Maybe I Should Follow His Advice
Chapter 9: Maybe I Should Follow His Advice
Looking back to where I left Sasuke he was gone by the time that the people that were between us cleared out.
“Where did ya go just then Sean?” Sam asked putting an arm over my shoulders. Including most of his weight. Thankfully I’m able to adjust my weight quickly so I can support his fucking ass. I more so want to just push him off me more then anything. But if I do that, then what’ll happen?
“Sorry I saw something and I wanted to go check it out. It was nothing really.” I have one of my normal fake smiles that I’ve grown accustom to using around these three.
“It had to be important if you just wandered off like that though.” Nick mentioned as we walked down the side walk. I carefully slipped out from under Sam’s arm using a lady that was about to pass by us as a silent excuse to get out of his grasp.
“Really, it was nothing.” I glared at him slightly trying to get him to back off. I’m not liking these questions in the slightest. Why on earth I hang out with these three. It can’t be just because they’re on the swim team. Maybe it was because I was trying to fill a gap that I felt from moving away. No…that gap that’s there, these three idiots can’t fill is. It’s because I feel like I’ve pushed my own best friend away from me. The only person that didn’t look at me like I was some sort of infectious disease. He stood up for me…and he never blamed me for him getting hurt when we were little.
“Oh guys, lets stop in here.” Andy said and I looked up to see what store that we were in front of the little convenient store that was in town.
I just didn’t want to hang out with them though. Is Sasuke going to be okay? His knees looked really banged up. He was really dehydrated too, so was he able to make it to the park alright?
“Sean.” Andy’s voice pulled me back to what I was doing.
“Ya comin’ in or not?” He questioned raising an eyebrow at me.
I shook my head. “Sorry Andrew, I have to be somewhere.” I took a step back from the entrance. “I’ll see ya back at school.” I smiled a little turning on my heels and I jog away from them. When I rounded the corner and I know that I was out of eye sight of the three of them I pick up the pace and ran. The pace of my shoes tapping on the pavement quicken as I break into a sprint.
I just have to make sure he’s okay. I shouldn’t have let him go alone like that. I know we’re not on the best of terms, but that was so stupid of me to just let him go. My breath blew out of my nose and mouth a bit heavier than when I started. The quick starting and stopping to avoid people wasn’t helping in getting to the park any faster. I should have taken him home right then and there. I’m so stupid. God fucking damn it legs go faster.
Slowing down I bring my hands up and rest hands on my head as I try to calm down my breathing. I’m here. The park is where he said he was going right? I look around and start walking. Geez from sprinting so far, one would think that I’m out of shape. I chuckle at the thought as I look around.
“There he is.” I muttered spotting a messy black head of hair leaning against a tree.
I take a step towards him and a particular teenaged boy with a head of white hair ran up to Sasuke and quickly kneeled down to talk to him. Sasuke must have been sleeping or something because it looked like snowflake woke him up. But after they exchanged a couple of words he managed to get Sasuke onto his back and they started walking in the direction of Sasuke’s house.
I feel like I’m a few steps behind them. Like I’m always just a few seconds too late. If was I just a little faster would snowflake and I have switched places? Would I have been in front of Sasuke and taking him home? I dropped my hands from my head and down to my chest clutching my shirt as I watched the two of them walk away. Why do I feel like I’ve been kicked in the chest? Why do I feel like I’ve inhaled a breath of water and swallowed? Is this how Sasuke felt when he stepped into the fight between snowflake and myself? Letting my hands drop down to my sides before shoving them in my pockets, I let out a small sigh and head in a slight angle from where Toshiro and Sasuke went and head back to the school. I had homework to do anyways and I don’t want to get behind on the reading that I have to do.
The walk feels like it’s dragging on. Like it’s a walk of shame. I deserve it though for being such a fucking piss pour friend since I’ve gotten back into town. I should have stopped by that day. When I saw the house, I should have done it. Sighing and looking down at the ground I kick the small pebble that was close to my foot. “I’m so fucking stupid. I’ve probably lost a good friend because of how I’ve been acting… It’s all my fault he got hurt…I’m such a fuck up.” I grabbed a fist full of my pockets. Tension built up in my shoulders and my body started to shake a little.
Tears fill my vision and I just let them go. It needs to come out. It’s needed to come out for a long time now. Even before I came back here. I haven’t cried in years. I think since I left back in middle school. I cried after I was far down the road and Sasuke couldn’t see me cry. I didn’t want him to see me cry. I’ve always felt like I’m an older brother to him… “But he’s always been the one protecting me…” I laughed a little between my hiccups from crying. I bring my sleeves up and wipe away my tears. “I’m so pathetic is I think that I could be an older brother. Especially to someone who’s always protected me and gotten hurt for me and because of me.” I felt myself come to a stop in front of the school gates as I looked up at it.
I didn’t go in till I calmed myself down. After taking a few more deep breaths I went to the dorms and grabbed my swimming trunks and my spare towel then headed to the pool. Swimming has always helped me calm down. Its helped me think. It’s been the one thing that’s been metaphorically been my rock through out my life. I had actual leggings for competitive swimming, but I didn’t feel like grabbing them. I also have jammers, but I liked waring the leggings a bit more for competitive swimming.
The pool is heated. Walking into the locker room I can already smell the hit of chlorine coming from the pool. It was a nice smell to me. It was comforting. Changing into my swimming trunks I brought my towel with me out to the pool and set it down in one of the empty chairs. There were a few kids and teachers here in the pool. The kids were playing and the teachers were either lounging out on a floatie or watching the children to make sure that they weren’t going to hurt themselves. I dove into the pool and the first thing I do is always swim all the way down to the bottom and grab a hold of the grate and sit there holding my breath for as long as I can. I’ve gotten a lot better. I can hold my breath for about a minuet. But with teachers and kids here I decide against it, just so I don’t make them panic and think that I can’t swim. I still at least touch the bottom with my hands, feeling the smooth tile. I open my eyes, burning slightly from the chlorine, the deep blue racing line directly under me. I can’t help but smile ever so slightly letting some of the air that I was holding in escape from my mouth before I get my feet under my body and push off the bottom and launching back towards the surface releasing the air that I had trapped inside as I went.
Once I broke the surface I took a breath of the fresh air. After I shook my head to get my bangs out of my eyes I swam back over to the side of the pool and went over to the side of the pool that the kids weren’t on and started just doing some slow laps. I wasn’t in a fast pace mood at the moment. Just something to help me relax before I go back to the dorm and work on homework. It really helps. I lose track of time whenever I swim. It wasn’t till after I was floating on my back and glanced over to the wall with the clock that I noticed it was closing in on six. I have been here for almost two hours. I need to get something to eat and start working on my homework.
I sighed a little before taking a breath and diving in backwards from laying on my back to swim down to the bottom of the pool one more time and pushing myself more so at an angle towards the edge of the pool so I could get out. I rinsed off in the locker room, got dressed, went and got a bite to eat and took an apple back to the room. There was no one there. The three of them must have decided to go out to dinner while in town. Whatever, I don’t give a damn. It keeps it quiet in the room anyways. Hanging my trunks on the edge of my hamper I put my towel on the floor under them so they could drip off on the towel and grabbed what I needed to take a shower.
Then it was to homework once I got back to the room. I didn’t get too far into my homework before Andy came walking into the room laughing obnoxiously with Sam and Nick.
“There ya are.” He commented still laughing and he slapped my back fairly hard. “Where did ya run off ta Sean?” He questioned.
“Maybe he knew we were gonna get somethin’ to eat while we were out and didn’t want to bum food off of us.” Nick snickered. That stung…
“I forgot something at home and I didn’t want to forget it. Sorry for ditching you.” I stated not taking my eyes off my book. The first book that we were reading was Beowulf.
“What did ya forget?” Sam asked I glanced over at him when I heard someone’s hands hit my desk top.
“It was nothing important.” I responded.
“Na, come on it has ta be important if ya had to run off like that.” Andy said and I felt him lean on my back.
“It was just an old necklace.” I answered flatly quickly remembering that when Sasuke and I were little his parents bought us friendship necklaces. It wasn’t really a friendship necklace because it didn’t say anything like that. It was just a simple black chain with three beads on it. Two metal beads and one deep blue bead. Sasuke’s had a red bead in the center.
“What’s so important about an old necklace?” Sam questioned curiosity in his voice.
“You can call it a good luck charm if ya want.” I answered resting my head in my left as I held my book open with my right.
“That’s cute ya have a good luck charm.” Andy chuckled and patted my back and pushed off me.
“How far do we have ta read in Beowulf again for tomorrow?” Sam asked.
“We have to read to here.” I answered after finishing my sentence and showing him the thirty some pages. It was a good book. I’m enjoying it.
“That’s not too bad.” Sam commented.
“No, not really. It’s not too bad of a book either.” I replied going back to reading.
“Come on Sam, we have ta go do our own homework.” Nick called out. He sounded like he was already outside the door.
“I’m comin’.” Sam pushed my head forward a little, just enough to push my cheek out of my palm before heading out himself. “See ya in class tomorrow.”
“Bye.” I answered flatly not turning around to look at the door.
“So what’s this good luck charm of yours look like?” Andy asked.
I stopped reading to see him hop onto his bed with his bag. “It’s just a necklace.” I sighed and went back to my book.
“Come on I wanna see it.” It was more so Andy saying. Stop reading and fucking show me the damn thing.
I put my bookmark in Beowulf sideways to mark the line that I was on and got up. It was in the top draw of my dresser in the left front corner. That’s where I’ve always put it, no matter where I go, it’s always there. I pulled it out and showed Andy. “I told you it was just a necklace.”
“Damn that thing is simple. I thought it was gonna have some epic lookin’ charm on it or somethin’.” He had a look of disappointment on his face. “But it suits you. Your simple.” He snickered as he pulled out his history homework.
“Yep, that’s me, simple as fuck.” I muttered more so to myself and hopefully low enough so he couldn’t hear it as I put it back in my dresser and closed it before going back to my book.
We had random short conversations through out the rest of the night till it got around eleven and we decided to call it. I woke up with Andrew’s alarm. He offered for me to come and do a morning swim with him, but I declined and said that I like going for runs in the morning instead. He left the room as I got on some spandex and my running shorts and a t-shirt. I went in my top dresser and grabbed a pair of socks when I stopped and looked at my necklace. I blinked a few times as I stared at it and then pulled it out and put it on. Over the years I’ve had to get longer chains so it was still fit. The chain was cool against my skin when I tucked it into my shirt. Then I headed out of the room. I passed by Toshiro’s room and stopped for a moment when I saw another name on the room.
“So Sasuke’s going to be coming to the dorms…” I muttered standing there and taking it in. A small smiled made its way onto my lips before I turned away form the door and continued on my way down the stairs and out the side door.
School seemed to be dragging a little bit. Though I was happy to see that Sasuke managed to get to school. He looked like he was in a lot of pain though. He had a slight limp when he walked. Considering that he decided to where shorts today I could see half of the wrapping that was around both his knees and he had his hands and elbows bandaged as well. He hit the pavement really hard yesterday.
Though I didn’t ask him about it all day I was surprised to see him sitting in the art room when I walked in at the end of the day. I asked Mrs. Clark if it was okay that I come in after school and work on my watercolor. I was actually going to start another one because Ariana accidently tripped and her water splattered all over my watercolor. She apologized so many times my head started to spin. I kept trying to tell her it was okay, but she said that she would make it up to me some how. With how stubborn I was learning she was I decided not to argue. I did try to tell her that she did me a favor because I wasn’t really liking what I was doing anyways and was debating on starting over, but I think it just ended up making her even more determined to do something for me. So I picked a different image that I was going to do this time around and set my bag down in my normal spot then went over to my normal spot that was on one of the taller counters and I brought a drawing board with my new watercolor paper taped to it.
Lightly I sketched out the new image on the paper trying my best not to smug it. “My legs hurt.” Sasuke grumbled from the other end of the table as he worked on his watercolor.
“So sit down.” I said simply not looking up from my paper.
“I don’t want to.” He said like a child and I chuckled.
“Then stop complaining.” I said and it fell silent between the two of us again.
After I finished sketching I wandered over to the back wall where the tall stools were and brought one over for Sasuke. “I told you I didn’t want to sit.”
“Eh well, it’s there if you want it.” I said going back and grabbing a stool for myself and putting my paints and water on it so I could get some books to prop up my board with out having to worry about knocking it over. “How much pain are you in. On a scale of one to ten?” I asked wanting to keep a conversation going.
“I wanna say about a seven. But you know what they say, the day after is always the worst.” We both laughed a little.
“You know I could have taken you home yesterday.” I sighed a little.
“You were hanging out with friends.” He said and it stung slightly.
“I’m going to go on my walk, if you boys need me I’ll be walking the halls with Mrs. Butler.” Mrs. Clark told us.
“Okay.” We said in unison.
“I can’t really call them friends. They more so pick on me more than anything.” I answered truthfully as I brought my paints and paper back onto the counter top.
“So why do you hang out with them?” I don’t’ know why I feel a bit shocked from his question.
But I ended up looking up at him with a slight annoyed expression. “Because Andrew is my roommate. And he just kinda drags me places.” I answered. “I find them kinda annoying and frustrating to deal with.”
“So why hang out with them?” Again…it was a blunt question, but it was right to the point.
“I don’t know to be honest.” I muttered breaking my gaze away from him.
“Yo Sean.” I looked up to see Sam and Nick standing at the door. “Andrew wants ta talk to ya.” Nick called out. There was a slight smirk on Sam’s lips and I was getting a bit of a bad feeling.
I sighed a bit frustrated and rested my brush on top of my cup. “Fine. I’m coming.” I groaned and shoved my hands in my pockets. “Why couldn’t he come and talk to me here. He knows that I was going to be in here. I told ya’ll what happened at lunch today.”
“Just humor him and come.” I could tell that Sam was holding down a laugh.
“Sean.” I stopped and looked back at Sasuke. He had a concerned look on his face. “Make Andrew come here. You don’t need to go to him. You’re really busy and he knows that.”
Sasuke had a good point, but Nick and Sam were a bit faster than I was with a response and they dragged me out of the room and down the hall with them. I have a very bad feeling about this. The two of them brought me outside and out to the side of the building that was towards the cross country trail. Nick slammed me against the brick wall and held me there with his forearm across my chest just under my collar bone.
“What the fuck is this?” I glared at the two of them.
“Spill it, you’ve been hanging out with that pipsqueak haven’t you?” Nick questioned a devious smile playing with the corners of his mouth.
“Why the fuck do you think I’ve been hanging out with him? And that pipsqueak has a name ya know. It’s Sasuke.” I retorted debating on knocking his arm off of me.
“So ya have been hangin’ out with em’ and that’s why ya ran off on us yesterday.” Sam snorted and I glared at him.
That split second of shock that I showed to the two of them was just enough for them that said they hit the nail on the head. Sam slapped me across the face hard enough to make it burn. “What do ya think yer doin’ hua?” Nick growled at me. “Out of the goodness of Andy’s heart he let ya into our little group and then ya go behind his back and start hanging out with that freak.”
My hands balled into fists and my heart started to pound. I wanted to throttle this guy. He had no right to call Sasuke names. He never has to begin with. “What are we pissing ya off Sean? Did we strike a nerve with ya?” Sam practically giggled in delight they were both enjoying this. They knew if a fight broke out that they would be fine. I was just some delinquent that didn’t have a real home, a real family.
“You better fucking back off.” I warned them.
“Or what?” Nick smiled wickedly at me.
“Yeah, what are ya gonna do about it?” Sam asked me and then I saw his eyes land on my neck. He reached out and hooked a finger under the chain of my necklace and pulled it out from under my shirt. “So much for your good luck charm.” He snickered.
“Hey maybe is some stupid thing that him and the pipsqueak decided to make as a form of their friendship when they were little.” Nick commented and that was the last straw.
I pushed Nick away from me and grabbed a hold of my necklace before grabbing a hold of Same wrist and ripping it away from my necklace. “Just fucking leave me alone.” I started to turn away from them to go back to the school when Nick sucker punched me in the mouth. I wasn’t ready for it at all and the back of my head bashed off the wall behind me.
I was seeing stars from hitting the back of my head so hard. I quickly took my hand off my necklace and covered my mouth as I could taste iron rushing into my mouth. Sam and Nick were laughing hysterically as I leaned against the wall trying to get everything to stop spinning.
“Back off!” Sasuke?! I opened my eyes enough to see Sasuke land a solid punch on Nick’s cheek and made him stumble away from me and collide into Sam. “Sean, you okay?” He asked shaking his hand. He was panting a bit. He had to of ran, he looks like he’s in a lot of pain. His eyes are watering slightly. He ran through his pain, just to come protect me…
“Are you stupid? Your already in a lot of pain, why did you come?” I asked him as I lifted my hand from my mouth to just see blood on it. Nick easily split my lip open. At least one of them, if not both.
“You’re a friend. I’ll fight through any type of pain to help.” He answered with a very serious expression on his face. I want to say something to him, but my voice get’s caught in my throat. My chest hurts…just those words…those simple words have so much of an impact on me…why?
“You little fucker.” I look from Sasuke to Nick and see that he has his fists cocked back and ready to give Sasuke the same treatment back.
I don’t know what it is, but my body just moved. Before I can even process anything I grab Sasuke wrist and switched places with him and took the blow to my chest. I’m not going to let you protect me this time…I’m going to protect you. I put my hands out. I can feel blood trickling down my chin from my mouth. “Leave Sasuke out of this. Your problem is with me.” I said every word a pain to get out. “Whatever it is just take it out on me. I’m the one that pissed you off anyways aren’t I?”
“Ya wanna play the hero Sean?” Nick snickered and rammed his knee into my stomach making me cough out some of the blood I was about to swallow.
“Fine by us.” Sam laughed.
“You better make it good, because you’re not going to like the outcome if I can still stand when your done.” My voice quivers ever so slightly as I tried to stand up straight.
Sam had the most maniacal look in his eyes and he cocked his arm back and at full force hit me square in the temple. Everything went black for what felt like a minute and there’s a really loud ringing in my ears. But I’m not on the ground. I don’t feel pavement on my arms or anything. So what’s holding me up then? Someone’s screaming. It’s a deeper voice. It sounds angry that’s for sure. I feel like I wanna throw up.
“Sasuke, call your mother.” I can finally hear a full sentence. Was it Sasuke dad that was holding me up? But why? “You two are going to come with me.”
I feel really drained. Like I wanna take a nap on top of wanting to throw up. “No Sean don’t fall back asleep.” I hear Sasuke say to me, though his voice sounds a bit distant. Am I against a wall now? No, I’m moving, I can’t get my legs to function, though. One side was really cold and the other was really warm and lower down. I kinda feel like I’m being dragged a little. I’m on something soft now. My head is pounding and Sasuke’s voice is drown out by the high pitched ringing in my ears again.
I fell asleep again. But, I’m laying down right now. There’s a white ceiling staring back at me. A groan escapes my lips from the throbbing in my head. “He’s awake.” Mrs. Carlson’s voice hit my ears and my chest instantly tightened. How many times today has my chest hurt like this?
“Sean.” This time it was Sasuke’s voice. I looked over to where the voices were coming from. Mr. and Mrs. Carlson, along with Lilly, Sasuke, and Mr. and Mrs. Kaisai, even snowflake was here.
“You had us scared to death.” Mrs. Carlson said with a bit of relief in her voice as she came over with Lilly in her arms.
I get my arms under me and try to push myself up. I’m shaking, am I really that weak? I felt a hand on my back. It was Mr. Kaisai’s, he was helping me the rest of the way up. “I’m sorry…” I said quietly and looked down at the blanket that I was under.
“Do you remember anything?” Mr. Carlson asked me as Mrs. Carlson hugged me quickly followed by Mrs. Kaisai. Mrs. Kaisai was so warm. It felt nice. I honestly didn’t want her to let go, it felt so comforting.
“Um…” As if out of habit I bring my right hand up to my lips and I want to go start picking at my lips but they were really sore. “I remember getting socked in the mouth and Sasuke coming in, but everything around that is kinda fuzzy.” I answered truthfully and it hit me like a truck. I can’t remember…I had gotten a concussion. I feel sick. I got into a fight. What was going to happen to me?
“Can you remember anything else? What day is it?” Snowflake asked me in a very calm voice.
“Um…” What day was it? Tuesday? No, no I have a feeling that it’s not Tuesday, I think today was the third day of school and strangely enough labor day landed on a Sunday so we started school on a Monday this year right? “It’s…Wednesday?” I said a bit quiet and not really sure of my answer.
“The Doctor’s said that you can come home. But I don’t know if you’ll be okay being home alone.” Mr. Carlson mentioned.
“If you would like to, I’m a stay at home mom, he can stay at our house for a few days.” Sasuke’s mother offered.
“Y-you don’t have to do that.” Mr. Carlson said as Mrs. Carlson finally let Lilly have her way and come onto the bed with me.
“We really don’t mind. You do have your little one to take care of. Also that way you don’t have to worry if something will happen like him falling out of bed while you’re at work.” Mrs. Kaisai continued making valid points. But, I thought that she had a job…did she quit it or something?
“Sean’s one of my best friends, it’ll be like when we were younger and he would sleep over.” Sasuke added in and I felt my lips quiver a bit at it.
I felt Lilly’s hands on my cheeks and I looked at her. She mushed her face against mine. It was her way of giving me a kiss. It stung really bad and I felt hot tears leak out of the corner of my eyes. “No, no Lilly, Sean is hurting you can’t give him kisses that hard.” Mrs. Carlson said.
“You’re not going to send me back to the home are you?” My voice cracking. My throat feels really dry.
“No, no sweetie, why would we do that?” Mrs. Carlson’s voice was soft and caring. It’s the voice she uses with Lilly when she’s trying to get her to sleep. She put a hand on my back and lightly rubbed it. “You didn’t do anything wrong.”
“You were protecting a friend. You didn’t throw any punches. We were all young once. Hell, I’ve gotten in fights before when I was growing up.” Mr. Carlson reassured me and put a hand on my shoulder. “Are you willing to spend a few days and the Kaisai’s house?”
I nodded slowly and soon enough I was being taken out of the hospital. I refused to be set in a wheelchair even though I keep feeling like I’m going to black out and all the strength is just spilling out of me and onto the floor. It got to the point where Mr. Carlson just had to poke me and I fell back into the wheelchair. Sighing in frustration at how weak I am. Mr. Kaisai pushed me out into the parking lot and helped me into the Carlson’s car. They followed behind them I think. I remember leaning against Lilly’s car seat and her patting the top of my head and saying “alllll done.” It was something that she would say when she got a new diaper on and her pants were put back on.
“Lilly sweetie don’t hit Sean’s head.” Mrs. Carlson warned.
I chuckled a little, “That’s right Lilly, all done.” I smiled a little even though my face hurts.
When we got to the Kaisai house I was shaking a bit. I don’t know if it’s from my head or if it’s because I didn’t really eat anything at lunch. I said bye to Lilly and Mr. and Mrs. Carlson then they went the rest of the way home and Sasuke and snowflake helped me into the house.
“I didn’t expect you to be here snowflake,” I said and I got a chuckle out of Sasuke’s dad from behind us.
“It’s Toshiro.” He gritted his teeth.
“Lighten up a bit Shiro,” I said softly. “I’m not gonna stop, you remind me of a snowflake.”
They got me on to the couch and I leaned back into the cushions. “The doctor’s said it’s a minor concussion, but you’re not allowed to go back to school for a few days. The earliest is Friday. And you can’t do any heavy exercises for a few weeks.” Mr. Kaisai explained and I nodded slowly.
“Thank you for letting me stay here.” I said quietly looking down at my lap.
“Of course Sean. It’s not a problem at all.” Mrs. Kaisai said, but I think her voice was coming from their kitchen.
“You didn’t have to protect me like that you know.” Sasuke said. I looked over at him to see him sit down next to me on the couch.
“Yes I did. Ever since we've known each other, you’ve always protected me. I think it’s about time that I try to protect you.” I stated. A smile crept on Sasuke face and he started laughing. “What’s so funny you jerk?” I asked and pushed him a bit then crossed my arms. “Geez I try to be nice and ya go and laugh at me.”
“I didn’t mean to Sean; it’s just I can’t help it.” He giggled.
We started bickering back and forth till I had to stop because my head was pounding and Mrs. Kaisai yelled at both of us to stop otherwise she’ll make sure that both of us don’t wake up till the morning. As weird as it is…I feel comfortable here. But I’ll never say it to any of them. I’m too embarrassed to say it. I’m 17 now, there’s no point. I just need to graduate and I can make my own life. I’ll keep Sasuke as a friend though, that’s for sure.