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Nixon's POV

The ride home was uneasy. Claire didn't know quite what to say, neither did I if I was honest with myself. I was beyond angry at my father, how do you treat somebody like that, someone you don't know from eve!? Never did I expect his anger to be lashed out on other people, but the blows I'd received from him...those I expected.

The scene replayed in my head of tears welling up in Noah's eyes. Coming from such a massive built kid, they looked alien, they shouldn't be there. On one hand, he was a stranger, the new kid, but there was a part of me that felt he was always supposed to be there in my life. Deep down, there was this protective side of me that needed him. It too, seemed he needed me, yet I'd just let my father...break him.

It was a weird, unanticipated revelation. Why should I feel this way about a guy I'd never met before? Yeah, sure, he did look like me, but there shouldn't be any feelings connected to him. I tried to push it away, it was awkward. I'm pretty sure all that Noah felt about me was that my dad is a complete asshole, that he should've just stayed away and ran after his bus or walked himself home.

I wanted to get to the bottom of this. Why did we look so alike? Since Dad didn't seem to want to help at all, maybe I could ask my mom. Noah said he'd ask too, but it didn't seem likely now. I doubt he'd want anything to do with this stuff anymore. I could've had a friend in Noah, he seemed like a decent person, albeit he couldn't speak but, that just added more to his charm. Well, he did look like me, so, good looks were natural.

"He seemed very sweet, maybe he'll come back soon?" Claire inquired.

"Honestly? I don't even want to come home after what just happened." I stressed. Her shoulders sunk, she'd never been one to keep her head down to Earth. She always tried to forget everything bad that happened around her.

Once she pulled into the driveway, I pushed open the door and slammed it shut. The night air was chilly, but I needed to walk off my resentment and rage. The sidewalk stretched on for what seemed like forever before I'd get to a turn, when during the day it was only a five minute walk. I started on my journey, hearing the soft grass bow under my shoes until I finally reached the cement.

"What are you doing, Nix?" Claire called from the car, where she continued to close its door. "You still haven't eaten your dinner." I let out a throaty growl, now thoroughly convinced she was a dimwit.

"In case you haven't noticed, I'm fucking pissed! My bastard father can't accept anybody for who they are except himself. I don't even know how you can still be around him, or how he found somebody that would put up with being thrown around and hit for his enjoyment. You can get away, C. Why do you stay?" My words stung her and I felt horrible for them. She swallowed, thickly.

"Somebody has to protect you kids. Nix, I love all of ya'll. Maybe I am dumb for staying in this abusive relationship, but I know your mother isn't capable of caring for you and I don't want you to end up being taken away from your other siblings. This is the exact reason why I'm not having children with your father. There doesn't need to be more blood shed in this household than there already is. Why do you think Ryan ran off? We'll probably never see him again because of your father. I know what goes on. I'm just...trying to make the situations he puts us through better. I want better for you and your sisters. It's not fair for ya'll to have to go through that with nobody by your side." The hot tears betrayed me, leaking onto my cheeks. All this time, I'd just been thinking she was stupid, but...she was only staying because of us. I loved Claire when she could just be herself and Dad wasn't at home.

"I just need to walk this out. I'll be back soon."

The End

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