“Alex.” came a harsh yell from below, weaving itself around the trunk of the tree, through the branches and into his hidden fortress.
The sun had set a few hours ago, so Alex thought everyone was asleep in their houses after saying goodbye to them a few hours before sun set. That was why he was in his treehouse, reading a book in the light of an electric lantern when the familiar voice broke through the silence.
“Alex; I know you’re up there! If you don’t let down the ladder, I’m going to shout for real!”
Alex just let out a sigh, but he still kicked down the ladder, secretly laughing at how the request or demand remained him about a princess with long hair, but her name or the story title he couldn’t remember for the life of him. The memories before his mum was depressed were fuzzy at best, but he could kind of remember his mum reading him and Anna the story for bed. After a few minutes Tia’s head popped up over the side.
“What’s up?” Alex asked as brightly as he could manage at this time of night,
“Why are you up here?” Tia asked, while she was making herself as comfortable as possible on the wooden floor.
“I was just enjoying the night air a bit and a good book, before I went to bed.” Alex shrugged “You?”
“I saw the light on through the branches and wanted to check up on you.”
“Okay, well consider me checked on.”
The two sat in silence for the next few minutes; natural sound sounds of the night being the only thing heard; bus chattering away, stray cats rolling through the street, dogs barking, two cats fighting for one reason or another and the ever present wind that was whistling through the trees.
“What’s on your face?” Tia suddenly demanded/asked.
“Nothing.” Alex said while he turned away, trying to let the shadow of his hood hide his face from Tia’s view.
However, Tia was faster than Alex, gently slipping a hand under his chin, firmly keeping his face in the light of the lantern, pushing the hood down with her other hand. She studied Alex’s face for a minute, but it felt like hours, not saying anything she let his face go.
“Nothing has hands now?” She asked, while looking the hand shaped brush on his check, raising an eye brow.
“It’s not that big of a deal.” Alex insisted, but panic had settled in the pit of his stomach, the gears in his head were trying to find a way to talk himself out of the situation at hand.
“Your dad hurts you.” Tia stated it as if it was a fact.
The statement sat there, settling between them on the wooden boards, boldly darking Alex to try and deny it.
“He’s not well.” Alex quietly said, as if that made it all better and gave his dad the exercise for his behaviour, letting him get away with it.
“You don’t have to fix him, Alex.” Tia softly told him “You don’t have to live like this.”
“You can’t tell me what to do.” Alex emotionless voice said “You barely know me, you meet me three days ago, you have no control over me. Yes, I’ve told you pits and pieces about my life, but only because you told me yours and you bothered asking, most people don’t do that, but that doesn’t make you the boss of me. The reason I told you about my mum was because Scarlet made me. You can’t report what’s happening, my dad’s a cop trust me Scarlet’s already tried once.”
“I wasn’t going to report.” Tia said, looking at Alex with surprise on her face.
“Then why are you here? I know you already guessed it, maybe suspected something going on.”
“Perhaps I wanted to see if my guess was correct.”
“Well now that it has, you can leave me alone.”
“Alex, I don’t want to upset you.” Tia told him, the tone of her voice was getting softer “I just want to help you.”
She looked at the smaller boy with such sincerity; Alex wanted, no needed to believe her, to know that she was telling the truth about it.
“You can’t help.” Alex’s voice was so quiet that the wind almost snatched it away before Tia’s keen ears could hear it “He’s bigger and smarter than you are.”
“How about you and I make a deal?”
“I already have one with Scarlet; I don’t need another one.”
“What’s the deal you have with Scarlet?”
“When he hits me, I have to have to tell her and in return she keeps quiet about it, she’s the one to make sure no one suspects anything at school, so she’ll be bring me make-up, which is girly; I know, but whatever to what other people think.”
“Well, then why don’t we make one that’s similar? Obviously I won’t give you make-up, but you tell me what happens and I can sneak you ice or whatever you need.”
“What do you get out of this deal?” Alex asked; he was just naturally suspicious of anyone; especially anyone who tried to help him for no reason, well at least not that he can see.
“I want the same thing Scarlet gets, I stay informed.”
“And you promise not to tell anyone? Not even you parents or Chris?”
“I won’t tell anyone, not even Chris.” Tia swore solemnly.
Alex was just staring at her; he wanted to measure Tia’s nerves. He had known her for three day, yet she was able to work out what other people had missed for the last eight years; she figured out what was going on with his dad, so really what choice did he have, but to agree.
“Fine.” Alex grumbled as they shock on it.
“Here.” Tia said, opening a small back pack that she had with her, with a sly smile on her face pulled an ice pack. “I thought that you might need this.”
Tears were welling up in Alex’s eyes as he looked at the ice pack “What’s wrong with me? I’ve never cried like this before.”
“You’re just not used to people caring about you.” Tia shrugged like it was the most obvious thing on this planet.
Shacking his at her statement, the movement seemed to dislodged most of the tears that had gathered in his eyes, white hair were caught in steams of light, making it look like threads of snow where connected to his head.
Tia gathered him into her arms with a soft sigh. She felt Alex tense up for a moment; in that moment she felt something inside of her sift, making room for the boy she held in her arms. Hating anyone and anything that would set Alex on edge so constantly; she now knew that she would do anything and everything in her power to help him.
Now that she saw this, Tia knew that the trusting and sharing Alex had been nothing more than a façade, a façade that was created to stop people wondering what was going on at his home. Alex went out of his way to make anyone who talked to him: think they knew all there was to know about him, because at least in that case they wouldn’t look for the bruises or for the jumps at physical contact, and they couldn’t even think about the fact that they knew so little about him.
In Tia’s small world; she cared for every few. Having been disillusioned by the heart ache and suffering Harmony went through while she was alive; from all the judgment passes onto her about being sick and onto the family for adopting a sick and dying child, but like Scarlet; she found that her cold exterior melting to this undersized with oddly coloured hair and eyed boy for no reason whatsoever.
As soon as Alex did relax in her hold, Tia pulled him into her lap, crossing her legs, putting her head on top of his, pulling him closer to her, keeping Alex from falling apart, by holding him together.
So, Tia finds out what's going on and the deal Alex and Scarlet have. Glad this person isn't my dad, don't now about, but I' m sure glad he isn't. Here's to parents acting like the children and making their kids grow up to fast so they can take care of him.
But in this Tia is both sweet and mean, what do you think about that.
Hope you enjoy reading this