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The red Ford Expedition pulled up to the wet steps of Pulmount Middle School. The door opened, and Trevor Baynes exited into the pouring rain, garbed in a heavy black coat. After saying “goodbye” to his mom, Trevor walked up the steps, careful not to slip and fall, and entered the school.
Trevor walked to his homeroom class. His homeroom teacher, Mr. Atkins, was busily attempting to fix his projector as the students in his class noisily talked amongst themselves. Trevor sat down in his assigned desk and began reading the novel he was currently exploring. He felt a tremor as his backpack was grabbed by Blake Manster. Without looking up, he said blankly, “Give it back, Blake. I’m not in the mood.”
Blake ignored him and carried the backpack around the obnoxious classroom. Trevor sighed, placed his novel on the desk, and stood and walked over to Blake. He held out his hand and repeated, “Give it back, Blake.” Blake stared at him for a moment, then threw down the backpack and walked off with a few of his friends. Trevor snatched up the backpack just as the bell rang.
Six hours later, during the last class of the day, Trevor found that his backpack was missing. He angrily went into the hall, where Blake had it, along with three of his friends. Trevor tried to grab the backpack, but Blake kept it away from him. “I’m still not in the mood,” said Trevor. Blake sat it down, but when Trevor went to grab it, Blake hit him hard in the shoulder. Trevor kicked Blake in the chest, but was pushed to the ground by one of Blake’s friends. They left, and Trevor got up and went to leave school.
I’m sick of it, Trevor thought to himself as he moseyed around his bedroom at home. He knew that Blake was making it off to be like a joke, but that he really meant to cause him grief. Why can’t I do something about it? Just then, he spied one of his superhero books lying on his shelf. That’s it.
Trevor immediately went down to the basement and started lifting weights. He could only lift about a dozen pounds for now, but that would improve. He lifted dumbbells for about 30 minutes, then went back up to his room and opened up a notebook. In it, he drew himself wearing a black hoodie with a black mask, a black shirt underneath, and blue jeans, with a black cape. He titled the drawing “the Avenger.” “I will destroy bullying once and for all,” he said.
Five weeks later, when Trevor had lifted more weights and created his costume, he packed the costume into his backpack and rode to school. During lunch, he found Blake and his friends harassing a kid in the bathroom. He quickly ran into the other boys’ bathroom, changed into his costume, and sneaked into the bathroom without being detected. “Leave him alone,” said the Avenger as he stood in the doorway.
Blake and his friends stared at the Avenger for several minutes before Blake said, “Who are you?”
“That’s not important. I told you to leave him alone.”
“You wanna’ fight? Okay.” Blake swung at the Avenger, who ducked and kneed him in his outstretched arm. A guy kicked at the Avenger, who dodged and punched him in the face. But Blake grabbed the Avenger from behind and threw him into a stall door, then punched him in the gut. The Avenger threw Blake to the ground and stood before Blake’s other friends. Two of them were standing, while the other was just now getting up off the ground. The Avenger felt nervous. They could easily gang up on him, and who knows what they would to him after this, especially the superhero thing. But he raised his fists and stood his ground. Then, Blake got up, and he and his cronies left the bathroom.
The kid they were harassing was cowering behind a stall door. The Avenger helped him up. “Thanks,” the kid said. Then, he ran out of the bathroom.
The school’s video recording of the fight in the bathroom alerted them to the Avenger and to the bullies. They called in Blake and his friends to the office, where they were led into Principal Lavin’s office. “Why were you fighting?” the towering man demanded.
Blake took a minute, then said cautiously, “We were just playing.”
“Yeah. That’s what it looked like.” Sarcasm. “You all have OSS (Out of School Suspension.) And when I find the masked kid you were fighting, he’ll get it too.”
Trevor was leaving Mr. Atkins class when Mr. Atkins said , “Hey, Trevor, can I see you for a minute?” When Trevor went up to him, Mr. Atkins lowered his voice and said, “I know about your superhero antics. I saw you enter the bathroom as Trevor, then leave as that masked guy.”
“The Avenger,” Trevor mumbled.
“The Avenger, huh? Cool. Well, the fight in the bathroom has gotten around to all the teachers and staff, and they’re on high-alert, so be careful.”
The rain had ended, and the sun was beginning to peek out to shine upon the wet earth. Trevor sat on the steps of Pulmount Middle School, waiting for his mom to come take him away. He was proud of himself for standing up against Blake and his group of bullies. This isn’t the end, he thought. He knew it wasn’t. The staff was going to crack down to find the identity of the Avenger. Thanks to Mr. Atkins, though, he would be one step ahead of them. He wasn’t finished. He would, as the Avenger, continue to fight bullying as long as was needed.