Look both ways, before you cross me, I tell you. Look both ways, before you cross me, I tell you. Look both ways, before you cross me, I tell you. Look both ways, 'cause if you cross me, I kill you.

This is actually a cut-off from the previous chapter, which I actually wanted to merge this part with it. But to be honest and after a self-consideration, I think this chapter is better be separated. Now, I can focus on these two main characters much better since their friends are dead. (Go ahead, attack me).


Chapter 41

Choose Wisely (extra chapter)

Mullet

The shock from the afternoon gives Mullet a huge punch to him both mentally and physically. The whole tragedy also enfeebled him with the worst outcome. Even he is too weak to board the bus. For the past six weeks, all the hellish things that suffered his brain disintegrated his sanity as well.

All the rainbows do not end with gold, and all golds are not glitters and joy.

Mullet just walks past the shadows to blur his own existence, refusing the sunlight cheering him up again. What he ponders in his mind are only despair and continuous calamity. Not to forget his bruises from Kano that are still biting his nerves.

Until a beige Laurel C33 pulled over at him.

The buzzing sound from its window pulled Mullet's eyes to it despite that car is tinted – revealing a driver is a mid-20-year-old man.

"Hey, kid. You need a ride home?" he spoke with his left hand on the gear stick.

"No thanks," Mullet waved his right hand.

"You looked so bad, young man. I think it's better to bring you in than you walk alone," The man offers him again.

"Just do your business. I do not want you to arrive at your location late," Mullet replied by judging the man's appearance.

"It's okay, I still have hours before the time,"

"Well… thanks,"

"Come in," the man opens the left front door.

Mullet ignored his misgivings since his weariness forced him to skip the entire walking on the long treadmill. He usually refused to accept such ride offers but only let this one slide. And thus, he decided to sit down in a comfy seat. Thankfully, the man turns on the air conditioner to stop Mullet from further sweating.

After Mullet tells the man his address, he hits down the gas pedal and drives down the road at a constant speed.

"Did you just get into a fight or something?"

"Yeah…," Mullet lied.

"Wow. I guess you against three or four people?" the man asked.

"Yeah,"

"You win?"

Mullet nodded.

"Cool," the man shook his head despite praising him, "but you know what. You should not get into a fight or something. That will drag you into a bigger problem,"

"Thanks for the advice," Mullet replied, "But this all was a last resort, tho,"

It takes them around 15 minutes until they arrive at Mullet's house. Thanks to his guides, he still has some energy to take a shower and slack off.

"Thanks for the ride,"

"You're welcome,"

"Take care now,"

The man hit the gas again, making his Laurel C33 disappear in seconds. Meanwhile, Mullet keeps staring at that car, making sure the man is not suspicious enough to be blacklisted. Again, it's not over yet. He just stood there again, listening to its roaring engine until it was clearly inaudible.

"I am home,"

Once he enters the house, Mullet is not thinking about what his brother cooks. But he tries to do something with his bruises if he doesn't want his brother to react to it.

He will react to these bruises…

Sadly, speaking of the devil, his brother comes greeting him.

"Hey, buddy. Can you help me-"

"The hell?"

There he is…

Hiro's slight bewilderment and panic drew on his face. He is not ready to react to his younger brother, who came home full of bruises. Though, he is still having positive thoughts. He is not directly accusing Mullet caught in a fight.

"Yo, Makoto. What the heck just happened to you, man?" He dropped his spatula on the drawer.

"No, nothing. No need to know," Mullet skipped past his brother.

"Did you get into a fight? Come on, man," he halts.

"It just an accident. Everything is done," Mullet replied, "We already talked about this,"

"But look at you," Hiro pointed at Mullet's bruises, "at least I can help you with something,"

"Make me a cold compress. That'll do,"


The afternoon in Mullet's home normally goes as the others have apart from his bruises that are still imprinted. He repeatedly pressed the compress back and forth to each of his injuries, trying to kill the pain periodically. Even though Mullet took martial arts as his pastimes, the baton that battered his body is too painful from his limit. More to agony and torture.

While pressing the cold bag to his right upper arm, he recalled when Kano lured him into the storage room, where all the fight had begun.

Mullet entered the third-floor storage room when Kano asked him to get there. But only to his surprise, when a steel baton smashed to his back. At first, he managed to miss all the strikes before Kano reversed the whole situation. He took off his blazer and convoluted Mullet with it before hitting that poor kid again with his baton like a punching bag.

However, it takes seconds for him to free himself. But alas, Kano toppled down the steel shelf full of heavy objects to him – making Mullet struck down by its heaviness and fell comatose.

He recalled when Kano is finally taken down by Robbie, which to his conclusions if they two are their last target. Not to forget that he and Robbie are making too many mistakes to be tolerated.

BZZZT BZZZT

The buzzing from his house bell broke his serenity, forcing him to leave the sofa that was already comfortable. He actually can ask his brother to open the door. But his willingness not to be a fatso on the couch, Mullet decided to leave.

"Just a minute!"

Mullet's tapping footsteps are muffled by the wooden tiles and rugs he stepped on. However, this is not made him train to be sneaky. It just makes it easier for him, even without much effort. Nothing goes wrong until he faces himself with someone behind the door.

To Mullet's surprise, it was his English teacher. Tommy-sensei greets him full of joy, not knowing the truth lies beneath. Today, he just wears his grey sweater paired with his white long-sleeved shirt and navy pants. Surprise and hatred slammed into his mind as that man in his 30s suddenly summoned there.

"Hey. It's me!" he greets.

"What do you want this time?"

"You know," Tommy-sensei gets into Mullet's house without his permission. Not to forget, he remains wearing shoes inside, littering the floor with dirt.

"I think it's better if we talk inside-"

"Get out of here," Mullet pointed his index finger outside.

"Come on, there is something important to talk to you now," Tommy-sensei replied, not heeding his student's wrath.

"You got a death wish, I guess," Mullet cracked his fingers, "You want me to beat you, so I can get expelled because of your drama?"

"Hey. Hold on. Is that how you treat a guess? Especially your own teacher?"

His existence makes Mullet a bit reluctant to let him in. On one side, Tommy-sensei's rudeness boils his anger, and it was already crossed the line. But on the other hand, Mullet lets it slide since he wants to talk about something that might be worth hearing.

But still knowing that he is a teacher, Mullet had no choice except to let him in.

"Alright. If you want to talk about something, how about we start by taking your shoes off? Kinda disappointed to see an honored person like you breaking the no-shoes policy," Mullet facepalmed.

"Oh, come on. You can clean it-"

"SHOES OFF!" Mullet snapped, resulting in his brother coming down.

"Makoto! Can you keep it down a little?!" his brother walked to him.

"I'm sorry. But can you please go upstairs or somewhere? I appreciate it," Mullet asked his brother.

"Why?"

"Something personal,"

His brother later obeyed what he said. Hiro still gives him some respect despite Mullet being 3 years younger. And now, he has nothing to do except do his own business – taking out his cooking off the oven.

"Now, what do you want?" Mullet spoke after his brother was gone.

"Well…," Tommy-sensei halted for a moment, "Speaking what you said before… ah yes, beating me. It's more like killing,"

"What? You literally mean you want me to kill you?" Mullet asked in confusion.

"No," he replied, "Why would you do that? Not me. Him,"

Suddenly, Mullet's expressions swing to fear – knowing if that English teacher wants him to kill his own best friend, Robbie. But top of his horror is he realized if Tommy-sensei already knows what they are doing.

"No. I am not gonna do that," Mullet recoiled three steps.

"Come on. I give you this chance. Because you know what, I already know your plans to get out of the nightmare I made," he replied, "I know that you both know what is actually happening in the school. And I just expect of you two knowing everything about us,"

"But he's my friend!"

"But he's my friend," he casually mocked his own student, "He made too many mistakes to us to be called harmful. He is a threat, and you are just a voluntary robotic doll. He involved you in everything. He had to go!"

"If you know this from the beginning? Why don't you kill us right away instead?" Mullet replied, "What? Are you scared to do so because you don't want to get arrested? You just want your face clean, but you don't want your hands dirty. So, you asked someone who's their hands are already dirtier, right? Bastard,"

"Well yes," Tommy-sensei nodded, "You already know how we actually keep our community to be discreet. So, we try our best not to be in the news or any front pages,"

"However, since you are a student and still related to me personally. So, I take this a bit personal," he continued, "I will leave you a chance to get out of this school alive. But again, you need to kill him. Once it's done, I will do the rest. But not to forget that you better not tell him about this,"

"I am not gonna kill him," Mullet refused in a grimace, "as I said before. And if you really hate him, why don't you let your hands a bit dirty and find a way to clean it instead?"

"Well, if you don't want to kill your friend, I will let you know. There is still one room for freedom. It can be either one of you. And that being said, what is your decision?" he gave Mullet three options, "A. Be a hero and sacrifice yourself? B. Be a villain and stab your friend from behind? Or C. Be brave and stupid. Dig yourselves a way out, while everyone will hunt you down,"

"A, B, or C?" he continued, "Now it's your turn. Ding ding ding ding ding. And your answer is?"

Mullet's anger burst even more as Tommy-sensei wants Robbie to die. Even his delightful behavior gives Mullet whole lemon to his brain without any sugar.

"You know what?"

Mullet harshly opened the door, forcing Tommy-sensei to be exposed by the outside world, similar to a pastor kicking out a vampire to a sun, "Man, screw you!"

"Nice choice, Mullet. Nice choice," Tommy-sensei obeyed him without wrath written in his face.

"A real wise man. But remember. The time is running out. Days feel like hours. Hours feel like seconds. You will think about it because this is NOT my problem," he laughed, "My problem is? I am going to repair my relationship with my wife. And I will bring her out to date tonight! Bye-bye!"

After giving Mullet a final warning and an offer, Tommy-sensei just jogs himself off Mullet's front yard despite wearing work clothes.

"Shut up!" Mullet slammed the door.

Just right after he left the doorway, Mullet's mind switched to confusion and fear. His belief has been proven. Their classified rap sheet has been found. His movement is getting narrower. And fear is getting more darkened their fate until it consumes them. The only way his mind is swirling now is accepting that English teacher's offer or sticking to the long-time plan they built from scratch.

Mullet sits on the couch with his hands are covering his face. He tried to cry, but not a single tear secreted. Mullet took deep breaths from his mouth – rethink what he should do since he is now hypnotized. Either following or sticking.

And thus, the cost of his freedom will be either selling his own friend, being the last victim to perfect the bridge for Robbie. Or perhaps, risking their lives going into a world that will write a permanent nightmare in their memories.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, an idea comes into his brain. A bad one. Even the most rotten suggestion that Mullet's pure heart refuses it.

"If that's real…,"

"Should I kill Robbie?"

To be continued…


That's for chapter 41.

This is actually the shortest one since this is the middle of between the previous chapter and the upcoming ones. However, I may not gonna continue the next chapter since I need some rest. But still, I will write it down.

The next chapter is the school trip. Stay tuned.

And as usual. Thanks for reading!