Out In The Wind

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CHAPTER 26

I can’t help but crying my eyes out all the way back to the park where I have decided to spend my day. I can’t go out looking for a job looking the way I am. My eyes are all puffy and I guess my hair is all over the place because I have been pushing it out of my eyes for the last hour while I was walking. I just wish I could stop the tears from falling. A few times already strangers has asked me if something is wrong when I walked past them, the tears streaming down my face, but I just kept on walking, ignoring their questions and their look of pity and worry. One lady actually followed me for two blocks before she finally gave up on me and went her own way as well. See… Life is in not fair. It’s not easy. It’s not nice. Jaycee might think he has done something good in offering me some shitty ass job as a prostitute, but what he has done is way worse than the help he thinks he may have given to me.

I had to turn down everything that my family may have needed, an easy way to get out of this whole mess that we are in and that all for wanting my first time with someone to be special. I have given up maybe our only chance to get back on our feet. Maybe I would not be as scared and fearful as I am if I have had sex yet. Maybe it would have been easy to just do it if I knew what it entailed.

“Fuck you Patrick,” I say, kicking a stone in front of me out of my way. If it wasn’t for him keeping me from not having sex I would have had a much better idea of what to do at this moment.

I look down at my phone. There’s not that much charge left on it. By tonight it will be dead, no matter how much I try to preserve the battery, so instead of trying to preserve it I actually turn it off. It’s not like anybody is going to phone me at all. Well, maybe my mom, but she won’t be too worried. She thinks I’m with Mandy.

I almost reach the park before I turn around and start backtracking into the opposite direction again. When I reach the coffee shop which I almost miss between the tears streaking down my face, I turn right into the next street and start walking up the street again, up against the hill, and I can’t help but notice the slight burning in my calves from all the walking I have been doing. If all else fails, being homeless might actually turn out to give me really good legs.

It takes almost two hours of walking and crying uphill to the other side of town, passed the school building, passed the mall, and passed the neighborhood where I used to live. For a moment I wanted to go there. To my old house. I wanted to knock on the door and show my tear stained face to the couple who bought the place. I want them to cry just as much as I have cried over the last few months. I want them to see on how much pain they have built their happiness. But when it came to going there I just couldn’t. I can’t see the house where it all happened. I cannot go back to the place where I sat on the stairs as the police came to tell us my dad was dead. I didn’t want to imagine my piano standing in the hallway while I play until the sun came up. I am a coward once more. But there is one thing that I need to face.

I pull back the dark bronze knocker and let it fall against the door. It amazes me at what a loud sound it makes, and still I wonder if anyone inside the house will actually hear it.

A dark haired woman opens the door. Her face speaks of plastic surgery, but there is something about her that looks a lot like him. Maybe it’s the brown eyes. Or the cheekbones, although I can’t be sure if hers is still real.

“Can I help you?” she asks looking me up and down like some cat dragged me up to the door. In her defense I must look terrible. I haven’t had a wash in days, I slept outside last night, and my eyes must still be puffy from all the crying, and I can still feel tears stinging behind my eyes.

“I’m looking for Patrick. I’m a friend from school,” I answer in the most polite tone I can possibly muster.

“Wait here,” she answers and closes the door in my face, which feels like the very last thing I needed. To be judged as well today by some woman that resembles Malibu Barbie with a face I am sure will melt if I leave her in the sun too long.

I try to not breathe as I hear her call his name behind the door.

“Yes mom?”

I can hear his footsteps coming down the stairs. It sounds like he’s running.

“There’s a very poor looking kid waiting for you at the door.”

“Why didn’t you let him in?”

“I’m not sure I can trust him. There’s something sneaky in his eyes.”

“Who is it?”

“I didn’t get his name. But if you don’t know him just get him out of here quickly. Mrs. Stanford is coming over at any minute to have a talk about the new gilded gargoyles for the Kent house.”

I can hear the clatter of her high heels as she walks away, the clattering becoming less and less distinct before Patrick opens the door.

“Cory?” Patrick says and I can see the shock registering on his face.

“The one and only,” I whisper and then I can’t hold it in any longer. I start crying. Not the way I have been as I was walking where tears just ran down my face by themselves. This time it was that real ugly cry like the day my dad came into my room to tell me my grandmother was dead. I cried this way when I fell off the bicycle I was trying to master and broke my arm and it felt like the pain would never stop. I wanted to cry this way when I knew that because of my situation I would never stand a chance with the guy standing right in front of me at this moment.

“Cory,” he says as he pulls me into his arms and pushes my sweaty body against his. “It’s okay. I promise. It’s all going to be okay.”

I don’t know why people tell you that everything is going to be okay when you know that nothing will be okay every again. Nothing will be the same and no superpower in the world can take you back in time to change it all. It’s like when they tell you they are sorry when someone dies. They have nothing to be sorry for. Silence would be better, because even if they have been in your situation before, it is different for every person and therefore there is no what that they can know how you’re feeling and can therefore be sorry about it. Just like now. He cannot tell me it’s okay, because he has no idea what I am going through, and he probably never will.

“It won’t,” I sob into Patrick’s neck. “It will never be okay again. Never.”

“Come in,” he says as he lets me go. “Let’s go up to my room before my mom comes back.”

He looks over his shoulder as if expecting her to come walking into the entrance hall, but thankfully she’s not there. Also I have no pleasure in wanting to actually meet her again, so although I am sobbing, and trying my best to wipe my eyes on the sleeves of my shirt I follow Patrick up the stairs to the room where I have before felt safe in. Actually the only place other than Bookstairs I have felt safe at all since we lost the house.

When Patrick has finally sat me down on his bed he crouches in front of me. For a moment his hands rest on my knees, but then he brings them up to my face and wipe more tears from my cheeks before he puts both his hands behind my head and pull me in for the softest kiss I have ever received.

“What’s going on Cory?” he whispers, being inches away from my lips, but I am not thinking about what is wrong anymore. All I can think off is the fact that I haven’t brushed my teeth since yesterday morning.

“Can I have a shower? Please?” I ask him. He seems a bit startled by the request but he nods his head.

“Sure,” he says frowning. “You know the way. I’ll bring you a fresh towel.”

I stand up, leaving Patrick crouched on the floor and make my way to the bathroom adjoined to his room. I close the door but I don’t lock it before I turn on the water and pull the clothing off my body that smells of sweat, sleeping outside, and a little bit like Dumbledore’s mattress before I get into the shower and allow the warm water to wash over my body.

For a while I just stand there, but then the prospect of soap feels so good that I start running the bar of soap over and over my body, wiping the smoothness of it, making foam over every limp as if somehow I will wash away everything that has happened to me. Like somehow the water would cleanse me in a way. Allow the memories to just disappear down the drain together with the smell and sweat that has been clinging to my body.

“Cory?” I hear Patrick as he opens the door. “Can I come in?”

“Yeah,” I mutter as I turn around even though I am pretty sure he won’t be able to see much through the fog the warm water has made against the glass door of the shower.

“I’ve brought you a clean towel. And some clothes,” he says. “I wasn’t sure if you had something clean in your backpack.”

“I don’t,” I answer, thinking about the hoodie and the two shirts in my backpack of which one is already dirty.

“Well then it’s good I’ve got some extra,” he says. I look over my shoulder, seeing him standing there through the fog on the glass. I can only make out his silhouette but he still looks darn cute to me.

“Are you gonna stay?” I ask.

“Do you want me to leave?” Patrick answers.

“No…” I say after hesitating a few seconds. “I don’t really wanna be alone.”

“I could sit on the side of the bath and chat to you?” Patrick answers and I can feel the knot in my stomach loosening. The thoughts of being alone with my own thoughts is beginning to scare me today.

He tosses the towel over the top of the shower door, leaving a little bit of it inside where I can reach it.

“Why did we fight?” he asks after he sits down and I continue to shampoo my hair, knowing he really can’t see anything but a hazy body form of color.

“Because I lied to you about being homeless and then you turned into an ass,” I answer as I start running the soap over my body once more, not being able to kick the idea that this might just be my last shower for a while.

“I was stupid Cory,” Patrick says. His voice sounds full of regret, but I’m not sure what to think. “I mean, if I was homeless I would have wanted support, but I would’ve probably also not told anyone about it.”

“So you get it now?” I ask.

“Yeah. I do. So still living in the car?” Patrick asks. “Isn’t there any family or something you guys could stay with for a while? I mean, I would totally offer up one of our rooms, but you’ve met my mother. She’s not exactly the nicest person in the world.”

“You can say that again,” I answer with a sigh. “She’s a real mean piece of work, but even if she wasn’t my mom can be quite proud. She’s with my aunt at the moment with my little sister. She’s staying there for a couple of days. I should actually phone her if it would be okay for me to charge my phone after I’m done with my shower.”

“Sure. Anything,” Patrick answers and there is almost an uncomfortable silence in which I start rinsing my hair before he asks: “So where have you been sleeping?”

For a minute I want to lie. Tell him that someone like Jaycee gave me a place to stay, but it has been lies and my own embarrassment that has gotten us to this point already.

“I’ve been sleeping under a bench in a park,” I answer hearing Patrick gasp.

“Cory? Are you serious? You slept in a park rather than coming here?”

“What was I supposed to think? I didn’t even think you would’ve let me into the house today,” I answer as I turn off the tap, dry my hair and then bind the towel around my waist before I open the shower door and step out.

“I did once promise you that I will be there for you. I would do anything to help you,” Patrick answers looking down at his feet.

“Then have sex with me Patrick. Right now,” I answer, dropping the towel on the floor, exposing the only part of me that he hasn’t gotten to know yet.

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