When Alex slipped back into the house early the next morning. His dad wouldn’t be leaving for work today, it was his day off, but still Alex needed the extra time to shower and start the laundry. After many years of practise, it was too easy to ghost in and out of rooms, cleaning and picking up any dirty clothing or anything that needed to be washed. He had to shower quickly today to make his dad his breakfast; he enjoyed the warmth of the water, but it was over too quickly. Drying his hair he picked out what he was going to wear: grey long sleeved shirt and black jeans would do, he would put on his blue jacket later, but he needed to go into the kitchen.
Once he entered the kitchen he put bread into the toaster, while that was warming up, he went to the laundry and threw the first load into the washing machine.
“Where’s my breakfast!” his dad demanded, marching into the kitchen like a knight who was going into battle, and one he knew he was going to win. Tuesdays were always his day off and out of all the days off the week, it was Alex’s most hated days.
“Right.” Alex brightly said, hopping over to the toaster, pulling out the toast, buttering, putting it on a plate that was next to a cup of coffee.
“Well then; give to me!”
When his dad got the plate, Alex jumped out of his reach, hovering anxiously nest to the toaster; knowing that he hadn’t been dismissed until his dad told him or left the table. It was far too early for the Peterson’s to be awake or at least awake enough to hear the yelling, so Alex didn’t want to start anything.
“Where’s the bacon?” He screamed a string of spit landed on Alex’s check.
“We’re out of bacon.” Alex whispered; he knew what was going to happen.
His dad let out a bellow of rage and like the responsible and reasonable adult he was: who am I kidding; more like started to throw things around like a three year old who was told that they wouldn’t get candy because they misbehaved. All Alex could do all his dad did this was sank down and cover his head; waiting for this fit to end, flinching every time something hit him. Finally his dad wore himself out and settle back to eating his toast. Alex took the lull to quickly getting the kitchen back in order, grabbing his bad and running out the back door.
It was still early and he didn’t think that the Peterson’s would be awake at this hour; he may as well read a book while he waited. He didn’t even make to the ladder when he stepped back and looked at the cut that was on his hand; at same point in his dad’s tantrum, he most of thrown a knife at Alex, which of course left the deep cut in his right palm; he knew that the cut would need stitches.
“Well; that’s a first.” He said quietly to himself, as there was no one else around to talk to.
Still Alex would need to climb the ladder; so he went about the painful business of climbing up the ladder at a slower pace. When he did reach the top, he didn’t pull the ladder up after him; he was more focused on not letting any bleed get onto his clothing, turning on the walkie talkie.
“Hey?” he said; his voice tentative and nervous, uncertainty lacing onto the single syllable word.
Static was the only thing that he could hear, and to it was loud. He tired pressing the call button, but…
“Hello?” was the bleary response.
“Hi, I’m sorry.” Alex said “I swear I wouldn’t brother you this early but…”
“It’s fine Alex.” Tia yawned “That’s the reason I gave you the walkie talkie in the first place. Don’t worry I’ll be over in a few.”
“Thanks.” Alex said, putting the device down; he still wasn’t sure if calling Tia over had been a good idea, but in all honesty a mad Tia scared him more than his dad did on a normal day –he’s mad all the time and something one just gets used to.
Last night; after he managed to calm down somewhat; Tia had left him several items and instructions.
“This walkie talkie will always be one me.” Tia said, as she handed him the matching pair “I got a friend of mine from the old place to fix them, they won’t stand out, well at least not too much. Anyway, the point is you use it to call me at any time I’m not with you. I don’t care what time it is, if you need anything, just call, don’t worry about me not responding or anything like that; I’m a light sleeper and if anything happens, I want to know right away. If you get so much as a paper cut; I better it hear my walkie talkie going off. Understand?”
“Good. Now, here are some snacks and bug spray. I really hate bugs, so please keep it up here for my sake.”
Alex couldn’t help but smile at the memory: bug had never bothered him.
“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Tia said as she made her way onto the platform, her eyes were automatically drawn to the cut on Alex’s palm.
“Good morning to you to sunshine.” Alex replied, he was trying to lighten the mood, but Tia it would appear wasn’t a morning person to any degree.
“Please tell me that this isn’t normal.” Tia begged, as she opened the first aid kit, that was going to stay up here “Because if this is normal; I really don’t think I can stay quiet.”
“He’s never thrown a knife before.” Alex said; not really answering Tia’s question, but he did slightly.
“He threw a knife?” Tia screamed her black hair flying as she whipped her head around, a glare falling on Alex without her knowing she was doing it.
“Please don’t be mad!” Alex said; alarm filling his eyes.
Tia started to take deep breaths when she saw the alarm entre his eyes; trying in vain to keep a hand on her emotions. It would take some time for her to get used to the fact that she had to control her temper, as Alex was easily scared. She was starting to regret her promise not to tell anyone, but she didn’t see what good telling someone would make. Like Alex said; his dad was a cop and Scarlet had already tried getting Alex out of this hell hole, but to not avail.
“You’re going to need stitches.” Tia stated moving to clean the wound with foul smelling liquid.
“I know.” He told her, he was looking at the wooden boards.
“If you promise not to scream, I can do it right here.” Tia said; her voice was low as she could barely hide her emotion; she was pissed as Alex’s dad for doing this to him.
“When Harmony was adopted, everyone in our family took first aid courses just in case something happened.” Tia explained, while searching for something in the first aid kit “We spend a lot of time at the hospital, I would try to find ways to keep myself entertained, so I just watched the doctors and nurses. Eventually, my parents put me into a medical course to keep me from getting into much trouble, and I learned all sorts of helpful things; including how to stitch people up.”
“Okay.” Alex slowly said, as the information entered his head.
“But sadly this kit only has a mild numbing agent, so you’re going to have to try and not scream; because I can tell you it’s going to hurt.”
“Go for it, I promise I won’t scream.”
And he didn’t, not even a flinch, just sat there as Tia sewed the wound closed. At first it impressed the taller girl, until she thought about how much pain Alex had to go through; on his own. For this level of pain tolerance to happen. That just pissed her off again, so Tia had to turn most of her attention back to the task at hand.
“Hey Alex.” Scarlet greeted, joining the two on the platform.
“Hey Scarlet!” Alex said lightening up at the appearance of the darkly dress moody girl.
“Hello Scarlet.” Tia said with some warmth in her tone, she did try hard enough to put it there, hard to be nice to someone when all they did was yell at you, and she felt nothing for the mousy haired girl, that and her attention was needed somewhere else at the moment.
“What are you doing here?” Scarlet demanded with a sneer, not even trying to hid the fact that she didn’t like the new girl.
“I’m just finishing stitching Alex up.”
That made Scarlet’s eyes go to her friend’s now gazed wrapped hand.
“Alex?” She asked; warning in her tone.
“I was waiting until you got here, so I could tell you.” Alex explained; starting to look meek under his friends gaze “Tia found out –no thanks to your less than subtle hints- so she made me promise I’d tell her as well; when things happen and she’d try and fix it the best she can. This only happened this morning, so it’s okay.”
Scarlet just shook her head and handed him the palest stay concealer to hide the massive bruise on his face.
Again, Tia drove Alex, Chris and Scarlet to school, as soon as Tia drove and parked; they were greeted by Jasmine running rap to them her chocolate brown hair flying behind her like a kite. Amber was walking behind an amused smile on her face.
“Alex!” Jasmine squealed “I got a big bag of gummy works! Look.”
Jasmine put her prize over her head, Amber just shook her head; intruding that she wasn’t the one who gave Jasmine the bag of gummy worms, she had already eaten half the bag when Amber found her.
“No, no, no.” Alex said, snatching the bag out of his friends hand, before she could get any more harper, Amber gave him a stare that showed how relived she was that he took the bag of sweets off her girlfriend before she could get any more harper, though they were a little too late for that.
“Mine!” Jasmine complained; crossing her arms over her chest.
“What happened to your hand Alex?” Amber asked, laughing at the pouting face of her girlfriend, but also worried about the cut on Alex’s hand.
“Oh… that, I cut my hand with a knife while I was making breakfast.” Alex nonchalantly stated, keeping it as close to what really happened as he could; without worrying anyone.
“Chris” Lucy said, in her girlish voice.
“Oh, not again.” Amber complained, as she watched her twin skip over to them at the car yard, what did she do, to have such a sister.
“I was wondering if you wanted to eat lunch today?” Lucy asked Chris, ignoring the rest of them, Lucy never liked Amber; sister or not, she thought that it was wrong to date the member of the same sex, which is what her sister was doing.
“But I always eat lunch.” Chris said with a raised eyebrow, why was she asking him if wanted lunch, this girl was getting more annoying and strange.
“You’re so funny!” Lucy giggled “But I was wondering if you wanted to eat lunch with me.”
“Well then maybe tomorrow.” Lucy said
“I don’t know.”
“I’ll meet you for coffee later!” Lucy sang, also making people cover their ears, before skipping off before Chris could even get a word in, her skirt once again playing peek-a-poo with her bottom.
“I’m sorry about that.” Amber told Chris, turning away from Jasmine who was talking a mile a minute, she didn’t even know that Lucy was here, not alone left. Tia and Alex were laughing at pure disbelieve that was showing on Chris face.
“…and then I caught the squirrel, but mum said I couldn’t keep him.” Jasmine finished, while spinning in a circle her pink dress clouded around her legs, showing the pink leggings that she was wearing underneath. Her blue jacket flow from her back pulling it down her arms as she spin.
Chris and Tia didn’t know what the story was about and they weren’t going to ask what it was about if Amber’s amused expression said anything about it.
“Jasmine, you have all the energy of a coffee flavoured pixie stick.” Alex said.
“And then some.” Amber said, joining in with Alex’s laughter, a smile on his face that had fooled the whole school into thinking everything was fine in his life.