Ready To Fight
I stood watching the guys pack all of our bags into the car ready to return back to campus, we stayed at the Lake house for two weeks but I felt like so much had happened in those fourteen days that it changed our whole dynamic as a group. I honestly felt like something bonded us over the break and we were now closer than ever.
“Hey, I will swap rooms in a heartbeat if she’s going to be a problem.” Liam tucked his arms around my waist from behind and rested his head on my shoulder. I pulled his arms tighter around me, feeling completely safe and warm within them.
“No you don’t need to do that, Reece and I will never be the best of friends but I understand that she’s your friend and I’m not going to come between your friendship. I am okay with it, honestly.” And I wasn’t lying, I trusted Liam with my whole heart and although I really struggled with Reece at first I now fully believe she is nothing more than just one of his friends.
“Liam would you help!” Jordan complained, throwing one of the bags at our feet. Reluctantly Liam unwrapped himself from my body and slung the bag over his shoulder making harmless jokes just to wind Jordan up.
Something changed within Liam the day he let his friends in on his truth. Brick by brick his walls crumbled, letting in soft beams of light and weakening the hard exterior that he puts up around himself. Friendship looked beautiful on him. Liam always was popular, surrounded by friends and unfortunately girls but that moment in the lake house changed him in a way I never imagined. It allowed him to accept the friendship instead of just carry it. He let himself feel the love and care his friends had for him and it made his heavy heart just that little bit lighter.
Once everything was loaded we said our goodbyes knowing we wouldn’t see each other again for a few weeks. Everyone broke off and got into their individual cars but Liam lingered back like he had something he wanted say but he couldn’t find the words.
“Liv, when we get back...” He rubbed the back of his neck nervously and paused, trying to find the words.
“Olive are you coming?” Jordan shouted from his car window.
“Just a minute.” I replied.
“You’re not riding with me?” Liams brows furrowed with confusion and a deep ‘V’ appeared on the center of his forehead, I just wanted to kiss it away.
“Yeah I’ll ride with you.” I answered, unable to keep the smile from my face. “What was you going to tell me?” He shook his head slightly and gave a small smile, it didn’t sparkle his eyes and I knew there was something troubling him. Jordan started honking his horn loudly and my eyes rolled.
“It doesn’t matter, it can wait.” Liam said. “Aren’t you going to tell him?” He laughed.
“No, let’s go.” We climbed onto his motorbike and as Liam drove past Jordan he flipped him the bird.
We spent hours on the road, miles sped away under the black wheels and I felt nervous returning back to place that Liam and I were not at our best. But the insecurity made me grip his chest tighter and rest my head against the cool leather of his back. Being this close to him, feeling his body sway from side to side with the movement of the mechanical horse, smelling his heavenly scent that emitted from him like he was advertising the product somehow seemed to settle my nerves. I just knew in my heart from here on out Liam and I would be okay. We were an hour away from campus but Liam pulled up outside an IHOP and helped me down from the bike.
“You’re hungry?” I asked, un-clipping my helmet and putting it in the seat compartment of his bike. He held out his hand and interlocked our fingers, his palm was clammy but I loved the feeling of his skin against mine. It made all of my worries melt away and made me feel utterly secure.
“I just can’t go back yet.” He muttered nervously.
We took a seat at one of the tables and he ordered us both a stack of pancakes with Nutella, he got strawberries for himself and blueberries for me. My heart swelled that remembered the small detail I was allergic to strawberries but I didn't say anything. I could tell he was nervous but I had no idea what was playing on his mind.
“Olivia...” He started.
“When we get back...”
“Yeah?” I encouraged.
A server brought over our pancakes, I wasn’t hungry before but they looked and smelt delicious so instantly my stomach woke up. Liam tapped his thumb on the table and then took a settling breath.
“I’ve eaten so much these past couple of weeks and I haven’t trained at all getting back into it is going to be hard.” He gave me half a smile and tucked into his pancakes. My brow furrowed at him. I reached over and placed my hand over his, halting his fork just as he was about to raise it.
His eyes floated up to mine, they were ultramarine. Liams eyes were the exact moment you watch the waves crashing on the shore and although you may have seen the same dance happen a thousand times you could not look away. Because watching the waves break was mesmerizing, calming and oh so beautiful.
“Liam, whatever you’re trying to say... just say it.” He released his grip around the fork and slipped his fingers into mine. I could see his whole chest heave with the viciousness of his breath intake and he did small nod of encouragement solely for the benefit of himself.
“Olivia...” He begun “When we get back...” Another deep breath “There is something I need to do.” I nodded slowly.
Is this it?
The moment he finally admits to himself that he needs help, help much stronger than any of us can give. The pivotal moment in his life where things start changing for the better, he starts healing, really healing.
“What?” I whispered, feeling palpitations break out in my chest.
“I’m gonna face him Liv, I’m gonna tell the cops everything that he did. I will fight him and I will win.” His words took me by complete surprise. I didn’t think this was even an option he was considering but admittedly after learning that the creep still works with children it has been on my mind daily. Liam didn’t seem confident, but did seem sure. He was motivated to do this probably for the same reason.
“Liam...” There were a billion words running around my mind but that’s all I managed to say.
“Will you do something for me?” He asked.
“Of course.” I said without skipping a beat.
Liam took a deep breath, as if saying the words on his mind out loud was committing to them entirely and a fleeting moment of doubt crossed his face but I waited patiently.
“Will you come with me when I put a statement in?” He pulled his face downwards, too ashamed to look at me in a moment where he felt weak for asking for help. I cupped his chin and gently pushed his head up.
“If you’re ready to fight then I will be right beside you with my weapons.” He smiled shyly at me and gave my hand a small squeeze for reassurance.