We were alone in the far corner surrounded by nothing but stationary cars, I’m sure he pulled me to the back just to get out of earshot of anybody. Liam looked at me with concern, one hand reached up to rub the back of his neck - a tell tale sign he was nervous. His jaw clenched trying to hold back words.
I rolled my eyes, here we go.
He was about to let me down gently, again. He was about to tell me the kiss meant nothing, it was just a bit of fun. I couldn’t bare that talk so I held my hand up, gesturing for him to stop.
“Liam I know. I know I have no right to question what you did. I know the kiss meant nothing, I’m not reading into that. I just can’t understand physically how you could jump from one girl to the next within the space of 24 hours.
I suddenly realized I felt sorry for green slut. She played right into his hands and lost. I watched Liam as my words sunk in. Darkness consumed his face as he tried to push away his inner thoughts leaving him looking helpless.
“Liv... It’s just something I have to do.” Liam started, voice low. Ashamed. “Sometimes things just get too much for me, it’s overwhelming. I get this rush of anger and I need a release so I fuck out my feelings rather than pummel someones face or smash up a bathroom. It’s the only way I can regain control.”
He kept his head down, trying not to look at me as I relished in his admission. For once he was being honest, he wasn’t avoiding the questions, he wasn’t playing things down. No hiding, just straight up honesty. Although I could accept that as an explanation something still disheartened me deep down inside.
“I saw the way you looked at that girl afterwards. You got what you wanted and you lost interest in her. Like she was an object. A toy.”
I waited for him to reply to my unspoken question but he remained mute, only giving information when I actually asked for it outright. The way his body spoke to me let me know he was nervous, and feeling pretty exposed. I knew I couldn’t leave things like this without asking the question I so desperately wanted to know the answer to since the diner yesterday.
“The way you treat girls... is that how you think of me? Liam am I just one of you conquests?” I held my breath dreading his reply, now that the question was out there I wasn’t so sure I wanted to know the answer. Green eyes caught glimpses of his vulnerability and how he struggled with the emotions he was feeling let alone having the courage to talk about them. After a deep breath the finally opened his mouth.
“Olivia I don’t date, I don’t do relationships. I use a girl once and then move on. I don’t linger long enough for them to get hooked or catch feelings. I’ve never led a girl on, they know the deal. You knew I was like that too, before you let me kiss you.”
Liam rambled with nervousness and I made no efforts to stop him.
“That kiss... it was never meant to happen. I’m mad at myself for letting it happen. It was just sorta... in the moment. I don’t do that shit, I go up to a girl and ask them if they want to fuck and they usually do. I don’t take midnight dips in my underwear and kiss under the milky twilight. That clearly sends the wrong message.”
I didn’t say a word. I still waited for him to answer my question. He still rambled.
“I’m sorry you got the wrong message Liv but I’m not that guy. I never have been and I never will be. I don’t see girls as my conquest. No strings attached fucking is just something I need and I know you are not that type of girl so no, I’m not trying to get you into bed to complete some kind of stupid conquest.
He finally took a breath and I knew it was my turn to speak.
“okay.” I simply replied.
He stopped for a moment, a slow smile curved the corners of his lips upwards exposing his pearly whites. Blue eyes sparkled, darting down to my lips for a brief moment and then back up to my eyes. He dampened his own lips using the tip of his tongue and my heart raced at the motion. He wore the same face he had when he was about to kiss me.
“I pour my heart out and you just say ‘ok’?” the amusement on his face let me know he wasn’t really offended by my vague answer.
“You’re infuriating, you know that?”
Liam stretched his arm over my shoulder and walked me back towards the bus, people were already gathering back on board but he broke contact with me before we got close enough for them to see.
It was 2AM and I waited at the microwave for my popcorn to ping. I fell asleep on the bus for a couple of hours so now insomnia has taken over and I’ve resorted to watching The Grown Ups instead.
A huge flash of light lit up my garden, dad had a security light installed after I complained about the tree house incident, before I knew it was Liam of course. It lights up when movement triggers it. I didn’t have to look far to find the trigger. A dark figure stood frozen in surprise as he blinked away the bright light. He stood staring back at me through lost eyes as the rain fell down causing chestnut strands to drip into his face.
The ping of the microwave snapped me out of my shocked trance and I edged closer to the door fumbling with the key. Liam observed me intensely, hovering between walking away or staying put. I opened up the glass door and gestured for Liam to come inside.
Now that there wasn’t a barrier between us Liam somehow looked smaller, his face screamed with fear and timorousness unlike his usual manner. He was completely broken and his remains felt fragile. He stepped into my kitchen, leaving a trail of cold, dirty rain water in his wake. The lightest of blue eyes faced downwards, full of shame and misery. He remained mute and I didn’t want to press him to talk.
I caught a glance of his hand as he pulled it out of the sleeve, it was cut to shreds and bleeding through his clothes. I reached out and grabbed his wrist, he visibly flinched and moved out of my grasp. I tried again, this time slower so he could anticipate my touch before it happened. I guided Liam towards my stairs.
“Y..your p...parents” Liams voice was broken, barely audible.
“They’re not home. They never are.” I informed him taking him to my en suite bathroom.
“Sit.” I pointed my chin towards the edge of the bath and Liam followed the instruction. Searching through a first aid kit I grab band aids and tweezers. “This might hurt a little, I’m sorry.” Carefully I ran his bleeding knuckles under the warm water to get a better look at his cuts, shards of glass clashed against the porcelain sink and I helped tease them out with the tweezers. Liam winced in pain but otherwise remained quiet as I cleaned him up. I applied Savlon and wrapped a bandage around his knuckles.
Slowly I raised my hands towards the edge of his t.shirt, looking up at his icy blue, vacant stare I asked “can I?” Liam tensed, not really wanting me to expose his bare skin but feeling the rainwater soak through as he shivered with coldness left him not much choice. He reluctantly nodded his head and then closed his eyes like the emotional pain was too much for him.
Gingerly I tugged the t.shirt over his head uncloaking one layer of protection and for the first time I allowed my eyes to properly scan his flesh. His beautiful, smooth, white skin was painted from top to bottom in reds, purples, browns, greens, yellows, blues made up of bruises both old and fresh, big and small. He had scrapes and scars. My eyes pooled but Liam was blissfully unaware because his eyes remained shut, like he was trying to shut everything out pretending it wasn’t happening. My fingers traced the large red mark forming across his ribs, my skin skimmed his skin and Liam instantly winced with pain and backed away abruptly.
“d..don’t.” He whispered, tightening his eyelids which created small tension wrinkles around his closed eyes.
“Your... um... pants.” I said feeling a little shy now.
Liam didn’t move, he sat looking pained, eyes closed, humiliated. I realized I needed to remove his pants, like a small, defenseless child Liam needed help. I grabbed his hands and pulled him up slowly moving towards the button on his jeans. My face heated with embarrassment as I sheepishly unfastened it and edged them down revealing grey Calvin Kleins.
He had a deep cut across his thigh, it leaked with blood which trickled down his leg passing more bruises and scars along the way. It didn’t look deep enough to need stitches but it did look like it was intentionally made with a sharp object. I coated it in more Savlon and threw on a band aid. I guided Liam towards my bed.
Liam lay in my bed and I stood over him wondering what my next move would be. Truth be told I was uncomfortable with a boy in my bed, especially Liam. But then tonight sex seemed like the furthest thing from his mind. He needed comforting and looking after so I peeled back the covers and slid in behind him.
It took me a few seconds to pluck up the courage to throw my arm over his body and cuddle in closer to him. The proximity made his delicious scent suffocating as his back rested hard up against my front. He was the little spoon, I was the big spoon. The protector. After a few moments I felt Liams whole body shake against mine and I stopped breathing when I realized why. Through sniffles and vibrations I figured out Liam was crying, really crying.
As he poured out his emotions into the pillow my thumb slowly stroked his hand as I whispered into his ear “it’s okay, it’s okay. You don’t have to tell me. it’s okay.” repeatedly. He sobbed through my words in such a heartbreaking embrace. Eventually Liam’s breathing became even, he cried himself to sleep in my arms. I was left to lay in the darkness, letting silent tears fall from my own eyes.