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Chapter 12


"C'mon guy!" I prodded. I'd always been trying to get the new guy -- my roommate -- to get up and hang out with us. He never moved, he'd just hide in the corner on his bed. He never spoke, I didn't know his name -- even if it has been six months since he got here.

I tried to pull him, but he'd freak out on me and Carte would burst in and scold me; telling me to leave him alone. I was a persistent person, so I was intent on getting him up and moving. He kills the happy vibe of this place, so that's one reason. Another reason; he seemed lonely and upset. And no roommate of mine is allowed to be upset and lonely!

In a way he creeped me out; he wore a hood all the time and his black hair covered most of his face, and he just sat there curled up and trembling! God. What happened to you?

I'd bring him food. He wouldn't eat or move. I brought him water. Nothing. I don't even know if he slept. If he did, it'd probably be in that position. The only time he moved was to go to the bathroom. When he did, he'd keep his head down and hide from everyone.

"One day, guy. I'll get you to hang with us." I said pointing at him as I left.

I closed the door behind me.

"Huuunteeer!" My favorite six year old blonde called.

"Laylaa!" I called and stooped down with my arms out. She jumped into them with a giggle.

"What can we play today?" Layla asked.

"I dunno. Wanna play hide and seek with the others?" I asked excitedly.

"Yes!" Layla responded.

She hopped off of me and ran down the hall calling the others.

Eventually they all emerged from their rooms and followed us outside.

"Hide and seek again?" Little Jenny asked.

"Yes." I responded.

"Not it!" Lee shouted before running off.

"Not it!" I then yelled. Not letting that happen again.

"Not it!" Layla echoed.

Jenny pouted. "Fine." She huffed.

"To twenty!" I said before running with Layla.

We hid behind the house wedged between bushes. Layla insists on hiding with me.

"Where's Jackson?" I whispered to Layla.

"Sleeping." Layla whispered back.

"It's Sunday! He should hang out with us! Tomorrow we won't be able to." She exclaimed.

"Shh." I shushed her.

We had school during the week, of course.

I looked up. We happened to be right under my room. I looked at the window. Nothing. He hadn't been going to school; I don't even think he was enrolled.

"Ready or not, here I come!" We heard Jenny shout.

It took a while, but she finally found us.

"Why does Lucky never play with us?" Layla asked as we walked to our favorite tree.

"Who?" I questioned.

"Lucky. I heard Mrs. Emily talking about him a while ago."

"So that's his name." I muttered.

"Why does he always stay in you guys' room?" Layla then asked.

"I don't know, Layla. He won't speak to me." I responded.

Layla giggled, "Want me to try? No one can resist my cute face!"

I laughed, "That's true."

"But no. I don't think he needs the added stress." I am quite aware that I have probably annoyed him by now.

"Okay." Layla huffed.

We stayed outside and played for a few hours. Of course, someone had to fall and get hurt.

"I don't want it to sting!" Lee cried as Mrs. Carte held a cotton swab of peroxide in her fingers.

"It won't sting." We told him for the millionth time.

"We have to disinfect it. Or we'll have to cut it off." Mrs. Carte said.

I snickered as Lee panicked and gave in.

Lee made me put the band-aid on him, as he "hated" Mrs. Carte at the moment.

"Mrs. Carte?" I called late at night. I stood at the doorway of her room.

"I told you Hunter, you don't have to be so formal with me. You can call me 'Emily.'" She said.

"I know." I responded.

I was there to ask her about Lucky, but then I decided it wasn't my place to.

"What is it?" She asked.

I shook my head. "Nevermind."

I left and went into my room. Lucky was still sitting there. Maybe it's something medical. I need to mind my own business. I went over to the other side of the room and got in my bed. The moon would shine into the room. I liked staring at the shadow it'd cast from the window, it was so relaxing. I closed my eyes.

In the morning, I woke up due to a commotion in the hallway. Lucky was gone.

I went outside the room and looked down the hallway. I saw Jenny, Rachel, Lee, and Layla huddled together.

"Hey what's wrong with you?" I heard Rachel ask rudely.

I saw a gray sweat hood from in between their legs. I rushed over to them.

"Hey!" As I suspected, it was Lucky they were huddling around.

He had himself pressed against the wall in a fetal position, hiding himself from everyone.

"Back away from him!" I yelled.

They all turned to me. "Jeez." Rachel groaned and backed away along with the others.

I held my hand out to Lucky. "You okay?"

He swatted my hand away and got up and ran into our room.

I went to go after him. "Hunter." Mrs. Carte stopped me.

"What happened?" She asked me.

"We just wanted to speak to him." Rachel interjected.

"Seems like they cornered him." I answered.

She nodded her head. "Okay. Grab what you need to get ready and get dressed in Jackson's room."

I didn't argue. I went in and grabbed my things and left. The last thing I saw before going into Jackson's room was Mrs. Carte going into our room and closing the door.

"Now I'm not saying I enjoy school, but I don't hate it either," I spoke to Lucky after school.

"I just think you'd like it. People are easy-going and mind their own business." I said to Lucky. I'm not ashamed to admit I'd use Lucky as a confessional. It was nice to finally have a roommate. Even if he never speaks.

In the living room, a few of us sat in a circle talking quietly.

"Listen. He shows up one day, doesn't speak or do anything for six months, it's a little strange. And quite frankly rude." Rachel said.

I remember the day he got here. It was cloudy and we were outside playing. Mrs. Carte pulled up into the driveway. It took a minute for her to get out. Once she did, she had to coax Lucky out. He immediately hid his face and went into the house with her.

"I think he's just having some adjustment issues." I responded.

"We should just leave him alone until he's ready." I said.

"And don't pull the crap you did this morning again." I snapped at Rachel.

I went upstairs to my room.

"Hey Lucky." I greeted. To my surprise, it warranted a reaction. A small reaction. His head bobbed.

"What?" I questioned. He didn't answer. He just went back to being silent and staring blankly.

"Ok." I said.

In the morning, there was thankfully no issues.

"Okay Lucky. I'll see you later!" I said to him as I opened the door.

"My name is Luc." A small voice said.

I smiled a little. Baby-steps, Hunter. Baby-steps.

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