This Isn’t My Home
“Sit down,” Caroline orders as she and Jackson bring me into their study.
The vast shelves of books in here used to fascinate me, now they disgust me. Caroline and Jackson are very pretentious, and the image of them reading the books just irritates me.
I sit at Jackson’s desk in anticipation, waiting to see whether my plan is working. Caroline and Jackson take seats in front of me and both sigh disapprovingly.
“Alex,” Jackson begins. “I worry about the role model you are for Lisa and Tommy. You are older than them and you should know better and behave better than you are doing.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” I reply nonchalantly, avoiding eye contact to make it seem I’m anything but interested.
“You perfectly well know what we mean,” Caroline snaps. “You’re grounded.” I don’t react, trying to stay calm. This is a good thing, I am getting to them. They can’t handle me out of the house, so they ground me. My expression remains the same, uninterested.
“I’m not a bad role model. If anything, I’m a great role model.”
“How so?” Jackson asks and Caroline starts to become irritable.
“I know I have anger issues and I have tried to keep them in check. The best way for me to do that is channel it into something: fighting. I needed an outlet and I was mature enough to handle my problem on my own. That’s a good role model.
"I also know what I want and no matter how hard people push for me not to get it, I persevere anyway. That’s a good role model. I hang out with boys and not date them. Girls and guys can be friends. See, good role model,” I explain, leaning back in my chair.
They seem to pause, Jackson furrows his eyebrows as if he is thinking and Caroline doesn’t know quite how to come back from that.
“Honestly, I believe grounding me is a mistake. My temper will only build and I’ll end up hurting someone or myself. The last time, when it wasn’t fighting someone, I smashed a glass too hard on the table and ended up slicing my hand open. You don’t want that happening again. If I’m too much of a problem, you should just send me back. I was fine before, and not influencing anyone. I handled my shit and was doing well.”
I get up from my seat and watch their expressions. They look at each other like they are actually considering it.
“You are not going back to California,” Caroline states and I walk out, trying not to act like a silly brat and just normal.
They are coming around, I can tell. I can't take my victory lap yet though.
Today, Trevor has his tournament. He wants to be King of the Ring. I have only seen him fight twice and I’ve fought three times. There are some skilled fighters in the ring, certainly.
For these fights tonight, seasoned fighters from many places are invited, the competition will be stiff. I told Trevor I’d come support him.
Trevor and I hung out at school the entire week and a bit that I have been here, and have become good friends. I’ve joined their circle, and pushed Scott further out than he was before, which he was furious about. Not that I give a shit.
His friends seemed to like me, and everyone else stayed away from me like they stayed away from Trevor. At first, they thought we were dating, but I made it clear to everyone I had a boyfriend.
Arriving at school, I spot Scott glaring at me from the top of the hall and make his way closer to me. Before he can reach me, Trevor strolls up with a couple of friends and Scott ends up tagging along at the end of the line. They huddle around me at my locker.
“We still on for the fight?” Trevor asks. In response, I nod, looking down at my phone. I haven’t heard much from Kai recently, other than he won against Reign and Matt is still being a complete bitch.
“You into fighting?” One of his friends inquires.
“You should see her fight. Shit, she’s small but she’d give me a run for my money,” Trevor explains, pulling me into his side as he hugs me. “I’ll pick you up at eight at yours?”
“Yeah, I convinced my... Caroline not to ground me,” I reply and he nods and smiles.
The rest of the day, I text Kai in class and he responds. We go into a full blown conversation and really catch up. I miss him with me. I am happy he’s not jealous of Trevor, it shows Kai must trust me. And I trust him.
At eight, the door bell rings and Caroline rushes to get to it before me. She snarls at Trevor when she swings the door open to see him, and I brush past her, yelling without turning back that I would stay at Trevor’s, so I didn’t disturb anyone.
I had been doing that a lot though. I didn’t want Caroline’s house to be home, and I didn’t want to be in it, around her, longer than was absolutely necessary. I wanted her to see that and know that.
We arrive and the place is bustling with muscles toned guys, with their sponsors guarding them. There are so many spectators that a large number are turned away outside. They tried to limit it so the noise didn’t overwhelm the fighters too much. I agree that the screams often gave me temporary hearing impairment.
I talked with Trevor’s sponsor for a while, standing next to Trevor. He is calm, and he radiates confidence. Looking around and seeing his competitors must not make him nervous.
Suddenly I feel arms snake around my waist from behind me and I gasp. Trevor looks to me and is about to push the guy when I realize that the guy’s hold is familiar.
“Kai?” I say timidly. Trevor halts and his eyes widen. I turn around to see a sexy smirk flashing across my handsome boyfriend’s face. “Fuck, Walker, you scared me there.”
“Hey, beautiful.” I playfully hit his arm and smash my lips to his.
He tangles his fingers in my hair and deepens the kiss. He thrusts his tongue into my mouth, our tongues battling each other. We continue to passionately kiss until we need to come up for air. I then hug him tightly, feeling his calming presence engulf me and lessen my rage. He could always do that.
I turn back around to Trevor, remembering he is here, and he looks shocked.
“Kai, this is Trevor.”
“Oh, right,” Kai replies, shaking Trevor’s hand. “I’m actually real so you can stop trying to get with my girl.”
“Walker,” I warn, furrowing my eyebrows. He just wraps his arm around my waist, pulling me into his side and starts to play with my hair.
“I didn’t know you would be here,” Trevor comments and I look to Kai, wanting the answer.
“Why didn’t you tell me? Are you fighting today?” I question.
“When I won against Reign, I was approached by a representative for this competition. I wasn’t going to go, when he started talking about flights. But then I heard it was Pittsburgh and I thought I’d surprise my girlfriend.” He pecks my lips and I smile back at him.
I watch Trevor frown from the corner of my eye.
Then there comes announcements of the matches. Trevor is against some fast skilled fighter and Kai is up against a beast. I am confident they’d both win.