Autumn's Light

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Funny thing Forgiveness is

I sat on the bleachers staring out at the field. What if things go south? Would I even want to do Cheer leading anymore? Would I even want to be out here again with such negative energy? My thoughts were broke up by footsteps coming up the stairs.

Hendrix then sat down next to me. My jaw dropped. He had a small glimpse of a black eye and cut on his lip. My reaction was to reach out and touch him, but I held back. He was the asshole in the situation. He didn’t say anything though.

“So you brought me out here to not say anything?” I went to grab my bag to leave but he grasped my hand instead.

“No, I came out here to talk.”

I dropped my bag and his hand off me and crossed my arms. He was not getting more time to drag this out. “Then talk.”

He sighed. “What you saw, wasn’t what you think.”

“And what is it that you think I thought?” I glared a little.

“That there’s something going on between us which is actually the furthest thing from the truth.” He wasn’t even looking at me now.

“Uh huh. So ignoring my texts, not coming to class, and then not even calling after me when I saw you two makes me want to believe you….” I was not budging.

“And you having Axel guide you around school hand in hand like some love sick puppy isn’t doing that same exact shit?” He was staring at me now, so intensely I had to scoot backwards a bit.

“Don’t turn this around on me! Axel has nothing to do with Evie. Your avoiding the damn question Hendrix.” I was almost screaming now.

“It has NOTHING to do with how I feel. My father told me to patch things up between us or I’ll never see football again. He doesn’t want anymore headlines or press coverage that his son is a man whore or that girls are fighting over him. But he told me..”

He put his hand on my knee and I immediately withdrew it from him. He noticed and sighed.

“He told me to protect you..”

I was confused. Protect me? Wouldn’t that cause more headlines?

“What do you mean protect me? I’m just fine.”

“You don’t understand Autumn.” He grabbed my hands, even under my protest. “You don’t know what my father and your father are into. The gangs out here are real. The hatred for the police and the Mayor is real. Evie’s brother went undercover for the police.. that’s why he left their family but I couldn’t tell her. My dad told me to keep it under wraps and just get Evie off my case, so in the parking lot I told her my father would make her and her family move again if she kept this up. If she laid one hand on you, things for her family would get rough. Yes I went to blackmail but listen to me when I say there’s stuff in my life I’m not proud of. My dad has power and that gives me things. But I only use it when I need it.”

My mouth dropped open. This was real world stuff. Not just High School drama. I looked to the field then back to him, trying to find words. Then they finally came to me.

“You blackmailed someone for me?”

He stared at me blankly trying to figure out if that was a real question or not, but he nodded in any case.

“Wow. I mean, wow.” I took my hands and rested them under my chin and leaned forward to my legs and rested my elbows on them. Hendrix slid closer to me.

“I would never hurt you like that.. but then my jealousy got the better of me when Axel confronted me and I just exploded.” He motioned to the black eye. “I gotta say the kid can fight.”

I put my body back straight and touched his face. “My god Hendrix, I’m so sorry.. Axel was probably upset by the last words I said before leaving the school...”

He grabbed my hand and kissed it. It sent shivers down my spine. My cheeks were hot and most likely bright red. “I’m the one that should be sorry. Can you accept my apology?” He was still holding my hand.

I softly smiled at him. “Well you got your ass beat for me, so I guess I’ll accept it.” My smile turned into a smirk and he sent one right back at me.

“Aren’t we just a broken match made in heaven?”

We both laughed and he leaned in and wrapped his arm around my shoulders, hugging me to his chest. “I’ll take you to class. Oh and make sure your brother knows we’re okay. He was going to kill me earlier.”

I stood up and he grabbed my bag for me and held it. We walked back into the school and to my class. Which I missed my office TA and a little of biology. We decided to go to the office and get excused from our classes we missed. I’m sure Ms Gale would understand.

She ended up understanding just like I thought she would and gave us notes back into our classrooms. Hendrix walked me to Bio and left to his class. I went into class and sat down next to Bryce. He was tapping his foot against the stool. Nervous habit he did. I elbowed him and he stopped.

“Everything is fine. Misunderstanding.”

He squished his face at me and rolled his eyes in the process. “Yeah sure it was.”

I punched him this time. “ow.” Was all he said back and then kept silent the rest of the time.

The bell rang and we both took off towards the gym. Harley met me by our locker room. “Okay so, I was talking to Coach and she said she’d give us credit for dance if we were planning cheer during the period. So we are off the hook to dance, lets get to practicing!”

I rolled my eyes but darted off after her to the gym. We sat on the indoor bleachers and talked about timing and music and had a notebook full of ideas for routines by the time the bell rang. That meant it was prep time for the game. The boys came running in from the track all sweaty and gross. Me and Harley waited for them to pass us. Hendrix stopped, grabbed my hand and kissed it. Then jogged away.

Harley’s mouth dropped open. “WAIT A GOSH DANG MINUTE!” she turned to me and I acted like I was a kid in trouble. “What..” I tried to act like nothing happened.

“Didn’t we just go to ice cream to forget about him and now he’s kissing your hand like your some item?! Did I miss something?!” she was waving her hands in the air at this point, which made me laugh.

“Har. We talked. A long talk. He explained everything. We are totally okay now. Evie wont be bothering us anymore. Our relationship is our business.” I nodded my head and put my hands on my hips in triumph.

“Good gravy girl your making me have whiplash.” As she placed her hand on her forehead. “Well, tomato tamatoe lets get ready for the game now please.”

I smiled and hugged her. “Thank you!”

She hugged me back. “Your just lucky I’m so nice.”

I nodded. “Yep I am! And you’re right, ice cream did cure everything.”

We both snickered.

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