“I’m proud of you,” I smiled, wrapping my arm around Louis’s neck and pulling myself closer to him. “It took guts to do what you did.”
Since the moment we had told his parents, showed them his battle wounds and up until now, Louis had been clenching his jaw. He was scared, I just knew it. He wasn't even shaking his leg, a never habit he had gained from the tender age of eleven. That was how worried he was. He just sat there, so still I had worried that the drama of it all had just about killed him. “Thanks,” he muttered, his words strained.
“Hey, don’t say it like that.”
“Like what?” I pull back enough to narrow my eyes at him, “Kate I just… what’ll happen next? How am I supposed to handle this? They aren’t the only people who could beat me up in this school you know, there’s a long line of them.”
Principle’s Hone’s office was suddenly too hot. “Louis you aren’t going to get hurt again, Ed and Jimmy were intimidated by you. They saw everyone else who actually liked you, who would pick you over them any day and they didn’t like their odds.”
“Then why didn’t anyone stand up for me?” I dropped my arms into my lap like he was fire. His words hurt more than they should have, I wanted to fight back to tell him that I did, that Lillian did. But as I sat back in my seat my mind flickering through every little standoff he, Jimmy and Ed had, I couldn’t think of not one time anyone had ever intervened.
Principle Hone’s office door squeaked open, alerting us both to his presence. From the trophy case behind his desk I could see Louis’s parents shuffling in, his dad scratching at his head and his eyes blazing where as his mum had unshed tears in her eyes and she was clinging to her husband’s arm for dear life. “So, would you like to show me the video now please?” Mr Hones asked, sitting down opposite us.
Louis slid his hand into my own; I gave him a reassuring squeeze. I made a promise to myself: that I would be there for him from now on. I would fight for him and take a stand for him too.