The Adventures of Billy and Bobby
Book 3, Chapter 3
The Bully Trio Strikes
by Greg Wright
"I'll need lunch money, today," Daniel said as his mother poured his cereal. He smiled as the frosted mini-wheats dropped into his bowl. At least this hadn't changed.
"Okay, I'd better go get it before I forget," she said as she searched her purse.
"Daniel, the smallest thing I have is a twenty. I'll give this to you, but I'll need the change." Daniel's mother didn't hesitate to trust him with the large bill; he had almost always proved to be trustworthy in the past.
Daniel stuffed the bill into his pocket, then took it out again.
"What are you doing?" His mother asked, as he scribbled on a piece of paper.
"Just making a note to myself," Daniel responded.
His mother smiled. Daniel was always making notes to himself. Trees he had discovered, bugs he had never seen before, this was nothing new.
The drive to school was easy and quick, very different from the bumper-to-bumper 70 mph. traffic he was used to in Atlanta.
"I'll be walking home from school today," he reminded his mother, as he emerged from the car..
"Okay honey," she called out. "Be careful crossing the streets."
"Yes Mom," Daniel muttered to himself, as he thought, "How old does she think I am."
Daniel took his seat in class without speaking to anyone, although he could hear whispered comments about "the new kid". He chose to ignore them. After all, this was his place to shine. Soon, everyone would know that he was the smartest kid in the class. He would be greatly respected and appreciated by his teachers and envied by his peers. Sometimes, this helped to make up for the rejection he felt in other parts of his life.
When break-time came, his class moved to the commons area. Here, they could buy snacks and beverages. Daniel went to the rest room, alone. He had washed his hands and was about to leave when Reggie, Ronald, and Ross walked in.
"Well, look who's here, it's our old buddy Fifi," Reggie called out.
Daniel tried to squeeze by them but Reggie stepped in his path. At the same time, Ronald and Ross blocked any route of escape.
"You don't want to leave before we've taken the offering, do you?" Reggie sneered.
"Yes Fifi, I'm sure you know it's more blessed to give than to receive," Ronald laughed.
Ross was more direct. "Listen maggot, empty your pockets, now!"
"No, let me out!" Daniel hollered as he resisted.
"What?" Reggie questioned.
"No one says no to Reggie," Ronald snarled.
"I know the problem," Ross mocked. "He hasn't been baptized."
"What are you doing! Let me go!" Daniel screamed as Ross and Ronald grabbed him by the arms and escorted him towards one of the toilets.
Daniel's feet kicked upwards as Ronald flushed and Ross and Ronald held his head down under.
"I baptize you in the name of Reggie, Ross, and Ronald," Reggie declared.
As Daniel choked and sputtered, Ross reached into Daniel's pocket and pulled out the twenty dollar bill.
"Hey, that's mine!" Daniel screamed.
Ross and Ronald grabbed him and flushed him, again.
Reggie took the bill from Ross. "Hey, I would hate for you to get this wet."
"Give it ba... " Daniel demanded, as Ronald dumped his head under the water, again, this time, holding his head under for about 30 seconds. Then the bell rang.
As Daniel coughed and sputtered, the three bullies slithered back to class.
When Daniel finally caught his breath, he noticed his pockets were empty except for a small piece of paper. Seeing that the bullies were gone, Daniel took his time, washing his face and drying off the best he could. So, when he returned to class he was late.
"Daniel, what is the reason for this tardiness!" Mrs. Warren demanded.
Daniel walked to the front of the class. The entire class laughed as his curly wet hair clung tightly to his head. Some of the other guys, past victims of the bully trio, silently sympathized. "Those three guys robbed me," Daniel declared, pointing to Reggie, Ronald, and Ross, who were sitting together.
The three managed to fake shocked expressions.
The class was silent. No one had ever publicly accused the bully trio, before.
Just then, Mrs. Warren noticed as Reggie put his right hand into his pocket.
"Reggie, come up here now!" She ordered. "Turn around and put your hands on my desk."
Slowly obeying, Reggie countered. "We didn't rob anyone, Mrs. Warren. Daniel lost his money and decided to blame us. Ronald and Ross will back me up."
"That's right, Mrs. Warren" Ronald and Ross agreed. "We were with him the whole time and he didn't rob anyone."
Ignoring them, Mrs. Warren emptied Reggie's pockets and unfolded the twenty dollar bill.
"My Mom gave me that," Reggie insisted.
Then, Daniel pulled out a slip of paper and whispered into his teacher's ear. Mrs. Warren looked at the slip of paper and at the twenty dollar bill. Then she shoved the money into Daniel's hand.
"Daniel, I'm sorry this happened. But my word, you are clever. Reggie, let's go see the principal."
Mrs. Warren left, towing Reggie, still protesting, by the arm, leaving Daniel standing up front, smiling.
"What did you give Mrs. Warren?" Connie asked.
"The serial number of the twenty dollar bill," Daniel responded, smiling. The class laughed.
"That was smart!" Gene said, admiringly. "You must have suspected that they would try to rob you." Others in the class commented on how the bullies had harassed them and how this was the first time they had not gotten away with it.
But some, like Dorothy Freeman, gave prophecies of doom. "You'd better watch out; Reggie won't let you get away with this. You would have been better off to have lost the money."
Meanwhile, Bobby was watching Ronald and Ross. He couldn't understand why they were still in the room. "Hadn't all three of them robbed Daniel? Wasn't it dangerous to leave them here?"
Then, he could feel his adrenalin surge as Ross stood up and, with a gaze full of hate, walked towards Daniel. Daniel, now, was so full of confidence that he wasn't watching and didn't see Ross coming.
As Daniel started to sit down, Ross shoved him roughly into his desk, almost turning it over, and knocked the breath out of Daniel.
Without thinking, Bobby flew out of his desk, grabbed Ross by the collar, and threw him against the wall, causing his head to hit the pencil sharpener.
Ronald laughed hilariously as the startled Ross rubbed his head. "So, Fifi's going to be Bobby's little boy. What are you going to do, Fifi, when big Bobby's not around. Big Bobby can't always protect his little Fifi."
Amazingly, the same class which, moments ago, was praising Daniel's cleverness, now joined in the mocking of Daniel. "Little Fifi! Come here little Fifi."
"Who's going to protect you?" Bobby threatened, as glared at Ronald.
Then, Daniel gave Bobby an irritated glare. "I don't need your help; I can take care of my own problems."
For a moment, Bobby just looked at Daniel, not knowing what to say. Then, confused, he sat down.
Lunch went without incident. Bobby avoided Daniel and joined his friends Eric and John. Reggie was in detention, and Ronald and Ross left Daniel alone.
"Can you believe that," Bobby exclaimed. "I tried to help the guy and he told me to buzz off."
"I told you he was weird," John remarked. "This is not a good situation."
"Yeah, Bobby, what did you want to get mixed up with that kid, for. Now the bully trio is going to be on your case, as well," Eric complained. "You messed up, big time! Don't look to us to bail you out if they come after you."
Angry, Bobby rose from the table. "You guys don't understand. I stood up for Daniel because it was the right thing to do."
"Did you hear that, Eric," John mocked, "it was the right thing to do. Well, I can tell you this; it wasn't the smart thing to do. Suit yourself, preacher man. Maybe, after the bully trio obliterates you, we'll nominate you for sainthood."
"Yes, Saint Bobby," Eric laughed, "may he rest in peace, or is it pieces."
Then, they both laughed. Enraged, Bobby walked away.
Bobby had trouble paying attention in class, that afternoon. He felt betrayed and misunderstood by his friends. Indeed, he was worried about the bully trio and the possibility of dealing with them alone. But most of all, he wondered whether he had done the right thing. He almost felt embarrassed for standing up for Daniel.
"Billy said that Daniel was real. Is this what it means to be real?" He asked himself. "When Billy described Daniel, he sounded like a nice guy. But, he certainly doesn't appreciate it when other people risk their necks for him. Maybe I should let him solve his own problems. Maybe he deserves to be bullied."
That afternoon, as Bobby started to walk home from school, he saw Daniel up ahead. "Maybe if I talk to Daniel I can find out what's going on," he thought.
"What's your hurry." He asked as he caught up to him.
"Bobby, I hope you don't mind. But, I'd rather be by myself," Daniel said, as he hurried on.
"I give up." Bobby declared, with a heavy sigh, as he slowed down and let him go.
"Dear Heavenly Father," he prayed, "I want to do what's right. But, is it right to stand up for a kid who doesn't want my help? Now I'm in trouble, and he doesn't even appreciate the risks I've taken. My friends Eric and John seem to have turned against me. Father, there's a lot I don't understand. What's eating Daniel? Why is he so unfriendly towards me? Please help me to understand. But even more, father, please protect Daniel, in spite of himself."