Jimmy's fist collided solidly with the face of the new kid, hitting him square in the nose and bursting it like a ripe tomato. The kid fell to the varnished floor of the lobby, his books scattered around him, his glasses askew, blood staning the front of his uniform shirt.
"The name's Jimmy Hopkins. You hear me? Jimmy Hopkins."
Jimmy's crew, composed of some mixed Greasers and Bullies, giggled. Jimmy felt his stomach burn. He hadn't wanted to to do this, but he didn't have a choice. The kid walked into him, didn't even say anything. Acted like he wasn't even there. Jimmy had to hit him. It was the only way to save face.
"Way to go, Jim." Johnny Vincent said from behind him. Jimmy hated Johnny. He only kept Johnny in his crew because Johnny had cvontrol of the Greasers, which meant Jimmy had control of the Greasers. The Greasers were assholes. Not real smart, but handy with their fists. And still, they were better than Preppies.
"You hear me? Jimmy Hopkins. You remember my name." Jimmy hissed at the shocked kid, who's face was now a bloody mess.
The girl's voice rang out clear in the hall. Jimmy half-turned to see a girl running over. She was dressed in Bullworth clothes. She must have been a new kid too, because Jimmy had never seen her around before. Her hair was a long, flowing blond and her eyes were dark blue. Jimmy could see them clearly even though he was half-way across the lobby. She didn't look she belonged anywhere. She wasn't a jock, a prep, a nerd, or a grease. She was just...herself.
Sort of like him.
She stopped short and those pretty blue eyes of her shifted from the bloody new kid of the floor and Jimmy.
"What did you do?"
She sounded angry. Jimmy felt a little taken aback. She was a new girl, but she obviously didn't know who he was. How could she not? He was Jimmy Hopkins, king of the shitty school.
"I punched him." He snapped.
"He got in my way. No one gets in my way."
"Who do you think you are?" She spat.
Jimmy could feel his face growing hot and his fists clenched at his sides.
"I'm Jimmy Hopkins."
"So?" She snorted.
She was really pissing him off here.
"That just gives you the right to go around punching people smaller than you?"
Jimmy's anger evaporated and instantly turned to shame. She was right. He'd always sworn to be different, to protect the weak. Now he was turning into one of them.
"What's your name?" He asked.
"That's none of your business."
Jimmy's anger resurfaced.
"Well, none of this is your business, so why don't you just get out of here?"
"That's my brother."
Poof. The anger was gone and the shame was back.
"I'm...I'm sorry." He said.
He could almost feel his boys stiffen behind him. Their leader had just pussed out. Jimmy felt angry at himself now.
"It's a bit late, isn't it?"
She bent down to help her brother up. Jimmy watched her do it, feeling guilty. The poor kid looked about thirteen...
He moved forward and picked up his books.
"I'm sorry." He repeated, holding them out.
The boy took them nervously. Jimmy handed him a kleenex he took from his pocket. The kid took it and ran off. The first bell had just rung.
"Don't think that makes it alright." The girl snapped.
"What's your name?" He asked again.
For a moment, he thought she wouldn't answer. Then, she said, in a low voice:
Then she was gone. Jimmy watched her walk away, her books under her arm. Jimmy watched her, oblivious to the snickers of his crew.
James Hopkins had fallen in love.