The Blind Spot
J U D A H
I had never been this angry in my life. Both angry and scared, actually.
“Easy man, easy,” Max’s hand fell off in an instant as he stood up, “I ain’t gonna do nothing. The girl’s lost and I was just trynna help her out, is all,”
Max was slurring his words, a sign that he was trashed. I shot a look over at Blondie, who was staggering to get up, and her eyes showed that she was scared for her life.
“He’s lying,” Blondie retorted.
She wanted to appear strong, but she was trembling a little. The sight of that broke my heart, it really did. So without a second thought, my fists went flying as I grabbed Max by his collar.
“Woah, you need to chill,” Max snorted. He was taken aback, but he tried his best to remain cool.
“Get behind me,” I said through gritted teeth as my eyes met Blondie’s.
She heard me loud and clear, but she was hesitating to move. Why the fuck was she hesitating?
“No, I can take care of myself, thank you very much,” she replied suddenly and Max broke out in laughter.
She’s still mad at me, obviously. But this ain’t the time for that. Max is a dangerous guy, she should know better.
“I’m not fucking asking you right now,” I shouted and Blondie flinched at my reaction.
“Hey, where do you think you’re going princess?” Max put both his arms out just as Blondie was about to move past him.
“Don’t you fucking touch her!” I tightened my grip around Max’s neck, pulling him slightly over to me and away from Blondie.
“You better get your hand off me,” he shoved my hand away, but I was quick to grab him again, pinning him back against the hard brick walls.
“Yo, I wasn’t doing nothing to her. She was the one that came onto me,” the smug smile on Max’s face faltered, he was irritated now. His hand started smacking mine in order for me to let him go, but I wasn’t giving into his requests.
“I’m not asking you J, this is an order. I’m ordering you to take your fucking hands off me!” Max’s eyes widened in anger as his fists clawed onto my hands.
“Blondie, take my bike and get outta here,” I ordered, my head nodding to the bike behind me. The engine was still running and the keys were in there. Let’s just hope Blondie knows how to ride one.
“The fuck is wrong with you man? You makin’ me look bad right now in front of the pretty lady. Y’all need to chill,” he tried to play dumb, but he ain’t fooling nobody. I knew what he was gonna do if I wasn’t around.
“Blondie, you deaf? Get the fuck outta here,” I was practically screaming at her as she stood there frozen.
“You realize what you doin’ right now? You work for me and you’re defying orders. The moment she leaves, you’re dead meat,” Max’s voice was low and threatening. I knew he wasn’t kidding.
Blondie probably realized it too and she hesitated even more.
“Blondie, get on the bike and go,” I said again, my voice was calm but my tone dropped an octave lower.
“Go, I’ll be fine,”
“Shit man, are we really doing this right now?” Max scoffed, trying his best to look like a victim, “Bro, I’m your best friend. And you’re choosing some whore that fucked and ditched your ass over me?”
On the corner of my eye, I could see Blondie moving towards the bike. The only thing I wanted right now was to make sure that she was safe and that she’d drive as far as possible away from here. Away from me.
“Nah, man. She ain’t like that,” I found myself muttering under my breath.
“Fuck you J,” Max spat suddenly and he used that split second opportunity to break off from my grip and rolled to his side.
Quickly he stood up and before I could do anything else, he pulled out his gun and aimed it straight at me.
“No!” she screamed.
Shit, Blondie was still here.
“Leave! Now!” I yelled over to Blondie, as I kept my gaze on Max.
“No one’s going anywhere!” Max shouted over us, and he was waving his gun frantically from side to side.
Fuck. I hope he had the safety on.
“You made me look bad, Judah. I don’t like that. You ain’t loyal like I thought you were,” he slurred again, pointing his gun directly at my chest this time.
“Max, come on, don’t do this,”
“I was the one that cleaned up your ass when you comin’ over here all beaten up. I took you in, treated you like family. I really did like you J. Thought we were a team. But just because o some fucking girl, you turn on me just like that,”
“She ain’t just some girl to me, Max,”
“What? She ain’t the girl that broke your fucking heart and whored around with the dude that got you b—“
“No! She’s more than that,” I yelled quickly, a desperate attempt to get Max to stop talking.
Shit just got so out of hand right now. I needa do something, or say something, anythingto keep Max’s attention on me and not on her.
“Max, look, you gave me a roof over my head when I needed one. You took me off the streets, and gave me purpose. I owed you that and I’d do anything for you. But this girl… she saved my life… and I owed her that,”
“What?” Max scoffed in disbelief, and Blondie gasped.
Fuck. I had to say it. I had to say it all.
“There was this seven year old kid, he was quiet, awkward, and weak. He was so quiet that people actually thought he was mute. The kid didn’t have no friends at school and everyday there were these bullies that harassed him. They called him names and took his lunch. They thought he was an easy target because he couldn’t speak up. So the boy was always hungry during lunchtime, every single day. Until one day he’s had enough and he planned to stand up to these bullies. Using all his strength, he spoke up for the first time ever. He said no to these bullies. But stupid kid didn’t know the first thing about fighting. His dad wasn’t around long enough to teach him how. So the bullies beat him up real bad. They told the kid to just go and die because that was all he was good for. And the kid believed them. As they were beating him, all that he thought about was how much easier things would be if he just died. But even after all the pain and blood, he didn’t die. Just a lot of scars and bruises. And as the kid went over to sulk at the corner of the playground, out came this girl… and she was kinda pretty too…”
“Are you okay?” the girl said to him.
“No,” he said coldly to her.
“He thought that she would mind her own business and go away, just like everyone else did. But instead, she took a seat next to him and opened up her pink backpack. She took out these hello kitty Band-Aids and started patching him up. After she was done, she took out her lunchbox and shared her lunch with him. It was the best thing anyone could have done for him. He was so moved by her, everyday since then, the boy willingly gave up his lunch to the bullies just so the girl would share her lunch with him,”
“Everyday these two kids would have lunch and play together, but they never really talked. He wanted to ask her for her name, but he was too shy. He was afraid that talking to her would make her want to leave him. Because everyone else did the same thing. So he never opened his damn mouth, not even once,”
“Until one day… it was the day before summer vacation started and the boy made a promise to himself that he would talk to her and ask her for her name. But as he was getting ready to go to school, something happened and his mom told him that they had to leave. He asked if he could go to school one last time because he wanted to say goodbye to the girl, but they couldn’t. They had a plane to catch. And so he left, forever wondering what her name was, wondering if she’d ever wonder about him too,”
“As time goes by, he started to forget her and how she looked like. All that he could remember was that she had this chocolate-colored hair and chocolate-colored eyes. So whenever he thought of her, he would call her Chocolate. Since then, he developed a habit to give people nicknames based on the color of their hair or what stood out in their appearance,”
“For years I hadn’t thought about Chocolate and her hello kitty Band-Aids. Until a few weeks ago… I remembered her again… and she’s the girl standing right in front of me now,”
I glanced over at Blondie and she was having the biggest shock of her life. Her mouth hung open as her eyes widened and her body was stiff. And she looked at me as if I was some kind of an alien.
“What…?” her small voice croaked.
Meanwhile, Max who had been listening patiently had this bored look on his face. Rolling his eyes in annoyance, he then started clapping his hands sarcastically.
“Great story bro,” he snorted and his hand went up to his eyes, pretending as if to wipe a tear off his face. “Touching, really, two old friends helping each other out,”
I was hoping that this would buy me some time so I could distract Max and somehow grab the gun from him. But he knew never to let his guards down around me. He stepped back quickly and pointed the gun back at me, aiming for my head this time.
“But what does that got to do with me? You defied my orders and that makes you not a friend to me. And if you’re not my friend, then you must be my enemy,” he said and I could hear the clicking sound of the safety being pulled down.
“Max, come on, don’t be like this,”
“Think I’m joking around?” he threatened and I chose not to respond.
For a few seconds there we just stared at each other. I was scared, of course I was, but I couldn’t show him that. The mouth of the gun was pointing straight at me, so even if he pulled the trigger and missed, we were standing at a close enough range that it would still be dangerous. Suddenly and without warning, he pointed his gun up to the air and the loud piercing sound of the gunshot roared.
Blondie shrieked in fear as she ducked down to the ground, her hands covering her face. Max saw the look on my face and he realized how scared I was for her. He had found my blind spot.
Laughing sinisterly, he pointed the gun over to Blondie and I snapped. I raced over to her as fast as I could with my arms stretched out, covering her as much as I could.
Another shot was fired and the sound was ringing in my ear. It must be so fucking close.
“No!” Blondie screamed.
I followed her gaze and I saw a red spot over my arm, blood was soaking through my jacket. Did I get hit? I didn’t even feel anything.
“Max! What the hell is going on here?” a loud familiar voice spoke suddenly and we all turned our heads around, finding Ava standing before us.
She gaped as soon as she realized what had happened. Max still had his gun pointed at me and my free hand went up to put pressure on my arm as blood kept soaking through. I studied the wound and realized that it was just a graze. Thank fucking heavens.
“Your little boy toy here is trynna pull a fast one on me. On us. He’s betraying us,” Max spoke up, his eyes were still glued on me and his gun was still pointed this way.
Too fucking close to Blondie, I had to get her outta here.
“Judah wouldn’t do that to us,” Ava said to Max, but he wasn’t in his right mind to listen.
“He’s drunk. He needs help,” I said to Ava.
“You’re overreacting, Max. Come on, let’s get you inside,” Ava said calmly, trying to neutralize the situation.
“No! Can’t you see? He’s choosing a goddamn whore over us, over his family!”
“Watch your fucking mouth, Max,” I said in an instant. I should have kept my mouth shut but I just couldn’t let him talk about Blondie like that.
“See that? You see how he done disrespecting me?” Max turned to Ava and waved the gun around carelessly, “I gotta show him who’s the boss around here,”
“Max, relax. You’re drunk. You’re not thinking straight,” Ava said to him.
“No, you’re not thinking straight! You love the boy and your feelings are clouding your judgments, Ava!” Max was practically screaming and suddenly the gun was aimed at Ava.
My first instinct was to jump him right then and there, but Ava shot me a look, telling me to stay still. She gave me a reassuring smile as her hands swiftly moved to her back and she pulled out a small semi-automatic gun.
“You think I don’t learn from past mistakes?” she turned to Max, and now the brother and sister had their guns pointed at one another.
“Get her and get the hell outta here,” Ava said through gritted teeth, and Max just stared at her with fire in his eyes.
He was mad and drunk, sure. But I knew damn well that Max won’t hurt his sister, she was everything to him. For a split second, Ava and I exchanged a knowing look, as if to say ’thank you’ and ’you owe me one’.
Not wasting anymore time, I swiftly took Blondie by the hand and pulled her towards the bike. Within seconds, we jumped on the bike and rode away, as fast and as far as I possibly could.
“We’re not done here, Hudson. You hear me?” Max shouted as the bike’s engine roared loudly over it.
Blondie dug her nails on my jacket as her arms were wrapped around me tight. She must be hella confused and scared right now. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I never wanted her to find out this way.
But now the truth was out, and there was no going back, only moving forward. I guess I got a lot of explaining to do…
I’m sorry Blondie, I couldn’t tell you how I feel about you because then you’d hear nothing but words. I had to wait until you could feel it yourself.