When they settle 'neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
Brave by SARA BAREILLES
I shouldn't have pulled away from him, I shouldn't have gotten scared, and I shouldn't have looked so guilty when he asked about it. I should have just said I cut my arm at home while cooking dinner.
I think a part of me wanted someone to find out. But not Elijah.
I could see the pity in his eyes. At least he didn't look disgusted in me… well maybe he was. He might have been, I don't know.
I stopped at my locker and grabbed my math book.
I closed my eyes briefly and sighed, the hallway was crowded, and it wouldn't do well for him to talk to me about this in front of everyone.
I kept walking, I could hear him saying my name again but I just kept moving ahead. I didn't want to talk to him, I didn't want to see his pity, and most importantly I didn't want him to tell anyone.
If Izzy or Scott or even mom and dad find out… they'd probably send me away to some hospital somewhere and force me into therapy or something.
I'm going to have to talk to Elijah sometime. Beg him not to tell anyone, say it was a one time mistake, nothing more nothing less. I can fix this mistake, and hopefully he'll understand.
I could feel his fingertips brush my shoulder and I finally turned around, I knew the bell would ring in a minute, and I could make my class but I didn't know if he could make his.
I shouldn't have tried to run from him, I've already tried this, he's taller than me, has longer legs, he could catch up to me easily. I looked up at him and tried to calm my breathing. "What do you want Elijah?"
Some of our classmates who were late stragglers were pointing and talking. The most popular guy in the school talking to the least popular guy?
He tilted his head to the side and I swear I could see the hurt in his eyes. But it disappeared quickly; maybe I was just imagining it. "We need to talk about this, let's go to the bathroom, the one in the music wing, it's not a multi stall bathroom so we can lock the door and no one can come in and hear us."
I sighed again and looked back towards my math class; my teacher wasn't outside waiting for the stragglers so no help came from that way. He gripped my shoulder tighter, "William, you're not getting out of this. Let's go."
I turned back to him and nodded. The bell rang shrilly as we were walking back down towards the gym, cafeteria, and music hallway.
I couldn't believe I was actually going to talk to him about this. I didn't want to, I really didn't, but I had to make sure he didn't tell anyone about this. I would do anything to stop him.
My family would send me to a hospital; I'd never get to see Allie again. I wouldn't get to see my family, I wouldn't want to.
My feet felt like lead as he led me down the hallway towards the music rooms. It felt like I was walking to my impending doom, my heart beat is racing against my chest.
We walked by the Chorus and Band rooms, his hand planted firmly on my shoulder, and he pushed open the door to the bathroom, there are only two stalls in the room and the door can be locked from the inside. He pushed the lock shut and turned towards me. His eyes unreadable.
Here we go, he's about to tell me that he's going to tell someone. He's going to yell at me. Or worse, he's going to tell me he hates me for being weak. I'm not sure which of these options is the worse one.
I'm afraid he's going to hate me. After the two hugs and him calling me darling a few times I don't think he dislikes me, but I don't think it's anything more than a couple awkward hugs for him, even though to me it meant someone cares…
He's just staring at me… "Elijah, it was a one time mistake. I was upset about something about I just did it. But I will never do it again I swear."
He didn't say anything, just stared. What is he thinking?
I chased him again, probably looked like a creepy weirdo again. There were people watching our exchange and I tried to keep his eyes on me even though they kept drifting towards his second classroom.
People were pointing and talking. I know I'm really popular, and Will is… not. We probably looked weird, just standing in the hall staring at each other. I was expecting him to say no to going to the bathroom with me.
If anyone saw us going in there, which I'm sure no one did, they'd probably have a million questions and everyone would assume we're together. God I wish that was true… But I need to know the truth about him and his cuts.
I couldn't help the anger when he just blatantly lied to me.
"Elijah, it was a one time mistake. I was upset about something about I just did it. But I will never do it again I swear." Will's eyes were looking into mine, pleading for me to understand.
But I don't understand Will. Why would you cut yourself? What could be so bad in your life you have to hurt yourself? I don't get it. But I stayed quiet, just staring at him. Trying to think of the best thing to do.
When I chased him I had a good thought in my mind. I would corner him, force him to tell me the truth, than tell him it's all okay and tell him he maybe needs some help.
Now I don't know what to do, the urge to pull him into my arms once again was coming onto me. To hold onto him and try to force some happiness into his life was something I really wanted to do. But is it someone I will do? I don't know.
Will's eyes were getting wider and wider, he looked terrified. I could feel my fingers stroking his shoulder, trying to calm him.
I could feel the words leaving my lips before I could stop them, "Don't lie to me, and was this really the first time?"
His eyes immediately were downcast and I could see the answer before he even answered, "Okay I've done it more than once but not recently. I don't do it often, only when I get… really upset about something. It makes me feel better. But I swear Elijah I won't do it again. Please don't tell anyone, my parents, Izzy, Scott, they'll kill me, bring me back to clean up the mess, than send me to some hospital. I'm really okay."
As he was talking I was nodding along, his sister and adopted brother would probably kill him than find some way to bring him back and get him help.
"Will… please tell me you'll never do this again. Promise me, you'll never cut again and I won't tell any of them." And I'll make sure you never cut again… I'll keep my eye on you as long as I can, I'll protect you from yourself.
Will nodded possibly a little too quickly, "I swear I won't. This was a one time thing, I was just really upset."
I nodded. "When did you do it? It had to either be after my friends beat you up or my other friends made fun of you and Allie."
He winced, "It was the day you took me home from the party. After Marcus and his friends uh… beat me up."
I shut my eyes and nodded again… I regret not kicking that fucker's ass. I should have done it. Instead of just stopping him, I should have made him regret having ever touched Will.
I pulled him in for a hug, my arms sliding around his back and my hands running up and down his back slowly, pushing at the knots in his muscles. Trying to ease the fear out of him.
"Will I won't tell anyone. I want to keep you safe. That's all I want. If this was really a one time mistake, and you won't do it again no matter what, I won't tell anyone. I just want to make sure you're safe, and I can't do that if your family sends you away somewhere or if everyone in school knows you hurt yourself."
I could feel the tension easing out of him and I kept my hands light, gently running up and down his back.
"I'm sorry Elijah, it won't happen again. I promise." His face was pressed against my shoulder but I could hear him clearly, I could also feel wetness against my shoulder.
"It's okay William. You're going to be okay now I promise. I won't let anyone hurt you again, I'll make sure you're safe here, I won't let anyone make fun of you or beat you up ever again."
I can't really do anything about his home life, but I could at least make sure no one here makes fun of him or hits him ever again here. I can keep him safe.
Will pulled away and I could see the tears in his eyes. "Thank you Elijah."
I ran my fingertips along his jaw and pressed my lips against his cheek, it's not what I wanted to do, but it's a start.