I Try to Run from What I Am
Chapter 8: I Try to Run from What I Am
Running was something that I did when I needed to clear my head. It was almost like I was running away from my problems at the same time. I can’t really remember when I started running to clear my head. Maybe it was after my two best friends left. I’m not too sure. It was something that helped me relax in a weird way. I mean, I guess it was more so it gave me something else to think about since I was exercising instead of stewing over whatever was upsetting me.
I slowed down to a jog when I got to my house so I could look in the drive way and see if anyone was home. If mom and dad went somewhere here, then they may have taken the car. As I looked at the drive way the car was gone. I don’t know why I didn’t think of doing that this morning to see if they went anywhere. Well mom could have gone anywhere and same with dad. Instead of going into the house and seeing if anyone was actually home I just continued jogging down the sidewalk.
Eventually I came to a walking pace as I went into the cemetery. The cemetery of the town wasn’t very big, but that’s always a plus when it’s a small town that you live in. When I say small town I mean my class size is around seventy-eighty kids. The school has dorms because when it was first made it was more so a school where bad kids went. It’s changed a lot since then when new owners took over. The school is still kinda bland and meh for the interior, but I think they mainly focused on the dorms more so then the school. I think the super intended said that they were going to start construction on the school in the summer. The school is two floors and it’s the middle school and high school put together. Middle school is upstairs and the high school is down stairs. I still have a study hall or two upstairs, but I usually try to get a pass to go to the library during those periods because I don’t like sitting in a classroom that smells of body odor. But that was the one place that I didn’t really want to think of right now. I needed to get away from the place.
I took a deep breath and wandered off the path and through the head stones. I stopped at a particular set of head stones. Two were of my grandparents on my mother’s side. I never got to meet them from what I remember. Mom and dad told me that when I was born I met them. They were so happy they got to meet me and that they were proud of mom and dad and they knew that they would raise me right. But they died when I was two so it was before the time that I started to retain any memories. Mom told me that they loved me more then anything and would spoil me. Soon after my grandparent’s died Ava was born. Ava…Ava is, well was my little sister. I looked down at my little sister’s gravestone.
January 3, 2001- February 14, 2001
I heard the occasional bird chirp close by. "Ava…mom and dad miss you. They try not to show it in front of me, but every time your birthday comes around they don't seem to really talk to me all that much." I sat down in front of the gravestone. "I wish I could ask how you were doing, but I know that you can't answer…there have been a lot of strange things happening in just the past few days. You know how everyone thinks that there not special in anyway although no one is alike? Well yeah now I'm so confused about just what I am." I sat there quietly for a few minuets then sighed. "I don't know what to do anymore… if you were here I think that I wouldn't feel so alone…I know that I have Liz but she doesn't know what I'm going to through, then Toshiro is so confusing and I just met him…sorry that I just keep babbling on. I honestly don't know why I ended up running here…I guess this place is where I can actually think and be alone from our parents and everyone." I brushed some of the leaves and sticks that had fallen on her gravestone since the last time I visited. “You know it kind of makes me wonder what type of elemental you would have ended up being. “Maybe you would have been a fire elemental like mom. Or a moon elemental like dad and I.” I couldn’t help but laugh lightly as I pulled my knees into my chest. “Of course I’m not really even sure what a moon elemental is. Dad hasn’t really found the time to tell me what that’s all about.”
I sat there for a bit longer then stood up. "I guess I'm going to run a bit more and clear my head, I don't know what to really think anymore." I told the gravestone “I miss you Ava. I wish you were here with me and mom and dad. I hope that grandma and grandpa are taking good care of you.” I placed my right hand on the top of the gravestone and then walked back to the concrete road and started running again.
I ran the small maze of the cemetery a couple of times and finally looked at what time it was on my phone. My pockets were deep so there was no worry about it falling out of my pocket like girls usually had to worry about now days. I missed the rest of school; it was about 4:30. I had a couple text and two new voice mails. I’ll listen to them when I get home though. Now I don’t’ really think is the time where I want to listen to them. I’m not really in the mood. I decided to start heading home though. When I looked at the missed calls it was dad and Liz who called me. Then the texts were from Liz. I guess I really made them worry. I didn’t mean to make them worry. I don’t really know what I was thinking when I left school. It’s like I’ve been in a haze all day.
I didn't feel like running home so I decided to walk home which was about a half an hour to forty-five minuets when you walk. Dad probably told mom by now. She was probably worrying about me. It was really stupid of me to do what I did. I’m realizing that now. I didn’t even think to grab water before. Now my mouth was dry and my throat was starting to hurt. I was a good distance even from the park. The park was about ten to fifteen minuets from my house. If I just picked up the pace and ran to the park I know that there is a water fountain, there and I’ll be fine after I get a drink to be able to get the rest of the way home. I picked up the pace from a walk to a jog, then to a run. I kept at a fairly even pace as I ran. I moved to the side of the road off the sidewalk so that way I could avoid running into people.
“Almost there.” I muttered to myself and something that I really didn’t want to happen to me at this point in time happened. I got dizzy for a second and my knees buckled from underneath me. A burning sensation raced through my knees. From how fast I was going I had to keep rolling so I wouldn't hurt myself anymore then what I did. When I came to a stop I looked at my knees, they were bleeding pretty bad. There were stones stuck in them and my arms were scuffed up along with them. That's what I get for wearing shorts to school because it's still warm out. "Damn it." I muttered taking the pocketknife that I had in my pocket out and taking off my shirt so I was just wearing the tank top I had on under it. I popped a small whole in my shirt and ripped it the rest of the way. I made wrappings for my knees to stop the bleeding for now until I could get home. I knew why I got dizzy and fell, it was because I was getting too dehydrated from running so much.
“Look at who decided to play hooky after we had a little spat.” My eye twitched a bit as I heard Sean’s voice behind me. His voice had a little bit of ‘you’re so pathetic’ tone to it, but it wasn’t as harsh as it has been these past few days.
“What do you want Sean?” I asked him trying to keep my voice from cracking.
“Are you alright?” I was shocked to hear the concern in his voice. I heard him walk around me.
“It’s not like I haven’t fallen before.” I answered looking down at my lap. “I’ll be fine.
“You’re obviously not fine. Did someone trip you or did you trip over something? With how fast you were running you might not have seen what got you.” Sean said to me. His voice sounded genuinely concerned.
“Sean…” I muttered staring at him in utter shock.
“Don’t get the wrong idea Sasuke. We’re not friends any more…I just don’t want to see someone else hurt ya.” He commented, but he sounded like he was joking. Like there was actually still a chance that we were friends, but he just didn’t want to come out and say it to me.
“I just fell. I was stupid and didn’t think of bringing water with me.” I answered him.
“Geez you really are a child sometimes ya know.” Sean sighed and rubbed the back of his head. “I don’t have any money on me to go and get you one either. I’m assuming you don’t have any money on you because if you did I’m sure that you probably would have already bought a bottle of water.”
“Why can’t we be friends anymore?” I asked him ignoring the pain in knees. If we weren’t friends why was he concerned about me?
“It’s complicated.” He sighed and looked away from me. “Do ya still live at the same place? I’ll take ya home.” He offered.
“Yo Sean where are ya?” One of the boys that Sean’s been hanging out with yelled for Sean over the crowd of people passing by.
“Go with your friends. I’ll be fine. The park isn’t too far and I already told mom and dad that’s where I was going to be.” I lied to him.
He stared at me with a ‘you’re lying’ expression but then sighed and stood up. “Be careful getting to the park and walk the rest of the way will ya.” He scolded me then disappeared into the crowd.
I slowly got up my knees screaming in rejection against me getting up from my spot. The will to get to the park though was stronger then the pain. I tried to stick as close to the walls of the buildings as I could with people going in and out of the buildings. I kept stumbling from the pain. The park was finally in view. I sighed in relief and tried to walk a little faster but stumbled and fell onto my hands and knees. Shock waves of pain shot through my body and tears swelled up in my eyes.
My tears started streaking down my face as I started to get back up and made my way over to the water fountain. My legs were trembling as I clutched onto the water fountain and got a drink. I wanted to just stand there and keep drinking, but I knew that if I didn’t find somewhere to at least lean my back against to give my legs a break. “Once I sit down I can give someone a call and tell them where I am.” I muttered to myself and made my way over to the closest tree. I just felt exhausted as I placed my hand against it and had some tunnel vision and I felt my head drooping. I leaned my back against the tree and relaxed as I slide down the tree. Once my butt hit the ground I stretched my legs slowly and closed my eyes.
"Sasuke!" I opened my eyes when I heard Toshiro yell and I looked up from where I was sitting against a tree. "Sasuke what happened?" He asked kneeling down next to me. "Why are you crying?"
I wiped away my tears "It's nothing I just fell while I was running is all." I stated trying to stand up. I was actually just so happy to see someone and I felt really guilty all at the same time.
Toshiro put his hand out to help me up. I took his hand and he pulled my arm over his shoulder grabbed my other arm and pulled me onto his back. "I'll take you the rest of the way home." He stated hooking his arms under my legs.
"Thank you." I whispered.
“What happened? Why did you just ditch school?” Toshiro asked me as he hooked his arms under my legs and stood up.
“I just fell. It’s not a big deal.” I answered his first question and avoided the other question.
“It is a big deal Sasuke. Do you realize how much your mom and dad worried about you? How much Elizabeth was worried and how much you made me worry?” He scolded me as he walked.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized my voice a bit rasps like I just woke up in the morning and was trying to talk.
"I'm going to give you my number so you can text me or call when there's a problem. Or you completely tank it on the concrete again." Toshiro sighed. But it was more a sigh of relief instead of disappointment.
I didn't answer him. "Something else happened didn't it?" He asked me and I looked over towards the tree line staying quiet.
"Liz told me that you left school because during class she went to the nurse’s office to see how you were doing and you weren't there. What happened, you know you can tell me." Toshiro mentioned. "It's understandable that you're confused about this whole elemental thing, just remember that I'll help you out with whatever you need."
We didn't talk for a good length of time. "Toshiro…" I finally spoke up.
"What is it?" He asked as we got to my house.
"Can you stick around for a bit so I can talk to you?" I asked.
"Sure." He laughed lightly and bumped me up a bit so he could open the door.
Mom came into the hall and she gasped when she saw me. Toshiro went to set me down so I could take off my shoes but my mom stopped him.
"Toshiro just take Sasuke into the kitchen. Don't worry about your shoes." She said and quickly went down the hall.
Toshiro slipped off his shoes anyway and then took me to the kitchen. We got me up onto the counter next to the sink and I was finally able to take off my shoes and socks. Toshiro took them from me and took them to the front door. I finally was able to take a look at my legs and the blood had seeped through my shirt. I put my legs over the sink and started unraveling my shirt it was really damp and luckily it wasn't sticking to my knees but they did look really bad. My parents came into the kitchen carrying a few bottles of Peroxide and some gauze and bandages. My mother turned the water on and grabbed the sprayer and checked the water to make sure that the water was the right temperature.
I took in a sharp breath as the water hit my knees. Curling my toes in and closing my eyes shut from the pain I took slow shaky breaths in to keep myself from crying.
"Were you sprinting when you fell?" My dad asked as he opened a new bottle of peroxide.
"Yeah…" I answered simply not looking at my mom or dad. It felt like a jolt of electricity ran through me and I quickly looked at what was going on and dad was pouring the peroxide on my knees as mom brought out the tweezers and was starting to pluck rocks out of my knees.
“Why did you leave school?” He was very calm with his question. I’m surprised he didn’t blow off the handle because of it.
“You can mom didn’t tell me where you went. I accidently made the classroom really hot, Sean and I got in an argument, and…I don’t know. My original plan was just to go home but I didn’t.” I answered.
“You shouldn’t have done that Sasuke. You should have stayed in school. We came back.” Dad said with a sigh.
“I’m sorry.” I apologized as I looked over to see mom wrapping my knees up in gauze and ace bandages. Dad was pouring peroxide on a black washcloth and grabbed my arm and started cleaning the scraps and blood off on my arms and hands.
“The important thing is your safe.” Mom smiled at me kindly.
I smiled back at her a little and looked over at Toshiro. He was sitting at the table staying out of the way of my parents as they cleaned my cuts.
"You seem a bit out of it, did you bring any water with you when you ran?" Toshiro questioned and I shook my head slowly.
Dad motioned for me to turn so he could clean my other arm after bandaging my left arm and I did was I was told to do.
"No…when I was running home I had a dizzy spell and my knees gave out on me for a second and that's how I got all banged up." I told him.
“Maybe next time make sure you make sure to carry a bottle of water with you.” Toshiro chuckled.
“Or next time he could just stay in school like he’s supposed to.” Dad commented.
“John.” Mom hissed at dad.
I heard the fridge open and my mom handed me a bottle of water. "Alright you're good to go." My dad said and helped me off the counter so my knees wouldn't give out on me again.
"Try to relax for a bit." My mom smiled at me.
"Alright." I nodded and made my way out of the kitchen slowly my feet never fully leaving the ground. Now that all the tension was gone from my body all I had was throbbing pain in my knees and exhaustion hitting me like I was hit with a truck.
"Do you need help?" I looked over at Toshiro who was walking in from the kitchen.
"Um…it's alright I can get up to my room on my own." I stated taking a few steps.
"Well you said you wanted to talk so I guess I'll just come with you." He smiled gently at me and walked up the steps behind me.
My legs felt like lead weights attached to my hips so the remaining steps felt like I was climbing a mountain as I reached the top of the stairs. When I glanced over I was surprised that Toshiro walked along side me to my room, if it was Liz walking with me she would have called me slow and when I got to my room she would shut the door in my face then laugh and open it again. Once we got to my room I plopped down on my bed and I didn't want to move I hadn't opened the water bottle that my mom gave me yet I just kept it in my hand.
"So what did you want to talk about?" Toshiro asked sitting down on the end of the bed.
“Did my dad seem more upset then what he was letting on?” I asked him.
“Um…I’m confused why are you asking me?” He questioned in return sitting down in my desk chair.
“Because you seem like your really good at reading people and how they’re feeling. That’s why I figured I would ask.” I replied.
“I can understand why your father was so upset. I mean you did leave school. You didn’t even sign out in the office, you just straight up left. I’m sure that he was really worried about you.” Toshiro mentioned.
“I know…it was stupid of me to do.” I said.
“Well didn’t you just answer your own question then?” He stated as we locked eye contact.
“Not really. I mean I know that he was upset and could tell that he was. Usually mom doesn’t hiss at him when he says something so I’m thinking that dad had an underline meaning to what he said to me earlier.” I shook my head and crossed my arms trying to think.
“Can you blame him though? Think about it, you just brought your powers back up to the surface and on top of it you find out that you’re a moon elemental. You said yourself that you heated up the room with out meaning to which means that you don’t have a very good hold or understanding of how to control your abilities. So it would make since that your father was so upset with you. He doesn’t want you hurting yourself.” Toshiro explained as he twisted in the chair a little and spun a few times.
"Do you think that's why everything has been so strange for the past couple of days?" I asked flopping down onto my back to stair up at the ceiling.
"What do you mean?" He asked.
"Think about it, how long did it take for your element to start appearing for you?" I questioned not looking over at him.
"I guess when I was seven because when I was ten my parents sent me to the academy." He answered. “But like you said yours showed up when you were four, but then after you had that accident there was some sort of block from you being able to remember that you even had elemental abilities.”
“Yeah I got a concussion. But the natural abilities of a fire elemental didn’t go away. I was always hotter then others, no pun intended.” I mentioned looking over in his direction.
“Well maybe because of that your mom and dad didn’t lose hope and hoped that one day your powers would come back. But they didn’t want to scare you so they kept quiet.” He offered which seemed like a very logical explanation.
There was a knock at my door and then it opened my mom poked her head into the room. "Toshiro you can stay the night here instead of having to go back to the dorms at school." My mom mentioned. It wasn’t really a suggestion it was a your staying here damn it kind of tone.
"Oh um…thank you Mrs. Kasai, but it's alright." Toshiro smiled at her.
"John said that he would rather you spend the night here, it's dusk and he doesn't want you getting lost or anything." My mother mentioned and I sat up so that way I could actually see her. She had the sweet smile on her face that I knew was a don’t test me look, but I don’t really think Toshiro knew it.
"Okay then, I guess I'm staying for the night." He said and my mom closed my door again when she left.
“OH darn, whatever will you do? You have to send the night at the headmasters house.” I snickered and Toshiro flicked my right foot because it was closest to him. It just suddenly fell asleep and started tingling. "Ah." I slowly brought my leg up to my chest and put a hand on my foot. It was freezing. "Don't do that." I ordered trying to warm up my foot.
"You deserved it." He mentioned smirking at me.
"But you made my foot fall asleep, you're such a jerk." I muttered.
"What was that?" He asked about to flick my other foot.
"Nothing." I pulled my foot away. “Thank you for sticking around though.”
“Why are you thanking me?” He chuckled.
“I don’t know.” I replied shrugging.
“Anyways were there any other questions that you want me to answer?” Toshiro questioned obviously deciding to change the subject sense the last conversation was going nowhere.
"Yeah, but it’s more so a personal question if you don’t mind answering it.” I told him crossing my legs on my bed.
“Go ahead. I don’t mind.” He smiled at me in return.
“Do you know where your family is now?" I asked finally able to feel my foot again.
He nodded a little bit and looked down at the floor. "My parents are dead and my younger brother is about fifty and lives in New York City."
"How did your parents die?" I questioned.
"Well my mother got cancer and my father over dosed shortly after my mother died. I guess one of the disappointing things about being an elemental and going to the academy is that time here passes by so quickly that you really realize how short life can be.
"So why couldn't your brother go to the academy?" I looked at him. I felt really bad for him. That had to suck. I didn’t really know how to comfort him though. He seemed sad, I mean who wouldn’t be with that happening to your parents and all.
"I was the only one out to my family who turned into an elemental. Well I can't really say I turned into an elemental it's more like you're born an elemental, but the time where you start experiencing your powers is different for everyone." Toshiro explained to me.
“So were your parents human? Or were they also elementals?” I asked curiously trying my best to get him to not look so depressed, I don’t’ know why it bothered me so much to see him so upset.
“They were humans. They didn’t really understand what was going on when I was freezing everything or why I was always so cold. When my little brother was born they wouldn’t let me touch him in fear that I would hurt him.” Toshiro answered looking down at the ground with a sad smile on his face as he brought one of his hands up and started playing with his bangs.
“Does your little brother know you exist?” He looked so sad. I wish I could say I knew what he was going through but I really didn’t.
“He knows I exist, but he chooses to ignore me. He wants nothing to do with me since I haven’t been a big brother to him at all.” He said quietly hiding his face with his white hair and he continued to play with his snow-white bangs.
I got up and put a hand on his shoulder. He looked up at me with some tears in his eyes and I smiled down at him. “Well I’m here. I know that we only meet a few days ago but ya know what, I consider us friends. You didn’t have to stick around and listen to me and you did. You didn’t have to open up and tell me about your past, but you did. I’m glad to see that you trust me enough to be able to open up.” I bent down a little and hugged him to try and comfort him. I felt him tense up for a moment in my arms. But he relaxed and hugged me back.
“Thank you Sasuke. That really means a lot to me.” He said into my shoulder.
“When ever you need someone to talk to don’t hesitate to ask if I’m free. Even if it’s two in the morning and that means something I don’t give up my sleep for just anyone ya know.” I said and I made him laugh a little.
It was quiet for a few minuets between us after we broke our hug. “You’re really warm.” Toshiro said quietly and sounding a little embarrassed as his cheeks flushed a light pink and he quickly looked down at his lap. “Sorry that was really awkward.”
I couldn’t help but laugh at his reaction. “My main element is fire; why wouldn’t I be a personal body heater?” I asked in a joking matter. I think that this is the start of a friendship that I know will last for a long time. I hope that Toshiro feels the same way.
“Don’t laugh at me Sasuke you’re just making it worse.” Toshiro buried his face in his hands as his face just kept getting even redder.
“Awe why not. The more your face heats up the warmer your body will get.” I chuckled. Yeah I think that this will be a great friendship.