Chapter 3: Runaway
How do you expect to get through your battle, without any battle scars?
So, where did we stop last time? A little bonding session, we found a missing dog and saw a movie. Well, it’s Saturday now, and guess who still has to study? This guy. I promised Laura that I would tutor her and catch her up to our Spanish class, and so I have to do that.
“Good morning Noah,” my mother told me as I came downstairs,
I looked at her kind of stunned, because not only does she look like she hasn’t taken drugs in years but she also looks like she never wants to see my father again.
“Good morning to you too? What’s going on here?” I replied to her as I took my seat at the family table.
“Oh, can’t we eat together as a family, I made breakfast, and your favorite, pancakes!” She told me with a smile on her face.
“Ya like four years ago, I don’t even eat pancakes anymore.” I thought.
“Thanks, mom,” I told her with a heavy breath.” I’m going to Lake General Park today to meet up with a friend.”
“ooh what friend is this? Is it a girl?” she asked me that as if I never knew girls existed.
“Is it your girlfriend?” she pressed at me with a gasp.
“What? No, No she’s not.” I implied
“Ya she is,” Jake told her, “I saw them”
“Why don’t you shut the hell up?” I nudged at him.
“oh, dear goodness, when were you going to tell us?” my mom looked at me astonished.
“I wasn’t, she isn’t my girlfriend I’m just going to help her with some homework.” I told them both.
“Ya that’s what he said.”
I just hit him over the head with my hand,
“Ow, What the hell!?” He told me fishing his head out the plate.
“Ya that’s what he said.” I told him getting up off the table and going to my room.
I didn’t have much to do besides tutoring Laura, and so I took my bag and sent her a message:
“Are you free today? We could go to general lake for the Spanish homework.” not even a split second later she replied.
“Ya I’m free, I can meet you there in 30 minutes!”
“Ya sure that sounds good, alright well I’ll see you there,”
I never really expected to be tutoring someone this year, my moto was just, keep your head down and stay invisible, but I didn’t know what to do, I mean Laura did help me with something, it only seemed right to pay her back the favor. I hope that makes sense.
I left for general lake and I decided to walk there, I walked past the market and so I decided to go in and buy some items. I went to this tiny coffee shop inside called Roast Espresso, where I saw my favorite man:
“Hey, Adio!” I looked at him with the biggest smile I can give him.
“Hey Noah, how are you doing?” He said that with probably the strongest Jamaican accent you can think of.
" I’m doing good, how are you?”
“I’m doing amazing, you know most people forgot to have conversations, they just give you their orders and leave, but with you, it’s different, it’s as if you care.”
“I don’t” I paused and looked at him.
We both looked at each other for a five-second pause then just burst out laughing, this was the type of way you joke around with Adio, he knew almost all senses of humor making him a great person to have conversations with, it’s a shame that people don’t try to though.
“So, what do you want to order?” He asked me
“I thought you’d never ask, give me two coffees of your choice.”
“What we are not sleeping now?”
“No, it’s for a girl I’m studying with, Laura, I don’t know what she likes so just surprise me with two different drinks and she can pick one.”
“A girl? Did you say a girl?” He looked at me with the cheekiest grin before turning back around and starting to make the drinks.
“Don’t even start.”
“I didn’t say anything,” He turned around looking at me slowly with a cheeky grin before turning back around to the coffee.
“Adio, ill rail your head into that wall,” I told him jokingly.
“Oh, so first you rail Laura, and now my head?” He looked at me teasingly,
“Adio!” I yelled at him embarrassed.
“Calm down, I don’t judge.”
“No Adio it’s not like that-“
“That will be 12.99$”
“12.99$? A cup costs a 1.50$?”
“Didn’t you ask for that itch cream as well?” He raised his voice,
I looked at him stunned.
“I’m just kidding 3$,” He looked at me with my jaw practically on the floor by now.
I gave him the 3$ and left back to General Lake Park, it’s a nice place, crowded most of the time but it seemed empty today, I walked through the gates and saw Laura sitting at a bench and table with her books out, she waved me over and I went to her. I gave her the cup of coffee and sat next to her.
“For you,” I told her giving her the cup of coffee while sitting down next to her,
“Si,” I replied to her, “So what’s going on here what are you struggling with”
“Ok so here’s the thing, if I can catch you up to 4 lesson’s we took last year, you can continue Spanish in Spanish ED, if we can’t catch you up, you go to special ED with others.”
“Others?” She remarked at me,
“You’re not the only one who doesn’t understand Spanish, we are five students in Spanish ED the rest are in special.”
“So, where do you want me to be in?” She asked me
“I think marks wise you want to be in Spanish ED,” I looked at her.
“Well then let’s do it,” She maintained contact
I broke off eye contact because I didn’t know what to do at that moment, ok well let’s start off with the first lesson, introductions. Introduce yourself to me. I turned and looked at her
“seems easy enough, Hola, mi nombre es Laura y soy estudiante de ultimo año en State Bridge High School,”
“Great now say it in English.” I snapped back
“why? I can speak English I’m trying to learn Spanish?”
“Yes well, I need to make sure you don’t get some words mixed up.”
“Ok well I said, Hello, my name is Laura and I am a senior at State Bridge School.”
“See that wasn’t so hard now was it,” I looked at her
“Shut up,” She laughed and pushed me lightly.
We sat at the bench for a close three hours trying to get her to memorize four previous Spanish lessons, and we had some funny mistakes along the way. \
“Ok now you’re at a Hospital, I’m the doctor, you fell on your shoulder, action.”
“Me duele el hombre me caí hace un par de días?” She replied, unsure.
At that moment I burst out laughing, I laughed so much I got light-headed.
“What did I do wrong this time?” She whined
“You just told me your man hurts because you fell a couple days ago,” I said laughing.
“Wait what?” She put her hand over her mouth. “I’m pretty sure I said that correctly,”
“spell Hombro” I told her, recovering from my laugh.
“That’s what you did wrong its Hombr-O not Hombr-E”
“No Hombro with an O”
We finished with all four lessons and sat down on the grass looking at everyone and everything around us, she turned and looked at me curling in her knees.
“So, Noah, what exactly is your story like what do you do most of the time around?”
I looked back at her laying down on the grass, “Nothing much really, besides hanging out with you all I used to do was either sit at home or go to the Roast Espresso, since there I have a friend.
“The Roast Espresso? Is that the place you got those coffee’s from?”
“Yes ma’am, I have my friend Adio that works there, he makes all the coffee and I didn’t know what you like and so I told him to prepare two random drinks that way you can try them both and pick whichever one you like.”
“Well, that explains a lot since they both taste good.”
“You tried mine? ”I looked at her telling her that with a low voice
“Yes, I tried both of them, don’t expect boundaries with me.”
I opened my mouth to speak but nothing would come out. We sat on the grass for a good hour, just talking until Laura noticed a poster.
“Hey, there’s a skating competition today, it starts in 10 minutes,”
I sat back up and turned around looking at the poster, “Oh yea, my brother is participating in that, a real lunatic if you ask me.”
“Why don’t you go cheer him on?”
“ Gross no.” I replied to her
“What? Why not? He’s your brother.”
“ ya I know, but I see enough of him at home let alone see home outside as well.”
“Come on, Please, let’s go see him.”
After a good ten minutes of nagging, we got up to go and see him, we got to the skate park and before I even looked at him, he’s on his way towards us.
“What are you doing here?” He looked out of breath and confused
“We came to watch you skate, I’m Laura.” She held her hand out to him.
“I’m Jake,” He shook her hand very vigorously, “So, this your chick?” He looked at me asking.
“Go skate before I snap both that board and your spine in half.” I looked at him.
“Calm down I don’t bite!” He skated away ready to take his place.
We got up to take our seats in the bleachers, and the announcer, skating noises, and crowd were all loud as hell, but you can’t really complain when you go to an open skate competition, can you?
“Your Chick?” Laura looked at me in the eyes as she sat down,
“Don’t get his words mixed up, he thinks Nicki Minaj is his ‘Chick’.”
“So, am I your chick?” she looked at me grinning,
I just shrugged it off, “The competition is starting, come on didn’t you wanna watch?”
We both turned around waiting for the competition to star, and I heard the commentator say,“ Okay ladies and gentlemen, who’s ready to skate their minds away?!?”
The crowd went wild as soon as he said that we watched a couple of kid’s skate, and do their acts and you got to admit, they were impressive. Next thing I hear on the megaphones is,
“Our Next contestant, 16-year-old Jake blue!”
Laura yelled her soul out, like a mom at her daughter’s soccer game, yes daughter. Jake started skating and I was impressed, I’ve never seen him skate before but he’s good, in fact really good, he tried a really dangerous trick and we knew because what was the next thing that happened? WHAM! He hit the bottom of the pool flat on his board, but what shocked me even more is how he played it off. He skated, ON HIS BACK to the ramp to get back in a standing position and carried on his act. He got 23 points for improvisation and won second place in the tournament.
We went back to the park, and sat down on a pair of swings, and had a full long conversation.
“You have a really impressive brother ,” she told me smiling.
“He takes after his brother” I told her laughing
“Yes, I think that is exactly what happened.” she laughed
“Hey, by the way aren’t you supposed to get your driver’s license in two weeks?” she snapped.
“ yes, that’s what is supposed to happen.” I told her.
“ then what if we go for a practice drive?”
“what do you mean ?” I asked
“I have my driver’s license, why don’t you get in my car and try to drive, show me how good of a driver you are.”
I looked at her stunned at the fact that she just asked me to do that, or that she would trust me behind the wheel, a flash image in my head came up of me crashing the car and killing myself, but I snapped back into reality and looked at her.
“Ya sure, what the hell?” I told her
“I never expected you to do daring stuff like this,”
“why not? “I asked.
“I don’t know, if I’m being honest, you look like the type of person to live alone, and not want to be friends with anyone, yet here we are .” she told me.
“Well, if we are being honest, you never gave me much of a choice, you never left me to be no matter how much I ignored you.”
“And look at us now!” She told me opening her arms, “we are free to live!”
“So, what do you say Blue?” she nudged me,
I got up and put my hand out to her, “Let’s go.”
She took my hand and got up, we went to her car and without hesitation she gave me the keys, as if she had known me for years, that kind of trust no one ever gave me. I took them in my hand in smiled, then we went in the car, I turned on the ignition, and took the car out of park, next thing I know we were driving past everything. We were going fast, and never looked behind us, it felt great and it reminded me of Laura, how she told me we are free to live with her arms open wide. I turned to her and that’s exactly what she was doing, off the sunroof, yelling her heart out and with her arms just open wide letting all the air hit her.
She took a deep breath like there was going to be no tomorrow.
She got back in the car closing the sunroof and just laughing, she every song that would play, not correctly, and not well, but she didn’t care, she just sang it with all her soul.
We drive past an old mall, completely abandoned and with no one inside, at least we thought so. That moment proved to me, no one can have their life worse than others, someone will always be struggling more than you.
“Wait stop the car!” Laura yelled at me,
“Why? Is something wrong?” I stopped the car.
“On the roof, there’s a girl. Do you see her?” She pointed there, and fair enough. It was a girl, she looked 14 or maybe 15 and she was crying.
“Come on,” Laura told me running out the car.
“Oh, yea definitely, let’s go to an abandoned mall, and go see a possible demon child.” I murmured while following her.
We jumped the gates and ran inside, Laura in the lead she ran up the stairs, and we couldn’t find the door to the roof, however soon enough we did. We got upstairs to the roof and we could hear the police sirens flashing but we couldn’t get to her, the door was locked.
“We need to break the lock or something” Laura panicked
“Let me try this, move over a bit.” I tried running into the door a couple of times but what do you expect from a rusty steel door, it didn’t open.
“Break the lock or something, there is no use in trying to break the door it won’t it’s too strong.” She yelled at me.
I froze at that moment, it felt weird, we were stuck in a tiny space, looking through a small gap with metal bars, the police lights reflecting off our faces, staring at someone, confronting death.
“Noah are you listening?!” She yelled at me and I snapped back out,
I got on the side of the door, my ear on the metal bars and I tried kicking the Handle, after a couple kicks, it soon broke off and we got outside, There. A 14-year-old girl, looking at us.
“Who are you guys?! What are you doing here?!” She yelled at us with panic and tears streaming down her face, you could hear the pain in her voice.
“Hey, what are you doing there?” Laura asked her.
“Get AWAY FROM ME!” she yelled at Laura, “YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND WHATS BEEN HAPPENING TO ME I HAVE NOTHING LEFT!”
“What’s your name?” Laura asked her.
“YOU- YOU CAN’T” Laura cut her off “What’s your name?”
“Cristina” she replied to us.
“What’s going on Cristina?” Laura asked her.
“Everything, do you see this?!” She showed us a photo on her phone, one that shouldn’t have been on a phone to be exact, you understand me, someone took a photo of her. Nude.
“This is me, some guy snuck into the girl’s locker room and thought it would be funny to take this photo and plaster it ALL OVER social media,” She couldn’t speak, or breath at that point, she had nothing else to say.
“What about your parents? Did you tell them?” Laura asked her
“As if I can?! THEY WOULD DISOWN ME IF THEY FOUND OUT A NUDE PHOTO OF THEIR DAUGHTER HAD BECOME A LAUGHING-STOCK!”
Then you could hear, a bunch of footsteps coming up the stairs, she got scared, visibly, she thought she did something wrong, she wanted to jump and avoid the punishment. You see this is why I don’t drive places.
“Stop!” I turned to the stairs telling the cops, “You’re going to scare her, just give us a couple of minutes.” The cop wasn’t buying it, he tried rushing towards the door but without hesitation, Laura jammed it. We turned back to the girl.
“Why isn’t HE saying something?” Cristina turned to me, “DO YOU find this FUNNY? She yelled and cried to me.”
“Not at all,” I replied to her, “but I’m staying silent for a reason, that’s the only way one would suffer. Think about it this way,” I took a step forward towards her, “You can go through hell, right? No one would understand you, is that correct?” She nodded her head to me.
“I really don’t want to do this,” She looked at me crying.
“No one is telling you that you have to, ok? Trust me I’m one to talk.”
“how come?” She replied to me, “ How do you think you know what I’m going through?”
“I’ve been through it all in high school, anything done, you can name it. If you think I can go home to counsel myself, I can’t, because even worse events are waiting for me at home. Now I’m not saying that as a bad thing, but I ask you this, right here, right now. How do you expect to get through YOUR battle, without any battle scars?” I took a step forward towards her, three more and I’ll get to her.
She nodded to me, “ What would your parents have done if you told them that this happened to you?” she asked me, her eyes begging for hope.
“Well first off they’d be confused as to what I’m hiding inside my pants,” I said that sarcastically to her, and she laughed, making me able to take two more steps towards her.
“Ya see, your laughing, that’s something else you can do, just laugh at anything, and anyone that tries to tell you something you don’t like.” I told her, and I didn’t have to take another step towards her, because she took her own step down. I connected with her, something that no one was ever able to do with me.
She came over to me and hugged me, I kneeled down and hugged her back, looking at Laura. Laura came towards me hugging me as well as I hugged her back.
We took her back down to her parents, they both hugged her, and we take a look to the right and what do you know? Laura’s parents were there as well. She ran up to them and hugged them, I turn to a tap on the shoulder.
“We called your parents kid, I’m sorry but we couldn’t get a line. Would you like me to drop you off somewhere?” A cop told me.
“No thanks officer, I’ll just get home myself.” Before I could turn around, he calls me.
“Hey kid, I heard what you told her back there, and I think you’re too old now so you’ll think this is lame,” he walked up to me and pinned one of his badges on my shirt, “ You fought you war well” He smiled at me and turned back around.
I looked down at the pin, “Officer Dean”, I’ll be sure to remember that next time, I saw Laura with the girl and her parents, she signaled me over and so I went there.
“thank you so much for helping her, she never told us about any of this.” Her parents told me, hugging me. It was weird receiving this many hugs in a day.
“Of course, the most silent usually have the most on their mind.”
We had a small conversation with her parents before they left and I turned to Laura.
“I’m never driving again,” I told her laughing but all she did was pull me into a hug.
I was surprised, don’t get me wrong but I never receive THIS many hugs in a day, especially not from any girls.
“Whats the supposed to be about?” I asked her laughingly.
“Noah, I’m not going to act like you didn’t just say what you did up there, it felt more like your attempt than hers. How did you hide this for so long, and from everyone?” She put her hand on my shoulder.
“I don’t know I guess I’m a good actor.” I shrugged at her.
“Do you want me to drop you off?” She asked me
“No, it’s fine, I’m going to walk I need to get some air anyways.”
“Do you want me to come with you then?” She insisted.
“No, it’s fine, it’s not that far of a walk anyway.” Please say yes.
“Ok well I’ll see you till next time?”
“Till next time.” I told her smiling,
We both turned around, she went to her family and I looked at the road ahead of me taking a step forward and walking home. On my way I saw Jake packing up his gear and skating alone at the park. I went towards him.
“You think you can teach me a trick or two?” I asked him,
He fell off his board looking back at me, “ You’re here? You seriously want to learn this?” he looked at me smiling.
“I really don’t but really do at the same time.” I told him in a nagging manner.
He jumped up with excitement and grabbed my hand dragging it to the ramp, he set the board down and started working me through the steps, as soon as he was about to push me, Laura’s car drove past, I waved at her and she waved back.
“LEAN FORWARD!” Jake yelled at me as he pushed me on the ramp, I was so startled and so scared I flew off, dropping the badge the officer gave me.
“Officer Dean, Who’s that?” Jake asked me picking up my badge.
“Oh, you didn’t hear, I fought in a war today, took down Hitler and his Nazi’s,” I told him taking the badge and running his hair, “Come on let’s get home anyway.” We packed up everything again and left.
On the way back home, I was walking on the sidewalk while Jake was skating next to me, and we actually had fun talking. I didn’t tell him about Cristina for a reason, they’re almost the same age and I wouldn’t want him risking the same thing since, well, our parents.
We got home to both our parents asleep, that’s probably why they didn’t pick up the cops phone a couple HOURS ago, we made it into our rooms quietly and I take a shower, change my cloth, and get into bed and just on time, I get a message from Laura.
“Did you get home safe?” She messaged me
“Yes, how about you?”
“Still shaken up about what happened today but other than that I’m fine.”
“You wanna talk about it?”
“Do You? Noah?”
“As long as nothing changes between us.”
“I’ll take your word.”
“And I’ll take yours.”
You really shouldn’t give up, no story ends at the Climax.