The tipping point

I could feel the panic soaring in my body. Mustering all the courage I could pluck up, I soldiered on across the hallway with my head bent down, wary of making eye contact with him. Every second was a ticking time bomb, threatening to explode, as I struggled to maintain my composure.

"Hey dork! Where’d ya think you're going?" I looked up reluctantly, and saw Billy.

He was standing in front of me, blocking my way. With his arms folded across his chest, he stared down at me, with a smirk on his face.

"Where's my money?", he asked, as he bent down to face me directly.

I wanted to run away at that moment, but those bloodshot eyes staring right at me was paralyzing every ounce of muscle I had in my body. Before I could react, he thrust his hands into my side pockets and yanked my wallet out.

He took out the five-dollar bill it contained, and shoved the emptied wallet back to me. He jabbed his thick, pudgy finger painfully into my chest, and with a menace in his voice, he warned "Don't you dare breathe a word about this to anybody, or I’ll get you." He brutally shoved me aside, and ambled along the empty hallway, leaving me to fend off the tears that were quickly welling up in my eyes.

I was furious! Billy had taken my daily allowance three days in a row, and his harassment was fraying my nerves fast. Indeed, my diminutive stature had made me an easy target.

As I shook my head, I caught a glance of Kevin entering the toilet at the end of the hallway. I thought about the times Billy had bullied Kevin, extorting money from him as well. To top it off, Kevin was built even smaller than me, and this had made it much easier for Billy to inflict physical harm on him. I shuddered. Billy was now entering the toilet as well. I could only imagine what was in store for Kevin...

“That’s it!” I felt like I had reached my tipping point. I was determined to teach Billy a lesson. I had picked up Jiu-Jitsu at the age of six, and now, at eleven, it was time for me to use the leverages, chokes and locks I had painstakingly practiced and perfected over the years.

As I reached the entrance of the toilet, I could hear punches being inflicted, and a loud ‘THUD’. I winced. I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough to do it. Yet, I felt that Billy had gone too far this time. Kevin wasn’t even a foot above Billy’s shoulder, and the amount of pain he had to go through at the hands of Billy was just simply appalling.

I pushed open the toilet door and my insides retched almost instantaneously. I was trying hard to stem the tide of nausea that was washing over me.

“Oh my god!” He was lying limp on the floor, all bruised, battered and bloodied. It wasn’t Kevin. It was Billy!