Neither a Borrower Nor a Lender Be
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be; for loan oft loses both itself and friend.”
-William Shakespeare, Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 3)
It was a sunny Friday afternoon in Sunnydale High School, California. Classes were still in session, of course. Principal Robert “Bob” Flutie was sitting at his desk in his office, smiling while reading Hamlet by William Shakespeare. He had to admit, William Shakespeare, or “The Bard” as he was often called back then and right now, sure was quite the genius. Especially with all those great lines he mentally cooked up and then penned.
Then, Flutie’s eyes lit up as he found the particular saying of which he was so fond of and often came across more than once usually in books.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be.
He had to admit, that phrase was pretty darn good, and a very well-written one, too.
“‛Neither a borrower nor a lender be’,” Flutie quoted softly. He paused and thought for a moment, first focusing on each word and then the whole phrase itself.
Then he grinned. “I like that,” he said. But little did he know that a certain someone leaning against the open doorway of his office was able to hear him right then. This person was blessed with crimson eyes set in a handsome face and a triumvirate of golden blonde, black and red hair shaped like lightning bolts.
“Impressive, Mr. Flutie,” said a baritone voice – one that Flutie instantly recognized even before he looked up to see its owner.
It was none other than Atem Moto, aka Yami. Flutie knew that even before he turned his head to look. Yami was smiling, his teeth all white and perfect – not a hint of crookedness in them anywhere. He was wearing the outfit that Flutie, along with the other students, had seen him wear a few occasions – a non-sleeved black shirt, a blue jacket over the shirt, and blue pants that seemed to go on and on over his long legs. On his feet were boots that matched his jacket and pants.
Yami then quoted, “I like the phrase ‛Neither a borrower nor a lender be’ myself. Plus, William Shakespeare sure must’ve been quite the genius to pen those immortal words. But even he couldn’t have known that they would become famous thousands of years later.”
Flutie was mute. It wasn’t a bad kind of mute, though; it was a good kind – the kind where the person Yami spoke to was surprised, but also had the sense not to show it on their face.
Then, after composing himself, Flutie then queried, “How did you know all that stuff about Shakespeare, Yami?”
Smiling still, Yami tilted his head to the side, a thoughtful look crossing his visage. “Well, it is possible that I met the man myself... a long time ago, probably. And it might be possible that Shakespeare and I took to chatting sometimes, too. I don’t know.”
As Yami spoke, Flutie listened very carefully while also looking very casual. Then Flutie remembered something. For Yami’s face was one that, Flutie had heard many of the female students including Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg say, was quite handsome and very good-looking. The girls would turn to each other and grin excitedly whenever they saw him. Looking at Yami now, Flutie had to admit that Buffy and the others certainly had a point there. Yami definitely was good-looking – in every sense of the phrase there.
Then there was the matter of Yami’s voice. It was baritone, and quite deep, as well as changing sometimes depending on Yami’s mood.
There certainly was something very mysterious about Yami; that was for sure. But exactly what it was, nobody knew. Not even the bullies who would try to pick on and humiliate Yami, only for Yami to challenge them to a Shadow Game, which he won, and send them to the Shadow Realm, could figure out the mystery that was Atem “Yami” Moto.
As Flutie pulled himself out of that memory, he looked up and saw that Yami was now leaning against the right side of his desk.
How, Flutie wondered, did he get all the way from leaning against my office doorway over there to up against the right side of my desk so fast?
He would never know. It was one of those mysteries that would always remain with and a part of Yami and would never be figured out by others as well.
He looked at Yami as though seeing him for the first time.
Yami smiled. “Is something wrong, Mr. Flutie? I notice that you look as though you’re trying to figure something out. Something about me, I take it.”
Flutie nodded. He sensed that in this case, honesty was the best policy, especially when one was talking to Yami like he was right now. And he had heard that Yami disliked those who would lie to him, after all. But exactly what Yami did to those people when he caught them in their lies, Flutie felt he was better off not knowing at all.
“Yes, Yami. Since you asked, I’ll tell,” said Flutie as he pulled himself out of his thoughts. “And I’ll be honest with you as well. You see, I’ve been wondering something here – namely, how did you get all the way to up against the edge of my desk so fast?”
Yami thought for a moment, and then smiled. “I believe, Mr. Flutie, that I have the power of super-speed – hence why I can move much faster than the normal human. Or, of course, a vampire.”
“‛Vampire’?” Flutie queried.
Yami nodded. “Yes. You’ve heard about vampires yourself, I take it?”
Flutie nodded, again being honest. Yami watched him carefully, and realized that he wasn’t lying. Not one bit at all.
“Good,” Yami said. “Now, I have something I want to tell you, Mr. Flutie. Just listen very closely...”
And Flutie leaned in a little, listening very closely to what Yami was saying while also storing it all away for future reference for sometime in the future.
Yet, somewhere in the back of his mind, Flutie somehow sensed something else. Not only was Yami a neat student, but he could also become a great ally for him some day as well.
And Flutie knew he’d need Yami’s help on that fateful day, should it ever come...