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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6. I'm tired of fighting

Emily

I woke up the next morning at six a.m. I sat up and rubbed my tear stained eyes. I looked out of the window, and over to the house next to us, and shook my head. I guess that today will be interesting. Shaking the thought out of my head, I stood up, and put on a pair of running shoes and walked downstairs, trying not to make too many noises.

I took a deep breath when I came outside. I jumped up and down a few times before I started running. I ran down the road we lived on and down towards the park, where I had beaten Nathan and Cooper in a paintball fight the day before.  While running, I thought back on how awesome it had been.

I couldn’t get the image of Nathan’s face when he realized that I had caught them in a trap, out of my head. He looked around, searching for me everywhere. But I had covered up pretty good, in my army green outfit. And the huge tree I had been standing in was the perfect place to hide; up high with a view over the whole park. Genius. I smiled to myself before focusing my eyes on the road ahead of me.

The sun had only just started rising, when I returned home. I stood in front of the front door, when the front door to Justin’s house opened and he stepped out, looking like he was going for a run. He caught a sight of me, and smiled like he wasn’t planning on ruining my life later. I sent him a glare back and walked in without another look.

I sighed as I walked up the stairs and into the bathroom where I took a shower. I let the warm water heat up my cold body and remove some of the stress I was feeling already. If Justin told people who I was, it was going to take me a lot of strength not to smash his pretty face into a wall.

Sighing, I took a deep breath and held it in as I lay down my head, and let the water hit my face. Then I let out the breath I was holding and turned off the water and stepped out, grabbing a towel and dried my body.

I wrapped my rope around my body and walked into Nathan’s room where he was still asleep, safe and sound. I grabbed a pair of his sweats and walked back into my own room, where I changed into his grey sweatpants and a black tank top. I grabbed a black hoodie from my still unpacked bag and took it on. I zipped the zipper up half way and ruffled my hair, not really caring what it looked like today.

I walked downstairs after stuffing my phone in my pocket. It was only seven a.m. and the rest didn’t wake up until seven thirty, so it gave me half an hour alone.

I grabbed the milk from the fridge and drank right from the bottle. My mom would have killed me if she saw it, but living with three boys it kind of gets to you. I sat down at the counter with my bowl of cereal and ate in silence, just remembering all the fun things I had done in that kitchen back in the days.

After eating, I placed the bowl in the sink and dropped my ass on the couch where I turned on the TV and zapped through the channels, only to find out that nothing good was on, so instead I turned the PlayStation on and started a round of COD Zombie style.

I was in the middle of round fifteen when Keith came down with Nathan trailing behind him. They looked at me, surprised to see me up that early.

“Why so surprised? You didn’t think that I would stop my morning runs just because we came to Canada, did you?” I asked, not taking my eyes of the game. I felt someone press their lips to my hair.

“Of course not.” Keith said before ruffling my hair a bit and walking into the kitchen.  Nathan sat down next to me, and watched me kill some zombies. I shot on right between the eyes and turned around, only to be attacked by another one from behind. Nathan looked impressed.

I threw the controller on the coffee table carelessly. Nathan looked at my outfit for the day, and knew that I wasn’t in a good mood. He placed his arm around my shoulder and kissed my temple.

“I want my pants back. Just so you don’t steal them like last time.” He said before getting up, and joining Keith in the kitchen. Moments later, Cooper came down the stairs, looking good in a pair of black jeans that sagged a little and a dark green hoodie. He smiled at me, but he too also noticed that I wasn’t in a good mood pretty quick.

All I wanted to do was to snuggled up in my bed and sleep for years. I didn’t want to go to school and hear Justin tell everyone who I was. 

I could hear my brothers talking low in the kitchen, which probably meant that they were talking about me. Keith most likely told the others to keep a good eye on me today since my pills haven’t arrived yet. Like I cared. I threw my feet up on the table and pulled out my phone to text Ashley.

To: Ash!

Hey beautiful! Mine or your locker at eight? xox

I threw my phone next to me on the couch and closed my eyes, trying to prepare myself to what might happen today. I felt someone nudge my arm, so I opened my eyes and saw that Nathan and Cooper were ready to go. I sighed and stood up, grabbing my phone in the process. I kissed Keith on the cheek and walked out with my brothers.

I pulled the hoodie over my head and looked straightforward. We walked past Bieber’s house, just in time for him to get into his fancy Range Rover. He caught my eye, but this time he didn’t smile, he just looked sad. Go to hell Bieber or I’ll kick your white ass! I got angry just by the thought of him pitying me.

I heard my phone make a noise, so I checked who it was that was texting me. It was just Ashley, saying that we could meet up at her locker. I just texted an Okay back before putting the phone back in my pocket.

The walk to school was silent, except for my brothers trying to figure out what was wrong, without asking questions. That is almost worse than when they ask a shit load of questions. But I waved them off, not wanting to talk about it. They would find out eventually anyway, just as well surprise them.

I walked through the front door of the school and spotted Ashley by her locker. I walked over to her right after saying bye to my brothers. She was trying to find some book in her messy locker. The door of the locker was filled with pictures of places like Egypt, Rome and Spain.

“Morning.” I said, trying to sound at least a little bit happy. She turned her head and looked at me with a smile. Her blond hair was in a braid today, and not a messy bun, which means that she is trying to change her insecurity

“Good morning Em. You look tired?” She questioned. I nodded. It was easier than telling her what was wrong. I’m not the kind of person to talk about my feelings. I’d rather keep it all buckled up inside and let all my frustrations out on a punch bag. She closed her locker and we started walking  up to my locker so that I could get my books.

I pulled out the Math book and closed my locker, looking at Ashley with a forced smile. She was dressed in a pair of jeans that really showed off her amazing long legs. ON top of that she wore a shirt that wasn’t too tight, but not loose either. She looked amazing.

I followed Ashley to her class, just to make sure that no one as much as looked at her in the wrong way. I’m not in the mood for bullshit today.

I hugged her goodbye before walking away to get to my own class. I passed Caroline on the way, and almost punched her in the face for giving me the elevate look. But I remained calm. But it didn’t make my mood brighter when I saw Justin walking around with his crew. I felt myself getting angry just by the sight of him and his annoying attitude.

When I walked past him, I made sure that my shoulder bumped into his. I didn’t care that shit might go down earlier than he planned, I just needed to get him in some way. He stopped up, and called my name, I just kept walking, making sure that I gave him the finger in the process.

I sat down at a table in the very back of the class and rested my head and arms on the table, just waiting for this class to end, when Justin and Ryan walked in and took a seat on each side of me. Come on! Really assholes?

I sighed out loud before pulling my phone out, looking at the time.

“Emily?” Justin’s voice spoke next to me. A whole lot of heads turned when they heard my name being mentioned. I just ignored him.  I tried hard to keep an even breathing. But all the eyes that was just staring at me made me crazy. On top of that, Ryan and Justin kept saying my name, so can you blame me for exploding?

“Emily.” Justin said once more.

“What?!” I yelled, making everyone, including Justin and Ryan, jump in their seats. Justin smirked, knowing that he had pushed the right bottoms again.

“Can I borrow a pencil?” He asked innocent. Fuck you Bieber. I hope you burn in hell.

“Screw you Bieber.” I said before turning my attention to the mid-aged man who was our Math teacher.

I was tapping my foot at the floor, just wishing for the last five minutes to past by a little faster. Justin had told me to stop several times, but I just felt like pissing him off. Finally the man, whose name I found un relevant, dismissed us. I was the first to jump up from my seat and storm out of the class.

I feel like I’m locked up in prison when I’m in class. You have to stay quiet, there is nothing you can do except staring at the wall, and there’s one person who runs it all. I can’t take it. I walked over to my locker, threw my books in, and sighed when Justin came up on my left, blocking my way. I felt someone stand behind me. I was trapped.

Slamming my locker shut, I grabbed my phone from my pocket and quickly texted Nathan. Then I threw my phone back in my pocket and locked my eyes on Justin who looked rather happy even though that he was about to get his ass kicked again.

“Hey there Emily. Funny to see you here.” Justin said, making me roll my eyes at him.

“Really Justin? I find if normal to find me at my locker right before a class, don’t you think?” I asked sarcastic. A small group of people had stopped to see what was going on.

I was surrounded by Justin, Ryan and the brown haired guy Ashley had said was Chaz, and some other idiots I had seen at the table with Justin yesterday. There were about six guys around me, and I wasn’t in the mood for a fight. Yeah you heard me, believe it or not.

“Do you really think that this is the right time to be sarcastic, Emily? Look around you; you’re caught from all sides.” He said with that annoying smirk that I wanted to slap of his face so bad.

“Like I care. There was seven that day I put that dude in a hospital bed. Just tell me what you want Justin, and I will roll my eyes, telling you that it will never happen.” I said, feeling myself getting angry. That only made him smirk even more. He took a step closer to me. I looked out in the huge crowd that had formed around us, and caught a sight of Nathan and Cooper who tried to get into the middle where they would be able to pull me off him if it got too wild.

“I want you, to come sit with me at lunch. I won’t take no for an answer.” He said real low so his crew and I were the only ones that could hear it. I rolled my eyes.

“Over my dead body, Bieber.” I said with gritted teeth.

“Oh, like your dads?” He whispered back, mocking. I couldn’t stop myself even if I had wanted to. The next thing that happened was my fist that was flying through the air, and hit him right on the jaw. Justin looked surprised. I felt someone grab me from behind and lift me off the ground. I threw my head backwards, making it collide with another head. The person who was holding me, dropped me and I landed on my feet.

I saw Justin come walking towards me, so I turned around and kicked him in the stomach where after I placed myself on top of him. I started hitting him in the face. He tried to parried some of the blows, but my fists were flying through the air too quick.

Everything went black; I could feel my hands collide with something solid and knew that I had punched him just right. And I just kept hitting him. The only thing that was going through my mind, was the wish that I had done the same the day I found out.

It wasn’t until I felt someone slap me in the back of the head and lift me up, my vision came back. I saw Justin lying on the ground, blood running down from his nose, but no other damage to his face. The floor next to his face on the other hand, was filled with blood.

“LET ME GO! NATHAN! PUT. ME. DOWN!” I yelled making everyone jump in fear. He just continued to carry me away. I was hitting him where I could, but he didn’t obey.

“NATHAN! HE KNOWS! HE’S GOING TO USE IT AGAINST ME! I HAVE TO!” I said and finally I got a good punch in. I walked towards Justin again, but stopped when I saw his eyes.

They weren’t full of pity anymore. Weren’t full of the urge to push my bottoms. He didn’t even look scared. He looked like someone who wanted to know the truth, someone who wasn’t going to judge me. Someone who wanted to be my friend. He looked like someone who was going to be there if you ever needed it.

I looked away. I looked at the crowed who was holding their breath, just waiting for me to make the next move. I looked down at my own two hands and saw that they were full of blood. Not just his blood, but my own too. I turned around and ran out the door. I needed to get away, needed to clear my head. I needed my brother.

Justin

I watched as she ran out the door. My eyes caught her brothers who looked at each other with terrified eyes. The next thing that happened were that they walked over to me. I prepared myself for the worst. What could I expect? If their sister was like that, who knows? Maybe they were too.

They reached me and the guy named Nathan, stuck out his hand for me to take. I accepted and he pulled me to my feet. I nodded my thanks. The next thing that happened was that Ashley, Ryan’s all time crush, ran over to Nathan and started asking him what happened. Nathan looked at me with eyes I couldn’t read.

I didn’t even listen to his answer. I couldn’t get her eyes out of my head. They didn’t look hurt like I had expected them too. They looked angry, sad, numb, all at once. I had protected my face, but as soon as she had started hitting me, I knew that it was my own fault.

I shouldn’t have pushed that bottom. Why are you so fucking STUPID Justin? Huh? You deserved every freaking punch she gave you!  My inner voice yelled at me. And I agreed. I was an idiot.

“And you.” Nathan looked at me. “You’re coming with me for a minute or two.” He said. I followed him outside, and over to the same place Emily had kicked my ass yesterday.

Nathan started pacing back and forth, looking really frustrated. He slammed his hand into the wall, not giving the pain he must have felt, any attention. He pulled out his phone and dialed a number. Apparently, no one answered. He slammed his hand into the wall a second time, frustrated.

“Look, I know this is my fault. I shouldn’t have pushed her.” I said, expecting him to yell at me, hit me, do something! Instead, he looked at me.

“You’re right. It is your fault. Now I have to go home and tell my brother that I failed to keep her save on a bad day. Now I’ll have to go home, and just sit around, waiting for her to come back from wherever she ran to this time. Do you know what you just did? Huh? Do you even know what you might cause?!” He said to me. I kept my mouth shut. I might know what happened, but I could never fully understand what she have been though. A sorry isn’t enough.

Suddenly Nathan’s phone rang. He ripped it out of his pocket and answered without looking at the caller ID.

“Emily?!” He said into the phone. His face fell. He ran his hand through his black hair, tucking at the ends. When he ended the call, He sat down and put his head in his hands.

“She’s gone.” He said as he stood up. He looked angry, furious. “She’s gone!” He said and pushed me into the wall. I didn’t understand. Nathan let go of me and turned around, sighing.

“She said that you know. What exactly do you know?” He asked, more calm this time.

“I know what happened back in 2011.” I answered low. Nathan shook his head.

“I should have known. It’s the only thing that makes her go black. I should have known.” He whispered to himself. Black? What does that mean?

“It means that when she was hitting you, she didn’t see it. All she saw was darkness and the only thing she felt, was the need to hit you over and over again. Luckily, she hit the floor, and thought that it was your head, so she hit that instead of you.” He answered. I needed a few minutes to let that sink in.

Nathan’s phone rang again, this time he looked at the caller ID. He answered the phone with a caring voice.

“Em? Em, where are you? Please tell me.” He begged. Someone in the other end, most likely Emily, gave him an answer that made him sigh in relief.

“Okay, just… Just stay there and Cooper and I will come get you. Okay?” He said and was about to walk away when she said something that made him stop, and look at me.

“You sure?”

Answer.

“Okay, I’ll go get them. See ya in ten.” He said before hanging up on her. He looked at me, like I was some puzzle he couldn’t figure out.

“We need to go find Ashley. She wants both of you to come with us.” He said. I didn’t hesitate to follow him.

***

We entered the old building, and heard punching sounds. Nathan and Cooper exchanged a questioning look. Ashley was walking next to me, stealing a glance occasionally.

It was an old building, around three miles away from Stratford. It was full of old furniture and pictures of people I didn’t know. We entered the room where the punching sounds came from, and saw an sweaty Emily. She was punching on an old punching bag and hadn’t even heard us coming.

She was moving with an incredible speed. She hit, kicked and ducked, like she was up against someone. She was smiling like crazy, and seemed to have fun. Nathan and Cooper looked at her with a smile on their face. She wasn’t in the grey sweats she had been wearing this morning, but a pair of light blue jeans.

Her hair was in a ponytail and a pair of boxing gloves covered her hands.  She moved around like a professional boxer.

“Okay, show off. Enough with that, come give me a hug instead.” Nathan said. Emily stopped what she was doing, and looked at our little group. Her eyes landed on me, and she looked guilty. She jumped down from the old ring and gave her brothers a hug each. Then she hugged Ashley, apologizing for being sweaty and locked her eyes on me.

“Glad you came, Bieber. Just wanted to say that I’m sorry for punching you, and that, even though it has only been two days, I’m already tired of our fighting. Let’s stop this before anyone gets seriously hurt, okay?” She said with a smile. I agreed.

“Good. And to show that I’m serious, I want to invite you and your two friends over for dinner today, a way for me to show that I’m truly sorry. What do you say?” She asked. I smiled.

“I think that’s an great idea. But only if you bring Ashley too. I think I own her an apology too. What do you say Lawson? You’re in?” I asked Ashley who looked really surprised.

“I guess I can handle one night in the same room as you and your friends.” She joked. I smiled.

“Then it’s a deal. I’ll see both of you at my place at six. Don’t be late, Keith really hate when people are late for dinner.” She said. I laughed and told her that I would be there on time. She smiled and walked out of the old building with her brothers trailing behind. I placed my arm on Ashley’s shoulder, as we started the walk back to school. Tonight’s going to be fun. I think. 

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