BLURB

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I was never one to pick a fight.

In fact, I was never one to tolerate being within the same room as people who were fighting. The tension suffocated me, words being thrown into the air or not. Usually, I noticed, when somebody was angry, they grew maladroit with their words. It almost always resulted in them saying something they immediately regret by the look on the other's face. I never wanted to cause that face.

Typically, that face was the same. Their skin tone grew pallid, flushing of all the red that built up from the angry thoughts rushing through their brain and taken themselves out on the pressure inside their cheeks. The once presumptuous, upstanding expression they once sported was gone, vanished into thin air. They were now vulnerable, all because of some filthy words pitched into the fire with intense celerity due to more clumsy lips moving than scrupulous minds working.

That's one of the many reasons I hated fights.

Another would be the dexterous play with my weak emotions that people often used against me like a knife to my throat. They knew I stuttered more than the average teen, and that I grew incredibly anxious under somebody's stare, or impatience. I couldn't form rebuttals fast enough, and in the face of someone who was angry with me I probably couldn't even think of the word rebuttal. Of course, later in the evening, I'd think of some kick ass backfire that I should've used, but it was far too late for that.

To relate my seemingly extraneous rant to my impending anecdote, I'll talk about Juliette. Ah, Juliette Dubois; even the name is like a lustrous waterfall.

I could start off by saying I wasn't always in love with Juliette Dubois, and that was a fact. I used to be incredibly infatuated by my good friend that goes by the name of lonesome. That's right, before her, there was no one. Not in a sense that I was lonely and couldn't get anybody, but more in the sense of not seeing anybody having claimed an ounce of the beauty that Juliette withheld without even knowing it.

Of course, that's irrelevant right now.

Back to fighting. Yes, I could write a three point essay on why I hated it. But I was currently watching one unfold in front of my very eyes.

And what made it even worse was the fact that the facial expression that I'd so incoherently described previously was sketched onto Juliette's features, and a dark pit grew like a beanstalk in my stomach. My eyes couldn't remove themselves from her trembling bottom lip long enough to notice the figure on the other side of the teeter-totter was glaring at me.

She took deep breaths, something I'd grown to find out was a technique for her to stop crying. "You don't mean that," Juliette said, and I winced at the scratches in the usually melodic voice that sang love songs and spoke of make believe stories that included herself and Prince Charming. I was watching my very own sunshine dim and flicker at my fingertips, though I had no control over what was happening.

The boy on the other side of the room, whose unequivocal modesty over the fact that he'd made Juliette cry for the twenty-ninth time shown darkly on his face, laughed humorlessly. From the very start, I extrapolated that he was a pretentious dick, but I didn't dare say that to Juliette.

"I do mean it, Juliette. You know I mean it," the boy, Mason, stated. "I don't love you. Who could? Aaron just said you're easy."

Though I felt incongruous to the situation, something in me just shut down like a breaker switch being broken off, and suddenly my body was in auto pilot as I jumped off the squishy, blue couch. My anger was unfettered by the words coming out of fucking Mason's mouth, and I lost it. I tackled the stupid football player to the ground, my fists flying in every which direction. Every single drop of animosity in my body was flying with every punch.

I don't know how many times I actually ended up hitting him before I woke up in the hospital.

It hurt to open one eye, but I found Juliette sitting on one of the chairs, her legs pulled up to her chest. I didn't think she noticed I was awake, and she jumped when I finally spoke her name. An immediate censorious look graced her pink face, and the dichotomy of my actions were suddenly more palpable in my mind than before I sprung off the couch.

When I had attacked Mason, I didn't think of the consequences. Like the fact that I must have given Juliette three and a half heart attacks judging by the way her eyes were drooping.

"Why would you do that, Colton?" she whispered, and I frowned. "Who are you? That was scary."

And it dawned on me at that very second in time, with her watery blue eyes and the little birth mark on the left side of her face, hidden beneath the messy, dark blonde curls, that I'd do anything for this girl. I'm the same guy who said he hated fights because of the way they made me feel inside and I physically attacked someone for the blonde sitting in front of me. So I did my best to sit up and get close enough to Juliette that I could practically see the sadness in her eyes, and avoided prevaricating my words, though it was what I did best.

"You'll never understand."


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