I don't think we can be friends anymore
Pulled out of my dreams by a soothing deep voice I reluctantly I open my eyes, blinking in the light and that is when the delicious aroma of pancakes floods my senses.
“I made you breakfast and let you lie in past the alarm clock, but you don’t have long to get ready now.” Liam said, nervously.
A ginormous smile crossed my lips as I tucked into the warm dough. I figured he was still feeling guilty and that’s why I was getting treated to breakfast in bed. I felt the bed dip as Liam sat down beside me fully dressed and ready for the day.
“How you feeling this morning?” I tiptoed through unpredictable waters.
“Better.” But then his eyes trailed to my bandages and I could see the guilt crawl into his face.
“Don’t.” I warned getting up to use the bathroom.
I heard a gasp coming from behind me “Oh my god Liv! You’re bleeding” I spun around on the spot to see a wide eyed Liam, completely horrified at the massacre of red spread in a significantly large patch against my white bed sheet.
Shame overwhelmed me and I threw my hand over my face to hide away from him. From his reaction I think he was shocked to see a substantial amount of blood, I’m guessing he’s never seen that before but then I think realization set in for him because I heard him mutter a ‘oh’ in the midst of my embarrassment.
I returned from the bathroom with a scarlet face, just like how I went in.
“You stripped my bed?” My eyes were drawn to the bare mattress and then to him holding the bloodied sheets in his arms.
“Yeah, you gotta wash the sheets right away on a cold wash or the blood will stain. Trust me I know.” He informed me.
“Oh my god” my hand went right to my face again, I wish the ground would swallow me whole.
Suddenly I felt Liam next to me, gently he removed my hand and looked me square in the eyes.
“You’re not seriously embarrassed about this are you? You’ve seen me cry, have meltdowns, lose control, get morning glory, have nightmares, the list goes on. This is nothing, it’s natural.”
“So is elephant shit but I wouldn’t wanna see it plastered all over my bed.”
He laughed. I laughed. It allowed us to move past our awkward moment.
I looked back at my reflection in the mirror of the girls bathroom, now that Liam wasn’t here I could remove the bandages, I only used them to hide the cuts from his view. Rolling up my sleeves I gingerly peel back the bandage grimacing as the adhesive pulls my skin. I have five small cuts on each wrist, each one surrounded in dried blood. The whole area looks a little swollen, purple and feels tender. It looked worse than it felt. I held a cold compress against them for a few minutes and it was a welcome sensation, hoping the coolness would take the swelling down a bit. The door sprung open and I quickly pulled down my sleeves, hiding away Liams shame.
“What’s that?” Tia asked as she walked closer to me.
“What’s what? I asked, even though I knew exactly what she meant.
“Your arms” Her brow furrowed and she yanked my arm outright, pulling up my sleeve and inspecting my exposed cuts. I tried to wiggle my arm free but she grabbed the other one and exposed them too.
“It’s nothing, get off.” I replied, panic starting to build in my voice.
“That’s not nothing Liv, they look like finger marks. Did he do this to you?” Her face was full of concern, I knew if I told her he did she would start a witch hunt. But I didn’t know how else to explain these marks when they clearly looked deliberate.
“It’s not like that.” I finally managed to free my arms and pull down my sleeves, avoiding her scrutinizing eyes.
“Liv, is he hurting you?” Her concern turned to anger really quickly as she threw all the jigsaw puzzles together to create the wrong picture. I couldn’t find the words to answer her, I couldn’t claw together a quick thinking excuse. Silence filled the gap between us until she finally spoke up. “I’m going to kill him.”
She impulsively rushed out the bathroom armed and ready to confront Liam and I ran after her, frantically shouting her name, pleading with her not to do this. She exited the school building and marched her way through the courtyard. I knew she was heading to the soccer pitch and I knew Liam would probably be there. I felt physically sick.
I noticed Liam straight away, even from across the pitch. He stood with a soccer ball kicking it up into the air, over his head and catching on this other foot behind him. He had no idea that the whirlwind of Tia was coming as he stood facing his teammates frolicking with the ball. Tia crossed the grass with great strides, full of anger just waiting to be released.
When she reached Liam she shoved her hands into his back causing him to jolt forward. I don’t know if he flinched from where I was standing but I could see he was completely caught off guard by her outburst. He turned around to face her and she shoved him just as hard, I saw him flinch that time.
“You think you’re a big man huh? Hitting girls, what you got for me?” She shoved him for a third time.
I finally caught up, the whole team gathered around watching the encounter. They shot me questioning glances, then Tia then Liam. Tia was raging, her body moved up and down with her frantic breathing. Liam & I locked eye contact, I could see the guilt weighing him down, he looked broken and betrayed. I knew he was silently asking me what I had told her but I couldn’t bring myself to say anything. After a few tense moments Jordan stood in front of Liam.
“He’s not hurt anyone so take yourself off our field.” he shook his head at me in disgust and right now I felt I deserved it.
“He has, look at her wrists. Show them Liv” She shouted, without even looking back at me.
“It wasn’t him.” I finally spoke up. She turned to face me, creasing her eyebrows at me, waiting for an explanation. “It was me.” I muttered out “I did it to myself.”
I didn’t take my gaze off Liam, he was numb to everything going on around him, consumed by his own emotions.
“You did it to yourself?” Tia tested the words and I nodded.
“Think you owe my boy an apology.” Zak stepped up.
Tia narrowed her eyes at Zak, flicking her dark curls behind her she looked towards Liam “If I find out you’re hurting her I’ll castrate your balls.” she turned on her heel and walked off the pitch. Liam and I stood looking at each other for a few seconds before he turned and walked towards to locker rooms. As I watched Liam walk away the soccer team eventually broke off and returned to whatever it was they were doing, leaving Jordan watching my every move.
“You gonna go after him or -”
My eyes fleeted between Jordan and the closed door Liam just disappeared into, trying to pluck up the courage to go and talk to him. My legs started walking towards the boys locker room and the nerves started bubbling up in my stomach. I had no idea what to say to him.
I spotted him as soon as I opened the door, he was sitting on the wooden bench with his head down between his legs and his hands crossed over on the top of his head. I could hear tiny whispers coming from his mouth, like he was counting to himself.
“Liam?” I asked, edging myself closer to him.
“I need a minute Liv.” His voice was deep and cold.
“Liam, don’t shut me out.” I sat down on the bench and slid along, positioning myself next to him.
“Liv, I need a minute.” he repeated, sternly.
“I’m sorry. She saw the cuts and assumed it was you.” I blurted out, clearly not giving him his minute.
“It was me.” the coldness had disappeared from his voice, replaced by a quiet whisper. “If I can hurt you once, I will hurt you again. I’m just like him.” I could hear the heartbreaking croak in his voice.
“Liam you’re nothing like him, don’t say that. You didn’t mean to hurt me, you had a nightmare and I touched you when I shouldn’t of. It was an accident, I’m fine.” I tried to reassure him but he grabbed my wrists and eased up my sleeve, sighing at the sight. “Liam stop, I’m fine.”
He tucked a blonde strand behind my ear that had come loose and I shivered with the unexpected contact. Solemn eyes looked into mine “I don’t think we can be friends anymore.”
I felt like every butterfly floating around my stomach had been shot dead leaving nothing but an empty ache. My heart bled with sadness and my tongue wouldn’t move to convince him to change his mind. Without saying anything more Liam walked out, heading back to the soccer field leaving me sat alone on a cold bench.