School ended and I walked outside to wait for mum to pick me up by the usual tree. I looked up as the sound of cheering and yells reached my ears. I stood up and walked to the nearby park. Quinn and his friends had surrounded Lewis, only from the looks of it things were going a lot worse than they had in school. And Lewis wasn't even fighting back, just using his arms to protect himself.
“Good,” I heard Zack mutter behind me. I glanced at him with shock.
“You cannot be that pleased by this,” I whispered. I saw he wanted to say he was but he hesitated. Zack may hate Lewis' guts for what he did to Michael. But Zack could never agree with bullying in any sense. Zack pulled cigarette out and started smoking, looking at the ground.
“I thought you were trying to quit for Michael?” I asked, refusing to look away. I felt so useless just watching, someone needed to stop. At this rate Lewis was going to be using Michael's old hospital bed.
“I've kind of been under a lot of stress,” Zack muttered back. He finished the cigarette so fast he throat must've hurt. Then he stamped it out with his heel and walked across the road to the park. I raced after him.
“Are you insane? They'll rip you to shred too,” I said, placing a hand on his shoulder.
“I've dealt with it once,” he replied, shrugging my hand away. I starred after him with wide eyes. I heard high heels clank across the road and Amber looked on. She starred open-mouthed as Zack approached the group.
“I think you made your point,” Zack said. Quinn paused, about to punch Lewis again and stood up. Lewis lowered his arms from where he was in a small ball on the ground. Blood ran from his lip and a cut on his head. One of them was wearing a ring while punching him. Dirt stained his clothes and his top had rips in it.
“Oh wow, Lewis is getting defended by a gay kid now,” Quinn said with a laugh.
“Trust me, I'm not here because I want to be,” Zack replied, sending Lewis a sharp look. Lewis wiped blood from his chin and stood up somewhat shakily.
“Then go, I didn't ask for your help,” Lewis spat. Quinn grinned at the response and looked back at Zack.
“You heard him, go away,” Quinn said. This time the humour barely hid the underlying threat. I saw Ambers fist ball up and she walked up to Zack's side.
“Did you mishear my cousin idiot? Go away. Who says you have the right to give Lewis crap? If anyone should be beating the shit out of him it's Zack. Or did you forget Lewis stabbed someone?” I saw Lewis face wince at the vocalisation of what he'd done.
“Personally I'd be trying not to push him into hurting someone else,” Amber ended with crossed arms. The expression she always wore when conquering someone on her face. I felt my cheeks blush a little, how did she manage to be awesome unexpectedly? Quinn stared at her in shock. Some of the crowd dispersed. Some of the popular guys and girls moving towards Amber. Zack might be her cousin but Amber had maintained her status within the school.
“I'm going to ruin you,” Quinn muttered.
“Try it boy. I've met a lot of start-ups trying to be the big bully here. And guess what, Lewis was the only one to pull it off. And you haven't got a thing on him,” Amber replied with a small smirk. Quinn returned it, though like Amber it held no real warmth.
“We'll see,” he said. He and his friends left, heading home. Amber waved goodbye to her friends, thanking them. I looked behind me to see Kim had joined me in watching the commotion. We all approached Lewis a little cautiously. He looked somewhere between mad and ready to break into tears. And based on his history, he'd rather get mad than look weak. He spat blood onto the grass and looked up at us, studying us in turn.
“So you guys want to beat me up too?” he asked, not exactly giving the impression he'd fight back.
“Why would I do that? I don't want blood on my clothes,” Zack replied. Me and Amber rolled our eyes in unison. Plus Zack to make an overly-gay comment in response to Lewis of all people.
“I just don't agree with people being hurt in general,” Zack explained. Lewis starred at him for a few moments before shaking his head.
“Of course, I forgot. Pretty, prissy rich guy,” Lewis muttered under his breath. I saw Zack narrow his eyes at the words.
“Normally someone say thanks, not insults,” Zack said.
“Fine, thanks rich kid. Now how about staying the hell out of my life. I didn't ask for your help and I don't need it,” Lewis growled between clenched teeth.
“If we'd let them keep going you could've ended up in hospital. In fact I think you should go to A&E to be on the safe side,” I said, taking the focus off Zack. Lewis was too clouded by his dislike of Zack to accept help. Maybe he'd be more willing to listen to me.
“I'm fine,” Lewis said, though his voice did sound less angry. He turned and left. The loud beep of a horn told me Mum had been waiting for a while. I glanced at Zack, he seemed pretty deep in thought. Maybe he had an idea of why Lewis seemed to have an unexplained hate for him?