It’s been a month since Hana had joined the school, which meant it was October the twenty-fifth, or as the students know it as; the day of the yearly Halloween dance. Even through everyone had school that day, they still came dressed up. Nick was dressed as the Lumberjack from ‘Little Red Riding Hood’, Anna was Esmeralda from ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’. Ethan was Hawkeye from ‘The Avengers’ and Sam as always was dressed up as a pilot or he was dressed more like a pilot. When Hana was asked what she was dressed up as she would answer with Katara from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’, Anna had given her the costume when she told the older girl she didn’t have a costume. It was better than what she normally wore, skinny jeans, long sleeved top and jacket.
Over the past month Nick, Anna, Sam and even Ethan –though he would deny it- had been trying to befriend Hana, but she would blow them off. Nick could tell that the younger girl didn’t want to talk about her family or even her home life, when someone asked her about it; she would change the subject. No one knew how she changed without them noticing or only to notice at the end of the day, but she did. He was worried about the darked haired girl, since she was the loner of the school and the troublemaker that most teachers kept an eye on. Nick wanted her to have a friend, so why not have four?
Anna had been trying to get Hana to join an extracurricular activity. She didn’t have any luck and the last time she tried it was to get her to join the dance committee, it didn’t go very well. Ethan mostly tried to stay out of her way and Hana tried to stay out of his way, but when their paths crossed, the ending results were always the same… they ended up fighting about something. Sam always thought they looked like an old married couple when they did this. Sam started to teach Hana about aerodynamics and how to fly a plane; it was till he saw that Hana knew more about the subject than he did and started asking her questions about it, which Hana was always happy to answer.
Nick wanted to be a big brother figure to her, -he had always wanted a younger sibling- but she blocked him at every turn and in the end he didn’t know much about her. It had taken the combined efforts of Nick, Anna and Sam to get her to come to the Halloween dance, she agreed when Sam used his large dark green eyed puppy dog eyes at her. They planned on meeting in the study hall, since it was the only class they had with Hana. No one had a date, so it was perfect –well except maybe Nick and Anna - it was a relationship in the making.
When the four friends entered Study Hall they didn’t see her anyway. All they could do was take their seats and wait; she had a habit of turning up late, most of the time her last teacher kept her in for one reason or another. She was never late by more than ten minutes, so this had everyone worried when she didn’t show up.
“Is Ms Gwenelda here today?” Mr Black asked the four with a raised eyebrow.
“I saw her today… she was going to one of her classes and I stopped to say hi to her.” Anna said.
Nick nodded “We talked a little before school… I was telling her where to meet us for the dance.”
“Then why isn’t she here?” Mr Black asked the two.
“I don’t know.” Anna whispered worry was clear on her face.
“We could look for her?” Nick asked he was hoping that Mr Black said yes, so they could find Hana and he hoped nothing bad has happened to her.
“Yes, go and find Ms Gwenelda.” Mr Black told them waving his hand at the door and in less than thirty seconds all four were out of the room and into the hall.
After ten minutes of searching and no sign of Hana, Nick was beginning to panic. What if Hana was hurt? Kidnapped? Or being held for ransom? It was these thoughts that kept running through his mind as they looked for her. That’s stupid Nick, who would want to hold Hana for ransom and how could someone be kidnapped or hurt on campus. He told himself, while is calmed he a little, it really didn’t help.
“Maybe we should go back to class.” Ethan suggested as he walked in front of Nick, still looking at the area around him.
“Ethan’s right, Nick, there’s no sign of her, maybe we should tell the office and hope she shows up, no matter how much I don’t want to stop.” Anna agreed stopping at Nick’s side.
“I guess you’re right.” Nick sighed
He just didn’t want to stop looking for Hana and judging from the look on everyone’s faces, neither did they, Ethan more so than the others. They weren’t in a big school so ten minutes was more than enough time to have almost looked everywhere. When they turned to go the office when a shot stopped them in their tracks.
“P-Please S-Sto- op!” It was Hana.
Nick looked at Ethan and when the Australian nodded, they both ran in the direction of the voice, the other two close behind and when they did get to the area, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Hana was standing at the edge of the pool with three much older and bigger males in front of her. Ethan saw red when he looked at the dark skinned female, you could barely tell, but she had a black eye and a spilt lip which was still slightly bleeding. The three bullies were laughing and the largest pushed her closer to the edge of the pool to the point where she was almost falling into the water.
“Hey, leave her alone!” Nick shouted, he rarely got angry at people, but there was no way he was going to stand there and watch as Hana was bullied, or anyone for that matter, especially when they were obviously stronger than the petite female.
“Yeah! Leave her alone and pick on someone your own size!” Anna shouted after Nick, she never liked bullies and she was starting to see Hana as a little sister, someone to love and protect.
The three realizing that they were other people with them and that the little wolf had back-up, looked at them and then at Hana “Oh… so, you now have other people to fight your battles for you? Ha!” The other two meatheads started to laugh with him, as if it was the funniest joke they’ve ever heard.
“But you know what?” The ringleader asked the other two “I don’t like dealing with other people, it gets too messy and far too much adult involvement. So I’ll be taking my leave. Hope you can swim, Indian.”
Before anyone could stop him, or knew what was going on, the leader pushed Hana into the pool. She tried to grip onto his sleeve, but she missed and toppled into the water. The bullies didn’t care about what happened to the small girl, they only cared about what would happen to them, if they were caught. Snapping out of his shock Nick ran to the side of the pool, the other close behind him, they were looking for her black hair, hoping that she would come up. A couple of seconds later she did come out of the water, but what she said made their blood ran cold.
“He-elp, can’t s-swim.” And with that she went back under.
She’s in the deep end… no, no! Nick thought as Hana went under the pool water. Well, there’s no way I’m going to let her drown. She’s my friend whether she wants to be or not.
Before Nick could dive into the water… Ethan had already dove into the water –much to everyone’s shock.
Ethan opened his eyes underwater, trying to ignore the burning feeling that he got when he did so. He may dislike the girl, which was a lie, he didn’t know what he felt towards her, but when he was young he lost his older sister, who’d drowned. There was no way he was going to let someone else drown if he could help it.
Soon enough he was able to spot Hana at the bottom of the pool. Ethan could tell she was panicking, which was fair enough, the girl thought she was going to die. When he came up behind her, he quickly wrapped his arms around her waist and swam to the surface. If his lungs were burning at the moment, he didn’t even want to know how bad it was for Hana. When their heads broke the surface, both were gasping for air and Nick helped Hana out of the pool once they were in reach, while Ethan pulled himself out of the water.
Nick put on the girl on her back, where she stayed for a few minutes trying to catch her breath, it had taken Ethan less time to get his lung’s filled with air and that was only because he wasn’t in the water as long as she was and he wasn’t panicking. Hana was fine other than the slipt lip and brushed eye. Anna helped Hana sit up when the younger girl calmed down and didn’t straggle to breathe.
“It’s okay, Hana.” Anna whispered as she rubbed the girls back, the poor thing was still shaking from coughing up all the water.
“Why me?” Hana asked, why was she the one they always targeted.
“What happened?” Ethan asked, at first he thought they were after her because of a prank
“I don’t know.” Hana whispered “I don’t think I’ll be able to come to the dance.”
“Why not?” Anna asked “If you come to the dance then you can forget what happened.”
“But my clothes are wet.”
“That doesn’t matter, that and I can call my mum.” Anna whispered playing with Hana’s long black hair “She can bring more clothes if I ask nicely.”
“Why don’t we tell Mr Engels?” Nick said.
“He doesn’t care.” Hana said.
“What?” Ethan shouted.
Sam pulled Hana’s sleeved to get her attention.
What do you mean he doesn’t care?
“He doesn’t, this isn’t the first time this had happened.” Hana sighed.
“They’re on the football team, aren’t they?” Nick guessed.
“And they can’t do anything wrong.” Hana added.
“Let’s get back to class.” Ethan sighed, the three boys weren’t going to get away with this.
I agree with Ethan, don’t worry Hana the nurse has towels in her office. I can go and get one for you.
“Thanks Sam.” Hana said, hugging the small boy.
“Come on Hana.” Ethan said, helping the small girl to her feet.
“Can Hana and I talk?” Anna asked
“Of course, we’ll tell Mr Black.” Nick said
“See you there.” Ethan said, following his friend back to the study hall.
“You want to talk about something Anna?” Hana asked
“Why did they call you ‘Indian’ Hana?” Anna asked
“Because I’m Native American and they hate my ‘kind’,” Hana told her
“Wait, you’re Native American.” Anna whispered in pour shock
“Yes is there a problem.”
“No, it’s just that your stories are amazing.”
“I’ll tell you one some time.” Hana promised
“Why don’t we go to nurses office?”
“Let’s.” Hana laughed running down the halls to get to the front office.