One: One: Holly Kicks Her Cheating Boyfriend's Ass
ONE: Holly Kicks Her Cheating Boyfriend’s Ass
The sound of Akira’s binder hitting my head was audible even over the clamour of activity in our high school’s cafeteria.
I rubbed the back of my head, scowling at my friend. “Can we not use our homework for acts of violence? Thanks.”
Akira rapped her pen on the back of my knuckles. “It’s justified violence if it is in the name of trying to prevent other, worse violence. Seriously, Holly, just let it go.”
She was referring to my plan to bash in my now ex-boyfriend’s face. I found out last night that he’d be cheating on me. With several girls.
“He’s not getting a free pass,” I growled between grinding teeth. The thought of him with another person made me feel physically ill. Like I was standing on a tiny boat in a very angry ocean.
“I’m not talking about giving him a free pass,” Akira said, aggressive highlighting something in her ecology textbook.
She looked up and pushed her reading glasses up her relatively flat nose. “I’m talking about giving yourself a free pass,” she corrected, “and not getting yourself into unnecessarily trouble—hey!”
Akira bolted out of her seat with me as I spotted Nick’s best friend, James stroll into the cafeteria. My blood boiled at the sight of him, basketball shorts and some branded hoodie. Him and Nick could have been twins.
“I think I like the idea where I just punch him in the face better,” I said, eyes tracking James as he moved across the cafeteria.
I resented the way boys moved, how languid and careless he was as he crossed the room, greeting various guys from his different social worlds as he went.
“You already have enough lates and missed classes to have been suspended three times over,” Akira reminded me, “It’s a miracle Peroni hasn’t thrown you out of here.”
I bristled at the mention of our principal. I’d had enough run-ins with that bitter woman.
“I really don’t care—”
“Dallas?” Akira prompted, bringing up my younger sister. “What would you do if you got expelled and had to change schools? You’d both have to bus.”
I frowned. Dallas was my entire world. She was my responsibility in the absence of my mother and the chaos that was my father currently. If anything could have made me set aside, it might have been her.
But then I saw Nick.
I saw his smirk.
I saw his stupid hair and his stupid face and all I wanted to do was punch him.
“Oh no,” Akira muttered, her almond eyes widening as far as they could. “Don’t do it, Holly. He’s not worth it—Holly!”
I sprung up from my chair, rage taking control of my body. It was like I was seeing through a haze of memory and twisted imagination. Us together and him with other people.
I was going to give this kid hell.
“Babe,” Nick greeted as I marched up to him. He wore an easy smile, the same that had hid his manipulation and lies from me for months.
His friends jeered him a bit as I approached, James sprawled out carelessly on top of a cafeteria table behind him.
I placed both hands firmly on his chest and pushed as hard as I could.
Simply caught off guard, Nick lost his balance and stumbled backwards into a trash can, sending both himself and the bin sprawling over. His friends ooed and awed accordingly.
“What the actual f—” Nick’s face twisted as he realised an open ham sandwich had landed on his pants. “What’s your problem?”
“Sara Dewly? Really? We used to play soccer together and you know that.”
All the laughter between Nick’s friends stopped and it felt like my heart did too. It was true then. This guy had really been cheating on me, had really been making me think that he was there to support me.
Nick’s face became hard instantly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Gabbi Richards too, you dick. I know what you’ve been up to.” I was looking up at him now, he had recovered enough to bring himself up to his full height.
“You’ve been hearing lies,” Nick said, “I’m actually really hurt that you’d believe them.”
I didn’t waste another breath.
I punched him in the face.
My knuckle gave a slight pop but that didn’t stop me from winding back and cranking him again. This time, he turned his face just in time so that I only managed to clip his jaw.
The next moment, he had both of my wrists.
“I like the fight,” Nick said with a wild grin, “I’ll forgive you if you forgive me.”
“Oh, go to hell,” I said, “and take your future children with you.”
My foot connected with his crotch and he dropped his hold on me, crumpling to the ground with a high pitched groan. His friends made a satisfying sound of empathy.
“You disgust me, you stupid little pig, if I EVER see you—”
“Okay, okay, that’s enough.” I was caught off guard as my arm was grabbed, yanking me away from Nick and quashing my plan to stomp him. “Holly Spurr? Am I right?”
I twisted to see that it was Mr. Bridges, one of the school’s guidance counsellors who was holding me back from committing more violence.
Mr. Bridges looked down at my ex-boyfriend, still writhing on the ground with his hands on his junk. “Nicholas De Vries,” his eyes jumped to his friend. “Mr. Rowlands,” he said, addressing James, “please help your friend, the rest of you help clean up the trash.”
It was then that I became aware of how many eyes we had on us and how quiet it gotten in the cafeteria. Akira was staring from behind her work, her mouth forming a tiny “o”.
“Let’s go,” Bridges urged. I fought him at first, adverse to being manhandled before I realised that he was angling his body in front of mine to shield me from Ms. Peroni’s view as she entered the cafeteria from the other side.
When we got out in the hall, Bridges was quick to release me. Away from the chaos of the cafeteria, it was difficult to ignore my throbbing knuckles.
“So now what?” I probed, “am I going to be suspended? Expelled?”
Mr. Bridges frowned. He wasn’t that old, maybe in his early 40s. He was handsome too, he kept himself well. Before now, the only thing I knew about Mr. Bridges was that I liked the smell of his cologne when he walked past me in the hall.
“Can you meet me in my office after school today?”
I shifted feet. “I don’t really like staying after school—” That was when I needed to pick up Dallas.
He lifted an eyebrow. “Is suspension preferable? I’m sure Ms. Peroni is still looking for whoever instigated that scene...”
“No!” I said quickly, “I’ll see you later today.”
The guidance counsellor gave me a small smile. “I think you should get a head start on your next class, don’t you?”
I gave a curt nod which Bridges echoed before heading off down the hall.
At that point, I had no idea what I was signing myself up for.
One this is for sure.
Suspension would have been a whole lot simpler.
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