Scars, Pain, & Despair

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Chapter Two

Nathan

The next morning was exactly as I planned. I waited for the girl in the front yard of her house for another school day. She came out behind her brother slamming the door behind her looking she was at war with herself.

The girl was wearing zipped up sweatshirt, jeans and running shoes with her dark brown hair framing her face. Her brother wore black jeans, a faded Flash t-shirt and a his leather jacket hanging open over it with his red hair combed to the side.

Her brother cautiously approached me as if he would spook a deer. The girl just rolled her eyes and began her stroll to school.

"Pro?" her brother tried to get her attention while he eyed me.

"What?"

"Who is he?"

"Nobody," she replied without a second thought.

"Hey! That was hurtful you know," I snapped before pulling my attention back to her brother.

"I'm Nathan, your sister's new found friend."

"No way," he responded like I grew a second head. Realizing the girl was turning a corner onto another street, I ran to catch up with her brother following close behind. "I'm Darwin," her brother stated when he reached the other side of his sister; I nodded my acknowledgement. We walked in a tense silence until a boy around Darwin's age, came up greeting them warmly. He had pure white hair and similar dressing to Darwin's.

"Hey bro!" The boy gave Darwin a high five before he greeted the girl slightly differently, "Proserpina, how was your fine morning?"

"Sup Golf Course! It's going okay I guess, how about you?" She responded almost cheerfully.

"Better now."

"Why?" She asked narrowing her eyes at him, suspicious of something.

"Why are you so nosy all of a sudden?"

"Whatever," the girl began to walk faster trying to get away from the boy and Darwin. Speeding up with her, I tried to start a conversation not sure how to approach, "Who was that?"

"That was my brother's friend. He can sometimes be annoying but he's nice I guess but a little creepy."

"How?"

"I don't know, he just is."

"Oh," I replied still unsure what topic would relax the tension.

"Why did you say you were going to be my friend?" She asked with a mix of curiosity and suspicion lingering in her voice.

"Umm..." I tried to find the words to explain but found none as I felt my face heat up.

"Are you blushing?" She teased. The heat on my face began to burn hotter at her unexpected change of demeanor.

"You are blushing! Aww you like me," Proserpina nudged me with her shoulder as she continued to tease me.

"Ha, you wish but no." We could now see the school as we approached the crosswalk.

"Prison," she sighed in despair making me burst out laughing loudly. Stopping in her tracks she stared at me, grinning like she won the Oscars then began laughing uncontrollably.

We laughed all the way to class. I took my seat on the side of the classroom. All the desks were set in a shape of two squares. My desk faced the window, into the square. Not sure why I watched Proserpina take her seat at the bottom of the outer square, fully facing the board. The bell rang marking the beginning of math. Mrs. Kay closed the door behind her then walked to the front.

"Pass your homework up," she ordered the students. Leaning back in my seat I watched as she collected the papers then met my stare.

"Nathan, did you finally remember to do or bring your homework?" she asked bored.

"Nope," I replied with my award winning smile plastered to my face. Proserpina glanced at me, alarmed I didn't do my homework so I just shrugged unconcerned.

The bell rang again to mark the beginning of lunch and end of another class period. Quickly I got to the cafeteria, got my lunch and waited for Proserpina.

I had finished my lunch when she showed up but she went to her usual seat in a corner near the exit instead of joining me at the table. Throwing away the styrofoam tray, I went to sit next to her.

"Do you not eat lunch?" I asked baffled when I didn't see her lunch.

"No, not usually."

"Oh...why didn't you come sit with me?"

"I didn't know I was supposed to."

"That's okay because now you do so what do you want to do?"

"Don't you have a game of kickball or tag to attend to?" She snapped at me, annoyance shining bright in her eyes.

"Ouch! You struck me. How dare you pick on such lame sports," I clutched my chest dramatically.

"Oh shut up," Proserpina softly pushed my shoulder. Immediately my mood brightened and I relaxed as we continued to kid around until someone sauntered up.

"You think you can skip out on us!" Ismail screamed at me. Cringing at his voice I looked up at him. "I didn't....," I tried desperately to find an excuse.

"Hey! Leave him alone," Proserpina demanded with authority surprising me with bravery.

"I wasn't talking to you, wench so shut up!" He retorted back to her.

"What did you call me?!"

"I said shut up, wench!" Ismail ordered her. Before I could comprehend what she was going to do, she flew from her seat and tackled Ismail to the ground. Sitting on top of his chest, she pounded on him with her fists but two of his friends ripped her off of him and held her there. Ismail got up red in the face showing his rage. He swung hitting her in the stomach before she kicked backwards at his friends holding her then socking to the left and shoving the other one out of her way. She jumped on Ismail, hanging onto him like a monkey. He clawed at her as he thrashed around his neck and pulled her wrist with her left, tightening her hold. Ismail soon collapsed unconscious to the ground with Proserpina still on him. Still shocked I ran up next to her, "What in hell was that?!"

"Oh, was he one of your friends?"

"No but what the hell!"

"I hate orders and bullies," she shrugged.

"But that was an epic beat down and you just walked away like nothing freaking happened!"

"It wasn't that bad."

"Uh huh sure, whatever you say."

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Proserpina

I was walking home from school with Nathan after our last class of the day ended. My ribs still stung with the pain from the blow the kid made at lunch, by the end of the school day but otherwise I was fine.

"But still it was awesome!" Nathan was exclaiming trying to explain to how cool I looked.

"Whatever you say."

"What? No not whatever I say, it's true. You are going to be a legend."

"It was just one little take down, nothing extreme so calm down." He rolled his eyes at me clearly not going to let me forget it.

Later that day, my dad kicked me outside because I wasn't being a kid so I was sitting on the tire swing watching the floor beneath me. Wishing for the sun to go down so I could go inside to do the same thing I was now.

"Well that's one way to look like you're dying inside," a voice said from the other side of the road. Instantly the tire flipped upside down making me, land hard on my back in a huff.

"Congrats but I think you missed the landing," Nathan applauded me as I hit my head on the swing trying to get up.

"You think?"

"Yeah I really do because sticking the landing is doing this." Suddenly he kicked up from the ground, threw his body backwards in a ball then was back on the ground on his feet like nothing happened. Gaping at him I exclaimed, "What the hell was that?!" Nathan grinned with pride.

"Come on, let's go do something fun," Nathan beckoned me as he walked away with me still gaping at him.

"What are we going to do?"

"Just live in the moment my friend." Letting my curiosity grow, I joined him.

________________________________________________________________

Nathan

We arrived at the park where the kids were playing baseball. The lights shone brightly against the evening sky and the air was electrified with the thrill of the game and laughter of the kids playing.

"Are we going to join the game?" Proserpina asked both puzzled and concerned.

"If you want but then we'll miss our appointment."

"No, I can't hit a ball if was right in front of me so what appointment?"

"You'll see," we kept walking until we found my bike.

"I'll drive."

"Oh no, you're not!"

"Why not?"

"You may have forced me into this friendship but that doesn't mean I'm going to trust you." I placed my hands in the air in surrender as she hopped onto the bike then motioned me to get on the back pegs. Quickly I grabbed her shoulders and got on the bike.

As if we were riding on a bmx track, she stood hunched over the bars of the bike. Faster and faster she pedaled until the air was cold and everything was a blur. It was just us riding until we were worn out. Suddenly she fastened her pace up the dirt hill then we were in the air, panicking at the height I backed my foot off the peg like I could return to the floor. My foot dipped down, hitting the back wheel for a second and setting our flight out of balance. Faster than a blink of an eye, we flipped over the bike and tumbled onto the ground into sagebrush. Proserpina slightly cried out before trying to hide it behind silence, quickly I glanced her way to see the bike lying on top of her.

"Oh shit! Are you alright?" I lifted the bike off her before she could try. Tears began to form in her eyes making me regret this trip until the laugh of joy came loudly from her.

"Why are you laughing? You could've been severely hurt," I demanded.

"Oh my god! That was fun!"

"Wait what?!"

"What because I'm girl I can't take a bike falling from ten feet in the air into the ribs? Sexist much," she glared at me only to begin laughing again. Still full of laughter she took the bike from me, hopped on and waited patiently for me to get on the pegs.

"Take a left here, psycho." Proserpina veered left then right and continued following my directions.

A few minutes later we arrived at John's house, both of us scraped up from the fall. I went up to the door and asked for John. His mom gave us both a warm smile then closed the door to go fetch him. John came out wearing sneakers, black jeans, a long sleeve shirt and his plain black hat backwards.

"What's up Nathan," he greeted me before approaching Proserpina. "Hello I'm John and I'm pleased to meet your acquaintance," he winked at her.

"Sup and no that playboy charm isn't going to work on me John but nice try," Proserpina replied with a smile, surprisingly patting him on the shoulder when she finished.

"But Nathan's face is irresistible? Then you're opinion of someone with that mug must be low."

"No, his mug is resistible or else I would be swooning at his feet," she answered coolly like I couldn't hear them.

"Ha!" John erupted with laughter, Proserpina grinned pleased with herself. "I like her, she's funny," John clasped my shoulder in approval.

"Yeah yeah, hilarious now moving on."

"Hope you like running because that's we are going to be doing and lots of it."

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