You get to learn a bit more about Sain and Mina's past in this chapter. Not much to say here except that it seems awkward that Sain acts like a punk and yet he's in honors classes. That will all be explained later.
The next day I was sitting alone at lunch like always. I was a bit infuriated when I was asked to go down to the office for unruly behavior. They said something about skipping class and how it affects grades and how there are rules and blah blah blah. In the end they were all talk and nothing else. I’ve done it before in the future and they know it. No matter what I do I still manage to pass the class with good grades. The only reason why they don’t suspend me is because I get good grades which gives a good name to the school. They’re just a bunch of fools. I saw Mina having a hard time finding a seat as she frantically looked about the lunch room. Everywhere she asked a seat was either already used or being saved for someone. Why didn’t she just take one without asking instead of making it so much harder?
She must have gotten a glimpse of my near empty table because she started walking my way. I could tell she was reluctant to come sit next to me, but its not like I cared. Once again I chuckled at her when she nearly stumbled and fell; boy was she clumsy.
“Umm, excuse me but is this seat taken?”, she said
“No”, I replied
“Mind if I sit here?”
“Don’t really care.”
We ate our food silently and I could tell she was watching me. Whenever I looked in her direction she would look down at the table, as if my gaze would hurt her or something. She began to speak again.
“So how long have you lived around here?”
“Since freshman year.”
“Really, umm… mind if I ask why?”
“None of your business.”
“Sorry...”, she backed away in her talking. Then she began again. “Well, I moved here from Germany. I’ve actually been to many places. I used to live with my parents here in the US. I moved to England with my father when I was 8, and then my father left me with my aunt who lived in Spain. I actually lived there for a short time but I learned to love Madrid. After a while my aunt couldn’t take care of me so she left me with some relatives in France when I was 12, but I didn’t stay there long. After a year they passed me over to some people they knew because they said I stole some money from them and didn’t want me in their house anymore. So I lived with two people in Germany. I took my freshman and the first month of sophomore year there and finally got accepted as a transfer student and that’s how I got here. Though I had to work hard to get the grades and get accepted to the program. Its kind of funny actually, I don't feel like I did much, but I don't mind since it all feels like a dream come true. And I've been to many different countries, which not many people get to do in their lifetime. I guess I'm just lucky.”
I made it seem like I wasn’t listening but it was kind of interesting. At least this was better than staring into space or looking around at others.
“I’m sorry, you probably didn’t want to hear that”, she said with a disappointed tone in her voice. “I guess I am bothering you, sorry I’ll leave.”, she said and was getting up but I muttered a response.
“You’re not bothering me, and I heard everything. What happened to your parents though?”
“Well um…”,she said with a sad expression on her face. “My father said that mother passed away while giving birth to me. As for my father, my aunt said he passed away.”
“I’m sorry to hear that.” I replied.
“Don’t worry about it. But you know, that is a reason why I want to become a detective. I was just told he passed away, but deep down I know he is out there somewhere. If I become a detective I might be able to track him down and meet him.” She had a strong look in her eyes, almost as if she was grasping something which she didn't want to let go. I could see it; she was working as hard as she could to grasp that small hope she had of finding her father. What an idiot.
“But didn’t he just leave you there? Wouldn’t you get angry at him or something?”
“Well some people may think that, but maybe he had his reasons. Besides, he is the only family I have left; you can’t hate your family no matter what", she said with strength in her voice.
“Maybe…”, I said, still unconvinced.
“Mind if I ask you something?”, she asked.
“Well, why don’t you have any friends? Is it because you don’t know how to make friends or because you don’t want to?”
“I don’t want to.”
“Oh…”, she said, expecting more from my answer.
I wondered if I should tell her or not, and decided that it would be no harm. After all, she opened up to me, so she probably won’t mind if I told her something personal.
“It started in middle school”, I started and quickly I had her attention. “My mother passed away in a car accident and I looked for many ways to forget about it. When I went to middle school I met a bunch of people who I befriended and we started a small gang. At first I was just a follower but I craved more power and eventually made it to the top and became leader. I dethroned a bunch of guys and made myself a couple of enemies. But none of that mattered since I had the power to do almost anything with my group. Slowly but surely we began invading enemy turfs and some of the rival gang members even became my followers. Of course I made sure that my best friends were close to the top with me. They were the ones I fully trusted and I confided in them to cover my back for anything. We were even able to take down high school gangs and we became the top dogs of the area in no time; it felt incredible. But once that was accomplished I started changing. I no longer cared about fighting or territory, I just wanted to spend my time with my friends who were always there for my, and my followers who believed in me. Power had lost all its meaning, especially when I realized that I couldn't obtain anymore. Fighting was fun for a while, but after fighting for so long, it grew tiresome and I no longer wished to fight. Eventually things calmed down since there were no more challengers nor gangs, so I was able to live my dream of being with my friends.However that dream had to end sooner or later.”
I looked over at her and I could tell she was into it. She even stopped eating and just stared at me vividly which made me blush. I was so embarrassed that I even sounded flustered.
“Um.. then um…”, was all that I could say, struggling to keep my composure but to no avail.
“Yeah, continue.”, said Mina, fully embraced in what I was telling her.
“It was our last year of middle school and we had spend that whole entire year without fighting. For me it was like a golden age where we could be a gang without having to worry about anything; we could finally be ourselves. But some of our gang members were starting to get worried. Some rival gangs started to regroup and others were being started. There were rumors that they would all congregate and take us down, yet I dismissed them as rumors. A week later we got a challenge from a rival gang. To me it seemed like the golden age had ended because it usually followed that the end of one fight triggered the start of another. We headed down to the abandoned warehouse where the fight was scheduled to take place. I found it strange that only ten of my men came with me; usually a lot of them would come in case a fight broke out of control. I started getting warmed up so I could take down the rival gang’s leader when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my back. I turned around and was shock to see that my best friend had literally stabbed me in the back.
‘You are getting too soft for us’, he said. ‘We knew you no longer had it in you, so we decided to replace you with someone who does want to take us to the top’
‘Why are you doing this, I trusted you. We have been close friends ever since we started this gang, so why do you turn your back on me.’
‘Fool don’t you see’, said another one of my friends. ‘Whatever we did we always did for the good of the gang, not for you.’
They all gathered around my crumpled heap and began kicking me until I passed out. When I awoke I was at the hospital barely alive. I had lost a lot of blood and I would have died had it not been for a policeman who happened to be on patrol around there. My dad stood over my side grasping my hand as hard as he could; he didn’t want to lose me since he had already lost mother. It took me about two months to fully recover, but I managed to do it. However it was too late to attend graduation. I managed to pass the grade but wasn’t able to get top of my class just like I had promised father I would do. As soon as I passed high school, dad quit his job and moved here because he wanted me to start a new life.
I learned not to trust anyone from then on. Friends are just there when they need you, but once you are useless they just toss you aside as if you’re nothing. I’d rather tough it out alone.”
I could see Mina was on the verge of crying so I quickly changed the subject.
“Hey um… I’m not very good at this but… I’m sorry for yelling the other day. I didn’t mean to embarrass you like that.”
“Don’t worry about it”, she said rubbing her eyes to clean up any tears. “If I would have known I would understand. “
“Yeah um, listen. I’ve never told anyone this story so I trust you not to tell anyone. People here don’t really like me, so just imagine who they would be if they found out I was in a gang.”
“Don’t worry,” she said with a smile across her face. “Your secret is safe with me.”
She held out her hand in front just like yesterday, except I could tell she wasn’t forcing herself.
“Hi my name is Mina Daminski, nice to meet you.”
I held out my hand and shook hers. “My name is Sainto Daye, nice to meet you too.”
Then we both burst into laughter.