I tried to reason with him in the other remaining classes I had with him. He only laughed off all of my effort and refused to back off from the fight. I seriously don’t understand why boys like to get into trouble so much. They are so drawn to it like moth to flame. Add to that, their pride and ego; clearly ten times higher than the Everest. There is no way you wouldn’t fracture your limbs if you ever try jumping over them.
Of course, I was not worried bout Xavier. I was just scared for Jason. That kid seriously has some twisted nerves to ask for a duel... with Xavier!
Honestly, I think somebody shit on his milk.
And most importantly, I was seriously so sick of seeing Xavier fight. A part of me longed to see him in the other picture. A part of me wanted to see him care about something and not break something. A part of me wanted to believe in him, believe in something I hope I still hadn’t seen; something he has buried in him. I wanted to see that side of him. But all he seem to do is make me afraid of him more and more each passing day.
I didn’t want to be afraid of him. I wanted to believe in him.
The last class of the day, I was in chemistry practical class and he was in Math. Probably he was already out of the building by now. Practical always went beyond the allotted time. I prayed as I scuttled my way out through the hallways that he had decided to forget about the boy, Jason. In other words, decided to forget to kill the boy.
Though I knew that it wasn’t a big deal to him whether he beat Jason till he shit or not, there was still a part of me that was hoping and striving to believe in him; to believe that at some time, for once, he would choose the other way round. All the more, Jason looked boring for a fight, like Xavier said. I saw it too. He was cute.
But by the time, I came out of the building, a relatively large crowd had gather in the yard, cheering and whooping for a fight to begin. That’s him. It’s them. I felt my heart sink deeper in my chest as disappointment dragged it down.
I scurried down the steps and pushed through the crowd, excusing and apologising as I pushed through. When I came in view, I saw Jason standing in pumped up fight mode, his fists firmly balled and ready, his expression no less ferocious than a charging bull, while Xavier looked nothing but relaxed and bored. He had his notorious smug smile plastered on his face.
“Hey kitten, stop acting like a tiger. It’s funny. That act should be in a circus, not here,” Xavier’s face glistened with a very stunning yet annoying crooked smirk.
“I’m gonna make you shit,” Jason seethed with hatred lacing every word.
Xavier raised his eyebrows in confusion, “What?” And then the next instant, he started chortling so hard, his whole body shaking in laughter. “And how exactly are you going to do that, may I ask?”
Jason was quiet for a moment until he replied again, awkwardly. “I’ll beat the shit out of you!”
“Mhmm. That’s more like it,” Xavier returned, reducing his laughter, “You are free to come at me anytime you feel best but I’ll say this one more time - leave and save your ass.”
Jason shook his head, “I’m not backing out, fucker.”
“Well, then what are you waiting for? You’ve wasted enough time. I haven’t got all day.”
With a battle cry, Jason charged, swinging his fist back and then forth aiming for Xavier’s face. But before his fist could ever come in contact with the target, a very relaxed punch fell right on his face which sent him reeling backward; the fist that was meant to break Xavier’s face nursing his nose as he groaned in pain.
The crowd cheered and laughed.
Xavier was standing in the same relaxed way gazing at Jason in the way he would do to a puppy. Reddening, Jason came again. Xavier punched him again. Jason groaned again and held his nose bending over.
“That’s it. You’re no fun,” Xavier muttered and he picked up his backpack from the ground to leave.
Jason was making a complete fool of himself.
“Don’t run,” Jason groaned slightly embarrassed.
Xavier turned seeming completely bored, “Seriously?”
“Hey, Xavi. I’ll be going ahead to send flowers to the boy’s family but if possible, try not to kill him. He’s cute, man.” Matt laughed from the crowd.
Xavier chuckled as he watched Matt leave the crowd. These boys... I seriously wonder if they were pushed down the wrong hole when they were born.
Standing up nursing the bridge of his nose, Jason sneered, “Is that the best you can do?”
Xavier scoffed, his eyes darkening, “You really wanna die?”
“Bring it on.” Jason reformed his combat stance, his fists ready.
Xavier rolled his eyes, “Seriously, go home to your mother. I have no interest in . . .”
The boy came again. Xavier sighed and gave him a harder punch on his face, grabbed the collar of Jason’s nape and then kneed him hard on his stomach. Jason doubled over and writhed on the ground. Blood spurted out from his nose. The stupid crowd laughed and whooped again, groaning loudly in place of Jason and chanting stupid slogans at the same time.
Xavier scoffed, looking down at the boy and turned to leave.
Jason pushed himself up from the ground and sniggered, “I heard that you’re a perverted son of a bitch.”
No... You did not say that.
Xavier stopped short on his track, his body instantly tensing up. He dropped his backpack to the ground. Everybody noticed his knuckles becoming as white as death as he clenched his fists for the first time in the day, for that fight. His face changed. Suddenly, I felt like it was December already, the cold wind beating against my skin and I shuddered.
Jason, you’re so dead.
“Following your father’s...” his sentence never got completed.
Xavier swung back. I gasped loudly. Everybody did. Jason slump back to the ground in one single blow which was as fast as the strike of a lightning with the intention to kill. The beast within was let loose. Xavier loomed over him, grabbed his collar with one hand while the other began to repeatedly beat the shit out of his face.
Someone’s gotta stop this.
I began to hyperventilate and just beneath my skin, I felt my blood starting to incinerate me in its heat. Before I knew it, I was shoving more people out of my way and running towards Xavier.
“Stop! Xavier! Stop!! That’s enough!!!” I pulled at the arm that was holding Jason’s collar.
Without even looking at me, he yanked me back and I fell back to the ground with my bump. I stopped short and stared at him when I saw his horrifying face, reddened and heated, scowling lividly at Jason like he would be capable of killing him as he landed a train of unending punches on Jason’s face.
Xavier was not sparing anything.
“Hey, hey, hey.”
Matt was back and he was pulling Xavier off from Jason.
“Fuck off, man,” Xavier grunted as he tried to break free from Matt’s hold, “I’ll kill him.”
“That’s enough, Xavi,” Matt whispered, “We’re still inside the campus.”
I looked at Jason. He groaned and spat blood out as he struggled to sit up.
Oh, thank God.
For a moment I thought he had passed out.
Xavier was still fighting off Matt who was struggling to keep up with his anger and strength. Xavier’s livid eyes filled with loath were still savagely looking down on Jason. I sprang up from the ground and jumped in front of Xavier blocking Jason out of view. Something told me that Xavier wouldn’t be able to calm down as long as that boy’s face was in his sight.
I held his face with both hands and shouted, “Xavier! Xavier!! Stop. Enough!! Please!!”
He frowned at me like he’d seen me there only now. He stopped struggling but his body was still tense and his eyes were still flaming with rage, his breathing heavy.
“Please, stop,” I said nervously. The sharp look in his furious eyes and the heat of his body made me shudder.
“Are you out of your mind?” he spewed through clenched teeth, his eyes drilling into mine furiously.
“Wh... What? Why?”
“Who the fuck told you to jump in in the middle of a fight?!” he raved at me angrily.
“Someone had to! You were literally killing him!!!” I raved back.
Even I know how to get angry.
“I could have hurt you!!” he was getting more furious but there was an unmistakable flash of pain and guilt in his eyes. “God! Alana, why are you so stupid?!” He came and rested his forehead against mine, cupping my face in his hands.
“You could have killed him.” I replied lowly, staggered by the proximity.
“Would have been great if I had,” he snorted, stepping away from me.
“Fuck you,” Jason groaned.
I turned back and shouted at Jason, “Get the hell out of here!!!”
He frowned stupidly.
I reached into my backpack and grabbed the pack of tissue that I always carry with me. I strode up to him briskly and handed it to him without much pity. I was furious at him as much as I was sorry for his wounds. This kid never learns. It was his own fault that he got beaten up this bad. He asked for it himself.
“Get out of here,” I said, glaring.
He didn’t move instead he looked up at me stupidly from the ground he was sprawled on; his nose and mouth a bloody mess and talking about his eyes and cheekbones, I was sure that they would acquire a new shade of purple in the next five minutes. I wondered if he would be able to stand up and walk.
“Now!!!” I shouted again.
Grabbing the tissue pack from my hand, he bustled up, groaning in pain, and tottered off. By this time, Matt had already shooed off the crowd. And it was just the three of us left. The deep frown was still persistent on his unpleasant countenance when I looked back at him.
“You okay, man?” Matt placed a concerned hand on his shoulder; his look, no different but concerned.
Xavier nodded with his eyes fixed on me. Matt eyed me gingerly following Xavier’s gaze.
“You too, Alana. Are you okay?” Matt tactfully asked.
I nodded, “Yeah. I’m fine.”
The flash of pain and guilt in Xavier’s eyes intensified. He blinked and averted his gaze to somewhere off, unable to look at me.
“Okay,” he patted Xavier’s shoulders, “We better leave.” And then he headed for his car until it was just me and Xavier left at the unlucky spot.
Xavier raked a hand through his hair, groaned loudly in utter frustration and asked softly, “Did I hurt you, Alana?”
It was then clear. He had remembered that he pushed me back to the ground while I tried to get him off of Jason. He was regretting and feeling guilty. He could have hurt me. I no more saw anger in his eyes but only regret and guilt and pain.
“No. You didn’t. I’m fine,” I assured him with a nod. As much as I was angry with him for fighting, I still didn’t want to see him hurt. It hurt me too.
“But you didn’t have to do that. You could have just ignored him,” I said.
“It’s done,” he answered and looked away from me.
“For just once, can’t you just let it go?”
“Stop talking about it. It’s done,” he replied as though what happened five minutes ago was history and started walking towards his car, “Let’s go.”
I stared at his retreating back stupefied. How could he take everything so lightly. That kid almost passed out! He looked back when he realized I wasn’t following him.
“What are you waiting for?”
“I’m not going back with you,” I said.
“What’s your problem?”
“What’s my . . . What’s my problem?” I scoffed with sarcasm, “No! What’s your problem?! I told you to just forget about him!” I shouted at him.
He frowned at me as if I was gibbering nonsense. He looked at me as if I had lost my senses. He stood there like he was watching a clown show.
For Christ’s sake. I hate it.
“Xavier, I’m so fucking tired of watching you fight! For at least once, why don’t you just ignore it. How hard is that? And don’t look at me like that!! I swear, I’ll claw your eyes out!!!!” I screamed and shouted and swore like a mad woman, a swearing Ms. Havisham.
I huffed and puffed as my anger blew up like wildfire. My breath was heaving and heated, no less than how Xavier was just a moment ago.
“Are you done now?” he asked coolly making it sound like I was making a complete fool of myself.
I gave him a dead glare and whirled my face away from him saying, “Just go.”
“Alana, come on. Where are you going?” he sounded bored.
“Away from you.” I looked back and spat as I kept walking away towards somewhere I wasn’t sure myself.
In no time, he had caught up with me. He grabbed my arm and pulled me back to face him.
“You think that fight was my fault?” he peered into my eyes, pissed but he was trying his best not to show it.
“I don’t care whose fault it was or who the bad guy was, I just wish you’d just . . . give me a chance to . . . Why don’t you stop fighting for once!”
I felt tears pooling up my eyes and I quickly blinked them back. I didn’t want to be afraid of him. But he kept making me afraid of him and it hurt to see that he doesn’t care about a shit, or how I feel when I see him this way.
“I CAN’T!! This is who I am. I fight. Not even you can change that,” he said through clenched teeth, his repugnant eyes glaring at me darkly.
At that instant, I felt like closing my ears with my hands and running away, away from him, away from the disliking look from his eyes, away from this reality.
Nobody told me to, nobody asked me to, but there was a part of me in some corner of my soul where I believe, where I want to believe that he isn’t what Kendra described him as in the first place, he isn’t what everybody think he is.
I slowly nodded and I swallowed back a cry of frustration. At one instant, he seemed to look vulnerable and fragile like he had just realized how awful he is. He pulled his gaze away from me gritting his teeth together to contain his rage. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose.
He sighed, opened his eyes and said as he looked somewhere off, “Now that everything’s clear. Let’s go.”
“Alana, we’ve had enough fight for a day. Just get in the car, please,” he sighed again.
“I don’t wanna go with you. And don’t you dare order me to do anything,” I returned.
“I’m not leaving without you. You like it or not, you’re with me,” his voice softened and he became more stubborn.
Right at the moment, I felt my heart squeeze. I felt my rage begin to alleviate. Every single word he says or every little thing he does always affect me, like it or not. They always count.
“Don’t bother.” I swung his hand off from my arm and started to walk off.
“Alana, please. Just get in,” he held me again and pleaded.
Indecisively, I craned my neck up to meet his eyes. There was something about him that always got me unnerved. He had the ability to either drive me mad or melt. It’s like . . .
You either hate him without a second thought or love him with all of you. There is no middle ground when it comes to Xavier. He pushes you to the extremes.
He softly tugged at my arm and pulled me along with him as he started walking back towards his car. My footsteps dragged behind him unwillingly. He opened the door wide and waited for me to climb in. I stood staring at him by the car door.
“Please, get in,” he said, “At least for David. He’s waiting for us.”
I sighed and finally gave up my stubborn fight. David is my weakness and my strength. And the way Xavier cares about David is even a greater weakness of mine.
We reached David’s schoolyard. David was sitting on the ground and facing away from us. I got out of the car. Xavier followed suit.
“David,” I called.
No reply. Instead he pulled his limbs closer to a huddle.
“David,” I called again.
No reply. Again.
When we walked to him, he didn’t even look back at us or even come running to Xavier to fist-bump like he always does. Something told me that I’m gonna be knowing something I don’t really like.