I dared to look past the corner of the building and was left uneasy when I saw what was happening.
Alex was there along with his friend Jamal, a grin on his face as he grabbed Marie-Ange’s hair to pull her head up, forcing her to look at him in the eyes. Her cheeks were bright red and she was sobbing like a child, the makeup around her eyes was smudged as tears rolled down her cheeks.
“S-stop it—Alex, please!” she pleaded, trying her best to avert her eyes from the bastard's gaze.
“Or else what, fatty? You’ll cry some more? Gimme a break.” Alex snarked, giving her hair a firm tug, causing her to let out a loud squeal before he pushed her against the wall forcefully.
I stayed behind the corner, hidden from them. I didn’t dare jump in, I didn’t dare interrupt them. I clenched my teeth and lowered my head. I felt gross in that moment, I was such a coward. I could have stepped in and punch that asshole in the face for what he was doing, but I didn’t. Instead I just stayed there, screwing my eyes shut as I heard her whimper once more.
“Alex, stop!” I heard her screech before I heard a loud thud. My eyes shot open and I looked back around the corner, Marie-Ange was on the ground, Alex had hit her in the face and pushed her down.
“LOOK AT ME!” he yelled at her firmly, pressing his foot to her thigh, wiping off his shoe on her before he flipped up her skirt.
Jamal rolled his eyes and put a hand on Alex’s shoulder “Stop wasting our time, mate, let’s go.” He told him before he looked up and saw me watching from around the corner. He glared at me and pulled Alex away from Angie. She was still on the ground, shaking like a leaf.
Alex gave her one last kick in the back of her thigh and spat on the ground next to her “You fat bitch.” He snided before he and Jamal walked away.
When they were gone, I immediately ran over to the poor girl and looked down on her. I took in a quick breath before I knelt down next to her, pushed her skirt back down to hide her thighs and gently pulled her back up. She was still sobbing and shaking as I held her. I shooshed her calmly and stroked her hair before she pushed me away, though her movements were weak.
“Don’t look at me.” She told me softly, sniffling like a little girl.
I shook my head and helped her get to her feet, leaning over to brush the dirt off her thigh. I then took her small hand in mine and walked over to pick up her bag from where Alex had thrown it.
“I’ll carry it for you.” I told her. She nodded weakly and wiped her tears away. I pushed up my glasses and walked through the empty courtyard with Marie-Ange.
On the way home, we stopped by the newsagents. I bought her a packet of chocolate buttons and she shared them with me as we walked through the park and into our street.
She was limping a bit. I asked her if she was alright. She told me that Alex had kicked her in the thigh and that it hurt.
“I’ll give that cuntbag what he deserves next time I see him.”
“Don’t.” she told me with a whimper “Please don’t.”
I sighed and nodded, I wasn’t even sure I would have actually gone to beat the fucker up, to be honest.
We then walked over to the Valmont’s door and went inside.
“I”ll make you that tea that you like…” I told her softly “Just—come.”
I guided her into the kitchen and sat her down at the table before I started rummaging through the cupboards. I got her strawberry tea and her mug and boiled the water in the kettle. Angie just sat there, looking out the window, tears still in her eyes.
I finished making her her tea and settled the pretty little mug in front of her. She took it weakly and sipped on it before she put the mug back down with a sigh.
I sat down next to her and dared to brush a lock of hair out of her face. I bit my lip and leaned forward, wanting to kiss her forehead.
“No.” she said weakly, turning her head away “Please don’t.”
“But—Okay.” I said, sitting back in my chair “I’m sorry…”
She gulped and looked back to me , her eyes reddened from all the crying she did.
“Do you… Want me to hold your hand or something? I’ll do anything for you to feel better…” I told her as calmly as I could, holding my hand out for her to take, should she choose to do so.
“Marie? C’est toi?” called a voice from the living room. Grégoire was home. Had he arrived earlier or not, I didn’t know, but he was here now, and he’d see his sister with an enormous bruise on her thigh and a reddened face.
He walked into the kitchen and blinked as he saw Angie. He looked back to me, frowning a bit.
“What happened?” he asked, visibly concerned.
I took in a quick breath and took back my hand as Marie-Ange didn’t take it. Instead, she got up and rushed out the kitchen to go upstairs.
“Alex.” I said quickly.
“What did that fucker do to her?” he snapped at me. I gulped and opened my mouth, closed it and sighed before I got up and looked at Greg in the eyes, looked away and explained everything to him.
“…. Son of a bitch.” He said under his breath, his lips curled into a grimace.
“Then his buddy saw me and pulled him away.” I told him as an ending to the explanation.
We walked out of the kitchen then through the living room before Greg looked up the stairs and sighed before he looked back to me.
“Should we go check on her?” I asked him, pushing up my glasses.
“I’ll go up.” He said as he started walking up the stairs.
“Do you want me to hang around or should I leave you two alone?” I then asked. Greg stopped himself and turned back to look at me. He thought for a moment and made a motion with his hand “You can come, I guess. She trusts you.”
I nodded and walked with Grégoire up the stairs and through the corridor.
He knocked on his sister’s door and gently opened it. She was laid down on her bed, holding one of her plushies close to her chest. I stayed in the doorway as Greg sat down on her bed next to her and stroked her hair softly.
“You’ll be fine, Angie…” Greg said softly, leaning over to kiss her forehead ever so lightly. She sniffled and got up, letting go of her plushie before she hugged her brother and sobbed into his shoulder. He stroked her hair again and held her close.
I thought it was endearing to see a pair of twins as close as them. Holding each other like that, kissing each other like that… It was almost cute.
I thought it would be best if I left them alone, so I stepped back from the doorway.
Angie’s head shot up from Grégoire’s shoulder, her blue eyes staring at me as I was about to leave.
“David…” she said softly, her hand reaching out to me. I blinked at that and sighed before I walked into her pretty pink room and then over to take her hand. She held my cold hand close to her burning red face and gulped before she let go of both of us, sitting back on her bed and holding her plush alpaca close to her chest “I think I’m fine now…” she said weakly.
“That’s good.” Grégoire said, his hands lowered to his sister’s hips.
“I… Don’t want to go to school tomorrow, though.”
“That’s okay, I’ll stay with you.” Greg replied with a soothing smile.
I didn’t know what to say or do—I just stayed there and nodded. I didn’t dare suggest that I’d stay with them tomorrow; after all, they probably needed some time together after what happened today.
“I should go.” I told the twins as I stepped back “Mum’ll start yelling at me if I’m not at home before six.”
“It’s only half past four, though.” Greg said, looking back to me.
“Yeah but… You guys need some alone time.” I replied, waving my hand a little awkwardly.
Marie-Ange got up from the bed and walked over to me to give me a tight hug. I hugged her back a little awkwardly and closed my eyes. Once again, I felt her soft breasts against me. I know I should have gotten used to it by now… But it always felt strangely nice. I wouldn’t dare tell her that, though, even after our Saturday night kiss.
She let go of me and smiled before she looked back to her brother. Greg just waved me off as I let go of his sister’s hand and walked down the stairs, then out the door and across the street.
That night I couldn’t really sleep. The same scene went on and on in my head; Angie being brutalized by that… That fucking cunt.
Nothing but the thought of it made me toss and turn in my bed. The thought of that bastard grabbing her hair and hitting her like that made me so… So angry. I couldn’t believe it! Why would Parkinson treat her the way he did? I mean, sure, I remember my first day at St. Tom’s. He called her a slag behind her back. I remember that perfectly. But I just sat there wondering why. Just why the fuck would he do that?
I’ve always known guys like that. Especially back in America. Guys who would treat girls like utter shit.
Now, I don’t have a clean slate, okay, I’ve been a sexist asshole in my own moments. But never ever did I ever hit a girl. First of all out of pure respect, and secondly because even if I did, I’m a weak shit, so it wouldn’t hurt anyway.
Thing is, I think I was really starting to fancy Marie-Ange. That was why my reaction to all this was so violent.
Not that I wouldn’t have cared if it had been any other girl, no, but since it was Angie… It made my physically sick.
I wouldn’t say that I’d go as far as to ‘love ‘ her—or ‘be in love’ with her. Heck, I don’t even know. What I do know is this: I fancy her, she kissed me, I get butterflies in my stomach whenever I think about her breasts squished against me…
Would I ever jack off while thinking of her? Not gonna lie, I’ve thought of it.
Don’t act all shocked and offended. Everybody wanks, everybody watches porn. There’s no point in denying it. What can I say? My generation is a generation of degenerates.
My generation is a generation of egocentric wankstains who don’t think about anybody’s suffering but their own.
I’m not excluding myself from the pack, though. I’m pretty bad myself. I’m pretty sure Greg and Angie have their own faults as well, I just choose not to see them because… Because. Because? Because what, exactly? I didn’t know.
I loved them. I guess I’m saying ‘them’ because, well, yeah, I really like Greg too, somehow. He had a strong personality and good looks, everything that I didn’t have. I was envious. And since I’m a bit of a nice guy, instead of taking the piss out of him, I became friends with him. He makes me feel stronger and more confident.
But the one who really makes me feel better about myself if Angie. She makes me smile, she makes me happy, somehow.
Marie-Ange, sweet, sweet Marie-Ange. Poor girl. I just wished I could hold her to make her feel all better. I wish she had let me kiss her back there, when we were in their kitchen. I wish she had taken my hand when I offered it to her.
But she didn’t. Didn’t she trust me? Didn’t she like me? I was confused.
She looked to weak and vulnerable back then, she was... Less alive. She looked like someone had sucked all the happiness out of her.
And that someone was Alex.
I was determined to find out why that cuntbag had decided to hurt her that way. Maybe Greg knew more about it than me.
My phone was next to my pillow. I looked at it and blinked. Sure, I couldn’t hold or kiss Marie-Ange the way her brother did, because she didn’t let me, and that’s fully understandable, but there was one thing I could do.
I grabbed my phone and started typing a long text message. Then I realised that she was probably too tired to read something that long. I got up and put on my glasses to look out the window, across the street. Angie’s room was still lit up and I saw Greg in there with her. I figured they were talking it out. I kept watching until the lights went out.
Then I took my phone again and deleted my message before I just typed:
‘I love you.’
But I deleted that as well.