I open my eyes to the sound of panicked gasping. After a moment, I realise that it’s myself; I was having another panic attack. I suddenly feel a heavy hand clamp around my tense shoulder, and that familiar touch let’s me know that it’s Leaf. I can feel, even hear, my heart hammering against my chest; to me it sounds louder than the booming of a thunderstorm. I hear a muffled voice beside me and try to slow my rapid pulse and uneven breathing.
I feel Leaf shake me, naturally increasing my heart beat in the process.
“Logan, calm down. It’s just another panic attack. He’s not here, I promise.”
With those last two words, I feel myself calm down. My heart slows its assault on my ribcage, and my breathing slows to a trembling calmness, that is, if you could call it calm. I still felt a need to panic but forced myself to stay calm. I could feel the cold sheen of sweat covering my body as I looked up at Leaf. Our eyes met, his blue eyes staring intently into my ebony ones.
“You ok bud?” He asks me before diverting his gaze to my quivering body.
“Better, if you can even call it that.”
“Good, I thought I lost you there.” He muttered, letting himself smile a little, if not more of a smirk than anything.
I kept watching him as he turned back to my room’s television screen, mashing various buttons on the small game controller in his hand. He was playing some game I had forgotten the name of while I was trying my best to piss Cam off, again. He had recently sent me a text before my panic attack began.
Dude you better have Leaf hold me back tomorrow because I swear to god I’m gonna kill you
That was it—what set it off— not Cam, but a memory of my real dad. That first day...
“What did you just say to me you little shit! You think you like a guy?” He slapped me hard on the cheek, causing me to crash onto the concrete. “You little faggot. Are you stupid? No boy likes… other boys!” He kicked me as I tried to crawl away from him. “I swear to god I’ll kill you...”
I forced myself to stop thinking about it, if I let myself think about it I know it will trigger another panic attack, it always does.
“Hey bud, any idea what set it off?” Leaf asked without taking his eyes from the screen.
“I know what started it but I’d rather not talk about it.” Leaf shrugs.
“Fair enough but you know if you ever wanna talk about it you know I’m right here for you.”
“Yeah yeah.” I reply waving at him before looking down at my phone.
I’m quivering really. I send my reply to Cam. I could feel him laughing at the message, that’s what he would do if he was here anyway.
I swear I’m gonna kick your ass. He messages back with a fist emoji. I laugh half heartedly.
“Cam threatening to kick your ass again?” Leaf snickers as he pauses the game leaning over to take a look at my phone.
“What else would he be doing?” I reply tilting my phone so he can see. He smirks.
“Kicking your ass probably.” Leaf comments quickly getting back to the game.
Try me. I send back with a winking emoticon. Admittedly I loved pissing him off a little too much but it was always fun to see his reactions. Especially the times when Leaf did have to hold him back. After I send the message I place the phone down on the floor beside me. Afterwards I pick up my laptop and look up wattpad. I click on my reading list and started reading Changing will again. I had lost count of the amount of times I had read it but I loved the characters. After another ten minutes I hear my phone ding and pick it up, I drop it when I see the message. It was from Xander. He was telling me to watch out at school tomorrow. Him I really was scared of. He had beaten me up pretty much every day since the day I had met him. He left me with bloody lips and black eyes. Leaf tried to stop it at first but then Xander started threatening to make his life hell and almost did too. I told Leaf to stop and he did so now Xander was my problem. Leaf still feels horrible, I hate to see him worrying about me on a daily basis, it always eats him up inside when he sees me getting beaten up and he knows that I won’t let him help. I pick the phone up and in one swift movement delete his message. The only reason I hadn’t blocked his number was because he had told me not to or he would hurt me some more. He checked my phone every day to make sure too. I did try to tell the teachers sometimes but that only made it worse for me, I stopped a couple years ago, I still ask myself if it will ever get better. I decide to message Cam again to entertain myself. I open our texts and quickly send him a running man emoji. After a couple minutes he replies.
That’ll be you tomorrow when I get to you. I roll my eyes and send him another message…