Not today. I won’t let them. No more timid me. If they’ve got a problem with me, that’s their fault.
We all like different things. But it seems that there’s always someone out there to tell you that it’s dumb. Someone who thrives on your misery.
I love origami. And my friends like it, too. I fold Marvel characters all the time, and then I show my friends at school. But, lately, I’ve stopped. I’ve been submissive to the threats of Jerry.
“Your superhero dolls again? Oh, goodie! Let’s play pretend, shall we?” Jerry says, teasing me. Then, he grabs my shirt collar and yells, “Zacky plays pretend!” He’s been doing this for weeks now, and I let him.
But then came Steve Rogers. I read about him in the comic books. He went from zero to hero all because of an amazing serum. Best of all, he was confident. If only I could be like him, I always thought. Well, now I will be, origami and all.
Like my own Super-Serum
Steve Rogers. He doesn’t like bullies. He stands up to them. If he can, so can I. I contemplated this as I folded my next Marvel character, Captain America. I tried my hardest to capture his strength in the model. Hopefully, I did him justice.
I made him as a finger puppet so I could take him with me wherever I go. He was kind of a reminder that I could be like him. Courageous and strong. I know, it’s just a piece of paper. But, I feel stronger with him on my finger. But it was almost like… like my own Super-Serum.
It’s not exactly a big thing to do. But for me, being brave enough to bring my origami to school is one of the hardest tasks in the galaxy.
But I did. I showed my new puppet to my friends. This one was modeled after my hero, Captain America.
“Dude, that’s awesome,” my friend, DT said.
“Yeah, that’s pretty cool, Zack,” Tyler, my other friend, said.
I instantly felt good again. Nothing could hurt me now!
Except for maybe Jerry. He’s a lot taller and stronger. He began walking toward us. “Another doll? I thought you finally came to your senses and quit!”
“Okay, you know what? I’ve been scared of you for a long time. But Captain Origamica and I will do whatever it takes to defeat you!”
I know, it was corny. But I was too caught up in the moment to notice.
“Oh, yeah? Like what?” Jerry said, chuckling.
Then, I tried doing the unthinkable. I pulled back my arm and thrust it toward his stomach. But before it made contact, Tyler grabbed it and held it right in front of Jerry.
“Zack, punch him and you could be suspended,” Tyler said.
Tyler is short, but strong. He was a black belt in kung fu, and very wise for a kid.
“But he… you just… but he was…” I stuttered.
Jerry walked away, smirking, then said, “Later, chump!”
“He got away!” I yelled, almost in tears.
“You need to rethink how you handle bullies, Zack,” DT said, prudently, then he and Tyler left.
Okay, Jerry isn’t telling the whole story. I’m not out to ruin his life for no reason. He must have forgotten those days in third grade…
“You can’t even play kickball! Just go and stop messing up our game. And take your lack of coordination with you!”
Believe it or not, those words came from Zack, back from when we were at Bucky Barnes Elementary.
I was tall, thin, but wasn’t athletic. I got tired pretty quickly and I wasn’t too fast. Since my first day of third grade, all I wanted was a friend. It was bad enough that people thought that I was not athletic. But then Zack had to rub it in my face.
“Go away! I’m team captain and I’m not picking you first, or last, or ever!”
Then came the first day of middle school. Zack walked up to me.
“Hey, Jerry!” he said excitedly. “Wanna sit together at lunch?”
So, he had spent years being mean to me, and now, when we’re the new kids, he expects me to be his friend? That’s when I decided that he would know how I felt. If it’s that puppet that gives him hope, I’ll tear his hope to shreds.
The Hydra motto rang in my head. “Cut off one head and two more will grow back.” And then it hit me: I need two heads. And a red one, at that.