Tucked into a corner of a quite large town sat an equally large building. A fancy fence wound around the very outer edges where the perfectly manicured lawn met a groomed forest of trees. The noise of rowdy teenagers trickled from the open windows meant to keep the classrooms at a reasonable temperature during the summer. In the cafeteria, a fair haired boy around the age of 15 sat with two boys younger than him by at least three years. The two boys who were indistinguishable to those who didn't know them well chatted animatedly to each other.
The fair haired boy watched with little interest. He allowed his eyes to flicker to the right of the crowded room where two more boys sat, surrounded by their posse. When the twins noticed his line of sight they quieted down until they were silent. One boy cleared his throat and broke the silence.
“Ralph,” the boy started hesitantly, talking to the fair haired boy who strained to give the boy his undivided attention.
“Yeah Eric,” Ralph answered. He took a second to glance back over at the other table that held Jack and Roger. He still wondered to this day why Jack and Roger avoided him after they got back from the island. They barely acknowledged him and when they did it was to glare. Ralph often wondered if they were jealous. After they left the island and reached safety, the boys were delighted to find their parents waiting for them. Everyones parents except Roger’s and Jack’s. They were informed that their parents died during the war. That day Roger and Jack were declared orphans. A blurred image of a portly woman and her husband pushed its way to the forefront of Ralph’s mind. It was the parent of one of the boys, but Ralph couldn't remember why she was crying. He tried to remember but was only awarded with a headache.The memories started to fade, flickering like a candle caught in a draft from a broken window. Ralph tried to grasp at the memories but they eluded him, and all he received was a sharp pain that made him wince.
Sam tried yet again to get Ralph’s attention but his face just scrunched up like the last two times. Eric looked on with worry and shared a look with his twin. They didn't like when Ralph got like this, and unfortunately for them, it happened often. In unplanned synchronization the boys slapped the table top. Ralph jerked out of his-, whatever it was and peeled his eyes away from Jack’s table.
“Listen,” Eric said, picking up from his earlier attempt of talking to Ralph like nothing happened. “You should just forget about Jack and Roger because they forgot about us.” Chills climbed up the twins’ backs at the mention of the two boys. Eric knew that this wasn't exactly true. At least not for Sam and himself. He could feel Roger’s eyes digging into his back whenever he thought the twins weren't looking.
To any of the other kids Roger was a normal boy who was a little awkward at times and had a bad habit of fidgeting. But Sam and Eric knew better than anyone that that wasn't the case by any means. As far as Sam and Eric were concerned, Roger was a nutcase and Jack wasn't too far behind him. It was almost a ritual that every Friday after school Roger and Jack would be waiting three blocks down from the school to bully the twins. The twins almost always walked away with discolored skin hidden under the fabric of their clothes, a reminder that the two boys didn't forget that Sam and he were traitors. It was never in plain site and usually faded away over the weekend. Sam and Eric feared what would happen if they told anyone so they didn't utter a word, especially not to Ralph.
Eric reasoned that Ralph wouldn’t understand because he didn't have to face the passion in Jack’s eyes or the sneer that adorned Roger’s face when Friday drove near. Eric assumed the crazy duo figured Ralph would fight back and were more than satisfied after bullying the twins. Eric’s attention was pulled back to present when Sam broke into his thoughts.
“Besides,” Sam whispered, suffering from similar thoughts of the “ritual”. “We don't need them. And-”
“They chose to distance themselves from us-,” Eric broke in.
“-let them be,” Sam finished feeling a little passionate about his speech.
“I suppose,” Ralph consented slipping into a daze of emotions and memory chasing, unknowingly making eye contact with Jack across the room.
In an instant Jacks blood was boiling. He wished he could just have it out with Ralph, but he knew the consequences would be severe. He just recently managed to free himself of the grueling anger management classes that the school offered. He convinced the overly nice lady that he was cured. As far as the lady knew Jack had not committed an act of violence in over two months. She didn't know about his and Roger’s weekly anger outlet on the twins every friday, and he planned on keeping it that way.
Jack flicked his gaze on Roger who was staring at the table, slightly rocking, a grin on his face that unconsciously made Jack shiver. Jack pulled the zipper on his jacket snug to his neck despite the scorching sun outside and unrolled his sleeves from the crook of his elbows. Roger did creep Jack out slightly, especially when he got a little out of hand. Jack was always quick to put Roger in his place when he turned on Jack like a rabid dog does it’s owner.
Jack wasn't the smartest kid in school, but he wasn't blind. After getting Roger under control when he was disobedient, he always gave a short apology. But Jack could clearly tell it was insincere. Jack also noticed that just a few days after having to be corrected, when he was close to getting out of line once again, he got too comfortable with bossing Jack around and brushing roughly against him. Jack continued to stare at Roger shamelessly. The thick tension that rolled and thrashed between Roger and Jack was obvious to everyone, everyone besides Jack.
Roger smirked to himself. He knew that Jack was staring at him. He didn't care though. He wasn't scared of Jack, and there was nothing holding him back anymore. He could easily overtake Jack, and he planned to. One day, when the time was right and convenient to Roger he would become leader. This group was his, Jack just didn't know it yet. Roger often thought back to the day when the boys and him wrestled the bloated pig with the babies down to the ground. The feeling of having power over another being was indescribable. He remember the adrenaline he was rewarded with when the pig screamed in fear and agony. Lately, Roger found himself wishing the pig were Jack. That Jack would have met the same fate as the pig and even the Simon kid.
Roger sighed and ended that train of thought there. It wasn't nearly soon enough for him to be having those thoughts. He would have many more months, years if Jack didn't anger him too badly, to spin his elaborate plan of “Jack’s disappearance”. Roger abruptly cut off the laughter that slyly escaped him when people began looking at him curiously. Roger mentally pulled himself together. He couldn't give anything away. One day everything would become possible. He would rule everybody, like a god. No, better yet, he would be a god. It just wasn't time yet. So, Roger mused to himself, everything would stay the way it was.
Ralph would stick to the twins, wondering why Jack hated him so much. The twins would continue to silently take the abuse dished out by the crazy duo. Jack would hold onto what he didn't know was false leadership, and Roger would finish his plans of taking over as leader, as a god.
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