Lily still hasn’t accepted Eddie into her life, even after his death. This was a blow to everyone's heart.
"I will continue, then." Hafis said. "About how Eddie pulled me out from the gangster world."
I enrolled to this school since Form 2. I transferred from my old school after getting into a big fight in front of my school entrance. Police were involved in that affair. I haven't repented, and was still in my quest to expand my influence in this school. Unfortunately, it's hard to do anything bad in this school, provided that Eddie was in this school too.
I remember one day when I was extorting Form 1 kids for 'protection money', Eddie pulled me by the collars into the toilet. I feel like a little kitten being dragged away by its mother. I feel humiliated.
"Listen, newbie. No newbie ever set their territory here without my approval." Eddie said.
From what I know, I have always saw this guy on the morning assembly every Monday. Somehow, I thought this guy was the big boss of the gangsters of this school.
"Sorry, big bro." I said, knees becoming jelly in that moment.
"Well, if you like, you can always work under me. Together, we conquer this school!" Eddie shouted, his voice echoed in the toilet. He was speaking so charismatically, like a dictator. Tears of joy were forming in my eye sack. Never before I see a gangster acting so respectably.
"Yes, yes! I'll go through hell for you!" I shouted, my voice overlapping Eddie's echo in the toilet.
"Yes! That's what blood brothers do!" Eddie agreed.
He released me from his grip and said that he would call me whenever he is going on a 'patrol'.
True enough, after recess, he barged into my class. Not to ask me out for a patrol. But to wreak havoc.
"All you nerds listen up! If anyone wants a safe trip home, hand over RM 2 from each of you to me. Now!" He shouted, standing on my table.
"Dude, is that even a threat?" I whispered, putting my face near to his legs. "We're far outnumbered."
Eddie looked down, glancing at me.
"We have to do something drastic to see the changes." Eddie said, with an aura of leadership in him. But it lasted not for long.
He fell to the floor like a bird struck by a machine gun.
It was Mr. Shanmugam, the discipline teacher, holding his cane. Apparently, Eddie was hit by the textbook thrown by Mr. Shan.
"Ah. Shit." Eddie said, touching his head, still lying on the floor.
I looked down, glancing at Eddie.
"Are you okay?"
"Ask Mr. Shan. He still has some spare textbooks to throw at your face."
He was pulled by Mr Shan into his 'torture chamber'. I just stood there, wondering what had just happened. It happened too fast. Mr Shan have his reputation of ending mischief in a split second.
I waited for Eddie in front of the school entrance. My fellow schoolmates were trotting back to their homes. There is never a period so interesting in school except the final ring of the bell.
Eddie finally walked out from a seemingly forever wait. The thing I noticed about him is that he was limping towards me.
"Hey, what happened to you?" I asked, pointing at his legs.
"Let's not talk about that, alright?"
Eddie sat beside me in that bus stop beside the school.
"The gangs of this school is going to meet up tomorrow at the football field during recess." Eddie said, rubbing his backside. "I'm going to pull a grand appearance and have them all join me."
"Where's your gang, then?
"I have no gang. I just started being a gangster the day I met you. It looks cool."
If it weren't for being near the school, I would have punched him in the face.
"And you say you were going to barge in onto the crowd of brutes?" I was impressed at his stupidity.
"Why not?" He said, unknowing what's gonna hit him tomorrow.
Tomorrow came, and I woke up by myself for the first time. In fact, I didn't sleep that night. Not to say I was worried about Eddie, but I was wondering how dumb Eddie can really be.
During recess, I saw one of the crowds were grabbing Eddie's collar.
"Hey, I'm your future boss. Show me some respect." Eddie said, half choking.
"Keep on dreaming."
Eddie was pushed to the ground, his face kissing the grass.
I was struck by my conscience. Somehow, I think that it was me who influenced Eddie. I was the bad guy. Not him. He's never the leader, I am. I led him to this fate.
"Hey, stop!" I rushed to the crowd and tried to rescue Eddie.
"Hey, you were late." Eddie said, spitting out grass between words.
"Eddie, I'm so sorry I caused you all this. It's not cool to be gangster; it's not cool to extort money from the weak." I said, trying to pull away the leg that was stepping on Eddie. "Let him go!"
The crowd was laughing at us. Calling us sissy, who can't even defend themselves. But it was stopped by a loud bang.
From the distance, we looked at the teacher's parking lot. It was Mr Shan's Proton Iswara. His exhaust pipe burst.
"Fun fact. Do you know that once the exhaust pipe is ignited, the firecracker in it will also blow up? Or are you brainless brutes too dumb to know that?" Eddie said, still on the ground.
Mr Shan were shouting from the distance. There goes half of his salary.
The crowd looked at Eddie in awe.
"So, do you have the marbles to do the same thing?" Eddie said, pushing away the gangster's leg from his back.
"You are the boss." The gangsters of all races said. Eddie had the chance to utilize the gangs of this school into his gang.
"Okay. First assignment. Be free." Eddie said, looking around the crowds. "Gangsterism is for sissies."
He brushed off the grass on his shirt and walked away with me.
I do feel bad for Mr Shanmugam's exhaust pipe. But hey, Eddie managed to trade one exhaust pipe for a school free of vandalism.
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1) wow. eddie certainly is a cool dude. i mean, was.
- 9 years ago