Chase had a girlfriend. Chase had a girlfriend. Why should I care? I had an amazing boyfriend. Screw Chase Lopez, I didn’t even like him. But all I could think about was his scars.
It was like he had been struck by lightning. I couldn’t believe his Dad did that to him. It felt wrong just keeping it to myself. I had to tell someone. No matter how much Chase hated me. But who could I tell?
The school already knew but did nothing, so who else would help?
“What do you know about Holly Valentine?” I asked Wild who was busy stabbing a piece of lettuce repeatedly with her plastic knife.
She didn’t seem to hear me.
“Wild. I thinks it’s dead.” I said gravely.
“You can never be too sure.” She said seriously, “Holly V, did you say?”
“Yeah, what’s she like?”
“Well, she’s nice, confident, her family is crazy.”
“Yeah, her step-brother is also her uncle, and her Dad is her foster brother. It’s complicated.”
How does that even happen? Families could get so complicated sometimes, although that didn’t really matter if you all loved each other.
“She’s pretty smart too, she knows 6 languages. What do you want with her?”
“Nothing, just heard some kids talking about her and Chase.”
Wild didn’t say anything, she just nodded. She was hiding something.
“What?” I asked.
“You’ve just been very interested in Chase lately.”
“Shut up. I was just asking, if anything I feel sorry for the girl.”
Yes, that was it, exactly. I felt sorry for her, kissing Chase’s lips, looking into his hazel eyes and running her hands through his hair. As if I could ever imagine doing such a thing. He probably sucked in bed too.
“Right, of course you do. Blaze, I love you, but you get jealous way too easily.” She said dissecting the stem of her lettuce leaf.
“I do not, why would I be jealous when there’s nothing to be jealous of?”
That made sense, right?
Holly stood up suddenly and made her way to the water table. That was one thing I didn’t understand, at Ravenwood, they had a table with cups of water to drink with a dispenser and everything. Blackthorn didn’t even have a working fountain, if we were thirsty most of the older kids would nick stuff from the teacher’s lounge and sell it for a few quid, but most of the time, we just used the art room taps. It built up our immune system.
As she was coming back, her feet shifted slightly so she was now headed past mine and Wild’s table with the other Blackthorn popular kids. Completely out of the blue, she fell forwards a little drenching Wild in water.
Wild stood up and huffed glaring at Holly sharply. Holly laughed mumbling some sort of sarcastic apology.
“Thought you’d be used to getting wet.” Holly snickered glancing to the other Ravenwood girls.
All the Blackthorns immediately grew silent, looking at each other nervously. Wild hadn’t grown up in the best of circumstances, she had learned to take care of herself. I had only seen her fight once and once was enough. We had always joked that Wild’s looks were her third greatest asset, her wits and combat skills first and second respectively.
“Wild, let’s go to class.” Lucas, one of the Blackthorn boys, said standing up.
“If you have something to say to me, fucking say it.” Wild said calmly.
Hearing Wild swear was a whole new experience. She had the most eloquent British accent ever, so naturally swear words sounded 10 times scarier.
“Make me bitch.” Holly said before winking at Chase subtly.
What was actually going on at this point?
Wild took a few steps towards Holly, they were roughly the same height with Wild wearing her non-school regulation high-heeled boots.
“Don’t test me.” Wild growled.
Chase stood up too, I only then realised Ryder wasn’t there, it was just him and some other irrelevant Ravenwood kids. He took a few paces towards the girls; I was up too just in case things escalated.
“What are you going to do? Sleep with my boyfriend?” Holly snarled glancing momentarily at Chase.
“Alright, why don’t we just break it up?” Chase said calmly taking Holly’s shoulder, she shook him off her.
Out of nowhere, Holly shoved Wild. The one thing you should now about Wild, is she doesn’t take shit from anyone. She didn’t shove Holly back, she very calmly, snatched Holly’s phone and dropped it into the trash with all the food scraps.
“You bitch.” Holly swore reaching for a glass of nearby water.
But Wild got there first, taking a handful of the mutilated lettuce leaves from her table and half-smashing half-throwing them into Holly’s face.
She stumbled back and as Wild was about to lunge at her again, Chase caught her around the waist, holding her back. Wild wasn’t properly angry yet, else Chase wouldn’t have stood a chance.
“Leave her alone.” I shouted shoving Chase.
“Did you see what she did to Holly?” Chase breathed.
“She started it.” Wild said indignantly, “Don’t start stuff you can’t finish, not with me.”
Chase ran a hand through his hair narrowing his eyes at me, that came slightly out of nowhere. Why was he mad at me? Wild looked at me confused; I really didn’t know what the fucking hell was happening right now.
“How old are you Wild, 4? She started it? Then again that’s just how Blackthorns are, a little primitive, right?”
Chase wanted to fight right now. Because he knew now, I had no choice. Although the different schools weren’t exactly teams, if they were, Chase and I would be the captains. And he knew, if he said something bad about Blackthorns, I was the one who dealt with it.
“You want to go right now Chase.” I said standing up straighter.
He was about to reply, but I’ll never know what the next words out of his mouth would have been, because we were interrupted.
“Mr Lopez, Mr Nightshade, come with me please.” Mr Owens said sharply.
Well, he wasn’t giving us a gold star that’s for sure. He gestured for us to sit in front of his desk, I edged my seat as far away from Chase as possible.
We always fought, but it was mostly just fun I guess, this was different. I didn’t know what this was.
“You’re very lucky I caught you before punches were thrown. And I know what you’re thinking, and yes, we will deal with Miss Jackson and Miss Valentine later. But I am quite disappointed I must say.”
The disappointed teacher, I supposed when I was younger the word disappointed must have had some effect. Now it meant nothing to me.
“Both of you have refused to play nice, and as a result, I will need to take this matter up with your parents.”
Immediately, Chase stiffened and Mr Owens nodded smiling a little.
“In person, I think we need to have a sit down all together. I understand Chase, that your father is a very busy man, so perhaps just having your mother is enough.”
So, Mr Owens knew? Of course, he knew, he gave Chase’s mother those leaflets. Rage burned inside of me, if Mr Owens bloody knew why wasn’t he doing anything about it? I couldn’t, Chase would hate me forever, or more so that he already did now.
Not that I cared about his opinion or anything, I just didn’t want that on my conscious.
Hold on, did Mr Owens say an in-person meeting? No way, that couldn’t work, I couldn’t do that, my mother wasn’t here. And if the school found out I was living alone with two kids under 5, social services would swoop in and ruin the life I was trying to hold together.
I needed a plan. What would Mum do? She was always good at getting herself out of situations like this. But I knew exactly what Mum would do. I didn’t want to do it, I really didn’t. But there was no choice. I wasn’t having Phoenix and Storm growing up in foster care.
“Chase, can I have a minute with Mr Owens?” I said.
He shrugged and left, wanting to get out of there as fast as possible.
“Did you have something on your mind Blaze?” Mr Owens asked folding his hands on his desk.
“I have a preposition for you.” I said taking my jacket off.
“Of course, you do.” He half-smiled half-sighed.
I stood up, walking around to his side of the desk, his spun his chair round to the side to face me so his legs were no longer under the table.
“Mum would lose her mind if she thought I were in trouble.” I said stepping a little closer.
“I’m sure we can approach this delicately, she’ll understand.” Mr Owens said gently.
“I’m not sure she will.” I whispered kneeling on the floor in front of him.
I reached for his belt, undoing it as quickly as possible, he froze for a few seconds, I took this as permission to continue.
“I won’t tell anyone.” I said in a low quiet voice.
“Blaze.” Mr Owens said abruptly.
He stood up suddenly, backing away into the wall suddenly, I stood up too, pacing away as well.
“Blaze...” Mr Owens said gently, he was whispering.
Words failed me in that moment.
“Blaze, why would you do that?” He asked, more curious that angry, in fact there wasn’t a trace of anger in his voice at all
“I’m sorry.” I murmured.
He must have thought I was a slut, like everybody else in this fucking school did. I grabbed my jacket hastily.
“Alright, I won’t speak to your mother about this.”
Nothing, no words, nothing came out of my mouth, not even a thank you.
“Blaze, talk to me.” He said, voice a little shaken, “Does your mother do this? Are any teachers in the school doing stuff like that with you?”
“It was in a book,” I said, it was a lie, a pathetic lie, “I thought it would work.”
"I'm going to go..."
"Please, just don't tell anyone."
It didn’t matter, I had got what I wanted, right? No meeting, nothing, everything was fine. But if everything was fine, why did I feel like crying? I shook my head, I had nothing to cry about. I was fine.