Rianne didn’t give Aiden time to react as she slammed her fist into his face. His face swelled up almost immediately; the area surrounding his eye turning a deep purple. Fuck him. He deserved it. Without any regrets, Rianne walked calmly away to her locker then to her next class. She pushed Aiden and every lie he fed to her out of her mind. There would be time to think about that later when she got home.
Three hours later, she was walking out of the building. Her first thought was to go to the busses and take the very last seat in the back, but when she got outside, she felt the rain. She was so walking home. With a quick stretch and her ipod turned on, she was ready to go. At first her pace was slow, but as the music reached higher intensities, so did her feet. Her walk quickly became a vicious run. Two miles in her lungs were burning and once the burning distributed itself throughout her body, she was unstoppable.
When she reached her house, she did her best to stay quiet. God only knew what mood her mother was in today. She went straight to her room, but when she turned on the light, she noticed a lump in her bed. As she took a closer look, she found the familiar figure of her mother passed out laying on her sheets. Rianne knew better than to try and move her. The marks were still there from the last time. Instead, Rianne took a blanket and covered her mother. The lights were turned off once again and the room left vacant of any conscious beings.
Downstairs in the kitchen Rianne found some late lunch early dinner. Since her mother would be unconscious for the next few hours, Rianne cooked her a meal she could just warm up when she was hungry. Considering her current condition, maybe her mother wouldn’t be playing host to any men tonight. Rianne tried to remember the last night she had slept even slightly peacefully. She couldn’t. Hopefully tonight could be that night. But the shit with Aiden might keep her up a while. After the food was finished and put into Tupperware, she placed it in the fridge. She left a note on the table telling her mom where to find it.
When everything was done, she pulled the hood on her sweater up and walked outside. She loved the rain. It cleansed the earth and nourished it. Her favorite part though was the smell. Everything always smelled so fresh after rainfall. Her first instinct was to run to the clearing and enjoy the little river over flooding. But instead, she stayed in the front yard. Rianne vowed to herself that Aiden would be pushed out of her mind. It was bad enough he would probably ruin her night; he didn’t need the day too.
Rianne was outside for over an hour. When she finally had her fill of the rain she trudged into the house. She went straight for her book bag and began to do her homework. Two hours later, she was done with it. Once everything was returned to her bag, she stashed it back in the closet. Showering was next on her to-do-list. She went upstairs, grabbed a towel and headed to the bathroom. Stepping under the spray of the water, she could feel the tension leaving her body. The longer she stayed there the better she felt. Hot water continued to pour down on her for a half hour before she had to force herself out. In a smooth move, she grabbed the towel and wrapped it around her self. As she opened the door to leave the cold air surprised her. Why did her mother have the ac on? It was only May.
She quietly stepped through the open door to check on her mother. Still sleeping peacefully. Rianne grabbed a pair of pj’s from the basket of folded clothes on her floor. Thank God, she hadn’t put them away. Her dresser drawers were loud whenever she tried to open them and her mother definitely wouldn’t appreciate being woken up. After dressing in the dark, she walked down to the closet at the end of the hallway and grabbed a few blankets and an extra pillow.
The couch downstairs was a much better option than her mother’s bed. Lord only knows what sins were committed there. Surprisingly, the leather couch wasn’t sticky. Maybe the ac was a good idea. She placed a blanket across the seats of the couch then laid down with the pillow under her head. Held in her hand was the blanket that would be covering her. She laid it out over herself before rolling onto her side.
Rianne was so used to the process of setting the alarm on the TV to wake her up for school, that she didn’t even bother to look at the screen as she pressed the buttons on the remote. Instead, her gaze fell upon the quiet street just outside the window. A few rays of light from the street lamps escaped through the partially closed blinds. She repositioned herself slowly. Rianne could feel herself drifting off to sleep.
Aiden laid in his bed staring up at the ceiling. Around him, music was playing but he was so lost in thought he could barely make out the words. Today had been a total mess. First him and Rianne continued to fight. Then they almost make up but his ridiculous plan backfired. And now she probably won’t speak to him ever again. He looked over at the clock on his bedside table. He should be heading to bed but instead he turned off the stereo and began playing his guitar. When the chorus came his mother knocked on the door.
“Aiden. Can I come in?” the door cracked open a bit.
Aiden put his guitar down on his bed. “Sure Ma.”
His mother sat down on the edge of the bed. In her silence, Aiden began to wonder why she had wanted to come in. usually when she heard his guitar she would leave him alone. Whether it was because she didn’t like the sound or respected his privacy he didn’t know.
“Play you guitar.” She insisted. “Then you can tell me what’s going on.”
“I thought you didn’t like my music?”
“I like your music, the one you actually play. Not the crap your stereo screams out.” They both laughed.
He picked his guitar back up and began to play. The sound was softer this time and much sweeter. As he played, he watched his mothers face trying to figure out her response. When the song was over, she applauded him and waited for him to spill his latest drama.
Carefully he retold her the day’s disasters. Their relationship was tight enough where he could tell her almost anything and she would try her best to understand. He could tell she was thinking over the information when she started absentmindedly toying with the comforter on his bed. After a few minutes deliberation she once again looked him in the eye.
“You need to talk to her.” when he opened his mouth to protest she held up her hand. “Not in school where anyone can listen or come up to you and ruin everything. Somewhere the two of you can talk where no one else will interrupt. She cares about you. I can see it when she comes over here. The way she looks at you, the way she talks to you. It’s just a little harder for her to accept that than it is for other people.” She paused “I’ve seen the marks on her. No matter what she says, those marks are not from tripping and falling. She’s got very good balance and isn’t fooling anyone. You’re the one thing in her life that is solid. The one person who actually cares and comforts her when she needs it. She is not just going to rush into something with you. What if something happens between you two? What if you fight and break up? She’ll have nothing. Give her time.”
“When did you notice the marks?” he whispered. Rianne usually did a great job of hiding them. If she hadn’t told him flat out one day, he would never have known. Even when he thought about it now, she had just told him because they were telling each other everything. It just slipped out; the look on her face after she realized what she had said proved it. She didn’t want anyone to know but she told him. She does love me.
“Honey, you can’t hide anything from me. You should know that by now. I just hope she realizes people care about her before she does anything worse.”