I moved to Manila to study my desired course. In our province, the journalism course is hard to find. Unlike in the City of Manila, most of the colleges or universities offers this course. I don't belong in a rich family but I'm thankful for availing a scholarship and I'm given a chance to study here. But in return, I don't have many friends or someone having a close relationship with.
I don't know what's the meaning of friendship. I have no idea how does it feel to have one. But it made me wonder when a weird feeling suddenly came into my mind when I saw Shana. She is my classmate and she became the centre of bullying because of her face. She's not ugly but a part of his face looks burnt out. I'm a country boy and I have no friends to rely on. That's why I'm one of the people who are just an Audience when she was bullied. But deep inside I hated it and I want to change it.
"You can have it."
I handed my handkerchief when I passed her crying in the park sitting at the side. She looks at me and turned back her head. I feel conscious and feel embarrassed.
"Come on, take it."
I force her to take my handkerchief while looking above.
"What are you doing?" She asked.
I know why she asked me like that. I didn't protect her when she needed someone to stand for her.
"I'm sorry," That's all I could say despite her doubtful thoughts of what am I doing.
She suddenly sobs but I don't know why. I just decided to sit next to her. I want to comfort her by rubbing her back but I hesitated. I'm afraid of what she will think if I'll do that. We seated for an hour and decided to go home when it's dark already.
"Thank you," she stood suddenly.
I don't know what to say or I'm curious if I should have her gratitude. I just smiled at her as I slowly standing.
"I'll send you home?" I asked her.
"No, I'm fine and also it's better if you will keep your distance from me." She said and I feel pity towards her. I can feel how helpless she is.
"Sorry for just being quiet and just watched you. But it will not happen again. This time for sure I will protect you and stay beside you."
I feel embarrassed inside. I acted like some superhero but I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to do so. Perhaps she caught me there, forcing myself to be a strong guy. She smiles at me silently and then she giggles.
"Please don't tease me like that."
Actually, I'm so happy to see her smiling. I enjoy watching her looks so happy and the night falls.
Shana and I became friends. We talked inside the room but not as much because she seems afraid if someone will bully me as well. It's not that I care but I just want to respect her decision.
Jason suddenly appeared and started laughing with his thugs.
"So you have found a prince charming now," he said and his friends are laughing out loud.
We ignored him and continued talking. We are smiling and acting like he doesn't exist. I didn't look at him directly but I'm observing him if what he will do next. But he's persistent and she just keeps on talking even though we didn't answer him.
"You really are ugly, Shana," he said.
"No, you're pretty," I replied.
"What makes her pretty?" He added.
"Okay, she's beautiful," I said again.
He appears annoyed by what I replied to his words. Perhaps he couldn't take it anymore. He holds Shana's chin and lifts it.
I don't know the reason but I'm extremely mad at what he did. I pulled his hand and twisted it slowly.
"You're too much, Jason," I said.
He tried to punch me with his other hand. Shana blocked it with a book. I twisted his fingers and he kneels.
"Ouch, ouch" is what he just said.
"Don't think of threatening someone just because they don't fight you."
I said to him while facing him.
"Okay, okay..just let me go. My fingers will be broken." He begs.
"It's fine so you will not bother other people anymore."
His friends trying to protect him. They're walking towards me. I removed my polo uniform to bluff them with how big my body is. I'm correct, they're afraid and they just step backwards.
"Okay, I promise. I will not do it again, so, please."
I let go of Jason's hand. Shana suddenly hugs me.
"Why?" What did I do?" I'm clueless about her hug to me.
"Hmmmm, nothing," She shook her head.
"Don't be afraid and do not be ashamed of yourself. Your existence alone is enough that you're beautiful. Heeds up because all of us have the right to live in this world."
I told her and she hugs me tight that she feels comfortable with me around.