Barry felt as if he had plunged into an icy abyss upon hearing Bradley’s words. A chilling and eerie sensation enveloped him as if an invisible hand lightly gripped his throat. Weakness overcame his body, causing him to collapse on the ground. Through tear-blurred eyes, he could only catch a glimpse of the Warners receding into the distance.
Only when the Warners were completely out of sight did Barry, drenched in a cold sweat, weakly sit up on the floor. He panted heavily as if narrowly escaping death.
As Bradley, Esther, and Felix settled inside the car, the little boy obediently positioned himself beside Esther, intentionally avoiding eye contact with Bradley.
“Are you afraid of me?” Bradley observed Felix’s fearful expression and couldn’t help but soften his gaze. “Why are you afraid of me?”
“She said Daddy doesn’t like children who misbehave,” Felix cautiously replied, his eyes glancing at Bradley with unease.
“She said?” Bradley caught on, realizing that the “she” Felix was referring to was Liliane. “You haven’t done anything wrong. If someone bullies you, it’s brave to stand up for yourself, Bradley assured him. He knew his son hadn’t suffered a loss, and it pleased him. Whether he won or not was another matter, but the Warners were never cowards!
“Really?” Felix’s eyes sparkled with excitement.
Bradley reached out and tousled Felix’s hair, encouraging him. “We shouldn’t bully others, but don’t be afraid if other kids bully you. Mommy and Daddy will always be on your side.”
“Daddy, you’re the best.” Felix threw himself into Bradley’s arms, his expression elated. “Can I skip kindergarten then?”
“No!” Bradley immediately rejected the idea without hesitation.
Esther reached out and took Felix from Bradley’s embrace, holding him in her own arms. She pouted and scolded, “No? What do you mean, no? Listen to what the child has to say first. Don’t be so decisive and assertive like you are in the company! If you keep it up, our son won’t confide his true feelings to you.”
After Esther finished scolding Bradley, she turned her head to the side and asked gently, Felix, everyone has to go to school. If you don’t want to go to kindergarten, do you want to go. directly to elementary school?”
“Yes!” Felix, sensing the attitude of Esther and Bradley, grew more confident and lively. “The things they teach in kindergarten are too childish!”
“But you’re still a child…” Bradley was about to assert his parental authority but then remembered what Esther had said earlier. He changed his approach, neither firm nor lenient, and said, “You have to go to school, but if you don’t want to go to kindergarten, 1 can find a suitable elementary school for you. However, if you want to go to elementary school at your age, you’ll have to take an exam to see if you have the required abilities!”
“Daddy, I want to take the exam!” Felix eagerly raised his hand, his tone light and cheerful. “I can take the exam right now!”
“Felix, how about we study a little at home first?”
Esther thought Felix had only been in kindergarten for a short time. Was it not too soon for him to want to take the elementary school exam?
Felix wriggled around excitedly in Esther’s arms, his little face brimming with confidence. ” Mommy, I’m super smart.”
“Okay, then I’ll take you to the elementary school for an exam right away,” Bradley said.
Esther asked in surprise, “Now?”
Esther anxiously looked at Felix, fearing that he might struggle with the questions and lose his confidence.
Felix noticed Esther’s worry and reassured her in a childish and playful voice, “Mommy, I’m super amazing!”
Half an hour later, the Warners sat in the principal’s office of the city’s finest private elementary school.