You knelt on the hard asphalt, hands pressed against your face. One reason was to hide the flow of tears and another reason, was to protect your face from the stones and sticks being thrown by your tormentors.
Children can be cruel, brutally cruel. And you were experiencing that first hand.
You lowered your hands slightly, glaring with watery eyes at your tormentors. Their faces blurred together, as did their cruel words.
You were only seven, you should be playing with friends, not crying alone.
"LEAVE-A HER ALONE!!!" A voice shouted, startling you. You looked over at your defendant.
It was one of the Italian brothers. The eldest one.
He glared at your assailants, a large stone clutched in one fist. He raised it, still glaring.
"Touch-a her, and I will-a kill you!!"
The other students backed off, muttering under their breath. You ignored them, staring teary-eyed at your savior.
Lovino scowled, reaching out and roughly wiping the tears off with his sleeve. You hiccuped, sniffling.
He began to walk away, muttering in Italian under his breath. You felt a surge of panic at the sight of your protectors retreating back. Standing up, you ran after him, grabbing the back of his shirt.
Lovino stopped and glared down at you, his lips set in a thin line.
"What? Go away, I already-a saved you."
He made a shooing motion, still scowling. You shook your head mutely, clinging tighter to his shirt. Lovino scowled and sighed.
Walking back into the school building, he headed for his class, the whole time, trying to get you to go back to your class. He was a few years a head of you.
"Who is zis Lovino?"
It was Mr.Bonnefoy. His son, Matthew, was in your class. You ducked your head, trying to hide behind Lovino. Lovino sighed and explained the predicament.
Mr.Bonnefoy stared, then shrugged and nodded.
"I'll talk to 'er teacher. She can stay 'ere until we figure somzing out."
Lovino grumbled something, glaring at the staring students. Walking over to his desk, he sat down, arms crossed. You sat on the floor next to him, still clutching his shirt. A student in the back of the class let out a snigger and Lovino turned around, shooting the kid the finger.
The girl next to you smiled kindly.
"I'm Yekaterina!!" She looked at Lovino, then back at you.
"Are you Lovino's little sister?"
You shook your head shyly and scooted closer to Lovino. Yekaterina smiled again, then turned back to the book on her desk. Lovino grumbled, then sighed.
"You're-a gunna do this all-a day. Aren't-a you?"
You nodded slightly, tightening your small fingers on his shirt.
The class went on. You sitting next to Lovino and Lovino trying his best to ignore you. Mr.Bonnefoy went on teaching and your homeroom teacher came in every now and then, her face crinkled with worry.
When the bell rang, signaling the end of the school day, Lovino grabbed his stuff. Looking down at you he sighed.
Prying your fingers of his shirt, he clutched your smaller hand in his. Tugging you along, he entered your classroom and helped you put your coat on and retrieve your backpack.
You trailed behind him as he shoved his way through the throng of students heading for the front doors. Lovino's hand tightened around your small fingers, making sure that you didn't get lost in the crowd.
Once outside, he stood still, staring down at you. You ducked your head, staring at your shoes.
"Your-a mom...Will she-a be here soon?"
You nodded, tightening your hold on his hand. Lovino nodded and looked at the street. A few moments later, Feliciano, his brother, ran up, grinning.
"Hi ______. Why are you-a holding Lovi's hand?"
"Shut up!!!" Lovino growled, glaring at his little brother. Feliciano stuck out his tongue. Before Lovino could yell at him, a man approached your small group.
"Hola Lovi, Feliciano!!"
"Don't-a call me Lovi, you Spanish Bastard!!!"
The tall Spanish man smiled at you, then began speaking rapidly in Spanish. Lovino answered him, glowering.
"I have-a to go _____." Lovino gently pried his fingers from yours and began walking towards a waiting car with The Spanish man and Feliciano.
"I'll see-a you tomorrow!!"
You nodded, clutching you backpack tightly. A few moments later, your mother came over and directed you to the car.
Today hadn't been that bad. After all, you had made a new friend.