“Hey Bumkiss! Did you know that’s your new name? Bitch Bumkiss! Bah, ha ha!”
Thump, thump, thump. The twins rocked about as the sticky green bus seat they’d been stuffed into was kicked repeatedly from the back by one Derrick Barnes.
“Bumkiss! Bumkiss! Your name is Bumkiss!”
Mitch rested his head against the window glass, watching the sights of Seacaucus pass him by through a pair of cheap sunglasses.
“Bummy, bummy, Bumkiss! Bummy, bummy, Bumkiss!”
Thump, thump, thump.
The twins spoke in low, hushed tones. Between the chattering children and the rumbling of the engine that hadn’t been tuned up in years, no one else was able to hear them.
“I could rip his arms off right here, right now, and beat him to death with them,” Mitch said.
“You could,” Whitney replied. “And I’d love to see it. And I have a whole list of people I’d like to do that to myself but as our parents and neighbor so dutifully lectured me last night, that would be a direct violation of the Treaty of Stuttgart.”
It wasn’t visible behind the shades, but Mitch definitely rolled his eyes again. “Oh, God. Not the Treaty of Stuttgart again.”
“Dad didn’t break out the pop up book again did he?”
“Sure, yuck it up,” Whitney said. “I’m the one who had to sit through it.”
“I’ve sat through my fair share,” Mitch said.
Derrick may not have made the cut at Sweet Johnny’s Electrostatic Groove Lounge the night before, but by Seacaucus High standards, the kid was a stud. Letterman jacket. Muscles. Entitled attitude. The works. His head popped up over the top of the twins’ seat. “Hey Bitch Bumiss. Why is your name Bitch Bumkiss?”
Mitch refused to answer, so Derrick grabbed the nerd’s arm and shook him.
“Huh?” Derrick asked. “Why is your name Bitch Bumkiss? That’s a stupid name.”
Mitch remained silent.
“You deaf, Bitch Bumkiss?
“Someone stick a dick in your ear?”
Still, no response.
Derrick grabbed Mitch’s arm and used the attached hand to slap Mitch in the face, repeatedly. “Stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself, stop hitting yourself! Hey, come on, Bitch Bumkiss! Stop hitting yourself!”
Teenage faces popped up over their seats to check out the source of the commotion and laugh.
“Hey, everybody!” Derrick shouted. “Look! Bitch Bumkiss is hitting himself!”
As Whitney watched her brother take the abuse without offering any hint of resistance, she pictured herself wolfing out, ripping off Derrick’s head, and punting it out the back window of the bus. She kept her cool though. Given the amount of bullying that goes on in the public school system, combined with the number of closeted werewolf children that attended it over the years, it’s a miracle that more heads weren’t ripped off and punted more often.
The teens began to chant. “Bumkiss! Bumkiss! Bumkiss!”
Mitch knew the drill. He was a twelve-year veteran of this crap. If he said anything to defend himself, it would be treated as if it were the dumbest thing anyone had ever said, the repeated back to him over and over again in a snotty tone for days, if not weeks. However, if he remained silent, the abuse would just continue. So, he figured he had to say at least a little something.
“Bumkiss!” Derrick shouted.
Derrick hauled back and socked Mitch, right in the arm. The pain was intense. Mitch gritted his teeth and sucked it up. Whitney looked away.
“Hey! Bumkiss! I’m talking to you!”
Mitch sighed the sigh of a defeated man. “Yes?”
“That’s better,” Derrick said. “Why is your name Bumkiss, Bumkiss?”
Another sigh. “I don’t know.”
Derrick laughed. “You don’t know? You don’t even know your own name? Why not?”
One more sigh. He said the next words flat, devoid of any emotion, just something he had to do, like pulling off a band-aid. “Because I’m stupid.”
Derrick looked around to all the other teens on the bus. “Bah, ha ha! Bitch Bumkiss just said he’s stupid!”
That concluded this bullying session. Derrick said back.
Mitch looked at his sister, and whispered. “Treaty of Stuttgart.”
“Treaty of Stuttgart,” she whispered back.