I needed a break— literally.
I’ve been in the Center for 3 hours, fighting against my Dad. He wanted me to be ready and confident for the upcoming Kickboxing tournament in a few months. It would be my first time competing here in the States. but I’ve been to plenty in the past, back home in Spain.
“Come on, son, stand up! You can’t be like this on the stage,” he urged gruffly and I pounded my fists together. Dad’s been rough with me on the ring lately and it has been one of the most exhausting weeks of my entire life.
It’s because of who we are.
Leos men can be very dominant, competitive, and stubborn. We didn’t want to lose.
Any competition we begin - we finish. “And I finish what I start.”
“Again!” Dad roared.
Our ancestors were traditional and expected it when the next generation came. For decades, our family business had boomed and already an international magnet around the globe. Dad expects the most in me as I’m the next heir to take over our company.
Lucky Troy has it easy with his Dad. He seemed chill even when training. He didn’t care if Troy wasn’t the best, but wanted him to be sure he did his best.
“I’m getting a headache again, Dad. Can we time out for a while?” I asked sweating profoundly. The last break I had was 2 hours ago and I tried to keep up, but my muscles were burning.
¹“Te necesito despierto. Sólo nos queda una hora! Cómo vas a pelear en el torneo si actúas así?” he protested, shaking his head. I knew he was equally drained, but he was a hard headed man.
I groaned in discomfort and slowly rose. My sweat continued drowning me and my head throbbed like hell.
I needed fresh air. I wanted to see Gabriella.
I don’t know what’s making me want to do it, but right now all I wanted was to stare at her hypnotizing eyes.
I wiped the sweat off my head. I can do this. I’m a fighter after all.
²“Muy bien, haré lo que pueda, padre.” I whispered standing up to my full height.
“Urgh...my head is killing me!” I yelled in the car.
“Take a pain killer, dude,” Troy suggested.
“I already took two, but it’s still there,” I groaned. After hours of merciless training, I was worn out and my body cried for slumber. “Hand me another one.”
“Are you crazy? ³No es posible! Quieres sobredosis?” he asked, shocked.
I shook my head. Troy and I were headed to a nearby café to grab some bites and loosen. But my migraine wasn’t helping.
“Watch out! You almost hit into that bus Evander! Are you planning to get us killed?” he shouted glaring at me. “If you’re planning to suicide leave me outta this. God, what’s gotten into you these days, it’s like you’re a different person. Do you think you have BPD?”
“Stop kidding around, Troy, I’m trying to focus on the road,” I snapped. My eyes were getting drowsy from the effects of the tablets I swallowed. I just hope we reach the place soon so I can rest. “And I’m not trying to be self-destructive so shut the crap.”
“Then tell me what’s bothering you, hermano. Ever since school began you’ve been acting strange. You’ve been keeping to yourself and barely talking to me now. Is it because of Gabriella?”
The mere mention of her name brought tingles through my body.
“Yes,” I confessed. I felt guilty. He was telling the truth and I’ve been distant to not only him, but everyone, and I had a good reason. For weeks now I’ve been dreaming of the same little girl almost every night.
She had the same ginger hair as Gabriella and always carried a charming smile. Next to her was a little boy. They looked like they were friends and were always playing with each other. The place I often see them competing at was a vast looking meadow with a small brook flowing by, it looked like it came from a fantasy and there the little boy and girl did their games.
It was so nice to watch them tag each other around but... I always wondered, who were they? Why were they always popping up in my dreams? And...does it mean something?
The dream would always be fuzzy when I tried to grasp their faces. It was constantly blurry. I could only make out their figure and watch them from afar.
“I still can’t believe she didn’t kill you, dude,” Troy interrupted my thoughts just when my aching head soothed down. “I mean, do you think? I suppose you have a crush on her by the way you drool whenever you see her and-”
“I do not drool! That’s the most ludicrous description you've made about me.” I snickered, shaking my head.
“I have proof, bro,” he grinned showing me a video on his phone.
Of course, he did.
We were almost at the café and only had one more stop light to go. I braked and grabbed his phone. Damn it, he had to capture the most self-conscious part of me. There I was in Biology class, sitting a row behind Gabriella, and couldn’t help but stare at her. Her perfect face and unusual hair always seemed to grab my attention. Fuck me, I did drool. My mouth was wide open.
I threw his phone back at him. This dickhead.
“Shit! Be careful man, I just bought this,” he cried, checking his phone for damages. “I can’t accept she warned you. I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t if she knew who you are,” he grinned evilly.
Damn, he had a point. If she did know, I’m sure she would pass by me like I don’t exist.
A girl like her? To hell with that. She should never find out.
“I don’t care,” I said not listening to his response, and started driving the car. I couldn’t think anymore. The more I think, the more I feel like my head was going to blast. I shouldn’t even be driving. That woman has now consumed my thoughts.
She was going to be the death of me.
“I told you, Dad, I need to get home. I’ve just dropped Troy at his house,” I argued, ruffling my hair in frustration.
“No! I need you at the Rose Hospital soon. I’ve already set an appointment for you and Mr. Kane will be there after your check-up. Make sure you arrive there before I do.” And with that, he ended the call as he made no room for any more reasons.
I fumed and hit the top of my steering wheel, reduced. “Damn! He doesn’t get what I’m feeling. It’s always what he orders, never bothering if I’m tired or not! Now, I have to drive another 20 minutes to reach the freaking hospital and spend the rest of the hours being in that fucking psychiatrist’s office.” I stormed gripping the sides of the wheel, blowing smoke through my nostrils.
“Argh, fuck this headache.”
Grrr! That old man better makes sure he gets there before I arrive or I’m going to fucking ruin somebody’s face when I do.
I growled to myself and inaugurated the engine. My relationship with Dad isn’t that fabulous, we always fought about the same thing - who’s more dominant. For him, I’m like another challenge but sometimes when he’s in a different mood he wants me to turn into him.
Ruthless and feared by all. Full-blooded men.
But, Dad is the greatest father I could ever wish for, sometimes he just doesn’t have control over his fucking pride especially in public, and always pushes me to my limits. Sometimes, I didn’t mind, but I hate when he does that. Especially after I turned 13, it was always about “Being the top” and striking everyone.
I cursed when my phone started ringing.
“Hey, honey, it’s Mom, did Dad force you to go to the hospital?” her voice spoke, calming down a bit. Mom always supported me when Dad gets out of control, that’s why I’m more closer to her.
“Yeah,” I mumbled, focusing on the road before pushing the loudspeaker button. “And I’m tired as hell, Mom.”
“It’s alright, honey, this time, listen to your Dad. You’re not in Spain anymore. We know something’s wrong with you and we’re getting worried. Trust us you need to go to the hospital, now,” she insisted.
God, not her too. “But. Mom...why not tomorrow?”
“I know you’re exhausted, but your father has a business trip the day after and wouldn’t have time to see the results. Today is the only time he’s free.”
“Mom. Can’t you come instead?” I grumbled.
“No, honey, your sister needs me to help her on a design that needs to be done on the same day your Dad’s leaving and I’ve got some other work to finish at the office. I’m so sorry Leander but you have to be patient,” she said softly and my heart leaped. Mom rarely called me by my name anymore. “We need to know what’s going on with you...before something get’s complicated. I’m very worried, honey. Please, drive safely and make sure after the appointment that you ride with your Dad. You’ll be very tired by then.”
I didn’t talk for a while, messy, and stared at the road. 5 minutes more and I’ll be there. It’s nearly 6 PM. I just remembered I still had homework to do. Fuck my life.
“Hello? Ander?” Mom’s voice called out.
“Huh? Yes, Mom?”
“See, you’re not focusing. I said pay attention to what Mr. Kane has to tell you, it’s very important,” she replied, I could almost see the frown on her face. “I’m sorry your Dad chose this hectic week out of all the other days.”
“Alright, that’s enough. Don’t feel sorry, Mom. I’ll get there,” I assured.
“I hope so too. God can only help you. You’ve not been yourself lately, dear. I’m worried sick!” she revealed, tiredness evident. “You need inspection, honey, you’re not yourself.”
Was I ever?
That’s what everyone seems to be telling me. However, I don’t see it...or maybe I do?
“If God wills, Mom. I’ll see you at home. Try not to worry and get some sleep, you sound tired. Eat your dinner, I’ll be home late. Love you lots,” I ended. I couldn’t bear hearing her distressed because of me. It wasn’t good for her health. Mom has high blood pressure and stressing her out, even more, wouldn’t help her.
What was wrong with me?
“Ah, Mr. Leos. I’ve been expecting you.” Mr. Kane greeted me at the entrance of the hospital.
“Good Evening, Mr. Kane,” I greeted trying to act politely. Honestly, it’s almost impossible for me to keep on going like that. I’m sleepy as fuck and all I wanted to do was to slither into my bed.
“I heard you’re not doing well at home, something the matter?” he asked leading me to his office.
I had to refrain myself from rolling my eyes, “No shit.”
“Well, let’s begin the procedure, but first a quick check-up,” he smiled, but it never met his eyes. This was going to be a long evening.
I looked around the hospital.
“Dad isn’t here yet?”
“Unfortunately not yet - bet he’ll join us soon,” he stated as he tapped a clipboard with his pen.
Oh, I was going to break someone’s face today if I can help it.
After a good 5 minutes, I was done with the check-up. Everything seemed normal and I was fit and healthy.
Now it was Question and Answer time. Oh, jeez. At least I can lie on the couch. My eyes locked drowsily for a few seconds before it shot open from the sounds of fingers snapping loudly at me.
“Wake up, boy, your Dad said he couldn’t join us tonight because of some meeting, but he’ll come pick you up after an hour or two,” he announced. I gritted my teeth. Obviously. “In the meantime, I have some emergency to get to and I need you to stay here and wait for me.”
“What?” I asked in dismay. “Where are you going? This isn’t right, you can’t leave a patient like this. I’ve just arrived! ”
“Right, but having an emergency that requires my medical attention is more important. I’m sure you can wait?” he charged towards his table, but it didn’t sound convincing. More like a rhetorical question.
“Medical attention? What will you do? Give them meds or something? You’re a psychiatrist!”
“You never know, kid,” he answered grabbing his bag.
I slumped even deeper into the cold couch. How can this day get any worse? I groaned loudly, “This doesn’t make sense!”
“Well, I have to go, if you need anything you can call the bodyguard your Dad had appointed. He’ll be waiting outside. I’ll see you in an hour,” And without further ado, he left the room.
Can he do that?
“And don’t you overdose yourself if you’ve already drank your pills. Best you sleep while you’re waiting,” he suddenly popped up and closed the door faster than he entered.
What the fuck!
“Is it just me or is everyone acting crazy today?” I pondered, ruffling my hair. I let out a big yawn and laid on the couch. I couldn’t care less.
And, if he says so then I’ll get my ass to sleep. My headache was still there and I’ve got nothing to do. Using my phone would just intensify it.
However, I was confused as heck. I didn’t know hospitals can delay a patient who already had a placed appointment then delay them. I was pissed off because now I’m stuck here for another hour or so depends on when Kane returns.
The pills had done their job. I could feel myself getting sleepy. A second yawn burst out and I checked the time.
Soon enough, I felt myself drooping.
¹ - I need you up. We only have one hour left! How are you going to fight in the tournament if you are acting like this?
² - Alright, I’ll do my best, father.
³ - No way! Do you want to overdose yourself?