Somebody to Lean On

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Concrete Angel


Leo ran off from the lunch room, tears already leaking from the corner of his eyes.

He sped into the bathroom and locked the stall door. He sat there, sobbing in both shame and regret until the bell rang.

Leo dragged his feet to the current world classroom where he quietly sat down, noticing the sad looks from Don, Raph and Mikey. He didn't forget the glances at his wrists every now and then.

The teacher walked in and began the lecture. The word he wrote on the board made Leo's heart freeze.

'Child abuse'

Leo looked around to see both Don and Mikey staring at Leo with a worried expression. Raph looked like he was ready to strangle the teacher.

Leo knew all the teachers were aware of his recent life and they knew that it wasn't something to talk about, let alone give a lecture on. Why would they be talking about this?

"As you all know, we've been studying world problems. For the past month, we've talked about problems outside of our own country. Now we are going to learn about problems in the United States.
Child abuse is a very real thing that many children suffer. It's been going on forever, children were allowed to be killed in the ancient times by their parents. Thankfully, they've made this illegal, but people still do it."

Leo leaned down and pulled his pencil sharpener from his backpack. He took a pencil and used it to pull the blade from it.

Under the table, he quietly drew it lightly across in a particular pattern as the teacher spoke.

"While you may not think about child abuse, a friend could be abused and you won't know it. They usually suffer in silence due to fear of their parents.
Some parents arent sober while abusing their child."

The last part made Leo dig the blade deeper into his wrist. He could feel the blood lightly flowing from the wound.

"When they are drunk, they may not remember the abuse the next morning when they are sober. Others do it because they don't want a kid and don't know how to treat him or her, or they see it right."

Leo stopped the cutting and looked at his wrist. With his blade he had written, in small letters, 'concrete angel'

Leo set the sharpened that had a thin coat of blood on it, in his bag and raised his non- bloodied arm.

"Yes, Leonardo?" The teacher asked.

"May I get my sweatshirt?"

The teacher nodded and Leo ran from the room, concealing the cuts across his wrist.

He made it to his locker and pulled out his sweatshirt. With it half way on, the guilt set in. All the relief and forget was washed away and replaced by the guilt and crushing pain of life.

He suddenly heard a crash come from the classroom.

He ran in to see Raph glaring daggers at the teacher. Both Mikey and Don were standing behind him. The source of the noise had come from Raph chair that lay on the floor. The teacher had an expression of shock and guilt.

"Raphael, Donatello, Michelangelo, get back in your seats." He ordered.

"Can us and Leo talk to you outside?" Raph said through clenched teeth.

He nodded before turning to the rest of the class. "We'll be back."

As they walked out, Leo joined them quietly.

"What the **** were you thinking when you came up with that?!" Raph came close to screaming.

"Raphael, I don't know what you-" The teacher began.

"Don't give me that **** ****, Leo has gone through all the stuff you just said! Didn't you ever think about how that would effect him?!"

"It was meant to help him... I didn't know, The teacher began, anger rising in his voice. "I understand your anger, but you may not speak to me that way."

Now Raph wasn't the only one ready to kill, both Mikey and Don had their hands clenched to the point of bleeding.

"Guys, really, it's not that big of a deal." Leo stepped in.

Raph spun around to face Leo. "Not that big of a deal?! Leo, show me your wrists! Show the scars!"

The teacher slowly turned to Leo, who's face had turned as pale as a ghost. "Leonardo?"

"Raph..." Leo whispered.

"Leonardo, show me your wrists." The teacher said slowly, realization dawning in his voice.

Leo pulled the jacket up to reveal the old scars and the fresh blood coming from the slashes. He hid his face, ashamed.

"Leo... you... did it again?" Mikey stuttered.

Raph was, for once, speechless. Don had a horrified expression and tears leaking from his eyes.

The teacher slowly stepped forward, hand creeping towards Leo's wrist.

Suddenly, Leo pulled his wrist back and ran. He ran outside and sunk to the grass. He traced the bloody engraving on his wrist... concrete angel.

"If only I could be as strong as a concrete angel." He whispered as tears streamed down his face.

A hand suddenly gripped his shoulder, a familiar grip, strong yet gentle. It was a grip he hadn't felt in eleven years. He looked up into his father's sober eyes.

...

"What the ****!" Raph screamed.

"Look, Raphael, I understand your anger and concern, but you have no right to curse at me." The teacher said.

"I have no right?! You had the nerve to have a ****** lecture on child abuse when you are fully aware that a student was a victim of that! I have every right to ****** cuss! You should be fired, you *****!"

"Raphael! Calm down! I understand I made a mistake, I take full responsibility, but you can be suspended for cursing at a teacher!"

"That's what you're worried about?!" Mikey stepped forward, a newly found hatred gleaming in his pale blue eyes. "Did you see Leo's arm?! If you hadn't had that ******* lecture he wouldn't be bleeding and wouldn't have run off! Raph's right, you *****!"

The teacher turned to Mikey, never had he heard the blonde headed boy curse. "Michelangelo, I would expect this from Raphael, but not you! I know I was wrong to do this..."

"Shut up, Mr. Rogers, I know you meant no harm, but that doesn't fix this, you have no idea what he went through." Don, the usually calm one stepped forward, joining the other two.

"Now if you excuse me, I have to go help Leo." Raph huffed away with Don and Mikey trailing angrily behind.

They reached the exit to see Samuel come behind Leo.

"Call the police!" Raph yelled. They all pulled out their phones and dialed 911.

...

"Leonardo, my son." Samuel looked down sadly.

"Dad," Leo sobbed. He leaped up and hugged his father, the first show of affection since age seven.

"I'm so sorry, I shouldn't have started drinking. I know I don't deserve your love, I don't even deserve to be your father, but I'm sorry,"

Suddenly, sirens appeared. Police came rushing in, tackling Samuel to the ground.

"No! Dad!" Leo screamed, rushing towards his now handcuffed father.

A policeman held Leo back, "son, he will be punished, don't worry, you're safe now."

"No! Please, he's sober! I've finally got my father back!" Leo cried out.

"Leo, my child, it's alright, I know I deserve this, just know... I love you." Samuel was pushed into the car.

The car drove away and Leo watched it go, his whole body numb. "I love you too, daddy."


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