Lunar Skylar

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Aiden cleverclogs

I woke up to someone calling my name. The sun was already out and beaming. I coughed a few times then closed my eyes again. Then I suddenly remembered something. “Where’s Aiden?!”

“I’m here.” I heard a voice next to me. “Everyone’s fine. Thanks to your help.”

I sat up straight. “I survived.”

“Yeah you did.”

“Where’s everyone?”

“Still asleep.”

“You saved me.” I smiled.

“Well, I did push you as far as I could.” He smiled. “But you did save everyone.”

“I didn’t.”

“You were the first to wake up. I heard your screams. When I got downstairs, I realised there was a gas leak.”

“I didn’t even realise.” I groaned. “I’ve got a fucking headache.”

“We need to hurry up. My parents are here!” He panicked pointing at a red truck. Then the truck slowed down and a lady came out.

“You need to get everyone inside as fast as you can. This is life or death. I’ll distract her.”

Then he ran off to his mum. I saw him hugging his mum and talking with her. I got up and hopped around trying to think of what to do. Then I got an idea. I hopped behind his mum and knocked her out. Aiden smiled. Then he searched his mum looking for something. “Keys.” He exhaled as he jingled them.

“I’ll get the car started--”

“You’re a kid!” I snatched them off him.

“First of all, I’m 16 and if I was in America, I can drive, and besides do you know how to drive?!”

I paused not sure of what to say.

“That’s what I thought.” He rolled his eyes and took them off me. He ran into the car and started the engine.

I hopped over to Mason and woke him up. “Mason? It’s morning.”

He was unresponsive.

“He’s still unconscious. He’ll wake up soon, hopefully.”

He looked at Alex. He started dragging her to the truck. “Is she going to kill me.”

“Alex, I was dragging you on the floor and now all your clothes are dirty with mud. It wasn’t my fault.” I teased.

“I’ll take that as a yes. Let’s dump her in the back.” He said picking Alex’s legs. Then I lifted her back up and threw her inside the back of the truck.

Once we’d dumped everyone into the back of the truck we collapsed on the wet grass, exhausted as fuck.

“We should hurry...” He said already getting into the truck. I sat next to him.

“We are going to get locked up--”

“Not really, we could cover up the bodies with a long sheet but we’ve got nothing.” Then he got out the truck.

“Where are you going?!”

“To get the suitcases.”

He came back after a while and started the engine.

“Are you sure you can drive, I mean--”

“Do you trust me?”

“I don’t know, I’ve only just met you but you seem smart so I trust you--”

“Don’t.” Then he started to drive.

“Should I be concerned?”

“I’ve seen people drive in movies. It’s easy--”

“You make it look easy. You’re fucking sixteen--”

“Don’t swear!”

“Sorry, but seriously?!”

“Where are we going to?”

“I have no clue.” Then he paused. “I’m such an idiot!”

Then he did a U-turn. He then hit the gas so fast I almost puked.

“SLOW DOWN!!!” I screamed.

He was driving way too fast. “Don’t worry, I’ll be careful!”

“Slow down! What’s the hurry?!”

“It’s going to rain and we’ll slide off. The tracks will also disappear. Better be safe than sorry!”

“This isn’t safe! None of this is!!!”

“Shut up! I need to focus!” He shouted. Then he slowed down. “I think we’re nearly there. The tracks are fading...I am really worried....”

“Maybe I should take over?”

“No.” Then he hit the gas so hard, I’m pretty sure he was driving 100 miles per hour.

“Aiden please slow down!! You’re fucking insane! We’ll fucking die!!!”

“Stop making me nervous.” He shook his head.

“I’m sorry.” I whispered. “Just watch out. The police might suspect something....”

“You’re right.” Then he slowed down. We sat in silence for half an hour when we finally saw cars. Then people. Then traffic. I almost jumped out of my seat. “We’re home!!!!”

“I can’t do this. It’s too much--”

“Aiden what do you mean?”

“I’m not going out there, I can’t do it. It’s different. Too much--”

“Do you want to be free?”

“Yes...”

“You need to put your brain on and drive!”

He hesitated. He kept glancing at me and driving. “I...I--”

“A car!” I shouted as he was about to hit a blue ford. He swerved the car just in time and continued driving straight. His hands were shaking but I was too busy wondering if I was dead or not.

Suddenly, I recognised the road. I squealed. “Okay, take a left turn now!”

“Oh..oh...okay!” Aiden turned to the left on Riverspark Avenue. Once I saw the college I told Aiden to park but he didn’t.

“Aiden what are you doing?!”

“Police station. Imagine pulling up to college with 6 unconscious bodies!”

“We need to go. There are people staring at us and--”

There was a siren. Aiden started panicking. Then he started driving fast.

“Aiden! Stop the police will kill us!!!”

“No! I’m sixteen and driving!!!” He screamed. He rolled the windows down. “Keep an eye on them.”

I stuck my head out the window while Aiden drove full speed. Then we got caught in traffic.

“Stop! We’ll get arrested!”

Aiden hesitated for a moment. “Hold tight!”

I looked out again and realised Ruby was there. She saw me and tried to hide. The cops were behind us and people were staring at us.

“Skylar?!” I heard someone shout. I looked out the window and saw Gemma riding her bike towards us confused. I waved at her and gave her a weak smile. “It’s not what it looks like!”

“Fuck these cars!” Aiden hit the gas and started dodging the cars. He was going way too fast and Gemma was ringing my phone. I tried to grab it but the truck kept moving side to side.

“Aiden! Everyone’s up there!”

“They’ll survive! We just need to get to the police station!”

“Aiden I know these people, just stop.” I shouted. Right now, I could feel hundreds of eyes on us. “Aiden do you even know where--”

“No, I’m just going to lose them!” He shouted. He was in full speed right now. I could feel blood in the back of my throat. My hands were shaking and I was in the verge of crying.

“Don’t worry. We won’t die. I know how to drive--” Then he bumped into a post. He gasped. I practically started having a seizure. He looked at me confused, then he started panicking. I was sinking on my seat. After thirty seconds or so, I stopped. Aiden gave a sigh of relief.

“No...”

He didn’t even bother listening to me. He drove straight into the High Street. I could see people looking at us weirdly. I was crying right now and this sixteen year old idiot is controlling a fucking truck!

“Aiden...” I mumbled.

“Chill. It’s no big deal--”

I tried to grab the wheel but ended up falling on the wheel.

“Skylar what the fuck?!” He pushed me off. He sat me back upright. “Stay still or we’re dying.”

I am not risking my life for him! I pulled out my phone and tried to dial 999. Once I did, I dropped the phone.

“999 what’s your emergency?”

Aiden took the phone. “Listen, this sounds crazy but I’m a sixteen year old and I’m trying to get to the police station. I’ve got six unconscious bodies. They’re all with me at the back of the truck. I’m trying to figure out what exactly I should do--”

“Stop the car and come out hands in the air.”

“Okay, I will. I’m just going to find the best place to park and not cause such distraction.”

The sirens were getting louder and there were at least twelve police cars behind us. I could see people jumping out of our way and staring at Aiden. He looked calm but I could hear his heart beating so fast.

“Skylar get off me.” He tried to sit me up again but I slid back next to him. “Okay then.”

I saw people I know. I just wanted to scream and--

All of a sudden, we reached the traffic lights area but of course, Aiden decided to do a U-turn again! I was ready to grab that wheel.

The operator was talking bullshit! Pure bullshit! “Sir, park the car at once.”

“I’m going to go to the college grounds as this place is too crowded for me--”

“What?!”

“I’ve got...autism.” He mumbled. “I don’t want to get into trouble. I’m sorry. I just escaped from being locked in a house for my whole life. Now I’m sixteen.”

The operator fell silent. “I...I wasn’t expecting that...I’m sorry...”

Then I heard helicopters above us. I’ve never really seen one in real life so close.

“No!” I heaved. I put all my strength in and tried to grab the wheel and could hear people telling me to stop but I had to. Aiden bit my arm and I let go.

“I don’t bite. Unless necessary. Normally with Bella.”

Then I saw the police had cornered us. I burst out crying.

“Don’t cry. We’ll be fine. I know exactly what to do.”

“Sir, get out the car. You won’t get into trouble.” The operator lied.

“We will but not into too much trouble.” Aiden argued.

“Get out the vehicle!” One policeman shouted into a radio, he was holding a gun.

I took a bottle of water and started to drink it fast. I drank it all and soon enough gained a bit more strength.

“Since when were guns allowed in UK?” I asked wiping the saliva off my chin.

“They are in certain occasions. We are going to go for a little trip down campus.” He said driving straight for one of the police cars. The police man had to move the car and he did so just in time. “Aiden! You could’ve killed him!” I hissed. “And college is closed!!!”

“No it’s not--”

“Yes it is, everyone knows--”

“Why are the gates opened? Why are there people--”

“I swear--”

Then he went full speed into the college grounds. He was driving like a maniac.

“Aiden there are fucking people!!!”

The police were behind us and I knew exactly what was going to happen. I didn’t tell Aiden.

“They’re not touching our tires--”

“How did you know that?!”

He kept driving and by now, the grass was all muddy. The rain was starting to pour heavily.

“Now we are definitely going to die.” I sighed. “You’re going to jail not me.”

“Skylar have you cut the call?”

Then I saw Miss Floris. Aiden was going in her direction.

“Aiden!” I shouted.

Then he suddenly did a 360. Mud spread everywhere and as he didn’t roll up the windows, some of it splashed on my face and clothes. Then he stopped.

“Thank goodn--”

“I know where to park.” He started the car and now he was going full speed dodging the police cars and college students, then out of nowhere, he parked so smoothly I was shocked.

“We leave the car slowly, arms in the air.” He ordered. I opened the door and hopped out. I slammed the door shut. The helicopter was so close my hair was flying all over the place. Then something fell on my head. “Ouch!” Aiden picked it up. Then the helicopter flew away. Why does that sound so happy?

“Tell us what on earth you were thinking?!” A police officer shouted down the phone.

“I’ll tell you once you stop shouting at me and take it off loud speaker.”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“I’m not going to say anything. I have a free will to speak or not and I refuse."

I snatched the radio off him. “He didn’t mean to do this. It was just a complete misunderstanding--”

“Open the cargo--”

Aiden walked towards the cargo bed and opened it. Six unconscious bodies rolled out. The crowd and police officers gasped. People were screaming.

“Everyone calm down, they’re just unconscious!” I shouted down the radio. “Not dead!”

“Have you got any harmful weapons on you or in the truck?”

"No. Apart from a baby." I joked.

"Young lady we take comments like that seriously!!"

"Jee, take a chill pill." I rolled my eyes.

“No. Nothing suspicious or odd.” Adien said calmly. “Please will you all relax.”

The crowds were growing bigger and bigger and soon I saw news reporters. I could see Aiden was struggling. He was breathing rapidly and looked like he was going to faint at any moment.

“Aiden, calm down.”

“I can’t. I can’t do this!” He shouted getting back in the truck. I hopped after him and sat next to him. “We’ll get arrested if we move.”

“Not if we go to a police station.” He wiped his tears. “This isn’t how I expected it to be. I wanted it to be happy and now...it’s all wrong.” He turned the engine on and started to drive. The place was packed. The cops were still there.

“Skylar. This is going to be crazy, I know...but I just need you to trust me on this--”

“What? Aiden? What are you--”

Then he hit the gas so fast and started driving around crazily. The crowd were now scattering away and soon, there was a gap and he drove straight through it. He was driving way above the limited speed.

He whispered. “We need to go to the station.”

He drove past all the cop cars and ambulances and I could hear the helicopters above us. People were literally staring at us, mouths open. I told him the directions and soon enough, we spotted it. I exhaled as he parked next to it. We got out the car as fast as we could and entered the building. The police officers were watching live TV and it had our faces. They looked at us shocked. We both had our hands in the air.

“W...w..what?” A police man stuttered.

“He’s autistic and he couldn’t stand the crowd so we decided to turn ourselves in here.”

They looked at us shocked. I sighed. “We are not crazy, if that’s what you’re thinking. Yes, we had six unconscious bodies at the back of our truck but there’s a reasonably good excuse--”

The door burst open and we were surrounded by cops. There were shouts and chatter outside the station. Aiden looked like he was going to die. I could see the fear in his eyes. He kept them shut.

“Can you please, just arrest us and get this over with and done. He’s got autism. Just hurry and stop intimidating him!”

They froze for a second. Two police officers approached us and searched us. “Clean.” The first one said. Then the other one said. “Clean.”

They arrested the both of us and within a few minutes, I was sent into an interrogation room. After a good five hours, turns out, Aiden and I had the same story and had proof from Alex, Mason, Jordan, Ella and Bella. They were in hospital and discharged. The police also found some proof and we turned out to be innocent but also got a few charges.

After a while, we were locked behind bars. It was weird. This is like the movies...but in reality. I tried to ask the officer when we’ll be out but he just said, we’ll probably be sent to a mental asylum. I kicked him at that comment. He got so mad at me and didn’t answer my remaining questions.

I leaned against the wall and sat next to Aiden. He had his head between his knees. He was sobbing. There were two other girls there, probably drunk or something and one crazy guy who was lying on the floor chanting some bullshit. Aiden just sat there quietly crying. Then out of nowhere he fixed his gaze at me. I felt the hairs on my nape bristle. I was creeped to the core. “Do you want to say something?”

“No.” He kept looking me straight in the eyes.

“Is this weird? It’s definitely uncomfortable.”

“No it’s not.” He kept staring straight at me. I cleared my throat. He kept looking at me. Then raised his eyebrows. “Have you got Heterochromia?”

“A what what?”

“Hetero...never mind.” He sighed. “Sorry for staring. I just got amused. I’d never seen someone with your eyes in person.” Then looked down “I don’t like this new world. I just want to go back home.”

I sat quietly. “I always hate change.”

“Same....I just want to know if they’re safe....what will happen to them?”

“They...they’ll be looked after by Alex.”

“I don’t like Alex. I like you.”

“Great then.” I muttered. “My mum is so going to forgive me and I’ll definitely be able to convince her to buy me a new apartment for all three of you.”

“Am I different?”

“You could say that. But in a good way. You’re.....gifted...yeah.”

He closed his eyes. “Why is this happening?”

“What?”

“You’re lying. Everything is ruined. Everything is changing. I don’t like any of it--”

“Aiden. I know how you feel. You’re right. I lied. I’m not even sure of what to do right now. I don’t know Aiden...I really don’t...”

Then he burst out crying. “Why did this have to happen? It’s all my fault. I should’ve drove normal speed and not caused--”

“It’s not your fault. Don’t beat yourself. You are a great help. You are in some way...smart. Are you planning on going to my college?”

“What? I can’t, I’ve got to take care of my--”

“Listen to me. I think you deserve a chance and so does you siblings....I promise I will go out my way just to make things better. Even if it means getting scolded by my mum.”

“Is she evil?”

“No silly. She’s kind, and really bossy.”

“My mum’s mean and cruel but I still love her.”

“That’s so....wow...you’re really...wow...you’re a good person. I love my mum too. We’ve got three things in common.”

“That’s good. My sisters...are they okay?”

“Yes. I’m sure Alex will sort this out--”

“What if she doesn’t?”

“Trust me.”

“My mum tells me to never trust people but I still do.”

“That’s good to hear. Of course not the mum part, just your part.”

“I want to know about you. Tell me a story.”

“Let’s start with 2015.” I sighed. I started to tell him everything, from Ella to the constant bullying and fights and to the break in at the Joyfolke center. To Mason punching me and telling me he hates me to the elevator incident, to Noah hitting Mason with the bat to the hospital fights to Lucas and the tarantula fight and Mason storming off to the park in the middle of the night, to the shooting and then to Jenny, Leah and Ruby and then to meeting them. “And so...yeah...that’s it.” I exhaled.

“This is probably the best story I’ve ever heard!” He smiled. “You have been through a lot though...and so has your friend Mason.”

“But you and your sisters went through a lot more than us. You both have suffered a lot and...it breaks my heart.”

I hugged him. He didn’t hug me back. He looked paralyzed. Scared as fuck. I pulled out and looked at him confused. “What’s wrong? Did I offend you?”

“No, no, you didn’t.” He hesitated for a moment. “It’s just....I’m not used to this. This is all quite new...”

“Yeah. Have you ever hugged anyone apart from family?”

He bit his lip. “No. I’ve never had any contact with the outside people. You’re the first one I’ve hugged.” He smiled. He looked at me confused and his hands were trembling. Then hugged me, and I did too. I felt water trickling down my back. Then realised he was crying. “Don’t cry, this is the bit where I’m supposed to cry.”

He laughed and pulled out. “I’m sorry.”

“Nice story but dear, you can pass the Corona dear!” The crazy man said rolling around like a toddler.

“You’re right.” I wiped his tears away. “You don’t get to cry anymore. Straighten up and enjoy--”

“Sky?!” Alex suddenly said out of breath. I saw Aunty Harley. “You are lucky you got out of this. You are not getting away with this. Driving illegally? Aiden?”

Aiden bent his head down. I glared at her. “He’s not used to this, the least you could do is treat him kindly, not scold him like you do to me.”

“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have--”

“You can leave.” A grumpy female police officer said opening the cell.

We silently went back into her car. She handed me my medication and an orange juice carton. Then she handed another one to Aiden. I thought she was going to drive us to my mum’s but instead she drove to hers. We got out the car apart from Aiden. “Aiden?”

“I can’t do this, I just want to be with my sisters--”

“They’re inside.” Alex reassured opening the car door for him. He stepped out and followed us into the lift. I was scared on how everyone will react. I felt like it was all my fault--

“Sky!” Hayley said.

I realised I was still in the elevator even though everyone got out. “Oh, sorry.” I hopped over to her. She opened the door and let us in. I saw everyone sitting on the sofas and I froze.

“Sit down.” Hayley ordered. I did as I was told. Noah tried to speak to me but I just didn’t even feel like it. I was just...I don’t know...

“Sky...the police informed us about the whole entire incident--”

“I’m sorry. It’s all my fault--”

“No. If it wasn’t for you, everyone would’ve been dead.” Alex smiled. “You are a hero...”

“I think Aiden deserves to be called a hero. After all, he was the one that told us to get you outside, he was the one that told us there was a gas leak, he was the one who threw his sisters out the window, he was the one that pushed me out the window and saved us.”

“You’re right. You, Jordan and Aiden really are heroes after all.” My mum suddenly said. I looked at her shocked. “Mum why are you not telling me off?”

“Well, it wasn’t your fault any of this happened.” She went over to me and hugged me. “This is the last time you get a hug from me.”

Then Mason’s mum started to speak. “Alex and Mason told me and your mum about Ella and Bella and Aiden--”

“All I’m saying is, I will go out of my way to help someone who needs help. I will pass it on, just like the lady once said--”

Then I saw someone. I collapsed on the floor and burst out crying and she rushed over to me, and also burst into tears.

“I thought I’d never see you again!” I sobbed.

“Me as well.” Then she pulled me out and held onto my hands. She looked me in the eye and said, “You are the best and kindest person I’ve ever met--”

“You really mean that?”

“I missed you so much. Every now and then, I’d think of you. Wonder how you’re doing. So, my daughter and son decided that I should find you. So I did. It took me a few weeks to find you. Turns out, you’re only an hour away!”

I hugged her tightly. “I always thought about your words, that’s why--”

“Mason and Jordan told us everything. You forgave everyone. Even though everyone complains, about you being too forgiving..I think, that’s the best thing you’ve got. You believe in second chances and that’s something many many people don’t have.”

I wiped my tears. “I am so grateful to have you. Thank you. I would never be here if it wasn’t for you--”

My mum cleared her throat. “I’m still here.”

“You know what I mean. I just...I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon you.”

“Well, now you know what to do. Continue what you were saying.”

I looked at everyone. Then fixed my eyes at Aiden. “I promised you before didn’t I? And I’m not going to break that promise.”

“What promise?” Mason asked suddenly.

“I’ll do anything just to keep them three together. I don’t care what any of you think. I won’t allow them to get hurt. I will be with them until they’re ready for the outside world. Mum, cut my allowance if you want, disown me but I’ll make sure that Aiden goes to my college, and they both.” I pointed at Ella and Bella. “Stay together. And I won’t regret my actions as I know I’m doing the right thing.

The place went quiet. Then Mason’s mum smiled. “Well, Alex here, thinks it’s a great idea. And so does me and your mum. We thought...we’ll adopt Ella and Bella. We also contacted Mr. Anderson. He accepted our request and Aiden can start....next week.”

“Mum? Is this a joke?”

“Do we joke?”

I hopped to wards my mum and hugged her and Mason’s mum. Then Mason’s mum whispered. “You’re a good girl, even if you are crazy.”

I smiled. Then rushed to Aiden and hugged him. He hesitated for a moment and then hugged me back. Ella and Bella stood with their mouths open. “What the--”

“How?” Bella walked up to me. “Have you given him any drugs?”

“No. Why?”

They both fell silent. “He rarely lets anyone touch him.”

“Well, he needs to get used to it.” I winked at her.

“We need to leave.” Hayley said. She formally walked out the room and came back in. “And Sky, Mason, your behaviour is absurd, appalling and improper. Control your temper. I don’t want to see you get arrested again.”

My mum and Mason’s mum got up to leave, and so did the lady.

“Wait, I...I forgot your name...”

“Hey, don’t worry. It’s Linda.” Then she reached into her pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, it had her phone number. “I’m one call away.”

“Thank you.” I hugged her. She waved and walked out the room with mum and Aunty Mariam.

“Are you guys mad at me?”

“Hey, you did the right thing.” Alex said. “And I should’ve supported your idea, actually we all should’ve. Ella, Bella, Aiden. We are all sorry.”

“Yeah. I guess..when we look at it from our point of view and your point of view...it’s different.”

“I know.” Aiden said. “Can I sit down?”

Noah looked up from his phone and looked at him confusingly. “You can. You don’t need to use our permission--”

“Noah, don't speak to him like that! He’s not used to the outside world--”

“What’s your problem? You’re being so....I don’t know...just stop being like that.”

“Caring about someone?”

“Yeah. You’re trying to put your issues aside and focus on other people. Stop being overprotective.”

I just sat back, took out my phone. Battery dead. “Great.”

“Aren’t you going to shout at Noah?” Gemma asked out of nowhere.

“Since when were you here?”

“What’s up with you?”

“Nothing.” I said looking around for a charger. I found one and charged my phone. Then Noah turned the channel to BBC News. I saw myself and Aiden. Then the bodies roll. The reporter said,

“This is BBC News with the latest headlines for viewers in the UK and all around the world. Six people kidnapped and unconscious at the back of a truck. It is said, two sixteen year olds, female and male, were driving at 85 miles per hour around Riverspark, Hounslow East, earlier this morning at around 9 am. Here's our reporter, Fiona Guan, live from Riverspark College. Joined by school director, Mr Anderson." She looked through her papers. "Mr Anderson, as you know the events that took place earlier today, what do you think--"

"I'm sorry, I am completely aware what happened was absolutely unacceptable. Our college has been known as one of the most excellent college in the United Kingdom. Everyone that has graduated has gotten decent marks and this has never happened. This was completely outrageous. Lives could've been lost. They have been arrested but are now released."

"This incident has definitely made a huge mark on your reputation and college--"

"I am ashamed at the way, both my pupils have behaved--"

"Sorry, you said both?"

"He's joining our college--"

"He's what?!" Both reporters asked shocked. The reporters looked frozen for a moment. Then snapped out of it.

"You haven't heard the whole story have you? If you have, you'd understand--"

"Excuse me, we have gotten reports from the police station legally and they claim that they were innocent even though--"

"I am not one to mess about with such serious things. What had happened was completely unprofessional and out of order. But I believe in second chances. Before you judge, hear both sides."

The reporter froze for the second time. She was trying to say something but her mouth just opened and closed. Then the other reporter started to speak. "Thank you Mr. Anderson. Your students must be traumatized. Let's play the clip again. Be warned, they are just unconscious bodies."

Then I saw me and Aiden, the helicopters were above us following us. There were cop cars behind us but Aiden dodged each car smoothly and when he parked, it was even smoother. Then we got out the truck, hands in the air. Aiden opened the back of the truck and then the bodies rolled out. The crowd was all creeped out, scared and confused. Then we got back in the car and started driving full speed. Then the clip ended.

"Not to be rude or anything, but...where were you the whole time?"

"I was teaching my class when I suddenly saw the helicopters and ran out to check what was happening and by then, they'd gone."

"Aiden has autism, is that right?"

"Yes, and he's got adjustment disorder and because he was trapped in a house for sixteen years, this was hard for him." Then he suddenly got a notification. "Sorry. This is...wait...what?" He stuttered. He opened his phone and then froze. Ran his fingers through his hair.

"Everything alright there?"

"My wife's going to kill me and my son's done something really really really stupid. I really need to go--"

"But--"

"He's in hospital. I'm sorry but this is an emergency--"

"But--"

"Listen I need to be with my son right now. We can catch up on this some other time." Then his phone rang. He declined it. It kept ringing until he finally answered it. "Excuse me." He walked a few steps away from the camera, his back turned.

"Babes you are so dead! Your stupidity has led Said to jump out a fucking window--" His wife screamed down the phone.

"Calm down--"

"Babes please tell me, you did not watch The Turning with him."

"I haven't watched it so I wanted to watch it! Besides that wasn't even a big deal--"

"Oh, okay, but you also let him watch Fantasy Island. Not a big deal too--"

"I'm live let's just--"

"And not only that, you told him he was batman--"

"So?--"

"So? He jumped off the window and tried to land on 'his batmobile' your stupid car!"

"That is not my fault--"

"He is creeped out. You are so unbelievable."

"Hey, I take care of him. I buy him everything and show him the best--"

"He is not sixteen! He's fucking eleven!!"

"I am really sorry and--"

"Sorry?! He's fucking dislocated his arm and leg!!"

"Babes I'm co--"

"I ask you to babysit him for only 48 hours! 48!!"

"I'm not like you. You make him eat his vegetables and--"

"They're important!" She screamed down the phone.

"He's in fucking year 7, not a stupid baby! You treat him like he's still in year 1. You've got serious issues!"

"Because of you, he's sick. How much sugar did you give him?"

"Not now--"

"You better answer me this instance before you really regret it!!"

"Just some stuff."

"What did you feed him?!"

"Ice cream, pizza, doughnuts, chocolate, soda, sweets and yeah."

"So you didn't read any of my instructions?"

"Well..."

"Any vegetables or healthy fruits?!"

"I gave him an apple."

"And it was the dipped in chocolate one with all the sprinkles! I saw all of them are missing. You didn't give him carrots, nothing healthy just junk junk junk!!" Then she exhaled. "By any chance, did you give him coke or fanta...?"

"I couldn't find any drinks."

"You didn't bother looking did you huh?!"

"I'm sorry--"

"So you didn't listen to me. What time did you take him to bed?!"

"We watched a lot of movies and he did have some homework which I helped him with."

"Don't avoid my question."

"One or something. He'd just get so excited and won't go to bed."

"So you're blaming him?"

"No. He just finds some excuse and besides, I put him to bed at eleven--"

"Nine!!"

"Either way, he comes to me when I'm chilling."

"So you can't just change your stupid channels or shows--"

"Not stupid."

"Okay, tell me out of all 24 movies you've watched--"

"You checked my prime--"

"We share the same account."

"I'm making a new one."

"All the movies you've watched are disturbingly inappropriate and have too much blood and guns and--"

"Woah. Not all movies--"

"Tell me one movie that was appropriate?"

"Don't put me on the spot like that!"

"And he's not watched any appropriate TV shows. CBBC?! Nothing. I've checked everything and have found no sign of--"

"Okay babes, listen. I think he needs to man up--"

"He's eleven!"

"He's not a baby!!" He snapped. "You treat him like he's a baby. He's in secondary school and if you don't accept that then that's your problem not mine. I'm going to continue letting him watch anything he wants. You are the reason he jumped off--"

"You told him he was batman!"

"A normal eleven year old would clearly know I'm lying but you manipulated his brain and have switched his common sense off."

"Don't even--"

"Okay. I've had it with you."

"What? So you want to break up?"

"No. I mean...just let him be a kid."

"A kid."

"No. Don't say it like that. He's not a baby! He's eleven. What language should I say it in?"

"Listen, I think you have gone crazy. You're a fucking 28 year old who's running a school. But you don't know how to fucking take care of a kid!"

"And you're a 28 year old who forces an eleven year old to act like a baby!"

"It's not okay to let him watch scary movies or even Baywatch--"

"Woah, hold up. That's no big deal."

The line went silent. "Let me read them out. Baywatch, The kissing booth, oh and Kissing Booth 2. Catwoman. Oh, the inbetweeners--"

"Shalom."

"Is this funny to you?"

"No." He lied. "Now will you please--"

"Apologise to him now!"

Then I heard another voice. A kid's. "Hey dad. Mum's just gone to get some water."

"Did you really jump off--"

"Yes I did. Mum's being super dramatic. She going away soon?"

"Yes. In a few days--"

"Can we finish watching Bad education?"

"Once I make a new account we can watch anything you like."

"Like...Fast and furious?"

"Which one do we need to watch?"

"Hobbs and Shaw. That's the one we need to watch. And then wait until fucking 2021."

"Okay."

"Promise?"

"Promise."

"So dramatic. She doesn't even let me grow up."

"She's got like serious kid issues. I'm trying to tell her to let go, she'll probably never let you leave home."

"I'm running away if she doesn't stop."

"You serious?"

"I get she's crazy but she's too far."

"I agree. But no running away. Just don't listen to her. Do the opposite."

"That's great advice. Thanks."

"No problem. But you listen to me. Promise?"

"Promise. You know I like you better than mum but don't tell her that."

"I knew it. And she knows it."

"She's so clingy...dad..want to go...paint balling?"

"Yeah, she's not going to be home on Friday, okay?"

"Yeah, oh, hold on, mum's here." Said cleared his throat. "Dad, I know you're sorry. Mum dad says from now on, he'll listen to you. He feels really bad." Said lied.

Then his mum started speaking, "Babes, I shouldn't have shouted at you. I know you're sorry. I am really sorry and--"

"There's a fight going on, babes, I need to go." He cut the call. "For fuck's sake." He groaned sliding his phone down his pocket. He started walking off when the reporter suddenly said, "You're live."

Mr Anderson hung his head back. Then cleared his throat. He turned around to face the camera and rubbed the back of his neck. "Can you cut that?"

"Again, you're live and more than 200 million families have just heard what just happened."

"Great. You didn't even tell me." He huffed.

"It was too interesting."

Then he looked at the camera. "Sorry for that..."

"Don't be. You didn't know."

"That was absolutely unprofessional of me."

"A little parenting tip, don't let him watch that." She whispered.

"Right..." Then he suddenly realised something. "Oh. I see why she's mad. It's inappropriate."

"Did you seriously just realise that?" She looked at him shocked.

"What? I know it's wrong but now I know it's really wrong now."

"Okay, let's move on--"

"I'm going to go right now. I need to see my son." He said. "And for the people that are watching. Hope I've entertained you and don't do what I've just done. Actually I'm a hypocrite. Just listen to your wives. Wait, that's homophobic. You know what. Just ask google what's good or bad."

"Sir--"

Then he leaned into the woman's ear and whispered something. Then she nodded. "Okay, bye."

Mr Anderson started walking away when he suddenly paused.

"Everyone that's shaking their heads about my decision for allowing Aiden to come to this school...there's a reasonable excuse and when he's ready, and Sky, I mean Skylar, they will both tell the world exactly what's happened and until then...just stop jumping into conclusions, they're still kids. They've been through so much. They need time. Once they're ready they'll tell you the whole truth as I'm not allowed to say anything to the public. You guys. All I'm saying is just....don't judge a book by it's cover."

"Thank you so much." The reporter said. "No problem." Mr Anderson said walking away.

The news reporter exhaled. "Makes you think doesn't it. We haven't listened to their side. We've been so busy listening to everyone else, we haven't heard their story. I'm sorry I'm being absolutely unprofessional."

The reporter paused. "It's not just about being professional or not. This is a life lesson. It's about hearing people say their story. Rather than judging them from a few papers or through gossip. We need to listen to each other...or we will never survive. It's what's kept us alive. Communication. He's right, don't judge a book by it's cover." Then she faced the camera. "That's all for now, back to the weather."

Noah shut the TV down. "I'm speechless. I saw the body roll but not the ending..."

Then I heard knocking. And then shouting. Not angry shouts....

"Guys hide." Noah warned. "All of you be quiet."

"What's going on?" Aiden asked confused.

"Aiden just cover your ears and close you eyes." Ella instructed.

"Guys we need to be quiet." Alex hissed. "They won't go away. We need a distraction."

"What distraction?" Gemma asked.

"I don't know--"

"Aiden?" I looked at him. "Any ideas?"

"No." He said blankly. Then got an idea. "Pepper spray. Alex?"

"I've got two and I'm not--"

"You said sharing is caring." Mason cut in. "You've said that our whole lives."

The banging grew louder and louder. Then Alex sat back on the sofa, turned the TV back on and started scrolling down her phone like as if nothing had happened. "They'll go away soon."

Then the banging got louder. "Can I interview you?" I heard out of all the shouts and screams. "No, I am. Go away!"

"They're acting like immature idiots." Mason groaned going back to his seat.

The knocks got even louder. I groaned. "This is not how I want it to go!"

"Well you should've thought about this--"

"Oh really Noah? You don't know what happened--"

"Not exactly but the news--"

"They spoke bullshit. You didn't hear my or Aiden's story."

"What? You saw--"

"You saw nothing." I hissed. "You're a good boyfriend aren't you?"

"What? What's that supposed to mean?"

"You and Gemma, did you both even once realise we were missing?"

They both blushed.

"Gemma I'm disappointed in you. You came to my rescue before but then you came home. Did you once think, oh, Skylar still hasn't arrived. Let me go check up on her, maybe I should go look for her. But no. You trusted me with Jordan--"

"Hold on, don't you trust me?" Jordan asked offended.

"No, I don't."

"But...before...I thought you trusted me. I thought--"

"I did." I slumped down next to him. "I don't now but before, I did. You took ages to come. I thought you were working with them, I know you helped me and tried to stop Patrick...and helped me look for Mason...I'm sorry I said that."

"Don't be...I'm surprised you still don't trust me."

"I'm sorry. But you saved Alex and Mason from gas poisoning."

"But that was different....you woke me up and I'm sorry I didn't take you seriously--"

"It's my fault. I told them you'd hallucinate throughout the night and end up sleeping with Mason." Ella suddenly said.

"Well, it's no one's fault." Bella suddenly said. "Skylar's the hero. And her really loud voice."

"Thank you...and Jordan and Aiden were heroes too. Especially Aiden." I smiled at him. He blushed. Noah threw his phone on the sofa.

"Sky can we speak. Privately?"

"Why? Can't we--"

Then he pulled me up and started dragging me out the room. He pushed me on the bed and started telling me off. "So, had a nice ride with your friend. Oh and in jail?"

"I just spoke to him. I told him some stuff. Nothing out of the ordinary."

"Did you tell him you have a boyfriend?"

"Yes I did. You can ask him."

He got out the room and I went after him. "What? You're not going to explain?"

He just slumped back oh his seat.

"What is wrong with you?!"

"Don't make a scene here. If you want to shout at me, you can when everyone's gone."

"...What?" I shook my head at him. "You're so ridiculous and careless."

He was just scrolling down through his phone and didn't even bother looking up at me. Mason and Gemma were too busy playing Roblox and Ella, Bella and Aiden were watching Shadow in the Cloud with Alex. I was looking at everyone. None of them even realised I was there. I ran my fingers through my hair and nodded. Don't even care about me. I don't give a shit. I don't care. Jason didn't even see me as he was too busy watching something. Then I stormed off into Alex's room. I burst out crying. I locked the door behind me. I paced around the room and slid down the door bringing my knees up to my chest. I heard a knock after a few minutes. "I don't want to speak to you. Never again--"

"It's me." I heard a soft voice. "Let me in."

"No. I'm fine. Just go--"

"You aren't. You're crying. So you're sad or scared of losing everyone?"

"Aiden what are you on about?"

"In the prison cell. I saw your eyes. I know you're suffering. Please open the door. I don't want your boyfriend to see me."

"He's not my boyfriend anymore." I unlocked the door. He came in and sat beside me.





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