After Gilbert had caught you in his arms after your failed attempt at suicide and you had ran away from him, you instantly headed home, your heart aching as well as every other part of your body. Not only were you discouraged at the thought that your attempt at killing yourself had been unsuccessful, but that Gilbert had actually seen you do it. He had seen you attempt to end all your problems in the easiest and simplest way possible, which also meant proving to Gilbert that all of his bullying had finally defeated you. He had seen you in your most vulnerable and private state, right when you were carrying out the most important decision in your entire life. And now that he had witnessed you trying to end your life, you figured that it wouldn't have been long before the whole school knew about your failed suicide. And you knew that if you were to kill yourself again, it only would've made them laugh even more and care even less.
You decided that it was pointless to try killing yourself again that night, since you were already terribly exhausted and didn't feel like trying to do it again. Besides, you didn't know whether or not Gilbert might've been potentially following you, and if he had seen you trying to kill yourself again and stopped you just like before, you would've been utterly humiliated.
When you had reached the front of your house, you climbed up the tree that led you back into your room you thought you were never going to see again. You thanked God that your parents had been unaware of your temporary disappearance, or else they surely would've given you a punishment that was much worse than anything else you could've dreamed of. As soon as you stepped foot into your room and closed the window behind you, you plopped face down onto your bed and buried your face into your pillow, contemplating about what you were going to do next and thinking about what happened during your attempted killing.
After Gilbert had caught you and realized that it was you who was trying to kill yourself, you had seen an expression on his face that you never witnessed him carry before. The expression was filled with shock, disbelief, and even a bit of terror. To you it seemed like he was the last person in the universe to hold even the slightest hint of fear in his eyes, but that was what he had done, and it was for something that you did. You had been so close to him...The thought of your face being only a few inches away from his sent shivers through your body, but despite your weak and vulnerable state and him being able to easily aim a quick and severe blow at you, he had done nothing. When he had spoken to you, his quiet, trembling voice had been filled with so much fear that you were barely able to believe that it belonged to the same person who bullied you so cruelly throughout the three years you were in high school. His behavior was the exact opposite than when he was usually around you at school.
Somehow, it seemed to him that your suicide hadn't been seen as a foolish weakness, but instead a disturbing terror.
But why should Gilbert have cared about the fact that you were trying to kill yourself, anyway? He had told you a few days ago that it would've been better for everyone that you died. It had seemed as if he wanted you to kill yourself, so when you actually did what he said, why did he act so horrified? Did he think that you listening to him when it came to such a complicated decision was so surprising, or was it because he had actually seen you try to kill yourself? That probably must've been it. He probably expected you to kill yourself, but he probably didn't expect to see you try to do it and then save you. Still, what difference did it make? You were killing yourself nonetheless, and killing yourself was what Gilbert had wanted you to do. Why did it seem like such a surprise to him?
You let out a groan and rolled over so that you were looking up towards the ceiling, your eyes heavy with exhaustion and depression. You decided to turn your attention away from your suicide to something else that was the subject of your concern. Now that your parents knew about what you had endured throughout your high school years, they were probably going to contact the school and let them know about what you had been through. You figured it wouldn't have been long after the staff found out that the word would've gotten around to the rest of the students, meaning Gilbert would've also known that someone called the school and reported that their child was being bullied by an unknown source. He had warned you that if you were to tell anybody about the fact that you were being bullied, he swore he would've beaten and burned you to death. But what difference did it make? It's not like you should've been afraid of dying, since you had already tried it before.
But somehow, after witnessing you trying to kill yourself and looking so horrified afterwards, you wondered whether or not Gilbert was going to live up to his promise when he found out.
Just like you had expected, your parents told you the next morning that they called the school and let them know that their daughter was being bullied. You weren't surprised at all, even though you knew you were most likely going to be in big, big trouble with Gilbert. But you didn't care. After he had seen you try to kill yourself, you stopped caring about everything. You just moved absently through your day without feeling the slightest hint of the fear and depression you experienced whenever you went to school.
After you got off the bus and walked the few blocks that were needed for you to get to the front of the school, you thought about how you had always felt fear and nervousness at this stage in your day because you knew that sooner or later, Gilbert was going to harass you. You didn’t expect anything different to happen today, and since your emotions had taken a dramatic downfall and you simply stopped caring about everything after your attempted suicide, the fact that you were going to face the brutal pain you had always dealt with before didn’t affect you the slightest.
As soon as you opened the doors to the school building and walked inside, you instantly were aware of the fact that a few of the kids who were walking around the front of the building turned their heads to look at you, some of them holding looks of disbelief and others carrying a smirk. You tried your best to ignore them and instead kept your gaze fixed on your feet as you walked to your locker. Still, a small part of you couldn't have helped but listen in on some of the whispers that a few of the kids were exchanging with each other.
“Hey, isn’t she the one who’s parents called to complain about her bullying?”
“I often see her get pushed around by this albino a lot...”
“She must be so weak if her parents have to deal with this.”
“Why can't she just handle it on her own?”
You felt your face heat up at the comments and you tried to push them away. Still, you couldn't have helped the growing self-consciousness you felt inside you, and a part of you just wanted to disappear. But it’s not like you should've cared, anyway. After your suicide attempt, you vowed to yourself that you would stop feeling all the emotions that overwhelmed you before, so why should you have been concerned with what others thought of you now?
You lifted your head and fixed your gaze in front of you, not even daring to drift it to either side of you to look at some of those who you just knew were talking about you.
However, even though you were in a relatively calm state for most of the time since your entry into the school that morning, you felt your heart skip a beat and your chest tighten when you were able to spot Gilbert a few yards away from you, walking in your direction.
Oh god...you thought as a slight look of panic crossed your face and you pressed your lips tightly together. You knew without a doubt that he discovered that your parents had told the school staff about your bullying, meaning that you had broken your promise about not letting anyone else know about what he had been doing to you. You had told yourself over and over not to be afraid of the moment when he walked up to you today and confronted you. But now that he was actually there and the moment had finally arrived, you felt your previous thoughts drift to the back of your head and a slight anxiety fill your body.
You lifted your head so that you were able to fully look up at Gilbert. He had his gaze fixed down on the ground, and he carried a look on his face that instantly let you know he hadn’t slept well the previous night. As the distance between the both of you got closer, you felt your heart rate increase only slightly. Finally, when the both of you were only a few feet away from each other and he had detected your pretense, he lifted his gaze up and instantly allowed it to meet yours.
You gave him a single, cold stare, hiding the fear that was growing inside you. You continued walking casually, but right when you expected him to shove you against the lockers and confront you about breaking your promise, you felt a tiny bit of confusion fill your body when all he gave you was a blank stare. Your gazes were locked for only a few seconds before his dropped back down to the ground and he continued walking.
At that you stopped, turning around and watching him as he walked away from you, your mouth slightly open in confusion. Gilbert had been so close to you, and after your attempted suicide and your broken promise, why didn’t he do something, anything towards you? You weren’t able to detect the slightest hint of emotion in the stare he had given you, so at least you knew he didn’t seem to be angry.
Why does he seem to be acting differently? Why is he acting as if I had never broken my promise?
After your lunch period ended, you walked out of the cafeteria with an exhausted sigh. Even though you weren’t especially hungry, you forced yourself to eat some of the school’s food. It was the only thing that served as an attempt to keep your mind away from the whispers and murmurs that the other kids in the room had exchanged about you. It seemed that ever since your parents had contacted the school, you were the new subject of rumors.
The hallways were rather empty as you walked towards your locker to gather all of your afternoon books, but that didn’t stop you from being alert for any kids talking about you behind their backs. You continued to walk in silence for the next few moments, feeling a sense of peace start forming inside you, before you felt a rough, strong hand forcefully slam you against the lockers, knocking the breath out of you.
When you took sense of what had just happened, the obnoxious sound of a group of boys laughing filled your ears, and you were aware of the fact that you were being pinned to the locker by two large hands. Your mind was spinning with surprise and confusion, and once you were finally able to get your gaze to focus, you lifted it up just in time to see the face of a boy you’ve never met before staring down at you menacingly with a terrifying smile on his face. You were able to notice that there were 3 more boys on either side of him, giving you the same amused, evil smiles.
“So you think your parents can stop you from getting bullied, huh?” the boy pinning you to the lockers asked loudly.
You stared up at him calmly, already starting to grow sick of people talking about you. “Who said I do?”
“Oh, so you’re talking back now, are you?” the boy asked, the smile on his face disappearing and replacing with an angry glare as he shoved you against the lockers once more. “Well, after we’re done with you, we’ll make sure you won’t be able to talk for another year.”
The three other boys let out loud laughs at this and you couldn’t have helped the tiny bit of fear that grew inside you as you stared up at your attacker with slightly wide eyes. You swallowed nervously, though you tried not to let the majority of your uneasiness show.
The boy pinning you let out a low chuckle before he removed one hand from your shoulders and clenched it into a fist, drawing it back. “Get ready, _____,” he growled. “Next time you wake up, you’ll be in a hospital bed.”
You watched with a slightly racing heart as the boy aimed his fist at your face while the others behind him watched intently. A tense moment of silence passed between all of you, and just when he was about to strike a blow at you, you were able to see a fist out of the corner of your eye come out of nowhere and punch the boy harshly in the side of his face, causing him to let out a surprised grunt and instantly release his grip on you.
You watched with eyes wide in surprise as he fell to the ground, and when you looked up, you were able to see Gilbert standing over him, looking down at him with eyes burning in anger.
“What...” you began, but you never got the chance to finish before Gilbert resumed punching your attacker in every place you could’ve imagined, which included a kick to the vitals. By the time he had finished, the boy was sprawled out on the floor, moaning as he held on to his sides, some parts of his body red, swollen, or bleeding. You continued to watch with a slightly open mouth as Gilbert turned around and punched the three other boys in the face, resulting in them quickly, clumsily running away.
After they had left, the only sound was the occasional moan of your attacker on the floor. You stared up at Gilbert as he kept his gaze fixed towards the direction the boys had run off in, the expression on his face cold and hard.
“Gilbert...” you murmured as you took a small step forward. “What was...”
A tiny moment of silence passed before he slowly turned around to look at you. His gaze met yours, and you were able to see that his carried a tiny bit of protection. “I won’t let anybody ever hurt you again,” he said with a voice so quiet you were barely able to hear it.
Before you had time to reply, Gilbert turned around and began heading down the hall, leaving you looking after him with that same look of surprise glued to your face.
He saved me...Gilbert just saved me!