I scared you, didn't I?
I was expecting Liam to ditch for the rest of the day, maybe even tomorrow too.
Principal Jenkins questioned everyone about what happened this morning but the student body knew better than to tell the truth and go against the jocks, so we all just stuck to Jordan’s story of not knowing the culprit, even Alex.
I tucked into my ham wrap and zoned out whilst Tia rambled on, reading too much into the incident and how I was the one to stop Liams epic rage.
“He definitely likes you, I mean it girl. Did you see his whole body relax when he realized it was you? I think you was the answer to his cry for help.”
I rolled my eyes in disagreement with Tia, trying to shut her interrogation down. I won’t allow myself to think that way because there was no way it was true. I just posed as a distraction from Liam because me approaching him was completely out of the blue and unexpected. It gave him a few seconds to regain back his control. I was relieved when the end of lunch bell rang through the cafeteria and I headed off to Social Studies.
The seat next to me was empty and I felt my shoulders sag with disappointment even though I fully expected him to not be here. There was a chill to my left side, Liams absence leaving a cold void. I found myself peering towards the door with hope anytime somebody entered or exited the classroom but Liam never showed.
It was a beautiful spring day, the weather was warm accompanied by a slight breeze. The walk home was very scenic and I was going to take my time and enjoy it. It’s not like I need to rush home to anybody. Throwing in my headphones and hitting play on ‘Zayn and Taylors - I don’t want to live forever’ I inhaled as the breeze carried a refreshing scent of freshly cut grass from the open feilds that I passed. My converses kicked small rocks as I walked across the cobbled ground which overlooked a beautiful lake complete with several wooden docks.
As I looked out over the still water I admired the reflection of the surrounding trees and clouds. It was very picturesque and quiet. There was a familiar figure standing at the edge of one of the wooden docks, looking out across the lake.
Parked at the end of the dock sat a black motorbike, with silver trimmings. A simple black helmet sat placed on the seat and there was a sticker attached to the back of the bike. It was of the ‘flipping off’ emoji exactly like the one Liam had on his bike.
I stood, unable to move for a moment watching the figure throw rocks into the water creating several little ringlet waves as the rocks bounced across the smooth surface. He looked deep in thought, unaware that someone was watching him. His slender fingers picking up rock after rock and skillfully threw them into the water. My head and my heart argued between themselves on if I should approach him or not. My heart won.
I tiptoed stealthily down the dock, being extra careful to avoid creaky planks beneath my feet. With every step I took my braveness escaped my body halting me in my tracks a couple of meters away from Liam. He was still blissfully unaware that I was right behind him. I hovered on the spot for a second debating on turning back around. I had decided to turn back but then I heard his voice.
“I can feel you watching me Olive.” He said softly, without turning around or pausing his rock throwing.
I had a thousand questions fighting their way into my mouth but I had to swallow them all back down to allow the most important one to leave.
“Are you ok?”
There was a long pause, Liams back still turned away from me and I knew he was going to keep his heart hidden safely behind the amour of his leather jacket.
“Yeah” he said as he turned to face me.
The bruise had come out in full force and camouflaged his eye, I automatically winced at the sight which Liam noticed.
“Yeah I know... but you should see the other guy.” He threw a wide smile across his lips but it didn’t sparkle his eyes like some of the other smiles that he wears. He was trying to use humor to lighten the mood or play down what happened, I’m not sure which.
“What happened? Why were you so mad?” I asked, failing to pull my eyes away from his bruise.
“I slept with his girl, he started on me so I finished it.”
He shrugged his shoulders like this happens every day and I couldn’t help but feel like there was more to this. He sat down, dangling his feet over the dock and I copied, sitting myself next to him. Not a word was spoken between us for some time, we listened to the gentle breeze whirl around our ears and watched the river flow beneath our feet.
“I scared you, didn’t I?”
Liam finally broke the comfortable silence. It was a question laced with emotion and his walls had crumbled. Shades of pink brushed his cheeks ever so slightly hinting towards the shame he was feeling. Blue eyes turning grey, almost silver as they read my face exposing my inner thoughts. I couldn’t bring myself to reply with words so I hugged my chest and nodded my head.
Liam run his fingers through his hair, pushing chestnut strands back and out of his face, his attempts were pointless though because they flopped back down immediately. He exhaled sharply like he had been holding his breath anticipating my reply. Hurt, disappointment and shame as clear as day to see on his face in a rare display of his emotions.
“I...” Liam struggled to get his sentence out. “I’m... sorry.”
His voice was barely a whisper that I only heard because the breeze carried it in my direction. Sleeping butterflies had woken from their slumber and fluttered around fighting to escape. Without the barriers Liam looked... broken. I had to resist the urge to cradle him in my arms because something told me that he would push away any form of comfort. I kept my gaze at his face, watching him intently as he exposed his vulnerable side. I knew his apology was sincere.
“It’s ok Liam. It’s over now.”
I decided not to dwell and move past it to lighter things leaving the intense conversation behind us. Liam gave me a ride the rest of the way home but not before rebuilding his walls and locking away his emotions back deep down inside.