Out In The Wind

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“Thanks for coming so quickly. I wouldn’t have asked if it wasn’t an emergency,” I say to Patrick as I help Andy into the back of his car, Andy sobbing, but I try to ignore it for the moment. I know he’s okay. I took most of the blow from Mandy’s fist, although I am sure it must not have been nice to be hit in the face again after the injuries he was already sporting.

Patrick closes the car door behind Andy and draws me to the back of the car where he is sure Andy can’t hear us.

“What the hell happened to him? And you? It looks like someone gave you a bit of a shiner,” he says, touching the redness around my eye lightly which makes me winch a little but I try to control myself, because even if it is hurting, I don’t want him to stop touching me either.

“Mandy…” I say. “She threw her toys out of the cot and went for Andy. I got in the middle.”

I shrug, trying my best to make Patrick think it is no biggie at all, where in the mean time I feel like I want to fall apart completely on the inside. I thought that Mandy and I would end up being friends again in the long run, but if today has proved one thing is that Mandy and I have outgrown each other completely. We are not the same people anymore and the chance of us ever seeing eye to eye again might be a bit much to ask for at this moment in time.

“Fuck. Mandy seems to be losing it a bit, but what is up with weird kid?” Patrick asks moving his eyes toward the car. “I mean, it’s not like he has the best reputation in school or such.”

“Does that matter when someone’s dad beats him up in this way? Doesn’t that require special treatment or something?” I ask wondering if Patrick would judge me this way if I made another single mistake again, not thinking about the reasons behind it. He almost did once before. “In any case. He had good reason to do what he did when he took those photos. I would have probably done the same thing now that I know his reasons for it.”

“Nothing excuses behavior like that,” Patrick says crossing his arms, probably trying to show me that he is the right one in this situation.

“No! No Patrick! Not everything in the world is black or white. Sometimes it’s grey as fuck.”

I can feel myself getting mad and I haven’t even stopped my hands from shaking after everything that just went down with Mandy. The last thing Patrick should do at this moment is to make me mad, because I will walk off. I will go somewhere else. Even if it is to Jaycee or someone.

“Come on Cory. You can’t seriously believe that,” Patrick sighs rolling his eyes just a enough for me to notice before he pulls his fingers through his hair like he always does. Like he is trying to look cool in some way.

“Actually I do! Look at me Patrick. Just look me up and down. You know my situation. You know where I’ve come from and to where I have fallen. Did I do that to myself? Am I a part of that stereotypical bums on the side of the road begging for money? Everything is grey and the sooner you understand that the better,” I say feeling the temperature in my body rising. It’s not that I am mad at Patrick in particular. I am mad at the world. At everyone that doesn’t take the time to ask the question why. They don’t care what you have been through, they don’t see your journey. All they see is who you have become at the end of the day. They don’t want to see you for you, they are only interested in the box that they can put you in in the end.

“Okay Cory. I’m going to trust you on this. But just so that you know, you can’t compare your situation with everyone else in the world. Sometimes people just do bad things and that’s it. It is as simple as that,” Patrick says turning his back to me and making his way to the driver’s seat.

I wait until he is inside the car before I mumble: “Nobody is just bad.”

I sigh as I walk over to the passenger’s seat and climb into the car next to Patrick.

“So? My place?” he asks as he starts the car.

“It’s either that or my place, which I don’t think would be exactly the best idea,” I answer looking ahead of me, refusing to make eye contact with Patrick at all. It’s not that I am mad at him. I am angry at myself for getting myself into these situations. The ones where I have no idea what I am going to do next, because honestly I have no idea what to do with Andy once we get to Patrick’s house.

Andy groans behind me as we start driving, the bumps in the road that feels like almost nothing to me must be feeling like hell to him.

“Are you okay?” I ask, turning around in my seat to look at the bruised and battered boy on the seat behind me.

“Yeah,” he groans, holding his stomach and winching as we go over yet another bump in the road.

“We’ll be there in just a few minutes okay?” I say trying my best to sound like I know how he is feeling, when in truth I’ve only had my first punch less than an hour ago, and that from a girl and not a grown man. I have no idea at all how he might be feeling at this point in his life.

“It’s okay,” Andy mumbles before I turn back to the front in my seat again and look over at Patrick. He seems to be clenching his jaw a little bit.

“Are you okay?” I ask Patrick.

“We can talk about it later,” he answers steering the car into the direction of his house. “I need to concentrate on the road right now.”

I look up and down the almost deserted street and try to wrap my head around the idea of him having to concentrate on an almost empty road. Then again there is no way of knowing what is ever going on in his head. As much as I love Patrick he is and probably always will be some type of enigma to me.

As we drive ahead in silence I can’t help but thinking about what is going to happen from here on out. Not just to me and Mandy, but also between me and Patrick. And I worry about my mom and Chloe as well. Nothing seems to ever work out my way anymore, but maybe my mom still has a chance. Maybe Patrick can have a chance off I am out of the picture as well. He could actually find a nice boy without all the baggage I come with. Someone who is worthy of him. Essentially I shouldn’t be here anymore. I should go away somewhere. It is the only way. Maybe if I took up Jaycee’s offer things would go a bit better as well. I could get out of the situation. Make something of myself. Pay for a proper education instead of spending the money on luxuries the way Jaycee does.

“Cory?” Patrick says next to me ripping my out of my thoughts.

“Mmm?” I answer looking over at him.

“I said we’re here,” Patrick answers as he climbs out of the car, motioning for me to do the same.

I climb out and open the back door, looking at Andy still rolled up into a ball.

“Do you think you can walk?” I ask him, wondering by myself what I would do if he says that he can’t. Would I even be able to carry him without hurting him any further?

“Yeah. Should be fine,” Andy answers as he starts shifting himself out of the car backwards, making grunting noises from the pain as he goes.

I stand there and stretch my arms, almost like I would be able to catch him if he falls even though I know I would probably tumble to the ground with him if he lost his balance. Luckily for the both of us he gets out without falling on me, although he crouches down the moment he gets out of the car and holds his stomach.

Like before I lift him up slowly by the one arm, helping to keep him upright as we walk toward the front door where Patrick is already waiting, a sour look still around his mouth, watching in distain as I help Andy into his house.

“Spare bedroom is up the stairs and the second door to the left,” Patrick says as he walks toward the back of the hallway that leads to the bottom of the house, there where I know the kitchen is located. “I will get us something to eat and drink.”

“Would you be able to climb the stairs?” I ask Andy as I lead him toward the stairs, wishing Patrick’s mom was rather redoing this house to have a lift to the second floor.

“Should be fine,” Andy answers, but with every step he takes up the stairs I can see the pain going through his body. It is as if with every minute that passes his pain is getting worse and worse. This morning he was only limping. Now it seems to take every single bit of his strength just to stay upright in a standing position, never mind even walking.

After we make it to the top and I lay Andy down on the cream bedding that I am pretty sure some servant will have to wash after Andy is done with it I turn around to go and find Patrick, only to almost walk into him the moment I leave the room with Andy in it.

“Oh, there you are,” I say as if I had been searching the entire house for him, which I haven’t.

“I’ve grabbed some chicken from the fridge. And there’s lemonade,” Patrick says looking down to the tray he is holding. “I thought Andy might be a bit hungry. We can go and get something to eat in a moment. I would just like to have a talk with you before we do so.”

“Sure,” I answer taking the tray from him and watching him walk into the direction of his bedroom before I turn around and walk back into the room Andy is in.

I put the tray down on the bedside table before I sit down next to him, softly touching his shoulder in an effort not to hurt him.

“Andy? Patrick got you something to eat and drink,” I say softly almost like my voice would be able to hurt him a well.

“Thanks,” he mutters. “But I just need to sleep for a little bit. Just a few minutes.”

He groans again, making me think that his ribs might be more than just bruised.

“Sure,” I answer. “I will come and check back on you in a while.”

I stand up from the bed and walk toward the door. Just as I am about to leave the room and close the door behind me I hear Andy saying my name.

“Yes?” I ask, peeking into the room, watching him turn to face me.

“Thanks for this. For everything. You are really a kind guy,” he says attempting his best smile that doesn’t quite work at all.

“Don’t mention it,” I say, a smile slipping over my face that makes the bruise on my eye hurt as well before I close the door behind me and head toward Patrick’s room.

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