One week later
Oliver was back in school. None of the Blackthorns were talking to him and only his close Ravenwood buddies were hanging out with him. He’d steered clear of Blaze all day considering how he’d had to have his nose reconstructed, strangely enough, it looked better than it did before. I was glad I only had one class with him- psychology.
Unfortunately, now that I was with Blaze and the schools had stopped fighting, all our teachers assumed we were amazing problem solvers, we’d gone from the troublemakers to the good kids within days. So when nobody wanted to work with Oliver, Mrs Richards had made me sit with him, me, of all people. The boyfriend of the boy he’d tried to slut-shame.
Boyfriend. That word had taken some getting used to, I’d had a girlfriend before, two besides Holly, but this was different. This was Lyric, I mean Blaze. Blaze didn’t mind me calling him Lyric when we were in private, mostly because that meant he could call me Caylex.
“So you’re with Blaze?” Oliver said.
“Yeah.” I said not looking at him and instead writing down notes from the board despite having the textbook copy in my folder.
He scoffed and I felt my fist curling up under the table, if he said anything about Blaze, I was re-reconstructing his nose.
“Why would you do that?” Oliver sighed.
“Date Blaze, didn’t he just come out of a relationship?”
“That wasn’t a relationship.”
“Exactly, you really think that a boyfriend is what Blaze needs right now?”
Who the fuck did Oliver think he was telling me what Blaze needed. He was the last person on earth who had a say in what Blaze needed, I glared at him with as much anger as I could muster.
“Blaze is none of your business Oliver.”
“I’m just saying Chase. He had a hard time with Taylor, I know they did, they were either making out or fighting, it was super toxic. Blaze had literally no time to just be with himself, if he jumps right into a relationship now, it could be really bad for both him and you.”
“Just shut up, okay? You don’t know what you’re talking about.” I snapped.
I didn’t get mad easily, and I suppose I wasn’t mad at Oliver, at least not as much as I pretended to be. I was frustrated, frustrated that he could be right, I had wondered if Blaze and I had rushed into this, but it had all felt so right and I was crazy about him. But maybe I needed to give Blaze some time.
It was last period, and I usually walked Blaze to Phoenix’s school and then to Storm’s daycare, but I figured it was best I spoke to him now rather than in front of the kids.
“You wanna get pizza? I’m starving.” Blaze said.
“Um, sure, look, Blaze, can we talk?” I said before adding, “In private?”
“Oooooh, if you two wanna make out in private, the second floor janitor’s closet is perfect.” Wild said, she was leaning on the wall kissing Ryder, pulling away momentarily to talk to us.
“And its sound-proof.” Ryder added.
Blaze and I looked at each other and then back to our best friends.
“Did you two do it in the janitor’s closet?” I asked.
Wild shrugged and giggled.
“We wanted to stick it to Miss Rice for giving us homework over the Summer, and do it on her desk, but her door was locked.” Ryder said.
It was like I didn’t even know him anymore.
“Let’s just talk over here.” I said pulling Blaze away as Wild and Ryder worked on turning the school from PG to R-rated.
“What’s up?” He asked.
My heart was beating so fast as though it was only seconds away from shattering- which it kind of was. Every part of me was screaming at me to just shut up and kiss him instead of breaking up with the boy of my dreams. But me being me, I just had to fuck up the one good thing I had going for me.
Chase was calling me again. I declined. He called again, this time I didn’t just decline, I threw my phone against the wall and watched it shatter into eight pieces. Phoenix came walking into my room cautiously, I softened a little, he’d just spent the last hour wondering why I was going crazy and throwing my phone around.
“What’s wrong Daddy?” He asked sitting on my bed.
“Chase broke up with me.” I sighed.
“I don’t know.” I huffed.
He just gave some bullshit reason about wanting to give me space, rather than man up and tell me the fucking truth, he just rambled on about not wanting to rush into stuff and that it wasn’t good for me. I think I knew what was good for me.
“I won’t break up with you Daddy.” Phoenix said climbing onto me and hugging me.
Maybe I didn’t need Chase anyways, I was just fine being with Phoenix and Storm. But still, things had been better when he was here. Not that it mattered now, we were over.
Wild called me at around 5, clearly, she had extracted what had happened from Ryder, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to pick up, but with my phone broken, and her calling the house phone, if I didn’t, then Wild would automatically assume I’d been kidnapped, again- it’s a long story.
I’m fine, I don’t even care, we weren’t anything serious.
Don’t do that Blaze, you and I both know that you and Chase weren’t just messing around
What does it matter now? It’s over.
It’s not over, Chase is just worried about you, after what happened with Taylor, he doesn’t want to hurt you.
Phoenix came running down with his pyjamas on back to front- the one time I let him get dressed by himself and this happens.
“I’m hungry.” He said crossing his arms.
“You just had dinner.” I said.
Is that Phoenix? Hi Phoenix.
You're not on speaker, he can’t hear you, wait, let me call you back in a sec.
Okay, talk to you later, love you
“I want ice-cream.” Phoenix demanded.
“Ice-cream!” Storm screamed excitedly in my arms, shattering my eardrums.
She smiled psychotically and wriggled in my arms as though she was about to morph into a werewolf.
“No, no ice-cream.” I said sternly, we’d been eating way too much ice-cream lately, besides, Phoenix had had some already at school today.
“Because, you already had some.”
“Fine, but I’m not happy about it.” Phoenix said, he was scowling at least kind of, Phoenix was like Chase, neither of them could scowl seriously, they both looked like toddlers when they tried.
“Your unhappiness is acknowledged.”
“I don’t feel acky knowlegged.”
I really shouldn’t have laughed at a four-year-old trying to pronounce acknowledged, but he had said it so seriously, and it reminded me of when Phoenix was really small and all of his Ls were Ws.
“Acky legged.” Storm giggled.
“I don’t like either of you.” Phoenix said turning on his heel and walking away.
I was about to call Wild back before a loud crash noise came from the kitchen. If Phoenix had broken the drawer again, I was going to eat every ounce of ice-cream I could find right in front of him and not share any of it with him. I put Storm down and walked into the kitchen expecting to find Phoenix standing guiltily in the middle of whatever he’d broken.
“Phoenix?” I called, I couldn’t see him at first.
There was a tub of ice-cream on the island table and the first thing I noticed was that the cutlery drawer, was as I had anticipated not in its usual place. And there was cutlery everywhere, what I hadn’t seen coming was Phoenix.
He was lying on the floor motionless, eyes closed, there was a blooming bruise on his forehead, purple and black in colour. Surrounding his head were the shattered pieces of a plate.
“Phoenix, Phoenix?” I said desperately, kneeling next to him, not caring about the shards of porcelain digging into my kneecaps, “Phoenix, wake up.”
I was afraid to touch him, but even so, pressed my fingers to his neck, trying to check if he was breathing, praying silently for the beat of life. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.