LIE

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Chapter 44

Luc:

"Hey fuckers!" I shouted from the top of the staircase at school. Jason, Indra, and Evie stood at the bottom.

"Nice Luc." Indra said dryly.

I started down the stairs, then slipped on the second flight. I slid down the stairs then landed on my butt beside Indra. I groaned in pain.

"Karma." Evie laughed.

"I think I broke my ass." I stated. It was stinging like crazy.

Indra laughed and reached down. I grabbed his hand and he pulled me to my feet.

I quickly let go of his hand. I still wanted to keep our relationship under wraps, while Indra wanted to be out about it. I told him one day soon we'd tell people. He respected my wishes.

As we walked to the buses Indra and I hung back behind Evie and Jason.

Indra tapped my arm. I looked at him. He gestured to us then pointed to Evie. Oh, he's asking if we should tell her about us.

"Eh..." Barely came out.

I held up a finger. Let's just wait a little longer. Indra nodded solemnly.

The next day during lunch I sat at a table in the library chilling. Indra sat across from me. I could feel him watching me as I rocked in the chair. I decided to tease him.

"Like what you see?" I asked.

"Yes indeed." He answered.

I chuckled.

"So...should we tell Evie?" Indra asked curiously. I glanced at him.

"Tell her what?" I asked.

Indra's face drooped. "About us."

"Oh, right." Silly me.

"Let's tell her today, okay?" I suggested. Indra smiled a little. "Yes." He said.

Around 11:26 we left to head back to class.

"So when's the graduation ceremony?" I asked. I hope he does stay close when he's in college.

"Don't know. I'm not going." He replied flippantly.

"What? Why?" I questioned. "It's a milestone!"

"I've had a lot of milestones." Indra stated dryly. "What's more, I don't think I'm going to graduate this year."

"Que?" I thought.

"What do you mean?" I asked.

Indra shook his head and didn't say anything. "Okay." I sighed.

We approached Evie in theatre arts before class started -- we spent the rest of the third block getting our story together.

We walked shoulder to shoulder pretty much.

"What are you two cooking up?" Evie asked. "You've been whisper whisper for a while now."

Indra and I looked at each other before saying anything.

"We've decided...to start dating properly."

"Wow," she started. "Finally coming to your senses." She walked away and sat down as the bell rang.

I held my hands up. Indra just hunched his shoulders. We sat down beside Evie. Jason wasn't there. I wonder why.

"Where's Jason?" I asked.

"No clue. He normally disappears in the afternoons every now and again." Evie answered.

"Why?" I asked.

Evie threw her hands up, "he never tells us."

"Good afternoon guys! It's a new week, you know what that means." Ms. Stal called from the stage.

"That means what?" I thought.

"Since it's the end of the year, I'll give you more free reign. If you want to you can form a group or have a partner to perform with and it can be a little over five minutes." She said.

"Get going." She finished.

I turned to Indra. "What's going on?"

"The singing." He answered.

"Oh no!" I gasped. "Y'all still do it?! She was serious about that?" Can I even sing? I touched my throat. I didn't hide those scars.

"Yes. She was serious." Indra said.

I cried dramatically.

"I think you'll be fine. You speak well, so you might be able to sing well too." Indra said, trying to mend the situation.

"Yeah except for some voice cracks here and there." I responded.

"Then, do you want to work together?" Indra asked.

I had some ideas myself.

He turned to Evie.

"What'll you do?" He asked her.

"I'm going to work by myself." She said.

Indra nodded and turned back to me.

"Indra, darling," I called. "Will you be the Bowie to my Cher?" Haha, I called him darling. Wait, is that okay?

He chuckled, but it was clear he was confused.

"If you come over after school I can show you the video and maybe even plan if you want to do the songs." I told him.

"Songs?" He questioned.

"It's a medley."

"Oh." Indra nodded and smiled, "sounds like a plan. I just need to take Evie home first."

I gave him a thumbs up.

"Oh my god," I groaned playfully. I was headed to the buses, Indra was dead set on walking me to mine. "Go!" I pushed against his stomach. "Go take Evie home. By the time you do that I'll probably be at home."

"Aw." I swear he's like a puppy sometimes. He's so cute. "Okay." He turned around and headed to the student parking lot.

I hustled to my bus.

"Shit, I forgot to ask if he could come over." I thought.

I pulled out my phone and texted Jeanette.

"No Luc. Brian and I aren't there. Some other time." She responded.

Oh what do I do?

"And can you get Alexandria from the neighbor's house please?" She then asked.

"Sure."

"Ok. I'll just go get Alexandria and just sit in the car with Indra, show him the video, he leaves. Easy peasy." I thought.

I ran up the stairs of our porch. My problem was this: I didn't know which house Alexandria was in.

I called Jeanette.

"Hey Luc." She answered, she talked quietly for some reason.

"Which house is Alexandria in?" I asked.

"It's a house on the other side of the street, the only one with a red door." She said.

"Okay." I hung up and hustled to the house.

I knocked on the door.

"Oh god. New people." I don't know these people, and I didn't know Jeanette and Brian had the neighbors watch Alexandria.

The door opened and a brown haired girl around my age appeared. Haven't seen her before. Does she go to my school?

"Um...I'm here for Alexandria?" Please god let me be at the right place.

The girl didn't say anything at first, just looked me up and down with a suspicious eye.

"Who are you supposed to be?" She asked.

"Who are you?" I asked rudely. "You're the new girl."

"I've been watching Alexandria for a few months now." The girl retorted. "You're the new guy."

Guess she started watching her while I was still in the hospital. I scowled.

"I don't have time for this. Just give me the baby." I snapped.

"No!" The girl snapped back.

I growled at her.

"Growl all you want you ain't getting her! Unless you tell me who you are to her." She said.

"I'm her brother you nitwit! If I was a complete stranger would I have known her name?!" I fussed.

She touched her chin. "I thought there was only one brother. He normally comes to get her."

"No. I'm the other brother." I said.

"They never told me about you." She said.

"I don't blame them." Who wants to tell people about their psychotic son that they had to commit?

I peeked around the girl and looked into the house. I saw Alexandria sitting on the floor playing with a toy.

"Alexandria," I called. "It's time to go."

She got up and ran over to us. She stepped onto the porch and kicked my shin. It didn't hurt, just felt like a little knock.

"Not stupid!" She cried.

"What?" I stooped down.

"Not stupid!" She repeated.

Oh right, I completely snapped at her yesterday.

"I know, I'm sorry. I didn't mean it." I said and hugged her.

"Let's go home, okay?" I suggested.

"Okay." Alexandria said.

I took her hand and walked away.

"Bye Margo." Alexandria said.

"Bye." The girl called sweetly.

Fuck that bitch.

As we walked back home I saw Indra pull up into the driveway. I leaned down to Alexandria.

"Okay, I have to talk to my...friend...just sit quiet for a little bit okay?" I said. She nodded and I picked her up and ran to his car.

I opened the door and climbed in.

"What's the rush?" Indra asked as I closed the door. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, yeah." I answered.

"Hey Alexandria." Indra said with a smile and tickled her. She giggled.

I reached into my pocket and took out my phone.

"Here, let's watch the video." I said.

I pulled YouTube and the video.

"Behold, one of the greatest collaborations ever." I said.

Indra chuckled. The video started playing and Alexandria started pulling on my arm.

"Luc, Luc!" She whined.

"What?" I responded, annoyed.

"Out there!" She whined. I groaned and rolled my eye.

"It is getting a little stuffy in here." Indra jumped in.

"Well, fine! Let's go sit on the porch." I said.

I opened the door quickly and ran to the porch. I set Alexandria down and told her to stay where I could see her.

Indra sat down beside me, "you sure everything is okay?"

"Yeah. Why wouldn't everything be okay?" I asked quickly while smiling.

"You're in a rush."

"No I'm not."

I just need to finish showing him the video and get him out of here before Jeanette gets home.

Alexandria was in the yard chasing a butterfly.

We finished the video a few minutes later.

Indra nodded. "I like it."

"Okay good, let's talk later." I rushed him.

"Luc, what is going on?" He planted himself right where he was.

I gave in, "Jeanette said I couldn't have you over, but by that time I had already invited you and I didn't wanna flat out say "don't come," so I thought if I showed you the video you could leave and Jeanette would be none the wiser."

I panted after all that.

"Oh." Indra said.

"Okay, then I guess I'll take off." Indra stood up.

"Alexandria!" I called. Where is she?

"Look, Luc!" I heard her voice.

I turned and felt all the blood leave my face.

She had a small ugly brown dog in her hands.

"How did she catch a dog?" I thought.

She was running towards us.

"No, no, no!" Indra and I started yelling.

I backed up to the door.

"Put the dog down, crazy!" I said.

When she was close to Indra the dog went insane and started to thrash and snap its jaws. Alexandria and I screamed. The dog chomped down on her face. It took a second but she finally dropped the dog and it ran away.

Alexandria fell onto the ground crying. Oh no.

I got up and ran to her with Indra.

"Oh shit." I said.

Alexandria was bleeding from the right eye. Oh no, she's gonna be like me and lose her eye! That dog must've bit her hard.

"Bet you won't do that shit again." I said. Shut up, get Indra to take you guys to the hospital!

"Luc." Indra scolded.

"It slipped out." I said.

Indra kneeled and looked at her.

"She's bleeding alot." He said.

I ran my fingers through my hair.

I picked her up, "think we should take her to the hospital."

Indra nodded and we rushed into the car. I put on my seatbelt and held Alexandria close to me as I held my hand on her eye. "Please god don't fall out!" I thought.

"Oh my god Jeanette's gonna shove her scalpel up my ass!" I cried as Indra pulled out of the driveway and drove down the street.

"Brian's at the hospital! He's gonna shove his scalpel up my ass too! That's two scalpels up my ass!" I panicked.

"No one's shoving anything up anywhere." Indra said.

Alexandria wouldn't stop crying.

"That dog could've had rabies! It didn't have a collar!" I rambled.

"Luc, focus." Indra said. How is he so calm? "We're almost at the hospital." Hallelujah.

When we got to the hospital, Indra dropped us off at the front and went to park.

I rushed into the hospital.

"Help! The baby needs help!" I shouted.

A nurse ran over to us.

"What happened?" She took Alexandria.

"She got bit by a stray dog." I cried. "Is she gonna lose her eye?! She's too young to be like me!"

"Calm down, sir." The nurse said.

The nurse took Alexandria and I to a doctor for children. They had me stand by her and keep her calm while they cleaned her up. It was superficial; she wasn't going to lose her eye.

While the doctor was getting supplies I held onto Alexandria and talked to her soothingly. She had stopped crying but was still shaken up.

"Luc." A voice called.

I ducked down, panicking.

"Don't shove your scalpel up my ass!" I screeched.

"Ahaha...okay..." The voice said.

"Huh?" I stood up. Oh, It's just Dr. Pastor. I am going to get into so much trouble.

"What happened here?" She asked as she sat down beside Alexandria, examining her.

"A dog bit her." I said.

"I'll take over." She said to the doctor as he came back.

"How'd you guys get here?" She asked me.

"My boy- my friend." I answered.

"Ok. Glad to see you're doing better." She said.

"Alright Alexandria, this is going to numb you. You won't feel a thing." Dr. Pastor said.

Indra came in.

"Is everything okay?" He asked.

"They're still running tests, but it's looking good." I said.

They doubt the dog had rabies, but I wanna know why it flipped out.

"Oh my god, will you please hug me?" I whimpered.

Indra grinned slightly, "yes." He walked over to us and wrapped his arms around me. He feels nice. I like being inside his embrace.

"Do you think when she's done we should grab Alexandria and run?" I asked.

"I couldn't cover this up, she doesn't have enough hair." I said.

"We can tell your parents what happened. They'll understand." Indra said. He rubbed my arm.

"You weren't even supposed to be there." I said.

I pulled away from him and took out my phone.

"I should call Brian now." I sat down beside Alexandria. I wrapped my arm around Alexandria as the phone rang.

"Hey Luc. What's going on?" Brian answered.

"We're in the E.R."

"I'll be right there." He said.

I hung up and put my phone down. Indra sat down in front of Alexandria. He let her play with his fingers. Dr. Pastor put a gauze pad over Alexandria's eye and left.

A few seconds later Brian appeared in the E.R. and was walking towards us.

"Daddy!" Alexandria cried as she reached out for him.

He picked her up and hugged her when he got to the bed.

"Hey baby. Are you okay?" He asked her.

"Yes. I got bit by a dog!" Alexandria exclaimed. She told it like it was some great thing. Brian looked at me. I jumped a little.

"Luc, what exactly happened?" He asked.

"She picked up a stray, it went crazy and bit her." I answered nervously.

"Why didn't you stop her from picking it up?" He asked.

"I didn't see it." I said. I didn't make eye contact with him. "I'm sorry."

"Did you call your mother?" He asked.

I shook my head.

"Call her. Tell her what happened, have her come get you."

Indra jumped in, "I can take them back to the house."

"Fine." Brian said.

Brian kissed Alexandria's cheek.

"Daddy, don't go." She whined.

"Sorry baby. I have to get back to work." He said.

"No." Alexandria whined.

"Luc take her." Brian ordered. I stood up and grabbed Alexandria. She whimpered and rested her head on my shoulder. Indra got up.

"Straight home, Luc." Brian called as we left.

On the way home I called Jeanette. She was already on her way home. She beat us home.

Jeanette stood against the backside of her car with her arms crossed and her face furious.

"Don't get out the car." I told Indra. It was pointless either way; she saw him.

He looked down guiltily.

"Thanks for taking us." I whispered.

I opened the door and got out, closing it behind me.

I handed Alexandria to Jeanette. Alexandria melted on to Jeanette.

"Come on. Inside." She said.

I held my head down as we went inside.

Jason was standing there.

"Hey," I called quietly. "Where did you go?"

He backed away from me and went upstairs.

Jeanette took Alexandria upstairs and put her down.

I stood behind her, by my door. I held my forearm and held my head down.

What's she gonna do to me? What will she say?

Jeanette turned around and faced me.

"Why was Indra here when I told you he couldn't be here?" She asked.

"We were just on the porch. I had to show him a video for a performance we're doing." I answered.

"Why couldn't you just send it to him?"

"I wanted to see him..." I said under my breath.

"What was that?" Jeanette asked.

"I wanted to see him." I spoke up.

"It could've waited until tomorrow!" Jeanette raised her voice.

"I told you to get Alexandria and bring her home! Not sit outside the house with the two of you. Why weren't you watching her?" I lowered my head further.

"I'm sorry." I mumbled.

"Luc when I say something I mean it. Don't just do what you want to." She left and went into Alexandria's room, closing the door behind her.

I turned and walked stiffly down the stairs and out of the house. I sat on the porch and cradled my head.

I kept thinking of that dog biting her and her screams. I rubbed my head and shook it.

Yet another mistake.

How many more times? How much longer?

At school the next day I kept my head down and just carried on throughout the day.

During lunch I sat under a stairwell. I avoided everybody today.

I heard a small rustle and a snickers bar was dangled and waved in front of my face. I tilted my head back. Indra stood on the stairs leaning over the railing, grinning with a snickers bar in his mouth.

I looked down and he dropped the snickers in my lap. I heard him come down the stairs.

"How's Alexandria?" He asked. I didn't answer.

"You doing okay?" He asked as he joined me where I sat. I turned my head away from him. I felt terrible about all of it.

"Not talking?" He asked. "Luc, what happened to Alexandria wasn't your fault." I scoffed lightly.

I opened the snickers and took a bite. Food! Ugh, I love these bars.

I turned and looked at Indra, making eye contact with him. I love this guy too.

Now that I think about it I always did.

I wonder if I actually mean something to him. Not just a temporary fling...

I looked at his lips for a second. They moved, "Luc."

"What?" I sighed and looked away from him.

"I should've been a bit more responsible yesterday. I'm sorry." He said.

I ignored him. Somewhat.

Indra got me talking, at least. He convinced me that we should tell Jason about our relationship -- and maybe tell Jeanette and Brian soon.

While we walked through the hallways looking for Jason, Indra held his hand out to me. I looked at it, then he jerked it a little.

"He wants to hold hands." I thought.

I blushed and kept walking.

We saw Jason by the office.

I waved my hand in the air, "yoohoooo! Jason! We have some news."

He turned to us.

"Not now, Luc." He said and walked around us.

"What's wrong with him? He's been acting funny." I pouted and crossed my arms.

"He's probably just busy." Indra said quietly. "It's alright, so are we." He then said.

"Huh?" He looked at me.

"Class is about to start." He said.

I groaned, "I gotta go to that?"

Indra nodded.

"Come on."

We didn't have the next block together. I let Indra kiss me goodbye when he dropped me off at my class.

"Hm," I whined pitifully.

Indra turned around. He chuckled when he saw me. I was reaching for him with a cute pouty face. Bitches love pouty faces.

"That's right, you were having a bad day." Indra said as he came over and hugged me.

I didn't care that people were around and staring. And I didn't care that his class was right next to mine.

We let go and said our final goodbyes and went into class.

I got through the class on auto-pilot; not paying attention.

Once it was time to go home I had completely checked out. I said goodbye to everyone and headed home.

"We're having dinner with the neighbors Friday night." Jeanette announced to Jason and I when we got home.

"This is new." I thought.

"Um...Can Indra join us?" I asked out of curiosity. Best to tell them when we're all together.

Jeanette gave me the "bitch please" look. "No."

"Aw." I lowered my head.

Don't lose heart, there's still a few days until Friday.

I went upstairs to Alexandria. She laid on her stomach on her floor drawing with a marker.

I sat down with my legs crossed.

"Hey Alexandria." I said quietly.

"Hi Luc." Her high voice said.

I looked at her paper. It was a brown four legged thing. A dog. The dog.

"Do you hate me, Alexandria?" I asked.

She looked up at me. "Hate?" She tilted her head to the side.

Is this topic too advanced for her?

"Alexandria loves Luc." She said.

I smiled a little and stood up, "okay."

The next day late at night I sat downstairs curled up on the couch. I just watched the darkness, the shapes.

I wasn't at all tired, but I knew I shouldn't be up.

I heard someone coming down the stairs. I froze, then decided I wanted some late night human contact.

I stood up and a woman shrieked. Jeanette. It's Jeanette.

"What are you doing up so late?" She whispered.

"I dunno. I was kind of bothered." I told her.

"How do you mean?"

"Feeling guilty about Alexandria. Keep thinking I'll make another mistake and you'll abandon me."

Jeanette stepped forward and hugged me by the head, placing it on her shoulder.

"I would never abandon you. I scold you as any mother would her child."

"What happened to Alexandria was just an accident."

The next day at school I approached Indra in the corridor by the stairs.

"Are you free this Friday?" I asked him.

"Yes."

"Good! Plan on staying that way. I's got a plan." I said.

"What're you planning?" Indra asked slowly.

"If it goes my way, I'll let you know."

I stepped closer to him and booped his nose before taking off.

I know Jeanette said no just because she was angry, but it's been a few days so she's probably more open now.

"So, uh," I said with a cute voice when I saw Jeanette after coming home from school. "Can Indra come over for that dinner?"

Jeanette looked at me for a really long time and didn't say anything.

Just one final push.

On Friday I slid into her room real smooth.

I grinned from ear to ear, "do you lurv me?"

She turned and looked at me.

"Depends on what mischief you're getting up to." She responded.

I chuckled, trying to be cute.

"Can Indra please come to the dinner? Please?" I begged.

Jeanette scoffed. "What is with you? Why are you so pushy about this?"

"Well normally when you say no or something I just drop it and leave it at that, but not this time. I got something important to do. I mean, we have something important to do." I answered.

Jeanette narrowed her eyes and looked at me closely.

"Are you guys-?" She's putting it together. I smiled nervously.

"That's why you want him to come so bad?" She questioned. "Because you want to tell us you're dating now?"

"Well, yes." I said.

Jeanette sighed. "Fine."

"Yes!" I cheered. "Thank you!" I ran out and went into my room to call Indra.

"Alright, how do you feel about dinner at my house tonight?" I asked him.

"Sounds nice." He said.

"Good. So will you come?" I asked.

"Yes."

"Did you ask your parents this time?" He then asked.

"Yes." I answered.

"Ok. See you later then." He said before hanging up.

Two or three hours later Indra arrived. Jeanette and Brian were still cooking.

I hovered over them, watching. I like seeing the art of preparing food. Jeanette was chopping up salad stuff, while Brian worked with the meats.

Indra stood somewhere behind me.

Jeanette handles a knife like an artist. Is that because she's a doctor? Wait, do I have a knife fetish?

"Luc go set the table." Jeanette said.

"Aw." I whined.

I looked up at Indra. He was leaning back a little bit and his hand was shaking. "That's right. He's afraid of knives."

I grabbed the napkins and a whole lot of silverware and ran into Indra.

"Come help me!"

I pushed him into the dining room and handed him a few napkins and silverware. There were a lot of seats. Guess it's a big family.

A few seconds later Indra and I got into a spat.

"The forks go on the left." Indra told me.

"Bs. They go on the right." I said.

"No they don't." Indra said as he switched the forks and knives.

"Indra, most people are right handed. No one wants to reach across their plate just to get a fork that could have easily been on their right side." I switched the silverware back.

"It's proper dining ettiquite to have the fork on the left. That's common knowledge!" Indra said, growling a bit.

"A lot of people don't know what side the fork goes on so it's not common knowledge!" I growled right back at him.

"Ok you two. That's enough." We both jumped. Jeanette walked in with the salad bowl. "The fork goes on the left."

I frowned as Indra smiled at me with triumph. The doorbell rang.

"Can you get the door please, Indra?" Jeanette asked as she set down the salad bowl. He nodded and left.

"Luc finish setting the table." She told me. She walked out.

I heard hellos and other greetings from the living room as I finished setting the table. I'm gonna run to my room and be done with it. But wait, Indra's here.

I heard Alexandria laughing from the living room.

"Luc, come meet everyone." Brian said as he walked in. I quickly shook my head.

"You're going to have dinner with them. You can either meet them sooner or later." He said.

I wiped my hands together and followed Brian into the living room. I saw a mother and a father, two sons, and a daughter.

"Okay, it's basically us." I thought.

"Mm. You kinda fine." A female voice said. I heard Indra chuckle.

Oh hell no.

I stomped over there and planted myself beside Indra. I looked at the girl, then up at Indra. I looked back at the girl.

"Oh, not you again!" We shouted. It was that Margaret girl -- or whatever her name is.

Everyone looked at us.

"You two know each other?" A boy who looked exactly like her asked as he came over.

"Nope." We said innocently.

The mother came over to me and started speaking. She had dark hair like the rest of them.

"Hello Luc. I'm Martha, I've heard a lot about you." I glanced at Jeanette as she pointed to the two in front of me, "these are the twins, Margo and Jonah."

Martha pointed to the boy behind her, "this is our oldest son Trace, and this is my husband Mark."

I nodded a little. "Howdy do?" I said.

"Nice to finally meet you. We'd love to hear about your trip." Mark said.

"Excuse me?" I questioned. What trip?

Mark opened his mouth to speak again.

"Dinner's ready! Everybody grab a plate!" Jeanette said quickly.

Indra and I looked at each other, then I looked at Jeanette.

Everyone but her and I left.

"What did you do?" I whispered.

"We met them while you were still in the hospital. They asked about you from a picture they saw." Jeanette started. "I didn't want you to be embarrassed about them knowing about your hospitalization, so it slipped out that you were on a trip."

"Oh my god." I ran my fingers through my hair. "So I'm going to be lying to them this whole dinner?"

"No. Just don't talk about it." Jeanette said.

"Really? Mark seems very eager to know about "my trip." I said.

"We will figure something out." Jeanette said.

I huffed and walked out of the living room.

I caught Indra by himself in the kitchen.

He laughed, "need help?"

"Yes." I whimpered. I was very stressed.

"I just thought this would be a simple dinner where we could tell my family about us. But now I have to juggle with another family." I lamented.

"Don't worry. You've got me to help." He said as he handed me a plate.

"Thank you." I sniffled.

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