Comfortably Numb

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Chapter 3

The pounding in my head was unbelievable. If I didn't know any better, I'd think an entire herd of rowdy elephants were having a massive rave in my brain. My head throbbed uncontrollably, so, naturally, I reached up to press on the place that hurts the most- And immediately regretted it. I moaned out in agony as my fingers danced along a massive goose egg at the base of my skull.

"You've got quite the goose egg, dearie, I wouldn't be pressing on it if I were you" soothed an older woman's voice. My eyelids fluttered open, then flicked right back shut again because of the glaring white light. I braced myself, turned my head to the right a little, and then slowly batted my eyes open again. Meeting the cool yellow walls of the office, I slightly relaxed. At least I'm somewhat safe. I blinked a couple of times and then focused on the office lady. She smiled at me and held out a bottle of water and a couple of painkillers.

"I'd imagine you've got a massive headache after that little spill you took in the hallway. Mind you, it could have been a lot worse, had Arrow not reached you—" The door to the office burst open and before I could blink I was surrounded by two overly loud individuals. My brother and Arrow stood just out of my immediate personal space, practically screaming at me, asking how I'm doing.

Calmly, I held up my hand to grab their attention. They fell silent.

"I-I'm f-fine. My h-head hurts a b-b-bit, but it's O-Ok" My voice was faint, but relief flitted across their faces nonetheless. Blake nodded his head and then turned to Mrs. Lawler.

"Is she really Ok?" She smiled at him.
"She says she is. I don't know any better than you do, you'll just have to take her word for it." I rolled my eyes at my stupid brother and slowly sat up.

"What happened?" I flinched at the bubble of anger that Blake emitted, and his face softened apologetically. Before I could reply, Arrow started talking with a flourish.

"It was that damn creepy Daemente's fault. He grabbed her in the hallway and wouldn't let her go no matter how obviously uncomfortable she was. I swear that man has a death wish, going after innocent girls the way he does. If he had any sense at all he would have taken off months ago. He's honestly one of the creepiest men I've ever come across and he seriously smells the fucking worst. He's got no respect for anyone! I swear when Ryker gets home if he doesn't rip his throat out I'm going to!" "Arrow! Don't talk like that about your teacher!" The two women shared a look, and I didn't know if it was the fact that I had just hit my head or that there was actually something wrong, but it looked like Arrow turned about three shades lighter. She cleared her throat, and then looked back at me.

"How are you feeling? I tried to catch you, but you're a lot heavier than you look." Her face turned beet red, and her mouth fell open in what had to be horror. "Shit! I didn't mean that! I meant that for someone so tiny and- and thin, you weigh more than a feather! And I thought you only weighed about as much as a sack of flour, you know the light ones that are like the size of a doll? I thought you'd probably weigh as much as that and well... when I grabbed you I wasn't really prepared for your actual weight I guess and we both kind of stumbled and before I knew what was happening.. well your head was banging against the floor.. I'm so sorry! I didn't mean to let you get hurt or anything! And I'm definitely shutting up now. But I'm really sorry. Really. I'm sorry" Her head fell forward and she sighed to herself.

Feeling the corners of my lips twitch up, I tried to fight the laughter. Looking at her like that, though, I couldn't help the quiet giggle; she was really worried she'd offended me. Her head snapped up at my giggle. I let myself smile at her; quietly telling her it was OK, and that I didn't mind. Her face split into a massive grin right back at me.

We sat there for a few seconds, just smiling at each other. It's kind of nice having her as a friend. My smile dropped and I squashed that thought like a bug. Suddenly, Blake cleared his throat and brought me back to the present.

"So.. Is she OK to go home?" I turned to Mrs. Lawler, hopeful. She smiled at me and nodded.

"Yes, she's fine. Just keep an eye on her, watch for any symptoms of a concussion. If she does have any symptoms, take her to the emergency room to get checked out. Have a good night, guys! Feel better Dearie!" And then she glided to her desk and started typing away, completely ignoring us.

A few minutes later, we were standing outside the school, saying our goodbyes. Arrow was smiling brightly at Blake, blatantly flirting, and he was- as always- flirting right back.

"I love the Iron Man movies! I watch them with my brother all the time! Which is your favorite?" Blake smiled brightly at her.

"The first one. I really loved everything about it, especially RDJ. He's such an awesome actor." Arrow smiled and batted her eyes.

"I just love Robert Downey Jr. He is just such an incredible actor... I was so sad to see the latest Marvel movies and everything that happened in them!"

"Me too! But Spiderman dealt with it nicely!" Arrow bit her lip.

"I actually haven't seen that yet. My brother and Rowan went together and I missed it because of a prank gone wrong." She rolled her eyes and Blake smiled at her.

"Oh you totally should! It was a good movie. Spiderman is pretty great and Zendaya is awesome! Maybe... we could see it together?" Arrow returned his wink.

"Maybe...That sounds really nice..." She said hopefully. Blake turned to me for a second, a light shining in his eyes. He beamed at me and I rolled my eyes.

"That is, if Andy is OK with it." Arrow smiled at me as well, something playing in her voice that I didn't really understand. I shrugged and Blake chuckled.
"Yeah I don't know if Andy is really the best judge of people going out... Especially with her head cracked open. We should probably get home though. It's likely throbbing something fierce." He turned on his heel and was in the car before I could even blink, just calling out "Nice meeting you Arrow.". Arrow looked confused for a second, and then started laughing.
"Wow, your brother's really something, isn't he?" I shrugged. She smiled at me, then leaned a little closer, dropping to a whisper.

"Wanna know a secret? I really don't want to go on a date with your brother." I turned to face her more, giving her my undivided attention. Everyone always wanted to go out with Blake... He could charm the pants off of a Nun. She laughed again then ran her hands over her face.

"To be quite honest, I just like messing with people. And if I were to date your brother, that would totally mess with my over protective brother, and his stupid best friend. But he didn't really seem to like me checking with you..." I let one corner of my mouth drift up.

"N-no. He's just w-worried about me t-that's all. Y-you reminded h-him he has r-responsibilities other than h-his penis." She smirked at me, and then turned to wave at Blake. He nodded in our general direction before whipping out his phone.

"Maybe I will take him up on that date offer... just to mess with the men in my life." I smiled a little at her, then waved at her and started walking towards the passenger side door as Blake honked to get me to hurry up. I hadn't even gotten the door completely closed before Blake was whipping out of the parking lot.

"How are you feeling?" I shrugged noncommittally, and he sighed.
"Do you want to talk about it?"
"N-not really." He glanced my way and pursed his lips.

For the next few minutes he kept glancing at me, worrying his lip between his teeth every time he did. Finally, the annoyance got to be too much.
"I-I-I ran into a t-teacher. H-he grabbed me b-by the w-w-waist and w-w-wouldn't let g-go. Arrow.. S-she saved me f-from him. S-she came storming a-a-around the corner like a w-white knight and t-told him to let me go. H-he did eventually, but b-by then... I-I-I couldn't stop the p-panic. I j-just fainted. B-but I'm f-fine. S-so let it g-go." Blake glanced at me again as we pulled up to a stop sign.

"I know you're not fine. I know you're freaked out because that asshole grabbed you without your permission, I know you're mad at yourself because you let yourself get super vulnerable when other people were around, and I know that you hate that I'm making you talk about it. I know you don't want to talk about it. Believe me I know. But I don't want you to forget that I'm here for you. I know you've been through a lot, Andy, and I don't want you to feel alone. I'm never going to stop asking if you're OK. I'm never going to stop worrying about you, and I'm never going to be satisfied with your little head wobbles when I know you're hurting. So get as annoyed as you want, it's not going to change anything." He smiled at me, something burning in his eyes that I couldn't quite name, then hit the button on the radio and started singing along to the golden oldies and pulled away from the stop sign.

The rest of the week was the same as usual. Suddenly it was Thursday morning and it started off just like any other. I ran until I couldn't feel my legs, begrudgingly got ready for school, and raced out the door at the last possible second. Blake laughed as I threw myself into the front seat, and we were off.

Upon arriving at school, it was obvious that something was going on. Everybody was whispering and running from clique to clique, spreading information and gossip. Everyone from the jocks to the nerds to the geeks and weirdos were all freaking out. I furrowed my brows but shook it off after a second. Curiosity wasn't good for me, after all I knew what it had done to the cat.

"I wonder what's going on" Shrugging, I gathered my stuff and prepared to hop out. I nodded my goodbye to Blake and he smiled at me in return. I watched as he reversed carefully out of his parking space and drove away.

Sighing, I turned to face the bustling building. It seemed like the entire world had erupted in sound the minute I had swung my door open, and I was already tired of it; I could feel the migraine seeping into my brain and I'd only been standing here for a moment.

"Andy! Oh my god, Andy!!" I gasped as my arm was grabbed roughly. I started shaking, and practically tore my arm out of its socket trying to get away. I whipped around, rearing back in defense, but relaxed minutely as Arrow smiled sheepishly at me.

"I'm so sorry, I forgot about the whole touching thing! Blake warned me it was a thing with you the other day. I mean, not that I didn't notice it before that. Ever since you first got here I noticed you weren't big on the whole touching thing. And it's completely fine that you don't like to be touched! I totally get it! And I didn't mean to offend you or anything, if I did. I mean—"

"ARROW!" The booming voice seemed to come from everywhere. My heart stuttered before taking off at top speed. The sheer amount of authority that that voice held told me they were very important, whoever they were. The echo of his voice ricocheted through my chest and squeezed around my throat. I looked to Arrow, expecting an explanation, but instead all I could see was a mix of fear and barely contained amusement.

"We gotta go" she glanced behind her and whirled around again, "Now!" She took off running, and blindly I followed her.

"W-what did I-I g-get myself i-into?" I mumbled as we ran. Arrow seemed to hear me though, because she glanced back at me, threw me a wink, and then screamed, "Hurry!" before taking off at an impossibly faster pace. I pressed past the burning in my legs and strived to stay in step with her.

We sprinted across campus, Arrow screaming for people to move out of the way and running through many, many doors before we finally came to a stop in the women's restroom. Panting, I collapsed against the door. Arrow hopped up onto the only dry part of the counter and started gasping for air.
"Oh, how I love a good chase in the morning!" I smirked at her and rolled my eyes.

"W-why were we r-running?" She laughed, and smacked her forehead.

"My dad... found the surprise I had set up for when Rowan gets back.... How was I supposed to know he was going to use the guest room bathroom before work this morning! He has his own!|" She slapped her forehead again. "Goddess, I am so dead..." I let my eyes drift shut and rested my head against the bathroom door.

"W-what was t-the s-s-s-s-s-" I took a deep breath in, then started again, going slower; "W-what did y-you have s-set up?"

"...I miahdn askjdj aosjs" she mumbled through her hands.

"W-what?" She sighed, and then turned to face me, moving her hands.

"I switched out the shampoo in Rowan's bathroom for white temporary dye and set up a bomb of the same blue paint he rigged into my car to go off as soon as the bedroom door was opened.... Dad got smoked in a rather impressive explosion of blue and then used the shower.... And Rowan's shampoo wasn't actually Rowan's, it was his...." I started to giggle.

"Y-you turned.. you turned your f-father i-into a.. a S-smurf!" She groaned and slammed her head into the mirror.

"I" bang "Am" bang "So" bang "Dead." I smiled briefly at her, and then stood. Hopefully her father hadn't bothered to chase us, so we could get to class. I paused to wait for her, and after another moment of self-loathing, she grabbed her bag and walked over to me.

I pulled open the door ready to walk out, but was immediately stopped by a giant man that was guarding the door. My jaw fell open as I traced the black suit jacket up, up, up to the strong jawline that just added to the already overwhelming intimidation he radiated. He had thick set eyebrows, and shining green eyes. The force of his gaze was heavy; I couldn't keep eye contact under the weight. He was clean shaven, and he had full pouty lips that were downturned into an angry scowl.

The only thing that detracted from this intimidating aura, enough so that I didn't just faint on the spot, was the fact that his long braided hair was a strange off-white colour and his skin was a brilliant blue.

"Arrow, you've got a lot of explaining to do." He growled at the girl behind me. I glanced back, and had to stop the giggle that threatened to escape from the absolutely terrified expression across Arrow's face.

"Aw, crap"

And then the bell for first period rang.
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