|Beautiful theorizing on Nicodemus's past, written for us by Emptysilver (or Silvanus0, or Gustave Cherryoaks if you prefer those *grin*). He's taken the bits and pieces we've thrown in about Nicodemus, and used them to construct this (beautiful and plausible) story about past events in his pain-filled life.|
Nicodemus walked in to the locker room. Physical education. A boring waste of time. Oh well. He changed with no pressing events or manifestation of Heaven or Hell. Good.
The ‘intramural sport’ of indoor dodge ball seemed a bit juvenile for freshmen, but this school never claimed to be advanced.
‘Hey Nick, dodge this!’
Nicodemus watched the ball coming towards him patiently, noticing that there were at least five or six more coming with it. He knew he could dodge all of them. But what would be the point? They would get him later. Maybe not in the game but there was always the locker room, the last few classes, and the few weeks left in the year.
This was Nicodemus’ second high school already. Being tossed out of his former for ‘violent behavior’ (self defense), he knew he could not possibly win with everyone’s witnessing stacked against him. Not that he minded. Losing all of one’s friends does that to a person. He had had friends. But when push came to shove and witnesses were needed to prove his innocence, everyone had been looking the other way that day.
The projectiles finally hit Nicodemus and fell to the floor. He had been lucky. Slight bruises. His nose was bleeding faintly, but nothing too terrible. ‘Stop bleeding on the gym floor! Kid, if you don’t get off now, there’ll be no end to the detentions you’ll get.’
Nicodemus stole off of the court, more than happy to hide in the showers.
A young man approached Nick. Wearing long sleeves and glasses, the young man would be labeled promptly as a trendwhore.
‘Hey Nick, I’m sorry about what happened in class today.’
‘Don’t worry about it. Bruises? Bleeding? I got off lucky this time.’
‘No, really… when I threw that ball, I didn’t expect so many other guys to throw so many at you.’
‘whatever. I appreciate your frank and honest attempt to apologize, so I’ll accept it. But I’ll be frank and honest right back to you, stay away from me. It’ll be better for you, me, everyone.’
Nicodemus walked down the halls toward his next class. Clove stood watching several paces.back. So cold.
Clove was the kind of kid who had dressed the same way since his parents bought him his clothes as a child. He knew no other way to dress, and for expressing himself? He preferred a mixture of acting and songwriting. Ballads and folk-music were more his type, beating the obvious stereotype he would be easily seen as. He also found Nicodemus oddly chilling and fascinatingly real. In a world where everyone has their facades and their idols and their Televisions blaring its own religion, it is so easy to lose oneself. Even though Nicodemus pushed Clove away, Clove was determined to find a way into Nicodemus’ mind.
The next day, Clove found Nicodemus right away.
‘…hmm… you again.’
‘yup! Me! Aren’t you here early?’
‘My bus has a bad habit of never being on time. Only twenty minutes early.’
‘Yeah, I guess so.’
Clove began talking to Nicodemus as often as he could. Just trying to melt down the wall of ice. With almost no time left in the school year, Clove thought that he was getting somewhere. Nicodemus had actually laughed (against his better judgment) at one of Clove’s jokes.
Nicodemus was walking down the hallway alone. So far his classmates at this school settled for occasional punchings and beatings. Nothing with bats or knives, yet. But that was okay. He had his job. He had his poetry. He almost had a friend, but he knew better than to trust anyone.
The gothic boy’s head was smashed into a locker from behind. He sighed and pulled his head out only to find his knees being knocked out from underneath him.
Clove. Dammit. This wouldn’t end well.
The bullies subscribed to the traditional rule of being caught equals total panic. They made it look like they had done no wrong and kept walking.
‘Nick, are you okay?’
‘My head is bleeding from the scalp, my knees have bruises. What do you think?’ ‘We need to take care of you! Get an ambulance.’
‘No. No my injuries aren’t that bad. I’ll just walk them off.’
‘Here, let me help yo-‘
‘Get away from me!!’
Nicodemus pushed Clove back with a strength the latter would have hardly expected. The assistant principal came around the corner. If Nicodemus was found fighting again, he would be suspended or sent to a different learning facility.
The next to last day of regular school before exams was a pep rally for all of the seniors. Of course, they had all skipped that day. Except for the kids whose perfect attendance since kindergarten was a lifetime achievement.
Nicodemus and Clove were sitting together. Clove had apologized for getting Nicodemus in trouble, but Nicodemus was continually apologizing for stooping to physical means. He could not believe he had sunk so low. Thus he would suffer Clove’s company. Truth be told, Nicodemus liked having a friend. Even if he knew that the substance of that word was thin ice on a deep lake.
‘Hey, they’re selling candy over there! I’m gonna’ go get some, you want any?’
‘I’ll get you a milkyway!’
One thing Clove had learned was that Nicodemus loved ice cream and milkyways. Especially milkway ice cream. But, candy bars were being sold and he could easily afford a few.
His back met a metal pole and he felt his spine twist unnaturally and then twist back into place. Under the bleachers there was no supervision whatsoever.
Clove’s face was met by a fist and the result was bloody.
Nicodemus was wondering what had happened. He had seen Clove go down the steps under the bleachers, but he had not seen him come out on the other side. He told himself not to be worried. But that was after he had taken five steps toward the stairs.
Clove lay on the ground bruised and bleeding.
‘Hey, we beat up your guard faggot.’
There were five of them. The three from earlier who ran away when Clove came. Plus two more. With the school’s team’s baseball bats. Swell. Effing swell. ‘HELP!’ Nicodemus yelled as the first and second goons ran at him unarmed. Only two. Didn’t they know who he was?
Clove’s voice reflected sorrow and pain and suffering. Nicodemus had tried to protect him. Tried to push him away to save him. But it was happening all over again. But he still couldn’t forgive these …people… for what they had done. The first punk’s arm was caught in Nicodemus’. With a quick jerking motion the arm was broken and the kid was bawling. Nicodemus kneed the other guy in the upper chest. Twice. Then once in the lower. Then once in the face. In under six seconds. He then spun the punk with a broken arm into the guy whose body was forming bruises. A mass of limbs fell to the ground.
The remaining three charged as one. Unfortunately. Nicodemus needed to buy himself time. He threw his leash around a bat and yanked it away from the wielder. He dodged and bobbed around the swings of the other kid’s bat and the ringleader’s fists. The one with a bat fell to an upper cut. The batless one fell to a roundhouse. Four more guys showed up.
It was a trap. Nicodemus knew it. He knew it, but he couldn’t get out. And he couldn’t forgive them.
The four charged at Nicodemus. He ducked down and chambered his fists in a horse stance. The first two to reach him were punched into. Literally. Nicodemus then fell to the ground and sweeped out the last two thugs’ legs. Their heads hit the ground. Stars and tears and pain and blood kept them down.
Nicodemus stood up into a punch from the ring leader. This knocked him into the arms of five more guys. One took his chest, and two took each arm. The ringleader dug his fist into Nicodemus’ gut. Brass knuckles. Nicodemus glanced at Clove. It did not look like they were used on him. Just to be safe, though…
‘Yeah, I’ve heard of you. Nicodemus. You’re not so big and tough are you now? Are you? Heh, pansy ass drama fag. I heard you beat your girlfriend and got kicked out of your last school-‘
Nicodemus did not hear the rest. His mind was clear and empty. If he could kill the person before him, he would. No one spoke ill of that girl and lived if he had his way.
He had never laid anything but a kind hand on her. All she had done was try and protect him. And the cycle continues.
The ring leader charged at Nicodemus. His inner right thigh was crushed by the goth’s kick. Next thing he knew, he was being suspended over his own thugs by Nicodemus’ legs. Then he was rushing towards the ground-
The assistant principal and principal came running. Nicodemus lightly let go of the ring leader. There was no way he could avenge her now. The thugs roughly pushed him towards the administration.
Although Clove testified that it had been the gang of bullies that attacked him, over-whelming eye witness testimony said that Nicodemus was the one who had in fact hurt him, then threatened him to lie on his behalf. Nicodemus was allowed to take the exams on campus, and take three days of constant beatings, but he would have to be sent to a new school in the following semester.
Clove was hospitalized for all of the summer. When he got out, he needed a wheel
chair. He tried to contact Nicodemus once, but there was no response. Clove knew
that Nick was trying to protect him from reality. But reality has a habit of
sneaking up on you sometimes… especially when you don’t want it to.