The Art of Fields

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Fourteen: "The eldest is the protector"

The empty metallic cans skip across the still, humid air in the room, eventually, pounding against the broken air conditioner on the far right. Lucas’s feet continued to kick other articles laying on the floor from the break-in.

I notice Diane moving to the foosball table, flipping it over with Jack’s help. Once it tips over, she looks at the machine and a sigh escapes her mouth indicating it was dead.

No one was saying anything. I knew that the people in this room would express their anger in some form but since they weren’t it only meant one thing. Lucas.

Lucas was deadly when he gets mad. He would stay quiet for the longest period of times, no a single word out of his mouth. He would just be. He’d pretend everything was normal but the minute he encounters the person who pissed him off, all hell would break loose. It was difficult dealing with him too, he would reply in short sentences or just syllables.

I close my hands together and bring it to my face, breathing into them. “Sorry would be pointless right now, but I’ll fix this.”

“How?” Lucas says gruffly, turning his head to me. A layer of red settles on his eyes and his eyebrow quirks up.

“I, uh..”

“Exactly.” He states looking away from me like I’m a disappointment. I hated it when he does that, his overall persona just takes a turn for the worst. For all I care, I wouldn’t mind bringing Tracy in front of him right now. I’d rather have him let out his rage than look at me like that.

The eldest is the protector. Hunter used to say.

Shaking my head from the thoughts of him, I look around the shattered room again. I feel Emily patting my back slowly with a stretched closed mouth smile on her face.

Jake crunches his fist, “We’ll get her back.”

〰▪〰

I was walking with Diane to the cave before our gym class. We just needed to check up on it cause Lucas said last night, he installed the coffee machine back. All we had to do was check if the people installed it or not.

After quickly calling Lucas and letting him know it was there, we headed out and to our AP Calculus class. I couldn’t help but notice the eyes set on me, as we walked.

It was growing uncomfortable as their stares lingered even after I looked at them. What got on the rumour stream this time?

I asked Diane but she seemed clueless, I wouldn’t expect anything else since she’s been with me since the morning. We did find Zoey at her locker and approached her. She was talking to some people from the swim team who gave me dirty looks before leaving, whispering. “Okay, what the hell.” I say as we reach Zoey.

Zoey scrunches her nose at both of us, “You haven’t heard?” I shake my head slowly, embracing whatever she was going to say. “You slept with Drake right?”

“Over my dead body.” I scoff and Diane snickers. “But, I’m guessing, that’s the rumour? Why is a big deal though, hasn’t Drake slept with the whole Tracy population?”

Zoey chuckles, nodding her head, “They said you begged him to. Not like I’d believe that but apparently, everyone else has their mindset to it.”

“Begged?” I repeat, a sickly smile on my lips. ”Begged?” I shake my head and turn on my heel to find Drake. Diane and Zoey try to stop me they know I won’t until I give Drake a piece of my burning mind.

I feel my feet burning against the tiled floors at the pressure I apply to move faster. My knuckles curling, turning a ghostly colour burning for a taste of the assholes blood. As you can see, I turn to very dark thoughts when I’m furious. I can almost picture killing him in my head, the imagery is just a little blurry in my mind.

I glare at the people in the hallway who seem so engrossed in my life choices. “I can fucking hear you,” I yell out but they just quiet down for a couple of seconds before continuing what they were talking about, me.

I see Drake leaning over his locker, talking to his friend whose name I don’t seem to have memorized. I strut my way there and bang my hand on the locker next to him. He speaks softly, “I’m busy, Beth--”

As soon as he turns toward me, I shoot my hand forward and it punches him square in the nose. He doubles back in surprise and pain, gripping onto his, hopefully, a broken nose that was oozing crimson blood.

His eyes bloodshot, “Bitch.” He takes off his hand and I see only a little blood out of his volcanic nose. “You’d lucky I don’t hit girls.”

“That’s what got you into this mess,” I say, crossing my arms.

Drake pats a guy on his left, “Lucky, Julian here does.”

Julian was tall, around six feet three and had dirty blond hair with his forest green eyes. His expression was blank, almost unreadable except for the tiny indecision I sensed. He walks to me, and don’t flinch at his towering height.

He leans forward, his face inches away from mine, radiating heat. “Wouldn’t want to mess up that pretty face now would we?”

Within a few seconds, his head gets flung back and a gush of wind replaces where his heat was radiating from. He fell on the floor and groaned.

My eyes widen as I see who punched him. “Jake, I had him.”

Jake touches his, presumably, sore fists and cracks his knuckles, “No, you didn’t.”

Julian takes one look at Jake, and his eyes widen by the thousand. He acts like he completely forgot about the reddening bruise on his cheek. Getting to his feet, he says, “Sorry Jake, I didn’t know you guys were friends.”

Chase walks to us, crossing his arms. “That’s bullshit.”

Julian stutters, “T-That’s true. Sorry, Ashley.”

Chase smirks, “That’s better.”

Jake nudges him to shut up, “Stop the theatrics, Chase.”

Julian’ gives us one last lopsided smile before walking away with Drake and the others who were quite the whole time. Some form of loyalty they’ve got there.

I laugh, “Did you guys see Drake’s fave the whole time? He’s such a chicken.”

Jake and Chase look down at me since they were obviously taller. Their faces filled with seriousness and a sigh escapes Jake’s lips. I look between them puzzled, “What?”

“Ashley,” Jake says soothingly, and I hate how it sends goosebumps everywhere. “Don’t get into fights that you can’t deal with.”

“Save me that lecture,” I say and we start walking to our AP Calculus class. “You guys know I know how to fight.”

“He was six foot.” Chase declares, taking out his phone. “You’re five something.”

“Size does not matter, young sir,” I say with the best British accent I can concoct.

Eventually, they give in. If you noticed before, Julian completely freaked out when he saw Jake and Chase. To fill you in, the guys from our crew were pretty much looked up upon to the point where they were almost worshipped by other guys, of all cliques. And girls fangirl over them because apparently, they seem dark and mysterious. Not to me, but who doesn’t like mysterious guys, am I right?

The girls of our crew weren’t praised but we were respected by everyone but the cheerleaders. And there’s only one reason behind that because we hung out with, and I quote, the hottest guys in school. Half true. The cheerleaders were just like the basketball players, those guys resented our guys because of us.

Basically, it’s high school and it’s all a popularity contest according to how good you look, which is undeniably shallow. We were categorised as the people who do things that you’re not supposed to, the delinquents. Fortunately, we didn’t care as much as we should’ve, which is either good or ignorant.

When we got to class, the two idiots dissed me and sat with themselves. Luckily, I found a seat with Alexie. Math was a piece of cake to us, so we tended to not give even more of shit when we were in the class. That’s why Alexie left to the bathroom fifteen minutes ago and still hasn’t come back.

Just when I thought she did, I shake my head amused, “What does one even do in the washroom for so long?”

“I, for one, clean my bleeding nose.”

“Drake?” I ask, snapping my head too fast to look at him smirking. I cringe at the sight of him, even though it’s not bad but his persona just ruins all of his charms. “Fuck off.”

Drake rolls his eyes, “Chill, I just wanted to say sorry.”

“Oh yeah,” I say, acting completely ecstatic. “Now that just fixes everything.”

“Oh come on.” He sighs, shifting in his seat. “I’m pretty sure you aren’t always as threatening as I’ve experienced you to be. People actually say you’re nice.”

I laugh wholeheartedly, “That’s to other nice people, boy.”

“Let’s see about that.” He says and takes a book, to pretend he’s paying attention.

“You’re sitting in my best friend’s seat,” I say bluntly looking away from him to my phone.

Drake chuckles deeply, “We both know Alexie isn’t coming back.”

I laugh knowing how true that was. He apologised, doesn’t everyone deserve a second chance? Besides, all those times I bitched about him, I never really knew him. I didn’t want to classify myself as the judgemental type so I don’t resist his presence anymore. I might even get a friend out of this.

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