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Post  Nimo on Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:52 pm

Somewhere in the Eastern Time Zone
Earlier this year...



They all sat around the table, silently eating their Hamburger Helper in the well-lit and deceptively cheery dining room. His mother, Martha, never had time to be bothered learning how to cook meals from scratch. As a result, the family often ended up eating such meals in spite of their rather high income. I guess being Christian writer of the year or whatever award Martha just won doesn’t mean her cooking skills have improved he thought drily, picking at his meal and wishing for a simple egg sandwich instead. He had never really felt comfortable calling the woman Martha "mom"; she was a busy woman and he saw her about as often as he saw any of his teachers. The difference was, his teachers occasionally talked to him or helped him learn something. Calling Martha “mom” made about as much sense as it would to start calling Ms. Oldfield or Mrs. Samson that, so he simply didn’t. Not that he said anything at all to her anyway… His father was a different story altogether; he wished that just one time, one time, he could see him man up and disagree with his wife. The poor shmuck couldn’t seem to say no about anything concerning Martha’s wishes.

After the meal, Martha said “Guillermo, I need some help compiling my notes and sources for my latest project.” His father practically snapped to attention, assuring her that he would help out as soon as the meal was over. Weak… he thought wryly, quickly cleaning his plate and heading up to his room.

--------------------------------------------------

“Mathias! Get going already!”

He flipped over, ignoring the shrill calls that were being directed towards his older brother’s room. Of course, he should probably be off to school along with Mat, but he had a bad feeling about today. Maybe I should bring some of my extra gear, just in case he thought, smiling to himself. With that in mind, he easily rolled out of bed and packed anything he believed might prove useful. Losing no momentum, he sprang down the stairs, hardly pausing to grab a box of granola bars on his way out the door.

Once he had traveled most of the way along his mile-long run to the school, he remembered with a sinking feeling why he had had that bad feeling upon first waking up that morning. A boy named Shane in his brother Mathias's grade had made nasty threats toward him the day before because of some situation involving his brother and a girl Shane liked; it wasn’t a matter he would usually be concerned with, but somehow Mathias had managed to involve more than just himself this time. Sure enough, as soon as he rounded a corner there stood Shane and a couple of his football playing friends.

“Ha! You actually bothered showing your face around here again, faggot?” the Senior said with a sneer, voice dripping with contempt. Having remembered too late what Shane and his brother had been fighting over, he only looked for a quick way to escape.

“Mat isn’t around, huh? Well I guess you kinda look like him, so I’ll just pretend you’re him.” The other two laughed and looked around a bit, just to make sure Mathias wasn’t within earshot. “Where you think you’re going?” Shane jeered, as his prey took a step backward. There was no way he could outrun three jocks a full three years older than him.

“…”

“Hey I’m talking to you, beaner. Where do you think you’re goin?” More laughter, even though the jock on the right (whom he had mentally nicknamed Big Jaw) was also Hispanic.

“…”

The sneer became a scowl. “You think it’s funny to ignore me? I bet I can get a sound or two outta you…” The older boy and Square Jaw started advancing, while the last jock kept lookout for any kind of authority.

“…s…”

The two were only ten feet away now, a nearly maniacal glint in Shane’s eyes as he started sprinting forward.

“…ay back!”

He threw an arm out in what could almost be mistaken for a serious punch, even though his target was still about two feet out of arm’s reach. He saw the time on his digital watch: 8:25:03 A.M. Without warning and before any contact had been made Shane pivoted 90 degrees and, wide eyed, slammed into Big Jaw and sent them both tumbling over a nearby mailbox.

He hardly even noticed the two falling at this point; he was already tearing off down the street, back in the direction he had come. Convinced that the last jock was right behind him, he kept running. Faster! Faster!

Out of breath and more tired from his run than he was used to, he looked down and inadvertently noticed the time on his watch: 8:26:19 AM. That was nearly a mile run; how did I…? He thought back to how Shane had turned before even being touched, knocking his friend over with his momentum. What was that just now? No… I don’t want to know. Regardless, he was tired now and thirsty and he wanted some answers. Grabbing an RC Cola out of his bag, he greedily gulped the drink down and continued walking and contemplating the situation.

I can’t go to school after something like that… Someone has probably already called the police; maybe more than one person besides those jocks since people must have noticed me as I was running home at that unbelievable rate… I’m sure Mat doesn’t care what trouble he and that girl got me in, and I don’t want any help from Martha or Guillermo since they’d be just as likely to take me to some sort of loony bin…

There didn’t seem to be anywhere to find answers, which was a little depressing. He wasn’t very good at being a pessimist, though. If I can’t think of anywhere to go, I’ll just keep going ‘til I find somewhere that seems good to find some answers. And somewhere to find more RC Cola he thought grimly, taking note of the quickly dwindling supply of soda in his bag.

--------------------------------------------------

“Oh hi there Guy, can I help you?”

He stood browsing the pet store’s wares, and with a small smile of satisfaction found exactly what he was looking for: a nicely pleated, leather dog collar designed for comfort.

When he presented the item to the shop keeper he grinned and said “Ahh, you got a big dog huh? Well if you want we can get this collar fit with him… No? OK, well would you like a tag? Yeah? What’s his name?”

He slid a piece of paper to the man. Written in neat, large letters was a name: Nimo Jin

“Huh, that’s a different name. Alright give me 5 and I can get this stamped in for you.” The squat 20-something scratched at his neck darkened with 5 o’clock shadow and took the collar to the back of the store. He emerged a few minutes later holding the collar, proudly displaying the brand new teal tag hooked to the front.

There, that look about right? That’ll be $14.89…”

He quietly paid the man and exited the shop, nearly tripping over a rawhide bone on his way out. Once around the corner, he deftly fastened the plain collar around his own neck. Better than having my own name hanging around my neck he thought with a grin. He slowed nearly to a stop in order to view his reflection in the window of a health food store.

Short, even for a high school Freshman, a pair of large, dark brown eyes set above a rather small mouth were mirrored back at him. His buzz cut did little to detract from his boyish appearance, but that wasn’t a problem in this case. The dark blue hoodie and baggy camo pants effectively hid any further details about the boy’s appearance, other than his black high-tops and an unusually large gray bag.

Satisfied, Nimo crossed the street and took off to… Well, wherever he felt like going today.
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