“You won’t. You don’t have the guts,” Joel’s friend Oliver laughed, and the young man’s other friends.
“Please. This will be a piece of cake. She’s going to cry when she gets there,” Joel said mockingly, smiling confidently.
The young man then walked off to the laundromat. There, a poor, unsuspecting girl was working her usual shift, unaware that some idiots were planning to do something horrible to her.
Joel and his friends were bored. The truth was that they had gone through high school as the typical bully jocks who annoyed everyone around them.
Now, they all had boring jobs, and at the end of their work hours they would get together to drink beers and reminisce about their lives. They were walking through town when they passed the local laundromat and saw someone who had been in their class from when they were in school – Daisy.
Oliver stopped them all and pointed her out. They laughed because they used to make fun of her for being an ugly girl. So he had an idea, and he told Joel to come in and invite her to a “party.”
At first, everyone laughed, but soon the idea turned into a bet. Joel was ready to win some money and have some fun with his friends, so he went in.
“Hi, Daisy! Hi! I haven’t seen you since our graduation!” said Joel with more enthusiasm than he had ever shown her.
“Ah… Joel. Okay, hi. Can I help you with something?” the girl asked, confused. She had been working in the laundry since she was 15 because her family was incredibly poor.
She didn’t care. She loved her family unconditionally, but she wanted to work hard so they could have a better life soon.
Her shift at the laundromat was about to end and she had to leave quickly because of her night classes at the university. Joel’s appearance was both unexpected and unwelcome. He and his friends had been terrible to everyone in high school.
“No, no. I just saw you and wanted to talk to you,” the young man replied, with a fake smile.
“Why?” asked Daisy, shaking her head.
“Why not?” he asked, pretending to be offended. “Okay, look. I know I wasn’t the best person in high school, and I hate myself for it. How about I make it up to you tomorrow at Oliver’s party?”
“Oliver?” asked Daisy disappointedly. Oliver was even worse than Joel. “No, thanks.”
The boy’s eyebrows rose in surprise.
“Look, please. I swear. I’ve been trying to change. I’m really sorry for whatever I did in high school.”
“I know I was a jerk. I’m in therapy now, and I think you’re a really cool girl, actually. You always caught my eye.”
Joel kept insisting and Daisy didn’t want to believe his words, but his green eyes were pretty convincing.
There was a reason those guys got away with it. They were good looking and they knew it. Joel had a lot of charisma and knew how to make girls swoon. Daisy wasn’t too proud to admit that she sometimes admired him from afar and wanted to believe his words now.
“Please, Daisy. Please. Give me a chance to be a better person, a better man,” Joel said, pouting.
Daisy finally had to laugh at his expression.
“Okay, fine. Good. Text me Oliver’s address,” she said sheepishly.
“Great. Great,” the young man replied, smiling and pulling out his phone. They talked some more and Joel finally said goodbye.
Daisy looked at her number on her phone and smiled, feeling butterflies in her stomach. She was so distracted that she didn’t hear the laughter outside or notice that Joel’s friends had been there the whole time.
But someone else did notice: a large man with a leather jacket, combat boots and a fearsome expression. This man went to the laundromat all the time, and so did his friends.
They didn’t have time to do laundry on their own, so they always dropped it off at this place. Daisy had known them for many years.
Joel and his friends walked away as the man entered the laundromat and frowned at the smile on Daisy’s face.
“Hello, Mr. Bo!” she greeted him with the brightest expression, which only made the man frown even more.
“Why are you so happy?” he asked, knowing that the girl had never really been that way.
“Ah, well… actually, there’s this guy…”.
As her story continued, Mr. Bo’s frown deepened.
The next day, the girl went to the address Joel had given her in the text message.
“Daisy, it’s you!” the boy said as he opened the door. Then he hugged Daisy, pulling her inside.
“I wasn’t sure this was Oliver’s house. There are no cars and I don’t hear any music,” she said, frowning and looking around the house which was in total stillness.
Suddenly, Oliver and the other boys appeared as Joel slammed the front door shut.
“Ah, well. This is more of a private party,” the boy said.
His words were ordinary, but there was something in his voice that gave Daisy goose bumps.
“I didn’t know that,” she said quietly, looking at the smiling faces of the boys she’d gone to school with. But they weren’t friendly smiles. She knew that.
She shouldn’t have gone there. She should have trusted her initial instincts. Her hands reached for her phone in her pocket, but Joel grabbed her arm.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked, his voice even, but something about it chilled the girl’s bones. She was about to scream when the roar of engines nearly rumbled the house.
“What’s that?” cried Oliver, his brows furrowed.
The rumbling was getting closer and Daisy realized what was happening. She shoved Joel away, surprised that the noise had distracted them all, opened the door and hurried out.
She was right. It was Mr. Bo on his motorcycle, accompanied by five other men who knew her from the laundromat.
Mr. Bo got off his motorcycle when Daisy arrived where he was.
“What happened inside, Daisy, should I call the police?” the man asked sensibly. But the girl saw real anger in his eyes.
“Nothing happened. But it would have happened if you guys hadn’t come,” she said, swallowing spittle. “Can you please take me home?”.
The men heard her words and frowned toward the house. Daisy saw Joel and his friends lock the front door and turn off the lights quickly as if that would protect them. But all she wanted at that moment was to leave.
“It’s okay, Daisy. I’ll take you home,” Mr. Bo said, handing the girl a helmet. The other bikers followed them home and said goodbye.
Daisy’s parents also knew the men and thanked them for bringing their daughter home, although she didn’t tell them the whole story.
The next day, the young girl thought it was all over, but unexpectedly, Mr. Bo pushed open the doors to the laundry room as he led Joel by the shirt collar.
“Hello, Daisy. You’re getting a surprise day off today. This loser is going to work for you,” the man announced, and Daisy smiled.
“What, get off me, I’ll call my dad!” the boy said, trying to break free, but Mr. Bo’s grip was solid. A look from him also shut Joel up.
“Your boss already knows, honey. You’ll have fun,” Mr. Bo continued. Daisy smiled, taking off her work apron and grabbing her things.
“Move it, boy,” the man said pushing Joel, and he was forced to obey.
Daisy laughed as he got out. It felt good to have people looking out for her: her guardian angels on motorcycles. Then she heard that the other men had also taught Oliver and the rest of the gang a lesson, but she didn’t ask questions about it.