Fighting For Hope

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Spring break made an appearance after weeks. Students were enraptured, but I was beyond vexed and distraught. With the uncountable amount of assignments given and the long-dreaded visit with my parents, spring break is bound to be disconsolate.

I have to visit my parents on the last day of this short holiday and again behave as if they had never slain the person I revered most. But this year would be different because it will be the time I begin their retribution. I conspired for years and trained to my limits all for revenge.

I have to confess. Vengeance got in my head and consumed everything else. There was no turning back. That impotent, innocuous girl died a decade ago, and in her place was an emotionless mask famished for revenge.

I observed everyone exit school with a jubilant smile. My eyes drew to Tyler, who had an incensed look engraved onto his face as Ashley hung onto his arm while sending her friends a condescending smile. He offered to give me a ride to school every morning, which I agreed for my benefit. That was what I coaxed myself to believe, however. In all frankness, I relished his company.

I was heading back home when I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Turning around, I was stunned to find Tyler. Beside him was Ashley, who had a rancorous look on her face.

“Her again,” she muttered under her breath. I ignore her provocative comment, though I was already itching to leave a bruise on her face.

Tyler glared at her and removed her grasp on his hand, then looked back at me with a bright smile.

“I have something to tell you, I’ll make a trip to your place later on,” he told me.

Nodding slowly, I narrowed my eyes at Ashley before starting my stroll back home. I promptly dropped my bag beside the dining table and grabbed the book I have been working on for years.

It was unfeasible to remember all the plans I made for the past years, so I wrote everything that crossed my mind in this very book. It was one of the last things my father gave before my mother and stepfather came into the picture.

Blood is not something I am after. It is them losing their contentment. It will assuage me to know they went through the anguish I tolerated, both physically and mentally. My mother and stepfather are selfish, and the first thing they had in mind was always cash.

I intend to gather proof, but the truth was all buried with the help of their money. The only way I could succeed is to make them admit themselves with force or by a miracle. Either way, it can result in them detained.

I planned to drug them and have them spill what they did years ago, but it would not be that simple. I learned to fight because I knew violence would break out.

I searched up the type of drug needed to cause its victims to have the effect of alcohol—intoxicating enough for them leak the secret they have been keeping.

My stepfather is guileful and intelligent. I cannot expect things to go extraordinarily smooth, but if everything turns out my way, I can attain what I want.

While scribbling down the name of the drug, the strident sound of the ringing doorbell filled the room, snapping me out of my stupor. I glowered, swiftly closing my book and sauntering towards the heavy, solid door which I requested to replace the original wooden door with the help of a myriad of money.

I do not invite people over much, to avoid the question of having such material for a doorway. Even my windows are heavily fortified.

It was all for protection from him.

“Hey,” Tyler greeted, welcoming himself into my place, looking around with a raised eyebrow.

I shut the door, watching as he roamed mindlessly and explored my apartment. It is a rented flat my stepfather helped pay for when I moved out of my parent’s mansion, only because my mother begged him to do so.

Tyler settled down on my couch, shooting me a smile. I made my way beside him, uncertain as to why he was visiting.

“There is an event my parents are hosting tonight, and I need a date,” he said firmly causing my eyebrows to rise. “I’m not keen on having my arms hugged for hours, so I require this favour from you.”

I sigh, feeling to repudiate being his partner for that event, but I could not bring myself to do so. Perhaps because there was nothing else I was urging to doing tonight.

“It’s fine if you don’t want to,” he said, but I was quick to accept. A vibrant smile spreads across his face as he added, “Talking isn’t necessary. You just have to be beside me.”

I nodded again, feeling somewhat exuberant. I have been missing out on every party or event teenagers attend for the sake of not wanting to interact with others. I scarcely remember the last time I beheld the sight of others looking free of vexation.

“It’s taking place in a few hours. I packed my things so I can stick around.” That caused my smile to falter.

I dreaded the thought of having another presence in the house, although it was Tyler, who I have known for quite some time now. But as long as my mouth remains shut, he will not be finding out anything about me.

“Do you like writing?” he suddenly asked. Furrowing my eyebrows, I shook my head and wondered how he came to that conclusion.

“What’s the reason for carrying that notebook around so often then?” he asked again, pointing to my dining table where my treasured book laid.

I narrowed my eyes, muttering lowly, “That’s none of your business.”

“What?” he said, widening his eyes slightly. I shook my head, flashing an innocent grin. I needed to be more cautious with my words for they might not go wholly unheard like I thought it would. I shook my head, convincing him with a smile.

I wonder if communicating to someone who will not reply is entertaining because that was what Tyler did for the next few hours, along with showing videos and pictures on his phone. I, on the other hand, was not jaded in the slightest way. I was instead captivated by the things he shared.

When the time rolled by, he had a change of outfit while I stared into a closet flooded with almost no clothing suitable for the occasion. I was clueless as to what I will be wearing.

“Choose something formal. Do you have any dresses at all?” He strode into my room, peeking inside my wardrobe. Instantly, the look of bafflement flashed across his face.

“I think I have to bring you to shop sometime,” he whispered under his breath, scanning through all of my clothes. “Why aren’t any of them a bright colour?”

I roll my eyes, holding myself back from saying there was nothing in my life which was bright. The image of my paled turquoise dress stained in crimson crossed my vision. I was brought into a world of darkness since I was eight years old.

He reached out to grab probably the only dress in the whole closet. I had never worn it since it was a gift from my mother.

“This will do,” he smiled, handing it over and ushering me into the bathroom.

Reluctantly, I wore the rather elegant dress which complimented my curves. I loathed that and had avoided it for the longest time since attention will be attracted. I walked out, sparing Tyler a glance. I did not miss the glint that sparkled in his eyes.

I led him outside and hopped into his car. Then, I bided until we reached our destination.

The place where the event held is nothing like I imagined. Luxurious and sybaritic immediately comes to mind. It is brilliantly lit, probably illuminating from many yards away. There was a colossal amount of plants lined beside the entrance of the building.

Tyler parked his car around the corner, then led me into the venue of the event. A smile immediately spread across my face at the sight of others savouring their time. He intertwined his fingers with mine, making our way through the vast crowd.

“Mother,” he greeted. I gazed at the woman before me, putting on a polite smile as I extend my hand to take hers. It was quite evident that she was Tyler’s mother, judging from her hazel brown eyes and familiar smile. “She’s my date for tonight, Hope.”

“What a gorgeous lady,” she commented when an older version of Tyler stopped by.

“Tyler, glad you can make it,” he told him, then looked at me.

“Dad, this is Hope,” Tyler helped introduce, and once again I stretched my hand out to shake his father’s. His parents were amiable, and they seemed to have a great relationship with Tyler, despite his constant complaints about his father.

They revealed that there were drinks we could grab. Nodding, both Tyler and I headed for the seats.

“I’ll go get the drinks,” he offered. I responded to it by shaking my head and gesturing that I could help do it. He had to acknowledge and had a chat with some guests.

Hesitantly, he agreed, and I head towards the buffet table. There were only a few dishes laid out and just two types of drinks. One contained alcohol while the other did not. I brushed passed a few adults, taking my time to choose two cups of non-alcoholic beverages and stride back to our table.

The sight of Tyler hugging another woman made my eyebrows furrow. The look of pleasant surprise, along with such a broad smile on their faces showed that they had a close relationship. A pang of discomfort bubbled within me as I approached both him and the woman.

“This is Hope,” he introduced me to the young woman. Her eyes narrow at me for a moment before looking back at Tyler.

“You’re not dating her, are you?” she asked. I stared between them ineptly, with two drinks still in hand.

He shook his head in reply, then answer truthfully, “We’re just friends.”

“Such a shame.” She pouted, looking back at me. “Nice to meet you. I’m Hailey, Tyler’s sister.”

I vaguely remember Tyler telling me about his sister being in another state. The startled expression must have been an unanticipated return.

A grin found its way to my face as I shook her hand. I doubt I would be seeing anyone I met this day again, so there was no need to fake my smiles. I could speak and introduce myself but decided against it since staying silent seemed to be wiser. Until I decided that Tyler could be a part of my plan, I will remain soundless.

I need more time to make sure he can be trusted. I needed severe assistance to increase the probability of things going smoothly.

“I have someone I would want you to meet,” she told Tyler as I handed him one of the drinks. “I’ve been dating someone for quite a while, and Dad had yet to meet him.”

I watched as an eyebrow rose when he took a sip of his drink.

“His name’s Ajax, Ajax Cameron.” The moment the words left her lips, a familiar man came into view. Both Tyler and I exchanged a glance, while the look of recognition flashed in Ajax’s eyes. He stared into Tyler’s eyes with animosity.

When his eyes reach mine, he visibly tensed.

“Is there something wrong?” Hailey asked, glancing at me, then at the man I challenged and beat up a month ago in the competition. That same man who could not land a punch on me and promised a rematch the next time we met.

Ajax cleared his throat and mustered a smile. “Nothing,” he said.

It was clear that Tyler despised Ajax from the look he gave him; he seemed to resent sharing the same room with him. I could tell he disapproved an underground fighter to date his sister.

In a second, Tyler took both our glasses and placed them on the closest table, then grabbed my hand and gently tugged on my arm. We left the building after shooting his sister a look saying he would explain everything soon.

The entrance was empty because everyone attending the event was already inside. He took me beside the vast and marvellous place, where all commotion from inside cannot be heard.

“I’m sorry, I just need some fresh air,” he apologized. “There’s just too many people in there.”

I shrugged, enjoying the silence that greeted us. Unfortunately, it was soon interrupted by a voice.

“It’s good to see you again.”

I mentally groaned, recognizing the owner of the voice. Ajax stood a couple of feet away with a friendly smile on his face as he slowly closed the distance between us. A scowl mustered on Tyler’s face, but Ajax ignored him as he approached me.

“I would like to have our rematch-” he said but was immediately cut off by Tyler.

“Stay away from her,” his voice was low and daunting, but Ajax was not affected one bit.

“Stay out of this, you could barely land a punch on me,” he told Tyler. I stared back at Ajax with a bored look on my face, wondering what happened to his promise of never hitting girls.

“From what I remember, you could barely land a punch on Hope,” Tyler retorted.

“Fine then, we’ll have a rematch, and if you win, I won’t bother both of you,” Ajax said, sounding way too confident. A wicked smile spread across Tyler’s face as he drops his jacket and tie.

I leaned back against the outer wall of the building, gratified that Tyler had practised his techniques recently. From the few sessions I had with him, I had equipped him with many more moves.

To me, this fight was a test. If Tyler could beat him, he will unquestionably be a part of my revenge plan. Additionally, he might be the only person I trust in the world.

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