Farm Tales Chapter 10- THE GRIEF

– You are kind of clumsy, aren’t you? Why do you look so pale? have you seen a haunting? — said Chloe, with her unsolicited comments.

— What’s up, Chloe?! Stop disturbing the man! Don’t you see that the sun is hot and that he has just saved Ben, even though he is heavy? — Grandma Bea got angry.

— A thousand excuses for dropping the glass, I really was a bit clumsy just now. By the way, my name is Noah. Please, I need to go to the Bathroom, where is it?

— I told that he was clumsy.… — Murmured Chloe, low enough that only grandma Bea could hear. — The bathroom is right there in the corridor, but be careful to not break anything else, ok?

Noah nodded and went into the bathroom, laughing at the girl. As soon as the man left the room, Grandma Bea gave an elbowed not too hard Chloe, asking her to be quiet and to clean the floor, as well as warning George about the pieces of glass. When he entered the bathroom, Noah turned on the faucet and wet his face. He had to find a better excuse to get out of everyone’s way. He had been startled to see George.

— This child looks like him… — reflected, aloud. The young man then searched his pockets for a device, soon seeing that the signal indicated on the object seemed strong. His eyes widened. “The blood compass cannot be lying” — he thought, surprised. — “Even though it has been a long time, it is still working, but will be …” Toc. Toc. Toc. Noah’s thoughts were interrupted by a knock at the door.

— Are you ok? — asked the voice coming from the other side. Noah recognized it as Bea’s. — Yes, I’m — answered, trying to put his device again before opening the door and leaving the bathroom. Back in the living room, he couldn’t resist to trying to strike up some sort of conversation with the youngest man in the house. Then, seeing him sitting on the sofa, he settled down next to him and asked his name. Politely, George answered and thanked him for having saved his grandfather earlier. The two would have talked more if Bea hadn’t interrupted again to invite him to have a snack. Not wanting to make a slight, Noah readily accepted. Soon after this, Noah said goodbye and left. However, he preferred not to go too far, choosing instead to stay in the surroundings of the farm, to learn more about George and understand why the compass had guided him there. With this in his mind, he walked to a small forest near the farm, where he spent his time meditating. Uma semana havia se passado. George estava na escola e quase todos os dias alguém do grupinho de Tony aparecia com o intuito de perturbá-lo, porém, a Inspetora Annie sempre conseguia protegê-lo. A week had gone by. George was at school and almost every day someone from Tony’s group showed up to disturb him, but Annie, the school inspector, always get to protect him. One day, after the end of class, one of his classmates invited some boys from his class to go to a part of town, because there was a circus there. George was invited too, and this made him very happy, so he accepted. All the way there, George kept an eye out to see if any of Tony’s little friends were after him, but that was not the case, fortunately. Upon reaching the final location, however, all the boys took off running. George barely had time to think, but he soon understood part of what was happening when he saw the figure of Tony approaching with his typical cynical smile.

He had fallen into a trap and was not at school, meaning that he had no protection whatsoever. — HÁ! HÁ! HÁ! — Tony laughed, his voice was wicked, as always. — I told you I’d get my revenge one day, bumpkin. Today, you won’t get away with it. Get ready for a beating. Even though he was frightened, George raised his voice and said: — But you have already taken revenge, so why do you keep coming after me? — Because that’s who we are,” answered Vick.

— We like to beat up losers like you. The boys around laughed. Anger overcame George, who crossed his arms and retorted: — So, will it be me against everyone else or will you have the guts to come alone, Tony? Tony’s group laughed, making fun of the boy’s attempt to look tough. Tony asked them to be quiet and walked, alone, to George. When they were within inches of each other, he began to say, in his threatening tone: — I will leave a very ugly mark on your face for you to remember me for the rest of your life. — Convinced, with the aura of someone unshakable, he turned to his friends, seeing them holding their laughter as they watched the evil scene. However, it was at this very moment that, being unprepared, Tony didn’t see George’s closed fist coming towards him, nor did he foresee the sharp punch he received in the face. Knocked out and missing a tooth, Tony did not have the strength to fight back or to get up from the ground. Everyone was silent, totally disbelieving. None of them knew that George spent hours training his punches, something that helped him to become stronger in this respect. As they stood there watching Tony writhing and groaning in pain, George again took advantage of the distraction, this time to run away.

— Don’t let him go away! -shouted Vick, who ran after him, along with most of the others, as soon as they noticed the boy’s intentions. The rest, remained in place to help Tony. George was fast, but he didn’t know the city very well. Because of this, he turned a corner, coming upon a dead-end street. It didn’t take long before Vick and the other boys caught up with him. Then, without wasting any time, Tony’s friend tried to punch George. But he couldn’t because someone grabbed his arm before he could.

— You’re not going to lay a finger on him. — Vick looked startled at the man clutching his arm. — I’ll give you a warning: don’t mess with George again. You may only be teenagers, but I won’t forgive you if you disobey. Noah’s voice was serious and powerful, causing everyone there to shiver in fear, except George, who was smiling at the scene. After making his threat, the man squeezed Vick’s arm hard, leaving his handprint on the boy’s skin, and then pushed him away, toward the others. As he rubbed his own arm, Vick looked at George and said: — Since you have an adult to protect you, be prepared, for so do we. Let’s go guys! He nodded and left with the others, trying to disguise the pained expression on his face. When he was rid of the bullies, George let out a relieved sigh and looked at Noah. — Thank you very much for your help,” he said, really grateful. — I don’t know where you came from, but I’m glad you were here. Your name is Noah, right? — Yes, that is my name. — The man smiled.

— I was walking by when I saw you running from those boys, so I went to see what was going on. I’m glad I got here in time to help you! You need to learn to defend yourself urgently… I could help you with that. Would you like to get stronger? George’s face filled with a big smile at the proposal. Excited, the boy accepted, saying that he would love to learn to fight, but that, after his classes, the farm would be the only place he could stay. Noah then took advantage of the moment to reveal that he intended to go there, because he would like to try to get a job with his grandfather. Happy with the idea of Noah working on the farm, George was even more excited. Together, they made sure to go to the farm as soon as possible. When they arrived, George made a point of picking up his grandparents so that the three adults could talk, and after the boy left to change his clothes, Noah asked the owners of the farm if there were any vacancies left on the property. During the entire conversation, the man did not mention or mention anything about what had happened to George, for the sake of his grandfather’s health, which had been quite compromised, Noah almost begged him not to say anything. At the end of the day, Noah was the newest employee at the Reborn farm. Another month went by. Noah was almost completely used to the routine at the farm, and he also made a point of keeping an eye on George when the boy came home from school, feeling a need to protect and care for him. Within that period, Noah also began to guide him in fighting techniques, giving little tips and advice on the subject, as well as setting aside some days and times to train with him. Everything was fine. Until that changed. It was just another normal day. George came home from school and rushed across the farm to go straight home, change his clothes, and have lunch. Distracted by his hunger, he didn’t notice the difference in the atmosphere of the place, nor that, unlike usual, there was nobody working. The boy only began to wonder when, when he stepped into the living room, he saw that everyone was gathered there, extremely upset. Chloe was crying and Noah consoled her, as well as Bob, who dried his own tears only to go back to whining while hugging her. In a corner of the room, with his back against the wall, Chuck looked out of frame, with a serious and thoughtful expression. The grumpy man was with his old hat in hand, and without his usual piece of hay. George felt something not at all familiar in his chest, a bad feeling. Just as he was about to ask what was going on, his grandmother appeared. The lady looked terrible. Her face was red and swollen, most probably from recent crying, as the tears were visible. The frightened boy ran up to her and, as her agony increased, asked: — What happened? — The woman just sobbed in response, hugging him back. — Granny, please answer me. — My grandson… — She sobbed again and squeezed the boy even tighter in her arms. — Please tell me what’s going on, Granny. Why are you crying? — H-his grandfather… George’s heart began to beat very fast. What could have happened to his grandfather? Did he get worse? Did he have to go to the hospital? Or worse: he could have… — He… Granny — he called out, his voice trembling. — My grandfather… no, this can’t have happened. Tell me he didn’t… — Yes, my grandson. — She took a deep breath and broke the embrace to look George in the eyes, still crying. The boy shook his head to the side, not wanting to believe her words. — Your grandfather left us. He has passed away. George felt the agony in his chest give way to horrible pain. Bea hugged him again, stroking his hair to try to calm him, even though she was as desperate as he was. — H-how did this happen? Why did it happen? I-I-I didn’t even get to say goodbye to him, Grandma! — He left us because he needed to rest, George — Your grandfather has gone to the most beautiful farm of all, up in heaven. He will continue to watch and care for us from up there, don’t worry. They continued hugging like that for a few minutes, until Chloe joined them both. Then Bob and Noah did the same, as did Chuck, to everyone’s surprise. The Reborn farm was in mourning, but they would get through it together. And George’s life was just beginning to change.

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