Chapter 2- Expel the Losers

1913 Words
Early the next morning, music summoning all the boys to morning exercise was blasted over the speakers. Cursing and groans could be heard throughout the dormitory.  Ivan scratched his head with distress, ruffling his crew-cut hair. Each day for three years he heard the same music and each day he scratched his head.  “I will go bald at this rate,” Ivan thought anxiously. He reluctantly got up out of bed. After he completed the chores the old man assigned it was 2 a.m. before he got to bed. He had been sleeping soundly when the damn music started blaring. He checked his cellphone, it showed 6:38, but others in the dormitory were still sleeping, and exercise was at 6:40. “s**t, we’re done for.” Ivan yelled as he quickly woke them up.  They were late arriving and forced to run as punishment. After completing ten laps they were all exhausted, but Ivan was feeling more nervous than worn out. The head of security hadn’t shown up yet, he was always the one they saw the first thing for morning exercise. He was so dedicated to his job that he wanted to become vice-principal so Ivan thought his absence was very odd.  After morning exercise and breakfast, Ivan and Edwin were called the security office as they were preparing to go to class.  The two reluctantly went to the security area, and as soon as they entered saw the head of security with bandages wrapped around his head. Both Ivan and Edwin began to laugh.  “How dare you laugh? Look at what you’ve done!” The vice-principal looked exasperated at his failure to educate them and teach them respect.  “It’s not our fault. We haven’t seen him for days. Right, Squirrel?” Ivan said with a big smile.  “Yeah, yeah,” Edwin echoed. Hearing their comments, the security guard rose to his feet. In a fury, he rushed toward Edwin and slapped him hard across the face. Ivan grabbed the guard’s wrist to stop him before he was able to hit him.  “Can teachers hit people whenever they want?” Ivan stared at Edwin. He held back his anger and then said to the head of security, “Apologize to Edwin.” The head of security’s wrist ached from Ivan’s grasp, but Ivan wouldn’t let go and he could not get out of the grip. He said, “You two climbed over the wall to play computer games last night and got caught by security in that illegal cybercafé. You made me trip on an Internet cable and bump my head against the wall. I clearly have an injury and yet you still act so defiant!”  Ivan and Edwin looked at each other and smiled, both acknowledging that it was the head of security who yelled out the night before. They tried not to laugh at the fact he tripped over an internet cable and hit his head.  “Oh, so that is the reason why you hit people? It is to vent your anger. I recorded what you just did with my phone. I think it might be detrimental to your position and any advancement you hope to have, if I post it online,” Ivan laughed, “And, by the way, you didn’t catch us!” The vice-principal and the head of security looked at each other in dismay and at a loss for words. They never expected that the interaction would be recorded, and he hadn’t actually caught them.  “Call the dormitory caretaker and check the surveillance videos. If it checks out, both of you will be expelled from school,” the vice-principal smiled and said seriously. “Right, expel the losers from school,” the security guard echoed. Ivan’s heart sank. He knew if they saw the video then they would be expelled. He wasn’t worried about himself, since his marks were low but Squirrel was a straight-A student and exams were soon. It would destroy his entire life if he got expelled. “Is there room for compromise?” Ivan asked; there was no other way. “Unless you admit the fact that you climbed over the wall to play computer games, you will be…” the head of security raged. Ivan looked at Edwin and gritted his teeth. “Alright, I admit I did climb over the wall to play computer games, but I did that alone. Edwin wasn’t with me, so don’t expel him.” “Ivan, I…” Edwin’s eyes went red. Ivan stopped him with a wave of his hand. He stared at the security guard and the vice-principal and said, “I did it and Edwin had nothing to do with this, right?” “Yes,” the security guard answered and nodded under Ivan’s stare. “Again, who are you to hit him? I need you to apologize.” Ivan said with authority. The vice-principal looked his watch with a grimace on his face. He tapped his fingers on the desk to remind the head of security that he had a game of cards waiting for him. The guard sighed, “Alright, I am sorry, Edwin.” “Okay, the apology has been made. Ivan, you may go after you sign this,” the vice-president said and pushed a paper across his desk.  Ivan took the paperwork and signed it without argument. Then he left the office without a glance back. “I’m fed up with this stupid place. I’m finally free now,” Ivan said to Edwin who was full of remorse. “But…” “We’re best friends, aren’t we? Work hard, get into a great university and make good. I will be able to brag that you were my classmate,” Ivan said happily.  Edwin felt incredibly ashamed, he had been in school with Ivan for the last three years. If he had been more careful, they probably wouldn’t have been caught and Ivan wouldn’t be expelled.  “Let me walk with you part of the way.” “No, see you next time.” … Ivan walked aimlessly along the street, dragging a leather trunk containing all of his belongings. He clenched his right fist and repeated that insulting remark: “Right, expel the losers from school!” He was left without a shred of self-esteem. He really wanted to tell the head of security head “Don’t look down on people!” He loosened his fist and laughed. He was a loser who had been playing games for the last three years and not studying. He deserved the expulsion.  “I’m definitely a failure as a student, but I don’t think I am a loser when it comes to life. All roads lead to Rome and I will prove that I have great talent.” He sighed.  Ivan's stomach rumbled, “I am so hungry. I need to find something to eat.” About half an hour later, Ivan was in a diner. He ordered a meal but when it was time to pay for it. Ivan had to tell the manager that he had no money.  The manager was not impressed with Ivan, “What? You dare to come into my restaurant and order food restaurant when you have no money?” “Boss, you don’t need to say it so loudly. Please save me the embarrassment. How about I pay you back by doing the dishes?” Ivan begged the manager of the diner.  The boss was poker-faced. “Come on, I fear you are nothing more than a spoiled kid who will break my dishes.” “Okay, let me make a call,” Ivan answered speechlessly. He wasn’t sure who to call though. He knew his mother and father were too far away so he realized he had nobody to call but Leo. He took out his cellphone and dialed Leo’s number.  Leo arrived ten minutes later. After paying for Ivan’s meal, Leo pulled him out the door and away from the restaurant manager’s scornful glare. They walked back toward the café in silence.  Ivan had been wondered what he should do after the expulsion, but he finally realized what he should do when he saw Leo. “Boss, I have been expelled from school. I don’t have to worry about anything else. Can I work under you?” Leo was just about to open the security door but stopped when he heard Ivan’s request. He was full of rage when he turned around, “Ivan, you make me furious. I was actually about to call you just before you called me.” Chills went up Ivan’s back and stuttered, “Call me? Why?” After opening the door, Leo went in and sat down on a sofa. He clenched his teeth and said, “Yes! Where is the divinity equipment that I spent so much money on? The Purser Guild that I poured so much time and energy into has dissolved. What’s worse is the cybercafé I worked so hard for, has closed down. You are very much to blame!” Ivan rubbed his nose and apologized. “Sorry, Boss. I understand that I am the one who lost the divinity equipment and that I am responsible for the dissolution of the guild, but what did the collapse of the cybercafé have to do with me?” Ivan said with a gloomy expression on his face. “Yesterday, you and Edwin climbed over the school wall and the school security followed you here. So, today the police ordered me to close the cybercafé. They wouldn’t even accept a bribe!” Leo responded angrily.  “Hey, easy now!” Ivan could only laugh awkwardly and stroke his hair.  “Bro, you need to pay me for my loss. It’s not much, only about $10,000 in total.” Leo stood up and put his arm around Ivan’s shoulders and gave him a sly grin.  “What?! I don’t have that kind of money! I couldn’t even afford a meal, remember?” Ivan was speechless. So many thoughts ran through Ivan’s mind, How am I going to pay Leo back? I’m just a poor student. My parents don’t know that I was expelled yet. Maybe, I could ask them for some money for tutoring or books. But how much would I be able to get? A few hundred dollars at the most. Besides, even if they are willing to give me some, would I be able to take it and not feel bad for lying? I’ll have to work to pay the rest. But how much can I earn with no education? $10,000 is too much money! I can run away but that goes against my morals, but really, I only seem to have a little loyalty.    Ivan thought for quite a while before he said helplessly, “Boss, I’ll pay you back the $10,000! But I don’t have the money right now. I want to sell myself to you, and I am willing to take any orders. What do you think?” Leo stared at the tall, lean, short-haired boy in front of him. He had healthy bronze skin with honest eyes. Nausea surged in Leo and he shouted, “I am not gay!” Leo shook his head as if he was trying to get the dirty thought out of his head, “Um, you don’t have to sell your body. Since you have a brain, you can work for me.” “Work?” queried Ivan. “Yep. I can’t run my cybercafé now, so I have to make a living somehow. There is a rumor that a new game will be launched soon. My plan is to establish a studio and explore the game,” Leo said with excitement. He jumped up and rushed into the bedroom for his valuables, his anger had completely disappeared.  “A new game? Why didn’t I hear about it?” Ivan asked in bewilderment. “I don’t have time to explain. Just follow me to the car.” “Car? Where are we going? What about these computers?” “Leave the scrap metal for the cops as trophies. If I don’t go today, I’ll go to jail where I will have nothing to enjoy but free food three times a day. Let’s go to San Francisco!” “But, I haven’t say goodbye to all the beautiful girls at school!” “f**k off!” Leo said as he walked toward the door. 
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