Forget about making it home on time to appease my worried parents. Real trouble just came knocking at our door, and in a matter of seconds after the Chicago Saints pulled off, Antonio reached for his phone to let Blake know about the matter.
But Blake was not answering.
“Are you fucking serious?” Antonio spats, sweat dripping down the side of his face. Apparently, he had been scared just as bad as me.
“Call Valerie. O-Or Barbara even.”
“They won’t do,” Antonio states, looking up to meet my eyes. We don’t have time to hold grudges against each other right now. Our only concern is to stick together and quickly find Blake.
“Let’s go to the hideout house,” Antonio says, crossing the street in rampant steps. I follow him and don’t say a word.
It’s 10 o’clock when Antonio and I arrive at the hideout house. The night feels darker than usual and the wind picks up brutal speed. I am physically exhausted and wish I was in bed getting ready for school in the next ten hours. Instead, I am aching and slowly falling victim to this disastrous reality I have created for myself. My heart can’t take it right now. Feelings of doubt and angst swirl in my stomach, and I’m so unfocused and tired that I collapse on the ground as soon as we reach the property. Antonio whips around and views me panting on the ground like a dying puppy.
He only leans down and softly ruffles my hair. My bangs fall in my eyes, and I shiver beneath the gentleness of his touch.
“It’s okay Ron,” he reassures, moving my hair out of my face. “I wouldn’t have let anything happen to you. I promise.”
I gasp, looking up with tears in my eyes. Antonio sadly smiles at me, face turning a kind shade of red. I wipe my eyes, chuckling to brush off the awkwardness radiating from me.
“T-Thank you. I-I’m sorry for getting mad at you earlier.”
“It’s okay. Everything is okay.”
“Is it though?”
With what just happened, of course everything is not okay. Blake is obviously doing things he is not supposed to be doing and it’s taking a toll on the rest of us. Barbara’s words come floating to the surface of my brain, making me shut out everything around me for a second.
“He’s a good guy in general, but he’s a little irresponsible.”
I can tell now.
Suddenly, Antonio springs up and reaches for his gun again. I look behind myself and witness a beat up car pulling into the driveway of the house. I slowly stand to my feet, trying to figure out if the silhouette I see belongs to Blake or not.
The figure pops out of the car rather fast, entity rushed and clearly thrown off by something. Antonio loses the weapon once he registers that the guy behind the ski mask and dark clothes is Blake.
But he doesn’t look too good. Fear is eating him up and it’s apparent in the way his body his shaking. He slams the car door and makes his way around the side, standing in full view.
My eyes enlarge when I see dark stains covering the perimeter of his shirt. It’s even on his neck now that he has come closer. Antonio keeps a straight face and I have no idea how he’s capable of doing so. I start losing my shit.
“Blake,” I blurt out, voice high and squeaky. “what happened?”
“Did Valerie call you Antonio?” Blake asks, completely ignoring my concerns while ripping off his mask.
“No,” Antonio lies, stance cold and impenetrable. “By the way, who did you just kill?”
We both wait for an answer. My bodily functions are about to give out on me. I see the blood and I see the mask and I see the stolen car but none of it makes sense. I really need this to make sense. I prefer it not to be a big deal, but Blake needs to say that. He needs to look me in my eyes and hold my hand and say, “Ron, everything is okay, and everything will always be okay.”
I beg with my eyes for him to say that. Blake looks at me like I’m the only person left in the world. My heart flutters, tearing up again over this horrible situation.
I like Blake. I really do. And I want to tell him that one day. I want my little sister’s fantasy to come true where I waltz through the front door with Blake as my boyfriend and show him off to the rest of my family. I can’t put into words how much I want that to happen. He completes me in a way I can’t understand. The Blake I want is the Blake who took me to Chicago to eat lunch and go shopping and to stroll around the city fair and win cheesy plush animals for each other. The red butterfly plushie still sits on my bed today. It reminds me of that beautiful but weird day, and I cherish the tokens I collect from our beautiful-weird moments and keep them close to my heart for as long as I can. Because deep down inside, I am falling for this guy. It’s taking me to dangerous levels that I have no control over. It’s keeping me up at night and driving me crazy and creating false scenarios in my head. All over a guy. A guy who I really want to make sense out of.
A guy who really needs to make sense of this situation.
Blake has not broken eye contact with me. A gust of wind spurs over the land and creates whiplash against our bodies. I feel colder compared to what Mother Nature is lashing out. My bones are rigid and my eyes are wet and my heart is frozen. I beg with my eyes for Blake to say it’s okay. Because once I hear it from him, then I’ll truly believe we have nothing to worry about.
...he says nothing.