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Chapter IX:

Chapter IX:

I was dreamingly looking at the rising sun, Jayden and I both couldn’t sleep that well the previous night, we both had trouble with nightmares, so, that’s why we were up so early.

“Alice . . .?” I heard Jayden whisper beside me, breaking the long silence.

“Yeah . . .?” I asked a little groggily, leaning my head closer to his chest; to hear his unsteady heartbeat.

“I think that I’m ready . . .I mean to explain everything . . .” He said trying to stay calm, which worked pretty well if you ask me. “Sorry . . .” He suddenly confessed.

“Why do you have to be sorry? And for what, if I may ask?” I asked really confused.

“Just for dragging you into this . . .” He said while gesturing to himself, leaving my shoulder cold.

“Again, what do you mean? You didn’t do anything wrong. I just think you kept your emotions for yourself too long and that they just wanted to go out at once, now.” I thought out loud, because I knew it was true, both me and Harper and even Ashton had it before, and it was a terrible feeling. “And you know what? We all have it, some more than the others. But we have the right to cry more than all the others, because we have it hard, while they’re just partying, cooking or doing homework. Do you know what we’re doing in the meanwhile? We’re surviving. Surviving from our past, trying to find food, a place to live, etc. And that’s why we have the right to cry more.” I quoted, with a small smile. “Do you want another few minutes?” I asked after a while of silence.

“No . . . I want to tell you now . . .” He sighed deeply, taking my hands in his, letting a warm, wanted sensation flow in my veins.

“Take your time.” I whispered for the umpteenth time, slowly looking from our hands to the greenish eyes that were already looking at me.

“Okay . . .” He said with a deep sigh, again. “It all started when I was younger . . .” He said losing my eyes and looking at the sunrise in front of us. I had a pretty ‘normal’ school life actually, I had some ‘friends’.” He said, with emphasis on ‘friends’.

“What happened?” I asked butting in.

“It’ll come.” He simply answered, giving me a light squeeze in the hand and giving a ghost of a smile. “So, just like I said before, I had a pretty boring, basic childhood, but that changed . . .” he said dreading off a little. “It all started when I was like eleven or really close to twelve, my parents began to struggle with drinking problems and one day it was just hell . . .” He explained now looking at his feet. “I was just watching some TV with my twin sister.” He said squeaking a little at the word ‘twin sister’. “It was kind of late, because both of my parents ‘worked’ quite a lot. So, we were just watching something, when my parents both walked in from the front door. ‘Motherfucking children, get the hell off that couch.’ My mother yelled at us. They were both drunk, again. Me and Brooklynn knew that we had to go to our dorm or else there could’ve been some consequences. So, that’s what we did, we tried to run to our rooms, but they both stopped us in our way by grabbing both of our arms.” He said losing the grip on my hand and touching a spot on his arm, where I think they touched him.

“Do you want to stop?” I asked, not wanting him to continue if he didn’t feel comfortable about it. Turning to sit in front of him to look right in his eyes, also taking both his hands in mine, again trying to calm him down a little.

“No.” He said sternly, but he pulled himself together again and looked at me with sadness in the eyes. “Sorry.” He then gulped. “I didn’t mean to be so harsh to you, I’m so sorry.” He gulped, which I answered with a little chuckle.

“You didn’t do anything wrong. I make those ‘harsh’ comments every time.” I said with a small grin on my face.

“Continue.” I said for the hundredth time, turning serious again.

“So, they both grabbed our arms and started to pull us to the basement. They always left us in there when we got a beating, or most likely when I got a beating . . . They always punched me, because I was a boy and I was acting like pussy for them, I never did anything good in their eyes. For example, I played football, because yeah ‘basic life’ and I made like four touchdowns and because of them we won, but of course it wasn’t good enough for them, that was also my last match . . .” He rambled his voice quieting towards the end, shaking his head vigorously. “But that one night, they came home as drunk as hell and like I said before they started pulling me and Brook to the basement, we tried to escape out of their grip, but it was no use. Their grip was really strong, even though they were so drunk.

That-that’s when it happened . . .they punched me so hard for hours that I had to go to the hospital, because of blood loss.

Brooke was the one who called the ambulance, our parents didn’t even dare to lay a finger on her the way they did it with me, but her punishment was to watch me catching punch after punch.

I don’t know how she survived watching me for so long, but she managed to do it somehow. So, when the ambulance finally came, they told us that an adult had to come with us, but my condition was getting worse by the moment, so they just ignored that rule and drove us to the hospital as fast as possible. I had to stay in the hospital for one month, one freaking whole month.” He said getting frustrated at the memory.

“Hey, it’s okay, it’s over now, they’re not here anymore. Take slow, deep breaths. It’s okay.” I cooed looking at his tearful eyes.

“They didn’t even come to visit me . . .!” He choked out, his voice cracking, tears shimmering in his eyes.

“Shh . . . It’s okay . . .” I kept whispering, while taking his head carefully on my lap and stroking his hair softly. It was killing me to see him like this and this wasn’t even the worst part yet.

After a few tearful, silent minutes, Jayden pulled himself together and continued. “When I left the hospital, I had scars on my whole body and a cast on my arm. The doctors wouldn’t allow me to go to school yet, but of course, I would never listen to them. So, I went to school, happy that I’d got to see my ‘friends’ again, but that was a big mistake . . . When Brooklynn and I just entered the school, everything went creepily quiet and all eyes were on me. I had no idea why, but I’d solved it really quick. My so called ‘friends’ started a rumor about me, nobody but Brook knew about my situation, so, they said that I’d fought with a girl and that she won from me. I didn’t know why it bothered me so much, it probably was just the fact that they would make up such a lie, such nonsense to use it against me was just paining to me. But anyways, after those quiet seconds, everyone started laughing and pointing at me. I just ran back to our house and started packing my stuff, Brooklynn tried to stop me, but I was and am really stubborn. That’s when she suddenly started packing herself. ‘If you go, I’ll go.’ Was what she said to me.” At that I got a few tears in my eyes, but I quickly wiped them away with the palm of my hand. “I of course denied and kept saying that she should stay here, but she just like me was stubborn as hell.

She convinced me to give everything here just one more chance and that she would always stand by my side. The rest of the day we just stayed home.

We talked a little, but most of the time we played one of our fantasy games.” He said with a slight chuckle.

“What was it about?” I asked curiously, with a hint of childness in my voice and eyes.

“I can show you another time.” He promised me, with a sympathetic smile on his face.

“So, the next morning Brook and I slipped out of the house without our parents noticing.

I don’t even know if they knew we were in the house and if they did, they didn’t give a shit, like always. So, we slipped out of the house, with a bit money from our parents, we kind of stole it. I mean you would do too if you haven’t eaten in like three days.” At that I just nodded slightly and hummed softly, playing with his hair. “We then went to school, trying not to get attention from anyone, but of course that went wrong. When we entered the school, it was still pretty normal, but when I got to my classroom . . .No . . .” He just whispered, while shaking his head.

“I totally get it. You don’t have to continue that topic, honey.” I whispered in his ear, soothingly.

“Yeah, okay . . . Let’s just say it was really bad, so, I hid in the janitor’s closet for the rest of that hour, and that was the hour I decided that I had to go live on my own, and if Brook wanted to come with me, that I wouldn’t complain. I know I sound like a really bad brother, and that’s what I am and always will be, but again, she was really stubborn . . .” He chuckled quietly at the end of his sentence and sat up straight again, letting my hands fall on my lap. “So, when school ended, I came out of the janitor’s closet and searched wildly around for my sister. When I finally found her, she was talking with her friends and I just grabbed her hand in mine and started pulling her with me. ‘I am leaving.’ I said sternly, pulling her with me to the exit. ‘He- . . .You what . . .?’ she said stopping abruptly and that’s when I told her what I was going to do, and that it was better for her not to follow me, but if she wanted to come so badly that I wouldn’t complain. At first, she agreed, but then she quickly changed her mind again when she heard what I was going to do exactly.

I was going to live on the streets and accept the opportunity, I’ve gotten from some people on the street, to join a gang. And nothing could’ve stopped me, but now I realize that it was the biggest mistake of my life . . .” He whispered the last part putting his head in his hands, sighing deeply. “The gang, from your note, you know.” He continued, looking up a little more, but still not quiet catching my eyes. “I just entered and started with some easy jobs like dealing drugs and doing some street fights. But one day, the leaders came to me and handed me a picture, it was a photo of a young couple. ‘You, you need to get rid of them.’ One of the masked men asked me, it was such an honor that they asked me, of course.

But I was obviously shocked, I mean why would they ask me, the rooky to do that? I denied, of course, I would never, ever kill a human, even after what they’ve done. But that thought changed. I was just going to visit my sister, but when I entered the house, I saw that the window was broken, there was a small, round hole in it. I went closer to get a better look at the hole, when I noticed it had the form of bullet. ‘What in hell happened?!’ I thought.

Five minutes later I was still looking at the opening, when I finally went into the house.

I still remember that it was deadly quiet. I looked around trying to find if someone was in here, but I found nothing. There were three places I hadn’t looked: the kitchen, Brooklynn’s room and the cellar. I was just planning on going to Brook’s room, but that’s when a thought came to my mind: the gunshot. ‘How can I be so stupid! The kitchen was where the bullet went!’ So, I slowly walked into the kitchen, but when I looked behind the kitchen island, I was just horrified . . .” At this point he couldn’t talk anymore, he had tears trailing down his cheek and his sobs were just . . . I couldn’t bear to hear it. “She-she layed there . . .” He choked, putting his hands over his face again, his body sobbing uncontrolled.

“She was soaked . . . in blood. It was all around her . . . And that on-one bullet was in the middle of-of her forehead.” He whispered – sounding so upset with himself, even mad, trying to even his breathing again, which didn’t work that well this time. So, I took his head on my lap again, trying to sooth him more. “It was all my fault. I shouldn’t have joined that gang. I shouldn’t have left her alone. I should have taken that mission. If I did she would still be here, she wouldn’t have lost her life so early, she would be sixteen just like us. She had so much ahead of her.” He started, almost inaudible, because he was still sobbing unstoppably.

That’s when he left my lap cold again.

“It isn’t your fault, did you know that this was going to happen? Did you know that, that gang was so dangerous? Did you know that they would . . . kill . . . her?” I whispered the last part, because I knew it would be a lot more painful, then all my other statements. “Do you know what’s going to happen in the future, can you predict it? I don’t really think so. So, this isn’t your fault.” I said, taking his hands in mine again and playing with them. “Maybe it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, but I did the same and” I stated, making him look up from our hands. “I know you miss her like hell. And I know I would do the same if one of my siblings died.” After I whispered that, I just stood up and hugged him.

“Thank you, Al.” He whispered after a few minutes - taking my small hand in his and smiling softly, his eyes still a little red and puffy.

***

“Let’s finish this adventure.” He smirked after half an hour later. We just sat there the whole time, looking at the people on the street and the sunshine, in a comfortable silence. That was the first time in the thirty minutes that one of us said something. “What are you thinking about?” I asked looking him back in the eyes. As an answer he just smirked and shrugged. “My craziness isn’t over yet.” He grinned.

‘Oh boy . . . Not this again . . .’

-Kito

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