Penguins: A Love Story

Did you know that when penguins mate, they mate for life? They are the only animals to do this. And when a male penguin has chosen a mate, he searches the entire beach just to find the right pebble to give to her. Exactly like a proposal. Penguins are soul mates, loving one another until they die.

"Penguins" follows the romance of Theo and Claire; two people who never thought they could be loved, but then found each other. Theo was the quiet, shy guy who was universally liked, but no one really knew him. Claire was a bright, sunny soul who always had a smile on her face that hid her inner pain. Could they be penguins? Or will these lovebirds be wrenched apart by the very things that bind them together?


6. Chapter 6

Theo found Claire crying her eyes out in the library at school. She had ran out of lunch halfway through and Theo had been looking for her ever since. She was hiding in the section of the library where no one ever looked, The Historical Biographies. Theo knew she was into that kind of thing. This was the girl that had once taken three hours to explain the complexities of World War I to him. Here was a good place to look. 
"Claire?" he asked, coming around the corner.
She jumped and glanced at him, hurriedly wiping her red eyes with the back of her hand. Theo walked over to her and put his arms around her, holding her close. 
"What happened?" he whispered into her ear.
"You can tell me."
"They- they called him retarded." she said miserably.
"They called Joey that." 

Theo's breath caught and he instinctively held Claire tighter. She hated when people made fun of her brother. 
"Who?" he asked,
"Some guys at lunch." she said wearily.
'I know it really isn't worth crying over but-"
"Which guys?" Theo asked angrily. 
"And where are they so I can go kick their asses?"
Claire clung to Theo's hand to prevent him from leaving and doing just that.
"Theo, don't! It's not worth it!" 

The boy sighed, the tension leaving his shoulders. He reached into his pocket and withdrew a handkerchief, handing it to Claire silently. She smiled gratefully and gently dabbed at her face, trying to rub away the tear stains. 
"Do I look presentable enough?" she asked weakly.
"You look perfect, as always." Theo replied, kissing her cheek.
Claire giggled and hugged him,
"Come on. We'll be late for sixth period at this rate."

But back in the hallways, the guys had returned. Their ringleader was Andy Bochawitz, and Theo had hated him since grade school. Andy was a stereotypical rich kid who never got in trouble, because his parents would just pay for it. Naturally, this made him believe he had the right to pick on other people mercilessly. 
"There goes the girl with the retard for a brother, boys." he said cruelly as Theo and Claire walked past, leaning his broad form against a locker. 
Theo stiffened and Claire glanced at him worriedly. Her boyfriend's normally bright blue eyes were darkening; a sure sign that he was getting extremely annoyed. 
"Care to repeat that, Bochawitz?" he said loudly, dropping Claire's hand and turning around to face the other teen.
"Oh, look at him, getting all protective over his girlfriend." Andy cooed while the rest of his cronies laughed stupidly. 
"It's not my fault that she's so desperate that she'd date the likes of you, Theodore. She's probably just a total slu-"
Theo snapped. Taking two strides backwards, he grabbed Andy by his shirt collar and rammed him up against a row of lockers. Andy was broader in the shoulder then Theo, but he had the added advantage of about four inches of height. He glared down at the other guy, who actually did look scared, his usual arrogant expression gone,
"Bochawitz, don't talk about Claire, don't look at Claire, don't even think about Claire. Because if you ever say anything like that again, I'll punch your lights out." 
Andy nodded hurriedly and Theo smiled, 

But Theo's act of chivalry earned him a pounding. Andy and his gang jumped him at the end of the school day. Poor Theo didn't even have a chance; it was five against one. He was a goner. Thankfully, the nurse hadn't left the building yet, so Theo somehow dragged himself there and asked her to help him.
"Young man, how did this happen to you?" she asked worriedly as she applied ice to his black eye.
"Um- ran into a pole. In the parking lot."
"Well, that's the feeblest lie I've ever heard. And I've worked as a school nurse for fifteen years! Tell me what really happened."
Theo sighed and then explained what had occurred. The nurse wrote this down and then said,
"A Bochawitz, huh? I had plenty of trouble from his older brothers. Well, the office will have to hear about this-"
Theo felt his conscience prick him. Sometimes, it seriously sucked to be a decent person. 
"I did provoke him, Miss." Theo said truthfully. 
'We had a disagreement earlier today."
"Let me guess, over a girl?"
Theo stared at her, a blush rising to his cheeks,
"How'd you know?"
"When boys fight, they're typically over it ten minutes later. The fight only goes on if it's over a girl." the nurse said, smiling. 
Theo had to smile too.
"Yeah- He insulted my girlfriend, Claire."
"Ah, a fight over a woman's honor! Very medieval."

Theo's parents were called to pick him up. Obviously, his mother was ready to go get Andy and all his friends expelled, but thankfully Theo's father stepped in.
"That would just make it worse, Judith." he said,
"Let the boy fight his own battles."  
Ït was for Claire, Mom!" Theo said, glancing at his father and nodding gratefully. 
Theo's mother pursed her lips together, looking at her son in concern.
"Theo, about Claire-"
"I'm not breaking up with her over this, Mom." Theo said loudly. 
"I wasn't asking you to, Teddy. I just think it's time we had her over for dinner."

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