“What do you want now Vivian?“ I said, my voice sighing with resignation.
“I know you’re not getting an attitude with me, Trailer Trash. Apologize.“
“No, get on your knees and then apologize."
“You’re in no position to say no to me.” Vivian said whipping out her phone, “on your knees or I’ll press send.”
To be honest, her threatening me was nowhere near as frightening or menacing as when Keenan does it. Resisting the urge to roll my eyes, I reluctantly bow my head down slowly, “I’m... sorry."
“That’s right, dog."
I fiddle with my mother’s necklace nervously, a habit I do when I’m anxious. “I’ve done everything you’ve asked, what more do you possibly want from me? I have nothing left.”
“Sure you do,” she said. “We decide when we’re done with you and we’re not done with you yet.”
“Is this ever gonna end? How do I know you’ll never post them? How I know you’ll delete them?”
Vivianne snorted, “We never said we would. We never said we’d stop, we never promised to delete them, you just assumed. For all you know you’ll spend the rest of your life serving us.”
The sad thing was that I could see it happening too, the rest of my life, the only hope I had was leaving this town for good. Maybe to a college on the other side of the country.
Vivianne notices me fidgeting with my necklace, “ I want that necklace that’s around your neck.”
I cover my neck with my palm, “no! Not this! You can’t have it!”
“Yes, give it to me.”
I felt a familiar sizzle race up my spine and expand to the hairs on my skin, he was near.
“NO! You can’t have this.”
“Keenan baby, she won’t give me her necklace, and I want it.” Vivianne put on her sugary sweet voice and puppy dog eyes for him.
“Give her the fucking necklace Trailer Trash."
“No! Not this! It was my mother’s!"
“I don’t give a shit if it was your mother’s, give her the necklace.”
“But it’s all I have left of her!”
“All you had left of her.”
I give up. I give up. It doesn’t matter what I do or how much I ass I kiss. They’ll never stop, I will spend the rest of my year doing their dirty work. Fine. But I will not give this up. It’s the one thing I’m willing to fight them for.
“WHAT DID I EVER DO TO YOU!?“ I exploded, “WHAT DID I EVER DO TO MAKE YOU HATE ME SO MUCH!? ALL I EVER WANTED WAS TO BE LEFT ALONE!”
I was screaming this to all of them but my eyes locked specifically with Keenan’s.
“I think I deserve to know at least that much! So tell me asshole!” I can’t believe I just cursed, “you know what? I hate you! I’ve never hated anyone in my life but I fucking hate you! You’re a bully! A horrible person! You don’t care about anyone or anything! You don’t care about who you hurt or how many of us you run over!”
I turn to Vivianne, “even you! You’re not above me Vivianne. You’re just as much a pawn to his games as I am!”
“What the hell is that supposed to mean!?”
I ignore her question and turn back around to face Keenan.
“You’re a monster! That’s what you are! I only feel sorry for you! Nothing you have is real! Not your friends, not your relationship, not the admiration your followers pretend to have for you! Nothing!”
My whole body shakes and I can’t stop the annoying tears that well up in my eyes, but I am not sad. No, these are tears of anger.
“I don’t care that I’m trailer trash! I don’t care that I’m poor! I don’t care that I’m ugly! I’d rather be this then be a nasty bitter person LIKE YOU!”
My heart was racing and my breathing hard and shallow after my rant. I really need to take a puff from my inhaler but I resist the urge. It was silent, I could see his nostrils flaring with barely restrained rage.
Everyone else seemed too stunned to even move, if I looked around I’d probably see their mouths gaping open, eyes widened in disbelief, but I don’t look away. My eyes are locked with Keenan’s, both of us unblinking, daring the other to do or say something.
With just two strides of his long legs, he’s standing mere inches from me. Next thing I know his hand is around my neck, I was not ready for the physical response my body had to his touch. Electrifying shocks burned a path where his skin met mine, I gasped. He snatches his hand back, the physical encounter lasting only a second, in the palm of his hand, I see my necklace.
I go to reach for it but he holds it high above my head, out of my reach, then I do something that astounds all of us. I slapped him, hard.
It honestly hurt me more than it hurt him, he wasn’t even phased. Still, I glared at him with all the pain and anger I felt coursing through my body. Through the blur of my tears, I could see his face transform from shocked to enraged in a millisecond flat.
Before I can react, I feel myself soaring through the air, so fast I hadn’t even seen it coming, I smack against something hard. Stars cloud my vision and the left side of my face stung, I could taste blood in my mouth.
Cradling my cheek, I stare at Keenan in astonishment, fear lacing every fiber in my being. He seemed conflicted for only a split second before he glared right back at me.
I have to get out of here.
Scrambling up onto my unsteady feet, I ran out of there as fast as my short legs could take me, I even heard them beginning to chase after me until I hear Keenan tell them “no, just let her go.”
At home, after I finished cooking dinner, I iced my cheek, it has swelled the size of a golf ball and my left eye is almost completely shut. I don’t know what I was thinking hitting someone seven times my weight class and three times my height. I’ve never hit anyone before, I’m not even a violent person! I just reacted!
But there’s no way I can hide this from my dad, so I’m not even gonna try.
“Mija, what happened to your face!?” He asked me during dinner.
“I tripped and hit my face on the corner of a desk at school. I’m alright.”
“Oh, well, you should be more careful then,” was all he said. Part of me wishes he’d try to pry for some more information, but he didn’t.
This night I experienced the worst of the worst episodes. It literally lasted all night. All night. Taking brief pauses before resuming again. I was so depleted in body and spirit that the only thing I could do was crawl slowly into the bathtub and wish for death to take me under, anything to escape this pain.
This time I couldn’t wait them out, this time something was different. The sensation of a sharp searing pain slashing at my neck is the last thing I felt before it knocked me unconscious.