Loner and Leeman

I’ve learned over the years that people have priorities
that you can’t make them bail out of. In this case, Daniel was one of them. I
didn’t expect him to, but I didn’t even know that he was moving in the first
place. Yet he still sounded angry over the phone as though this was all my
fault. Who ruined whose life? Oh yeah, I remember.

 There was that one time where he decided to still Claudia
away from me. Oh, and the one day where he blamed me for backstabbing him and
setting this whole scenario up in the first place. Of course, the best one is
probably ratting out Charles and I and then trying to offer me his family when
I just ran away to avoid him. Some reversed logic there.

 Checking Facebook wasn’t one of my favorite things to do;
I was basically forced by my friends to get one; but I did so today. That’s
when I saw some notifications from yesterday, a lot of them pertaining to
Daniel. According to what I read, he was moving because his father got laid off
from his job. That fact alone was odd enough, seeing as he worked there for so
long. But one thing stuck out to me that didn’t settle right.

 One like on the message. Lionel Stephens.

 Now I was furious. Who would hack onto my account? I knew
for sure that wasn’t me who did that. Unlike Daniel, I wasn’t heartless. Nobody
knew my password, and it wasn’t exactly the easiest one to crack. It had to be
somebody though, somebody that knew how much Daniel and I despised each other.
I doubted he would do that himself; the facts didn’t add up. But…

 I snapped my fingers. Charles. The one guy I knew who
didn’t have a Facebook, the one guy that knew for certain how much I hated
Daniel, the one guy who knew me the best and was skilled enough to hack me.
There was only a brief flash of anger, but then it was replaced by a question.
Why? I knew he didn’t like Daniel as much as I did, but I didn’t picture him as
the offensive type.

 Nevertheless, he had to be the one, and I needed answers.
Strolling out of my front door, Claudia’s little I-should-be-friends-with-my-ex
situation now out of my head, I walked right across the street to where the
British exchange student resided. I noticed the Roadrunner he loved to drive in
the driveway, so I assumed he was home.

 I slammed my fist on the door, harder than I wanted to,
but loud enough to make him know I wasn’t in the best of moods. Soon enough,
the door swung open and the kid who was my friend standing right in front of

 “Oh, Lionel… mate… I just woke up” he greeted me, yawning
after he said this. “No need to bring the door down, I kinda need it. Whatcha

 “I want to know how you hacked my Facebook account, and
then I want to know how many times you’ve done so before”. I was all business,
not wishing for any small talk.

 Charles could only laugh. “Please, you think I’d go on
that silly website? It’s for those ate-up teenagers desperately searching for a
social life. Don’t go accusing me of things I can’t and don’t want to do”.

 “Too late, I just did. Now, can you just tell me what
Daniel did to you to make you hack me?” I saw his eyes shift downwards, and I
knew I had him.

“Alright… you want answers? I’ve got you your answers. He
came walking by your house one day ready to peek on us again, I could tell. I told
the little bugger off, and that was that. Then, well, I tried doing what you
did. But, whatever, it didn’t work, it’s the past, and now I’m here, learning
that he’s finally leaving our lives. The only way I could celebrate was to do
that. Then, of course, dance on his ashes. Mate, you can’t yell at me for
something you would have done anyway! That guy was been an anchor, dragging us
all down, so I did ourselves a favor, you a favor, by cutting him loose!”

 “Well Charles… that’s a lot of crap” I shot back, getting
annoyed. “You did yourself a favor, not us. You made me look like I sunk down
to his level while you sat back and patted yourself on the back. And let’s not
forget you hacked my account!”

 Charles stormed inside, me hot on his tail. I realized
soon enough that he knew I was following him and was guiding me over to a
desktop computer in his living room. As quickly as he could, a pulled up what
looked like thousands of documents that all looked to have complicated codes.

 He gestured to all of them. “Well, sorry mate, why don’t
I just hack Daniel’s account? I could do it right now. I could hack Claudia’s
too. Everyone in the school is open to hacking, and I can’t be traced. I’m
smart because I figured out how to do this a long time ago. And before you ask
why I didn’t tell you, why the bloody hell would I spill you the secret?”

 My eyes gazed at the confusing words and numbers, my mind
finding it hard to comprehend that he could control that much from one single
computer. I tried to say something, but there was nothing more I could do.
Charles had the internet at his mercy, and was using it to put me in a corner.

 “Since when did you start turning on your friends like
that?” I responded, finally finding the right words.

 “I’m not turning on you, I’m trying to help you! I’m
making sure that Daniel leaves knowing that there’s nothing to come back for,
and if he comes back, we will crush him”.

 “You sound like the very person you want to destroy” I
replied, shaking my head. “Do you really want to stoop down to his level? I
haven’t see you in a while, Charles, but something has obviously gone wrong
with you”.

 Before we could continue, my phone buzzed. I flipped it
open, ignoring Charles, and looked at the message. It came from a number
unknown to me; not Daniel’s; and had a message that made me forget about this
little dilemma I was in.

 “Charles… I think we need to get Daniel and Claudia. Now”
I said, already running out the door.

 He looked at me incredulously. “You think we’re done
here? You think you can go grab your enemy all of the sudden? Are you out of
your bloody mind?”

 I sighed, then turned to face him. “Believe me when I
tell you this is a big problem, bigger than this feud. I’ll brief you on
whatever you want to know”. Under my breath, I muttered, “this is all going to

 Daniel didn’t live too far away, so I sprinted the whole
way down there. I didn’t look behind me to see if Charles was following, and I
just merely hoped that he was. It was quite a coincidence that I showed up just
as Claudia was leaving. Daniel was saying something to her as she departed, and
it didn’t look like they were that upset with each other, but the hate could be
felt a mile away. When they both heard me coming, they both looked confused.

 “What are you doing-“

 I cut off whatever snide remark Daniel was about to make.
“Listen, we’ve got a problem, and it’s bigger than all of us” I said gesturing
around, noticing Charles had followed after all.

 “Well?” Daniel motioned for me to go on, annoyed simply
by my presence. I could choke him to death right now and nobody would care.

 I pulled the text message back up. “Principle Gordon died
today from a heart attack. And you know what that means”. They looked shocked by
the news, but didn’t expect what I would say next. ”Leeman’s coming back”.

 That instantly changed the mood. Claudia shook her head
in denial. “You don’t know that for sure…”

 I nodded furiously. “You know how much the board likes
him, and the state itself. He’s coming back, and if he is, the same rules are
going to be put back into place as well”.

 “Wait one bloody moment, people! Who is this guy?” came
Charles’ exasperated question.

 “Our old principle. It was pure luck we got him kicked
out in the first place. How are we supposed to pull that off now?” This was

 “I… I don’t know…” I said, my voice trailing off. “But…
here is one thing. We all have our differences, we are all in our own conflicts…
but this is something that requires us to throw all of that behind us”.

 “And you think you can do that?” Daniel mocked.

 “I’m being serious. He’ll trash our school just like he
did last time. And probably starting off by destroying all of the
extra-curricular activities, like your little Drama club, which is going to be
high on his hit list”.

 Daniel fell silent. Claudia looked around at all of us
and quietly asked, “how long?”

 I shook my head. “Knowing Leeman… it’s going to effective

 The four of us said nothing more afterwards. Charles was
too confused, and quickly left, dismissing us with a wave of his hand.
Repairing our friendship didn’t seem possible at this point. As for us three, I
think we all knew what was coming… and how much it would tear everyone and everything

 We also knew it meant that it would have to be us three
again. Me, Daniel, and Claudia. A shaky relationship that had to hold up until
we could get through this.

 There were too many questions, too many problems… and not
even I knew what the hell was going to happen next.

The End

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