Chapter 4 - We got our nicknames.
It was raining like crazy by the time I had left Ashley's house, making my still-warm shirt cold and wet again. I turned down Ashley's offer for an umbrella since Pete would probably break it if he decides to have a rage fit again.
I kept my head down and my bag over my neck and head as I ran up the winding street. I stepped nimbly over all the dents and cracks in the sidewalk, since more then once I've mapped them out in my head when trying to run away. I was always caught though.
So many times had Pete pissed me off to the point of packing what few valuables I had and climbing out during the night, running down the street in almost complete darkness and trying to find the shelter. In the process, usually the police found me or my mom did. I could never tell the police why I'd run away, my mom knew right away and just told me to get in the car. She'd sneak me in.
My house was just in sight when I tripped on my shoelace and dived head-first into a puddle of mud that soaked my whole body. I tried to stop myself with my hands but only scraped them on the sidewalk, tearing my blood gloves and giving my palm a nice bloody scrape.
"God DAMNIT!" I yelled, trying to get up. My knee stung and so did my hands. I stumbled to my feet and looked down. Wet brown mud with a few hints of red dribbled down my gazelle legs, staining my pants. I studied it for a minuet before groaning and picking up my bag again.
My house was quiet when I opened the door. Thunder boomed behind me as I shook rain out of my hair and entered, pulling off my sneakers. I checked around for Pete or mom, nobody seemed to be down here. I stripped my shirt off and ran upstairs to my bedroom.
Quiet up there too. I figured I was home alone. I pulled off the rest of my clothes and threw them in my clothing basket. I looked down at my knees, still bloody and muddy and stinging like a bitch. I wiped off what I could then snuck to the bathroom to shower.
I passed the mirror, catching a glimpse of myself in it. I turned back. looking closer. No wonder Ash freaked, the bruises were darker then I remember. Making a perfect X between my nipples.
"Dear god.." I said to myself, tracing the sore patches with my fingers, running down the sides. I looked down at the sink. Why did he have to do this? How could mom have fallen for someone like him? I scratched my head and realized I still had my gloves on.
Oh this will be good I thought to myself as I peeled off the wet red and black pieces of cloth, exposing my cut up arms. The inflamed red slashes went from the middle of my forearm to the beginning of my hand, only a few though, six or seven. The rest were scars. I stared down at them, one was ripped by the wrist, which would obviously show everything. I dropped the glove in the sink and ran water over it to get the mud off.
"Dumbass, dumbass, dumbass." I whispered to myself, stepping into the shower.
I met up with Ash on our way to school. I decided to make a new glove out of the sleeve of an old shirt I had. I'm pretty good with a pair of scissors and the shirt was skin tight, making it easily cut through. I made two so the makeshift one didn't clash with the regular one, still stained with mud.
Ashley seemed happy today, as usual. He skipped across the street, his black hair flapping in the breeze and a grin plastered to his face.
"You seem happy." I greeted him.
"I got this!" he pulled up the front of his shirt. Right where his diaphragm would be was the word OUTLAW in black outlined letters. I crooked one of my eyebrows questioningly.
"My aunt said I'm old enough for my first tattoo." he said. "I'm getting it filled in next week."
"Thats real?!" I asked, shocked.
"Yep. I'm not even 18." he laughed.
"Thats so legal."
Ashley rolled his eyes. "All the fun stuff is illegal to awesome people like us."
Did he just call me awesome?
"Awesome? Not the word to describe me, Ashes."
He raised his eyebrows at me, a line of pink formed across his cheekbones. "Ashes?"
Shit. Whenever I thought about him I always called him Ashes in my mind, AshLEY name just doesn't describe him, even if he was a little girly. I tried to think of a good lie.
"I'm too lazy to say your full name." I said.
Nice, Andy. Stupidest excuse you've ever made. I thought. Ashley actually laughed, his teeth so white it could light up the moon.
"Well can I call you Ands then?" he joked.
"Ands?" I snickered. "Sure."
Ashley started walking. I looked down and followed, watching his legs so I wouldn't bump him.
Birds chirped softly in the trees, the leaves were slowly turning different colors. The wind blew the leaves, making them shuffle in the early morning god.
"I just realized something." he said after a while.
He gave me a mischievous smile. "You laughed."
I crooked my eyebrows at him. "What?"
"When I asked to call you Ands, you laughed."
"A snicker is a candy bar, that was a laugh." he said.
"Andy laughed!" he sang.
I rolled my eyes and kept walking, keeping my hand over my forehead so the wind didn't blow my hair to hell.
We got to school a few minuets early. As we were walking across the school yard I saw a couple of the dark kids (freaks as Ashley called them) talking, both with long black hair and band shirts. Stuff like what we wear. The taller one grabbed the skateboard from the other's hand and jumped on it, falling off almost as fast as he got on. He let out a cry of pain as he fell straight on his ass. The shorter one was too busy laughing to notice me going over to help.
The kid was laying on the sidewalk, his face contorted in pain. I knelt down beside him. "You okay?"
"I'll be okay when Jake shuts his fucking face!" he groaned.
I looked back at Ashley. He was looking away from us for some reason.
Jake, the shorter kid was still giggling as he came over, holding his skateboard. "I told you man, you can't do it."
"And now my ass is broken." the kid on the ground said.
"You don't have an ass, C."
C glared at him for a second then tried to get up. I helped him up and picked up the stuff that spilled out of his bag.
"Thanks man." C said, rubbing his back.
Ashley looked back at all of us, his arms still crossed over his chest. Jake and C went back to what they were doing before and I joined Ashley again.
He shrugged. "Nothing."
Nothing. Thats what everybody says. Sad? Its nothing. Hurt? Its nothing. STD? Its nothing. I copied his pose and made a fake sneer, an exaggeration of his pout-y face and growled.
"What the fuck, Andy." he said, dropping his arms. I kept the grump face.
"Its nothing." I growled, still scrunching my face as much as possible.
"You look like a pissed off dog."
I growled again, bearing my teeth.
Ashley gave in and giggled slightly. "You can stop that now."
"Stop what?" I growled.
"The 'grr' voice and face."
"This is my grumpy Ashley face. Grr." I said, growling again.
Ashley rolled his eyes and continued to the school house. I dropped the grump face anf followed him.
"You know, those guys seemed really nice." I said, swinging my arms. Ashley's happiness seemed to rub off on me before it seemed to die when I helped "C" up.
Ashley shrugged. "I wouldn't know."
"I thought the dark kids were friends..."
Ashley gave me a look like I just said I believed in Santa Clause.
"Not even close, Ands." he said.
I bit my lip ring. "I thought since we're basicly the same--"
Ashley covered my mouth and kept walking, I was forced to follow since he was squeezing my cheeks.
"Arshry" I said through his hands.
He let my face go when we got through the door. I massaged the sides of my face softly.
"What was that for?!" I demanded.
Ashley just smiled. "You have so much to learn."