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I stare at April. Something happened. I'm not exactly sure what, but somewhere something went wrong. Regina was being hard on April and I hoped it would change once they got to know each other, but now Regina was upset and April looked guilty.

"What was that?" I ask.

April looked away. "I shouldn't have, but I just got so mad. I hate when people act like they know me."

I stare at her. That explains nothing. Nothing April said had been to crazy but I had a feeling there was some subtext I wasn't getting.

"What did you say?" I ask.

"I, uh, heard my brothers talking. Everyone kind of knows the rumors about Regina. I normally don't even pay attention to that stuff. I mean who you sleep with is up to you. But I just got mad and that was the first thing that came to my mind." April explained in a rush.

April stared at me waiting for my response. Slowly I started to put the pieces together. April just slut shamed Regina. After everything she just said about her brothers she was doing the same with Regina by perpetuating an ugly rumor about who she'd been sleeping with.

I stand up, pulling away. April looks hurt.

"Aden. I didn't mean it." She says.

I don't know what to say. I look at her a moment longer before turning to leave.

"Aden" April calls again but I don't look back. Regina was wrong. She shouldn't have said that to April, but I knew what it was like when you developed defenses against the popular crowd.

I'm not even that mad at April. I'm just disappointed. She seemed like a nice girl. I honestly thought she was different. But I guess everyone in high school is like that.

I walk out of the classroom. I would go to check on Regina but I have no clue where she went. Dashawn went after her so hopefully he helps her. Regina was a little ruff on the edges but she'd been friendly to me. According to what April said the other students were probably picking on her.

A hand reaches out to grab me. I turn my head to see Jamal standing behind me. He doesn't say anything. He just looks down at me with those cold soulless eyes.

Out of the two brothers Jamal is the scariest. He didn't care how much he hurt you or how loud you screamed. I'm pretty sure he could kill me with out blinking an eye. Keith might have been a bully but Jamal was scarface scary.

I turn around to see two other guys standing behind us. Their arms are the size of my head and their faces are grim.

"We need to talk." Jamal said


A fist collides with my face sending me falling to the ground. My lips is split and I can taste blood. I hold my sides. I really hope the rib isn't cracked. That would be really hard to explain to my mom. The guy raises his fist to hit me again.

"That's enough." Jamal says.

The guy stops before his fist can hit my face. He takes a step back.

Jamal walks over and squats down in front of me. He pulls out a rag and holds it out for me. I look at it and spit down at the ground.

Jamal laughs. "See that's what I like about you kid. Your one stubborn mother fvcker. But you know that gotten may people killed before." He says patting my face.

"Your a smart guy so I probably don't need to go into details. Your going to take a few sick days to let this all heal up. When you come back you're going to complete this project and then your never going to talk to her again. Are we clear?" Jamal said.

I stare back at him gritting my teeth but not saying anything.

He smiles and stands back up. He turns to leave. I could just let it go. After all that happened today I'm not even sure we're still friends. April is honestly just a lot of trouble, but still...

"She can make her own friends." I say.

Jamal turns back around to glare at me."what did you say?"

I push myself up into a sitting position. It hurts but I push myself through it. I fight to catch my breath.

"I said she can make her own friends." I say making Jamal angrier. Maybe I've got a death wish but at this point I don't even care anymore.

Jamal storms back over towards me. He grabs me by the collar pulling me in closer. His fist is cocked back ready knock my lights out or worse. I close my eyes and ready myself for the impact.

"What's going on here?" A voice asked. We both turn to see principle Little standing by the door.

Jamal drops his hand and takes a step back. Principle frowns at him. "In my office, now." He say.

Both him and Jamal leave together. Once there gone a familiar face pops out behind the corner.

"Dashawn?" I say.

Dashawn rushes over to me. He helps me up. He wraps my arm over his shoulder.

"You brought principle Little?" I asked.

"After I finished dealing with Gina I saw you and Jamal leaving out. I told Little I smelled weed coming from this direction." Dashawn with a smile.

"You know Jamal won't like it when he finds out."

"Well let's just hope that doesn't happen. My face is too pretty for Jamal's fist."

I laugh but it turns into a groan. It even hurts to laugh. Dashawn helps me over to my car. This school can't even afford a nurses office. I don't even care. I'm in no condition to sit through classes and this way I make it home before anyone can see the damage. I open my door and slide in.

"You okay to drive?" Dashawn asked.

"Yeah. I'm sorry for today. Is Regina okay?"

"Yeah she's good. Some times she dishes out more than she can take. Underneath all that black an dark humor is a pretty sensitive girl."

"Tell her I'm sorry."

"No it's good man. You know how girls are. She'll be fine once she dust herself off. Besides she was kind edging April on. Bit of advice dude never get in the middle of a girl fight."

He seems a bit casual about it but it's nice to know that Regina is okay.

"Thanks for today." I say.

"Nah, it's good we got to look out for each other."

I waved at Dashawn before pulling off. I'm defiantly going to need ice for all of this damage.

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