Chapter 27: Kindred Spirits

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October 6th 2015

I heard him and it all made sense. He didn't care about me, he just cared about his basketball. Why would a guy like him be interested in me? Was he even gay? Or did he just think it was fun to mess me around? Have fun with the nerd- see how high he can get my hopes up? I bet nothing he ever told me was true. Virgin- my ass.

I'm walking but I can feel the tears well up in my eyes. They're blurring my vision, making nearly impossible to see the road in front of me. I stumble, but I don't care. I just got to get away from here. I keep walking as so many thoughts swim around in my head. To think I gave him my first kiss- how pathetic am I.

I hear the low rumble, an engine behind me. If it's Damian I don't think I can handle him. They start to slow down, noticing me. I'm about to yell at him to leave me alone, that I don't want his petty excuses. But instead I met with a much lower, Huskier voice-

"Hey Noah. Don't worry, I'm not gonna ask you how you are- I think that's pretty obvious. I'm not gonna tell you to forgive Damian or that he didn't mean what he said. I'm not gonna comfort you either. But I'm gonna tell you one thing."
I look up in the dark night sky, to be met with pitch black eyes that almost appear to be glowing. An emotionless face, a slightly predator-like stance all from a man perched up against a sleek black motorcycle. Then it hits. There's only one guy who gets away with being the Goddamn hot, cocky and completely creepy at the same time-
"Oh, so you do know who I am. Bet Kate told you about me, huh?" He starts smirking off into the distance and I'm tempted to just continue to stand here and gape at him. But I can't I'm to curious as to what he has to say to me. Is he going to mock me for being a fool and believing in Damian? Take the mick out of me for following for the cliche love story? Or just bully me for being a fag?

I know I should be scared for all those things but I'm not. I guess growing up with my dad you learn to anticipate the harsh words and even harsher actions. You become so use to it that the pain doesn't hurt the same. It becomes a sort of relief in the sense that some things stay the same. You know where you stand and therefore can never get your hopes up too high. Or believe in something better than what you deserve. My dad did that- he always showed me where I belonged. Whether it was right for me or not.

"You were going to tell me.." I prompt, in a lot stronger voice than even I thought i could muster. Sometimes you just get too good at hiding the pain.

"Ahh yes" he smiles at me, focusing his eyes once again on my face. It's not a menacing smile like I anticipated but a genuine one. Filled with humor, compassion and little bit of satisfaction. But all of which seems almost harmless to me. "I wanted to tell you we are one of the same. Kindred spirits of sorts. People like us are dealt the shitty hands and even shittier players. But that doesn't mean we have to play the game by their rules. I learned my own way of dealing with this crap, and I think it's time you should too. From your dad, peers, Silver, your mother, the whole lot."

"Did Kate tell you about my dad? And how do you know anything about my mom- no one knows about my mum" I demand, hating how close his words cut to home.

"I've watched you Noah. I saw you that first day and since then Ive noticed you. Kate has never told me a thing but she never had to. I'm good at reading people, I have to be, dealing with the sort of people I do. But when I saw you, you had everything in place that it was hard to read you. You were too perfect at being the 'normal' nerd and that's what intrigued me. I thought that maybe you were just insecure, but then I saw your smile fade or crack here and there. When people aren't around you let yourself be you. That person is far from the 'norm'. I guess you became a project to me to discover, something to pass the time with. I've always needed projects to keep my mind busy otherwise I fret to much on things that don't matter. So you became that project I needed and from then on I went on a mission to understand you. And now I believe I have."

"So, this entire time I thought someone was stalking me- it was you? And to think I thought I was becoming delusional!"

"Yup.. All me" Ash replies smirking whilst popping the 'p'.

"So what exactly do you know about me?"

"Everything: your abusive dad, your mom and her boyfriend, your need for a scholarship, your lack of trust in people, the only real friend you have ever had is Kate. The whole lot."

"So why are you telling me this now. You want to help me. How am I supposed to trust you?"

"Kate trusts me. Kate trusts me so much she gave me her heart on a silver platter. Something I had to refuse, but still was offered to me!" He demands getting more exasperated by each passing word. It's comical watching him and listening to him. He's definitely not what I imagined. He's not normal, he has this aura about him. He doesn't sound like a thug or anything bad but almost regal. I could literally imagine him having a crown placed high on his head by his fellow servant. But I guess it's this authority that makes him superior at our school and keeps him out of trouble. He just is one peculiar thing.

"So you just want me to trust you cause Kate does? Even though you know I have trust issues? Even though I'm assuming you just witnessed what happened with Damian when I began to trust him?"

"No, I think you should trust me because I'm the only person you know who actually understands what you're going through."

"You have an abusive dad, a neglectful mother and no friends!" I scream feeling the tears begin to reemerge once more.

"No, but I've had an alcoholic mother who drunk herself to death, a dead- beat dad who left us, and two siblings who are my full responsibility. So I don't exactly have time for friends." He says as the calm begins to fade over him again. He realizes he has won this. He does have it tough, probably tougher than me since he has more people to look after. He continues realizing I'm not about to outburst again. "I've worked two jobs since I was fourteen, but that didn't cut it when the twins got older so instead I took up more illegal forms of obtaining money once I was sixteen. I've dealt with people so much worst than your dad, seen things so much worst than you can imagine. But the most horrible part of it all is I have had to do things I so much rather forget than have to relive each and everyday. But I get up and go through all the crap again and again because I have mouths to feed and roof to keep over their heads. So tell me I don't understand what a crap life is like because I'd like you to think of a crappier one than mine."

I gape at him for a few moments. Astonished by his words, but more astonished by the sincerity in them. He let down his barriers for me- a complete stranger. Okay maybe not a stranger to him since he knows everything about me, but still. He opened to me on levels no one else has and I guess because of it I do trust him. I stand there for a few more minutes watching him watch the stars. As if feeling my eyes on him, he turns to me and speaks in a low voice.
"You can be mad at everyone who has ever wronged you. Or anyone who's let wrong happen to you. But in the end of the day everyone sees the same stars, everyone sees the same constellations, no one takes the liberty to find something new up there in the galaxy. They leave it to fancy technology and telescopes to do that for them. When simply if they focused A little harder, who knows what the naked eye could do. That's what I wanted to tell you Noah. There's no point in being mad when in the end of the day you can make a discovery and change your path all on your own- you don't need anyone else. Not Silver, not Kate not even me. Don't let some dumb jocks or even your father tell you differently the sky's literally the limit."

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