Immediately I pulled my shirt down and looked away from her piercing fury blue eyes. But Sabrina was way too fast. She fast walked towards me before I could fully cover the bruise and scar. She gripped my arm and lifted my shirt carefully and slowly.
“What the fuck is this?!” she asked angrily. I didn’t know why she was pissed but she really looked scary. The bell saved from answering her as I pulled the shirt down and was about to leave – but no, being the stubborn person she is, which I’ve heard from John and Jace, she stopped and looked at me as if I was just ‘really about to leave her like that’.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“I-I have to go to classes” I looked down and tried pulling away but it was hard to do since she was stronger than me.
She shook her head and said, “No you’re not.”
“I have to… go”
“You’re coming to the nurse office with me” She grabbed my books near the sink and grabbed my hand.
“But!” I tried for the last time but of course…
“You’re. Coming. With. Me. Period” she said in a serious tone.
She opened the door for us and looked both ways to make sure the halls were clear before we went.
When I saw that red spot on her side, I couldn’t help but feel angrier than earlier. What made me even feel angry and concerned was the scar beside it. The scar right above her side hip was now fading but you’ll immediately notice it with that size. It was so easy to see because Jessica had pale skin and the reddish mark really popped out from her tiny body.
When I noticed that she was about to pull her shirt down, I fast walked towards her and asked about it.
She was about to open her mouth to answer the bell rang to interrupted her. After she walked pass by me to leave but my body reacted fast. I grabbed her hand and turned her to face me.
‘Like you seriously was about to leave me with you having a bruise on your body.’ I really wanted to say that but instead, I asked, “Where do you think you’re going?”
“I-I have to go to classes” she looked down and tried pulling away, but obviously I was way stronger and she was weaker, so she failed.
I laughed inside while shaking my head, whether it was because I had just said that I was stronger or as if she was really crazy to really fight against me. She was the first one to deny me, to avoid me, and to not get affected by me. Unlike other many slutty people here, she was different. And right now, instead of just leaving her here like what I’d usually do whenever I see people getting bullied or feeling depresses or sad, I stayed – and cared. I was concerned.
“No, you’re not”
“I have to… go”
“You’re coming to the nurse office with me” I grabbed my books near the sink and grabbed her hand.
“But!” she tried.
I turned around and gave her the look to shut her up. “You’re. Coming. With. Me. Period”.
I opened the doors and made sure that the Breanna Patrol girl wasn’t around to look for students skipping before heading towards the nurse office.
“There.” The nurse had placed a big bandaged on her side then wrapped it. The wrapping wasn’t really necessary but I had pushed the Ms. Ferres to do it, just in case. Jessica just stayed quiet the whole time, wincing from time to time when the nurse’s hand made contact with her bruise and scar.
“Here, just apply this ointment once a day for your bruise.” She handed Jessica the ointment. Jessica thanked her quietly and smiled a bit.
The nurse turned and pointed at me “You, Ms. Carter, need to go to class right now. You’ve been skipping again.”
I rolled my eyes, and crossed my arms “You should be thankful that I helped her out”
Ms. Ferres or as I usually call her by her first name, Maya is the nurse at our school. She’s been working here for about 3 years already. I’ve been here to the nurse office many times to skip, take a nap, or have a quickie so she basically knew me. She’s 23 years old and was the youngest woman who worked in our school so I could talk to her as if she was a teenager. Plus, many students have liked her in many ways. And if you’re thinking, no, I don’t lust after her. To be honest, I did but she practically turned out like a big sister to me.
“Whatever, just get to class,” She wrote both of us an excuse slip then gave each of us one.
“By the way dear, what happened to you?” Ms. Ferres asked.
“Carly pushed her” I answered for her. Jessica looked at me wide eyes. Oh yeah, I forgot she didn’t know me and Sarah were there.
“N-no… um.. she just… I just… lost balance” Jessica stuttered at her answer. Obviously, she didn’t want to blame it on Carly.
Maya looked at me then to Jessica. She didn’t know who to believe, so I just laughed. “Carly bumped hips with Jessica here. She lost balance, hit the wall and kaboom. Ouch”
“And if you don’t mind me asking, what about the scar?” Maya asked. I snapped my head back towards Jessica. I was curious to know what happened to it as well.
Jessica’s face fell and it looked like she was thinking about something. Silence filled the room for a few seconds before I notice the tears building up in her eyes. Maya noticed it as well so she immediately said “It’s okay. I’m so sorry for asking. You and Sabrina may go now.”
Jessica nodded and got up slowly. I guided her out the hall. There was no conversation between us but pure silence. I didn’t know what she was thinking but I knew it was something about her past. Something related to the scar. Something that changed her to what she is now. That probably explained why she was shy, quiet type girl. I’m an observer and by looking at people’s faces, I would know what they were feeling. Right now, Jessica looked like she needs something to be distracted. I needed to pull her thoughts away from whatever past she had. It was practically my fault. I wanted to get to know her more. I want her to open herself up to me. Be comfortable, and easy to talk to.
“Umm…hey.. uh, you want to go out for some fries?” I asked. I facepalm myself for not coming up with something better.
She slowly looked up and turned her head a bit to the side so she could see my face. She didn’t answer since I think she was still in her thoughts, so I just grabbed her hand and lead us towards the exit.
“And if you don’t mind me asking, what about the scar?” The nurse asked
After she mentioned the word scar, I froze. The memories are all of a sudden coming back. Unwanted past that was long ago buried inside me, resurfaced. My eyes started to blurry when the same scene happened years ago started to play inside my head.
5 years ago...
“Hey, mom! We have practice today so I won’t be home until 6”
“Okay, but be sure to call me when your practice over” she reminded. I responded with an okay and ended the call.
After soccer practice, my teammates were talking about street soccer. They wanted to check out the people who played it. They heard that learning street soccer can increase your skills when you’re playing a real game. My friend, Eddison said that if we talked to these older kids into teaching us then maybe we could beat our rival team for the next week’s game.
“Yeah man, we saw these guys one day on the back alley and they were doing all of this crazy footwork!” Miguel yelled. He was a forward like me on the team. He’s known to be the most aggressive person in our team. He never passed the ball and only kept it to himself.
“I played with them and they were like crazy. They were letting me try and steal the ball, but the guy was really good. The best defensive player I’ve seen” Carlo, Miguel’s friend said.
“Damn” I heard Steven muttered. She was the quietest person and was the goalkeeper.
“Hey, maybe we could ask them to teach us!” Eddison suggested. I frowned, not feeling good about this idea.
“Uh, I don’t think so guys. We don’t know who they are plus it’s getting late” I said. Mom told me not to go near the back alleys since she said it was dangerous. Plus, talking to strangers was even worse.
“Oh come on captain!” Breanna whined. She was one of our defenders, a good one but I never liked her because of her attitude. She kept complaining about soccer practices, drills, and strategies. I guess she thinks she’s too good to practice.
The team started to whine and complain to me. I kept shaking my head no and insisted that we all go home since it’s almost 6.
Eddison approached me and took me away from our teammates. “Look, Jesse, you’re a great player. The best of all I’ve seen. The coach even favors you. But you know how our team needs to improve. We need to learn from other people other than coach”
“I don’t think so, Eddie. We can ask coach for permission first before we go”
He placed a hand on my shoulder and shook his head “No, we don’t have to. He’ll refuse for sure. Come on, it’s just for tonight. We can go and hang out there for only around 15-30 minutes. Then maybe tomorrow practice, coach will see the difference”
I did think about it. If we succeed to learn and be better by tomorrow then the coach would be happy, but I was still unsure. “Eddie…”
“Our game with the Hawks is next week. We need to beat them and this is our only chance”
The Hawks were our rival school. For the past years, our school never won against them for the finals. So I thought about how if we win this game this week then for the first time in years, people would be proud of us. Students will look up to us. The school is going to go wild. Coach is going to be happy. My friends and teammates will be happy. Mom will be happy.
So I decided, “Fine but only 30 minutes”
“YES!” he fist pump in the air and gave me a hug. When he was about to turn, I grabbed his arm when I remembered something important.
“Wait, what about our parents? Your parents? My mom?”
He shrugged “Err… my parents never care about me anyway. I’m pretty sure the rest of the team must’ve done something about it”
“But you know my mom wouldn’t believe me and she’d probably say no right away”
“Well just tell her that practice was extended.”
“But that’s lying!” I nearly shouted. I never liked the idea of lying.
“So? It’s only for today. Come on!” He started to skip away and told our teammates to grab their stuff so we can leave.
“Only for today…” I whispered to myself. I took out my phone from my pocket and looked for mom’s number on the contact list.
I was debating to myself whether to call her and tell her the truth or to call and lie.
“Whatever” I dialed her number and waited for an answer.
“We have an emergency move!” The paramedics and other nurses were running as if their life was on the line. I could barely keep my eyes open. The pain was intense. I tried moving my head up and looking where the source of pain was coming from but failed. My head felt too heavy and I felt my world spin. Then darkness consumed me.
“I’m sorry Mr. Francis, but your wife didn’t make it. Your child is being operated now and we only hoped for the best.” The nurse explained.
He had been called an hour ago during work and was told that his wife and daughter got into an accident. After hearing the news, he immediately left work without an excuse and hurried to the hospital. The trip took a long hour and a half because of busy traffic. He was deeply worried about his family that he nearly killed himself for running over a red stop. He probably would’ve got fined for a couple of hundred bucks but he didn’t care. All that was his in the head right now were his family.
“What happened?” He was crying now and was desperate to hear the answer from the nurse. A couple of crying families were around them in the waiting room. They must’ve felt terrible for him as well.
The nurse led him into another room. She gave him a drink of water and skimmed through the summary of the accident on a piece of paper and then told him the story. “Thirty minutes ago, we got a call from your wife. She said that your daughter had been stabbed by a group of teenage boys. She and two of her teammates were hurt but the others didn’t. They either ran away or were too scared to move. However, because your wife never received a call from your daughter she decided to check for herself where she was. When she reached the field, there was no one. So she asked a custodian inside the school if he noticed a group of kids who were on their jerseys that were playing soccer outside the field. The custodian said yes after their coach had dismissed them they went over a back lane and down the alleys. After she heard that, she got worried and hurried to get there but it was too late. Your daughter was trying to punch a boy who hurt a boy name, Eddison. After, the guy took out a pocket knife and stabbed your daughter. She fell and hit a metal real bad. The boy named Eddison got badly bruised around his face. Another girl name Breanna was kicked in the leg and got a few bruises as well.”
After hearing the end, his head was now down on the table crying.
“Your wife managed to explain everything that happened and told me to tell you to take care of Jesse and that she loves both of you”
The old nurse smiled and slid a piece of note into his direction “It’s for your daughter. She said that it was her gift if she ever won her game next week.”
He sadly smiled and thanked the nurse. Taking the note, he shoved it into his pocket. “C-Can I see my wife?”
Jesse had woken up 3 months after the incident. She had fallen into a coma because of her head injury. When she woke up, she could barely see anything. White walls, white ceiling, a glass of water next to her, annoying beeping sounds, a clean blanket on top of her body – she was sure that this wasn’t her room. Her heart started to quicken when she heard an upcoming sound of footsteps outside the door.
The door opened and her father came into view. His eyes widen when she saw her daughter awake. He started shouting for a nurse or a doctor then rushed beside her.
“Jesse! Jesse! Can you hear me? Are you okay?” he started panicking when she only looked at him blankly. No emotion, no sadness. What was happening?
Then she smiled and asked “Where’s mom? Dad, where are we? I don’t remember you painting my room white. The last time I remember it was red. And what are these?”
She pointed towards the tubes sticking into her arm and the cast wrapped into her left leg. “When did I get this?”
“What’s that sound? It’s like BEEP BEEP BEEP. So annoying. Dad, can you turn it off?”
“Uh, why am I wearing this shirt? Err, whatever it’s loose anyway.”
He watched as her daughter kept rambling continuous question.
“Oh wow, did my hair grow longer? I never noticed,” she muttered. She squinted her eyes towards the clock on the wall. “Dad I can’t see the time, what time is it?”
Probably too shock to take in whatever was happening right now, he didn’t respond.
“Daddy! I said what time is it?” she repeated.
“Oh 5:30 pm, why?”
“Dad! I have practice. You forgot again. Come on!” she was about to get up and jump up from this uncomfortable bed when she felt pain on her side. Tears started to fall and Jesse started to cry harder when blood started to stain her hospital clothes.
“Dad it hurts! BLOOD! There’s blood. Dad help me!”
Just in time, the doctors came in and shot her. Her crying started to faint and eventually, she fell asleep due to the shot she was given. She needed to get her wounds close right away.
“I don’t understand,” Jesse’s father said through shock.
The doctor’s forehead wrinkled as he fixed his box-shaped glasses “It’s possible. Cause of trauma and emotionally stressed. The only thing I see in this situation is your daughter probably never wanted to remember that this happened. That because of her, her mother died. That because of her, her teammates got hurt. She didn’t want to remember so she wouldn’t get hurt. She forced herself to forget it, and as for the results, it might’ve worked.”
“It was never her fault though”
“Hmm… Mr. Francis, I think you should tell her what really happened when the right time comes.”
“Jessica! Don’t blame yourself for this. It was never your fault. I’m sorry, please let me in”
He continued to knock on the door since her daughter had just slammed the door in front of his face and locked it. “GO AWAY, I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT!”
“You have to believe me, Jesse! Please!”
“Don’t call me Jesse. Leave. I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to hear your lies. I don’t want to remember. Stop…” she trailed off and started sobbing into the floor after hearing the shocking news. The only sentence that was repeating over her head was…
IT’S YOUR FAULT. BECAUSE OF YOU, SHE DIED. BECAUSE OF YOU, THEY GOT HURT.
HOW CAN YOU LIVE WHEN YOU’RE THE ONE THAT CAUSED THIS? DID YOU REALLY DESERVE TO LIVE?
Her head started to spin and the pain was coming back again. Lately, she’s been having terrible headaches and it would only come up when she’s overly stressed. Her breathing became quick and it became harder as seconds pass by.
“Jesse! I never meant to keep it from you. I’m leaving next week. We need to move on”
“Sh-shut up… please go away. I don’t want to hear it anymore. Please stop!” She forced her hands into her ears to block all of the sounds surrounding her. She kept doing this until her vision started to darken, and only caught words such as ‘I’m sorry’ until she fainted.