Ch. 5 - Don't Belong
“Well look at who decided to actually follow orders.“, I heard a voice say in amusement. I turned around to see that it was none other than Mr. Moreau, making me roll my eyes and turn back to the window again.
I heard his footsteps getting closer and eventually, he was sitting in front of me, trying to analyze my face. But I’m practically a pro at masking my emotions by now, so he didn’t get anything out of trying.
“Xia, If I ask you a question will you answer me honestly?”
“Depends on the question.”
“Why do you drink at such a young age? What’s the purpose behind doing such reckless things?“, he questioned. “You’re not getting anything good out of acting up like this.”
“Because it’s relaxing.”
“Relaxing? What do you mean by that?”
“It calms down my nerves and stops me from acting up even more than I already do.”
“Well why do you even feel the need to be so feisty in the first place? Also, I can at least justify you being rude to the people who bother you, but what about the ones who are just genuinely trying being nice to you? Why do you push them away so harshly?”
“It’s the only way I know how to protect myself.“, I admitted in a soft voice.
“Protect yourself from what exactly? That’s not how you protect yourself, Xia. That’s just how you end up making yourself feel lonely. You’re just secluding yourself from the people around you, even the ones who care about you, like Blaine. He always seems so concerned with you, yet you treat him like he means nothing to you.”
“That’s because he really doesn’t mean anything to me. Besides, even if he did, I don’t mean anything to him. And Mr. Moreau, I advise you to not talk to me like you know everything about me, because you fucking don’t. And you never will either, so stay away from me.“, I said while glaring at him, hating the fact that he brought up how much Blaine “cared” for me.
“I apologize if I unintentionally offended you, Xia. But you should at least consider what I said just now.“, he urged gently, pausing for a moment before continuing. “I really don’t understand you, I keep trying to, but you only know how to push people away.”
“Good, it’s better if you don’t understand me. Even I don’t understand myself.“, I said the last bit with a light laugh, but the laugh sounded anything but happy.
I spent the next nearly two hours just doing my homework from other classes, in silence. Mr. Moreau also remained quiet, giving me my space and going to his desk to work on whatever he needed to get done.
Although I wish I didn’t, I kept giving glances towards his direction, unconsciously admiring how attractive he looked while trying to concentrate on something.
The way his eyebrows were furrowed, or how his bottom lip was stuck between his teeth, made me feel a little tingling sensation in my lower stomach. I didn’t realize I was intently staring for so long, but seems like he did.
“Is there something on my face, Miss. Hart?“, he asked, a playful glint prominent in his eyes.
“N-No there isn’t, I just zoned out.“, I said far quicker than I had intended. I internally face-palmed myself at the stutter that just left my mouth. What the fuck, Xia? Since when do you stutter?
I heard a small scoff leave his lips, before they turned into a playful smirk as he went back to doing his work.
The two hours passed by sooner than I imagined, so I packed up my things and headed for the door.
“Get home safe. And remember, you have to stay after school tomorrow as well.“, he reminded, patting my back as a goodbye, making me flinch in pain due to getting whipped yesterday.
“Hey, why’d you flinch like that? Should I not have done that?“, he asked, slightly concerned.
“It’s nothing, I just wasn’t expecting that since I don’t usually let people touch me.“, I lied to him, internally sighing in relief since my excuse seemed believable.
“Oh..okay then, bye.“, he said, believing my lie. I mean it wasn’t completely fake, because it was true that I didn’t really let people touch me.
I made it home and went upstairs to my room, plopping down on the bed and letting out a heavy sigh. I was about to close my eyes when I heard my phone buzz. I picked it up to see that I had gotten a message that said my job application was selected, and that I could come in starting from Sunday.
I jumped up in surprised and reread the message, making sure that I read it correctly. Last week I had actually applied to a bunch of part time jobs, because I wanted to make money in order to move out of this hellhole after graduating this year.
The message was sent from a coffee shop called Mood Lift Café, which was ten minutes away from our house by feet. I already told mother and father about wanting to work, and they said yes to it because they never cared about spending time with me anyways. What I choose to do doesn't matter as long as it doesn't harm the family image.
"Xia! Come speak with us for a moment!!", I heard my mother yell furiously. Oh great, what the fuck did I happen to do this time?
"Yes?", I asked in a small voice, feeling my blood boil at the sight of Blaine smiling to himself from behind her like he always did. He probably said some shit to her to make her angry on purpose, and things like this lets me know just how much he always disliked me as his sister.
"Blaine here is telling me that you were rude to him yesterday when he asked you to come home with him? He says you even aggressively pushed him onto the floor?", she interrogated me, her face red from anger.
"W-What?", I questioned in both confusion and shock. "Yeah, I admit that I spoke rudely to him yesterday, but I never once put my hand on him."
"So you're trying to say that he's lying?", my father chimed in. "Our son would never lie, so stop trying to make him look like the bad one, when you're the one physically hurting your younger brother."
What the fuck? Y'all are acting like Blaine's some five-year old kid who can't ever defend himself if someone tries to hurt him.
"Oh, so when he allegedly gets hurt, it's the worst thing in this world, but then you go and justify all of the times that you've abused me? Are those your so-called family morals that you speak so highly of?", I voiced with rage and frustration.
"That's because you're not a part of the family, and you never really were.", my mother spoke in a taunting tone, getting dangerously close to my face. "I thought you would know that by now, Xia. Didn't we already make that clear to you?"
"Well then you guys should've just returned me back where I originally was, while you still had the chance.", I whispered, hating the fact that I sounded so weak in front of them.
"Mom, can I go to Alex's house? There's a chemistry assignment we're both working on together.", Blaine suddenly asked. Complete bullshit. He isn't working on anything with his friend because Mr. Moreau never assigned us anything today to begin with.
"Yes, of course you can honey!", she cooed, waving him goodbye. "At least one of you is putting an effort into school."
The truth is, I couldn't be too mad at Blaine or fully hate him because he didn't know. He didn't know about any of the things that our parents would do to me, because they never let him see or hear about it. They always made sure he was upstairs in his room or not home at all, like right now. He probably just assumes that I get yelled at a lot or maybe get slapped once or twice, which is why he gets me in trouble so much.
"Now, let's have some fun with you, shall we?", father spoke up with a sinister smile lining his face. I felt my blood run cold, because I knew fully well that they weren't going to go easy on me tonight. They refused to ever tolerate anything happening to their precious son, even if what he said was a complete lie.
They usually were cautious of where they hit me, since they didn't want other people to be able to see any of the scars on my body. But tonight, they didn't care about that and hit me with a metal pole wherever they felt like hurting me.
It got so bad that I started screaming and begging for them to stop, which was so unlike me, but of course they didn't care. It only urged them to keep on going. Eventually, my voice got too weak from screaming so much, so I just remained there, simply flinching at every blow. Once I started to actually cough up blood is when they decided to stop and let me go.
I stayed laying down on the floor with my hair covering my face, for about an hour because I couldn't get myself up. But eventually, they yelled for me to hurry and go to my room and get myself cleaned up because Blaine would come home soon.
I held onto the railing of the staircase and got upstairs at a painfully slow pace, wanting nothing more than to just close my eyes and let darkness take over. But I couldn't do that, not just yet.
Making it back into my room, I cleaned my wounds as best as I could and put ointment on the places I could reach, before bandaging the ones that needed to be covered. After finishing, I took some pain killers and fell asleep because I didn't have it in me to take a shower first.
The next day, I wore black leggings, a black t-shirt, and a matching zip-up hoodie to cover up the bruises on both my arms and those on my upper chest. I used concealer to cover up any small marks on my face and then wore my mask before heading to school.
I know I told Jay that I'd let him be my friend, but I wasn't in the mental condition to speak with anyone. So I ignored everyone who spoke to me, including the teachers, some of who yelled at me at me being ignorant towards them. That along with the fact that I was literally limping all day, made it one of the shittiest days I've ever had.
I was sitting in the back of Mr. Moreau's class like usual, but Nathan just refused to leave me be today. He would either taunt me about the way I was dressed, or I would hear him talking to his group of friends, "exposing" the younger me from middle school.
Why, just why was I ever in love with someone like you to begin with?
I wanted to leave the classroom, because I felt like I was starting to suffocate due to Nathan's presence and the things he was saying, but I knew that unlike other teachers, Mr. Moreau wouldn't let me out with some lame excuse.
So what's the next best option? Make him angry until he has no choice but to kick me out.
I reached into my backpack and pulled out one of my packs of cigarettes. Taking one out and lighting it, I brought it to my lips and took a deep inhale, closing my eyes at the euphoric sensation. I purposefully blew out almost all of the smoke, wanting someone to notice it.
"Mr. Moreau, why the hell is Xia smoking inside of our classroom?", I heard Nathan ask angrily. Of course that fucker is the first to notice.
"Xia. Hart.", Mr. Moreau began in an eerily low voice.
"Yes? May I help you?"
"So not only do you drink, but you smoke too? Throw that damn cigarette away while I'm still speaking calmly, then the consequences won't be as bad."
"No, the real question is, why wouldn't I smoke?", I smirked cockily. "It feels amazing, and it irritates people like you, which is exactly what I want."
"GET OUT!", he roared, making me jump in fear. But I didn't show it when I was walking out of the classroom. I was scared of what was going to happen after this, but at least I was away from Nathan, even if temporarily.
I walked up to one of the back door entrances of the school that no one would ever go to, standing in front of it as I kept my eyes on the gloomy weather outside. It was dark and cloudy, almost as if the sun was hiding away from the world, making me feel envious of it.
"I wish I could just hide away like that too.", I murmured at no one in particular. "Away from all the bad things, so that I don't get hurt anymore. But I guess it's my fault too, isn't it? Maybe I shouldn't have been brought into this world; I can't make anyone happy or proud of me anyways. Instead, I stand here just the same and face my reality as the rest of the world continues to move forward. You're so pathetic Xia, you can't even protect yourself from them."
I continued talking by myself, not caring about the fact that no one was there to hear me explain my inner feelings. But what I wasn't aware of was that Mr. Moreau was silently standing a few feet away from me, listening to every "useless" word coming out of my mouth.
"Just shut up.", I scolded myself, opening the zip of my hoodie to take out another cigarette from the second pack I hid inside one of its inner pockets. "No one cares about your bullshit anyways."
I closed my hoodie back up and pulled down my mask, but before I could take a drag from the cigarette, it was slapped out of my hand. Next thing I knew, I was pinned to the wall with both of my hands restrained above my head.
I gasped in surprise and in pain from the scars on my back getting pressed against the wall.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?!", I shouted with a slightly raised voice, trying to mask the pain that threatened to show in my voice.
Mr. Moreau's eyes were void of any emotion as he looked down at me, but his facial expression looked like he was seething.
"Y-You're hurting me.", I whispered in a shaky voice. I felt intimidated by his stare so I looked down, but what he said next made my eyes snap back up to his right away.
"Take off your hoodie and lift up your shirt, Xia. Right. Now."