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Chapter 23

Well, shit. That happened. I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back a bit.

"What were you thinking?" Brian fussed at Jason.

We all were in the living room, I stood back by the wall beside the doorway ready to run. It was kind of tense in here.

"You could have killed Luc! Or worse! What if something happened to both of you?!" He snapped.

"If you're going to wrestle do it downstairs and away from the windows!"

"What?!" Jeanette jumped in. "How about 'no wrestling' at all?!"

Fine by me. Brian agreed with her.

Jason didn't say much, just hung his head and apologized. I knew he felt guilty, it came across in the few hours before Jeanette and Brian came home.

There was a little bit more "raising of the voices," so I slipped away to my room.

A while after everything died down Jeanette and Brian came into my room right before I went to bed.

"Hi Luc," Jeanette sighed. She looked exhausted and quite frankly stressed out. They both sat on each side of my bed.

I waved slightly.

Brian spoke first. "I'm sorry about all the yelling."

"I hope I didn't scare you too bad," He said. I shook my head. I was scared, but more uncomfortable than anything.

"Just promise us you won't do that again?" Jeanette said.

"I promise." I nodded.

Brian pat my shoulder and smiled, then got up and left.

Jeanette stood up, "Goodnight Luc."


She followed Brian out and closed the door behind her.

I reached over to my nightstand. I was curious. I decided to hurt myself.

I grabbed my phone. I opened Instagram and stared at the search bar. What am I about to do?

Mercilessly typed 'E-v-i-e J-e-n-s-i-n.'

A few options popped up. Only one was her's.

I clicked on her profile. The profile picture only confirmed it was her.

She had several posts. I scrolled all the way down to the bottom. This page was created a little bit after I left.

The first picture was of her hand. A henna tattoo. It looked pretty nice.

I looked at the second picture. It was a black and white field. She captioned it 'feeling sad.' Why would she be sad?

One post caught my eye. It was the three of us. I hadn't seen this picture before. Smiles and joy everywhere.

This hurts. Why am I so far away from them? Why did I let this happen? Tears were welling up. I did this to us.

"I need to get back to Charlotte." I whispered to myself. But how? Maybe I can hitchhike. I feel a plan formulating...

The next day we went to Olive Garden.

Brian pulled me to the side, Jeanette came too. "Listen Luc, we're so sorry," Brian started. Oh god, what?

"We forgot your birthday." He stated.

I spoke before thinking. "What? I didn't tell you."

"Why not?" Jeanette questioned.


"Maybe we shouldn't talk here..." I suggested.

"Guys, table's ready." Jason cut in. Thanks.

Jason and Brian headed inside. Jeanette and I slowly followed behind.

I stopped dead in my tracks when I heard "Shawty!"

I turned my head just in time to see Dex jump on my back. I groaned a little. Okay, wasn't expecting that.

"What are you doing here?" I asked. Dex wrapped his arms around my neck and shoulder.

"Your parents invited us to your birthday." Dex answered.

"How come you didn't tell them it was your birthday?" He asked.

"I dunno."

Jeanette looked at us with an amused expression.

Dex dropped from my back and proceeded to approach Jeanette.

He held out his hand and introduced himself, "Dex T. Manning! Nice to meet ya!"

Jeanette took his hand and shook it, "Jeanette Benson."

"I'm his mother, Olive." A woman said from behind me. I turned around. She had short blonde hair like Dex.

"Thank you for inviting us." She said politely.

"No problem," Jeanette said. "Let's go inside. Brian and Jason are waiting."

We went inside. Brian led us to our table. It was a round booth in the back of the restaurant. I sat at the very end beside Jason.

I peered at Jeanette and Brian. They put this together? For me? Why?

Dex, Jason, and I spoke throughout the night. We goofed off, joked, laughed. I noticed Dex was somewhat on his best behavior.

"You three are so cute. With your dark hair." Olive cooed. She was talking about Brian, Jason, and I.

Jeanette chuckled and playfully ruffled Brian's hair. Jason and I chuckled.

Towards the end of dinner they all started handing me envelopes.

What's this?

"You don't have to open them now if you don't want to." Jeanette told me. I don't know what's in the envelopes, I wanna know.

I started to open one of the envelopes. I saw a woman approaching with something in her hands. I looked up to her and saw a white cake.

Shit. Cake! Icing!


I leaned out of the seat and threw up. The woman sidestepped. "Whoa." I heard Jason say. There was a lot of commotion.

Oh god. Please tell me that didn't just happen.

I squeezed my eye shut and opened it again. A puddle of throw up was staring up at me. My chest started hurting.

I grunted and fled the scene. I ran out the restaurant and ran through the parking lot. I crossed a few streets and stopped when I was behind a building. My breathing was heavy and I was doubled over.

I gagged and began to throw up again. It didn't stop until I was throwing up bile.

Oh god help me. My face was wet from tears. I wiped them away but they kept coming. My knees were weak. I was feeling winded.

God, I hope nobody sees me like this. What'll they think of me now?! I'm ruining everything!

I coughed a few times. Oh no, not again. Thankfully nothing came up. But man, I felt weak and empty as hell. Terrible.

Where is everyone? Or...where am I?

It's so dark... Am I lost?

No! No! Not accepting that!

I fixed myself up as best as I could and started walking.

The fastest I could go was a jog. When the restaurant came into sight, I could see Jeanette sitting by herself on a bench. She looked petrified. She nervously bit at her nails while her leg shook.

"Jeanette!" I panted, still out of breath.

Her head turned to me and she hopped up. "Luc!" She called. She ran to me and hugged me.

I grunted. She quickly let go of me, but put her hands on my shoulders, "I'm so sorry!" She was speaking fast.

"Are you okay? Where did you go?" She looked me all over.

I put my hands on her forearms reassuringly. "Yes. I'm fine." Why is my voice scratchy? Oh right, just puked my guts out. Literally.

"I'm sorry I ran out. And ruined the dinner."

"No, it's fine." Jeanette took my hands in hers. "You didn't ruin anything."

"I'm just glad you're okay. You are okay, right?" She asked again.

I nodded, then looked around. "Where is everyone?"

"Out looking for you."

What? Oh no. "How long was I gone?"

"A good thirty minutes." Jeanette drawled. Oh...I need to sit down.

Jeanette let go of one hand, but refused to let go of the other as we walked to the benches and sat. I could not stop shaking.

Thirty minutes??

Jeanette pulled out her phone, dialed a number -- which I assume was Brian's -- and put the phone to her ear.

"Hey, he's with me." Was all she said, but she sounded relieved.

She hung up the phone and turned to me. "What happened after you left?" She asked. She didn't sound accusatory or anything, just worried.

"I threw up until I was throwing up bile." I hesitated to tell her because I didn't want to gross her out, but then I remembered she's a surgeon.

Jeanette made a pained face. "I'm so sorry."

"Will you talk to me more when we get home?" I nodded my head and then proceeded to hang it.

"I want cake too..." A voice echoed in my head.

A few minutes passed. By that time I could barely stop myself from slumping down in the seat. Why do I feel so weak?

Eventually Brian and the rest showed up. I covered my face in embarrassment. I felt Jeanette rub my back gently.


"Luc!" I heard them both call me. I sighed quietly.

"I think we should call it a night, boys." I heard Jeanette say.

"Okay," a dejected Dex sighed.

"Thank you for inviting us, Jeanette and Brian." Olive said sweetly.

"You're welcome." Brian responded.

"And here," Olive's voice said. A rustle of a bag sounded.

I heard the two leave. "Luc you okay?" Jason asked.

"Let's go." Jeanette said to him. I uncovered my face and stood up.

Brian was looking at Jeanette for answers. "We'll talk later." She clenched her teeth.

We all went to the car silently. I wish I had my hood.

A few minutes after we got home, Jeanette fixed me a cup of water. She and Brian stood near me in the kitchen. I sat at the counter taking small sips.

"I didn't tell you about my birthday because I didn't celebrate it." I said right off the bat.

I decided to be truthful. Whatever they ask, I'll tell the truth.

"Why not?" Brian asked. They didn't sound harsh at all.

"I wasn't allowed to," I started. "My former parents didn't treat me equally, I wasn't their child so why should they have to?"

"I didn't get to take part in "fun events" like my siblings."

Brian seemed to put it together, "even birthdays?"

I nodded. "The whole thing about that is..." I could distinctly remember Chet grabbing me and putting me on his lap.

"...yeah, a birthday. I kept asking for cake. Fed up, my adoptive father pulled me and force fed me cake until I puked."

"Of course, being only a child I assumed it would be only a one time thing. But it wasn't."

I shuddered after speaking. Just thinking about it made shivers creep down my spine.

"So, whenever I see cake, trip to puke-town." I muttered.

"Oh god..." Jeanette could barely put together a sentence. Brian just had this blank stare.

I turned my back to them and put the cup on the counter.

I got up and left, "Goodnight." I felt like a dick.

A while later, Jeanette cane into my room. She had something wrapped in her hands. "Hey," she said quietly. I smiled at her a little.

"I'm sorry that happened to you." She said.

I didn't respond. She held out the item to me.

"You don't have to do it if you don't want to, but I think it'd help you feel more comfortable." She said as she handed it to me.

"Goodnight." She left.

I unwrapped the item. A headband. I'll consider it.

The next few nights...

No, I need something smaller. Guess my school backpack it is then.

I brought my bag into my room. It was late at night, almost morning, I put my bag down by my closet and sat on my bed staring at it.

Is this really what I'm doing? Do they really deserve this?

There was a knock on my door. It opened and Jason "snuck" in as he closed the door. I stared at him. He was dressed.

"What are you doing?" I asked incredulously.

He speed-walked over to me and leaned down. "Wanna go to a party?" He whispered.

"Huh?" A party? Like, an actual actual party? Like one's in movies?? Hells yes!

"Some seniors are throwing it." Jason whispered.

"You in?" He asked.

I jumped off my bed. "Yes!"

"Shh!" He shushed me.

"Oops." I covered my mouth.

I uncovered my mouth, "Let me get dressed."

Jason nodded. "I'll be downstairs." He said quietly.

I got dressed in my sweathood and dark pants and shoes.

We walked through the darkness silently. I just followed Jason.

"Do you this often?" I whispered.

"Not really." Jason answered.


"You know, you don't have to whisper anymore." He said.

"Oh." I said in my normal voice.

When we got onto the street, it was easy to tell which house the party was at. There were cars all over the place, lights on, and loud music playing.

Ooh whee!

When we got inside the first thing I saw was people dancing. People were drinking, playing games, talking, etc. This is crazy.

"Ooh." I barely heard Jason say. He went over to a table with enough alcohol to intoxicate Jesus.

I followed him. "You're drinking?" I asked.

"Just a little bit." Jason answered. He started to fix himself a drink.

"Is that a good idea?" I questioned. Does he even know what he's doing?

"Oh relax. You keep that stick stuck up your ass you'll never get the girls to like you." He walked away, drink in hand.

"Pfft. I can be liked." I monologued.

I picked up a shot glass and filled it with tequila. Do I know what I'm doing? Hell no!

I drank. I cringed. Shit that burns. I cleared my throat and leaned over the table.

I gave in and started doing more shots. Drank a whole lot of other stuff too.

When it was clear I was drunk, I went over to the dancing area and started dancing.

I don't really know, but I was all over the place. I remember dancing on a guy -- yes, "on" -- sitting on said guy's lap, then we made out for a hot second.

We we were interrupted by Jason pulling me by the hood and dragging me into the bathroom.

He locked us in and I sat on the floor.

"Whyyy? Why did you pull me in heerreee?" I whined.

Jason leaned over the toilet and threw up. He wanted someone to throw up with!

I started to laugh obnoxiously and jumped on his back.

"Lightweight!" I teased as I tugged on the corner of his mouth.

He sat back with a groan and we leaned against the wall. I don't know why, but I couldn't stop giggling.

Jason blew raspberry.

I closed my eye. It was dark, but stuff was still pulsating.

"I can not belieeeeve you came with me." Jason slurred.

"No one's ever invited me to a party!"

"I wanna go to a party!" I yelled and grabbed onto his clothes.

"Pff-shhhhh." Justin said.

The sound he made sent me over the edge.

Well, I was sobering up and the party wasn't nearly over. We were still on the bathroom floor.

Jason hadn't really calmed down entirely.

"Llllllluh-Lllluuhccc." He was trying to sound out my name

"Luck! Luc!"

"That's right!" He turned to me and grabbed me by my shoulders. "You're my brother! And I loves ya!"

He pulled me forward and planted a big kiss on my cheek. I just sat there poker faced.

"Alright," Jason began to get up. "I'm going back out there!"

"Make safe choices...." I mumbled as he left.

Stumbled! Yeah, that! The word to describe how I got up. I exited the bathroom.

Round 2!

Danced more. Hung out with people. Drank. Danced again. Drank. Ran into a wall. Fun! A lot of stuff became a blur.


Darkness. Hello old friend.

I opened my eye and blinked several times. Wet grass, dew still fresh. The sky was pale gray. Barely even morning.

I took a while to register, but I was laying on the ground in someone's yard. I raised my head. This was not our house.

"I'd better get up before I get arrested." I thought.

I heaved myself off the ground. I looked around for Jason. He was no where to be seen. I groaned loudly and looked down.

There was something on my hand. I brought them up. There was dried up red stuff on them.

My eye widened. Oh shit. Blood! There is blood on my hands!! I started to tremble.

Did someone get killed at the party? Did I kill someone?!

Where's Jason?!

I ran down the street. "Jason!" I yelled.

"Jason!" I yelled again.

I made it back to the party house. There were people passed out everywhere.

"Jason?" I called quieter.

I found him passed out leaning against someone's car.

"Hey!" I shook him.

He didn't stir. "I think someone was killed! Wake up!"

I shook him again. His eyes opened and he smiled, "hm?"

"Get up!" I snapped.

He shook his head snapped out of his little trance.

"What?" He questioned.

He stood up and looked me up and down.

"I don't-I don't know what happened." I was close to tears. I showed him my hands.

He put his fingers to his chin and inspected them intensely.

"Was someone killed last night?!" I questioned.

Jason looked at me. "Dude relax. Someone with a Bloody Mary ran into you and you were too wasted to bother to wash it off."

"Wha?" I whimpered. Oh so it wasn't a wall.

"Yeah, it's all over your face too!" He added.

"No!!" I screeched.

Jason grabbed my shoulders and shushed me.

"Let's go. We might be able to sneak back in unless your screaming woke everyone up." He grabbed my wrist and pulled me.

"What else happened? How did I end up out here?" I asked eventually.

"You left to go home I guess. Then again, you were pretty uncoordinated, so you got turned around and passed out in someone's lawn." Jason explained.


"What do you remember?" He asked.

"Um well... I remember dancing, sitting on the bathroom floor with you. Drinking a lot, uh..." I trailed off. I remembered kissing a guy for a very hot second.

Jason sighed, disappointed, "why am I the only one who remembers karaoke'ing?" He hung his head.


"What?!" We stopped walking.

"We both got up on the "stage" and started singing." Jason explained.

"Were we any good?" I asked.

Jason hunched his shoulders. "We were drunk."

I sighed heavily.

"I'm not sure if this was a dream or not, but were you making out with a guy?" He scratched his head.

Uh.... *initiate gay panic* It was for a fucking second! Does it even count as making out??

" I think you must've been dreaming, bud." I lied.

I'm not ready to come out. I have no idea how they'd react. I placed my hand on the lower left side of my back. Faggot.

We started walking again. We were almost home.

We walked into the yard. I turned my head to Jason.

"Hey what-" I was cut off by a jet stream of water hitting Jason in the face.

My jaw dropped and I turned forward, only to receive the same treatment. That was some hard ass water.

Jason and I both spit out water. Water dripped down my face.

I opened my eye. Jeanette and Brian were standing there looking angry. Brian was holding the hose.

Are they gonna kill us?

"You feel that boys? The pounding headache? That's your brain slowly contracting." Brian stated.

I was so up and moving I didn't really dwell on it. My head feels like a box of cotton was stuck up there. I craddled my head and groaned.

"What were you two thinking? Sneaking out like that?" Jeanette fumed.

"I so sorry." I squeaked. Hell yes, I felt guilty.

"You aren't getting off that easy, Luc!" Brian raised his voice. I flinched.

"I mean, you aren't getting off that easy, Luc." He didn't yell that time. I think he was having trouble deciding whether or not to yell at me.

I just shut up.

"What if something happened to the two of you? What if someone was murdered?" Jeanette fussed.

Jason snickered, dove for my hand and raised it up. "Already established that mom!" He laughed.

That prompted Brian to spray Jason in the face again.

"What is that on your hand, Luc?" Brian asked.

"Bloody Mary. Someone...ran into me." I explained.

"What were you thinking?!" Jeanette asked again.

"We weren't." Jason and I sighed.

"You'd better be thankful all you got was a hangover! This could of been a lot worse."

"You could've been attacked or worse!" She snapped.

I nodded my head.

"Both of you, get in the house." Brian ordered.

"We'll deal with this later." I dreaded those words. This wasn't my first time hearing them.

Jason and I started walking.

"Take showers." Brian ordered.

"Can you whisper?" Jason rasped.

"Not really!" Brian yelled close to his ear. Jason flinched away.

"Did you forget anything in there?" I asked Jason when he got out of the bathroom.

"No, why?" He asked.

I didn't answer him, just went into the bathroom and closed the door.

I showered. Washed my hair, washed the Bloody Mary off, washed the sweat and grime.

Once I got out I felt better, but slow as hell. When I got into my room and into my pajamas, I face planted.

I am never ever ever drinking again. Good thing I got it out of my system now, rather than getting it out of my system in adulthood.

When I woke up the first thing I did was go to the bathroom and throw up.

I wailed out loud. Not again!

The door burst open and Brian appeared.

I flushed the toilet and looked at him.

"Do you guys hate me?"

"No. We're just disappointed."

That actually hurt. I guess their opinion mattered more to me than I originally thought.

I nodded my head.

"Come on, let's get you some aspirin." Brian beckoned me.

When we got downstairs to the kitchen, Jason was sitting at the counter with his head down and an empty glass of water in his hand. He was asleep.

Brian grabbed a glass from the cabinet and filled it with water. I sat down beside Jason and slouched over.

I saw Brian's hand grab the aspirin bottle from in front of Jason and pour two out. He dropped them in the glass and set it in front of me.

"Thanks." I mumbled.

I drank the water.

"You know, I can't help but think this; you could make better choices." Brian said.

I slid my hands up my face.

"Both of you." He said.

I chose not to say anything. He was right though. It was stupid of us to go out last night. I should've talked Jason out of going, or let alone drinking. I know better than anyone what could've happened.

A little later I went into my room and laid on my bed.

Jason eventually came in and closed the door. He laid on the floor beside my bed.

I heard him blow air.

"I feel like a jackass." He sighed. Same.

"Hey," he called up to me.

"Hm?" I responded groggily; I was half-asleep.

"You know how they said you got one eye?" He asked.

"Yeah?" Barely came out. I really just wanted to sleep, but I wanted to talk to him too.

"How did you lose it? Or is it still there?" He asked.

I hesitated. "It's still there."

"Oh..." He paused. "So what happened?"

"...I don't want to talk about it." Not yet, at least.

I closed my eye. I felt a draft, heard and felt Jason begin to crawl into the bed.

"Scoot over."

"Seriously?" I groaned. I moved over.

"I feel like I wouldn't make it to my room."

I rolled my eye, then closed it.

After sleeping for a few hours I woke up again. I sat up and looked back at Jason. He was still asleep.

I looked at my clock on the nightstand. It was past noon. Way past noon. I glanced at the headband. Maybe it would help.

I ran my fingers through my hair and pushed it to the top of my head.


I hung my head and shook it, causing my hair to fall back in place. What do I do? Jeanette and Brian are doctors! They've seen worse! Right? What about Jason? He might be sensitive to this kind of thing.

I cupped my face in my hands and shook my head.

"What's wrong?" I shrieked when Jason spoke.

I exhaled heavily. "Nothing, nothing."

Jason sat up and stretched. "Hm! Thanks for letting me bunk!"

He hopped out the bed and left.

I felt exhausted. I slept too much.

I trudged down the stairs and went into the kitchen. A small light was on. Jeanette was leaning over the counter with a packet and pen.

"Hi." I greeted her. Why do I feel like we haven't been seeing much of each other?

"Hi." She responded.

I wringed my hands. "I'm sorry I snuck out. And didn't talk Jason out of it."

"I know you are, Luc."

"But I just want to make sure you know why what you did was wrong. Dangerous."

"I know," I looked at my hands. "I got a pretty good scare when I woke up."

I looked up at her. Jeanette stared at me.

"...and where did you wake up?" She asked.

"In someone's yard. Alone. Confused." I answered.


"I can vaguely remember the desire to go home...but according to Jason I didn't make it."

"Well, I'm sure Jason hates how he feels. I don't think he'll touch alcohol again." I "think."

Jeanette came close to me. "Can I hug you?"

I sighed. "Yes."

She wrapped her arms around me and hugged me tightly. "I'm glad you're okay."

The next day I came upon Jeanette. I heard noises from the bathroom and found her doubled over the toilet.


"Mom!" She corrected.


"What's wrong?" I asked.

She waved her hand, "Nothing! I'm fine. Go back to whatever you were doing."

I turned and left.

Later on that day, Brian and Jeanette called us into the living room.

"What's up Mom?" Jason asked as he sat down beside me on the couch. Jeanette and Brian stood in front of us.

I was thinking they were going to castrate us or send us to boarding school.

"Well," Jeanette started. She sounded nervous, "I guess there's really nothing else to say,"

"I'm pregnant!" Oh.

"Yay?" I drawled. Babies...the Devil's disciple.

"Hey," Jason nudged me. "A little brother or sister."

I frowned at him. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy for Jeanette. Them.

The next day at school, things were kind of hectic. We had class with a few people from the party.

Some guy was messing with Jason (for whatever reason). The way the desks were set up, they were sitting beside each other. I was a couple desks behind Jason.

Jason wasn't really sticking up for himself. All I could do was shake my head.

"You know Jason, perhaps if you got rid of that bitchy personality people would like you better." I heard the guy say all confident.

The people around them either gasped or snickered. I know one thing; people bully others because they're missing something.

"Perhaps you should get a personality, you shallow cunt!" I jumped in.

The whole class gasped. Jason and the guy turned to me with their mouths open.

I looked around.

I got written up and sent to the office. I was given detention.

Once I got out of the office, classes were transitioning.


Goddamn it. Why's he always messin' with me?

Again, Mike sought me out.

"Why do you keep messing with me?" I questioned.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd think you have a crush on me." I teased.

He growled and punched me in the nose. I yelled in pain and backed up against my locker. My nostrils bled.

Mike grabbed onto my clothes and raised his fist.

"Get your hands of my brother!" I heard a yell and saw a fist connect with Mike's cheek.

He jerked to the side and pulled me along with him. He threw me to the side once he saw who punched him.


"You called me your brother!" I gasped.

Luc rolled his eye.

Mike got angry. Guess he was still reeling from Luc's comment.

He charged at him with a yell.

I watched Luc kick him in the shin, then punch him in the jaw when he dropped down.

"Shawty!" I heard Dex. I turned. He was running towards us, trying to at least, the crowd hindered him.

Mike got up and grabbed on to Luc, they wrestled.

Aw shit. Dex broke through the crowd and ran towards the two.

"Get your hands off my shawty!" Dex screamed.

He dove for Mike's legs and straddled him.

That didn't really do much.

I ran forward and jumped on Mike's back.

The crowd was going hog wild.

I grabbed at Mike's arms. Luc broke free and punched him in the face one last time.

"Five-O!" Dex started yelling. I couldn't understand him.

"What?!" I looked down at him.

"Five-O! Run!" Dex got up and ran. I looked at him and watched him run straight into police officers. He fell onto his back.

Oh shit.

The crowd was running. Mike broke his hold on Luc.

I dropped off Mike's back and backed up beside Luc.

"Now this is not what it looks like." Luc stated.

"Shut up." One of the officers demanded.

He grabbed Luc's arm and turned him around. He began to put him in handcuffs.

Oh shit.

"Wait, wait-" Another officer put me in handcuffs too.

They grabbed Mike, put him in handcuffs, grabbed Dex by the shirt, and they dragged us all into the office.

I couldn't help but notice, Luc seemed to know what he was doing. Kind of. I looked at him. He had his head hung. I couldn't see his face.

Mike was all bloody and bruised. Dex sat in his chair smiling.

I shook my head. We are in deep shit. An officer stood by us, making sure we wouldn't act up.

When the principal came for us we all started speaking.

"I was just defending my shawty..."

"Look, I was defending my brother..."

"He hit me first..."

"He started it..."

The sentences all got jumbled together.

The principal waved his hands, "Enough!" His voice boomed.

He pointed, "you. In my office, now."


"You have got to be kidding me." I gasped.

I hung up the phone. "Dr. Benson." One of my nurses called.

"Ready for the surgery." He said.

I panicked mentally.

"Okay, on my way." I told him. He left.

I called Brian. "Pick up...." I begged.

He didn't answer. Okay.

I'm about to get into so much trouble. I ran through the hallways and down stairs. I knew Brian was on his lunch break, so why didn't he answer?

I burst into the break room. Brian sat near the back about to eat. He looked up and saw me.

"What is it?" He asked.

"Luc's been suspended!" I said.

"What happened?" He interrogated.

I held up my hands, "they wouldn't tell me anything."

"I need you to go down to the school. I'm about to go into surgery!" I told him.

Brian stood up. "My lunch break will be over by the time I get there."

I sighed.

"Let me see if I can get someone to cover for me." He sighed.

Third Person:

In the office, the boys were interrogated one by one

They all told their sides.

"That other guy threw the first punch." Mike sighed.

"I just got there; I jumped on his legs, he hurt my friends." Dex said innocently.

"He started the altercation." Luc said. He merely walked away with a bleeding lip.

"Mike's been bullying me for a while now. He just went too far this time." Jason explained.

"How did the fight start?" The principal asked.

"Mike punched me, was about to do it again. My brother stepped in." Jason answered.

"No idea. Think it started originally in the classroom. There was an outburst." Dex answered.

"We were by the lockers; he came out of nowhere. The kid went crazy on me." Mike said.

"He was messing with Jason in the classroom. I was kicked out after snapping at him. When I saw Jason again, Mike had punched him and was going to again. I stopped him. It got out of control." Luc explained calmly.


Oof. That was intense. I sat down beside Luc. He still hung his head. Mike was on the other side of the office.

"Hey." I called Luc.


"Did they say anything? Like, consequence wise?" I asked.

Luc shook his head.

"You okay?" I put my hand on his shoulder.

"I'm fine." He answered simply. I got the feeling he wasn't being entirely truthful.

Dex sat down beside me. He sighed.

"What?" I asked.

"I'm missin' lunch for this bullshit." He grumbled and crossed his arms.

"I mean, I'm happy to help clear the funk."

"I just wanted chocolate chip cookies." He said.

"Of course you do." I sighed.

Luc tugged on my sleeve.

I turned to him, "what?"

He pointed. Our Dad just walked in. He was dressed in his doctor scrubs.

"Oh god. We're dying this time." I whispered to Luc.

Luc raised his head. "Has he seen us yet?" He whispered back.

"I don't think so."

Dex's mom walked in after Brian. They started talking. We all somewhat hid our faces.

The doors opened then closed and two others walked in.

"Dr. Benson, Ms. Manning, Mr and Mrs. Freeman," We all heard the principal's voice.

"I am so sorry to pull you all out of work." He said.

"Please, come into my office. We can talk there." He said.

I assume they left.

The three of us exhaled in relief.

"What's gonna happen now?" Dex pondered.

Million dollar question, my friend.


"This all looks bad. This is the first time any of them have acted out in such a manner," The principal started.

"I was told by their teacher about an outburst, caused by Luc Benson."

I raised an eyebrow. "Luc?" I questioned in disbelief.

"Yes. Although students from the class claimed there was some verbal abuse towards Jason before Luc's outburst."

"What kind of outburst?" I drawled.

The principal inhaled then exhaled. "He used an offensive phrase, directed at the student."

"Parents, this is a very serious issue; this has become an investigation as well. Jason claims Mike has been bullying him for some time now."

I resisted the urge to turn and look at his parents.

"The boy's stories line up, but I'm aware of Dex, Luc, and Jason's relationship. It could've been rehearsed. We just have to weed out any possibilities and suspicions."

"A few suspensions are in order, but if we find evidence that Mike was bullying Jason and the altercation was a product of that, then the instigator will only be punished."

"Well, who threw the first punch?" Olive asked. The other parents wanted to know as well.

"We have no idea. It's all hearsay." The principal answered.

"But evidence suggests Luc Benson was the instigator; seeing as he was the most aggressive." I put my hand to my forehead. I'm gonna find out. Luc doesn't seem to be aggressive for no reason. It'd make sense if he was protecting Jason. I saw the Mike kid. He's not looking too pretty.

"So the others are pardoned?" One of the Freemans asked.

"No. We're still investigating."

"Um...excuse me," Olive spoke up.

"What did Dex do?" She asked.

"While he didn't throw any punches, he was helping the other two fight Mike."

"So what did Jason do?" I asked. Just need further detail.

"He was on Mike's back."

Wow. I shook my head.

"The boys are to stay home for the remainder of the week while we do so."

I just can't believe it.


The three of us walked out of the school.

Dex turned to us, "well shawties, been a blast. As always."

"That's enough out of you." Olive scolded as she pulled him along.

I turned and smiled at Luc. I wrapped my arm around his shoulders and hugged him.

"You saved my life! Thanks!" I was grinning from ear to ear.

Luc pushed me away. "This isn't something I'm proud of Jason!" He snapped.

"I hated doing that! That fight was nothing but violent."

"Someone could get expelled and/or arrested!" Guessing that someone is him.

"This entire situation is serious." Dad interjected.

"It's really not though." Luc countered. Why did he contradict himself like that?

"They were putting us in handcuffs, Luc. It was pretty serious." I stated.

"They put you in handcuffs?!" Dad asked. We ignored him

"Why are you so mad?!" I asked him.

"Because! You should have told us that he was bullying you!" Luc pointed.

"People are crazy! He could have killed you just because! He could have killed you in that hallway!" He shouted.

"Luc." Dad tried to calm him down.

"I'm just surprised someone who talks so much, would communicate so little when he's in trouble." He seethed.

"Cause now we're all getting suspended." He threw his hands in the air as he walked away. "Bravo."

I groaned in frustration. I'm even more pissed because we had to get in the same car!

"Hey!" I yelled to Luc.

"That's enough! Both of you. Get in the car!" Dad shouted at us.

I climbed into the front. Luc was in the back.

Dad got in and started the car. He sat for a second. Then he hung his head and sighed loudly. He turned off the car.

I darted my eyes back and forth. I opened my mouth to speak.

Dad whipped around to Luc.

"I know you were just defending Jason, and I appreciate it, but there were plenty of other ways to defuse the situation!" He fussed.

"He was punching him." Luc said calmly.

I turned to Luc. "It was only once. It doesn't matter."

"Bullshit it doesn't matter!" Luc snapped.

"Enough!" Dad yelled.

We shut up. I turned forward.

"Not another word until we get home!" He said.

He started the car again and we left. This was the most awkward car ride of my life.

When we got inside the house, I sat on the stairs.

"I've been called back to the hospital." Dad started.

"Luc, clean and put antiseptic on your lip." He told him.

He started to go out the door.

"Both of you, do not leave the house!" He slammed the door behind him.

I looked up at Luc. He had been standing off to the side.

Silently, he brushed past me and hurried upstairs.

I sighed. What a day.

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