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The Greatest Battle
I was itching for a fight. I hadn’t had one in nearly two days. I loved the thrill of it. To give all of your being, mind and body, to the challenge of battle, it made my soul ache with anticipation. Recently, I had to settle for verbal fights against my classmates. It was rare for me to get anyone of them into a physical fight. My classmates were always rude and constantly insulting my family and me. They hated me because my family was rich. I don’t understand why they hate me for that, I never flaunt the money or become snooty with them about it. Although sometimes when I get in fights, my family steps in and pays the medical bills or school for the convenience. I know for sure they hate me for my intelligence. I am above the average, but I’m not a super genius. If they want my grades, they just have to work to get them. I hated them in return for being jealous. They are so weak in confidence and self-esteem that they have to envy others makes me furious. They should be strong in mind and be able to smother such emotions should they Lately, I’ve seen them resisting the urge to bully my sister or me. Ever since I resolved myself from being the quiet, polite girl in class, my classmates refuse to look me in the eye for fear I’ll start a fight with them. They don’t want to get in trouble.
I’m looking at them now, staring from face to face, as I sit in the front left corner of the room. None of them dare waver their eyes from the teacher who was giving her lecture. As I scan the seats, I notice small things about each person. My grandmother had always called my intuition. I didn’t know what to call it. It’s as if the little movements a person relieves something about their energy. One girl is worried about her relative in the hospital; She keeps looking at the clock. Another girl has already read the book the teacher is discussing; that girl is looking out the window.
Then, it hits me like when you walk into a room that has been closed off for days and now, when you walk in, the appalling stench slams you in the face. I wasn’t looking at anyone in particular, but I sensed something wrong. A weak, fluttering heart. At first, I couldn’t tell where the dreadful feeling was coming from. Then, more cries of help called to me. A weak pulse, pale skin. It was the boy sitting next to me. He had shaggy hair that looked like it was cut several months ago with kitchen scissors. He wore unkempt clothes: Baggy jeans, baggy t-shirt, neither looked washed. His body was muscular but he looked anemic, frail. It was obvious to me, if he went unconscious, he would stay in the black forever. If he bled, his body wouldn’t have enough blood or strength to restore him.
I soon as I noticed his health state, I knew I had to act fast. He would never come willing to the doctor otherwise he would have by now. But, every passing second, his body cries for help grew stronger. I had to do something dramatic. My adrenaline was flowing. I created a plan faster than I could think.
I carefully took the small knife I had stashed in my back pocket in case I got in a knife fight. When the teacher turned around to face the board, I put my plan into action. I slowly tucked the knife under my shirt and skillfully prodded my abdomen. As a child, I had wanted to be a doctor and read extensively. By the fourth grade, I was discussing human anatomy with surgeons at the hospital. That’s when I felt the spot. I jabbed the knife with accurate aim. This would need stitching and a trip to the hospital, but no surgery. I pulled the weapon out and stifled a groan. I put the bloody weapon in my front pocket. Then, I did a dramatic fainting scene my sister would be proud of. I grabbed the pale boy’s t-shirt as I fell between the aisles of desks. The boy followed my descent. The blood was staining through my two layers of clothes now. I tore back the cloth. My planned wound hurt worst than I imagined it would. I groaned. The boy asked me what happened. I could faintly hear the teacher calling the ambulance. I demanded the boy to give me his name.
Then, I insisted he give me his shirt to stop the bleeding. He hesitated before pulling it over his head. He pressed the cloth to my oozing blood. He never strayed his gaze from his pressing hands. I inferred he was ashamed of his body. I understood why. His back and chest were covered with black, blue, and purple skin in various stages of healing. I imagined something of bad home life, but nothing as cruel as that. Most of the students were focused on me, but there was one guy who had kindness in his heart.
“Put this on.”
He threw his shirt to Jonathan. He shivered in the slight chill of the room. Jonathan put it on quickly and returned to his task. The ambulance finally arrived. I was losing blood swifter than I anticipated, but I still had most of my strength. When the EMTs tried to take me away, Jonathan let go of my hand. I screamed and squirmed opening my injury. The EMTs told Jonathan he had to come with them to “make this a smoother ride” to the emergency room. He returned his grip on my hand and I grinned. All according to plan, with slight variations.
I faded in and out of consciousness. I was losing too much blood. I woke up with the nurses hurrying my stretcher down the hallway toward the ER. I asked them to stop just before the ER doors. They obliged after I threatened to throw a fit. I told Jonathan to set his arm next to mine on the moving bed. With all of my remaining strength, I ripped out the knife from my pocket and sliced his arm. It was mere scratch, to any normal person, but his blood was in short supply. The nurses reacted immediately. They robbed the knife from my hand. They realized why I did it. The nurses assured me that would help Jonathan. Then, they took us both to the ER room. I mouthed a “sorry” to Jonathan before blacking out.
The next time was woke up they told me the wound I had received had cut part of my intestines. They had to do surgery to repair the damage. I would be fine within a couple of days. I asked about Jonathan. The nurses said that he had a disease that ate away at his muscles, including his heart, because he was not eating any food and working out excessively. He had mental issues that contributed to his nonexistent diet and overworking his body. He had been given blood transfusions and was on the way to a speedy recovery. The nurses told me if I hadn’t done something when I did, the boy would have died that afternoon. I asked the head nurse to let me see my mom.
My mom came in crying tears of joy and sadness. I explained to her Jonathan’s situation. I left out everything that involved how I got my injury. My mother was a charitable woman and always had a way of getting things done, no matter how impossible. She said she would “take care of things” and “things would work out like they’re supposed to.”
I relaxed and went back to sleep. When I left the hospital, Jonathan had been put in one of my kind relative’s home. He was recovering from his childhood and his single-parent father had been put in jail for a really long time. I never talked to Jonathan after that.
I don’t know why I could sense his body’s warnings that day or why I reacted the way I did. But I saw him the other day, he had cleaned up and on his arm was his new girlfriend. I was happy for him. After that first day at the hospital, I gave up fighting people. Those little fights mean nothing and do nothing in the big picture of things. I prefer to help people fight the Greatest Battle of all. The Battle to stay alive.