Diary of Secrets

Calum thought soccer was everything.....until he read Sam's diary.


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17. A New Side of Me

“Cal, please calm down.” Sam pleads, but I’m already storming out of my car. The sky matches my mood. Above me the clouds are gray and the sky is an even darker shade of the familiar color. The storm that was already at the bridge is mere minutes away. If we’re not careful we’ll get stuck in the rain once again, and with the heavy winds settled here we’ll all end up with pneumonia.

Mali jumps down from the back of the car, removing a small tan towel from the right side of her face.

“Calum. I‘m okay, calm down please.” She says, walking over to me. My thoughts take over and nothing anyone can say, can protect the mass in front of me.

“Cal, I‘m so sorry.” Michael says with his head hanging, I’m inches away from him. Before he has a chance, my fist raises and I’ve sent it straight toward his left cheek.


He stumbles backward and when he’s finally stabilized himself, Ashton’s grabbed hold of my arms. He’s the only thing holding me back from further pummeling him to the ground.

“THAT‘S MY FUCKING SISTER, YOU ASSHOLE!” I scream, still pulling away from Ashton’s grasp.

“I know. I know.” Michael says, rubbing his forehead and cheek.

“Calum. Please calm down. We already had the cops avoid showing, don‘t be the reason they do arrive.” Ashton begs fumbling around, trying to keep me in place.


Ashton must be working out outside of gym class, any other day I would’ve been out of his grasp already. No matter how hard I pull away from him, or struggle to unhook him from me; I can’t get out.

“Fucking let me go!” I shout, elbowing him in the chest. He grunts to the impact but stays in place, only wavering for a second.

“Just let him go Ash. You know he‘s not gonna quit until he‘s through.” Michael suggests, craning his neck.


My sister and Sam are standing a few feet away from us. Sam is rubbing away the blood from Mali’s gash before engulfing her in a hug. Mali holds her tight before more quiet sobs ebb through her. Ash notices what I’m staring at and lets me go so I can make my way over to them. I start to walk in that direction but when I shift my foot to the right, I turn my torso left and punch Michael straight in the bridge of his nose. He falls to his knees and doubles over holding his nose.


While I walk over and hug my sister, Ashton is checking to see if Michael’s nose is broken. Sam runs over to help him with the bleeding it’s started doing.

“Calum. You asshole, you didn‘t have to hit him.” My sister tells me in between broken sobs.

“Yes I did Mal.” I tell her, distancing us to look at the gash. It starts at the top of her head and ends at the start of her eyebrow. It’s thin and bleeding like crazy, I have to wipe away the running drops of blood to prevent it from getting into her eye.


“I think you need stitches Mal.” I say with a sigh, looking into her eyes. They’re puffy from crying and all her make up is smeared away. Before another word can be exchanged the rain starts, I run with my sister to my car. Once she’s strapped into the passenger seat I call out to Sam,

“Sam! Come on, we gotta get her to the hospital!” She looks from me to Michael.

“Cal, I don‘t need stitches. Just get us home so we can get out of this rain.” Mal says from inside the car.
***********************


Mali is still glaring at me when we enter the house.

“I‘ve told you this countless times since the ride home from the hospital Mal, I‘m sorry.” I huff, closing the door behind me.

“Then why is there still a smirk on your face?” She retorts, plopping down on the sofa.

“Because he still deserved it.” I answer with a small smile. She rolls her eyes running her hand over the gauze on the now medically treated wound.


Thankfully she didn’t need stitches, but the doctor agreed we should’ve came in anyway. Between the rain and the dust from the parking lot, it needed cleaned and patched up.

“So how did it happen again?” I ask, trying to remember what she said on the ride home. She exhales loudly before answering

“He grabbed the jock and threw him back. When I intercepted he swung back and hit the side of my face. His knuckles creating the small gash on my head.” She explains in a huff.



We glared at each other for a moment until she broke the silence.

“Why do you and Michael clash so much Calum?” She questions, her anger coursing through every word. I rolled my eyes and began texting Luke explaining that I’d be going over to his place.

“We do not clash Mal.” I answer stubbornly, deliberately not looking at her.

“You do too! Any normal person would make sure I was okay and then assess the situation. You immediately went for Michael! It was like you already had it planned he deserved to be hit!” She screams, still pissed off at me.

“He did Mali! No one should deserve that more than he does!” I shout, growing irritated with this conversation.


We continued like this for a while. She’d tell me I was stubborn and not being a good friend, while I’d tell her I didn’t give a shit and that I was being a good friend to Sam.Michael did not need friends. He was an asshole who didn’t know when to give up the booze or shut his big mouth.

I walked out and left to Luke’s house. My mind still on our argument, only temporarily paying attention to the road. The familiar sounds of blaring horns as I drove past in a frenzy, or the sight of my knuckles turned white from gripping the steering wheel so tightly. Everything a blurry haze as I glare at the road in front of me, not really seeing it.

Time seems to stand still as the blood pulsates quicker under my skin. It feels as though the more I think of earlier, the hotter it gets. Turning onto Luke’s street I slam on the breaks in front of his house. Once I step outside the cold air hits and at first it cools me down, helps to regulate the heat. But after I step onto his porch, everything is numb and I can’t tell the difference if I’m freezing or scorching hot.

His mother answers and is surprised to see me at first, she inquires if I’m there to take Luke to school. Not really hearing her, I nod so she’ll leave. She smiles and the sides of my mouth twitch as I try to match it, but fail to do so. Luke bounds down the stairs and when he sees me at first, I can see his widened eyes before he blinks a few times to compose himself.

He comes outside and we take the small walk to my car.

“Aren‘t you cold?” He asks, zippering up his jacket more. I shake my head in response and drive. There’s a silence in the car I’m not used to having. A heaviness lays thick around us, he’s unsure about my mood and I feel the same.

“What if we listen to the radio?” He wonders, turning the dial and setting it on a station I’m unfamiliar with.


Soon the silence is broken with love songs and oldies.

“Don‘t you think we should slow down?” He inquires, clutching the handle on the door and holding tight to his seatbelt. Again I shake my head and continue to glare at the road ahead. A lot of the time is spent with him shooting side glances at me. He seems to focus on my chest, my guess is wondering why I‘m breathing so heavily.

“CALUM!” He shouts as I nearly side swipe a red car that was turning. Something about him being there woke me up. Instantly I hit the brakes and look around.



“What are you doing?” He asks in a whisper. I shake my head for a third time and try to focus on calming my breathing. He offers to take the wheel and I gladly accept stepping out onto the side of the road. There’s car horns everywhere as we temporarily pause traffic. When we get back inside he checks the mirrors, buckles himself in and drives slowly down the road.


He turns the corner and stops off in the school parking lot. Once the engine is cut he leans back into the seat and looks at me.

“Calum. What is going on?” He wonders. I stare in amazement at my hands, wanting to answer him but afraid the rage will come over me again.

“I got in a fight with Michael.” I state, still not looking at him. He’s silent for a moment but then answers

“You‘ve done that before, why is this time different?” He asks, trying to gather all the facts. I open my mouth to speak but close it again, not knowing how to word the next thought.


Kids pass us by and I hear laughter from the group of cheerleaders walking onto the grass. All dressed up in their uniforms excited for the start of the week, I wonder if it’s regulations that cause them to be in them already, or just because they like to show who they are.Shaking my head in disgust over them, I know today would be a bad day for Sam if she was here.


“Calum?” Luke calls out, sitting up and shaking my shoulder to revert my attention back to him. Sighing I tell him the reason I hoped didn’t make me sound crazy.

“Because this time I wanted to kill him.” He stares at me with wide eyes before sinking back into his seat, and looking over the dash and steering wheel. I knew I sounded crazy but it was the truth, how could I lie when I knew it’d come back to haunt me later.


He plays with the torn leather on the wheel, pulling it different ways as though it’s therapeutic. I slump my shoulders and place my head in my hands.

“Why?” He asks in a small voice.

“He hit Mal.” I answer, not removing my hands from my face. The bell rings and we share a look before stepping out of the car, and walking silently into the building.
************************

The classes were long and I was unprepared for all of them. Leaving home without my school bag and uniform wasn’t a smart move. But I didn’t expect my morning to start off like this. I share a few classes with a quiet black haired girl in the back. So throughout the day we shared her supplies and books when needed. But there were some classes I just didn’t have that luck. She seemed to want to ask if I was okay, or possibly why I didn’t have my own supplies; but remained silent.

When I reached practice, coach was more than disappointed in me. I had to be benched all day which didn’t seem to be against Kevin’s agenda. I spent most of the time looking at the grass, kicking the blades with the tip of my shoe and wondering if I lost Luke as a friend too. Playing today would’ve helped clear my head but I can’t change that now.


“How‘s the bench Hood?” Kevin asks with a smirk, grabbing a drink from the cooler next to me. I shake my head, ignoring him and stare out at the field ahead. Jared was laughing at someone who’d hit the ball so hard, they fell straight on their back.

“I said. How‘s. The. Bench. Hood?” He asks slowly, pouring the contents in the cup on my head. That was all it took.


I could hear the coach blow his whistle and call out Kevin’s name, but before he could even react I was on top of him. He was shoving me to try and get me off, but I dug my knees into the dirt and stood my ground. The fists I clenched hit his face repeatedly, occasionally he’d block one but not before I had hit him with the other. He hits my side and I exhale from the impact but continue to hit him. Not caring that he’s already bleeding and each hit sends the blood flying onto my clothes.

There’s a group of guys all from the team surrounding us, a couple of Kevin’s friends are egging us on. But there are a few like Jared who try to attract the right attention to break us up. Coach makes his way over and as Jared grabs the underneath of my arms, pulling me off Kevin; coach pulls him off the ground and helps him to stand. Jared’s doing his best to hold me back, but I keep struggling to break free.


“THAT‘S ENOUGH!” Coach shouts, looking at the both of us.

“Everyone, inside now! Calum, Kevin come with me.” He says, still holding Kevin’s arm as we walk to the building. He tries to free himself from Mr. Welsh’s hold but coach has got him locked on. Jared still keeps a hand on my arm as well, it acts as a spring lock so the minute I think about lunging at him again; he pulls me back and grabs the other.

The rest of the guys are in the locker room getting changed, momentarily being supervised by the coach’s assistant. While the four of us are being marched down to the principal’s office. I could still feel my face tightened in a glare, I still wanted to bash Kevin’s face in more. Coach sends me and Jared ahead while him and Kevin stepped off to the side, to retrieve some tissue for Kevin’s nose and face.

Now that I look, his face has got blood smeared all over. It’s running thicker and faster out of his nose, but there’s a gash on his upper right cheek. There’s red smears all on his forehead and cheeks from our back and forth earlier. If I wasn’t so pissed, I might feel sorry for his ass. But I take one look at his face and see the smug smile he had, while he poured his drink on my head.

I sit with Jared outside on the chairs, not really paying attention to anything. I’m positioned on the edge of my seat while Jared leans back into his. He breathes out slowly as if to collect himself, I gather he isn’t the type that deals with this stuff often. I look down at my knuckles and notice the cuts all along them. There’s minimal bruising around a few as well, from the hit I gave Michael earlier this morning.


“Calum? You okay?” Jared asks, trying to see my face. I nod to end the conversation but if I had told the truth, there wouldn’t be enough time to explain why I wasn’t. He seems to pick up on something, because he opens his mouth to say something else but coach returns with Kevin.

“Inside. Now.” He says in a stern voice as he exhales rapidly, shoving Kevin through the doorway.


Kevin’s clutching a wad of tissue and holding it to his nose. We step inside and walk the short distance from the secretary’s desk, to the principal’s office. The secretary tries to stop us, explaining he’s on the phone and to return later, but coach just keeps walking. Mr. Welsh opens the door and once inside, Mr. Highler looks at the four of us and ends his call abruptly.

It’s now that I see him I realize what hitting Kevin meant. It meant I could be kicked off the team, causing me to lose my chances at a scholarship, and getting into a good enough college to leave. He wasn’t worth that, why did I think it was at the time? I stare at the tan linoleum floor and hear coach excuse Jared before closing the door.

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