André was strategic in handling calls from the school. Every morning he ate breakfast with his mother. At 6:00 am, which was nearly impossible despite having to be on the bus just one hour later. He never joined the group of assholes that stood at his bus stop. Anymore, that is. André learned his lesson the hard way.
He wasn’t avoiding anyone. Just being proactive.
Every morning as the van to hell rounded the corner he bolted from his front door just in time to catch Mr. Divers before the old man pulled off. This 30 year tenured bus driver enjoyed watching kids run. André refused to be one of them.
The baby fat his mom told him he’d lose never went away. Even with his massive height he was lanky and awkward. No one could miss him.
Instead of his body frame being an advantage, André stumbled through life. Like his body wasn’t made for him.
He had a few friends. They all met in the library. If you could call eating in silence while catching I on homework a “meeting.”
But his life wasn’t sad. He wasn’t being bullied. All it would take was an innocent fall and he’d crush the nearest ant sized kid.
André was just tired of being looked at. Tired of whispers and concerned looks.
In addition to his overbearing frame, André had a scar that ran just above his eye, all the way down his cheek on right side of his face.
It would never fade. It’d been there for 11 years.
He doesn’t remember much about the attack. The boy was only four years old when the man with the huge knife went ballistic at the grocery store. He’d rounded the corner with blood on his weapon already when he got André.
He was running with his mom, who had heard the first screams and sounds of panic.
Tons of blood, that’s all he knows.
The bus ride is quick to the school, only a few blocks, but he was not allowed to walk alone ever. Rule created by his grandmother, enforced by all authority figures in his life. So they thought.
Once the kids are off the bus he kicks around and waits outside right before the bell rings. There is a field that is behind the school. One that has a hole in the fence that cannot be seen by any school cameras.
The moment he gets home, he sets an alarm to wake up and delete the message from the school office. Then another to get back to the school and catch the bus home, just in case there’s any question.