Chapter One – No Hat For You!

In a small, nearly isolated town was a school, and in that school sat about five hundred seventeen and eighteen year olds watching the clock eagerly. As the clocked hit 2:30, a bell rang and all five hundred erupted from the school, save one.

A boy slowly stood as soon as the rest were gone. He nodded his farewell to the teacher, his eyes a dull blue. The teacher returned the gesture and then smiled as her star pupil removed a forest green cap from his bag. The cap easily stood out from his pure white uniform, right down to white shoes. He then sat the cap on his head, covering his windswept blonde hair.

As he started to leave, the teacher stood and walked to him. As she placed her hand on his shoulder, the student turned to her, bracing himself for what was coming.

"Link, you know that if anything is bothering you, you can come tell me, right?" It was the same question, once every Friday, which she asked him. He was always the last to leave, and usually the only joy he had was when she gave him the note to let him wear his cap after the first dismissal bell.

"Yes, Ms. Dayton," he responded in his monotonous voice he usually used in school.

"It's Ms. Denise. Calling me by my last name makes me feel old."

Link nodded and a small trace of a smile appeared on his face, usually devoid of emotion. He left and walked out to the schoolyard.

Just as he sat down on the steps, he saw someone approach. Link quickly groaned and put anything breakable in his pockets. Just as he zipped up the backpack and set in back down, the person arrived.

"Hey, hat boy! Don't you know wearing hats is against school rules?" It was Mike, the one most of the kids rallied around. Normally, he would leave Link alone, had it not been for that one incident.

They had been bolting to their classes. Link was heading to his locker, Mike to his class from his locker. Link turned a corner only to smash into Mike, the impact sending them sprawling. Now they would have gotten up and gone their separate ways had a girl that Mike liked not came over and helped Link up instead of Mike. Link had become friends with her, which caused Mike to believe that she had chosen the new kid over him. Sarah, as she was called, quickly became Link's last and unfortunately only protection against Mike, which made him even angrier.

Mike knocked Link's backpack off the railing where he had set it. "I said hats are not allowed!" and with that, snatched it from his head.

Link slowly stood up. "Don't start with me. It's not smart to provoke me."

"That idiot girlfriend of yours ain't here to protect you, Linky. You're in a man's fight, so it might be best for you to sit back down." He finished by shoving Link back onto the stairs.

Link winced as he stood back up. "Forgive me, Sarah," he whispered, and then landed a punch square on Mike's nose. Link wiped a bit of blood onto his shirt as Mike topped into the crowd that had gathered. Link picked up his cap and placed it back on his head.