Chapter 13: Fear
Get ready for this, guys……..
The next twenty-four hours passed by quickly. I managed to avoid all phone calls from both Logan and Noah. I hadn’t talked to Noah in two days, and it surprised me how much I missed him. It was like a hole in my heart.
It was funny that I hadn’t talked to him in three years before, and now two days was sending me crazy. What was happening to me?
By Friday afternoon, I was ready for the weekend. Chaska and Ciara had decided it was time for an intervention. Apparently they couldn’t take anymore of my moping, so this weekend was dedicated to us. Sleepovers, movies, shopping, ice-cream, and a plan to get me back on track.
In a way, I was looking forward to it. I needed an intervention.
But things rarely work out the way you expect, don’t they?
As the final bell rang, I quickly dumped my books into my locker and grabbed my jacket, putting it on. I headed towards the parking lot to meet Ciara at her car, when all of a sudden a group of hooting teenagers pushed past me and ran for the doors, effectively slamming me into the lockers painfully.
I cursed and rubbed my throbbing shoulder.
Wow, someone was eager for the weekend.
I sighed as more people hurried past me. I wondered why everyone was so excited. It was like it was Spring Break or something.
“Marley! Marley! Marley!” I looked up to see Chaska and Ciara sprinting towards me, going the opposite way of the crowds and trying to push through towards me. Both had red cheeks and wide eyes.
Panic welled up within me, and I rushed towards them, pushing in between teenagers in my haste to get to my two best friends.
“What?!” I asked, breathless by the time we reached each other.
Ciara panted and looked up at me with wild eyes. “It’s Noah,” she said in a panicked tone, pointing towards the doors that everyone was pushing out of.
I nodded and started running, also pushing through the crowds like everyone else. I didn’t need to ask what was wrong. There was no time for that. An unspeakable fear had welled up within me, and I needed to make sure he was OK. The student body fell in a wave down the front steps and towards the parking lot.
I stopped at the top step, and my eyes widened in abject horror as I took in the scene before me.
Teenagers made a kind of circle around two fighters, casting bets and yelling at the two boys to hit each other. No one moved to stop it. No teachers were a round, not even a cleaner or groundskeeper.
I cried out as I realized the two boys were Noah and Logan.
Noah was straddling Logan’s waist, driving punch after punch into his face. Both boys were bruised and battered and bloody, and my stomach flipped at the sight of all the blood.
My trembling hand flew to my mouth as I stared at the scene in shock and fear.
Without even thinking, I jumped down the stairs and raced towards the boys, jumping into the fray around the circle.
I pushed through yelling teenagers, yelling out ‘sorry’ on the way through. I pushed people out of the way until I was in the center of the circle.
My heart broke to see how lifeless Logan was, lying on the ground unmoving. He wasn’t unconscious, but he was losing momentum from the velocity of Noah’s hits.
“Noah! Stop!” I screamed, racing forward and trying to grab onto Noah’s letterman jacket.
He quickly shook me off, not even realizing it was me. He was so caught up in the fight that he didn’t even recognize me.
Logan groaned and bucked, effectively pushing Noah off of him. He tried to struggle to his feet, but Noah was already up, staring down at Logan.
“You’re pathetic,” Noah snarled, kicking him sharply in the ribs. I swear I heard a crack. A whimper escaped my mouth as Logan’s face crumpled in pain. “She deserves better than a piece of scum like you.”
Logan managed to crouch, and tried to stand, but quickly fell back down, landing harshly on his back. Noah stepped forward to punch him once again, but without thinking about what I was doing, I dove in front of Logan and took up a protective stance.
“Noah, stop,” I whispered, my voice cracking as I stared at him imploringly, tears filling my eyes.
His eyes were filled with an almost animalistic anger in them, an emotion I’d never seen in his caring hazel eyes before.
He growled low in his throat. “Marley, get out of my way.”
“No,” I said firmly, keeping my ground. There was no way I would let him get anywhere near Logan again.
“You’re taking his side?” Noah asked incredulously, eyes filling with hurt.
“I won’t let you hurt him, Noah,” I said, making my voice as low and dangerous as possible.
“He cheated on you!” Noah screamed. “He broke your heart! I was the one who picked up the pieces. I was the one who put it back together.”
Couldn’t he see that by doing this and making me choose he was breaking my heart all over again? “Noah…”
“No, Marley. Don’t. Let me do this for you.”
“I can’t,” I whispered, shaking my head vigorously.
He looked down, and a piece of light brown hair fell in his eyes. I looked down at Logan, who was clutching his stomach and groaning in pain.
I looked up to a girl I vaguely recognized and said, “Call an ambulance. He needs medical attention.”
She nodded and pulled out her cell. Noah seemed to be cooling off, so I crouched down next to Logan and pushed a piece of blonde hair off of his forehead.
“It’s OK, Logan,” I whispered. “I’m here now.”
In the distance, sirens began to wail, and I stood. Logan pulled my arm, and I looked down into his pleading eyes.
“Wait, don’t leave,” he whispered.
“Of course not, Logan,” I said. “I won’t leave. I’ll ride in the ambulance if you want.”
He nodded, satisfied with my answer.
Kids began to swarm around him, some asking him questions and others snapping pictures. I was disgusted at them. How could they?
When the ambulance arrived, everyone began to disperse, and Logan was loaded into the ambulance on a gurney.
I began to make my way towards them, prepared to ride in the ambulance, when Noah’s voice stopped me. “Marley.”
I slowly turned around to face Noah, whose face was bloody, but the only gash I could see was a small cut above his eyebrow. My stomach clenched when I realized most of the blood must belong to Logan.
I took a step back, fear seizing me. I wasn’t a big fan of violence, and knowing Noah was capable of doing something like that scared me.
“Marley, please don’t be afraid of me,” Noah said, reaching for my arm.
I whimpered and pulled it back, my heart feeling like it had been clamped by an icy hand. “Please, don’t.”
“I need to go,” I whispered, eager to create some distance between us.
Maybe I was overreacting, but I couldn’t believe that Noah would do something like that. It made me wonder what else he was capable of that I didn’t know about.
His hand touched my arm, and I quickly pulled back, afraid he would lash out and hurt me. I almost tripped over my own feet trying to get away.
Hurt flashed through his eyes. “I would never hurt you, Marley,” he whispered.
“Please, just leave me alone,” I said, jerking back and racing off to the ambulance so that I could accompany Logan to the hospital. I didn’t look back as I raced on. I don’t think I could handle watching Noah’s heartbreak as he watched me walk away.