When you stand out there," John continues in a hoarse voice, "keep your chin up, all right? Don't let them get to you." "I won't." "Make them work for it. Punch someone if you have to." John gives me a sad, crooked smile. "You're a scary kid. So scare them. Okay? All the way until the end." For the first time in a long time, I feel like a little brother. I have to swallow hard to keep my eyes dry. "Okay," I whisper.