Chp. 15: Skating Rink
This Chapter specifically contains sensitive topics...
“What the shit...” May grumbles, staring at the empty theatre parking lot. She slams the car door shut and walks up to the glass, double doors. She reads the closed sign, and shakes her head, confused, “They’re closed?!”
“Seems like it...” I reply, also stepping out of the car, and walking up next to her. I push up my glasses, confused, “But why?”
“They have rats,” Stormy states, scrolling through her phone. We turn to face her, as she continues, “There’s a rat infestation, and they’re having the placed exterminated...”
“Well, I’ll be damned...” May says, putting her hands on her hips, turning back to look at the building, “They just destroyed all of our plans...”
“Hell, yeah they did...” I reply, sighing, feeling slightly disappointed.
It’s currently 6:10, and we just arrived at the movies, which is closed. I’m not sure what we’re going to do now since that was the only thing we had planned as far as I know.
OH! About yesterday! It was great!
After Travis and I made the cake and she looked at it, Luka’s Mom paid extra for what was originally offered. Hopefully, I get recommended to someone else to cater!
And possibly, bring Travis with me again...
“Well...you know what this means...” May says, thoughtfully, “We go roller-skating.”
“Oooo! Skating sounds fun! I haven’t been roller-skating in forever!!” Stormy says, excitedly, “Last time I went, it was when we did that double date! Remember May?”
“How could not,” May replies, smiling, “Jam Jam was falling all over the place.”
“What about you, Tiffany? Have you ever been skating?” Stormy asks, looking over at me. I shake my head, “No. Never imagined I would.”
“How come?” May asks, raising a brow. I clear my throat, awkwardly, “Well...I uh...”
May and Stormy both stare at me, concerned. I sigh, “I’m...I’m afraid of roller-skating...”
“NO!!! I REFUSE!!!!” I shout, grabbing the edge of the skating rink wall, “WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!?!”
People watch, wide-eyed, as May and Stormy and May both struggle to get me into the skating rink. I continue protesting, and May groans, “GURL!!! LET GO OF THE DAMN WALL!!!”
“NO!! YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!!!!”
“Tiffany!” Stormy whines, grabbing onto my waist, May trying to pry my fingers bizarre, “Why are you afraid of the skating rink?!”
“I don’t wanna say!!”
May huffs, letting go of my fingers. She skates backward a little, placing her hands on her hips, “I’m sure it’s not that embarrassing...” Stormy lets go of my waist, and sighs, skating next to May, “Just tell us, and we’ll might stop,” She then does air quotes, ” ‘tormenting’ you...”
I stand upright, letting go of the wall. I turn to face them, barely keeping upright due to wearing these stupid skates. I glare at them, pushing up my glasses, “You were tormenting me, and you have to promise not to laugh...”
May raises a brow, “Okay, but I don’t get why we would.” Stormy shrugs, crossing her arms, “Let’s hear it.” I take a deep breath, “Well...it was Halloween night...2010. There was a party happening. It was a competition, and I was so excited to go out and show my moves...I had been practicing for weeks...Daniel and I-”
“What’s with the dramatics?” May interrupts, staring at me, amusement in her eyes. “They’re important to what I’m about to say next,” I reply, crossing my arms, “And if you didn’t know already, it’s rude to interrupt.”
“Okay! Just get on with the story! I wanna know what about roller-skating is scary,” Stormy says, laughing. I sigh, pulling at my sleeves, “Okay, okay, okay, long story short, I peed myself because I got so nervous, and fell trying to run away...I was 6...”
My Dad had to carry me out wearing his jacket because I didn’t want to show the pee stain on my pants in front of everyone...
I just knew all of the other kids would laugh at me...
May and Stormy both stare at me, mouths agape. I blush, embarrassed, looking everywhere but at them, “Yeah, I know, pretty sad...”
“Wow...that’s traumatizing for a 6-year-old...” May mumbles, a twinge of guilt on her face.
“It really is...” Stormy agrees, slightly frowning, “But that was the past!!! We’re moving onto the present! Sure, the last time you did it was...not so pleasant, but you can’t focus on that negative part forever!! It’s always good to try and work through your fears!!”
“You should become a motivational speaker,” May says, and Stormy grins cheekily.
“I know right!! I’m the best at giving advice! Just ask my fans!!!”
“I don’t know, Storm...” I reply, apprehensively, “You guys could just skate without me-”
“Nope! You’re already wearing skates. Let’s go,” May says, grabbing my arm. “Yep!” Stormy says, grabbing my other arm. They both pull me into the rink. I yelp, my legs going stiff as I roll onto the floor, “Guys! Guys! No!”
“We got you,” May says, smiling sweetly, “Stop panicking!”
They let go of my arms, and I carefully roll across the floor.
Someone pray for me...
“You know, I’m starting to feel like a bad friend because I keep lying to the girls,” Christian states, shoving his phone into his pocket. He looks to Jamie, “What about you? You ever feel bad about lying, Jamie?”
He shrugs, back against the door; his dreads pulled back into a man bun, “Technically, we’re not lying. We are hanging out, just not in the way they think we are.” Christian pauses, thinking, “Well...I guess that makes sense.”
“Plus,” I chime in, as I wrap my hands in bandages, “they don’t know anything about this. If we told them, they wouldn’t understand.” Christian sighs, “Yeah, you’re right, but this guilt is starting to get to me...”
Not me. What the girls don’t know, won’t hurt ’em...
He rolls back his sleeve, checking the time, “It’s almost time, everyone. They’ll be here soon.” Walking out from the back with a bottle of Everclear, Joshua says, excitedly, “Hell yeah!!!”
Everclear, a very expensive alcohol if you get the nice brand that’s not from the Gas Station.
And most definitely, not easy to get your hands on if not of drinking age...
He hands me the bottle, asking, “You ready? I heard this guy is tough.” I stare at the bottle, thoughtfully. I nod, feeling an adrenaline rush.
“You bet your ass I am,” I reply, smirking. I pull off the top of the bottle and bring it to my lips. I chug the bottle of Everclear, taking large gulps. My face scrunches at the burning feeling, it consuming my senses.
SHIT!! I FORGOT!!
That burns when you just chug it!!!
Pulling the bottle from my lips, I swallow hard, shaking my head. I cough, feeling a burning sensation lingering in my mouth, “Damn, I forgot that shit burns when you drink it.”
“I could’ve told you that,” Christian chuckles, peeking out the window. Joshua snatches the bottle from my hand, staring at it dumbfounded, “Damn! You drunk half the bottle!”
“Sorry, but the more wasted I am, the better. I’m tryna win this match, not get my ass beat.” I state, smirking, “You are trying to win that 10 grand, right?”
“Well yeah! It’s just it was hard as hell getting this,” Joshua says defensively, as he takes a swig of the bottle.
Suddenly, the crowd outside the door gets louder, now accompanied by the sound of loud engines. We all perk up, I standing up, and stretching as Joshua states, “Alright, Travis, this is it! Give ’em hell!!”
I look over at him, and chuckle, “Thanks, Josh.” Christian looks to the door, as bright motorcycle headlights head in the direction of the building.
“That must be the competitor.” He states grinning. He looks over at me, “You ready to kick some ass?”
Popping my knuckles, I grin, feeling a little tipsy, “Born ready.”
Jamie opens the door for me, and I step out seeing the semi-large crowd. They all cheer me on as I walk by them. I make my way to the center, meeting my opponent.
He’s tall, bald, wears a black biker jacket, and big, but not muscle-wise. His beard is long and red brown. I’d say he’s around early, to mid-thirties, and definitely has more experience with this whole street fighting thing than I do.
I take a deep breath, as people scream and shout.
“BEAT HIS ASS!!!”
“THIS SHOULD BE LIGHT WORK!!!”
“HE’S JUST A KID!!!!”
“TAKE HIM DOWN!!!”
The Giant man sizes me up, looking underwhelmed. “Wow...” He mumbles, tsking.
Not the first time I’ve been underestimated...
Most guys I find myself fighting are huge compared to me, an 18-year-old boy...
“So,” The Giant man says, “you’re “The Reel Fighter?” You don’t seem like you’d cause me much trouble...”
I chuckle, bitterly, “So, you’ve heard of me? I wish I could say the same for you...” Everyone that’s listening, goes silent after I state that, and the Giant man glares at me, hands balling up into fists.
“The fuck you say to me?” He growls, and I smirk.
“Oh, sorry. Did I strike a nerve?”
“MAY THE BEST MAN WIN!!!!” The Ref says, people starting to take several steps back. I continue grinning at him, his eyes staring daggers into mine.
“I’m looking forward to ripping the brow piercing out of your face,” The man growls, lowly, raising his fists.
“Those are some bold words from a guy with a non-existent reputation,” I retort, also raising my fists, “But we’ll see.”
“GO!!!” The Ref says, and immediately the man shoves me. I grunt, stumbling back as he charges at me full speed, roaring, “YOUR ASS IS GRASS!!!!”
I duck as he swings a punch, it hitting someone else. I wrap my arms around his knees, and he falls backward, gasping. He crashes into the ground with a loud thud, the sound of the concrete scraping his back.
I climb on top of him and repetitively punch him in the face. His bottom lip bust, and his nose starts bleeding. Grabbing my arms, he screams, “GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME!!!!”
He head butts me and throws me off him. I crash into the ground, as everyone shouts random things.
“GET YOUR ASS UP!!!!”
“I TOLD THAT THIS KID WAS LIGHT WORK!!!!”
My head’s throbbing and I squeeze my eyes close from the pain.
Stumbling onto his feet, the man walks up to me, but I kick him in the crotch before he could get any closer. He grunts, stumbling backward holding his crotch. I jump back onto my feet and uppercut him in the gut. He grunts, face contorting with pain, and I quickly land another punch to his jaw.
I draw my fist back again, but the man quickly swings a punch to my side, hard. I gasp, my eyes widening, and stumble back. I crumble to my knees, cradling my stomach. I hiss with pain, feeling tears come to my eyes.
The feeling ripples throughout my body as I say through clenched teeth, “WHAT THE F-SON OF A-MOTHER-”
He punches me in the jaw, and I fall backward, crashing onto my back. I lay on the ground, feeling warm liquid rolling down my lip and chin, writhing in pain.
My heads spinning and I’m pretty sure if I were to stand up, I’d just fall over.
“DON’T TELL ME YOU’RE DONE YET!!!!” The man shouts, and everyone roars with excitement.
“STOP LETTING HIM KICK YOUR ASS!!!!”
“THAT’S WHAT YOU GET FOR TALKING SHIT!!!”
“ALL BARK AND NO BITE!!!!”
Slowly, I sit up, using the back of my hand to wipe my face. I spit blood on the ground, and glare up at him, “You...yell a lot...you know that?”
“Looks like someone’s glutton for punishment,” The man growls, trying to kick me, but I duck.
I kick him in the shin and drag my foot across the ground under his feet. He falls onto the ground, and I stumble back onto my feet.
The man lays on the ground and tries standing back up, but I kick him in the face. He falls back, blood rolling down his face as he grunts, “Ah...fuck...”
I stand over him, breathing heavily, and everyone cheers.
“WE HAVE A WINNER!!!” The Ref shouts, walking up to me, grabbing my bloody fist. He raises it in the air, and the crowd goes wild.
I look around noticing everyone chanting my name. I smirk, feeling triumphant, as the Ref lets go of my hand.
“WOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!” Josh shouts running through the crowd, “WE’RE GOING TO BE RICH!!!!!” He tackles me, and I hiss, shoving him off, “OW!!! JOSH!!! YOU BITCH!!!”
He jumps back, awkwardly, “Sorry...”
I roll out into the middle of the skating rink and t-pose finally finding balance.
I suddenly want to re-enact the Titanic now...
“You’re doing great, Tiff!” Stormy shouts, skating around me with ease, her black hair tied back into a ponytail, “Just relax!”
“GET AWAY FROM ME!!!” I shout, panicked. I try to carefully roll backward, and she laughs as I try to remain upright, “Can’t you see I’m trying to get away from you?!”
We’ve been skating for about an hour, and I’ve been trying to get away from May and Stormy the whole time. They want me to try doing these crazy tricks and moves but I refuse.
I could get hurt!!!
“Just keep skating! Just keep skating!” May suddenly appears, grabbing my arm, and I yelp. “MAY!” I shout as she grins. She then sings, “Just keep skating, skating!”
“Stop singing a parody of Nemo!” I reply, narrowing my eyes at her, as Stormy grabs my other arm. They both begin singing together as they pull me with them.
“GUYS!!!!” I shout, nervously, “Why do you hate me?!”
Before I know it, I fall onto my butt with an oof. Stormy and May both laugh, and I find myself laughing along with them.
After 30 more minutes of me screaming hysterically and falling a few times on my butt, we stop by the cafe area of the building.
We all sit in a booth, I and Stormy on one side, and May sitting on the other we all laughing.
“I’m telling you, Stormy, the cashier was so trying to hit on you,” I laugh, May agreeing with me. “Not only that, but he’s a fan of you. With you being an Instagram Model or whatever.”
“Yep! I’m not surprised,” She replies, giggling, “It’s not the first time this has happened.”
I calm down a bit, and ask, “If you don’t mind me asking, Stormy, what made you want to become an Instagram Model? I’ve always wondered that...”
May suddenly stops laughing and looks to Stormy, eyes full of concern. Stormy smiles softly, “I get that question a lot, I don’t mind.”
“Stormy, you don’t have to...” May suddenly blurts, face softening with sadness. Stormy shakes her head, eyes full of sincerity, “I don’t mind to tell. I trust Tiffany. I’m more than happy to tell her.”
I look from the both of them, feeling like I shouldn’t have asked.
The whole atmosphere has changed. It feels tense.
I look to Stormy, feeling regretful, “Um...Stormy...you don’t have to answer that if...it’s personal.”
Stormy looks at me and laughs. She grabs my hand, and holds it tightly in hers, “But that’s the thing, I want to tell you something personal about me. All of my friends know. And I consider you a friend.” I nod, as she gives my hand a light squeeze.
She sighs, letting go of my hand, and pulling her hair down, “Well...to put it into simpler terms. The reason I decided to become a model in the first place was because I used to hate the way I looked.”
May watches, eyes sad, and I continue to listen as Stormy continues, “I didn’t like the fact that I was...thicker than most girls. I was even made fun of because of it. I was in middle school, and I didn’t tell my parents about the bullying, but May and the boys all stuck up for me when people would call me names. I wanted to lose weight more than anything, and be thin...”
“So...since I felt like no matter what I did to lose weight was quick enough, I resorted to...basically starving myself. I would allow myself one meal a day. I didn’t tell anyone that I was doing this to myself. I hid from everyone. This went on for a few weeks, and I had lost a few pounds, but I didn’t think it was enough. So started eating less...”
My brows furrow softly, and Stormy smiles bitterly continuing, “Everyone had told me that I had looked a little pale, including my teachers. They thought I was sick. My hair had grown thin...I was tired all of the time...I felt weak...I hated myself...”
Tears come to my eyes, as Stormy says, “Until...I had fainted getting up to go to school one morning. I was rushed to the hospital because I looked so sick, and all of my friends were called to come. When I woke up, everyone was standing around me, concerned. And that’s when I knew I had to tell them the truth. The doctor had asked how I was feeling, and I just completely fell apart. I told her everything. I told everyone everything.”
“Mama was so sobbing, and so was Papa. May was even crying and she never cries. I was sent through therapy...had regular doctor visits. Once I had recovered, I realized I didn’t want to live my life hating myself, so I started an Instagram page where I promoted self-love and body positivity. I hated it at first, but I had to do this to get comfortable with my body.”
Stormy sighs, tears coming to her eyes as she says, “I didn’t expect to become a model. That was never my intention. I just wanted to promote body positivity, and eventually, people noticed and loved it. And the rest was history...”
She looks back at me, and smiles, a tear rolling down her cheek, “My fans don’t know that about me...I haven’t gotten the courage to tell them. I always get the question of why I became a model, and I lie about it, but I trust you. I know you won’t judge me.”
I sniffle, tears rolling down my cheeks. I wrap my arms around her and hug her tightly. May then runs over to her other side, and hugs her, tears also rolling down her face.
“Stormy! You are beautiful!!!” I cry, and May agrees, “You’re literally my inspiration to learn to love myself...”
Stormy begins to sob, as I continue, “I love your confidence, and I love you!” I then pull away, staring into her eyes. I push up my glasses, tears getting on my lenses, “I’m glad you shared that with me! I’m glad you trust me.”
She nods, crying, her makeup messing up, and so is May’s.
Let’s just say everyone’s makeup is messing up.
“Thank you Tiffany for listening! Thank you for being sweet! I love you too!” Stormy cries sniffling. “And I love the both of you!” May cries, pulling us back into a groups hug.
I bet people are looking at us like we’re crazy...
We all start to calm down a bit, wiping our faces with napkins There’s a moment of silence as we gather ourselves to ask what to eat.
“I think...” Stormy suddenly says, gathering everyone’s attention, “I think we should all buy water-proof makeup after this.”
We all laugh, agreeing.