The Bartender

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Chapter Three

To be frank, I had been sad all weekend. I hated himself so much for cutting. I broke a record I had tried so hard to keep. I hated the person who sent me the blade. I hated everything that was going on in my life right now. It was all because of a gay kid. And my so called friends didn’t even call to check up on me. Some friends they are, I huffed. I also hated the fact that my wounds wouldn’t stop opening up. They kept bleeding and now I was scared that I’ll be put in hospital again. That was a horrible time for me.

I sighed as I got ready for school. Another Monday. I had a test in Biology which I had not studied for because I got caught up in my selfish emotions and sliced my wrists. Talk about drama!

I picked up the first clothes I saw in my closet. A white T-shirt, a blue flannel, black ripped skinny jeans and a pair of black converse from my shoe rack. I squatted in front of my closet and brought out all the drawers at the lower end. It was there. The beaded box grandma gave me. Sometimes it’s sad that what I used it for brought only bad memories.

I sighed and opened it. All my bracelets were intact. I put them on finally. After the time in hospital, I had put away everything that reminded me of my habit. But no, someone just had to bring it up again. Why would someone send me a blade anyway? The person must know that I used to cut and wanted me to do it. But who was it? I hadn’t told anyone of my old habit, not even Gabrielle. Only Kyle knew but since he wanted me to stop, I ruled him out. Besides, Kyle wouldn’t do something like that knowing it would bring me bad memories and cause me to relapse. I sighed as I put six bracelets on each wrist, enough to cover up. Then picking up my bag, I went downstairs.

“Hi mom” I greeted when I saw her talking to one of the maids. Come to think of it, mom went out often during the weekend and came back late. I wanted to ask but after her outburst the other day, I just decided to let it slide.

“Good morning sweetie” she said, her eyes slipping down to my hands.

I caught the action and quickly sent my hands to my back.

“I gotta go”.

“No breakfast?”

“I’m not hungry”.

I took a deep breath when I finally got out of the house. If she found out, she’ll send me back to the therapist for sure, and I totally didn’t want that. If anything, I didn’t want her to worry about me. She already worried enough.

Getting in my car I started the engine and drove to school. All the way, I kept thinking about what Kyle would say. If Kyle saw the bracelets, he would know that something was up. Hell, he will know exactly what was up. But maybe he’ll forget about everything and just talk to me, I thought.

‘No that’s desperate’ I said to myself. I didn’t want Kyle to think I was desperate enough to cut just so we could talk. He’ll call me an attention whore. But fuck! I was desperate. Kyle may not have been the main reason I cut but he was part of those reasons. I did it on impulse. If I had not seen the blade, I probably wouldn’t have thought about it. Whoever sent it knew I used to cut.

As I thought about this, I decided it would be better if I just said sorry. Even if I didn’t mean it. I didn’t like Niall. He was gay and gay and straight don’t mix. Gay people are outcasts. They don’t need friends. So maybe I should just say sorry and get my friend back.

As usual, everyone was rushing to get to class when I finally got to school. It was Monday, who would want to start a week with detention anyway? Well, certainly not me. Picking up my bag, I rushed into the building and to my locker. Gabrielle was waiting for me with an angered expression.

“Where the hell have you been?” she barked.

I can’t say I was caught off guard. I was actually expecting this since I blew her off during the weekend. Everyone was staring at us now. I may not be one of the jocks but I did go to the best parties. Besides, my reputation as a rich kid gave me a bit of attention. How ironic. High school was definitely better than middle school.

“Um, I … what?” I asked, feigning confused.

“You haven’t been answering your phone, you don’t reply my texts and you stood me up. We were supposed to go to the movies, remember?”

I bit my lips as the realization hit me. I had no excuse to give her and I certainly wasn’t going to blurt out my life story to her. I had not used my phone because I was busy and maybe I totally forgot about the date. I didn’t exactly forget - okay fine, I did - but I had other things to worry about.

“Baby, I’m so sorry. I - My mom, we uh, we went somewhere. And I left my phone” I lied. “I am so sorry”.

She bought it anyway making me smile. “Well, I am still mad at you”. She stated, looking at me with pursed lips.

“I’ll make it up to you, I promise” I said and pecked her lips before turning to my locker.

I picked up my books when Andrew joined us and we went on to class. Andrew said something about having a new girlfriend but I was too deep in thought to be bothered much. When we got to class, I scanned the room for Kyle but before my eyes could land on him, someone bumped into me, making my books fall, and not just that, my bracelets scratched my wrists, making me whine in pain. This earned a few snickers from the class but other than that, everyone was minding their own business.

I bent down to retrieve my books and I realized the person didn’t even say sorry.

“Nice manners you got there. Really nice” I grumbled to myself. I wasn’t up for any nonsense and I wasn’t up for a fight either. I just sighed and took my seat.

The class went on as usual without me paying much attention. I doodled in my book as if I was writing down some notes but really, I was thinking about what had been happening in my life lately. I planned on apologizing, no, saying sorry, to Niall during lunch. Apologizing was too strong a word. It would make it seem as though I actually meant it, but really, I was just doing it for Kyle.

My next class was biology and I was already regretting the F I was gonna get. I didn’t study for it so I just hoped it would have multiple answers, then I can circle whatever felt right. I didn’t feel like talking to either Gabrielle or Andrew so I rushed out of the class before they could even get to me. Funny enough, they weren’t even following me.

I went to the bathroom before going to class. When I was done, I tucked myself back into my pants and zipped up. Getting out of the stall, I looked over at where the sinks were, and Kyle was standing there, using the air blowers. I took a deep breath and walked over.

“Hey” I greeted.


I gulped. Kyle had a bored expression and I didn’t want to make him even angrier.

“So uh, how’ve you been?

“Great” Kyle replied turning to look at me, from my head, to my feet, I guess. But he stopped at my hands.

Holy shit!

I followed his gaze and my eyes landed on my wrist. The bracelets. Fuck.

“I gotta go” I said rushing out before Kyle could stop me. I took in a shaky but heavy breath once I was out of the bathroom. I knew for sure that Kyle would definitely ask about it. And Kyle would know if I lied since we’ve known each other for long.

I got to class late and Miss Smith was already passing out the test sheets. I sighed in relief when I noticed they were multiple choice questions.

I read over the questions and frankly speaking, I knew next to nothing about what the answers were. I just circled what felt right. When I was done, I sat and waited for a lot more people to be done. I didn’t want to be known as a nerd, which I wasn’t, and I didn’t want to look dumb either. I’ve had my fair share of being called the dumb rich kid.

After turning in my paper, I hurried off to lunch. I was a bit excited about talking to Kyle today but after that encounter in the bathroom, I grew anxious. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it anymore. Kyle would ask about it and I really didn’t want pity. All I wanted was my best friend.

I went over to my usual table. Andrew and Gabrielle were sitting there already, with a new girl who I didn’t know.

“Hi” I said, giving them a fake smile whiles sitting down.

“Right on time bro” Andrew smiled.

Taking Gabrielle’s hand in mine, I gave her a quick kiss on the lips.

“This is Diane everyone, my girlfriend” Andrew said smiling down at the girl called Amy.

“Oh” I said in realization. “Nice to meet ya” I smiled at her. They all went back to eating and Gabrielle and Diane talked about going to the mall. I was lost in my own thoughts. I wasn’t eating. I had lost appetite anyway so it didn’t exactly bother me. I just stared at my bracelets and waited for the bell to ring. I jumped when someone tapped his shoulder.

I turned to look at the person and my eyes grew wide with a mixture of emotions. I was scared, angry, happy and anxious all in one.

“Aiden” he smiled. “Can I talk to you for a bit?”

I gulped. “Yeah, sure”.

“In private”.

This couldn’t be good. I turned to look at my friends and they were all busy talking to each other. I looked back at him and nodded. I followed Kyle to the hallway. I leaned by the lockers hoping Kyle wouldn’t mention anything about my wrist. But luck was not on my side.

“You did it, didn’t you?” He accused.

I shook my head frantically and shoved my hands into the pocket of my jacket.

“No”. I told him, my voice cracking as I said the lie.

“Yes you did”. Kyle took my hands and gripped at my wrists tightly making me wince in pain.

“Why? Aiden why?”

I didn’t answer. I didn’t know what to say. Because knowing Kyle, if he heard that someone sent me a blade, he’ll do anything possible to find out who that person was. And honestly, I didn’t want this to be a big deal.

“You promised Aiden, you promised. I trusted you”.

“Well if you didn’t leave me for that faggot, I wouldn’t have”.

Kyle hung his head in what I suppose was regret.

“Aiden, if you didn’t bully him, I wouldn’t have”.

“What the hell is your problem anyway? You said you wouldn’t be my friend so what do you care?” I grumbled as tears welled up in my eyes.

Kyle took my face in his hands and wiped away the tears that threatened to fall. Then he hugged me tightly. I gladly returned the hug.

“I’m sorry Aiden. I didn’t think it would go that far”.

“What did you think then?” I was crying now.

“Aiden, Niall is my... my friend. And it hurt to see you hurt him like that. It hurt to see you put him through what you went through. Don’t you remember?” He asked pulling away to look at my face. “Don’t you remember the last time, the time when you woke up, we promised not to inflict pain on anyone? Huh? Don’t you?”

I nodded. How could I ever forget?

“It hurt so bad. I thought that by doing so, you would come back to your senses. I’m sorry Aiden. I didn’t think you would cut. I’m really sorry”.

I pulled Kyle into a hug. “I’m sorry that I made you go through that. I’m sorry I broke our promises”.

“It’s okay Aiden”.

“I missed you Kyle. I missed you so much”.

“Me too Aiden. Me too”.

I smiled and wiped my tears with the back of my palms. It was still lunch time and no one was around.

“Hey, let’s go somewhere”, Kyle suggested.



“We can’t just ditch school” I protested.

“Sure we can” Kyle chuckled and led me out of the school.

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