Chapter Two - The beginning of the end
Often, when I wake up before my alarm, I stare up at the ceiling and think of my mother, I let myself think of scenarios of what she might be up to.
Is she talking to David Bowie? MJ? Hell, is she talking to fucking Muhammed Ali? Or is she stuck down here? Is she stuck watching dad hit me nearly every day while I just sit back and take it?
She’d be so disappointed in me. I laugh out loud at a memory that comes to the surface. ‘Always fight back’ she’d say and then dance around me like she’s some prizefighter in the ring with her guard up.
My smile gets wiped away when another one surfaces. There was a day where I was screaming at the fact there was a spider crawling in the bathroom so I shouted for her.
‘It can’t hurt you. This lil’ guy is just like your father, couldn’t even hurt you if he wanted to.’ Oh, how times have changed mam.
As my body begins to get hot I move my arms up from the covers and rest them on top. Once my gaze settles on my damp bandage, my mams voice comes back to me.
A smile reaches my lips when I remember my mother telling me that ‘A five a day keeps anything away sweetheart.’ Oh, how true she was.
But what she didn’t know was how once she left... it was the beginning of the end for me.
A sigh escaped my lips and I get up from my bed and I head to the bathroom. Once I’ve re-dressed my bandage and I get myself ready for school I do a once over of myself as I do my shoes.
The black blazer with our school logo on has me looking more sophisticated than I really am and the white shirt that you can see my black bra through makes me look fat. The tie that has our school colours on covers the buttons to my shirt that is currently untucked.
I look down at my school pants and sigh. If Mr Collins catches me in jeans again he’ll flip. Once I tuck in the laces of my black vans I sigh.
Not that this is much better than wearing black jeans to school hit he doesn’t mind the shoes as much cause he says ‘I’m not looking at peoples feet as I don’t have a foot fetish.’
‘Oh yeah, sir! ‘Cause just admitting to looking at my pants makes it better.’ I’d say back sarcastically when he’d give me a confused look and I’d have to explain. ‘You basically said you’d look at my arse, sir...’ then he’d fumble with his words and then mutter an apology.
In reality, I think it’s ‘cause he sees me as a little sister. Me and Mr Collins have been quite close.
I met him one time coming from getting my dad some stuff when I was thirteen, he was looking for a job as a teacher and I thought he was a student from how young he looked.
Once I voiced my thoughts he laughed and then we hit it off from there. Although I don’t think us two are supposed to be this close for a student and teacher but hey-ho.
On the way to school, the wind bites at my skin and when I hear the laughs of people behind me, I pull my jacket tighter around myself and keep my head down.
Once I reach the school gates, I sneak past the teachers on duty while keeping my head down, my feet taking me to form.
When I hear giggling my head snaps up to see the red-headed bitch. She’s flirting with a guy. Wow.. shocker. I put my head back down and nearly laugh when I hear her screech. “Why is he walking away? No one walks away from me? I mean.. have you seen my body?”
I roll my eyes at the last point and continue on my walk. She thinks she’s so perfect the way that she gets everyone’s attention. She thinks she should get things handed to her in a silver fucking platter. She should at least expect people to dislike her.
I definitely do.
But what I didn’t expect, is the cliche thing to happen when I walk full pelt into something... or should I say, someone?
When I look up my face pales when I see who I bumped into. My eyes dance along his features and I sigh slightly at the fact I bumped into him.
My eyes run along his features once more, making sure it’s him. Plump lips, blue eyes, quiff, fuckin’, North Face jacket. Yep.. definitely him.
“Listen freak, why the fuck are you not watching where you’re going?” He growls out, his dark eyebrows furrowing harshly against his forehead.
My mouth opens to try and speak but I close my eyes when I don’t say anything. Today is not the day you fucking dickhead.
‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to Joseph. Honest.’ I wrote down on some paper. “Yeah, well, you should’ve thought about that before you fucking full-on face planted me.”
He shoves me. “You’re such a freak.” His eyes run over me and he gets angrier. “Beaten up and bruised. No wonder no guy wants you, you’re such a state.. look at yourself. Can’t hold your own. Pathetic.”
He turns at me and gets in my face, looking at the bruise on my jaw. “She really did a number on you didn’t she?” He says, his breath fanning my face.
Oh, how I wish the red-headed bitch did this to me. Instead of saying that, I just meekly nodded and looked up at him.
My hands begin to shake in my jacket pockets as he grabs my jaw and cheeks with his hand, squeezing tightly to where my lips are poking out, his other hands reaches out and traces my bruise, making me hiss out in pain when he prides it.
He laughs at the state of my face and me hissing at him. He looks down at me with pure amusement. Joseph’s hand traces the other side of my face harshly as I thrash in his grip, trying to free myself.
“Hey. Fuckbag.” A mystery voice says calmly.
Joseph’s head snaps to the side and he gives the mystery person. “What do you want?”
“Well, looks like the poor lass doesn’t want you touching her like that so I suggest you get off her.”
“Or what, mate?” Joseph challenges. “You gonna come over and start something?”
I turn my head to the mystery man when he scoffs and I gasp. Standing at about 6’3 was a brunette with a perm, standing in our school uniform but the tie hanging loosely on his neck, his shirt untucked and his jacket unzipped.
“Mate, me and you both know if something started it would be you on the floor and me standing over you. So quit while you’re ahead and let the poor lass go.”
I look back at Joseph when his hand slides from my face and he goes up to mystery man. I don’t know how, but no ones even acknowledging us. With all the shouting and shit I’m surprised.
Joseph stalks up to mystery man and when he gets there he has to slightly look up. Joseph’s 6’0 stance is nothing compared to mystery’s man's broad shoulders and laid back attitude.
Mystery man gives Joseph an unimpressed look and gives him a once over and rolls his eyes. His mouth opens as he fiddles with his chewing gum that he’s working on and looks slightly down at Joseph with a smirk on his face.
“Are we in the Tate modern right now?” He says to Joseph, to which he looks at him confused. “No, you stupid?”
“Nah, just the way you’re looking at me is like I’m a piece of art. Now, don’t get me wrong, mate... I like the attention but I don’t swing that way.” Mystery man pats Joseph’s cheek and I stand on the sidelines with my mouth hung open in shock.
No one has ever stood up to Joseph like that.
The next thing that happens is Joseph swings at mystery man and I turn to look at the crowd that is now forming around us from the mystery man and Joseph’s close proximity but my eyes snap back to them when I hear skin on skin contact.
Mystery man's head moves the tiniest bit when Joseph first swings bus when he swings again, mystery man catches his fist and smirk at him.
“My turn.” He snarls before swinging at him.
I don’t know where he hit but when Joseph sways, mystery man pushes his bawled fist and he falls back and hits the floor.
Mystery man just punched Joseph so hard in one punch that he is knocked flat out.
I look up from Joseph to mystery man and see him looking at me with a boyish grin. Oh fuck.
He walks up to me to which the crowds’ eyes follow his every move. He stops in front of me and holds out his big hand to me.
“I’m Adonis.” I shake his outstretched hand and smile a shy smile back at him. “And you are?”
My hand slips into his nice and warm hand easily and even when our hands stop moving up and down I'm still gaping up at him.
Even when he let's go of my hand, my mouth stays open until his nice, warm hand comes back up to cup my chin and push my jaw shut, my eyes widen when he whispers. ”You’ll catch flies, love.” He says cheekily.
I swallow loudly and look to the side, letting his hand drop from my face so I can look at the tree that have leaves that are going orange from the cold to avoid his eyes.
Fuck, why did I look at him like I’m a fish out of water?
I squeeze my eyes shut once I hear them start to laugh, my hands find their way to my hood to pull it up and then back in my pockets when Adonis’ hand brushes against mine.
“Well, well, well... what do we have here?” I hear her voice say sickly-sweet. Her short figure zeroing straight onto Adonis’ broad shoulders and tall stance. The red-headed bitch takes it upon herself to let her hand comes and makes its self comfy on his shoulder from behind.
“Because I definitely know you weren’t talking to the town freak.” She scoffs and I see her from the corner of my eye, her soft brown eyes give me a once over, the look of absolute disgust makes its way into her face the longer she looks at me.
He shrugs her off and gives her an equally dirty look. “And who might you be?” He replies, void of emotion.
He raises his eyebrow and patiently waits for her reply. “I’m Aurora Cox...” he leans close so only he can hear, or so she thinks because I heard it all.
When her mouth opens it’s my turn to have a dirty look on my face. “Most people call me ‘Rora though ‘cause this pussy’ll make you roar.”
I almost gag at the line.
How many times has that got her a bed pal?
Jesus, I hope not too much. That’s so bad.
But the corners of my lips peel up and so does my head when Adonis’ body crumples up as he laughs. His whole body trembles as he lets out a belly laugh, loud enough for everyone to hear.
“Oh my fucking god.” He says and takes a deep breath. “No one calls you that.” He manages to squeeze out before another round of laughs come out. His whole body shaking once again.
The corners of my lips perk up again once I see everyone shocked and especially when I see Auroras mortified facial expression. “They do!”
“Bro... no they-“ Another laugh. “No, they don’t. They’re more likely to call you A-whore-a likes cock than-“ he clears his throat. “‘Rora cause my pussy will make you roar.” He smirks down at her when everyone’s eyes go wide before laughing.
Okay, I must admit... That was fucking comedy gold. When I look back at Aurora her face is beet red and her hands are balled. “They do not!” She hisses.
“Well.. if they didn’t before they definitely will now.” He merely chuckles when he looks back at her.
“I can’t believe you!” She says before storming off, everyone’s eyes follow her as her trainers splash all the puddles on the floor, making people laugh even more.
As the crowd is distracted I slip through them and towards my form silently, my face having the ghost of a smile on as I walk.
I can’t believe he actually stood up to two of the most intimidating people in school... without even hesitating.
I think he’s my new role-model.
My mouth opens as I let out a yelp when a hand covers my shoulder, my right hand going to cover it up as I whirl around. “So, I do all that and I don’t even get a thank you?” He teases.
My eyes trail up from his hand to his face and my eyes blink twice before realising he’s actually taking the piss. I furrow my eyebrows.
Wait, what? Is he saying he knocked Joseph out and took the mick out of Aurora.. for me? He doesn’t even know me!
“Why did that A-whore-a likes cock say you were a freak?” My laugh turns sour, the smile that was on my face soon turns into a frown from his words enter. My mind going back to last week when she spray-painted ‘Riley the Freak’ all over the schools’ wall.
I take out a pen and wrote on a piece of paper. ‘Mute’ I fold it up and give it to him. As he unfolds it I escape.
I get three steps away before Adonis grabs my wrist. My left wrist. My wrist that currently has five deep cuts in it.
I hiss and pull away quickly, holding my arm close to my body. I turn to look at him and see him smiling. “That’s cool.”
“You. You’re cool.” Once I give him another confused look he smiles and says: “right, teachers will never pick on you, when people are whispering no one will look at you to blame and if there’s a murder no one will ask you cause you can’t speak.”
I give him an ‘are you stupid’ look and grab the paper from his hand. ‘I can write though.’
He rolls his eyes. “Yeah but shh. There’s no fun in this if you’re gonna be a killjoy.” He teases, once he sees I’m not in the mood for jokes he moves on. “Okay, so you never introduced yourself back there so let’s do this again...”
He holds his hand out and smiles a boyish grin. “Hey, I’m Adonis and you are?”
I timidly let my smaller, softer hand slip into his bigger, more rougher hand and I smile up at him. ‘My names Riley. Nice to meet you.’ I write down.
Once he reads it he rolls his eyes. “Come on! You’re already cool and you’ve got a unique name! What’s next, do you know boxing? Can you cook? Can you act?” He moves his mouth so he’s soaking from the side and puts a hand next to his mouth. “Fuck, can you mind read?” He leans closer to me and whispers like it’s a secret when he asks.
Once I’ve written my response, I lean forward and give him the bit of paper. “No, but I can do the rest...” he mutters out loud, once he does he lets the rapper drop in the floor, throws his hands in the air and stomps off while he sighs. “Fuck sake!” He says loud enough for me to hear.
My head falls back and I let out a laugh, a loud one. A laugh I haven’t let out since my mam left. Halfway through my laughing however, Adonis stops and turns around with a surprised look on his face.
When I give him a confused one in return he shrugs, after a beat of silence, he shouts to me from about ten foot away. “Do you know where I get my timetable?” I nod and point in the direction.
“Show me?” He shouts back, I roll my eyes and I nod. He takes wide, fast steps to get back to me and as I wait for him to come to me.
“How well can you cook?” He asks, trying to make conversation. I turn to him and cringe, I stick my hand up and lay it flat in the air, then shake it.
He laughs and nods. “Fair enough. Fair enough.”
I stop and lean the piece of paper on my thigh and write one word down. “Meatballs?” He says once I pass it to him and in reply, I nod.
‘Yeah, mix cheese with the mince and voilà! They’re actually really nice.’ I wrote down before giving it to him.
“Do you know what else is nice?” He says but you could tell in his voice that he was hinting at something, especially when I looked up at him, the smirk he was wearing said it all.
A sigh escaped my mouth and I raise my eyebrow up at him as if to say ‘What?’
“My balls.” I unexpectedly burst out laughing like full-on, tears coming out of my eyes, hands-on my stomach type of laugh.
He smiles down at me and just watches me as I laugh for a bit. “Right okay, it wasn’t that funny Riley.” He says teasingly.
Once I sober up, I wipe my tears and wrote down ‘Yeah I know, I’m sorry I just didn’t expect it.’ I hand him it and a little laugh bubbles up from my throat and out from my mouth again.
“It’s okay, you look good when you laugh.” Adonis smiles and stares his beautiful eyes into my boring dark green ones. When my mind finally registers what he’s just said my dark green ones snap to watch our feet in front of us as we walk so I can avoid his.
I clear my throat and hold the door open for him when we get to a door. He bows slightly and enters while saying: “Thank you m’ lady.”
Once he enters the room he waits patiently as a group of kids push in front of me to walk through the door. I keep my head down as I walk in, my mind still surprised at what Adonis said.
As we wait in the queue to get my role model his timetable, I take the time to write down on a bit of paper, ‘can we get a timetable? Adonis whatever his last name is... please?’
When we eventually get to the desk, the bell has already rang and the woman behind the desk stares at us patiently, I hand her the piece of paper and she nods, looking at Adonis expectantly.
“What?” He says, his eyes snapping continuously from mine to the woman’s, confused.
“Last name, love. What is it?” She chuckles.
“Ohhhh, sorry.” He laughs with her. “Black. My last name is Black.” He says.