Chapter 24: Red Sick
“Is that… blood? That can’t be healthy. Should we call him an ambulance or something?” The students started to mumble to each other, unsure how to react given the situation.
Gary could hear everyone around him whisper, but he was too busy after throwing up. At least, he started to feel a LOT better after doing so, but his sense of balance was off, and holding himself up he had his arm on his chair.
[You have come into contact with a substance that is poisonous to you]
[Until your body has broken down the poison, you are unable to heal]
‘What is happening to me?’ Gary thought as he struggled to realise what had just happened.
As if his luck wasn’t bad already, the next person to come into class turned out to be Xin. The new girl was at first confused about what was going on, but following the direction everyone was pointing at, she quickly started to get the picture.
‘If he’s ill then why did he come to school in the first place?’ Xin wondered as she walked over and saw all the red vomit on the ground with different chunks of meat that strangely enough looked to be raw. More and more students began to enter the classroom and one of them started to scream at the sight of the vomit.
“What is that?! Why is it so red? That’s disgusting, someone get him out of here!” A group of girls huddled up and screamed.
Xin turned to look at them, only to recognise the ringleader as the one who had been so heavily interested in Blake when they had been watching the rugby match. If she wasn’t wrong the girl had introduced herself as Tiffany and it was clear she was the one that everyone seemed to follow.
“Tiffany’s right, he could be infected with something throwing up like that. He could pass all the disease onto us, get him out of here.” A boy agreed, quickly checking up on the class diva.
‘What have I done?’ Tom still tried to make heads and tails of the suddenly devolved situation. ‘Sh*t, I never thought it could have such an effect on you. Gary, don’t you die on me, man! I can’t be responsible for killing you!’
While the rest of the class was busy ostracizing him, the first one to approach turned out to be none other than Xin.
“What’s wrong with you all? Are you sure you’re all highschoolers and not just a bunch of kindergarten kids? Have you never seen anyone get sick before? You act as if he is the carrier of a deadly disease when I bet the poor guy must have just drunk some tomato juice or something before coming here. Teacher, I’ll take him to the nurse’s office!”
She pulled his arm up onto her shoulder, and was ready to take him away. When Gary turned his head, even though he was still feeling groggy, he recognised who it was.
“Are you an angel?” Gary blurted out, his words slurping like a drunk man.
“Easy there, Romeo, if you have the energy to spout such fluttery bullsh*t, then get a grip and help me bring you to the nurse’s office.” Xin replied. If it had not been for his miserable situation she would have been convinced he was hitting on her.
“Wait, let me do it.” Tom insisted, as he clenched his fist. After all, this entire situation was his fault. He had been so focused on wanting to find out the ‘truth’ about his best friends that he had failed to consider the consequences of his actions.
“You probably don’t know where the nurse’s office is yet, and he’s my best friend. Let me take him.” Tom argued, ashamed that the new girl was the first and only one who had been willing to help Gary. Xin was a bit surprised that Tom wanted to take over with such enthusiasm, but she saw no need to argue, as long as someone helped the poor guy.
“Damn Gary, can you please stop leaning on me so hard? You should know that the only muscles I have are in my fingers!” Tom complained in a hushed tone as soon as the two of them had exited the classroom
With the two of them gone, Xin looked over the contents of the vomit one more time before looking at their desks when she noticed something. Tom had placed his carrier bag down on his table and it was full of chocolate while Gary’s seat had a half piece of eaten chlorate bar on his table.
‘Was the green-haired guy allergic to chocolate? Shouldn’t his ‘best friend’ have known that?’
While looking at the tables someone suddenly grabbed her shoulder. Driven by instinct, she grabbed the offender’s wrist, and spun the person around. The next second she had dug her hip into them and flipped them onto the ground… right into the vomit.
Only after finishing her routine did Xin suddenly realise what she had done.
‘Oh no, why did we have to practice throws all day yesterday?’ Xin cursed as she looked at Tiffany, whose blond hair was now covered with the red vomit.
“I’m sorry, let me help you up.” Xin quickly apologised, offering her hand, but the other party unsurprisingly slapped it away.
“You bitch!” Tiffany shouted in anger. “What the hell did you do that for? Thanks to you I have puke all over me!”
The two of her friends suddenly appeared behind Tiffany and were now standing behind Xin. One of them was a small girl with short purple hair, while the other was quite macular with black pigtails.
“I swear, it was a complete accident! You startled me when you came up on me. What possible reason would I have to do this to you on purpose when I don’t even really know you?” Xin tried to explain herself. She wasn’t the least bit afraid of the physical capabilities of the two goons who had placed themselves in between the two girls as if to protect their queen bee, no she was just unwilling to deal with the possible aftermath this could have if left unresolved.
Her father had warned her to not use her fists. Even though he was the mayor, it wasn’t like the times of the past where they had the highest authority. In reality they had to obey and comply with the many gangs that really ran the area, and angering the wrong people, not even he could help her.
The last thing she wanted to do was make her dad’s stressful job even harder.
“You think a simple ‘sorry’ is going to cut it?!” Tiffany bellowed at Xin, her eyes filled with anger and malice. She could easily just wash off the puke, but nothing could change the fact that everyone in the classroom had seen her make a fool of herself. It was practically a given that rumours would spread about her being ‘puke girl’.
The teacher cleared his throat, reminding everyone that he was still there and the sudden tension seemed to relax as the two girls helped Tiffany up. The adult wanted to say something, as they walked out of the classroom but with a glare from her, he quickly zipped his mouth shut.
‘Screw me. Judging by her eyes, there is no way she is just going to let things go.’ Xin sighed, wishing she could just turn back time a couple minutes to avoid all of this drama.
Tom and Gary had eventually made it to the nurse’s office. Fortunately, Gary’s metabolism was doing a good job expelling that poison, allowing him to slightly recover. His system had even told him that he was no longer poisoned.
“Gary, you’ve been coming in here quite a lot.” The nurse shook her head. “Well, I guess you can’t really help it if you ate something bad. Just make sure to not eat that stuff again and for the time being take this medicine, it should be able to help you. It might be for the best if you rest here for the first period and we will see how you do after that. If you still feel unwell I’m going to have to recommend you go to the hospital.”
‘There is no way I can go to a hospital! If they find out what I am, who knows what they will do with me!’ Gary thought, but outwardly he just nodded weakly.
“I’ll stay with him and make sure he takes the medicine!” Tom volunteered and closed the curtain. The nurse had left a small round pill next to a white cup with water for Gary to take, but Tom wasn’t sure that it would help. Since Gary had reacted so violently to chocolate that he had been able to eat without any issues in the past, who was to say how he would react to these pills?
The next second, Tom placed the pills in his own mouth and drank the water gulping it down.
“Tom what the-? Why did you do that…don’t tell me you’ve become a … pie popper!” Gary exclaimed, worried for his friend.
“No, you idiot!” Tom whispered back in an angry voice, he pulled the curtain back to see if the nurse was still there, and while she was, she seemed completely focused on her phone call. Whatever it was, it seemed to have been important and urgent, because soon after she hung up, she left the room, telling the boys she would be back in a few minutes.
“Good she’s gone, we can finally talk.” Tom sighed out a breath of relief, while Gary was still confused about why Tom was acting so mysterious. While his body might have recovered, he still had trouble thinking clearly.
“Gary, do you even know what happened back there and why you got sick?” Tom asked.
“I have no idea, maybe it’s the raw meat I’ve been eating.” Gary blurted out without thinking, continuing to speak before thinking about what he said.
“Raw meat…” Tom repeated while his hands were shaking. He had to reassure himself that the one before him was still good old harmless Gary and not the beast he had tested him to be.
“Gary… I have noticed you have been behaving super strange these last couple of days? I gave you the chocolate to test a hypothesis of mine, but I didn’t want to hurt you. I never thought it would turn out this way, please you gotta believe me. You know you can tell me anything, right? So I gotta ask… Gary, are you a werewolf? ”