A World Within
Daniel scratched at the creamy, beige, leather upholstery covering his armrest. The Bentley rode as smooth as glass. William had never ridden in such a car. His dad had a Chevrolet pickup that needed new springs and a host of other items, but even if it were dipped in gold it would never be this classy. William was flipping the switches just to see what they did.
Daniel watched the partition window going up and down as his friend William relentlessly toggled the switch, fascinated. Parker, the family butler slash driver for Daniel, sighed heavily, voicing his frustration with Daniel's friend's curiosity. He caught sight of Parker's eyes looking at him through the rearview mirror and gave him a sheepish grin with reference to William's complete amazement with a simple Bentley. What was the big deal, anyway? They had five, after all.
William discovered the collection of DVDs and settled in on the vehicle's television for awhile. Daniel stared past his reflection in the window, to the dark countryside passing by beyond. He strained to catch glimpses of the snow as it blew sideways under the streetlights.
William was easily dazzled by the Harwick family's wealth because he was one of the few students at Ekhart Academy that didn't have much in material goods. William had won a scholarship for under privileged children at his previous school in part because he was a promising soccer player—a genuine student of Pele himself, if Daniel had ever seen one. He was one year Daniel's senior at a strapping fourteen and a good six inches taller than him. With bushy blonde hair neatly trimmed off of the school uniform collar, William was perhaps Daniel's only real friend at Ekhart. William was naturally the type that was popular with the young ladies at the neighboring academy and he was envied by the other boys at Ekhart, though none of them would dare let him know it. Coming from wealthy families, they had all looked down on William Harding simply for the fact that he was poor.
Daniel had looked beyond William's social status to see a boy with something in common with himself—nobody liked him either. In fact, he was picked on by the other boys on almost a daily basis. Daniel was smaller than the other boys his age, and he wasn't as athletic. With excellent grades that made him stand out even more, Daniel had nothing to look forward to at Ekhart; at least not until William had arrived.
William was as far from a bully as a young man could get and he was Daniel's friend, which afforded him a great measure of protection, given Williams larger size. Derek Wentworth in particular was always threatening Daniel, saying, "Just wait til I find you out without Harding around. Then you're dead meat, wimp."
Daniel had taken a few occasions to provoke Derek, knowing that William would always protect him, but sometimes he thought that perhaps he was pushing his luck. William was the son of a preacher, kind and always on about God and Jesus and such—he was inclined to protect others who lacked the ability themselves.