I have to get this right, my life is depending on it. One of these days he is going to push too far and I am going to crush him. I have been spending a lot of time after school in Mr. Vayne’s science lab, inching closer to finishing the elixir I have been working on. The tides are going to turn in my favor soon, it is coming. I had to plea with Mr. Vayne for weeks to let me stay after school and use his lab. Gaining his trust was not easy. I told him I was interested in chemistry because I wanted to someday cure cancer and I needed the extra training. Mr. Vayne began by giving me extra textbooks to help speed up the learning process. I appreciated the help, but I was not studying something directly related to the science lab. Eventually, I convinced him to give me an extra key, I think he kind of felt sorry for me. Even he, the unpopular, balding man who always wore shirts two sizes too big to hide his bulging belly, took notice of my torment. This torment came in the form of weekly beatings delivered by Chuck and his posse. Well, mainly Chuck while they stood around encouraging him. The rest of them did not seem as tough. Chuck had hit puberty way before the rest of us, in middle school. He would show up to school with his older brother, sometimes on the back of his Harley. Hell, he even had armpit hair way before any of us. I always wonder, when I am laying in bed what could possess Chuck to enjoy giving me these beatings. Weeks turned into months and hiding my bruises from my family became increasingly difficult. Luckily my mom was not around much because her job required a lot of her time. She worked for a popular pharmaceutical company nearby. She also liked that I was becoming increasingly interested in spending extra time in the science lab at school. I kept at my project for weeks, sometimes avoiding another beating. I did this by changing up the way I walked to class during the day. I sometimes even had to come in late to class in order to do this, but it was totally worth it.
I made my way through the overly decorative hallway of school one day, looking forward to learning at bout the fall of the Roman Empire. As I turned the corner, I was welcomed by a thudding left hook to the temple. My entire world was turned upside down, literally. I smacked into some nearby lockers, one of them belonged to a girl I was hoping to impress with my upcoming antics. As I fought to get back to my feet, I let out a manic laugh. Chuck stood there with an expression of astonishment. I reached into my trench coat and grabbed my elixir, the one I’d been brewing like some medieval wizard for the past weeks.
“It ends here you prick,” I said with the most amount of courage I could muster.
“What the hell is that in your hands?” Gary wondered as he stepped forward to deliver the next phase of my beating.
“Wait,” I yelled out as triumphantly as I could.
I grabbed my mystery elixir and downed it with one gulp. What I felt next was anything beyond I had ever felt before. In an instant, I transformed into a crazy whirlwind of madness. My fears evaporated instantaneously and I felt like a Greek god in that moment. I ran forward, screaming like a deranged lunatic and jumped on top of Chuck and bit down as hard as I could. He let a girlish type of shriek and reached for his ear with both hands. The other students, who had quickly joined in to inspect our scuffle, began laughing at him and his moment of vulnerability. I let go and stepped back, waiting for his response, hoping it was enough. Chuck ran off, suppressing his cries as much as possible, I was going to be a hero. A few days later, after being suspended from school for a week, Mr. Vayne asked me what I was cooking up all that time.
“Confidence,” I answered back.