Chapter 8 - True Colors

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Chapter 8
True Colors

Mom didn’t come back; at least not when she said that she would.

It’s been a week, a whole week without any contact. No phone calls were made, visits to the house. She just disappeared out of thin air without a word in edgewise. I wasn’t about to ask “Jack” what her number was, because he would either take out his frustrations on me, or just choose to laugh and walk away. I was not about to take any chances.

I pretended like it didn’t hurt, didn’t bother me that she could come back and leave just before I had the chance to tell her what was really going on in the Maverick household since she’s been gone. She already missed out on so much, the graduations from elementary and middle school, the fairly well done report cards, my growing up…everything a mother should be witnessing their child do. And now she’s been missing out on the hurt, the punches and bruises. But I was too weak and too scared to let her know what was really going on when she decided to leave me here with him. It was my own fault that I couldn’t make her stay longer than she had.

“Ms. Maverick? Excuse me, Ms. Maverick!” the substitute English teacher lulled me out of my thoughts. She must have grasped the lost look on my face while I ignored her lesson on a novel we had already talked about months ago.

I raised my eyebrows, hoping she would get that I was telling her to proceed without making a sound. She raised her eyebrows back at me, mimicking my actions. “Would you care to explain to us what your thoughts about the main character’s struggles are?”

I stared at her with wide eyes, grasping the fact that almost everyone in the class had their eyes on me, waiting for Willow Maverick to make her first peep in years. I fiddled with my fingers, playing with the rings. My eyes cast down to them, shifting to the etching of names in the desk to give myself a second to think of what to do. I was almost sweating with nerves, feeling everyone watching me and urging me to continue. The substitute hadn’t made a move to ask someone else, almost like she was torturing me. Mrs. O’Riley wouldn’t have done this to me; she knew how quiet I was.

“Well I think his struggles ended up making him a better person in the end. I mean, how could someone deal with all of those situations like he did and not learn something from it all, you know?”

I could have strangled him. I could have cursed him out and maybe punched him in his chest a few times. I should have been relieved that he saved me from such humiliation like that, but all I wanted to do was beat the living crap out of him. This was my problem to deal with, not his. And why did he keep showing up and barging into my issues? Who did he think he was?

“Hm…well thank you Mr. Avery. That was…insightful,” the sub said warily, not turning around without giving me a menacing look.

When she was finally facing the board, I quickly scribbled some menacing words myself with the swiftness of my pen, crumpled it and threw it backwards to the boy who couldn’t keep his mouth shut that sat behind me.

I didn’t need your help.

I didn’t have to wait long for a reply, just how it always seemed to be when it came to Flynn and I. He slowly dropped it over my shoulder, making a conscious effort to not skim my shoulder without notice.

I know how you can be. I knew you wouldn’t talk. Couldn’t just let you get thrown to the wolves.

Stop. Just stop acting like you know me, okay?

I crumpled it back up, my fingers shaking in pure hatred for this boy. He was always the one to act like he knew what was going on in my life, acted like he knew me for so many years and we were the closest of friends. But the simple fact was that he didn’t know a single thing when it came to me.

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