After we got home the questions started.
"You snitched on us to your teacher?" Izzy questioned.
"You wrote about everything Luc!" Chet roared.
"I didn't write about you. I used you as inspiration."
"Are you stupid?! What if they send people sniffing around?" Chet snapped.
"Nothing will happen! She just thinks it's a story! A story!" I reiterated. "I'm sorry...I..."
"You want us to send you back to the foster home, don't you?" Chet said.
"We're the only one's who'd put up with your ungrateful ass. Stupid faggot, anyone else would have just thrown you out on the streets. Remember that." He pushed me out of the way and slammed the door on his way out of the house.
Izzy and Winn looked at me. Monique grabbed my wrist tightly and dragged me upstairs. She flung open the door with my body and threw me onto the floor.
"Just stay in here and shut up." She slammed the door.
I sat on my knees and hung my head in defeat.
It was just a story.
If you really want to know I'll tell you:
I tried to talk Ms. D out of calling Chet and Monique, but nothing I said fazed her.
The only thing she said to me was "I have to make sure you're safe." She was going on about how detailed it was and that it had to of been real.
You can imagine what Monique and Chet said to her. Adults always believe other adults.
I ran my fingers through my hair aggressively.
"It was just a story." I whispered.
The next day at school was okay. I hung out with Evie most of the time.
Then came the day I had to go back to Creative Writing. I contemplating skipping -- hiding out in the bathroom. I didn't know what to do.
If I got a tardy pass they'd call home.
I decided to suck it up and go; it's my fault I'm in this embarrassing situation anyway.
I walked into the classroom with my head down. I sat in my seat and opened my chromebook.
In the journal, I didn't write about the other day. I wouldn't give Ms. D that satisfaction.
The next day after third block, I fell down the stairs.
You're probably wondering how I fell down the stairs if my fourth block is on the second floor.
Simple: I forgot my binder.
In my rush to get down to the classroom, I tripped over some guy's foot and tumbled.
According to witnesses I was out cold for ten or fifteen seconds.
Because of that, I was escorted to the nurse's office by security.
Nurse Beatty swabbed the back of my head with a cotton ball with Peroxide.
"It's not too serious Mr. Luc, there was a little bit of bleeding, but I was able to stop it." She informed me.
I swiveled on the stool.
"Although, I would recommend calling your parents to have them take you to the hospital." She added.
I stood up too quickly.
"No." I refused.
"It's possible you have a concussion."
"I'm fine. I just have to get to class."
I ran out disregarding her protests.
I was in the corridor looking for a lockout table.
The bell rang while I was in the nurse's office. I'm so dead.
I found a table and filled out my information.
"Don't let it happen again." An administrator said.
Oh sure, I'll look at everybody's feet next time I'm by the stairs.
Once I got into class, I laid my head down on my desk. My head hurts. I closed my eyes for a second.
I woke up when someone shook me. Wait...what? I went to sleep?
I turned my head and sat up.
"Hello nudist guy." I practically giggled.
"You're with us." He told me gently. God. What's his name again?!
"What?" I asked.
"For Act 2."
I got up from my seat and followed him to a table.
We sat down. Beside each other may I add.
"Y'know? I was thinking. That's a pretty fly scarf." A girl said with a smile.
I looked over at nudist guy. Still wearing that scarf. I decided "what the heck" and gave one side a nice tug. Nothing happened.
"Whatcha doin, Luc?" He asked politely.
I let go of his scarf. "Um. Nothing...I just thought you'd die if I pulled on it."
I laughed awkwardly and patted his shoulder.
"He's alive guys." I informed the group.
"O-kay." One guy drawled.
"Can I be Hamlet? I wanna be a prince!" The girl interjected.
"Sure...." Two other guys said.
"I call Polonius!" One of the guys announced.
There had to be a couple people playing two people.
"Guess that leaves Rosencrantz and Guildenstern." One guy stated.
Nudist guy and I didn't have parts. Great, that makes us partners.
"Which one speaks the least?" I asked.
"They speak kind of equally..." Nudist guy said vaguely.
I turned to him. "I mean, they finish each other's sentences and are always together."
I gave a vague wave of the hand.
"I'm saying they have equal lines. So it doesn't matter which one you play." He explained.
"Oh." I said.
"Then I'll be Rosenburg. He has a cool name." I announced.
"Rosencrantz." The group corrected.
We sat in silence for a second.
"Wait, back to what you said," the girl started.
"Hm?" Nudist Guy replied.
"Are Rosencrantz and Guildenstern gay? Like, are they a thing?" She asked.
"I mean, you said they were always together and finish each others sentences."
I turned to nudist guy. He sat there somewhat puzzled.
"...I have no idea." He answered with a slight shake of his head.
I turned front. "Shakespeare was a weird dude." Nudist guy and I both said.
The group laughed.
"You two are perfect for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!" The girl laughed.
"Come on, let's get to rehearsing." The "leader" of the group said as he got up.
Mr. D assigned us to the dressing room. It was big enough for us all to fit in.
A few minutes later we were in an argument.
"You're expecting all of us to be perfect! It's not-!" The leader snapped.
"It's not going to be perfect!" He picked up his sentence.
"We can't just do it word for word! It'll be boring." He continued.
"Who says I wanna do it word for word?!" The girl playing Hamlet retorted.
"You're carrying on as if we were."
While they were arguing, the nudist guy and I hung back and watched.
"Well I want to see it." Someone said as the argument died down.
"So...are we all good?" Nudist guy chimed in.
They hunched their shoulders in response.
"Good. Let's get to work." He said.
"Listen Monique, about today." I tried to tell Monique about being late to class.
I was cut off by Izzy screaming.
We looked into the kitchen and saw a fire erupting.
"What did you do?" Monique questioned as she ran in. I ran behind her.
"Ahh!!!" Izzy replied.
Monique hustled to put out the fire. I wouldn't go near it.
For the rest of the evening Monique was cleaning up the mess Izzy made. So I didn't get to talk to her.
A phone ringing ruined everything.
I couldn't get near the phone to erase the message.
"Your child, Luc Narson, was marked tardy or absent from period four." It said. Out loud.
Then I heard the pressure rushing into my ears.
Then, a knock.
"Luc?" Monique called quietly.
"What happened today?" She questioned.
I went to the door and pressed my back against it.
"I fell down the stairs. Had to visit the nurse." I answered.
"What?" She hissed.
"She cleaned up the blood." I responded.
"There was blood?!" Monique shrieked.
She started turning the knob and tried to open the door. I forced it closed.
"Luc, let me see you!" She begged.
"Is Chet here?" I asked her.
"I don't know."
"Come out here. If he comes I'll explain everything!" She was starting to get scared. So was I.
"Luc, please." She said softly.
I opened the door and went into the hallway.
"Are you feeling okay?" She asked grabbing my head and moving my hair around.
"I feel fine. I wasn't out that long." I keep saying the wrong things.
"What do you mean?"
I didn't answer.
"Luc!" She grabbed my arms.
"It was only a few seconds."
"I'm taking you to the hospital." She stated."Get dressed." She ordered.
The message from school sounded again. It was Chet.
"Luc!" We heard him call.
I looked at Monique.
"What do I do? He'll kill me."
Monique pushed me behind her and faced Chet as he bounded up the stairs.
She put her hand out. "Chet wait." She said.
"It's not his fault! Don't hurt him!" She yelled as he grabbed her wrist and started pulling.
He yanked her out of his way and latched onto me.
"What have I fucking told you about being late?!" He screeched.
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." I melted.
He let go of me and proceeded to kick me in the chest. I crashed into my door and landed by the bed.
He mounted me and pinned me by the shoulder.
"You really think I waste all my money on you to go to school just for you to skip class?!"
"I didn't skip!" I responded.
"Tell that to the phone!" Chet snapped.
I cried out in pain when he punched me in the face. He never goes for my face. He punched me again.
I heard a yell and saw Monique's arms around Chet. She was trying to pull him away.
"Stop it!" She ordered.
"Get off!" Chet slapped her away.
She fell onto the floor. Chet stood up. He kicked me once in the ribs and then grabbed Monique and dragged her out by the arm.
I gripped my side and stood up. Where's he taking her?
I limped into the hallway and saw Chet dragging Monique down the stairs. She was screaming and clawing at his hands.
"Get off of her!" I heard Winn yell.
"Shut up!" Chet yelled back.
I started running. Then I jumped on Chet and we all tumbled down the steps.
"Luc!" Izzy cried when we reached the bottom.
Monique was free from Chet's grip. She got up and ran from him.
I couldn't get up at that point. Winn grabbed onto me.
"Dad, stop! They've had enough!" He tried to reason with him.
Chet dove for me, but Winn took the beatings instead.
When he was on the floor I clung to him as Chet beat on me again.
I saw Izzy hiding and crying behind the counter.
Monique didn't know what to do.
"Chet stop!" She sobbed.
He stopped and stood up. In no way, was he done with her. He violently grabbed her by the throat and walked to the front of the house. To the door.
"Who do you think you are telling me what to do?" I heard him say.
He opened it and threw her out.
He slammed the door and locked it. Oh god. I could hear Monique banging on the door and yelling.
"Dad, it's freezing out there. Let her back in." Winn begged as he sat up.
Chet turned to him. Winn hid me with his body.
"Don't you dare let her in!" He snapped and then went upstairs.
Winn got off of me and lay down covering his face. I held my side again.
Izzy came out from behind the counter and crawled over to Winn and I.
She latched onto me and started crying again.
"What?" I questioned. Oh, she's hugging me.
That night we all stayed downstairs where we were. We leaned against the wall by the front door doing nothing but listening to Monique crying on the porch.
Izzy layed on Winn's stomach trying to tune everything out. I sat shoulder to shoulder with him holding my ribs. Winn sat there staring into space.
Time just inched by. We'd flinch each time a creak was heard from upstairs.
I honestly thought Chet would come back down and kill us all.
I turned my head and looked at Winn. The dried blood on his face, the shiner, the gash on his cheek, and the bloody nostrils.
I looked at Izzy. Her eyes were squeezed shut and puffy and red. Her knuckles were white as she held onto Winn and me.
All this. All this just because I was late. It's my fault they're hurting.
"Hey Luc! How goes?" I asked once I got into math class. He had his head down on the desk.
He slowly raised his head. He looked up at me.
My eyes widened and my heart skipped beats.
"Luc...what happened?" I gaped.
"I fell down the stairs yesterday." He answered.
He had a terrible bruise on his cheek and a few cuts.
"Oh..." I shook.
The bell rang.
"I'll see you at lunch." He said and put his head down.
"Alright boys and girls, in your seats please." Mrs. C said.
I went to my seat and sat down. My eyes never left Luc.
I saw Indra lean forward out the corner of my eye.
"Luc didn't have any cuts yesterday." He whispered in my ear.
I turned to him. "What?!"
Indra leaned back into his seat. He looked at me as if he wanted me to figure something out.
I looked at Luc again. He still had his head down. I furrowed my brow.