The Time to Kill

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Jim and Jacob have had an enmity between them for 6 years. It all comes to an end, in a violent struggle.

Chapter 1: Hatred is the True Enemy

To think it all started with a potato. Yeah, I know. Sounds silly right? But it’s true. Way back, when both me and Jacob were seven years old, it was just me, him, and our potatoes way up in our tree house. Jacob and I were best friends, and we often did a little something called potato wars. Ah, the memories; the nostalgia.
The basic idea of the game was this: the both of us had our own potato. Taking turns, one person would place their potato on top of a barrel my dad put up there. The other person would stand ten feet away, and toss their potato at the opponent’s. If it hit, the thrower would earn a point. First person to ten would win. We were pretty evenly matched; he would win some, and I would win some. His potato, “Superman,” was large; good for throwing, but an easy target to throw at. Mine, “Spiderman,” was smaller, and the other way around.
But enough about that. One day, I (my name’s Jim by the way) won our potato wars five times in a row. Jacob wasn’t too pleased with that, and he claimed that the only reason I won was because my potato was better than his. I told him that I could beat him, even with Superman. So, we traded potatoes, and the game began. I started. The problem was that Superman was a whole lot heavier than Spiderman; I wasn’t used to it. So, misjudging the amount of force it would take, I threw the potato. It missed, hit the end of the crate, and Superman fell to the floor. With a big dent in it.
Jacob exploded. He thought I did it on purpose, and he wanted revenge. Before my very eyes, he raised my beloved Spiderman above his head, and brought it down with a sickening splat. He proceeded to stomp on the mess with one foot, laughing at my anguish. I was absolutely traumatized. Half filled with anger, half with sadness, I grabbed Jacob’s potato, and threw it as hard as I could against the wall, running out of the tree-house before I could look at the mess of either potato.
From that moment on, Jacob made it clear that he was my enemy. Though none of us took it to either of our parents, Jacob took the bully role of the rivalry. I was the victim. At school, he would make fun of me whenever possible. He would get me in trouble, he would spread rumors about me. But I never fought back. Until one day, when we were thirteen, I had to.
On the day before Valentine’s Day (which will be important later), I was sitting in Mrs. Nella’s philosophy class, where we were talking about fate versus free-will. After I stated my viewpoint, Jacob claimed that I was wrong, and his view was correct. The debate, a common and encouraged thing in that class, lasted fifteen minutes. Though I won’t get into the actual debate, what came next was very important. At the end of any debate, the class has a vote to see which student’s view they now believe to be correct, after hearing both sides. I won, forty-two to zip. Jacob was the laughing-stock of the school. I couldn’t help but rub it in exclaiming, “In your face!” in the hallway, when we crossed paths to go to our separate classes.
“You're going to pay for this.” he said through gritted teeth, and walked away.
The next morning, on Valentine’s Day, I went to my locker to find that someone had taped a note to the inside of the locker door. It read, “Meet me at the park by the bridge behind the trees at 4:00 -Jill.” Jill was the new student in our school, and was pretty popular among this grade. While you might think I would be excited about this, really, I was slightly annoyed. I thought it was stupid, all the constant gossip about who likes who, and all that junk. Why can’t kids these days wait until their seventeen or something? However, few really seemed to share my viewpoint on this. Anyways, I still planned on meeting her, because it would be rather rude not to, and have her just waiting there for who-knows-how-long? Fortunately, she was in none of my classes except for recess, where we have never really interacted much. It would have been pretty awkward if we were in the same class.
Well, after school, at sometime around four, I told my parents I would be going to the park for a jog. They were fine with this, and I went out, caught a taxi, and headed to the park. The bridge was over a rather deep river that wasn’t too dangerous, really. It was concealed behind a sort of mini-forest, and was mostly forgotten. It had a rusty metal floor, and rails on the side painted red, now maroon. When I arrived at the bridge, I saw nobody. I took a few steps forward, and was then attacked.
Someone behind me jumped from behind a tree, and pinned me too the ground. “Payback time,” came Jacob’s voice. He raised his fist into the air. “This is for yesterday,” he said, ramming it into my stomach. “And this,” he yelled, raising it again, “Is for Superman!” He then attempted to punch my face, but I caught it right in my palm. Using all the strength I could muster, I wrestled him sideways, and staggered to my feet, away from him. With a roar, he leaped towards me. I stuck my foot out, tripped him, and started to charge across the bridge. Out of nowhere, there was Jacob. He grabbed both of my wrists, and held them there, bringing his leg back for a kick. I blocked it with my own kick, and used the momentum to break my right-hand free, and punch him in the face.
One look in his eyes, and I knew I couldn’t win this fight. Then, I thought of a way. I backed up to the middle of the bridge. The next time he came at me, I sidestepped, and tackled him sideways. We rolled around on the cold metal, trying to get in the best position for an attack. I steered us in the right direction. After a little bit, we fell right off the edge of the bridge. I was prepared, and turned the fall into a dive. Jacob ended in a bellyflop. He had forgotten his ultimate weakness. He couldn’t swim, and was terrified of the water.
He passed out when he hit the surface; I could tell. I could have let him drown that day. Could have taken revenge. But I’m not a killer like he is. With all I had left in me, I grabbed him, and swam to the river-edge. Once we got there, I took about three minutes to catch my breath. Fortunately, Jacob wouldn’t wake up until hours later. I climbed the hill, grabbed my phone (which had fallen out during the fight), and called the police. Two hours later, it was all over.
I never saw him again. I am glad that I didn’t kill him, even though I would always remember him as Jacob the deceiver. The Bible says, in the book of Ecclesiastes, “There is a time to kill and a time to heal.” Then, was not the time to kill. And I hope, with all my heart, that my friend will eventually heal.






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