Chapter 48: I Really Did Get Sick
“LET GO OF ME. LET GO RIGHT NOW OR ELSE I WILL SCREAM AND WAKE THE WHOLE FREAKING NEIGHBORHOOD.”
The loudness of my voice must knock some sense into Levi’s head as he finally lets go of my wrists. He stumbles backwards and so no I, only he does is gracefully enough to catch his balance while I go tumbling back to the ground.
He quickly rushes to my side offering his hand.
“Don’t.” I refuse as I take my time to rise up on my own.
Levi stands there awkwardly as he watches me dust myself off.
I untie the hoodie he had draped across my shoulders not long ago.
I hold it out to him. “I don’t need this. I’m going back inside.”
He opens his mouth as if to say something but stops as I speak again.
“Don’t do this again. Don’t lure me out here at night, don’t hold onto to me like that despite me clearly not wanting it, and don’t ever, ever ask anyone to ‘do you a favor’ again.” I tiredly tell him as I brush my arm against my face to wipe up any lingering wetness from crying before.
“But-” Levi sputters out but again his mouth shuts when I give him a tired but strict glare.
“Despite everything you just told me or maybe even because of everything you just told me I need ever more time now to think over how I feel and what I’m going to do about this whole situation. I advise you avoid me and not talk to me unless I come to you first.” I have no idea where I get the strength to say all this as I feel like I’m going to collapse at any moment from the pounding in my chest and head.
I just want to go back inside away from him.
I turn away to leave but then turn back like an afterthought. “Oh, and I also advise you not tell your brother about this either.” I say. Levi and Silas haven’t had a good relationship for awhile and it’s apparent that this whole situation has only made it worse. They already had gotten in a fight recently. Silas is impulsive and doesn’t think first so I don’t want more trouble to be caused right now.
Levi’s expression is blank again. Like some switch was turned off he’s back to being cold and unfeeling. “Why can’t I tell Silas? What is Silas to you other than an annoyance who caused you to get bullied?” He says all in monotone.
I feel my right eye twitch. “Say that again. Let’s make it even more clear now. Who’s fault was it really that I got bullied? Even if Silas played his part weren’t you the one who set everything in motion from the start? You said you regretted it but then you did it all over again as if you didn’t learn your lesson the first time. It’s like these past four years were nothing but some charade.”
I shake my head as I narrow my eyes at him. “So, don’t you dare speak about your brother like that. Also, my relationship with him is none of your concern. I’m not your girlfriend. I’ve never been your girlfriend. Frankly right now I don’t even think we can be friends anymore. So what Silas is to me is none of your concern.” I add.
I could easily tell him that Silas is my boyfriend but I don’t because as I made it clear it is none of his business. Also he seems unstable and the last thing I want is him to direct this type of scary energy at Silas.
Levi hangs his head down low again. “I’m sorry.”
For a moment I waver. I want to apologize for being harsh but even forgetting about in the past, remembering when I’ve been put through recently is enough to make my blood boil. I don’t turn back this time as I walk away, leaving Levi standing there alone in the dark.
Usually an incident like this would hinder me from sleeping but at this point I’m extremely exhausted from everything and I overall feel terrible. As soon as I get back to my bedroom I collapse on my bed and fall asleep without even covering myself with a sheet or comforter.
I wake up much later to a hand on my forehead.
As I startle I hear my mother’s voice shush me, “You have a really nasty fever. Go back to sleep, sweetheart.”
I still try to sit up but she barely shoves my shoulder, keeping me down. “How many times do I have to tell you not to sneak out in the night without at least a blanket or jacket? Especially when you’ve been not getting enough sleep as is. My, oh my. This is the second time you’ve been sickly in less that a week. Don’t make a fuss and go back to sleep right now.” She chides.
I almost want to ask how she knows I sneaked out of the house, however she always seems to know. Maybe it’s a mother’s intuation? So, I let that go. Instead I groan out, “What about school?”
My mom moves her hand from my forehead for a moment only to lightly smack it back in place causing me to let out a yelp out of surprise. “I said go back to sleep! School can wait until you’re not burning up as hot as the sun in the shy.”
There’s no arguing with my mom once she’s got her mind settled on something.
So I close my eyes not expecting myself to actually fall back asleep but I do.
I dream of the time I want to forget the most.
I’m thirteen again standing in the clearing right behind the school building. Four girls around my age stand in front of me with smirks on their faces and their arms crossed.
For some reason their faces are a blank canvas of no features at all. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t recall what they looked like after all this time or if it’s because of the countless times this happened that my mind can’t remember one group of bullies from the next.
“This pathetic thing really thinks it can go around stealing another person’s boyfriend? Gross.” One of the girls says with a wicked laugh.
Another girl uncrossed her arms and reached her arm out to latch her hand on my hair giving it a tug. “Ew. Even the texture of her hair is nasty. It feels like I’m touching an brushed horse mane.”
I bite down hard on my lip to keep from screaming out in pain because I know by now that’s what they want.
The girl lets go of my hair but only after tripping me to the ground.
“Don’t compare her to a horse. That would be an insult to horses. She’s more like a cow and I think it’s time to feed this baby cow some milk.” The third girl opens a small carton of milk that she must have saved from lunch time before pouring it over my head.
The fourth girl in the group snaps away on her blackberry phone as the other three girls make mooing sounds at me.
I could fight back. I should, but what good would that do? I know I might be able to take on one or two of them but I can’t out strength all four of them at once. Not even in my dreams would I dare try.
Long after they leave I still don’t move as I kneel there on the ground with milk drinking from my hair and clothes.
Tears scream down my face but my milk soaked fringe is plastered to my face hiding my teary eyes.
Suddenly I feel something sweep at my fringe, pushing it back from my face.
Sad eyes and a half smile fill my gaze.
It’s him again.
Why does he always manage to find me whenever something like this happens?
I feel a little guilty for wishing is was his brother but I already know Silas won’t come to my rescue anymore.
“You’re starting to shiver. If you stay out here like this you’ll end up getting sick. You always did have a weak body, Rin.” Levi says as a single tear drips down his face. “Come on. Let’s go home and get you cleaned up.” He murmurs as he unzips the jacket he’s wearing and shrugs it off before putting it on me and zipping it all the way to the top.
“It’ll get dirty.” I try to protest as my hands go to the zipper, but he stops me.
“It’s fine if it does. It can easier be clean. I’m more concerned about you getting sick so keep that on onto we get to your house.” He says as he pulls me up. He holds tightly onto my hand even though I don’t hold his back. “Come on, hurry.” He’s smiling brighter now but it still doesn’t reach his eyes. His smile can’t hide the worried and scared expression on his face.
Then he turns away as he starts to hurry off pulling me along. All I can do is stare at his back as I try my best to keep up.
“Levi, am I really that disgusting?” I can’t help but whisper out.
He stops in his tracks for a moment causing me to stop as well. He turns to look at me with a serious expression as he shakes his head. “You’re not disgusting. You’ll never be disgusting. You did nothing wrong. The disgusting ones are the ones who did this to you.” His words comfort me though I can’t help but notice the distant look in his eyes for the first time.
Were his eyes like this during that time and I never noticed or is it just like that in this dream?
As he pulls me forward again we start to run. “Come on! Come on! Come on!” His voice echoes before it begins to change.
Brown hair starts to fade until it turns blonde. The face that peers back at me now transforms before my eyes from Levi’s to Silas’.
“I should have protected you back then...”
I wake up to something cold being pressed to my face.
With my eyes still shut I try to sit up. I feel someone push my shoulders down in a hurry.
At first I think it’s my mom again but then my eyes opens wide as I hear a familiar deep voice, “A patient should take it easy. Don’t sit up so quick or you’re going to make your head spin.”
Silas smirks at me as he dangles in front of my face a narrow bright green packaging with the words “Melona” right on it in bold black lettering.
“I heard you weren’t feeling so good so I thought I’d get you your favorite ice pop.” He tells me.
I reach for it but he pulls it just out of my grasp.
He laughs as I make a dissatisfied sound.
“Your mom told me I shouldn’t wake you, but I didn’t want this to melt. She barely even let me in the house without a nice long lecture telling me that if I’m going to make you sneak out at night that I need to be responsible enough to make sure you keep warm.” He explains in a tone that sounds accusatory.
I freeze. Oh no.
“Relax. Your temperature will rise more if you worry so much. We’ll talk about that later.” His tone softens up again as he brushes his free hand over my head gingerly. “You still have a light fever I think even after you slept well into the afternoon.”
He slowly helps me sit up before me opens the top of the packaging, pushing the melon flavored ice bar about half way out of the packaging.
I reach for it but he pulls it back out of my reach again. “Say ah.”
I feel my face flush. I’m not sure if it’s from the fever or what the implication of Silas feeding me my favorite icy treat for on days when I don’t feel good.
I let out a sigh before opening my mouth. “...A-Ah.” I close my eyes in embarrassment as Silas lets out a small laugh.
“I’m just kidding.” He murmurs before placing the packages side of the ice bar in my hand.
“You’re mean.” I murmur before taking a small bite.
After I finish the Melona ice bar Silas makes me drink some water before having me lay down again.
“About what my mom said. Last night-” I’m unable to finish my sentence as my door opens and my mom comes in.
She tells Silas he’s been here long enough before shooing him out and then placing a damp washcloth soothed in warm honey herb water on my head.
My feel my eyes start to close again.
“Thank you for always taking care of me, momma.” I murmur out as I drift off.