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Biting The Hand That Feeds
[ *  *  *  * ]
You’re all criminals anyway.

Maybe Gerald should have been shocked by this, maybe insulted or offended, but he wasn’t.

He wasn’t shocked because honestly he had kind of expected this girl to hold those sorts of beliefs ever since he had walked into the room; he had just assumed that she was ignoring him because of his skin colour. When she had ignored that other girl as well he had considered that maybe he had thought wrong, but he wasn’t too surprised to find out his first assumption was more on the mark.

He wasn’t insulted or offended because, frankly, he was used to it. He had been suffering these kinds of assumptions for years; people labelling him a certain way because of who he was. His parents had even taken him aside early on in his life and flat out told him to expect this sort of thing from his peers at school, especially as he got older.

It had bothered him at first but as he grew older – and, indeed, as the bullying got worse – he just began to adapt. He started verbally jabbing back at his aggressors even as they did the same and worse to him, making them angry while he just let their comments bounce off of him, shielded by the fact that he knew nothing they said was true and the fact that when they inevitably lost their composure and tried to attack him he could get away unscathed thanks to his small size and agility.

That approach wouldn’t work here anyway. This girl wasn’t the kind of person to rise to such bait, he could tell – not visibly at least; inside she might be seething – nor was she wasn’t the kind of person to lash out physically either, he was guessing.

Gerald uncrossed his arms and shoved them into the pockets of his leather jacket instead, letting a wide, teeth-showing grin cross his face.

“So, you’re one of those people huh?”

Slouching down further in his seat Gerald settled in for the long haul and considered his words. Just because he wasn’t offended didn’t mean he was just going to let her get away with what she just said, to let here chase him off like she had the other girl. He’d be damned if he let her practice her guitar now.

What struck him about her statement was how she had said it. There was no malice behind the words, aside from her growing irritation at his presence at least, no anger; it was like she was stating a fact, a truth, saying it as if both she and him should know this to be true.

Looking away from the girl and staring off like he was looking at something in the distance, Gerald started speaking again.

“Where’d you get this idea all minorities are crooks anyway? I’ve never done anything illegal, neither has anyone else I know, minority or not. I’m a troublemaker sure, a nuisance, but I’m not a thief or a vandal or anything.” Gerald focused his eyes back on the girl. “So you can stop glancing over at your bag. It’s safe.”

Since he wasn’t expecting the girl to actually answer him he kept talking. He took his hands out of his pockets to gesture along with what he was saying.

“I’m guessing it was your parents. That’s the way this stuff usually works. They told you minorities are dishonest, untrustworthy, violent, criminals and, worst of all, unpatriotic.” Gerald ticked off each of these points on his hands before putting them back in his pockets. “I should know, I’ve been called most of those things.

“I’m guessing you’ve never actually spent enough time around people like me to find out one way or another whether this is true or not, but you trust mommy and daddy enough to believe it anyway. Besides, why take the risk of it being true?”

Gerald dropped his head back to lay it on the back of the chair, staring up at the ceiling of the classroom. His brow creased as he thought over what he had just said.

“Damn, that’s actually kind of sad when I lay it out like that. Fuck, now I’ve gone and made myself depressed.”

He held that position for a while, lapsing into a long silence as he let that sink in. In a shot his head snapped back up and when he turned to look as Jasmine the contemplative expression was gone from his face.

“Oh well. Hey, how long have you been playing that thing anyway? Did it take you long to learn?”
Program V3 Prologue
Michael Bair - Proud to be an American
Quote: N/A
Weapon: Brass Knuckles, Heckler & Koch FABARM FP6 Entry
Location: N/A
Status: Alive

The Departed
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