Won't Back Down

Kat sat alone at the bench for her lunch, poking at the mystery food placed before her. She hadn't really met anyone yet, or made any friends. She tried pulling her band shirt down, the bands name displayed proudly in bold white writing: "One Inch Punch. She got this band shirt from a friend in her old town; they snuck out together to watch the show. She loved the beauty of the stage, how the musicians were lost in their song, and gave every last bit of themselves. Her favorite song was "Won't Back Down." She wished she was that brave.

Yet she wasn't, and if she was, that bruise on her arm could be a whole lot worse. She was bad, she talked back. Kat quickly pushed the memory of the morning out of her mind. She spied the kid who helped her with her locker before, Adam right? He was scribbling something into a journal and Kat quietly walked towards the pre-occupied Adam in the hopes of maybe seeing what he was writing down. She was pushed out of the way by two larger boys, however, and they each sat beside Adam. The first one rustled Adam's hair, "Hiya Adam, whatcha writing?" Adam just muttered a response as the other boy tried taking his journal.

"Lemme see, nerd!" Adam attempted to take the journal back, but didn't succeed. The larger boy grabbed Adam by the neck and held him back.

"Ha ha! Baby wants his book back?" The other youth began to read the first page aloud.

"The Draag-Dragon's Lunch!" The youth laughed, "What a stupid title!" Adam was struggling less against the boy holding him back. Kat swore she could hear him sobbing and she got to her feet. Her knee was scraped up a bit, but she could hear that song in her head.

"I won't back down!"

She ran at the bully holding Adam's journal. He was caught offguard as the girl pushed as hard as she could. He tripped backwards, landing right on his back. Kat grabbed the journal away from the dazed boy. She felt a strong hand grab her hair and cried out in pain as she felt the youth who was restraining Adam now picking on her.

"Stupid girl, what's the matter, savin' your boyfriend?" he taunted her as Kat tried pulling herself free. She noticed Adam had gotten to his feet and he slowly walked towards the two of them, picking up the journal and standing still for a moment.

Only a moment, though, then he ran right for the boy holding Kat, slamming headfirst into his stomach. The bully gasped for air and his hand released Kat's hair as he clutched his stomach in confusion. He began to cry, not the quiet sniffles Adam had been trying to stifle but an all-out wailing. The teacher supervising lunch ran over to see what the commotion was about, noticing Adam and the new girl, and Terrance with Bill, who both looked like they got what was coming. She fumed at the two boys, pulling them away while going on about their detention.  Adam and Kat she left to themselves.

Kat sat sniffling; her hair hurt, her arm hurt, she was scared. Why did she just do that? She saw a hand reaching out for her and she wiped her eyes, looking up to see Adam holding his hand out.

"Thanks..let me help you up." She gingerly took his hand as he helped her up, gripping her upper arm as well. Kat winced in pain as she got to her feet. "Are you allright?" Adam looked a little more concerned when he touched her arm. Kat nodded softly as she pulled the sleeve down.

"I'm fine, t-thanks." She looked to the ground as Adam tried to wipe off his journal. Kat looked cautiously at Adam's treasured prize. "What were you writing?" Adam nervously opened his book and showed her the pages he was previously working on.

"It's 'The Dragon's Lunch,' it's about knights, princesses and a big dragon!" Kat smiled and she could feel her face flush a little bit.

"Can... can I read it?" Adam closed the book in a hurry, he thought for a moment before responding.

"Only if you can tell me what a one inch punch is."

Kat giggled. Guess they weren't that big yet. "Sure, come on, let's go over to that hill." Adam nervously followed her.

The two kids spent the remainder of the lunch hour talking about books, music, and other strange subjects. The teacher supervising the lunch hour came out to collect the students from the lunchbreak and noticed Adam and Kat talking on the hill. She smiled to herself; the new girl and the shy boy were talking, smiling, she didn't see Adam talk that much to anyone ever. She chuckled to herself as she walked back inside, stopping by their classroom. She spoke to their teacher for a moment and the women decided to give the two kids some extra time to chat. It would be nice for the new girl to have a real friend so quickly.

Back in the apartment in the present, Kat and Adam stared out his balcony window. Adam's arm wrapped around her and they stared at the children in the playground.

Adam's voice rasped quietly, as if he was afraid to break the silence, "We were like that once, not a care in the world."

Kat gave a small frown. "You were Adam. There were things I couldn't, was afraid to share with you." Adam nodded softly, his free hand clenched into a fist. He knew exactly who was at fault.

"I know Kat, I know now."

The End

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