The Lighter Side

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Not Everything is What It Seems



I sat on the bench after school, watching as everyone left. I tried looking for Jyro and Lani, but they both disappeared and they were my ride home. This was the first day and they already decided to go ahead and ditch me.

“Hey, Cuddle Bunny, what’re you still doing here?” The familiar voice of the one and only Gail sounded next to me.

“Cuddle Bunny?” I questioned, curiously.

She narrowed her eyes at me,” Would you rather be called Blaine?”

“Actually-”

“That’s what I thought.” I wanted to protest, but the look she sent my way kind of scared me a little.

She sat down beside me, her hands tightening on the edge of the bench with her head low. I wanted to ask if she was okay. Then again, she doesn’t run off as the type to like that. She might snap at me.

She took in a deep breath,” You know, Blaine, I’m not really good at this friendship thing. There’s never been a lot of people in my life and it would be nice if you don’t give up on me. I know I can be a little mean sometimes, but I think you’re pretty cool.”

“So, we’re friends!” I couldn’t help but exclaim.

“Yes, Blaine. We’re friends,” she lightly chuckled.

I wrapped my arms around her, against her struggling and complaining. I never had friends before now. I didn’t fit in any group. Everyone thought of me as the nice girl who didn’t do anything and to an extent, they were all right. I was okay with it. I didn’t need to do drugs or sleep with every guy in the school to make friends. If that was the case, I believed I just wouldn’t have any.

“Anyways, you never answered my question. What are you still doing here?”

“I was forgotten. They’ll realize I’m gone soon enough.”

“I could take you home. Although, we have to wait for my cousin to get done with basketball practice,” she offered, cringing. She must not be nice to people that often because she really showed to be struggling.

I shrugged,” Why not?”

“Okay.”

“Okay.”

“Blaine, don’t say okay after I say okay. Okay?”

“O-” I stopped myself before I could say more.

Another wave a silence fell over us. The breeze whistles in our ears, carrying the leaves through the air like a flock of birds. Eventually, the wind would dropped them, but they’ll all manage to be picked back up again. Just one little push.

When I was little, my mom used to take me to the backyard to play. It was my own world. Mom never took me to the park. She didn’t have the time or she was so out of it, we were scared someone would think she wasn’t a good mother and take me away from her. That was the last thing I wanted was to be away from my Mommy.

It was one day. I was maybe six or seven, she locked me in my bedroom all day. Said I couldn’t come out until the sun went far down and by then I had fallen asleep. I woke up the next morning, went to school, the normal routine. It wasn’t until my mom got home did she direct me into the backyard.

“This is yours now,” she had said. ” You better take care of it.”

My eyes widened and I stared in awe at the sight in front of me. A burst of excitement exploded in my chest as I began to squeal and jump up and down. Turning around, I threw my arms around my mom, hugging her as tightly as my small arms could.

It wasn’t much, but it was the best present my mom could ever give me. There was a small wooden tower with a cracked, ruby slide branched from an opening with a single swing hanging from rusty chains attached to the side.

To anybody else, it looked like something you got from off the corner of a street, but to me, it was my own castle. My imagination quickly sprung to live, my own village built right in front of my eyes. I would be out there for hours, forgetting everything that was going on around me. The constant sounds of sirens and yelling. My mom and Griffey in their bedroom taking every drug they could possibly handle. This was my world and I had complete control over it.

“Come on, Cuddle Bunny. My cousin is ready.” She pointed to the started car parked a little way down the parking lot.

“When did he get here?” We stood, walking towards the car.

“A couple minutes ago. You were a little out of it, weren’t you?”

“I guess I was. Why does he even have basketball already? Football hasn’t even had their first game.”

“Ask Oliver why he breathes football every day. He has a key to the stadium,” she pointed out. “It’s basically the same thing with Roman. He couldn’t live without basketball, so he practices every chance he gets.”

We reached the black, sleek car and I slid in the backseat while Gail got in the passenger seat. Sitting in the driver’s seat was a guy with dark hair and brown eyes. He had a bored look like he couldn’t wait to get home.

“Roman. Blaine. Drive.” Roman rolled his eyes at his cousin’s bossy ways, probably l used to it by now.

“Where at?” He glances in the mirror at me, taking off onto the street.

“Crescent Park.”

He nodded in confirmation before turning the radio a bit up. There was a sports channel playing talking about some team in a sport I didn’t know. Maybe hockey. It was barely loud enough for you to know what was going on. When we got to Gail’s house, she nodded a goodbye to me and firmly shut the door.

“Do you want to get in the front?” He offered.

“No, I’m fine,” I answered, quietly.

Another wave a silence fell over us. He reminded me a lot of his cousin in a way. They were both quiet and intimidating in their own way. It must run in the family. He switched the radio off, increasing his driving speed. I held onto my seatbelt tightly, not exactly comfortable with his sudden urge to drive faster than the speed limit. He didn’t do this when Gail was in the car and I was too scared to open my mouth and ask him to slow down.

He slowed down when we got closer to the neighborhood, much to my relief, asking me which house I lived in. In less than five minutes, we were parked in the driveway.

“You live here?” he quired, somewhat surprised. I shrugged, catching a glance at his chocolatey brown eyes.

“Thank you.” I quickly got out of the car, hopefully dodging more questions.

I was the only one who demanded answers.

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