The Boy in the Corner, Part 2

Fiction by | February 2, 2014

Continued from part 1

A week passed. During those days, Tim continued to watch Grim. He noted unusual behavior from Grim. Sometimes, Grim wore a smile, at other times a frown – without any cause. But Tim discovered something more disturbing: Grim talked to himself. Because of how he observed Grim, the other students treated Tim the same way as his subject of interest. Tim didn’t care. He needed, he wanted, to know Grim.

Lunch came. Tim got ready to observe Grim from a distance.

“Notebook, check. Pen, check. Oh, no, he went ahead!”

Tim rushed outside the classroom to check if Grim was still in the hallway. He saw Grim heading downstairs. After letting out a sigh of relief, he followed Grim. Tim went down the stairs and passed by the admissions counter. Suddenly, someone tapped him from the back. He turned around and to his surprise, it was Grim.

“Tim, right?” Grim asked. He looked serious.

Tim didn’t know what to say. He was shocked. No, he was afraid. He was afraid that Grim would do something bad to him. Tim stayed silent. Grim lost his patience and dragged Tim to the restroom.

“Ok… Out with it! Why have you been following me?”

Tim tried to talk but his knees were still shaking. Grim placed his hands on top of his head. He gritted his teeth, wailed, and breathed heavily. Then, to his amazement, Tim heard Grim talk to himself.

“Let me talk to him.”

“No! You stay there!”

“My turn.”

At once, the atmosphere surrounding the comfort room became light. Grim stood straight and tidied himself. Then, he smiled – the same soft smile Tim saw during his introduction. At that moment Tim was convinced that he could now talk to Grim with ease. His trembling stopped.

“I was just wondering if you had something to do with the school’s, uh, how to put it…” Tim said carefully.

“Heavy stares and constant sneers from the people here?” Grim replied in a cheery manner.

Tim was surprised. He only nodded in response. He didn’t expect a happy reply from Grim. It was as if the person in front was different from the one who dragged him in.

“It’s my dark side, or something like that.”

“Dark side?”

“Yup. I think I got it from my mom. Or, maybe my dad. I really don’t know. But, people see it as a curse. Quite funny, though.”

Grim laughed. Tim’s mind, however, started to wonder. He wasn’t sure if Grim was telling the truth or if his condition was even possible. But since he saw Grim’s “transformation” for himself, he considered it to be true.

Suddenly, Grim paused. Then, the heavy aura filled the room once more. Tim’s eyes widened, and his knees started to shake once more. Grim’s face then had the serious look. Grim then snarled at Tim.

“If it weren’t for you…”

Grim rushed outside the restroom. Tim was still shaking but his curiosity of Grim pushed his fears aside. He quickly went out to follow Grim. From the bathroom, he went towards the admissions counter, then out towards the school grounds. It was still lunch; students who loitered the field watched as the two boys chased each other. Grim went from the grounds towards the rusted gates. He pulled at the bars, trying to open them. While he was pulling, Tim caught up with him.

“Don’t say a word. Stay away!”

Tim stopped. After a few moments, the gates opened. Grim turned around, sweaty and breathing heavily.

“Leave us!”

Tim remained silent. He walked slowly towards Grim. Grim was shaking his head while moving backwards.

“Stay away!”

Like a cornered wild animal, Grim attempted to hit Tim. Tim didn’t waiver; he kept moving towards Grim while avoiding Grim’s strikes. Both of them continued their slow chase. Silence overcame both of them. Grim was focused on keeping Tim away, while Tim was focused on reaching Grim. Time seemed to slow down. From the side, a pair of glowing orbs was closing in towards them. Grim looked at his side. Then, Tim saw Grim’s expression change – it was the other side of him. Tim then read the words that the good Grim mouthed: “watch… out…”

The faculty and students heard a screech by the road. They rushed outside. Skid tracks were on the road, a student was sitting across the road looking dumbfounded, and the body of another student was on the windshield of a car.

Pido Montecillo is a student of Ateneo de Davao University

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