Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.
The next morning, I woke up at five. My slumber wasn’t peaceful for long enough. I was sweating profusely and my breathing was uneven. I took deep breaths to slow down my pounding heart. I put on a black and white puma track pants, a green workout bra, and my green track sweater.
I sat on the bed and slipped on my black sneakers. I left my room making sure not to wake the guys. I found my way to the elevator and down to the dining room. I put my headset on, grabbed a bottle of water from the kitchen. Then I left.
And I just ran. I ran to forget. I ran to be free from my nightmares. I ran to quicken the beats of my heart. I wanted running to be the cause of me toppling over and crying for a taste of air that I was deprived of, not because of a nightmare. I ran to be able to calm my nerves; I ran to be able to regain control.
It wasn’t that dark outside. I could make out various things in the dark. As I ran, the beat of the music was with each movement forward. It was nice listening to some music and letting the early morning air caress my face as I ran by. I was out of my trance now.
I pushed myself, pumping my legs to run faster. I sieved through the trees. My heart sped up and I grinned knowing that I loved the adrenaline coursing through my veins.
I ran until I was out of breath. I stopped and took a breather. I looked around and instantly knew what was obvious enough. I was a good distance from the house. I drank some water and walked along a clear path while listening to ‘I know what you did last Summer’ by Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendez.
I loved this song. I got so into it I bobbed my head and danced to the music. It had been a while since I’ve danced.
I let loose and danced, not giving a lemurs butt about anyone who might have seen me and thought I was mad. I had no care in the world. I closed my eyes, doing a self-made-up dance routine. I put down the water bottle.
I had stopped dancing after mom died. And it was times like this that I just danced. It made me happy.
As the song reached the chorus, I moved my shoulders back and forth in fast sharp efforts, both left and then right. Rotating my hands in front, to the right, and then left before the body wave. I did two backflips and moved my hips to the beat. I put a foot forward and pull it back in slow motion. I ran towards a tree that was in front of me. I backflipped and lost my balance. I fell for a while until my body came into contact with it. I fell into something ice cold.
It froze me from my toes up to my spine. I had fallen into a lake. I kicked and kicked and kicked but I only sank.
I sucked in some of the water; there was no air. I drifted down and down and down.
So this was how I was going to die?
Wow. My death was so... Uneventful.
I was going to die because I lost my balance dancing? Should I not have danced? There was so much I haven’t done. I didn’t even get a chance to ride a motorcycle or play professional soccer. I can’t believe I was saying this but I would never see the horrid doors of high school again. I was going to miss that.
Just before I closed my eyes, I could see the sun being refracted from the surface off the water. From where I was sinking, the dim shimmer in the water looked almost radiant. But then again, I was going to miss the beautiful sunrise of dawn.
I scoffed inwardly before the oxygen from my body was completely deprived.
My eyes fluttered open. It was bright and I closed them again. I sat up and spat out the water. I was safe. When I looked around I was at the top of a cliff. I got up and looked over at the horizon. The sun warmed me from head to toe. I calmly exhaled.
How did I get here? Someone saved my life and just left? But why? I am alive and I owe it all to...
Just my luck, I don’t even know who I owe my life to. Whoever that person is, they deserve a thank you. I never thought I would survive. I looked around to see if there was anyone around. But there wasn’t anyone there.
“Thank you, stranger!” I shouted out aloud. Hopefully whoever that person has heard me.
The birds were awake by now and they chirped happily and flew across the striking prospect. I had leaned against a tree and underneath either side of it were wildflowers that opened up to the morning glory.
I opened the door and poked my head in to see if there was anyone up yet. I saw no one was up and about so I walked in. I thought of taking the route through the living room. It was the fastest way to get to my room but it didn’t provide much cover.
I didn’t want anyone to know I sneaked out. Just as I got into the dining room, I was greeted by Devon sitting on the sofa reading the newspaper. I stopped in my tracks and slowly reversed as I turned my back.
“Had a good run?” he asked, frightening me out of my shoes. I quickly spun around facing the man who never took his eyes off his newspaper.
“Huh? W-who t-told? Bb-but- How did you know I was out running?” I questioned.
“Umm...” he scratched the back of his neck; he was now looking around the place like he was trying to find an answer.” You’re all sweaty and frowzy.” He knitted his eyebrows and scrunched up the face at my scent. I slowly strode up to him being as subtle as I could.
“Come here, big guy. Let me hug you.” I stretched my arms out wide. He quickly shot up off the sofa, taking small steps backward. He pointed at me.
“Don’t even think about it kiddo.” He warned.
I kept walking closer and closer and he kept backing away, further and further.
“Okay, I’ll give you a running chance,” I said putting my arms down for a second. “Go!!”
And he took off like wildfire on a dry cane field. I ran after him spreading my arms out again. He was very fast for an old man. Like really, really fast. I finally backed him into the dining room corner.
Yes, I chased him there.
I was about to give him the biggest, sloppiest, sweatiest and most smelly hug ever when...
“Well, well, well what do we have here?”
I turned around to see who it was and that gave Devon the chance to sneak away.
“Hey there.” It was my big brother Jay.
“Hey bro.” I walked up to him trying my best to be subtle until I was face to face with him.
I didn’t want him to run away too.
“Why did you stop me in the middle of giving Devon a smelly hug?” I asked rhetorically. But I had something up my sleeve.
“Oh, I get it. You wanted one too.” Before Jay could do anything; I embraced him into a hug instead of Devon. I chuckled evilly as I smothered him in my sweat.
“Oh come on Chyenne.” He whined, “That’s gross.”
That was when I heard it. It was Devon triumphantly laughing at the victim. “Thanks, kiddo.” He said to poor Jay. He had a huge grin on his face, amusement playing on his voice. “You saved me from her.”
He was standing conveniently on the staircase which I did not know where they led. I had lost the chance of having Devon cringe from the taste of my sweat.
Wait... That sounded wrong. I didn’t mean it literally. Or did I?
“Sam, go clean yourself up.”
“Fine, but I owe you a hug old man,” I said while walking away.
“Who do you think you’re calling old?” Devon whined childishly. Jay and I giggled at this. You could hear his footsteps advance behind me, while he asked me over and over whom I was calling old. And just like this morning, I ran.
When I got to my room, I took a shower. After that, I went to the kitchen and made myself a cheese sandwich and drank some orange juice. Then I wandered around the house. I just got to the living room when Adrien was passing by.
“Good morning Sam.” He chimed. “How’s my sister?” he asked happily.
“I didn’t tell you I was going by Sam now. How did you know about that?” I squinted and leaned my head to the side.
“Umm. Uhh, Devon told me?” He sounded unsure but I shook it off.
“Let’s go to the gym.” He ushered me along.
“Gym?” I asked. I didn’t know they had a gym too.
We went to an open room. Aiden was lifting some weights. Bryan was spotting him. Chris and I think Declan was sparring. I’m not sure if it was Declan or Stephan who was doing pull-ups. That’s when I realized they were all shirtless except Aiden.
“I didn’t know there was a place like this here.”
There was a mat for sparring, a mini-fridge in the corner, a rack of weights in the left corner, and a couple of treadmills to the opposite side of the room along with punching bags in the center and some benches that were randomly around the room. There was much other exercising equipment there too.
“This is Mr. McKenzie’s place. What did you expect?” Chris mumbled.
“I don’t know, maybe a house where I could find my way around the place?”
They laughed. Did I say something funny? And if I did, then I missed it. I didn’t get it.
“You better get used to it.” Declan interrupted. I could tell because his voice was different, a little deeper than Steph’s.
I nodded and everyone resumed to what they were doing. Adrien went to warm up and stretch so I stood there like the awkward human being I was. Stephan transitioned into doing push-ups. Soon, Declan left the mat sweating and panting.
“Time out!” he announced. I went to the mini-fridge, got a Gatorade, and tossed it to Declan, who clumsily fiddled with it until it was properly in his grip.
I vulgarly laughed, “You catch like a girl!” I held my stomach to keep me from falling over and laughing myself to death.
Aiden giggled. “You would too if you were sparing with Chris.”
I gasped at his ridiculous statement. “I could take him on and win.”
They almost toppled over laughing at me. “You? You can’t swat a fly.” laughed Bryan.
“Don’t listen to them, Sam. They just want you to feel bad.” Adrien accused them.
“When I am done. They’ll be the ones feeling bad.” I told them wickedly.
I took off my socks and shoes, caught my hair into a ponytail, and stepped onto the mat. “Let’s do this.”
Chris looked at the other guys like he was asking permission. He smiled and put his hands up in surrender. “You win. Okay? Let’s not.” He slung a towel around his shoulders and turned, walking away.
I just couldn’t keep my mouth shuts, as always. “It looks like someone is afraid to get his butt kicked by a girl.” I mocked.
Chris stopped abruptly and flung his towel to the side. Aiden mimicked a spoiled, stuck-up valley girl.
“Oh no, she didn’t.” He wagged a finger for emphasis.
I was smiling victoriously. I managed to change his mind with the biggest weapon known to man. Their egos. He walked to the mat. “Just don’t be upset when I beat you.”
“Yeah. Don’t go easy on me either because I won’t mate.”
“Fine,” he agreed.
Just before we began, I tucked my necklace inside my blouse. We stalked each other. I observed him. He had good form.
He came to me first. He tried to punch me in the face but I sidestepped him. He used a lot of energy in those punches. I had to be careful; this meant his punches were deadly. I suppose I can wear him out. He was fast. I’d give him that but he was sloppy. He didn’t coordinate his punches right. He jabbed at me a few more times but I maneuvered myself out of the red zones. It was my time to start punching.
I punched at him and he dodged it and knocked me in the abdomen.
It was safe to say this dude didn’t want me to have kids.
I grabbed his arm and yanked it over my shoulder turning my back to Chris. I pulled on his arm and flipped him over using his body weight against him. He collapsed on the mat. I quickly pushed him to his stomach and pulled his arm into a direction it was not created to be fixed in.
He kicked me off and stood up again. This time I gave him a left uppercut. Then I used my elbow to jab him into the stomach. He crouched over and I grabbed the locks of his hair and slammed his head onto my knee. That shouldn’t do much damage. After all, this wasn’t a real fight.
I dressed back to give him some space. But I wasn’t done yet. I hadn’t boxed in a while and it was fun. He wiped his lip and I saw blood.
Oh crap. I hurt him.
“Sorry about that.” I honestly told him bouncing up and down. “But then again I told you not to go easy on me.” I taunted. I was joking but maybe it was too soon for that?
His eyes that were of a grey hue got darker, they were almost black. He charged and punched at me and I barely escaped. I felt the necklace around my neck tug a little and it became undone. I must’ve not tightened it properly. Then Chris approached and stomped on it.
It shattered. My heart cracked. I dropped to my knees as I tried to pick up the pieces of the crystal. I zoned out. Every sound around me vanished. Chris kicked me to the side and punched me twice. He gripped my ponytail and slammed my forehead into the mat. The sounds suddenly came back.
“Hey that’s enough!” shouted Aiden.
I saw him pull Chris away. I was about to back down until I felt my weak legs regain strength. I felt a buzz of energy course through my veins. My body was vibrating with power and I got up. I grabbed Chris’ leg and smacked him down onto the mat. I sat on top of him. I struck him violently. I punch him again and again. I felt the pain in my fists but I didn’t care.
I wasn’t sure if the blood on his face was now mine, his or both. The guys tried to hold me back. But I wouldn’t let them. He destroyed the only thing I had left of my mother. That necklace was a memory, a gift and he destroyed it. I wasn’t sad. There was only one emotion that flushed through and flooded over me like a tsunami on the shoreline.
It was hate. All I could feel was anger until something strong took over. It came forward and all I could see was red. The color of blood.