Aug 01, 2021 9:58 PM
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He has been in Forks, Washington for six months and they have been the most excruciatingly boring six months of his life to date.

There are so many things he can't do here, because this town is so small, and if anything gets back to Daddy dearest they'll just move somewhere worse. He honestly can't imagine anywhere worse, but then, before Forks he couldn't have imagined Forks.

Getting in fights at school is one of the few remaining forms of entertainment he can find any joy in, and it's also necessary for a few other reasons. So he doesn't waste any time on his first day back: it's ten after ten, he just got out of Art, the hallways are full of students rushing from class to class, and he finds one of the boys who already hates him a little and gives him a hard shove into the corner of a row of lockers.

Success. The crowd tries to stream around them at first, but at the point where the other boy has him on the ground and is punching him repeatedly in the face, traffic has come to a halt on all sides.
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Bella did not expect Forks High to be a linoleum-lined Fight Club, but she's on her way to her second class of the day and, lo and behold, a boy deliberately assaults one who's about half again his size. And then it turns into a massacre - an entirely predictable massacre. The smaller kid's martial arts teachers have failed him. If they even exist.

Bella turns to the boy who's shepherding her between classes; he's standing among the rubberneckers. "Why isn't anyone getting a teacher? Not to mention the nurse?" And, in a lower voice, "Is this common?"
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The predictable massacre continues. The boy getting massacred is grinning like it's his birthday and someone just got him a pony, or possibly a stripper. This only seems to annoy his victim/assailant even more.

"That's Delaney Hammond," Eric whispers back, "with the curly hair and the getting beat up. He moved here last year. Nobody knows what's up with him, but he does this all the time. I heard he went to the hospital in November or something."
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And he's still among the general population. Grand. She wonders if Charlie knows. "Does he do 'this' to everyone, or just people who eat my weight in protein powder for breakfast? Not that he's not obviously getting the worse end of things, now, but if he just pushes people into sharp corners at random..."

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"...He's never done it to me," Eric offers.

Eric definitely does not eat Bella's weight in protein powder for breakfast.

"And I've never seen him, you know, beating somebody else up."

On the floor, Delaney has graduated from grinning to high-pitched wheezing giggles, and the boy hitting him is exhibiting increasing disgust.
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Bella decides that she's going to inform a teacher, and Charlie, anyway, because she has heard of the bystander effect. She also decides that she's just going to have to be late to class in case she's the only person in the hallway with the presence of mind to make sure the idiot doesn't drown in his own blood or choke on a tooth or something. She produces a pocket-size notebook and writes down screw the first rule of Fight Club. "I'm going to stay here in case he needs an emergency vehicle," she tells Eric. "I'm one of, like, two people in town who can get ahold of one faster than the 911 dispatcher. Can you repeat the directions to building four again? I don't want to keep you."

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Eric obligingly recites the appropriate directions, although he keeps getting distracted by the ongoing spectacle.

The ongoing spectacle... goes on. The boy on top is slowing down, though, issuing more scowls than punches.
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"Excuse me," calls Bella. Because everyone knows who she is - whose daughter she is - so far, that might be enough. She poises her pen over her notebook. "Punching person. Can I have your name? First and last, please?"

Because she doesn't really want to be late to class.
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Punching Person pauses his punching and looks up at her, confused.

"What the hell do you want?" he asks, despite the fact that she has made it pretty obvious.

Delaney tilts his head back to look at her and grins, displaying bloody teeth. "Get in line, sister," he says in a lazy Brooklyn accent, "I'm not done."
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Bella ignores the instigator-slash-victim, although she takes it as reassurance on the subject of his health that he is capable of speech. "Your name," she says. And apparently it wasn't enough, so, she adds, "Like so: I'm Bella Swan."

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"...Dave," says Punching Person. He looks down at Delaney, frowns, and then gets up, shaking out his right hand; it's looking bloody around the knuckles.

Delaney stretches out on the floor like it's a nice comfy bed, rolls over, and hauls himself to his feet, opening and closing his jaw as though testing that it retains full functionality. "Thanks for the workout," he tosses over his shoulder as he walks away. "Call me."

"Freak," mutters apparently-Dave. Delaney stops in his tracks, clenching his jaw and tensing his arms and shoulders.

Then he relaxes and keeps going like nothing happened. The crowd begins to disperse.
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"Do you know his last name?" Bella asks Eric, exasperated, as she lets the traffic pull her along with him to her next class. She's had various aspects of what makes witnesses annoying inculcated into her head from a young age, and knowing only the name "Dave" would be one of them.

She also writes, Delaney dislikes word 'freak'. Word does not appear to have provoked push into locker (?)
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"Sure," says the ever-helpful Eric. "That's David Farber."

If there is anything else he knows about David Farber, he is not volunteering it.

(Delaney turns a corner in front of them; the sound of his cheerful humming recedes into the distance.)
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David Farber. Felony assault? (Does provocation invalidate that?) Bella writes. "Thanks," she says, and she moves on to class.

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