When The Thunder Rolls

Emily Johnson, 17 years old, with a tough past and a lot of secrets. May sound familiar? But it's not.

This story is different.

When she was fourteen, she did something, no fourteen year old should do.

She witnessed something she will never forget.

Now she's running.

Hiding, along with her brothers.

Running to Stratford, she hoped that she could finally have some peace for a while, but when the thunder rolls, and the lightning strikes, memories flashes by...

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7. Dinner & stargazing

Emily

I was currently lying in my bed, looking at the ceiling. Keith was out buying food with Cooper. I sighed and stood up, and looked around in my room. It still looked like something an eight year old would have, but I wasn’t in the mood to change anything at the moment.  I caught sight of my brother’s old boxing gloves. I let my hand run over them, and remembered some of all the fun and hard times I had been through with those gloves.

Flashback

I felt something wet hit my face, and sat up straight and rubbed the water out of my eyes. I looked up and caught a sight of Marc. He had a huge empty bucket under his arm, and a smirk on his face. He was dressed in nothing but his training shorts. I glanced down at the clock on my nightstand and sighed. Five a.m.

“Really Marc?” I asked as I threw the blanket of my body and changed into a pair of shorts and a tank top. I grabbed my boxing gloves that was hanging off my chair and followed Marc out of the house and down to the gym closest to where we lived.

Marc clapped his hands together and told me to get my head in the game. I was covered in sweat, and I was exhausted, but he wouldn’t let me go. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before opening my eyes and slamming my hand into the stain glove Marc had on his own hands. Left, left, right left, duck. It was the combination we were working with today.

Marc moved faster than the speed of light, and hit back. I ducked and slammed my hand into his ribs, one, two, three times before pushing him away from me, getting my hands up to protect my face. I stayed on the top of toes so I was ready to move whenever he made his move.

Marc looked surprised, but that was soon replaced with that famous smirk of his. He moved around me, and his fist flew through the air. I turned a half round, and slammed my glove into his right side, before moving to the left, and slamming it in there too.

Marc laughed and stood up straight. He held his hands up in surrender. I lowered my parades and Marc embraced me. He kissed the top of my head and thanked me for a good fight. He complimented me on the fast moving and told me that I could become something huge if I kept going like that.

“I want you to have these.” He said when we left the gym. He handed me his old Mike Tyson boxing gloves with a smile. I looked at him like he just killed someone.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, your Tyson gloves? Marc, no. They’re yours. You love those gloves.” I said. On the inside, I just wanted to grab them and never let them go, but they were his favorite.

“Stop it, sis. You’re good, now you just need some good gloves. I think they will suit you in a few years. I have seen some other gloves I think I want. I just need the money. You deserve them.” And with that, he placed the gloves around my neck. I smiled.

That Christmas, I gave Marc the gloves he wanted, and the next day we went down to the gym like any other day, and I kicked his ass with my new Tyson gloves. Marc wouldn’t admit it when we got home, he kept denying it, but whenever I caught his eye, he winked at me and told me he was proud.

I smiled as I put the gloves in a bag and put on my training outfit. I put my hair in a ponytail and stuffed my phone down in my bra. Then I opened the door and walked downstairs. Nathan was playing COD and didn’t notice me until I opened the door.  

“Where are you going?” He asked, pausing his game to turn and look at me. He noticed my outfit and nodded with a small smile on his face. “Just remember that you’ve invited people over for dinner later.” He said and returned to his game. I smiled and opened the door and walked over to the local gym to practice on my moves.

***

I walked through the front door and slammed it shut. I was late. Ashley, Justin and his crew would be over in ten minutes, and I was far from ready. I threw my bag in the hallway and ran up the stairs, past Cooper and into the bathroom, where I quickly striped out of my clothes and into the shower.

I washed my body and hair as quick as I could and stepped out, speed drying my body before running into my room to put on some clothes. I settled with a pair of light blue jeans and a black top with black socks. I threw the outfit on and dried my hair with the towel I had wrapped around my head.

As soon as I had dropped the towel, the doorbell rang through the house. I heard Nathan yell my name, so I ran down the stairs, jumped without taking the last five steps, and landed in front of the door. I opened the door and saw Ashley stand there together with Justin, Ryan and Chaz.

“Hey guys.” I hugged Ashley, shook hands with the boys. They all took a look around the house. Justin and his crew looked exactly like Ashley when she first saw my house yesterday.

“Nice house Emily.” Justin complimented. I nodded my thanks. I showed them around the house– making sure to skip my own room because that was just too embarrassing – and when we were on our way back down Nathan called my name.

“Em!”

“What?”

“Get down here, now!” I sighed and looked at the group behind me, rolling my eyes. They chuckled. I walked down the stairs and into the kitchen where all three of my brothers were working hard on the dinner. I poked Nathan and bowed.

“Grant your wish.” I said lamely. Nathan laughed and told me to set the table. I did as I was told, and found some plates, glasses, knives and forks and put it all on the huge dinner table. I told everyone that they could just take a seat while my brothers handled the rest.

“Someone have their brothers wrapped around their little finger.” Justin comment.

“I don’t know how she does it.” Nathan said from the sink and we all laughed. I cleared my throat.

“Okay, so.. Ryan, I’m sorry that I slammed you into the locker yesterday, and Chaz, I’m sorry that I kicked your ass. And Justin-“ I looked directly at him “- I’m sorry for being an idiot who can’t control her temper. I’m working on that.” I said. Justin smiled.

“I’m sorry too. I shouldn’t have pushed your bottoms today, that’s my fault. And Ashley?” He said. Ashley turned her attention to Justin.  “I’m sorry for being a dick. I should have done something when Jake tortured you in the gym, but I didn’t, I just looked at him kicking you. I promise you that if he ever touches you again, I’ll kill him.” Justin apologized.

“Justin, even though I don’t know why you’ve always been after me, I accept your apology. But you have to understand that it’s going to take me awhile to trust you. All the harsh words, the nasty looks you sent me when walking past me on the hallways, the way you made me feel worthless. I can’t just forget that.” She told him. He nodded.

“I understand, take your time. Honestly, I don’t know why I did it. Maybe it was because you rejected me back in Middle school? I don’t know, but I truly regret it.” Ashley smiled a little.

“Dinner’s ready. Grab your plate and come over here and take some.” Keith announced. He pulled me aside and kissed my forehead.

“I’m proud of you.” He whispered to me. I smiled back at him, and muttered Thank you. Before walking over to the kitchen counter where all the food was waiting. I started filling up my plate when Justin who stood in front of me, chuckled.

“What?” I said and looked at my plate that was almost full.

“Nothing. It’s just, I like a girl with a good appetite.” He said and winked at me. I playfully rolled my eyes at him and grabbed some more food. I followed Justin back to the table and took a seat next to Nathan who had just as much on his plate as I had. What can I say? We’re related. We all started talking to each other and it ended up being a pretty nice dinner.

***

It was now around nine p.m. and no one had gone home yet. At the moment, we were all sitting in the living room, watching Nathan kick Chaz’ ass in a game of COD. I was sitting next to Justin on the long part of the couch and he had secretly wrapped his arm around my waist. I had a blanket over me so my brothers wouldn’t notice.

Although they actually liked him, I don’t think that they would approve of us sitting together like that. I didn’t care, what the heck, Justin was hot after all. Chaz got shot in the head by Nathan and we all cheered. Chaz looked at Ryan and Justin with a fake hurt expression.

“You are my friends, you are supposed to cheer for me!” Chaz said, gasping. Ryan hit him in the back of the head. Ryan was sitting next to Ashley who looked truly happy. They would make such a cute couple, like seriously.

“Stop crying you little baby. You embarrass me.” Ryan said with a high-pitched voice as if he was an old woman. We all laughed. Chaz slapped Ryan and grabbed the controller, mumbling something I couldn’t make out. Justin’s hand was caressing my thigh in a comfortable way, and I smiled for no reason.

Nathan kept beating Chaz until Chaz threw the controller on the ground because Ryan was laughing. Then he told Ryan to do it any better, and Ryan accepted the challenge. But he too lost twenty-five times, straight.

“You guys are so bad. Here give me the controller and I’ll show you how it shall be done.” I grabbed the controller and sat down next to Nathan, and pressed play. I beat Nathan like it was a piece of cake, and earned myself a round of tickling.

Everyone was laughing at the sight. Justin even said that he was confused because I could take out him and two other guys, but I couldn’t get my brother off me when he was tickling me. I explained that it was something else when you were laughing and not angry. He could see the point in that. I smiled and so did he.

At ten thirty, I said goodbye to them all. And this time they all got a hug. Crazy how much you can start liking someone on one night.

“I need you to show me your secret at some point, Em. That was some serious gaming.” Ryan said before hugging me goodbye. Chaz explained that it was just luck.

“Yeah, luck five times in a row. I can see where you’re getting at Somers.” I joked.

“Yeah luck five times in a row.” He mocked me when hugging me goodbye. I just laughed.

“Talk to you tomorrow Ash.” I said before hugging her goodbye. “Hey, are you walking home all alone?” I asked her, being the overprotective friend I am.

“No, Justin said that he, Chaz and Ryan will follow me home.” She said and looked at Ryan out of the corner of her eye. I winked at her.

“Okay, good.” I smiled at her and hugged her once more before turning my attention to Justin.

“See ya tomorrow, Bieber. You better make sure that Ashley gets home safe.” I joked before hugging him goodbye. He promised me that he would make sure that she got home safe. I thanked him. When I closed the door, I went into the kitchen to help my brothers with the dishes.

After helping with the dishes, Nathan and I crashed on the couch with a movie, while Keith and Cooper went to bed.  We were half way through the movie, when Nathan paused it and looked at me. His brown eyes told me that he had something he wanted to ask me, and he had wanted to ask me for a while.

“What is it Nathan?” I asked. “What do you want to know?” I asked. He shook his head, he knew I could read him like an open book.

“Are you ready for school tomorrow? Keith and I talked about it, and we were thinking about keeping you home for a week or two.” I knew that I had to use my brain to answer this question. I wanted to go to school and make sure that Ashley was okay, but I also knew that even the smallest comment about what happened today could set me off.

I had to dig in deep, and do something I hate. I had to feel what I was ready for. I had to listen to my body and it was screaming a no. My hands were wounded from punching the floor, my mind was a mess, and I was exhausted all the time. I knew the answer, I just didn’t want to admit it. But I knew that I had to tell Nathan the truth, and I knew he wouldn’t judge me.

“Will you keep an eye on Ashley for me? I’m nowhere near being ready for school after what happened today.” I mumbled.

“Of course I will.” He said and kissed my forehead. Then he told me to get my ass up in bed because I looked like someone who hadn’t slept for days. I giggled before kissing his cheek and walking upstairs and into my room, where I striped out of my clothes and put on the same blue shorts I was wearing yesterday, a white tank top and my blue hoodie. Then I opened the window and looked at the stars above me, when someone whispered my name.

I looked around and saw a shadow standing in the tree between Justin’s house and mine. If it hadn’t been for the smoke, I wouldn’t have guessed it was Justin. I crawled out on the roof and walked over to him, slowly.

“Hey. What are you doing in that tree?” I asked. He jumped over on my roof and hugged me. Surprised, I hugged back before walking back to the window.

“I’ve been waiting since midnight for you to open that window and come out here. I almost gave up when you finally opened it.” He said, low voiced. I jumped into my room, where I grabbed my duvet and climbed back out on the roof, and sat down with the duvet wrapped around me.

“Really? But why?” I asked as I looked at the stars. Justin threw the now done cigarette over in his own garden, unwrapped the duvet, and crawled in to me, and wrapped the duvet around both of us. He was as cold as ice, and I shivered when his naked arm touched some exposed skin on my stomach.

“Sorry I’m cold, but you kept me waiting pretty long.” He whispered in my ear. I smiled to myself, as I lied down with Justin’s arm, still wrapped around my waist. We didn’t say anything, not at first. Then Justin broke the silence.

“Ryan likes Ashley.” He said out of nowhere. I turned my head and looked at him, shocked.

“Seriously?” I asked. He nodded.

“He has since freshman year. And I know that Ashley likes Ryan. We should hook them up.” He said, but the tone in his words, told me that his mind was somewhere else.

“Yeah, we should.” I said with smile on my face. Justin turned his body so his whole body was facing me. I did the same and did the mistake to look into his beautiful honey brown eyes. We were just lying there, on my roof, wrapped in a duvet, his arm around my waist and looking each other in the eyes.

Justin smiled at me, a warm smile. I could feel my cheeks heat up a bit, and knew I was blushing. I lowered my head and closed my eyes. But Justin wouldn’t let me go that easily. He lifted my head up with his free hand, and looked me in the eyes. Then he slowly leaned in, but hell no, Bieber. You won’t get it that easy.

“Nah, ah, ah.” I said and stopped his lips from getting any closer. Justin pulled away and shook his head a little, luckily he was laughing a little.

“Any other girl would jump right on, but not you. I guess it was a bad decision too. I mean, we only just made peace today. I’m sorry.” He said and ruffled my hair a bit. Then he stood up, found a cigarette and lit it on fire. He inhaled and exhaled without looking at me. Is it weird to say that I felt rejected? Nah, you’re just tired girl.

I stood up and grabbed the cigarette out of Justin’s hands, unlit it, and threw it away. He looked at me like I had just killed someone. I only just notice that he was only wearing a black tank top. No wonder he was so cold.

“Why did you do that?!” He asked shocked.

“Smoking is bad for you. Go to bed, Justin. You look tired.” I said honestly. Justin sighed, ran his hand through his brown hair, and tugged at the end.

“You’re right. I’ll see you tomorrow.” He said. He clapped my arm before walking over to the tree, and climbing back onto his own roof and through the window. I sighed, grabbed my duvet and climbed in too. I looked at my nightstand and saw that it was only one a.m. I guess I could wait until noon with the training. I thought.

I climbed under my covers and let sleep take over immediately. Luckily, no bad dreams came. Only me, winning the boxing championship and Marc stood on the sideline, cheering for me like crazy. 

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