I listen to her story.

“My life is falling apart for the last few days, my dad hits me,” she pushes her right sleeve and exposes her black and blue covered arm, “and when he is done I go to my room and hurt myself even more.”

“May I ask how so?”

She doesn’t say anything; she just sighs and pulls her right sleeve down and then pushes up her left sleeve.

I don’t say anything; I just take her arm and kiss every cut on it.

“On days that I wear short sleeves I put make up on my arms so nobody suspects it,” she reveals to me.

“Make up belongs on your face, not your arms,” I say.

After Lizzie tells me about the makeup I hear footsteps coming closer and closer, Lizzie quickly drags her sleeve down her arm to hide her black and blue arms and her scarred secret.

Anthony Lindsey bends down and looks at me then at Lizzie. He sees Lizzie’s tears and his eyes turn from anger and sly to empathy and kindness, then he sits on the other side of Lizzie.

I have no clue how he found out where I was or why he is here. I am wondering if Madison “paid” him to find me. If he was “paid” by her I hope it was fast. I have seen down there, it isn’t pretty. I never should have dated that slut.

I look at Lizzie, even though Anthony is rubbing her back she is leaning on me. She is coming out of the closet with me, she is letting me in, right now it seems like I am the only one who she will let in. I get why too; I am probably the only person who has been kind to her for the last few days.

The bell rings.

“We better go,” I say.

Anthony and I both nod.

All three of us walk out of the library, Lizzie goes right as Anthony and I turn left. I pivot my head to sneak a peek at Lizzie. I see that her backpack has a pentacle on the big pocket.

“So what’s with the loner?” Anthony asks.

“She has a name,” I turn my head back to its neutral position.

“What is it?”

“Lizzie,” I respond with a little cheer in my voice.

“What about Madison?”

“I dumped her.”

“Why? You guys were like the perfect couple,” he states in awe.

“Only in public.”

“What do you mean?” Anthony asks curiously.

“Madison took off her ‘I’m so innocent and wouldn’t do anything to anybody’ mask.”

“She must have done something really bad this time.”

“She made fun of Tara Curtis, saying that she was faking about her being in that car accident and pushed her out of her wheelchair.”

“Why didn’t my sister tell me this?” Anthony was steamed; his face looks like a fire hydrant.

It shocks me to just find out that Tara and Anthony are siblings. But that isn’t important right now; right now the only important thing to me is Lizzie.

 “So do you like this girl, I mean Lizzie?”

“I’m starting too, I met her in detention; well not met her met her, I was in detention a few days ago and so was she. Mrs. Goodwin said her name and that is when I knew who she was.”

“Was she that girl who hung around with that kid that hung himself a couple semesters ago?”

“It was last semester, and his name was Reagan.”

“Well here is my class. See ya later Scott.”

“Late,” I respond still walking, thinking about Lizzie and what she is doing right now.

I don’t know why I am thinking about her so much. I should be focused on my school work and our next game against Willow Creek. Willow and Oakdale have had a rivalry for over 35 years.

Coach Nichols is counting on me to help the Vipers defeat the Stallions; the Stallions have been undefeated all season, but then again, we have also. The school is depending on me, I am the best player we have had in years. I hate the fact that all this weight has been put on me; I’m only 16, I shouldn’t have this much stress. I should be thinking about school, and girls.

First it was Savanna Tanner in 6th grade, and then she left to Colorado when we were in 8th grade. Then I met Madison in 9th grade and we have been together since.

“Taylor,” I hear a loud voice that sends a startling sensation down my back.

“Hi coach,” I turn to see a Caucasian male, his head is bald and he is very buff. He is the type of guy who you would never want to double cross.

Right now, I really hope that its sweat rolling down my leg.

“So, I heard you broke up with my girl.”

Nope, that’s not sweat.

“No sir, I didn’t,” I lie.

“Taylor, in my office,” his deep voice scares me.

I follow Coach Nichols to his office; it feels like I am on death row following him. Madison is coach’s daughter; I am so worried that I am going to get an earful from him.

He sits in his desk chair, “please take a seat.”

I gulp, “Yes sir,” I sit down in a wooden chair.

“So, tell me why you broke up with my Sweet Angel.”

“I told you sir, I didn’t,” I try to get away with the lie.

“Mr. Taylor, she made a bonfire in the back yard of our house and started to burn everything you bought her,” I think he sees the fear in my eyes, “You’re not in trouble son, I just want to know the reason.”

I take a sigh, “The truth is that I broke up with your daughter because her bullying went too far and I didn’t like it, it was my last straw.”

“Really, I know that she made fun of people because it made her feel good, we have been trying to work with her on it. What did she do that was so bad this time?”

“She made fun of Tara Curtis. Sir she pushed Tara out of her wheelchair and said ‘get up, I know you can walk’. I can’t date a person like that. I’m sorry sir; I really don’t care what happens, even if it starts drama I have to do what is best for me. I don’t think it would be good for my reputation to get ruined because of Madison and her choices. I’m sorry.”

He looks at me, first sternly, then with sympathy.

“I understand what you mean Scott. You can go; I just wanted to know why.”

I turn toward the door, feeling lucky that coach let me go scot free.

I feel much better knowing that he wasn’t mad. I just don’t know what is going to happen when the school finds out. Oakdale is a small school, which is ironic to the fact that nobody knows Lizzie’s name.

“Oh and Scott?”

“Yes sir,” I turn back to him.

“I will give you a tardy note,” he takes a pad out of the left drawer of his desk, “Go to the locker room,” he hands me to note, “and change your pants.”

“Yes sir.”

I walk into the locker room; change into my spare pair of pants that I keep in my locker.

I stop after I put my left leg through. I can just imagine Lizzie’s face; her blue eyes staring deeply into mine. Her red lips, the way they perfectly shape her smile. I shake myself out of the great daydream and finish putting on my pants. I make sure that I am unseen while walking through the hallway.

I stop by my locker before heading to Spanish II. I smack my locker shut.

McKenzie is standing behind my locker door. “Whoa Kenzie, I didn’t see you there.”

“I need to talk to you,” she whispers her whisper.

“Okay, what’s up?”

“Not here, too many people,” she looks around, she hands me a piece of paper, “Meet me here, after school, 4:30”, then she walks away.

I open the piece of paper.

12422 W. Mercer Ave.

The End

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