There was no shortage of bystanders, yet not a single person present offered to help Thomas, including those who knew him personally. Instead, everyone merely stood back and watched the debacle unfold with cold negligence. It went without saying that Thomas did not exactly have the best reputation at his university. He was an insufferable showboat who drew the ire of many people. Of course, there was also the fact that Daryl was so powerful that no sane person would ever think of going against him.
These two factors contributed to Thomas’s pitiful state. No one stuck their necks out for him, instead, there were more who whipped out their phones and started capturing videos, and a few more who decided to wedge in a few caustic sneers and jeers.
Thomas had never felt so alone and hapless in his life. He could not stop the waterfall of tears rushing down his cheeks.
He was saved by a lecturer who was conveniently passing by. Daryl cared enough about his conduct that he shot his underlings a look which signaled to them to stop. However, Thomas still came out of that beating covered in bruises and a thick layer of dirt and dust. He looked positively pathetic.
Cara leaned into Daryl’s arms and beamed at Thomas. “Oh, honey. He looks like a sad little shrimp out of water.”
Daryl wrapped his arm around Cara’s waist and laughed. “Gotta hand it to you, he really does look like one. Look at him, curling up into a pathetic ball. He looks like a shrimp!”
“Heehee… You can’t spell ‘shrimp’ without ‘simp’, after all. He bent over backwards for me when he was just a simp, but now, he’s bent over forwards because he took a punch to the gut, like a shrimp! How ironic!” Cara remarked, chuckling in glee.
Thomas rubbed the tears out of his eyes. He had never been so humiliated in his life, and even after this incident, there was no way that he could ever show his face at his campus again. His mind was racing, trying to think of a convincing argument to bring up to his parents once he was home, he was not coming back next semester, even if he was held at gunpoint!
His mind was going off on a diatribe. Why were his parents not big shots like Daryl’s?
Why did his sister not marry a wealthy tycoon?
Any of these scenarios would have prevented him from suffering such unbearable humiliation!
Thomas hung his head and headed to the outer gate. He just wanted to leave this hellhole!
Trailing behind him were unkind bystanders continued their undue commentaries. Every remark they made felt like a needle stabbing through his brain. He merely clenched his jaw and picked up his pace.
Thomas had finally reached the gate, but the nightmarish jeers of the crowd were still within earshot. He sighed in relief and wiped away the last traces of his tears. Taking a deep breath, he turned around and perused his surroundings, his eyes searching for his sister’s Volkswagen but to no avail.
He began to feel a little lost.
Had his sister not arrived?
Thomas quickly called her. “Hey, Faye? I’m at the gate. Are you here yet? I don’t see your car.”
His sister’s fatigued voice came from the other end of the line. “I have to work overtime today, Tommy. I don’t have the time, so your brother-in-law’s going to be the one taking you home. He should be there any moment now, but there’s no harm in giving him a call.”
That piece of news soured Thomas considerably. “What? You’re letting that useless waste of space take me home? Are you insane, Faye? The last thing I want to see right now is Zayn’s stupid face!”
“Excuse me, Tommy, but don’t demean your brother-in-law like that!” Faye rebuked hotly. “For your information, he’s helped me a lot! When you meet him later, you better treat him with respect, got it?”
Thomas thought he was hearing things. Was that even his sister anymore?
Since when was Faye on Zayn’s side?
“C’mon, Faye. You can stop pranking me now, it’s not working. How’s that deadbeat helped you in any way besides doing you and Mom’s dirty laundry? Honestly, if there’s anyone in the world who I look down to the most, it’s him!” Thomas fired back with contempt, seemingly forgetting how he had been humiliated just minutes ago.
Faye’s mouth formed a rejoinder, but before she could say anything, she remembered that she still had work to attend to. In the end, she could only scrap it. She wrapped up the conversation as rapidly as she could, “Alright, I don’t have the time to keep bickering with you. Just remember to be nice to Zayn when you see him later, hear that? Okay, goodbye.”
Thomas pursed his lips, bitter. He thought that his sister stopped caring for him altogether, it certainly was not enough if she thought that Zayn was a good enough replacement. As if he had not been humiliated enough!
There was no way he was ever going to call Zayn. If that good-for-nothing loafer came spluttering on a motorbike, Thomas would not even find it in himself to muster an ounce of respect for him.
He was starting to consider hailing a cab home. Home was not too far from here, after all, it was just an hour’s trip.