Scars, Pain, & Despair

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Chapter Three

Proserpina

Next thing I knew I was running and jumping over people's fences. I looked back the kids were gaining on us like a bullet on its way to its victim. John and Nathan were ahead of running like cheetahs. Glancing back again the kids were catching up to me clearly upset, but I was more determined not to get caught by these kids I made a sharp right heading for the back fence of someone's backyard. I climbed to the top and sprinted forward on the fence, letting the speed balance me.

Quickly I leaped to the other side of the very back fence, into the road. Doing a somersault to my feet, I continued running without a destination

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Nathan

John and I were running side by side; running at equal speeds. Proserpina was behind us a few paces slower than us. Checking one last time if she was there, I glanced back to see she had vanished from her spot and the kids still behind us.

"John!"

"What?"

"Where did she go?!" Alarmed John's head snapped to the side trying to spot her behind us. Cursing he ran faster, needing to get away from the mob to think clearly. We ran straight and fast until an intersection spilt the road into three's. As if we were speaking telepathically, I turned to the right when John turned to the left. Hoping they went back or followed John instead of me, I ran straight and true like an arrow shot from a bow.

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Proserpina

The mob of kids didn't follow me but the thrill of the run was so exhilarating that I didn't want to stop. I ran until my lunges burned and my feet ached but I ran through it. Everything even time was too slow for me, it was all a blur the only things that existed in those moments were me and the thrill of running. Those were the only things that mattered in the world, everything else didn't matter. There were no problems, no assignments, and no walls to block my path. Nothing mattered anymore, I was finally free.

I ran until the ache and need for more oxygen became too much for my body to handle so I was sitting on the curb of the sidewalk. Looking around I realized I ran almost all the way home but the boys were nowhere in sight. Not sure if I was supposed to go find them or head home, I walked the rest of the way to my house.

When I entered my home it was sundown but no one was waiting for me. I was yet again forgotten by everyone else, the joyous feeling I had running here was fading to be replaced with disappointment.

Everything is back the way it was before. Everyone else taken care of and I'm taking care of myself. Perhaps tomorrow Nathan and John would have forgotten me in the chase. But it doesn't matter I'll get through it and maybe I'll be able to be free once again when they have forgotten me.

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Nathan

The next day I was late to class because Proserpina had left early that morning. I ran to school, 10 minutes late to Mrs. Kay class. When I arrived, I ignored Mrs. Kay accusing me of ditching class and spotted Proserpina sitting at her desk doing her work. Relief cooled my panic that had been there since yesterday. She was speaking to the boy in the desk in front of her as she worked. Seeing the empty desk next to her, I changed my destination and sped up my pace.

"Where were you?" I interrupted their conversation, shooting a quick glare to the boy.

"Excuse me?"

"What happened to you?"

"Oh well the kids were catching up so I made a beeline to the next street over and obviously got away."

"There weren't any turns, only..."

"Fences that led to backyards that were next to the other street," she finished my thought.

"You clever little snake!" Proserpina grinned an award winning smile then turned back to the boy, making a white hot rage, settle in my chest.

"Who are you?" I demanded the boy but he didn't even flinch in his answer.

"Who are you?" He retorted back.

"Austin, Nathan. Nathan, Austin."

"Huh?"

"Nathan is that all you wanted to talk about?"

"No, we are going to work together today."

"Alright but you better do the work too."

"I know so what number are you on?"

"Seventy-nine," I gaped at her and glanced at her page. She indeed had problems 1-78 done and I was only 10 minutes late.

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Proserpina

By the time lunch came around, I was sick of Austin and Nathan acting weird so I ditched them for the back table where no one sat. I finished my work in a record time and turned it in before I headed for lunch.

I took my usual seat with my book near the exit so I could get outside faster. Opening the book, I allowed myself to get lost in another world. Sometime in the middle of the story, Nathan joined me. He tried to talk to me but I wasn't going to be interrupted this far into the book. Getting excited my eyes zipped across the pages speed reading; I was so close to finishing. The bell rang loud and clear but it was no use I was too far lost in the story so I rose and walked to class with my eyes still glued to the pages.

Catching up in class wasn't as hard as Mrs. Kay warned me about. I asked Austin what we were doing and set to work on the practice problems. Afterwards she passed out a test, Mrs. Kay smirked at Nathan when she saw the surprised look on his face. Nathan returned to his original seat so he wouldn't be accused of cheating.

By the end of the test, I was yawning, I had finished a while ago. Nathan looked like he didn't get didn't get any work as he was leaned back in his seat with his feet resting on top of the desk and his eyes closed. Mrs. Kay asked us to switched our papers for grading, Nathan gave me his and I gave mine to him. I flipped through his test, grading the problems with ease for they were surprisingly all correct. The bell rang and we all turned in the graded tests then left.

Nathan and I walked side by side, I wanted to ask him if he had cheated with the kid next to him during the test but that seemed cruel so I let the question die on my tongue. Hating the silence that had settled, I opened my mouth to speak but he beat me to it, "Alright, if you're not going to stop thinking so god damn loud. I didn't cheat during the test and no the kid next to me didn't do it for me. I did all the work by myself and answered the questions without difficulty. And to my observation you did the same. Maybe not as good as I did but nonetheless."

"Hey!" I shoved him into the street with my shoulder then allowed him to resume his place at my side. The silence that came afterwards settled uneasily making it awkward for both of us. Then the sound of footsteps bounding their way like a wild stampede broke it instantly. Alerted we turned to spot the crowd of kids from yesterday, their eyes trained on us.

Nathan grabbed my arm and pulled me into a sprint then to a full stride run. Nathan began pulling again as he launched into his full speed. The footsteps were getting louder as they got closer making me try to find any possible escape. Spotting the perfect place to escape from I screamed to Nathan.

"Head for that fence! We can make it!"

"Make what? No! It's Impossible!!!"

"Then let's make it possible!" I pushed harder pulling ahead of Nathan as he slowed down, worried. We were getting closer by the second. Seeing my chance I went airborne--

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Nathan

Proserpina leaped into the air, her torso hitting the top of the fence. She scrabbled up to the ledge on the side of the fence and sprinted. Cursing myself for befriending a psycho I copied her moves and sprinted. We leaped over the back fence into oncoming traffic. She somersaulted to her feet and ran to the sidewalk across the way.

Reluctantly I rolled into the road hoping a car would stop in time then got to my feet and ran full speed to where she stood waving me on. We collided and tumbled onto someone's lawn but I was too busy laughing to care.

"You clever little snake," I sighed.

"Ha! You did well, young Padawan," she laughed at her reference.

"I'm a Jedi, you're the Padawan."

"Who has more experience running from pissed off people?"

"Me! Wait what?"

"Just because my brother acts like he's not a pain in the ass sometimes doesn't mean he's not." I stared at her shocked, "You don't have any wounds." Proserpina lifted her pant leg to reveal a nasty looking green bruise in her shin.

"That was from taking a family photo. And yes I did deserve it plus I got pay back. I elbowed him in the ribs hard in the photo that's why we took a hundred of them instead of three." Unable to explain why the hot rage from earlier that had long faded, reignited in my chest, leaving me only able to nod my acknowledgement.

"Here I thought I wasn't going to be pitied by you! Wow I must have gotten stupider! Look I didn't tell you so you could pity me. You can take your pity and shove-"

"No I do not pity you! I just...didn't expect you to be able to fight like that."

"Good because any kind of pity will always be the top things I will hate so don't you start or be prepared not care about you anymore." I let the uneasy silence return uncertain how I was supposed to respond. The silence grew and the realization of how close we were laying came clearer making me try to casually give her space and turn my heated face away from her.

"You're blushing again!" Proserpina exclaimed breaking the silence completely. I shook my head in denial wishing for it to fade away.

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Proserpina

After I was done laughing at his strawberry, colored blush I raced him all the way to John's house where he sat in his lawn waiting. John stood as we approached, he clasped Nathan on the shoulder then winked at me to see if I would react but to his surprise I winked back at him. Nathan explained in great detail how I disappeared to John whom gazed at me with pride but warned me not to do things that would get me hurt.

"Nathan, are we-"

"Are we going to...? Oh right! Yes."

"Proserpina ready for another run? John asked eagerly. In answer I flashed him a grand smile.

This time we ran across town with me beside them with every stride. We were running for almost no reason at all, no one chased us and we weren't chasing anyone. This time we were truly just running.

We ran until we couldn't breathe no more and had to stop. That was when a red pickup truck, pulled up beside us. There was an older boy not much older than 18, was driving the truck. He was laughing as he sped down the street. Instantly John and Nathan shot forward with a new unknown goal. I picked up speed with them wondering who that boy was and why we were chasing his truck. Soon enough John picked up speed again then leaped from the ground onto the bumper of the truck; quickly he stepped over the tail gate and was in the bed of the truck. Nathan followed him with his help; Nathan joined John in the bed. Nathan waved me on then turned around looking certain he thought I was going to turn back.

Anger seeped through me as I felt their disappointment; I ran faster getting so close to the truck. Using the adrenaline pumping through my veins, I went airborne and landed in the spot next to Nathan in the bed of the truck.

"Holy Shit! Did you just jump that distance?"

"I was in arm distance so I yoloed it," I shrugged trying not let my thoughts of not making the jump show.

"Dude, you're unreal," John joined the conversation.

"I'm real; the force is just with me." John shook his head smiling, "Are you a Harry Potter's fan as well!"

"Of course how do you think I got you to like me," I winked at him when he began laughing hysterically. "You're a nerd," he said finally when he could speak. After awhile the wind turned cold so John slid open the back window of the truck and crawled through with us following. John climbed upfront while Nathan sat in the back with me even though the front seat could seat up to three people.

"You guys didn't inform me that a lady was going to be joining us this evening." The boy elbowed John in the ribs before continuing, "I'm Conner and I deeply apologize if these two retards dragged you here."

"Ha! If a lady fights like a maniac then she is one," Nathan commented, smirking at me.

"Very funny Nathan. I'm Proserpina," I addressed Conner.

"Its very nice to meet you."

"The pleasure is all mine."

"Haha!" John laughed until tears formed in his eyes and was lying down on the seat. "Conner, when did you learn to speak like that?"

"It's called being polite and using my manners when ladies are present."

"Well it sounds like you're eating with the queen and she is no queen."

"No John I'm not but I am indeed going to kick your ass," I threatened, challenging him with a stare.

"See no lady present," he retorted more to me than to his brother.

"Proserpina, you are welcome up here to teach my little brother a lesson." Grinning I scrabbled into the front seat between John and Conner. Immediately John grabbed my right arm, folding it across my chest and pulled so I was in a head lock with my own arm.

"Think you can take me, pretty little lady?"

"Like you said I'm no lady," I gasped as I tried helplessly to wrestled out of the hold. I threw my elbow back, hitting John in his stomach.

"You're going to have to do better than that," John grunted. Growling as I tried to fix my position, I placed my elbow on his thigh trying not to let him tighten the hold again when an idea sparked into my mind. He pulled tighter as I pushed down on my elbow into his thigh. John's grip loosened but not enough for me to slip out.

"Hey Nathan, I think you were exaggerating about her skills in a fight."

"Well how about I make this fair," Nathan jumped over the seat, landing between the door and John. The jolt of his jump loosened John's grip just enough for he was distracted by Nathan so I slid out of the hold and push the hand he was holding into his stomach. Grunting I twisted my hand in his stomach as I twisted against away from the way he was holding my hand, giving me an Indian burn.

"You jerk!" I growled before kicking him in the shin. John released my hand when he went to grab his hurt shin.

"I think she's doing alright John," Nathan replied to John's last comment, winking at me making me laugh. John smirked before moving to sit on his knees so he was towering over me then leaped at me. Wanting to get away I slid into Conner whom was staying solid as a rock while he cheered for me to keep going. John grabbed my hips, pulling me towards him as I fought for control. Quickly he switched our spots and pinned my hands to the seat so I was helpless once again.

"Nathan!" I screamed for help. Instantly Nathan placed his hands on John's and used all his strength to try to lift John's hold off of me. His face bunched up in concentration then began to redden from his struggle to keep going. Hoping to ease his struggle I lifted me forearms against John's hold. Little by little John relented before finally his grip gave and he was thrown into his brother.

I turned my gaze to Nathan to thank him but instead I grinned at him as he nodded at me like he was sending a telepathic plan to me. Sensing what he wanted to do, I ducked into the little cubby under the dash board on the floor when he grabbed John and forced him into the spot I just left and pinned him to the seat. Coming out from the cubby, I mocked John, "You were saying."

"Hey this doesn't count as a win for you. I'm only pinned because of Nathan and he's the only reason you got away," John snapped back red in the face as he tried to lift Nathan off of him. Holding up my hand I counted down from three. Once I was at one, Nathan released him and slipped over the seat to his original place.

John and I dove for each other hoping to get the advantage over the other. We locked arms in a battle of strength; John was relentless with his strong hold making me bend ever so slightly. Weaker than him, I pushed back while I placed my thumbs on a specific spot on his muscles and pressed down. The shock and pain of the point I was pressing showed on his face as his body began to give into the pain, whether he wanted to or not.

Soon enough his arms stopped pushing against me so he fell back into the seat with me still holding on to him. Quickly I moved my right forearm so it was across his neck holding him in his spot firmly with my left still pressing that same spot.

"Please proceed."

"Alright I give," John grumbled defeated. Conner laughed with Nathan as I eased off of John and sat next to Conner, grinning proudly. John sat up pretending to be upset with me even as I saw the gleam of pride out shining any of his other emotions in his eyes.

It wasn't long after wards when Conner pulled into the parking lot of the sheriff's station. Both baffled and worried of what was to happen next I stiffened as I jumped out of the truck, following the others. Hesitant and wanting to be invisible I walked behind Conner and John whom swaggered in confidently. Nathan walked beside me like usual as if that was his rightful place.

"This is what I want to be," Nathan beamed happily as he watched the cops fill out reports and bring in locals from the street.

"Really?" I asked awed by his excitement.

"Yeah I mean look at them trying to bring down the crime and evil in our small little town."

"Wow I wish I knew what I was going to be."

"None sense! You'll be my partner, my equal."

"More of sidekick, I can't be a hero for others. I would doing something that would be boring like sitting at a desk."

"I wouldn't let that happen, if anything we belong here together. We'll be partners trying to stop crime."

"Why would I work here with you?"

"Like I said in the beginning I would never leave your side. We are equal partners. That means I'll have your back even when you don't have mine."

"What if I mess up and not fit to be a cop?"

"I'll have your back no matter what happens and besides if you mess up I'll be there to help you back up and start over." Nathan went back to studying how the police were working while I looked around relaxing as I hoped Nathan was right about our future of working here as partners.

We followed Conner and John into a room where 4 cops joked and called out to them.

"Hey it's giant and dwarf!" one of them came over to ruffle their hair, " oh and they brought a pretty little lady and jack the giant slayer with them." The cop tipped his hat to me before pulling Nathan into a friendly headlock then went back to his seat after he released Nathan.

"Well better go tell Rich, his boys kidnapped this lady," another cop smiled at me before going off to find someone named Rich. Moments later after I was introduced to the cops that were still in the room, the man returned with a another cop whom looked like an older version of Conner with graying hair.

"I'm Richard, Conner and John's father," the man stuck out his hand to me.

"I'm Proserpina sir," I shook his hand firmly with my own, meeting his authoritative gaze.

"Excuse me but may I ask what you are doing with my sons?"

"I'm just a kid, being a kid with new friends sir," I stated firmly. He nodded his approval of the answer then moved on to Conner.

"What do you need?"

"I was just dropping off the truck and wanted to let you know."

"Alright and I assume you'll be taking the jeep?"

"Yes sir," Conner answered without flinching like he was a soldier talking to his general. Richard traded keys with Conner then we left the station. Instead of climbing into the red truck, we all climbed into a lime green jeep and was on our way to another adventure.

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