“How-ard the Cow-ard! How-ard the Cow-ard!”
Howard covered his head as kids circled and threw things at him.
He desperately wanted to be alone. He kept track of their eyes, all of them, and removed himself from them, one by one.
Soon, fewer and fewer eyes saw him, which made him happy. More than that—it made him ecstatic. His life became centered around avoiding others, evading them and their scornful gaze. He felt extra ugly if they saw, and began to wear a hoodie. Once he did, no one ever saw his face again.
Except Ash, who sees all.
Ash realized Howard’s potential, and they became very close friends,
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