~~* Kade *
The buzzing doesn’t stop, it evades my thoughts, makes everything blurry. Oh wait. That buzzing is an alarm, which means the real world is coming to surface.
I open my eyes, everything blurry in my half blind state, one thing I did know was that it was dark, I grabble on my bedside table for the source of the buzzing, answering the phone without checking the ID.
“Kade! Mathis.” The cheery voice calls through, Robin. “Okay, so you better be getting ready to train on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the morning and the afternoon.” He continues without waiting for my response.
Which was of course a groan and a mumble of agreement of some kind. “Why not Thursday? We usually do Thursday as well.” I mumble swinging my legs over the side of my bed, changing out of the plaid pants and into a pair of black sweats, pulling a tank on over the top, as cold as it was now, it wouldn’t be for long.
“Because man,” Robin says in a duh tone, “This isn’t just an ordinary fight, this is the semis, and it’s in your town. Well, no one knows that part.” He adds as an afterthought. “Someone will recognise you, it will probably happen, you need to be prepared for it.” And just like that, Robin sounded like the twenty two year he actually was. “I want you to do well, a promise is a promise mate, and my pa made one to ya ol’ man. I’m here to uphold that. Don’t go to the gym on Thursday, I’ll come to you.”
Maybe that run went for a little long, maybe I did too many push ups or sit ups. But the cold shower was perfect, I add to myself, pushing my glasses back up my nose and make sure my sweater sleeves are down.
I walk into the library at lunch, this is where I spend my days, just as I go to put all my stuff down my phone starts to vibrate, I pull it out seeing a blocked number, with a frown I walk out of the library, “Now now now,” The deep voice cuts into my thoughts along with lots of deep chuckles, “Who would call a nerd.”
The phones ripped out of my hand and I look up to see the jocks, one of them twirling my phone around in his fingers. “Give it back.” I say quietly causing them to laugh.
“’Give it back.’” One of them mock causing the rest of the boys laugh.
“Who is it? Your daddy.” Rage and hurt curses through my body at this, I try not to let it show.
But I must’ve failed, “We hit a sore point boys.” One sniggers.
“Aww, is someone a daddy’s boy? Or is someone’s daddy a little pussy,” He laughs, giving me a shove that made me stumble backwards surprised.
My feet disappear from under me as one of the jocks trip me, “Someone’s daddy didn’t teach him how to fight.”
One of the jocks grab the front of my sweater, pulling me to my feet, and that’s when the fist connected to my face, it took everything not to fight back. It took everything in me not to break character, but I was, I am, a nerd. Nerds don’t fight.
Which means today, right now, I don’t fight.
“Mathis! You ready for,” Annalisa’s already hushed voice gets quieter as she breaks off, I stay sitting in front of my house, head down, refusing to look up at her. “Kade I can see your cheek, what happened?”
She drops down in front of me, “Don’t.” I say quietly, “Don’t pretend you care.”
“Look at me.” Annalisa orders. “Mathis, look at me.”
“Go.” I whisper standing up, Annalisa straightening up.
But I ignore her and turn away, unlocking my front door getting ready to go in and leave the bad girl outside, “Oh no way Mathis.” She says in an emotionless tone, I didn’t need to see her face to know it was void of any emotion as well. “You told Duran that you’d help me get my grades up, I’m not asking for a heart to heart here Mathis, but I am asking that you,” She pauses and I hear her long in take of breath before mumbling something incoherent.
“What was that? I didn’t catch that.” I finally say quietly, turning around, keeping my eyes on the ground.
I watch her hands clench, “Help me. I’m asking that you help me, please.” She whispers.
The silence was never ending, the only sound being of pencil and pen on paper as both Annalisa and I answered maths questions, “Did you punch a wall?” Annalisa finally asks the question she’d been dying to ask.
“No.” I punched a guy, at a fight, four towns away on Friday night. I add silently to myself.
“How’d you get the bruises on your face then?” She challenges, trying to get a straight answer out of me.
“Annalisa, please stop. You don’t know me, I don’t know you. No one cares about me, and no one will.” I don’t know what it was that I said but something caused Annalisa to stand up and start shoving all the sheets in her bag.
“People do obviously care about you.” She hisses out, “Look at your house, your car, yet you let jocks walk all over you and use you as a punching bag.” My face pales and she shakes her head and lets out a sarcastic laugh, “I knew it.”
This time it’s my turn to stand up, “Answer the questions as you read the book.” I say to her back as she walks towards the front door, “Annalisa.” I call, making her stop, her hand wrapped around the door handle, “Never judge a person by the house they live in, it could be a completely different story behind closed doors.”
I watch her nod and open the front door, “Yeah it is a completely different story. And your wrong Kade, there’s always at least one person who cares for you, even if you can’t see them.”
With that she steps out, “You should remember you own words Annalisa.”
The doorbell rings, and doesn’t stop, mum must’ve forgotten her keys again, I pause at a note in the kitchen: ‘Won’t be home tonight. Mum.’
Well there goes that idea, I dash into the laundry grabbing a cardigan, well that did nothing to cover me up, “Hold on!” I groan before opening the door.
A grinning Robin stood at my doorstep, “Kade! Hey, do you mind if I crash here? Thanks man.” He winks as I let him walk in without a word.
“Sure, what are you doing here?” I question leading him upstairs to the spare bedroom.
Robin goes quiet, “I thought you might want a mate here since this is your first fight home this Friday, it’s really weird seeing you with your glasses on.” He finally says plopping down on the bed. “Nice place you got here Mathis.”
I smile and shake my head at my own only friend. “Goodnight Robin.” I laugh as he grins at me.
I let out a laugh of my own as I hear Robin yell through the door, “Be up at five thirty.”
The doorbell rings and rings and rings, it begins to ring in patterns. Both Robin and I open our doors bleary eyed, staring at each other before I go downstairs leading the way and Robin behind me, I open the door to see a familiar blonde haired girl.
Holding a bottle of nearly empty Jack Daniels.
“Annalisa?” I question wearily, slowly she turns to face me, tear tracks running down her cheeks. She was drunk, make no mistake of that fact. She doesn’t make a move to come any closer or move, just stands there holding the bottle by the neck, I reach forward taking the bottle out of her hand, holding it behind me for Robin to take, which he does, then take a step outside, wrapping Annalisa up in my arms, she was shaking. “Come on, get in.” I mumble.
“Who’s the girl?” Robin asks putting the Jack Daniels bottle on the kitchen counter top as I lift her up to sit on the counter, checking her face to make sure she was all right, “She looks like a girl from the fights Kade. She’s one of those girls.”
I stay silent, she was alright just tear tracks, I wipe away the tears that were threatening to fall, “I’m tutoring her.” I whisper.
“He’s right.” Annalisa sniffles causing me to frown, “I’m one of those who go to those stupid fights.” Her words had a slight slur to them.
“Is there someone I can call love?” Robin asks her quietly, as much of a dick he could be, he had a heart.
Annalisa starts to shake her head frantically, “No. No. No.” She keeps repeating over and over, Robin steps back and away as I place my hands gently on either side of her face.
“Hey.” I whisper quietly, getting her attention and making her look at me. “Come on you need to sleep this alcohol off.” And with that I pick her up bridal style in my arms.
Trying not to react when her head rests against my bare chest.
She wasn't so tough, wasn't so big and tall and strong. I look down at the blonde haired girl in my arm as she tries to stay awake, I hear the spare bedroom door shut, knowing Robin knew me well enough by now to know nothing was going to happen.
I'd never do anything.
I place Annalisa down on my bed, my covers had already been pulled back to where I'd flung them when getting out of the bed to see who was at my door at one in the morning. I pull the covers up and cover her body, thinking she's asleep and fine now I turn away, maybe I'll just sleep on the couch.
"Please don't leave me alone." A small voice whispers, I look down seeing a small pale hand wrapped around mine.
I look to Annalisa, her normally blue eyes, where glassy and red rimmed, I turn back to the bed, and watch as she struggles to sit up. We both sit leaning against the wall, "Why are you here?" I whisper watching her eyelids flutter closed, then open, then closed again.
“I have no where else to go.” She says with a shrug, letting her eyes stay closed.
I sigh, “Just lay down.” I convince her, watching as her head hits the pillow, and she curls up.
“Why does everyone hate me?” Annalisa suddenly says, making my head snap over to the drunk girl in my bed. “I can’t even go home anymore, Erica would make me leave before my dad could see me.” She continues, “I don’t know why she hates me, is it because I don’t fit into her perfect family she’s made up? I should know when to stop talking,” Annalisa sniffs again.
“Don’t worry, my mum doesn’t like me either.” I whisper, putting one hand on my own leg, and running the finger tips of my other hand up and down Annalisa’s back, which was causing her to lean back into my touch.
Annalisa scoffs, “She’s not my mum, she’s just some hag who married my dad for the cash.” I can’t help but look down at the girl, who was more broken and hurt then I could’ve seen before.
“Life isn’t always easy Anna.” I say automatically shortening her name without realising it.
Annalisa stiffens under my touch, “You called me Anna.” She whispers hoarsely, and rolls over so I could see the tears rolling down her cheeks.
“Shit.” I whisper, “Sorry, it was an accident.” I add wiping away her tears.
“Kade, you’re not a good boy are you? What sort of a good boy has a good body?” She mumbles barely audible, “Will you lie down with me? I don’t want to be alone.”
“You’re drunk, so I really should say no.” I reason with myself, “But you aren’t a bad girl, you aren’t what everyone says.”
And with that I let Annalisa pull me down next to her, stiffening as she wraps an arm around my waist, going under my cardigan, her other hand splaying out on my chest next to her head. I sigh and wrap my arms around her.
Robin was going to give me hell for this.
“Get up Mathis.” A voice hisses in my ear, I open my eyes, strangely weirded out over the fact that I could already see. Note to self, remember to take off glasses. I could feel something on my chest and I look down to see a blonde head of hair and everything came back to mind.
“I can’t just leave her here for training Robin. You know I’m ready for this.” I mumble as Robin sits on the very end of my bed.
He nods slowly, “I’m still gonna train you tonight, didn’t you say there’s a gym on the edge of town?”
I nod slowly, “What’s the time?”
“Seven thirty, you should probably wake her.” And with that Robin walks out, leaving me with the task of waking Annalisa Evans.