Chapter 12
When Archie looked in the direction where Benny was staring, the little girl they met the day before came into sight. Subsequently, he furrowed his brows.
In the meantime, Estella was staring at them as she clapped her hands with the other kids.
When she realized Archie and Benny were fastening their gazes on her, a hint of inexplicit excitement flickered in her crystal-clear eyes.
Never had she expected that she would meet them here. Even though she had only met them once, she could not fathom why she tended to take a fancy to them.
Even so, Archie and Benny had retracted their gazes as she kept her eyes glued to them.
“Okay! You may take your seats now. Oh, there are two empty seats over there. I’ll arrange for you two to sit together, okay?” Their teacher pointed at the two empty seats next to Estella.
Archie and Benny were momentarily stunned. Nevertheless, they nodded obediently and walked over to sit down without uttering any words.

Estella’s eyes lit up at the two boys walking toward the empty seats next to her. She gazed at them in anticipation but was soon overcome by a wave of disappointment. They’re seated right next to me, but why don’t they greet me? It’s as though they didn’t recognize me.

Down in the dumps, Estella cast her eyes down, toying with her fingers.
In actuality, the two boys were observing her reaction discreetly. Sensing the latter’s sheer disappointment, they could not help feeling guilty.
Clenching his fists, Archie reminded himself and his brother at the same time, “Daddy abandoned us and had another child with another woman. He even bullied Mommy! We mustn’t talk to her because she’s his kid with another woman! Otherwise, we’ll surely hurt Mommy’s feelings!”
Benny nodded solemnly at the former’s words. “Yeah! We should ignore her!”
Hence, the two boys sat upright throughout the class and did not even glance obliquely at Estella.
Sensing the duo’s aloofness, Estella dared not steal any glance at them again.
After class, quite a few girls huddled over to play with the two boys. They not only gasped admiringly at the two brothers’ good looks but also shared their toys willingly with them.
The outgoing Benny got along well with the others, laughing cheerfully.
On the contrary, Archie was polite, mature for his age, and friendly.
Catching sight of the two boys’ bright smiles, Estella suddenly had the courage to go over and greet them again.
However, all the other kids surrounded the two boys and squeezed her out of her seat.
One of the girls even grimaced as she pushed her aside and scoffed, “Little Mute, get lost! You can’t even talk, so what’s the point of you squeezing with us here? Don’t rain on our parade, okay?”
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