Twenty Two

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Aden

It's sunday afternoon and someone is knocking on my door again. I just finished off the final touches on the paper. April's part needed a few corrections but over all she'd done a decent job. I turn from my desk to look at the door.

"Aden are you in there?" This time it was Michael instead of mom asking. "We haven't seen you all this weekend. Your mom and I are a little worried."

"I'm fine."I answer.

"Well then you should join the rest of the family. We're going to put on a movie."

"It's good. I still have some work to do."

"Aden."

I sigh. Michael wasn't going to be as easily deterred as my mom had been. I stand up and walk over to the door. I place my hand on the door nob, but pause.

"Do you promise not to tell mom. I don't want her to get upset." I say.

"Let me see what's wrong. If your mother doesn't have to be involved she won't be." Michael said.

I guess that'll have to do. I turn the door nob slowly. The door opens but only slightly. Michael stares at me through the crack. His eyes widen slight, but other wise he doesn't show any other signs of reaction.

"You want to let me in so we can talk about it." Michael said.

I open the door and step back. He walks into the room. I close the door and go back to my office chair. Michael takes a seat on the bed.

"So I'm assuming their's a story behind those bruises." Michael said.

"Would you believe me if said it was all over a girl?" I say with a sad smile.

Michael rubbed his chin and nodded. "Is it same girl you got partnered with for the project."

"Yup, she's nice but her brother isn't."

Her brother is a freaking psychopath gang leader who probably would smile to see me six feet under, but I feel like that might be saying too much.

"Was she worth it?" He asked.

I hesitate for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, I think so."

We're both quite for a moment. I guess I have to accept the fact that I like April Robinson. If given the opportunity to go back and change who I got assigned as a partner I don't think I would. I want this partnership to work. I want... I want us to be friends. I like Dashawn and Regina but with April their was an undeniable connection. Apparently one that was so strong I was willing to stand up against her brother. It's a little scary.

"Then I guess you're going to have to find away around the brother. Any girl worth that type of beating is one worth fighting for." Michael said.

"Only problem is that I'm sure the next fight will end up with me dead." I say.

"You're a smart boy, Aden. If your going to fight use your brain to do it. Also maybe take one or two self defense classes. Some people you have to knock down in order to gain their respect."

Michaels stands up from the bed. "I'll tell your mom that you still busy with work, but you're going to have to face her eventually. She'll probably freak but the anxiety she builds for waiting is only going to make it worse."

I frown. I really didn't want my mom to lose it and do something crazy like try to talk to the principle. She'd probably try to confront Jamal herself if I told her who did it. No good could come out of that situation.

"What are the odds of all of this healing by tomorrow." I say gesturing toward my body.

Michael laughs. "Not a chance in hell. You've got at least another week before they're gone."

I grimace. That means I'd also have to deal with April tomorrow too. She'd take one look at me and be able to connect the dots back to her brother. I'd probably have to physically restrain her from killing him. She'd probably start to see me a defenseless victim she needed to protect. I really didn't want that.

"Don't look so sad. Girls like a guy to have a few cuts and scratches on him. It shows um we can take a beating and keep on kicking." Michael said patting my shoulder.

"Then I guess April is going to love me now."

"If she's really worth it then she will."

I thank Michael for his help before he leaves out of the room. The door closes behind him. I sigh and lean back in my chair. My phone buzzes. I turn around and pick it up off of the desk. April texted me again.

April: Are you coming to school tomorrow?
Aden: yeah I'll be there.
April: So your feeling better?
Aden: I guess u could say that
April: okay then I'll see you tomorrow  I guess.

I look at my screen. Since I've decided to move forward with this friendship, I guess I should try to fix things between us. I start texting again.

Aden: April
April: hmm?
Aden: I'm not mad
April: ...

I stare at the three dots waiting for April to text me back. I realize how much I want things to be okay between us. It's always better when we're getting along.

April: 😊... I missed you Friday. Biology sucks 1000 times more when u aren't there.

I smile at my phone. Knowing that things are good between us makes me feel so much better.

Aden: Well then why don't I make it up to you?   We can have lunch together tomorrow. Just you and me.
April: Sounds great😄. Can't wait for tomorrow partner💋😉.

I chuckle and shake my head. Looks like things are good between us if April has started to send the flirty emojis again. I'm staring to notice that she uses more emojis the happier she gets.

I put the phone down and walk over to the mirror. My face isn't swollen but there's still a lot of discoloration. I sigh. Tomorrow was sure to be interesting.

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