I woke up my alarm. I must’ve fallen asleep way early last night. I was now tucked into bed and my shoes were off my feet. My dad must’ve came in and tucked me in, he always did. I grabbed my phone that was magically plugged in to see three missed texts.
Two were Bryce asking if I was alive. That must’ve been when I was dead to the world. The last one was Hendrix, again.
“Remember, I’ll be attached to that hip of yours today.”
I smiled to myself. Boy this kid. He felt responsible? Its not his fault girls are insane sometimes. But I couldn’t shake the thoughts of the incident last year too.. maybe I should just keep my head down and not push this.
I got up and into the shower. The hot water stung so bad on my injures but I kept on going. I got out of the shower and put on joggers, sneakers, and a wine colored hoodie. The weather outside was cloudy so I figured this was the best bet and the joggers didn’t hit my bruise like jeans would. I braided my hair into two French braids and I hopped down the stairs using my good leg and into the kitchen. I was surprised Bryce didn’t come in and wake me up like he normally does. When I reached the bottom of the stairs Bryce came through the front door dripping in sweat and his headphones in.
“Where were you?” I questioned.
“Out.” Was all he said to me and ran up the stairs to shower I would imagine.
Damnit, he was doing it again. My past was brought up and he was taking it out on himself. That day was not his fault, it never would be his fault. But my dad and him saw it differently. They think Bryce could’ve stopped it.. I walked into the kitchen and made cereal and sat down to eat it. My dad appeared out the back door.
“Sweat Pea. Lets talk.”
I stuffed a spoon full of Cereal into my mouth and nodded.
“I talked to Evie and her parents and she is off the cheer squad until further notice. I had a talk with Adrian’s parents as well. We are not pressing charges but they will leave you alone.”
I nodded again. Great. So Evie will have more issues with me today.
“If they so much as touch you Autumn, you call me.”
“Yes dad.” I mumbled through eating.
Bryce came running downstairs and grabbed the bowl next to me and started eating. I poured him a bowl just in case. Like a good sister.
“You two be safe today.” My dad said as he grabbed his belt and walked out the door to his car.
I turned and looked at Bryce. “The hell dude, why are you taking this out on yourself again?! Its not your fault!”
He stopped eating. “Look Ott, I know its not my fault. But its my fault I didn’t see the signs. I need you to text me after every class I don’t have with you and you let me know you're okay.”
“That’s a bit overboard, well a lot overboard.”
“I don’t care if it is or not. You need to listen to me on this.” He stared right into my eyes. I knew the incident broke him and made him seriously protective over me. I had to give him that.
“Okay okay.” He put his hand on my stomach on a certain area. I knew what he was mentioning. I still had the scar from it.
“Good.” He checked his phone. “Let's go, we’re gonna be late.”
I grabbed my keys and slid them over to him. “You drive, its my driving leg that hurts.”
He smiled. “Don’t have to ask me twice.”
He helped me out to the jeep and helped me inside the passenger seat before getting on the drivers. It rained all last night and thank god dad put the top on the car before he left for work. He was always on top of things.
We pulled into the parking lot when Carter jumped in front of the car and Bryce slammed on the brakes. He rolled down the window.
“What the hell man!”
“We saved ya a spot.” He pointed to the first spot nearest the school and there sitting in a chair was Ryder. Just casually sitting in a lawn chair.
I busted up laughing at the site, when he stood up and let us park there. Bowing like we were royalty or something. Parking the car, Ryder opened up my side of the car and helped me out.
“Here we are mam, the best spot in the lot.”
I smacked his arm and laughed. “You’re still the absolute worst.”
He laughed and put his arm around me to help me walk. Bryce came around the corner and Carter followed suit. The sad chair just sat in the street.
“My sister was furious last night. My parents went off on her like no tomorrow. She had to stay home today on house arrest so don’t worry about her sweet cheeks.”
I smiled at him. Good, one less person to worry about. Maybe I can finally just focus on school work. Who am I kidding? That’s not going to happen. We got to the stairs of the school and just when Ryder was going to pick me up Hendrix appeared out of the front doors and walked up to me.
“Ry, I got it.”
Ryder just nodded and let me go then Hendrix picked me up out of surprise I yelped.
“Jeez, I’m not broken.”
“You might as well be.” Hendrix looked down at me and set me down on the top of the stairs. “I told you I wasn’t leaving your side today.” He looked hurt or sad, I couldn’t place it. “Which, you never texted me back.” He started whispering now. “Did you get my gift?”
I nodded. “Overkill. That text would’ve been enough.”
Bryce, Carter, and Ryder came up the stairs and walked into the school leaving the doors open for me and Hendrix to walk through.
Hendrix walked me to our first class together. He helped me into my seat then sat next to me and moved his chair next to mine. Ryder sat in front of me and Bryce sat next to Savannah again. We never ended up getting our books yesterday in all the chaos.
After the Bell rang I went out to the hallway with the help of Hendrix. Bryce walked off to go to his next class but not before whispering something to Hendrix.
“What was that about?”
We were almost to our Calculus class now when I decided to break the silence.
“Nothing. Your brother is just worried about you.”
The class went by silently and slowly. My hip was radiating pain over and over. I finished my worksheet and couldn’t take sitting on the stool anymore and went to stand up when Hendrix grabbed my elbow.
“You can lean on me.”
I blinked and had to replay that sentence in my mind. “What?”
He faintly laughed and slid the stool next to him.
“You can lean on me, so your weight isn’t on your hip.”
“Ohhhh…” I finally understood what he meant. It was plain English but my brain went to mush around this kid.
I sat back on the stool and leaned my body against him. My head rested on his shoulder and he made it a point to wrap his arm around me to help me support myself better. He even grabbed my upper arm and held onto me right below my wrap. He was even writing with his other hand at the same time. Impressive? The weight was shifted off my bad hip and onto my other one. Oh my gods he smelled amazing. But I couldn’t let him see my response to him.
The bell rang after I don’t know how long of leaning on him daydreaming. He softly moved me away from him and helped me stand up. Luckily his next class was right next to mine and we met up with my brother at the door.
“How was math…” he said looking back and forth at us.
“Just fine.” I said and scrambled around Hendrix and him and into class on my own. I didn’t want to be asked how every single class was. This was going to get annoying quickly. I get the protection, but its high school and its two girls with big mouths. I could handle it.
I sat down next to Savannah while slamming my backpack on the ground. Savannah jumped and looked at me.
“I heard what happened, I’m sorry they did that to you..”
I looked at her with a half dead face, I was kind of numb. I felt bad then smiled. “Hey yeah thanks.” I rolled up my hoodie to show her the bruise. “It’s a nasty one.”
She made a face at me. “Ouch, that looks painful.” She looked at Bryce and Hendrix in the doorway talking then back to me. “You’re lucky you know. To have so many people looking out for you and its only your second day.”
I huffed and crossed my arms on the desk and laid my head on them. “Trust me, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows..”
She laughed at me. “Whoever came up with that saying seriously was on drugs.”
We both laughed now when Bryce came to sit behind me. “Whose on drugs?”
I rolled my eyes and we both giggled again until class started. It wasn’t all bad. I made two normal friends. Savannah and Harley seemed to be my league of ladies.