It was Aarav Jain, his classmate.
"Stop really, it's enough!" he exclaimed.
"What do you want, Aarav?" Aryan asked annoyingly. "Why are you even here?"
"I want you to stop doing what you're doing right now." Aarav said, ignoring Aryan's second question.
"You do know who you're talking to, right?" Aryan asked.
"Yes, I am fully aware." Aarav said. "Don't bully Reyansh. You're going way overboard this time! Do you have any idea what you're doing right now, how much your actions can affect him mentally?" He asked, narrowing his eyebrows.
Aryan scowled. "Why the hell are you interfering in my personal matter?" He pointed at Reyansh. "And why would you defend this loser?"
'Yeah, why is Aarav trying to help me here? This has never happened before. It's almost unbelievable.' Reyansh wondered.
"He is not a loser. So what if he is failing right now? Doesn't mean he is going keep failing forever. He might achieve great thing too." Aarav said.
'Yeah, like becoming King of the Pirates for instance. This is not One Piece and I am not Luffy. This is not a manga either. This is a reality. A loser like me can achieve great things? Is this guy for real?' Reyansh thought to himself.
Aryan and Dhairya burst into laughter after hearing Aarav's words.
"A loser... Like him... Might achieve... Great things... HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" Aryan said while laughing. "God, you're killing me right now!" He laughed again for a while. Dhairya was constantly laughing as well. "I'd be really surprised if he gets a 10,000 rupees per month (around 136$) job somewhere." he laughed again. "And considering the rate he is going at right now, he might not be able to get a job at all." and again. "But don't you guys worry okay, I'll get him a job of toilet cleaning at my office in the future." and again. "I mean, it's okay if Reyansh dies but I can't see his family suffer because of this trash, right? Especially his mom and sister." and again.
Reyansh wanted to punch him so badly after hearing that last sentence but he suppressed his anger and stopped himself because if he had done that, he knew that the situation would have turned worse.
'I can't even defend the honor of my family. What a piece of trash I am.'
Aarav rolled his eyes at him. "Are you done laughing?" he asked.
"No, one minute please," Aryan asked, bursting into laughter again.
After laughing for a while. "Okay, oh my god, thanks for the laugh Aarav!" Aarav rolled his eyes at him again. "Now let's get serious, shall we? What do you want?" Aryan asked again.
"I just told you, I want you to stop bullying Reyansh any further." Aarav repeated.
"Who the hell are you to order me anyway? Have you forgotten what I have done for you? You should be grateful to me instead of defending someone like him and going against me. Go back to your seat and let me do what I want to do." Aryan ordered and turned his attention to Reyansh as if Aarav was going to follow that.
"And you, why are you still standing there? Why haven't-" before Aryan could finish, Aarav interrupted him. "Hello, I am talking here." Aryan turned his attention back to Aarav. "If you don't go back to your seat-"
"What? If I don't go back to my seat, what would you do? You do know what I can do to you though, right?" Aryan asked, the undercurrent of threat obvious in his voice.
Aarav knew that Aryan could make his life worse but it was really enough for him. All things aside, he could barely watch someone getting bullied like that over and over again, but today Aryan was going overboard and he couldn't stop himself from stopping him.
"I swear to God, I am going to beat the living hell out of you right here and now." Aarav threatened him back.
The entire class was witnessing the situation by this point.
When Reyansh heard this, he got an intense urge to clap for him. Not just because Aarav was trying to help him but saying something like that to Aryan's face in front of the whole class was really really admirable in his opinion and it took a lot of balls to say something like that to him. But he somehow stopped himself from doing that.
He still didn't understand why Aarav was trying to help him though.
"What... What did you just say to me?" Aryan was extremely angry now.
"You heard me." Aarav said.
"Challenge accepted." Dhairya accepted the challenge enthusiastically as if Aarav had challenged him and not Aryan.
"Tch, he is challenging me not you. Shut your mouth for a second." Aryan said annoyingly much to Aarav and Reyansh's amusement. Dhairya frowned. Seeing Aryan scolding Dhairya and the look on Dhairya's face were the sights to remember.
For a few seconds, both Aryan and Aarav glared at each other. Aryan was really angry but he knew that starting a fight in the class could get him and everyone else suspended. And if something like that happens, his reputation would be ruined.
Aryan stepped back.
Before Aryan and Dhairya got back to their seats though, Rin was back with Mr. Kashyap, their Physical Education teacher.
Mr. Kashyap was a really nice and friendly teacher. He always knew that Aryan is a big bully and he always targets Reyansh as he one day witnessed the bullying with his own eyes. He tried to help Reyansh a few times by telling about it to the principal of the school and the other teachers of seemingly important subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Maths, and Biology, but they ignored his claims as he was considered the teacher of a subject that had a very negligible value.
That and Aryan's uncle was the trustee of the school.
"Sir, Aryan asked Reyansh to write on the blackboard that he is a failure. I heard that with my own ears." Rin said.
'What? First Aarav and now Rin too? So that's why she went out of the class like that? Why are they trying to help me?'
"Rin... What are you doing?" Dhairya asked slowly but the intensity of his voice could be felt; his face red with anger.
"Sir, I would never do something like that. I am always encouraging Reyansh even though he keeps failing, isn't that right?" Aryan said, looking at Reyansh expecting a positive reply. He wouldn't stop making fun of Reyansh even at a time like this.
"No..." Reyansh said slowly.
Now it was the time for the entire class to laugh instead of Aryan and Dhairya. They didn't like the bully too it seemed. But they stopped laughing when Aryan gave a mean look to them.
"He is lying, sir. You can ask my classmates if I ever do such things." Aryan said gathering all the ounces of politeness he had.
"I am well aware of who you and what you are, Aryan. I don't need to ask anyone." Mr. Kashyap said finally. "Listen, this is my final warning to you. If you don't stop, I would have to take harsh actions against you and I promise you that I will if you ever bully anyone again!" It seemed that Mr. Kashyap was tired of being able to do nothing and watch such events occur in the school. He did seem serious when he said this.
Aryan scowled. He was not going to leave a single person who conspired against him. They were all going to pay for what they did today! He went back to his seat.
"Thank you so much for helping me!" Reyansh thanked Aarav. "I would've never been able to forget this day if I had done something like that."
"Don't worry about it, I am glad I was able to help you. That was really intense! Scum like him should go to hell." Aarav said.
'Why did Aarav and Rin help me after all this while though?' Reyansh wondered.
"Anyway, wanna go to the park today?" Aarav asked, snapping Reyansh out of his thoughts.
"Yeah sure, I go to the park every day." Reyansh replied.
"Really, which park?"
After the class ended, Reyansh thought about thanking Rin too. But he realized that that was not the right time as Rin and Dhairya were arguing about something. He was curious and had a feeling that it was somehow related to Rin's actions earlier that day. When he went a bit near to them, he realized that his hunch was right - they were actually talking about him.
"But the question is: why did you help Reyansh? You do know that I am Aryan's best friend, right? I told him that I will handle this situation. Do you have any idea what he can do to us?" Dhairya asked with an undercurrent of anger in his voice.
"Please leave me alone! I have been doing nothing but watch him getting bullied over and over again and you know what, I've had enough now! I will do whatever I can to help him! He is my friend!" Rin snapped back.
'I am her... Friend? Since when?' Reyansh asked himself.
They did use to talk with each other a lot before Aryan started bullying him 3 years ago. After that, Reyansh had no friends anymore. It seemed as if Rin still considered him a friend much to Reyansh's surprise.
Rin and Dhairya noticed Reyansh.
"Uh... I-I am sorry... I just wanted to thank Rin..." Reyansh fumbled.
"Get the hell out of here!" Dhairya ordered.
"No, he won't go anywhere!" Rin argued.
'Damn, she is scary!' Reyansh exclaimed to himself.
Dhairya grabbed Rin by her chin and pulled her closer. "Listen... You'll do what I tell you to do! Do you understand?" Then pushed her back.
Rin got tears.
"Hey, hey, I am sorry... Okay, I'll go... Please don't hurt her... I'm leaving." Reyansh said nervously.
'Damn, Dhairya is even scarier! I wonder if she is gonna be fine... Well, I'll ask her about it later.' Reyansh thought as he left for his home. He didn't have any other choice anyway.
Reyansh left the home to meet Aarav at the park.
'Wow, today is going to be different than all the other days. I have someone to hang out with today. It's really surprising.' Reyansh thought.
While Reyansh was walking towards the park, as it was just walking distance away from his home, he came across to a river as usual.
'I love the river. There's really something about the sight of so much water... It really calms me down. My head goes numb, and I feel like I am at peace. What a stunning sight.'
When Reyansh entered the park, he noticed Aarav sitting at the bench.
'Wow, he came here before I did.' he thought.
"Hey, what's up?"
After the initial greetings... "So are you okay?" Aarav asked.
'Does he actually care about me or is he asking something like that just for the show?' Reyansh wondered.
"Ah, I am fine, why do you ask?" Reyansh asked back.
"Because of what happened today." Aarav answered.
"Well, I definitely wouldn't have been fine if you and Rin didn't come for my aid." Reyansh said.
"I am glad you're doing fine now." Aarav said with a smile.
Before Reyansh could reply, a butterfly sat on Reyansh's shoulders.
"Oh wow, it's beautiful!! Let me click a photo!" Aarav said excitedly, taking his phone out of his pocket
"No no, no, please! Don't click my photo!" Reyansh stopped him.
"Why not?" Reyansh asked curiously.
"Because I have social anxiety? I don't know if it's the right word, but I really can't stand it, so please." Reyansh answered, his attention not diverging from the beautiful butterfly sitting on his shoulder.
"Okay okay, no problem." Aarav said.
'Weird.' Aarav thought, putting his phone back in his pocket.
"I really love butterflies so much! This one especially always sits on my shoulder whenever I am here. It makes me feel really happy! Before today, this was like the only friend I had, even though we can't communicate with each other if that makes sense." Reyansh said after a few seconds of silence.
"No, yeah, it does." Aarav said. It didn't make much sense to him though.
"Anyway, now that we are here, can I ask you something?" Aarav asked.
Butterfly symbolizes growth and the whole story is about growth.
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