Somebody to Lean On

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Sins of the Past

Raph opened when he felt something prodding his shoulder. The first thing he saw was not the most pleasant thing to wake up to. Mikey was staring at him three inches from his face.

"Mikey! What the heck?!" Raph pushed Mikey's face away from his before he noticed the concern etched into his face. "What's wrong?"

Mikey slowly looked over to Leo, who was thrashing violently in an apparent nightmare. Don was leaning over him, trying to wake him up.

Raph threw the sleeping bag off him and rushed to his friend's side. "Leo! Come on, dude, you have to wake up!" Raph shook Leo's shoulder roughly.

Leo shot up suddenly, tears mixed with the sweat on his face.

"Your dad?" Don asked sadly.

Leo nodded silently. "Sorry if I woke you," he muttered before getting up. He grabbed his clothes and went to the bathroom quickly, avoiding eye contact with his friends.

"He's getting worse," Don muttered.

"I wish he would talk to us. He shut himself off since the hospital." Mikey looked down sadly.

"It must be hard, it's like everything is crashing down on him at one moment." Raph looked towards the bathroom. "We need to help him."

"How though? He won't tell us anything?" Mikey asked, louder than he wanted.

Raph shot him an angry look before gesturing to the bathroom. "Pipe down will you? Him hearing you could do more damage than help."

Hurt flashed across Mikey's features, "sorry,"

Raph's expression softened, "I know, you just want to help. We all are worried about him."


Leo rushed to the bathroom and shut the door behind him. He couldn't get the nightmare out of his head. The worst part was that it wasn't a nightmare... it was reality. Every night his dreams had been haunted by the names he had been called countless times. He could feel the sting of the slap and the snap of his arm. His wrists burned where the thin scars lay.

Leo threw on his clothes and stared in the mirror. His eyes were puffed out and thin streaks lined his cheeks. Suddenly he heard something from outside. He cracked the door open and heard something that made him stop.

"Pipe down will you? Him hearing you could do more damage than help!"

Leo shut the door again and sunk to the ground.

We're his friends talking behind his back? What were they talking about? Did they not like him? They probably didn't want to be part of his family drama. They probably hate me.

All those thoughts rushed through Leo's mind like a tidal wave of hurt.

He didn't want to hear the rest of the conversation. Leo took a piece of toilet paper and pulled a pen from his pocket. He scribbled a note on it and quietly slipped out of the bathroom and out the back door before walking to school.


After ten minutes of waiting for Leo, Raph knocked on the door.

"Yo, Leo! Come on dude, we have to catch the bus."

No response came.

Raph's heart began to pound a little faster.

"Leo, seriously, we'll miss the bus and have to walk." Mikey had the same concerned look.

No answer.

"Guys... you don't think he..." Don began, a horrified expression crossing his face.

"No, he wouldn't do that." Raph cut Don off before he could mutter the word. Raph twisted the doorknob and it promptly swung open.

When they saw that the bathroom was vacant, their stomachs dropped.

"Where is he?"

"Guys, there's a note," Don said.

Raph snatched it up and read it through, sighing in relief at the knowledge that it wasn't the note he had originally feared.

'Hey guys, walked to school, didn't really want to talk. Seemed busy. Kinda want some alone time.


"Well, lets just go to school, he said he wanted alone time." Don said after reading it.


When Leo made it to school, he saw a car pull up.

'Thats weird, only new people drive, and that's only their first day.' He thought.

A girl with black hair and chocolate eyes stepped out. She seemed familiar for some reason. She looked at Leo and her eyes widened.

Leo looked around in almost fear, thinking about his dad.

Suddenly the girl came back around with a woman. Leo's heart fell as he stepped back.

Leo's mom stepped forward. The girl began to trail behind her.

"Leo, I thought you went to that private school a couple blocks over." His mom stumbled over her words a little.

"Um... mom, dad couldn't exactly afford it. What are you doing here and, pardon me but, who's that?" Leo gestured to the girl.

"Leo... well... this is Karai, my... well... my daughter." Venus looked more uncomfortable with every word.

Leo stepped back, a betrayed look on his face.

"You... she's your daughter?" Leo felt tear burn his eyes. Anger began to bubble up inside him. Anger that had been building up since Samuel had taken the first swig of beer. "You... not only did you leave me and dad, not only did you never visit at all, you had another kid... my replacement. You could have taken me! I could have been your child! You had the nerve to go... make another child! You not only replaced dad, but you replaced me! My life has been a living hell! Why? Because you never cared about me! Or dad! He's wanted because of you! He's never sober because of you! I have scars on my wrist because of you! I fear my own father because of you!" Leo was sobbing by the end. Venus just stood there, tears rolling down her cheeks. Karai stayed still, her face void of any emotion.

Leo's eyes widened at the words he said. "Look, Venus, I'm sorry, truly I know it wasn't your fault completely, but you could have helped me. And now... Karai, it's too much. Please just don't see me ever again. I don't want to hurt you, but it's best for both of us."

Leo ran into the school, leaving Venus and Karai standing in the middle of the entryway. Karai, after a minute, followed Leo into the school.


Leo ran into the bathroom, stumbling into a stall, his face an array of tears streaks.

'When will I get a break?' Leo thought miserably. 'First my mom, then dad, then mom again, then my friends, now Karai?'

Leo, without thinking, began to scratch at his skin on his wrist. A stinging in his arm brought his mind from all the emotional pain. He looked down to see a raw patch of skin where he had dug his nails into his wrist.

Leo closed his eyes. Relief. He didn't think of his dad, his friends, his mom, or Karai. All he could think of was the stinging in his arm.

Suddenly, a wave of guilt came flooding through, bringing all the pain of his life back with it.

Leo stared at his arm again. Looking from the scratches to the scars.

'I'm that stupid and useless, I tell myself never agin and here I am doing it again.' Leo thought miserably.

A bell brought him out of his sorrow. The bell that represented first period.

"At least I have school to think about... I can just hope Karai isn't in my classes." Leo muttered as he washed the scratch out and dried his eyes.


Raph, Don, and Mikey walked to geometry, scanning the hallways for Leo.

"Where is he?" Don asked.

"I don't know, what if Samuel found him?" Mikey sounded completely panicked.

"Look, he's probably just in the bathroom or something, we'll see him in first period." Raph tried to sound brave, but inside he was worried for Leo.

They walked into the class after the bell rang. They were relieved to see Leo sitting in there, staring out the window.

Soon the teacher came in with a girl Raph hadn't seen before. Her black hair hung in her eyes. He noticed she was mainly looking towards Leo. He figured it was just coincidence... or she liked him.

"Attention class, we have a new student... go on, introduce yourself."

"I'm Karai Giman." Karai said.

"Everyone, go around the room and say your names," Mrs. Schmidt ordered.

They went around the room but when Leo said his name, Raph noticed that he strained it, speaking quietly, almost stumbling over his own name.


At lunch, Raph, Don and Mikey noticed Leo sitting in the corner. They recognized that as the spot he sat at before he met them,

"Leo! There you are!" Mikey ran up to Leo.

"Dude, why'd ya leave the house?" Raph asked.

Don nudged his arm, "Raph, he said it in the note,"

"Oh... never mind." Raph blushed.

We noticed that new chick Karai was checking you out, dude!" Mikey laughed. His laugh soon disappeared when he saw Leo's face.

It held pain, sadness, and what seemed to be guilt.

"You okay Leo?" Don asked.

"Yeah, Karai was just... a... uh... family friend." Leo sounded unsure of his answer but the three seemed to buy it.

"Oh... and she reminds you of... sorry Leo." Mikey muttered, wishing he hadn't mentioned Karai.

"It's fine," Leo whispered.

Raph then noticed something on Leo's wrist, he looked closer and saw the red patch.

"Dude! What happened?!"

"I... uh... I fell on the way to... school." Leo stuttered.

"Why are you talking like that, if it was the real reason, you would have told us straight forward." Don said, speaking for all three of them.

Leo looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He backed against the corner more, placing his hand over the marks and glancing at the scars.

Their eyes widened in realization, "Leo... not again... oh Leo." Raph looked utterly defeated as he, Don and Mikey watched Leo run off, tears streaming down his face. "What has he done to himself?"

"Raph, it's not what he's done to himself, it's what other have done." Mikey looked down in guilt his eyes flooded over with tears.

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