Louis’s nose was broken. I didn’t need to see the X-Ray scans to know that. But nonetheless our mothers met up in Milk Dunk café where Louis’s mum explained in extreme detail everything the doctor had expressed to her; which was then relayed to me, very dramatically, despite the fact that Louis had already spoken to me about. He pulled into the school on Wednesday with a black eye and a cast on his nose. So many stared, so many whispered, but yet he still pulled himself through the overcrowded hallways and to his locker. He refrained from wearing his heart on his sleeve and instead stared ahead at nothing, his face every bit as blank as the statue that sat at the front of the school.
“Oh my God, what happened?” Lillian pushed through the crowds of people and tugged on Louis’s arm. Lillian joined the school three months ago and both Louis and I took an immediate liking to her, she was bubbly and fun and she seemed to be the perfect addition to our little pair.
Louis shrugged her off, “it’s nothing,” he muttered, his pride had already taken a hit once by telling everyone about what Edward had done to him in the boys locker rooms. He didn’t want to be embarrassed again. Who would? Yet I didn't think that the scars Louis wore were embarrassing, if anything they were battle wounds that he should've worn with pride, without shame. If anyone should be embarrassed, it should be the two bumbling idiots who often smelled of booze and cigarettes and had 'Prison' stamped on their future.
“Kate?” She prodded, readjusting her red backpack she caught my attention, her gaze was intimidating despite her size and her Bambi like eyes.
“Jimmy and Ed,” I sighed. How many times had their names been explanation alone?
I caught sight of Louis’s small, practically indiscernible grimace as we reached his locker and he tugged it open. Silence filled our small trio and it seemed that that was all I could hear despite the continuous chatter that surrounded us, it was deafening and I wanted nothing more than to fill it up with words- for someone to say something, anything. It seemed that the wish fairy had misinterpreted what I had wanted only moments later.
“Ooh, ouch Louie, what’s that? Looks like a killer black eye, wonder who did that?” The silence was definitely broken at this point as Lillian practically hissed quietly from behind me. Ed leaned against a metal locker next to Louis’s; his dark eyes glittered in amusement. It was clear he loved it, loved mocking him in front of everyone, loved letting everyone know that Louis’s disheveled blonde hair, beat up face and sour expression was all because of him. I bet he felt pretty powerful in that moment. That alone made my blood boil, made me want nothing more than to slap him so hard that it knocked him out. But violence never wins, right? So why did it feel like it was winning now, why did it feel like Ed and Jimmy had won?
Unconsciously, I clenched my fists and took a step closer. It was small, maybe only a centimeter closer to him, but he noticed. His smirk widened into a cocky smile as he up-righted himself and crossed his arms, he was with Billy. A scrawny guy who used to get picked on by Tim and his friends but after the guys got into football they left him alone and Ed and Jimmy took him under their wings. I could still tell that Billy was a lover not a fighter though by the way he always had trouble steadying his breathing in science whenever Miss dissected anything in front of us. Or the way he always looked away each time Ed and Jimmy would grab on to the front shirt of a kid two years younger than us and slam them against the lockers with so much force that it caused their heads to bounce uncomfortably against the cold metal.
“Aw look Bill; his girlfriend’s getting protective.” His words had clearly meant to upset me, to unnerve me, but anything they shot right over my head and hit Louis instead, one glance at his slight wince made me shoot him a glare so strong I was surprised he hadn't set alight in flames as yet. He leaned in and rested his hand on my shoulder, his gaze intensifying and I could already tell that what he would say, I wouldn’t like. “Come find me when you’re ready,” he smiled, it was sickly sweet and it made my stomach twist. Just having his thick, heavy hands on my shoulder made my skin crawl, as though a million insects had descended upon my body and were having fun running up and down my skin.
Finally, they left leaving behind them bystanders whispering behind cupped hands as they watched and waited for Louis to say something like he did last time, for me to put my arm around him or for Lillian to huddle us into a group hug. But no one got a chance to see what would happen next because just as I had placed my hand into Louis’s had the bell rung, its shrill warning echoing through the already emptying halls.