We walked down the hallway in awkward silence. I didn’t look at him and he didn’t look at me. AWKWARD. I opened the door and went inside.
There I found Xander bored as hell scrolling down his phone. “Hi. You are both in so much trouble.”
“It was his fault.” I said. “He violated me in class--”
“She made a story up that Eliza has Covid and is in critical care, just to escape homework support which backfired really badly.”
Then Miss Vivian started speaking, “Skylar and Calvin. Both of you, I had a report from your chemistry teacher explaining...the disturbing behavior--”
“Miss, it was her--”
“Calvin zip it.” Xander said.
“As I was saying, you both have acted irresponsible today. I am very upset. I really hope tomorrow, you both be friends yeah? I’m sure you both can put all the hate aside.” Miss smiled. “And thank you for coming. You are both going home to clear your heads out and--”
“I have homework--”
“No. I convinced Miss to let you off. Even after your stupid made up story.”
“Now tomorrow morning. I want to see you both smiling at each other.”
“Thank you.” Xander said getting up. We followed him all the way to the car and sat at the back. He turned around and started scolding us. “You are both unbelievable.”
“You both are grounded. Don’t even think about blaming each other.”
“You shut it. Sky I am really disappointed in you.”
“It’s his fault. He did everything trying to humiliate me!”
“And you did not once think to tell the teacher or keep your mouth shut did you?” Then he started the engine and started driving. He kept driving for about two minutes.
Tears were rolling down my eyes, he saw but didn’t even say anything. Just kept shaking his head. “You guys are supposed to be studying not fighting. You’re not kids anymore.”
“I’m sorry.” I wiped my tears. “I’m really sorry okay!”
“Stop crying. I’m just disappointed in the both of yous.” He said as he got out the car. He went inside the house and stood on the stairs. “Both of you, to your rooms and I don’t want to see you out for the rest of today.”
I went up to my room and stared at my phone. I watched lots of tiktoks but I couldn’t shake the fact that I just let him down. I just feel bad. Pure guilt. Then the door opened. It was Calvin.
“Come to annoy me again or embarrass me--”
“I came to apologise.” He said closing the door behind him. He walked up to the window. “I’m sorry.”
“No you’re not.”
“I’m not...but I feel bad. For some reason.”
“Why do you hate me so much?”
“I don’t hate you.”
“Then why do you torment me so much?”
“Because...I don’t know...I care about you.”
“No you don’t.”
“I do, I care about you and I love you. As a brother. I just show my love in a bad way, I guess.”
“You never really told me you loved me.”
“Stop hyping yourself up.”
“I’m not but...I’m surprised...”
“Yeah, well let’s never talk about this again.”
I pulled on to his hand and hugged him. He froze for a second and hugged me back, then Xander walked in. “Wow, you’ve made up already.”
Calvin pulled out quickly. “You didn’t see that.”
“Guys please stop picking on each other okay?”
“Good. You’re un-grounded.” He said leaving the room.
“Does this mean we’re cool?”
“No.” He said coldly. “That was a mistake.”
“Calvin why are you acting like this? It’s like it runs in the family, first Noah, then you, then Tisha. I’m surprised Lexi hasn’t--”
“No, I won’t. You’re all acting like stupid demonic bitches--”
“I told you to stop.”
“Calvin. You have got serious issues.”
“I don’t have issues. You do.”
“I haven’t got issues.”
“Don’t act like you don’t like me.” He glared at me.
“I don’t like you.”
“Yes. I don’t.”
“I like you.”
Then he pushed me to a wall and leaned in. “You like me?”
“No.” I said pushing him off. Then he kissed me but I didn’t pull out after a few seconds I realised what was happening and pushed him off. “What are you doing?!”
“What are YOU doing.” He smirked. “Say bye to Noah.”
“What?!” I panicked.
“Yeah. I knew you liked me--”
“Right. You didn’t pull out for seven seconds.”
“Until I realised I didn’t like you.”
“I know you don’t.”
“Then why did you..what is going on?”
“I am going to get Noah to break up with you.”
“You can’t do that Calvin. You can’t--”
Then he left the room and slammed the door. I opened the door and started banging on his door. “Open up. Calvin!”
“Sky what’s going on?!” Alex came out his room.
“Nothing just go away.”
“Why you crying then?”
“Just go away!”
I kept banging on the door until I gave up. I sat on the floor and burst out crying. Alex sighed and sat next to me. “Wanna talk about it?”
“He’s going to get Noah to break up with me.”
“It’s his stupid fault, he knows I don’t like him and then he goes and kisses me but I didn’t pull out for seven seconds until I realised that I don’t like him and then he says he’s going to tell Noah and...he’s going to tell him.”
“He won’t.” Alex said getting up. “Calvin open the door this instant.”
“Don’t make me repeat myself again.”
The door opened and Alex snatched his phone off him. He started going through his phone and suddenly threw it across the room. Then pushed Calvin to the wall. “What is wrong with you!?”
“Alex put him down.” I said.
“Guess what, he’s already called Noah.” Alex said.
“Let him down.”
“Not until I teach him a lesson.”
Calvin closed his eyes and burst out crying. “I’m sorry.”
Alex put him down. “What were you thinking?!”
“I don’t know.”
“I am done with you. For good.” Alex shook his head and left the room.
Calvin’s bottom lip started to tremble. Then he glared at me. I took a step back about to dash out the door when he shoved me to a wall and started screaming at me. “You have cost me my brother!!”
“It’s not my fault you’re a retard--”
He punched me on the face. He froze for a second then let go. Then burst out crying again and hugged me. “I’m sorry. Really sorry. Forgive me. Please don’t tell Xander--”
“Calvin what have you done? Sky why...” Then he slammed the door shut. “You punched her?”
“I didn’t mean to.”
Xander shoved him to a wall and punched him once, twice and then pushed me out the room. He closed the door behind him.I stood on the landing trying to understand what just happened. Then I realised Xander was beating him up. I quickly went downstairs and into the basement. I saw Esmeralda sitting in her office/apartment talking to a client on the phone.
“Gosh can’t you knock--”
“I need you now. Like fast.”
“Seriously?” She got up. “Excuse me, I’ll be with you shortly.” She cut the call.
“Xander’s beating Calvin up.”
“He’s what?!” Esmeralda started running up the stairs. She started banging on Calvin’s door. Then the door flew open and Xander stormed out. We rushed inside and I saw Calvin on the floor holding his stomach. He was badly hit. He just kept sobbing and sobbing.
“Calvin you alright?” Esmeralda asked. She lifted his shirt up and I saw two big purple patches. Esmeralda looked at them shocked and then got up. “I’ll be back.” She ran out the room.
I walked over to Calvin. “I’m sorry.”
He didn’t even look, just kept crying.
“Do you want me to call an ambulance?”
“No, he’ll get arrested.”
“Calvin I’m sorry. I didn’t mean for this to happen. I’m sorry.”
He just kept crying. “I shouldn’t have hit you.”
“Yeah. But he took it too far.”
Then he tried to get up but winced. He laid back down. “Stop crying. It’s not your fault.”
“I know he gets mad but this is too far.”
“I need to lie down.” He said. I helped him up and he laid down on his bed wiping his tears.
“Didn’t you fight him off or something?”
“I can’t. He’s older than me.”
“Either way, he’s ten times stronger than me...I guess he was just scared that I’d turn into Noah...”
“You could say that.”
“No...I should be sorry. Now you’ve got two big bruises on you.”
“No it’s not. We both know it’s not...”
“I didn’t tell Noah.”
“But you called him.”
“Just to say hi. I know you don’t like me. I was just annoying you. I’d never have done that...Noah means everything to me and I’m happy he found someone he is OBSESSED with.”
I gave a sad smile. “So you didn’t actually do anything wrong...”
“I just wanted to keep you worried until tomorrow and I’d tell you.”
“But I’m sorry...are you in pain?”
“No. I’m not.” He said sarcastically. “I’m sorry for punching you. I would never hit someone, especially a girl. It’s just...Alex was so mad at me and when he said he didn’t want to speak to me...the last time he said that, he avoided me for a whole month. Probably more if Alex hadn’t forced him to talk to me.”
“I am really sorry...I know what you did was wrong but I am sorry.”
“It’s fine. Besides, you’ve been through worse...I’m sorry about what he did...but one of the main reasons why I don’t want you to be with him...it’s because I know what he’s capable of doing.”
“That’s what Xander keeps telling me. That’s also the reason why I left and that’s the argument we had last night.”
“All I’m saying is...he can be a bit...crazy but he’s a good guy...”
“That’s what Alex told me.”
“Yeah...” I sighed. “Do you want some ice?”
“Okay.” He said. “Close the door. I really don’t want to see Xander.”
I went downstairs and into the kitchen. Alex was there. “Alex...”
“Sky what are you doing here?”
“Ice.” I said getting two packets.
“And for one drink, you need around sixty ice cubes?”
“I thought you were weird but this is freaky weird. Worse than weird. Abnormal weird. Out of this world...are you even human? I mean, you’re not the rock. Are you like...an alien, but in a good way--”
“First off, Ouch and second off, you sound like Lucas.”
“But who drinks sixty ice cubes in this weather?”
“I’m not drinking them.”
“Pranking Calvin are you?”
“No...” I sighed and sat next to me. “Promise to hear me out completely.”
“Calvin punched me--”
“What?!” Then he paused. “That explains the blood on your nose.”
“Blood?” I wiped my nose with my sleeves.
“We have tissues.”
I rolled my eyes. “He was really sorry, shocked, scared and worried. He told me to not tell Xander because he’d obviously kill him. But then Xander came in...”
Alex waited for me to say something.
“Are you really that dumb?!”
“What?” He looked at me clueless. “I’m not psychic--”
“He beat him up.” I said looking down.
“He’s got two bruises on his stomach...and I feel terrible.”
“Thanks.” I said sarcastically getting up and following him. He went into the room and Calvin started to panic. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to, I’d never--”
Then Alex hugged him. “Don’t cry. Come on.” He whispered.
“Aren’t you going to hit me?”
“You full on well know I can’t kill a bug without using science, what makes you think I’d hit you?”
“You were angry--”
“Yes I shoved you but did I strangle you or hurt you? Nope.”
I cleared my throat. “One question, why do you work out, if you can’t kill a bug, and don’t have a girlfriend--”
“I don’t work out. I do Takwendouh with Alex.”
“Yeah...” I sighed. “And you never hurt someone.”
“Just in emergencies. Like kidnappings and stuff.” Then he took both ice packs and placed them on top of him. “How much pain are you in?”
“I was crying. But...don’t blame him..I guess he was scared I’d turn into Noah...but I’d never...I’d never hit anyone especially a girl. I don’t know why I did it...I was just mad at her because I thought I lost you, last time you said that, you didn’t even look me in the eye for a whole month...”
“Stop crying. I’m sorry...” He said. “I guess this is kind of my fault.”
“It is.” We both said at the same time.
“I’m going to find Xander and make him apologise to you--”
“I don’t want to see him yet--”
Alex left the room. I walked up to him. “You okay?”
“I cannot believe what I did. That was so low. I’m sorry...”
“Yeah...I know you are...”
“What if Noah finds out? He’d never be friends with me again...”
“Stop crying. You’re twins...brothers you like almost the same things.”
“Yeah...but if I loose him...I loose everything. He’s a part of me. We share the same heart.”
“I know you love him a lot...”
We sat in awkward silence and I realised something. “You do wanna marry me. I told you, you’re obsessed with me.”
“No, I say that not you.” He said with a smile. “I do, I meant, I do love HIM a lot, not you.”
“Yeah...you called me crazy ex in front of everyone. Pretty embarrassing.”
Then the door opened and Alex and Xander came in. Calvin’s face went pale and he looked scared. Really scared.
Xander sighed. “Calvin, I haven’t come to beat you up.”
He still didn’t relax. I could see him waiting for a punch and a kick. “W...why a..are you here?”
“Calm down Calvin. He’s come to apologise.” Alex said. Xander walked up to Calvin. Calvin started to flinch, then Xander hugged him, he burst out crying. “I thought you were going to hit me again.”
“Stop crying. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have beaten you up that badly.” He whispered. “I know you really regret it...Alex told me why you punched her...”
“I didn’t mean to--”
“Calvin calm down.” He patted his back. “I’m sorry...really sorry. I was just worried--”
“That I’d turn out like Noah, start beating everyone up and get into fights and trouble...I’m not like him and never will be.”
“I know that. But at that moment, I wasn’t thinking straight, all I was thinking is Sky’s bruises and what Noah had done to her. I took it all out on you...it was selfish of me. I went too far and I don’t blame you if you hate me right now.”
“I don’t hate you...”
“I love you, we all do. I’m sorry for being an idiot.” He said pulling out.
Then he was about to wipe Calvin’s tears but he flinched. “Calvin you okay?” He asked wiping Calvin’s tears.
“I’m sorry. I promise I am.”
“Okay.” Calvin avoided his eyes.
“Calvin, come on. I said I’m sorry.”
“I forgive you.” He said.
Xander got up and he flinched again. “Calvin are you scared of me?”
“No.” He lied as Xander put the ice packs back on his bruises. I could see the panic in Calvin’s eyes.
Xander saw too and got up. He walked out the room and closed the door behind him. “He’s sorry.” Alex said.
“I know.” He said. Alex was about to touch him when he flinched.
“Calvin are you sure you’re okay?”
“I’m fine.” He said looking straight at the window. Alex left him alone and walked out the room.
I watched him for a while. “You’re scared of them...”
“No.” He lied.
“I’ve known you for too long. Stop lying. Are you--”
“But Alex would never hurt you--”
“He looks like Xander...”
“But he’s not.”
“I know that...but...”
“I get it. Don’t worry, they won’t hit you again. Well, Xander won’t.”
“Noah never flinches after a beating, he does but then he’s over it. He never cries after and he’s friends with Xander at the end of the day.” He started crying. “Why am I so different?”
“What? No, stop crying. You’re not.” I said lying down next to him.
“One of the reasons I bully you is to get rid of my pain.” He sobbed. “I am not okay. I’ve been struggling for weeks and weeks.” He said rolling his left sleeve up. It showed lots of cuts...
“Calvin you did this?”
“I did.” He said looking at the cuts. “Everyday is a challenge for me, that fake me that has the happiest time...”
“Stop crying...how many cuts do you have?” I started counting them.
“And Noah is too blind. He doesn’t even realise when something’s wrong. Nor did any of my siblings. Only you.”
“I knew something was wrong but you never let me in. You’d just roll your eyes and slam the door shut. I spoke to Xander and then both Alexes but they all thought I was lying..”
“But you weren’t. You kept asking me until I finally had enough.”
“I remember the day I went into the toilet and you went after I went. I left my phone and by as soon as you came back out, you were crying and I went in and saw blood. You forgot to clean it up.” I said with a sad smile. “That day I realised something was wrong...”
“You tried to take my shirt off and Xander had to drag you away from me.” He smiled. “You are so obsessed with me.”
“Even after all this, you’ll still pick on me?”
“Exactly.” He said.
“I’m really worried about you...thirty seven cuts in one arm?”
“I’m healing...haven’t cut myself in two weeks.” He said proudly.
“But I can’t say that I don’t cry at times.”
“Well...if anything happens...you can talk to me.”
“But it’d be awkward.”
“No. It won’t. And if humiliating me makes you happy, then go ahead.”
“You said, humiliating me and bullying me is what makes you feel better, go on then.”
“You heard me. But don’t humiliate me. Just bully me instead.”
“Sky you hear yourself?”
“Hey, I’m looking out for you.”
“I can’t believe I’m saying this but....” He took a deep breath in. “You’re a really good person that sacrifices and does anything just to help someone in need--”
“Who’s David?” He looked at me confused.
I reached for my phone and called him. “Who is this?”
“It’s me, Sky.”
“Sky? I remember you....but what’s with the accent?”
“I’ve got a condition which changes my accent from time to time. But it’ll fade away soon, don’t worry.”
“Okay that’s good....”
“Yeah..just wanted to check in on you.”
“You know, you gave me all the money you had on you and you kept five pounds. Remember?” His voice cracked.
“I do. I hope you are enjoying your job.” I smiled.
“I was walking around the high street after the meeting and I saw a homeless woman. She was wearing brand new stuff and I looked at her surprised. I went over to her to give her some money and then she smiled at me. She seemed happy. I asked how she was doing and she told me, a random homeless girl had brought her all this stuff from Primark and barely had any money left. She said the girl was wondering around, probably lost. She told me about the stuff you bought for her. I asked her how she looked like and she said, a boy. She said she had a hoodie and leggings and looked really cold. She told me the color of your clothes and rucksack, all light blue, and then I realised, you had helped her.”
“That is true. I did. And I was happy to see her happy. Even if it meant, sitting on the cold floor while rain poured on me. A nice lady came and helped me. And now I’m back home. With people that I thought hated me but now, I realise they didn’t.”
“That is good. Great. Now I need to go, but we’ll talk soon.” He said. Then cut the call.
“You did all that?” Calvin looked at me shocked. Then he got up and hugged me and burst out crying. “I have never in my life met someone as kind as you.”
“Thank you...” I whispered.
“For fuck sake what am I doing.” He laughed.
“You are being kind to me for once in your life.” I said wiping Calvin’s tears. “Congrats.”
Then Esmeralda came in. “I’ve spoken to Xander. Want me to tell Alex 1.1? She’s downstairs preparing dinner.”
“No. She’ll hurt him really badly.”
“Takwendow master right?”
“Yes.” He smiled. “And I’ve just made a new friend.”
“Yeah. Frenemies forever.”
“I thought you said friends.” I frowned.
“Cheer up. At home we can be friends but in school, I must continue what I was born to do. Bully you.”
“Whatever.” I rolled my eyes.
“Calvin how are you now? Pain?” Esmeralda walked up to him.
“A bit.” He sat up. “Maybe I should seep.”
“Well it’s only 5pm and you haven’t eaten.”
“I am starving but I don’t want to sit...near him.” He looked down.
“Don’t be scared. Alex will be there. Both of them. Takwendou masters, remember?”
“Yeah.” He said as Esmeralda helped him up.
“Can you walk?”
“I can. Just a bit of pain.” He said walking towards the door. I walked over to him and pulled him back. “You can tell her you know...”
“But I don’t want to.” He said as I helped him go downstairs.
We walked into the kitchen and sat on the dinning tables. “Hello people of the century. Today I have made my own, home cooked, fried chicken rice!” Alex 1.1 said siting across us. “Xander, Alex get your asses down here. 3, 2,1--”
“Calm down.” Alex 1.2 said sitting next to me. Xander was about to sit next to Calvin when he flinched. Xander looked at him confused and went to sit far away from him. Esmeralda sat next to Calvin instead.
“So, why you all not smiling? Or on your phones? Xander, Calvin, why you not sitting next to each other and why did you flinch--”
“How was your day?” I changed the topic.
“It was okay, I mean, apart from millions of clients and stuff, I’m fine. You guys?” Esmeralda asked.
“Great day.” Alex 1.2 said.
“How was your first day at Riverspark?” Alex 1.1 asked Calvin.
“What did you do?”
He just sighed. “Did my lessons.”
“Did you make new friends?”
“Have you ever learnt what shut up means?”
“I’m only being nice. Least you can do is--”
“It was a wonderful day.” He said glaring at her.
“Calvin what’s with the mood?”
“I’m not in a--”
“Hi guys, just came back from school. Had the worst day. Calvin you and Sky are so lucky you got sent home. Miss gave us tons of work.” He sighed sitting on the sofa.
“Noah did they get sent home?”
“No.” He lied. That bitch!!
“So, you both got sent home for...misbehavior? Xander is that true?”
He hesitated. “I have--”
“Is that true?!”
“It is. They just had an argument. That’s all.”
“But we’re friends now.” Calvin said. Everyone looked at us trying not to laugh. “Nice try. You are both so grounded.”
“We’ve already been grounded!” I snapped.
“Yeah, well getting sent home for an ‘argument’ which probably led to a fight--”
“Anyone up for a cup of tea?”
“NO!” We all said at the same time.
“Chill. I must go serve my time looking for the perfect milk and there’s no milk. Inni miny miny mo, who should I pick? Xander, yes, you go.”
“You are unbelievable.” He said going out the kitchen and to the front door, he took his coat and left.