Episode 3, Act 5 – Dog Lover
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Lee headed over to Tony’s house. On his way over he spotted a wanted poster on a billboard. Curious, Lee had a glance, and saw that it read:

Wanted: Jason Smith

Description: He is a male in his mid-20s with short, black hair and fair skin.

Crime: Jason vandalized a poor woman's car years ago for no reason. The woman was traumatized due to the event. He was sent to jail for five years but was released after serving his time. Once out, he did not learn anything from his mistake. He proceeded to threaten his counselor and then assaulted him for no reason. Jason is highly dangerous. He was last seen in the Harshtown Correctional Asylum, but he has escaped as of a couple months ago. If you spot him, please contact via the information below. He is highly dangerous. Feel free to shoot on-site, and turn in his head. Happy hunting.

Contact: Officer Lives 

Phone number: (666) 666-6666

Reward: $1

Lee laughed. “One dollar?! What type of fool do they take me for?” 

Lee continued on toward his destination. He had been pissed off for the past few days. From what he could tell, Tony had been avoiding him, and the rest of his gang and this had been going on for a while. In school, the twerp hadn't said more than hello and goodbye to them. After Tony had gotten his ass kicked by Kenny, he had been silent, which was understandable. Who wouldn't be reclusive after a situation like that? As of now, Tony seemed to have recovered physically and emotionally from his ass-kicking. Tony was even talking to Kenny a little, despite their past history. 

He still hadn't interacted much with Lee and the gang. Even in class, he seemed to have shut just about everyone out completely. Tony didn't seem to care about fitting in or bullying people. His mind seemed to be focused on other things, but Lee had no idea what. One day, he decided to visit Tony's house to see what the deal was. He knocked on the door. Tony's mother opened it and told Lee that Tony was in the backyard playing with his dog. This news was shocking to Lee.

“Dog?! He has a dog, and he didn’t tell me?”

“Yep!” Tony’s mother smiled proudly. “He is so happy now, and this is just what he needed after getting beat up in school. His spirits are lifted, and the dog is teaching him about discipline and responsibility.”

Lee walked to the backyard.

“Hey, turd! Why didn’t you tell me that you have a dog?”

Tony didn't respond right away since he didn't notice Lee enter the vicinity. Tony continued to play with the dog, a mesmerized look on his face. The animal responded by barking happily. Based on what Lee could tell, the dog was a puppy and a Siberian Husky.

“Hey, turd! I’m talking to you! Quit courting your girlfriend for a moment, you jackass.”

This caught Tony’s attention. He attempted to hide the irritation in his voice, and said, “Hey! My bad, man. I didn’t even know you were here—and this isn’t my girlfriend. He’s my pet dog, named Ace!”

The puppy ran into the dog house as Lee approached him, which made him laugh.

“What a scared, wimpy dog! Look at it whimper! He kinda reminds me of you when you were all lame and shit. Looks like you're lame again because you aren't spending any time with us cool kids anymore. You obviously have been spending your time with some stupid mutt!"

Tony glared at Lee.

“What's your problem? You're starting to sound like Carmen! I need some alone time, and I'll be back with you guys when this is out of my system. And don't you dare talk badly about Ace. I'll give you a black eye if you do!"

“Don’t even worry about hanging out with us again, because we aren’t friends anymore, scrub! Also, don’t compare me to that...freak...Carmen! I’ll see you in school, loser!”

Tony didn't care and went back to tending to his dog, which pissed Lee off even more. He couldn't understand what Tony's problem was, and why he was choosing some inferior mutt over him. He was the most popular kid in school, and his gang was feared by everyone except for Kenny.

The next day at school, Lee was in the hallway and approached Tony. 

“Hey, dumbass! You got your ass handed to you by a kid smaller than you!”

To Lee's no avail, there was no response from Tony. He tried again, and yelled down the hallway, "Hey, dumbass, your clothes are outdated! What's the problem?! Why did you go back to wearing geeky clothes, you dumbass!"

There was still no response—not even a look of sadness or fear from Tony. The others, with Lee, laughed at first, but their laughter died down because it soon became lame to them. Lee and the gang all approached Tony, who just looked at them and waved.

“Since you aren’t a cool kid anymore, and since you aren’t our friends anymore, we get to pick on you again.”

Nonchalantly, Tony replied, “That’s nice, guys.”

He closed his locker and headed for class. All day, Lee and his gang attempted to do different things to make Tony feel bad. They threw paper balls at him, but Tony just shook them off. The teacher caught one of them in the act and sent him to detention. The gang decided to go the subtler route, and they drew defamatory pictures of Tony and wrote rumors about him. He was known to the school as the "Dog Lover." Even though Tony was laughed at by his peers, he didn't care. Lee wasn't satisfied one bit, because he wanted to hit Tony where it hurt.

During after school hours, in the hallway, Lee pointed at Tony and yelled:

“Here’s the Dog Lover!”

Everyone in the hallway laughed at Tony, who just simply waved at them, smiling. He walked toward the bus outside after school was over. Lee grabbed Tony by the shoulder, which stopped him in his tracks.

“Hey! What the fuck is your problem!? You need to cut the indifference act right now before we all pound you to the ground!”

Lee's lackeys egged him on. "Yeah! You tell him, boss! You tell him!"

Tony sighed and gave Lee a grave look.

“I have been through a lot of phases in my short life. I cared so much about fitting in—hell, running the whole damn school—but now I don't give a fuck anymore, because it is all bullshit. The reason why I tried to fit in is because I lacked self-confidence. The reason I bullied people is because I hated myself, so I wanted to elevate myself by making other people feel bad. That is what a bully does, after all. You would know because you are one. It's all bullshit, and the main thing that should matter is how I feel, not what some ass-wipes feel about me. You all may be in my world, but you all are temporary. This is grade school, and then I move on to middle school, then high school, then college, then work. The chances that you all will stay in my world are slim to none! Even if you are still there—even then—what the hell should it matter how you feel about me? You all are a bunch of ego-driven, self-centered, esteem-lacking, douche bags, and I may have been one of you, but you won't be seeing me on my death bed regretting my life the way the rest of you will be—all because you do what other people want you to do. I'm finished!"

There was dead silence as Tony entered the bus. Even the witnesses were silent, except for Kenny, who clapped and wiped a tear from his eye.

“That...was...beautiful!” he said.

A few days later, Lee was thinking about how he didn't understand a word that Tony had told him that day, but what he did realize was that Tony was a completely different person now. What he was curious about was if he would continue to be this way if his dog were to be taken away from him. Tony had become this way ever since the dog incident, after all. Lee walked through the neighborhood toward Tony's house. On the way over he walked past some guy who was in a heated argument with another guy. It was over a pair of shoes or some other nonsense like that. Similarly to Tony, Lee had blocked out the outside world and was purely focused on achieving his goal.

Lee arrived at Tony's house and snuck into his former friend's backyard. He was planning on stealing the dog to see if Tony was full of shit. The dog was asleep. Hastily, Lee grabbed the mutt and threw him into a sack he'd carried. Fortunately, Lee was able to hide most of the whimpering sounds that the pup is making. Lee began to sneak out of the yard, but suddenly, his sack was ripped open, and the puppy was outside of it. Lee looked down at the creature, which snarled at him. He laughed, knowing that he could kick a field goal with the pup if he needed to. 

The dog charged at Lee. He tried to kick it, but he missed and was met with a bite, which caused him to scream. The puppy clamped down on Lee's leg, and swung Lee from one side of the ground very hard and then to the other. He could not believe what was happening to him. It reminded him of what had happened to Tony when he'd attacked Kenny. The swinging occurred at least twenty times until the puppy swung Lee around in a circle, and launched him into the air.

An hour later, Lee was unconscious in the hospital and covered in bandages.

The doctor asked the nurse curiously, “What happened to this one?”

The nurse sighed. 

“This kid was foolish enough to mess with a Computer Siberian Husky. He probably confused it with a Siberian Husky. Siberian Huskies can be used for sledding. Computer Siberian Huskies, however, are the toughest, fiercest, and strongest dogs to ever exist. They may appear friendly, but if you upset one, then you better run for your life. Fortunately, this kid got it good, because I have seen far worse cases."

...and you thought YOUR world was HARSH!!

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