Namorigami vs. Black Pen-ther
Black Pen-ther Vs Namorigami
Written by Sf Guillermo
THE TIRED GUY AT THE END OF THE ROAD
Take a look at the Wheeler library. It’s a place of knowledge and resources to many students at all times, including the most difficult. For instance, when the final exams were going on, and many had to sink their elbows onto the desk day by day until the summer vacations started, waiting impatiently until it was all over, with something, a little spark in their confidence.
That little spark kept them awake, kept them thoughtful, and kept them happy no matter what may be happening at that time or how hard they had to study.
They may have been thinking of how happy it would make them to be reunited with their friends in the summer and have fun.
In the same place, months later, some students took ganders at books they liked, or searched for stuff to make them wiser.
All of them having, what I like to call, a ‘spark’ of hope.
But in the far corner of the library, there lay a kid, sitting alone in a wooden chair, an advanced chemistry book on his lap. He wasn’t making a sound, for he wasn’t the center of attention. In fact, he hadn’t been for what seemed like ages. Not even the most interesting subject in this kid’s life could bring him to the real world again.
He was looking remotely into space, away from everything. ‘Mr Blue Sky’ played in his white earphones at a low volume. It was a song he had only recently started liking.
‘Sun is shinin’ in the sky
There ain’t a cloud in sight
It’s stopped rainin’
everybody’s in the play
And don’t you know
It’s a beautiful new day, hey hey
Runnin’ down the avenue
See how the sun shines brightly
in the city
On the streets where once was pity
Mr. Blue Sky is living here today, hey hey’
Something was coming out of this boy’s eye: a tear. A tear of sadness. That was all the best he could do for now.
Ironic isn’t it? How this kid, listening to a semi-happy song, could be so depressed.
The truth was, this was just a remedy. A remedy to try and turn things back to normal, turn things how they used to be, back when the world made sense.
This music reminded him of the day he had left Clater School lightning-fast, gotten into his mother’s car, and had driven straight to the cinema to watch ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’.
Those were the days, he remembered. Everything seemed so easy.
“Oh!” A higher voice could be heard above the music. “Hey, Guillermo. I didn’t see you there!” It sounded like a girl’s voice.
This voice he hadn’t heard for some time time. He slowly got his earphones off and looked up.
Tilly Watterson, one of this guy’s best friends, was standing beside him, but took a seat to face him.
“Hi, Tilly,” I murmured under my breath, looking down, but my eyes fixed on her, making sure she knew I was looking at her.
I might’ve lost my happiness, but I hadn’t lost my respect towards people.
“You know, it’s been a while since someone came to talk to me,” I smiled.
“You’ve been avoiding us,” she laughed. She didn’t seem offended, though.
“I- I don’t know what to say,” I stuttered
“What’s wrong?” she asked, but I think she knew what was wrong anyway. She still looked worried.
“Do- do you remember, Tilly, when I first stepped foot in Kirby?”
She looked thoughtful, thinking back. “Yes, yes I do. I was the one to greet you, wasn’t I?”
This time it was I who laughed, or maybe it was a light sob, or maybe both.
“Then you beat Wheeler at the swim competition pretty much immediately! That was pretty unforgettable,” she continued.
My expression was saddened again. I’d spent so much energy trying to beat Wheeler and now I was a part of it. I looked down to my textbook and pretended to be really interested in it. Another tear came down and fell in my hand. I tried to hide it, but Tilly had already seen it.
“Yeah, look where that got us.” I wiped my face with my arm. “It all just seems so far away now.”
She pulled her chair closer to me
“I know it’s hard,” she sympathised. “I was more connected to Kirby than almost anybody else, and now it’s just… -”
“-gone,” I finished.
“Yeah,” she whispered.
We sat silent for a moment. The last people were starting to leave. It was the end of the day.
“And who would have expected it all to go this way,” I said. “Tilly, why did you come?”
Tilly smiled. “Okay, I lied, I did see you there. We haven’t talked in some time. Just wanted to check up on you. It was good to catch up!”
We left the library and exited the school doors. It was a tiny bit windy, but felt good nonetheless.
Tilly continued. “Besides, T.H.A.N.O.S really did mess up the remaining OrigAvengers. I’m trying to find everybody and make sure we can still be a team!”
I got something out of my pocket, a small finger puppet holding a golden trident: Namorigami the Sub-mariner. This too brought back memories too painful to bear.
“Even with the origami ban-?”
“We’re a team, and we stay afloat together,” she answered. “Will you come tomorrow after school?”
I was confused.
“Where?” I asked.
“I’d love to properly introduce you to Mars. More specifically, his garage.”
“The garage I never went to?” I remained confused.
“Yep! It’s a bit weird to hang out in a kid’s garage that isn’t even a part of the team, but you get used to it.” she smirked. ” Just be yourself!”
I extended my hand so she could shake it. It seemed to me the most formal way to say goodbye.
She shook it.
“See ya! ” she said, and left in the other direction.
“Thanks Tilly!” I shouted. I didn’t know if she could hear me, but I said it anyway.
A lot has happened in the past, let’s say, year and a half. For a moment, back in those times, when the OrigAvengers were being formed to put an end to the long-lasting war, many students, including a Wheelerian like myself, thought an end would come! However, the war didn’t end as we expected, and it left an impact on every student, for better or for worse. The biggest impact was felt by the OrigAvengers.
We had been fighting so long to be beaten at the last second by another group of kids. It was discouraging.
A few of the members left, but a lot of the group stayed around. Sometimes we saw each other in the hallways, but it was awkward to talk to people. I still tried.
I remembered that time after that swimming competition post-Artron we had all gone to get ice cream. It was very well deserved. We discussed Guillermo’s addition to the group and what it meant going forward. And we talked about the puppets and roles.
We still keep our puppets, though. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed. We don’t carry them around at school, but it still gives us a personality and a role model to guide us during these confusing times.
Dove is still treated as Throrigami, even though he doesn’t wave his puppet around in the public anymore. Tilly is still considered as Captain Marfold, though it took us all some time to get used to her new role after seeing her without a puppet for so long. It’s a pity that this ban had to take place just after she got her puppet, but she still does her best in the role.
With this school closure thing, the whole town of Madison has been affected one way or another.
Kirby’s closure was the only thing anybody could talk about, even among those who didn’t live in Madison. They all seemed to be very concerned for the way this had all happened.
“A school closed down? Why?”
“Why should a handful of students have any influence?”
Those were some of the most common questions relatives asked me during the summer, and I only had one answer I could give them – “They believed they were right.”
And we had known from the beginning that Harrison would do anything to end the war. And, well, he did, even though his team splintered. Us OrigAvengers stayed together ’till the end, and that’s what matters. That is what makes us better.
Some of us suffered more than others, though.
I lost twice. First I lost with the team, which couldn’t protect Kirby.
But, the biggest loss was my relationship with Ally. I had cared for immensely, and it hurt that she didn’t feel the same way. This was very hard to take in. I feel horrible about it, like I could’ve done better.
I have to keep reminding myself I did what I could, and must not blame myself.
Walking home from Wheeler, I came across a little kid riding a bike, probably around 9.
‘Those were the days,’ I thought to myself.
The kid came to a halt right in front of the zebra crossing and waited. I noticed some other guys who looked like his age but much bigger coming towards him.
This might have been my imagination, but I could have sworn I saw the bicycle kid ‘shrink’ in size when these guys came close to him.
I walked over to them.
“Yo, look at him,” one of them was saying.
“You like riding bikes?” The other one joked, making the rest of those his friends laugh.
Look where society was getting to. A group of kids making fun of an innocent like this. This was ridiculous. I came closer to them, trying to look as intimidating as possible. Seeing a high schooler scared the bullies, and they blanched.
“You OK, son?” I asked the bike kid. He nodded.
“Good.” I still looked serious. ” For a second there I thought you were in trouble.” I directed my look at the others, who started to look in the other direction, maybe planning an escape route to run away. They broke into a high speed run, leaving me and the boy there. I had forgotten the traffic light had turned green again.
“Thank you,” he said sheepishly.
“Anytime.” I started to cross the road, when my phone rang. I picked it up. ‘Tilly Watterson’ was on the caller ID.
“Is this Gar?” she asked when I answered.
“Garfield Graham, speaking.”
“Do you remember your way to Mars’ garage?”
“I’m afraid we might need to regroup. Seriously this time.”
“I couldn’t agree more.”
“We’ll talk about it tomorrow after school. I’ll bring the team there.”
“Alright, see ya.”
I hung up. Maybe it was time the team got together again, at least the ones that still wanted to be in it.
United we stood, divided we fell.
A LATE EMAIL AND A SMALL FIGHT
By Dover McLeash
The weeks since school has started again have been incredibly confusing. I don’t even have my good friends to help me make sense of everything going on. Well, all except for Ally, of course. But the OrigAvengers have been very quiet.
So, as you could guess, I was very surprised when, out of nowhere, Kev sent me a text telling me the team was gonna meet again.
Kev: Sorry I couldn’t reach you earlier, but Tilly thinks it’s time we decided some important stuff. We’re gonna meet this afternoon at Mars’ garage
Dove: Who will be attending?
Kev: I don’t really know. I don’t know all that many people. I guess whoever is the most enthusiastic. T.H.A.N.O.S was a hard blow to many, and some don’t want to join again.
Dove: True, but this is a great idea anyway! Has Ally been alerted?
Kev: I believe so. You were one of the last to be invited. Honestly, it’s my fault; I had so much homework that I totally forgot to send you a message.
Dove: Do not worry. I will see you after school!
Kev: See ya.
I turned off the phone, and when I got to school I left it in my locker. I needed to get to class soon. The situation around school was already bad enough with more classes full to bursting, and I knew my teacher would not really appreciate it if I was late.
The bell rang, and the large crowd that occupied the hall cleared out slowly.
I started walking down the halls, which, by the way, were messier than usual. I hate to cast blame, but it was because of all of the new students who simply didn’t care to clean up after themselves. Wheeler was a medium-sized school that didn’t seem ready to handle such a huge crowd.
Anyways, I heard some voices and some shoving, and I told myself that Maths could wait five more minutes. I might not have my origami on me anymore because of the ban, but they could never take away my identity as Thorigami, Lord of Folders.
I turned to the left side corridor, but I had arrived a bit too late. A kid was on the floor, and two others were standing above him…actually fighting another boy. His blonde hair and sly expression told me I was looking at Ethan Booth, from the chess club, who I heard had become Sentrigami just before the ban.
It seemed they were doing fine without me. I shrugged and finally walked towards Maths.
MEETING OF THE MINDS
By Tilly Watterson
I never would’ve thought putting together what was still left of the group would be such a hard job.
I had a suspicion that things might not be as they had been before, and that the rest of the team may need a bit of a ‘kick’ to get back into the swing of things. However, many looked defeated, and trying to cheer them up was proving very difficult.
A few, like Laura, Cassidy, Kev, and Gar were happy to attend. It felt good to see them participating. Dove and Ally too seemed ready, but tired.
It was then that I realized that me, Dove, Ally and Laura were the oldest people on the team. We would be leaving for college within the next year. I didn’t like that thought, but knew we’d have to keep the team going for anybody coming up under us.
In the absence of the still-bummed Cal, Aiden had agreed to come in representation of the Spider-Verse.
Amias Hill and Dane Jackson had also answered the call, and Duncan Anderson had agreed to come as long as it didn’t disturb his library session. He had to prepare for his next chemistry exam and that was a real time-taker.
There was one person missing who I’d invited: Guillermo.
Guillermo used to be one of the most enthusiastic members of the team, too. He used to arrive at meetings way earlier than anyone else, and be a huge contributor to any discussion. Now, he seemed a little depressed. Maybe he had outgrown us. He spent a lot of time by himself in the library (he’s a bit of a nerd, but still), but he’d also been making friends with people I didn’t even know. Maybe he didn’t want to be in the team anymore.
That same day, I double checked my locker to see if I had forgotten anything that might be useful, like files or maybe a list of names, audio tracks and records that could come in handy during the meeting. The truth is, I didn’t have anything really planned. I thought I’d think about it as I drove to Mars’ garage and wing it(Yes! I finally got my driver’s license, it was totally worth the wait, now I don’t need to get the bus or ask my aunt to drive me anywhere).
Some were already there when I came in.
Duncan, Aiden, Gar and Kev were probably half-wondering what this was all about. They had picked up some chairs that were there from the previous meetings before the summer, and therefore Amias had to lean against the wall when he walked in.
Guillermo arrived shortly after these two.
“Good afternoon, boyos!” he said as he came in happily.
He looked changed, different from the library the other day. His shoes were polished, wearing jeans and a dark blue polo, plus he had his hair shorter than before, like the time he first stepped in Madison.
Everyone looked at him as he came in.
“What’s the matter with you guys, you’ve never seen a spaceship before?” he joked.
Duncan raised an eyebrow. “Are you gonna keep quoting movies for the rest of the day?”
“Yes,” Guillermo replied.
“Well,” Duncan sneered, “You certainly are one with the quotes.”
“And the quotes are with me.” Guillermo smirked.
Thankfully, Dove and Ally emerged from the door.
“Sorry about the wait,” Ally started, “I ran into a traffic jam-”
“Don’t worry, Ally,” I stated, “We had only just started.”
“Please, grab a seat,” Gar offered, specifically to Ally. There was a strange feeling that went from Gar to Ally. Gar went looking around, probably in search of more chairs.
“…If there’s any left…” Guillermo said, looking at the first group, who had taken all the available seats.
There was a bit of a silence for a moment.
“Anyways,” Laura tried to break this silence, “I think you all know why we’re here.”
Some nodded, others kept their eyes fixed on me, as if I had something to do with what she said. Or maybe I did, but anywho, it was strange.
“We’ve been going through some dark times, and, I think it would be wise if we carried on with the team,” Laura announced.
“What about the origami ban?” Duncan Anderson interrupted.
“Well, we don’t need a puppet to know who we are. We’re the OrigAvengers, and no one could take that away from us,” Guillermo shot back.
“My thoughts exactly,” Laura continued. “I fear that if a new threat comes, we won’t be ready, and enough harm has been done to us up to this point.”
“But you’re saying we should make a comeback, how?” Mars asked “Clark is gone, and Andy…”
“Okay, so… first of all, we never left,” Duncan replied, “we’ve just been… busy.”
“Indeed, but coming back will be difficult, and dangerous, so I think that with Andy gone, we need a new ‘guide,’ so to speak,” I commented, “A sort of leader which we can rely on.”
More awkward silence. This was going great.
“I suggest a vote,” Dove recommended.
“Well, I don’t really see why,” Mars stated, “I mean, we have some of the eldest members of the group here: Dove, Ally, Tilly, and Laura.”
“This is true, but I’m not sure if a leader position is good for me, I don’t think I have all that it takes,” Ally noted.
“I’ll be right back,” Mars said before stepping out.
“…If I may say so,” Guillermo stopped smirking and looked suddenly serious, “I think all of you guys need a break. Most of you have been through a lot, and you might want someone to cheer you up during these strange tides.”
“You’re talking about yourself as a leader, right?” Duncan annoyingly asked.
“Actually, Duncan,” I answered, “I had Guillermo in mind – Guillermo has been a good member up to this point. He’s been incredibly helpful, and always wanting to do what’s best for the team. I suggest he could be the leader.”
Guillermo, who had been looking down during my speech, inspecting his black shoe and making it step on the other, rose his head as soon as he heard his name.
“Thanks, Tilly,” he laughed, “You’re a good friend.”
“Would you lead the OrigAvengers to glory through these difficult times?” I asked him.
He smiled, “I will do my best to guide the OrigAvengers to success.”
SCOOPS AHOY ICE CREAM AND A BAD REFERENCE
Mars came back in with a bunch of water bottles
“This is my lot in life: handing out water!” he held up a bottle. “Every time someone comes, I start giving out water bottles.”
Dove helped him out, handing them over to the team members.
“Thanks,” I said once he was handed his bottle.
“Thank you,” Guillermo replied, keeping an eye on me.
“Excuse me!” Amias Hill raised his hand, “Do you have any Schweppes?”
Some of us around giggled. I was silent, and Guillermo broke into a light laughter.
“Do you think we’re rich or somethin’?” Mars sarcastically asked.
“I dunno man,” Amias replied “Just asking.”
We drank our water for a moment before it was silent once more.
“Hey! What do you say we go get some ice cream or something?” Guillermo asked no one in particular, “To celebrate.”
“Actually, that’s not a bad idea,” Aiden agreed, “The seats are starting to feel weird after so much time sitting on them.”
Mars shot a look at him.
“I-I mean they’re fine, they’re fine, haha.” He corrected himself.
Mars led us all out and closed the garage door behind him, leaving us all outside.
“Let’s play never have I ever!” Aiden joked.
“Yeah, never have I ever walked with such a large group of people in the street before. End of the game.” Mars replied.
Fortunately, Mars lived on a good side of town, and only had to walk for five minutes to find the street of shops, where we managed to find some ice cream shops.
“Well, this is nice. This is the first time I have done something like this,” Dove acknowledged.
“It is indeed nice.” I agreed, trying to order something.
“Ahoy! I didn’t see ya there!” This strange looking teenager appeared magically, “Ya ready to set sail with me on a sea of flavor? I’ll be your captain, I’m Ebenezer McCallister!”
“Ehm,” Guillermo was confused, “Should we look someplace else? This ‘Stranger Things’ reference is killing me.”
“Not to mention his name is Ebenezer McCallister.” Ally said.
We finally ordered and had a good time.
Guillermo was explaining to everyone how important it was to never play pocket Fortnite on the mobile phone, it could have disastrous consequences, like how he’s now almost failing Algebra. Aiden was arguing back; he seemed to like Fortnite on the mobile phone. “You can take it anywhere, practically!”
“I ended up blowing myself up with a missile with those little buttons on the screen! And then the teacher yelled at me!”
After a while, we started saying goodbye to each other, until only Guillermo, Tilly, Laura and I remained seated. Guillermo was looking at his phone.
“You OK?” I asked him. He looked weird.
“Oh, yeah, yeah,” Guillermo replied. “Just telling my friends from Spain everything that happened. It’s crazy, they won’t believe it.”
“Things have been crazy, but still, Guillermo, the reason you’re here was because of an origami shenanigan.”
“I’ve got live footage of the event. I can forward it to you.” Tilly mentioned.
“Oh, no thanks, that won’t be necessary, I think they’ll take my word for it.”
“Ah, man!” I exclaimed, looking at my phone, “I told mom I’d be helping her with dinner! Sorry guys, gotta go!” I said as I packed my stuff.
“I feel like I should be going, too.” Guillermo said, putting his phone in his pocket.
“I’ll be going, too, then,” Tilly said, “See y’all tomorrow!”
As surprised as I was when I was named the new, sort of ‘leader’ for the OrigAvengers, after a few days it fit like a glove to a slippery hand.
Alright, maybe not the best analogy, but I think you know what I mean, I loved it.
It made me kind of leave behind all the quarrels I had about not being cared about and leaving Kirby. I started turning more popular for some time, too.
Even though everyone knew the OrigAvengers couldn’t now operate with puppets, I could sense a bit of a feeling I hadn’t felt in a long, long time, in many years: power. The opinions I had were taken as an option much more than they were before, and there was ever a need for a final and decisive point of view, it was what I thought best.
Things quickly started to overcomplicate themselves.
Once people started to get used to the changes happening to the school, and gained confidence, now even Kirbians didn’t think twice before causing havoc and problems, so again in a long time I felt pressured in a short-matter of time.
But the one that tops it all was the fight that broke off this morning.
From what could be seen in the scene, a wheelerian and a post-kirbian had broken into a fight. This was a strange scene, because who would’ve said that after the start of a new year, people would still be able to differ between Wheelerians and Kirbians, but no, they still could.
“What’s happening here?” I said when I closed my locker door and headed to the area of conflict.
“He’s saying Kirby was better than Wheeler!”
It seemed like a joke that people would be fighting over something like that, but I remembered this competition between schools would not be so easily broken.
“Hey, watch it, punk! The only reason Kirby closed was because it was the better school!”
“Oh yeah?” Replied the guy, and rushed to punch the other one.
I intercepted the punch aimed for the other, putting his open arm over my elbow as they had taught me in Judo class back in Spain to throw him backwards to the ground, but it didn’t work out so well, and I was standing there, in a weird position, in front of everybody. I let go.
The punching dude was laughing.
“I would’ve thought the mighty leader of the OrigAvengers would know a thing or two about self-defense!”
This was too much now, the one thing I have always hated was being humiliated in front of everybody.
“What’s stopping me from punching his ugly face?” I was asking myself, “Do it.”
“Don’t!” Another voice in my head said.
“What would Andy do? Do it like he would.”
“Don’t!” Gar had come in the scene, you could probably see it from a thousand miles down the hallway now, “You know what’s right.”
I let down my fist, but the frustration was still in my head, even worse than before, now I was gonna have to spare him of what he deserved. Eyes red with anger, I started walking away, the crowd of people still watching.
“Yeah, run,” The dude said calmly, but with a smirk and mocking voice, “What are you guys without a puppet anyways!?”
I stopped, and put my hand in my pocket, where I kept Namorigami always, even if I never took him out.
“Just one punch, c’mon!”
“No, no, Andy! Think like Andy! You’re now standing up for more than yourself! Think of the OrigAvengers!”
I inserted my finger inside Namorigami.
“What even are you?! ” The guy repeated.
I held my hand up high, “I am Namorigami, Leader of the OrigAvengers! And you are but another jock who dared cross paths with us!”
He raced now towards me, but Gar and Cal Largent (who had arrived) held him at a distance.
“You’ll get what’s coming!” He said.
“Don’t hold your breath, kid.” I walked away.
My duty was done, except…
“Guillermo Valenzuela!” Mrs. Villanueva was standing some feet from the scene. “Come to my office, now.”
ORIGAVENGERS GROUP CHAT
Recorded by Gar’s phone
GG: Guillermo, what happened?
GV: I got sent to the office, then to ISS.
GG: At least you didn’t get expelled.
GV: You guys are the ones who stopped him.
GV: Guys, I feel like we need to have the puppets back
RB: What?? And have us all suspended?
GG: you know how Villanueva feels about origami puppets now, no way we’re gonna have them back
GV: I figured out today that it was the thing that kept us from doing things we aren’t
GV: I would’ve punched him
GG: I know, but we have to use our heads. We’re operating under the radar, and if we bring our puppets back, we’ll be worse off from where we are now. Calm yourself and think about this more.
RB: ^ agreed
GV: I’m tired of what everyone thinks.
GV: We’re giving away our own right to do stuff.
GG: Think about it.
By Garfield Graham
If I was concerned for the future of the team before, it was nothing compared to now.
It was luck that saved Guillermo the other day from punching the other guy, or maybe his conscience. And yes, to be perfectly fair, the guy did have it coming. I had half a mind to punch him myself.
Even since then, Guillermo has been getting more and more obsessed with the idea of bringing back the finger puppets.
“They’re what represent us!” he kept saying. “We’re the OrigAvengers, not the Avengers, right?”
He does have a point, but we can’t just do stuff because we feel like it. It could hurt him, or us, or everyone. Principal Villanueva would have us all in ISS if he decided to go rogue.
Sometimes I felt like I was the only one standing up to Guillermo, so I contacted Dove to see if he could meet with me at Wendy’s.
Ever since I broke up with Ally, I started to feel jealousy and anger towards Dove. I knew that it was only because of Ally, though. Dove had been one of my best friends and it was unfair to despise him. In the end, if she’s happy, I’m happy, and she would want me to get along with Dove as well.
Gar: Dove, would you like to meet at Wendy’s? We need to talk.
Dove: I would be happy too!
I got home from school as always, did all my homework in about, let’s say, hour and a half. Rest of the time I studied what I had done that day. Around 6:15, I put on my usual nice black polo and headed out. It was a bit cold for autumn, but it wasn’t bad enough to really care.
I met Dove at the door.
“Hello!” he exclaimed. “How are you doing?”
“You know,” I sighed. “Tired of old things happening again.”
We went to order, paid for our stuff, and sat down at a table. Wendy’s was surprisingly empty that day.
“By old things happening again.” Dove took a bite. “You mean friends breaking down?”
“I was more like referring to the Andy situation before Artron, before things started to get confusing,” I said. “I know I wasn’t there, but still. People started joining and joining, and meanwhile T.H.A.N.O.S was preparing.”
Dove raised an eyebrow.
“But that’s not what I meant,” I tried to explain.
Dove nodded. “You see this like the situation where everyone thought Andy was wrong and yet he was right-”
“-but the other way around, yes,” I completed the sentence. “I fear Guillermo’s lust for power has only been growing. Guillermo is wrong by thinking that by trying to regain origami, we’ll succeed.”
“We can still trust him, Gar.” Dove took another bite. “Why don’t we just have a talk with him? You could’ve asked him to Wendy’s instead of me!”
“Well, I wanted to talk to you before I did anything. You’re, well, the veteran of the team. Thanks for meeting.”
“Anytime. Good luck on your quest!” he exclaimed. I wasn’t having any of that; I was still sitting and wasn’t planning on leaving.
“You’re not getting out of it that easy!” I chuckled “You’re coming with me.”
“I’m sorry, I can’t,” I objected when they asked me after the last class of the day. “I don’t know if you guys get what I’m trying to do and what I mean.”
Gar sighed, but I continued. I needed them to get my point.
“Remember the fight? That guy asked us what we were. Do you have an answer to that? We are nothing without origami, and you are letting it all go.”
“Guillermo, I know perfectly well what you mean, but the puppets are gone,” Gar opposed. “We can’t use them now.”
I was silent for some time, realising that Dove and Gar hadn’t come here by coincidence. They had been plotting against me, talking about me behind my back. This made me very mad.
“Ah, of course, I see,” I gulped. “Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I was chosen as the leader of the OrigAvengers, and I’m going to push it towards it’s best. Now, if you excuse me, I’m gonna talk with the principal about this.”
I marched away from them towards Principal Villanueva’s office, but Dove grabbed my shoulder.
He looked serious. “I’m sorry, Guillermo, but if you go, Villanueva will get rid of the OrigAvengers for good, and we will be separated. The team is one of the two things that I still have in this school, and I can’t let it fall.”
“Please.” I looked at him defiantly. “Take your hand off me.”
Dove let go.
“We should talk it over with the rest,” Gar reasoned.
“We will, after I talk to the principal. You guys need to trust me. I know what I’m doing!”
Gar shook his head. “It doesn’t matter if you know what you’re doing if no one else does.”
“Am I supposed to say fair point?” I asked, getting even more angry. “Because I’m not saying it.”
“You’re acting like a jerk.”
I smirked. “Now where have I heard that before?” I asked, rhetorically. “Bye, guys.” As I headed for the door, I muttered under my breath, “Sometimes I wish I hadn’t moved to this school.”
“You know? I thought better of you!” Gar said, stepping up behind me.
I turned around and pushed him away. I did not want to hurt him, but didn’t want him to get too close either.
“Don’t do that again,” Gar spat back.
I was so mad at this point that I threw a punch at Gar’s chest. Gar, surprised, got hit and immediately tried to shove me back. I dodged and he almost tripped. After that, Gar threw a punch that did, in fact, hit me.
I had a nosebleed.
I glowered at Gar in anger. He wasn’t getting away with this. I punched him in the gut and he fell backwards, but not before taking me down with him.
I got up fast.
“You can’t deny it, you guys have been using me this whole time!”
“No, it’s not like that,” Gar said as he tried to get a hold of himself. “We needed you, and we still do now. But we need a strong person, like you were before.”
“Yeah, I know why you needed me.Who went on all those crazy missions to retrieve a stolen F.O.L.D pendrive? Who guarded the doors to the HQ while you guys were solving the T.H.A.N.O.S mystery, huh? Only for F.O.L.D to collapse days after!”
“Yeah! And it’s because of who you were, the guy who wanted to do everything he could to help us, that Tilly trusted you to lead us!” Gar yelled. “She vouched for you and we trusted her to make the decision. Look where that’s gotten us! Stop acting like all the bad stuff only happens to you. Everyone has been suffering this whole time, some more than others. We are all stuck, Guillermo, and you promised to get us unstuck.”
I considered that. I hadn’t actually thought about it in all this time.
Tilly hadn’t chosen Dove, nor Duncan, nor Ally, nor her, but me.
Right then and there, I felt like crap. I wasn’t setting a good example as the leader. Instead, I had been embarrassing us this whole time, complaining for not having puppets and trying to push everyone to do what I wanted.
I should’ve helped Gar up, but was too ashamed of myself for that. I didn’t want anybody to look at me. I needed a nap, so I ran away without looking back.
Unfortunately, I think I won the fight. Guillermo went home and I didn’t see him again until Monday.
I had been looking for him the whole day to apologize, but I just couldn’t seem to find him. I had a sinking feeling that he was avoiding me, and I didn’t blame him.
It wasn’t until the bell for lunch rang that I found Guillermo. Or more accurately, he found me.
” Listen, I-” I started.
“-No, no, it’s my fault,” he interrupted. ” I’ve been acting like an egotistical jerk this whole time, and you guys, Dove and you, have had the courage to call me out. It’s I who should apologise”
“Everything you’ve done this whole time, you’ve felt has been for the good of the time,” I replied. “I get that. And I shouldn’t have fought you. I was just tired of all of your contradictions. I want to help you get back, not hurt you in the process.”
“Thanks, Gar,” Guillermo replied. “Let’s get some lunch now. I’m starving.”
We walked through the cafeteria to get in line that everyone was so tired of waiting on, until…
“Hey, you! The idiot OrigAvenger!” a rough voice echoed through the hall.
I looked around to see who it was, and found my fears coming true. The guy Guillermo had got in a fight with last week had come back to attack.
“Oh boy.” Guillermo turned around and looked in his direction. The whole cafeteria seemed to have gone silent. “I really didn’t do anything to him, I promise”
” You made me get suspended, you get into business that’s not yours,” he taunted. “Now you’re going to pay for it!” He started going towards us.
“Guillermo, if you wanna quote someone, do it now,” I indicated, and he nodded.
Guillermo laughed. “Gar, you want a piece?”
So I got the quote this time. Cool. “Not really,” I replied ” But when do I get what I want?”
“Let’s get him together this time,” Guillermo grunted.
The guy ran towards us like a bullet, but we swept to our sides and he almost slipped on the white, slippery floor. He quickly regained his stability and ran towards Guillermo one second later and punched him in the gut.
Guillermo fell backwards while I jumped on top of the guy to make him fall too.
Thankfully, Guillermo stood up again and the big guy failed to see his foot between his legs, and fell with a thud.
Guillermo approached him.
“Jason Jackson, still mad at me for that Wheeler infiltration last year?”
” I’m surprised you got this far,” Jason panted “If you hadn’t had Gar’s help, I would have probably beaten you up.”
“Possibly,” I joked “We should probably go, anyways.”
“What on earth happened here!” Principal Villanueva exclaimed once she got to the cafeteria.
We took some time explaining to Villanueva what had happened. I was afraid we were going to be declared responsible for the fight, but she was pretty cool that day, and we got away easily.
Jason, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. He was suspended for a month for causing a fight.
“I just one more thing to say,” Guillermo said a bit later. “I think we should meet at Wendy’s. All of us.”
“I have one last announcement, and I would like to do it in front of as many people as possible.”
FINAL MEETING AND FAREWELL
Recorded by Tilly Waterson AKA Captain Marfold
Tilly: Alright, then. If everyone’s ready, we may start. This is tape number-
Guillermo: Tilly, I don’t think that’s necessary. Let’s relax a bit.
Tilly: *Sigh* Okay, fine. Anyways, we’re here because our current leader Guillermo Valenzuela AKA Namorigami has something to say to the whole group.
Guillermo: First of all-wait, Tilly, does this record even if I’m far away?
Laura: Yes, it’s very effective.
Guillermo: Very well. We are here because I need to tell you all something. I am sorry.
These past few weeks have been crazy. I’ve been up and down and I’ve let myself take advantage of my role as leader of the OrigAvengers. I can’t take back my actions. I can only apologize for them.
Amias: It’s all good, man. We’ve talked about this. Everyone has his ups and downs.
Guillermo: Andy had done perfectly the role as leader for a long time. He was able to steer the team in the right direction. He was able to foresee many problems before they came. It will be difficult to live up to him.
Tilly: I think we all agree with that.
Guillermo: I have given a lot of thought to this. I have decided the leader position is not for me. So, as my last wish as the current leader of the OrigAvengers, I, Guillermo, name Garfield Graham to be my successor. May he guide us all well in prosperous years.
(Round of applause. Guillermo shakes hands with Gar)
Guillermo: Gar, I will be here if you ever need any help.
Gar: Thank you very much. I’ll do my best.
Tilly: Meeting adjourned.
[ RECORDING STOPPED]
As I came closer to the school, I thought about everything that had happened here. From the Dummy robot being broken to the end of everything, I realized just how much had occurred.
A closed-down Kirby High School was standing in front of me.
Colder, darker and more grey than it had ever been. Deprived of life. It kind of reminded me of going to the cemetery, like there was something still resting inside those halls.
I got Namorigami out.
Maybe it wasn’t all that bad. I still had the same people who cared about me, albeit in a different school. It was different, yeah, but friendship is not the place: it’s the people, and they were here with me.
“You wanna come? ” Gar asked behind me “Y’know. Shawarma?”
I smirked. “Are we finally eating Shawarma?”
“Chocolate chip pancakes aren’t enough for a hungry group like ours.”
“I suppose they aren’t,” I decided. “I’ll be there.”