Chapter Nine : Training

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Chapter Nine

Training

            “Up and at ‘em Joey!.” John knocked on the door. “You start training today!”

I woke up, but I was in a strange room that wasn’t mine. Then I remember the act of pure stupidity I committed last night. I had put it all on the line in order to get revenge. Though I was scared stiff I didn’t care I wasn’t going to give up. Michael would like that to much anyway.

            I got up and went in to the main room. I wasn’t as drabby and run down as I had originally thought. I walked in and seen microwaved breakfast burritos and cereal. John was drinking coffee and was wearing a tight white t-shirt with jeans. Claire was wearing a lime green tank top and black sweat pants, her hair was tied back. Michael was nowhere to be seen. The radio on the counter was playing “Standing out Side The Fire.” By Garth Brooks. I just stood in the door way feeling out of place in my dirty navy American eagle shirt and black jeans. I  leaned on the door frame which creaked and I jumped. John was looking out the window, and said “ Are you just going to stand there or are you going to eat your breakfast.”

            I walked over and sat down. The burrito was cold and chewy, but I was so hungry it was like little bites of heaven. Michael walked in and I almost started laughing. Like john he was wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, but his hair was sticking up in so several different directions. There was no trace of the rude bad-boy better then everyone front he had put up last night. He almost looked like one of my normal friends back in Manhattan.

            “Okay so I realized that we are never going to get along as long as were strangers to you ,”  John said. “So let get acquainted.”  Michael just raised an eyebrow at him and turned around to get some coffee. “I’m serious guys.” John turned to me “Okay so I’m from Beckley. I moved up here at ten so my sister could attend WVU. She was then killed by a spirit. I own this house that we live in. So ya um I guess that’s it. Claire?”

“I think I’ll pass.” She said as she got up threw her trash away and walked out.

“Michael?”

Michael looked uncomfortable. “uh….” 

“Really, John, that’s okay. I’ll get to learn about everyone in time.”

John just shrugged and Michael breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay, so Joey tell us about you.”

“Um… okay… well I’m from Manhattan,” I started. “New York?” Michael asked. I nodded and continued, “Uh… I lived there all my life. Until this summer. My parents were going to vacation in Mexico but there plane crashed. We moved here and that’s about it.” I was kinda uncomfortable. Sam came down the stairs and looked around, “oh boy, what did I miss?” She walked over to the table and sat across from me. “Johns in a caring and sharing mood,” Michael said sarcastically as he stood up and walked outside.

“No, I just think if Joeys going to be here we should know each know each other well.” “Oh. Um… okay.” “Oh never mind.”  

 Thank God I finished my food and was able to finally walk away. As I was about to do this I realize something, where was I going to go? I couldn’t go to my room, cause well I didn’t really have a room to go to. And the shower would be pointless without clean clothes. But standing here was just too awkward.  So I decided to walk outside. I opened the door and the heat was incredible. I stopped short because I seen Michael and Claire. They were holding hands while setting on the hood of the car. She had her head on his shoulder and his head rested on hers. Then they kissed and I turned around and walked back into the kitchen. “Are Michael and Claire….together?”  I asked.  “Off and on.” John said. Sam rolled her eyes and walked away.

“What’s wrong with her?”

“Her and Claire were close. But she doesn’t like her dating Michael off and on. You know playing with his feelings and stuff.” I nodded and pressed my lips together. “ So I know it might be a little big but I put a clean shirt on your bed. That way you can wear something clean till we can go to your house and get you some clean clothes.”   I nodded, and went back to the room I had stayed in last night. It was a simple and plain black t-shirt. I took off the shirt I way wearing, and decided to ask if they had a shower. John told me they did and I went to it.

            It wasn’t anything special. In fact had I not been looking for it I probably wouldn’t have known it was there. It was a rusted shower head hanging from the wall. There was a drain in the floor where the water drained out. The walls were an ugly red cracked tile with brown aged grout. I got in the shower and closed the pitiful excuse for a shower curtain. I found the soap and was surprised to find that it was a liquid soap. I washed my hair and body. My thick raven hair was heavy on my head, weighed down with water. The natural curls fell into my face and I shooed them away.

            I got out and dried off. I put on my clothes minus the shirt. I looked in the broken medicine cabinet mirror. I had small bags under my eyes, and I looked a little pale. Other than that I looked pretty good. My naturally tan skin was still slightly damp. I reflected once again on the difference in skin tone in my family.

            I had left the clean shirt in the room so I had to go and get it. I walked out and went down the hallway. I was usually never self- conscious, but I felt a little nervous and embarrassed when Sam came down the hallway and stared at me, “ you look pretty good there Joey.” I felt the edge of my lip twitch into a smile. She smiled too and continued to watch me walk away. Until this morning I didn’t think much about my appearance. I guess I was average. I had muscles but not like a body builder. More like that of a baseball player, which I played two year until this year. I stood there looking at my reflection in the mirror for another moment and then shook my head I still couldn’t see anything special about my looks. And usually neither could anyone else.

            I put on the thin, white, cotton shirt. Surprisingly the shirt, though loose around the arms, fit pretty well. I was thankful I wasn’t the scrawny ninth grader I had been when I lived in New York. To be honest being around these people who could kick the crap out of my with one hand and foot tied behind them. I felt I needed to compare, to measure up to them, I wanted to impress them.

             I walked out and Michael was back in side, “well hello your highness,” he said as I came in. I didn’t know what he was talking about so I just looked at him. “Sam has just went on and on about you,” he said.  Sam looked mortified and smacked him. Her face had turned bright red. “Aw. Look they’re blushing.”

            “Shut up Michael,” we both said at the same time.

            “Okay, let’s do some… training.” John said. “Meet you all in the back lot in five minutes.

            I followed him out taking in the scene around me. Unlike last night, it didn’t look as spooky or trashy as I had thought. I was actually a nice landscape. With green grass and bright flowers, with trees that borders the entire areas. John stopped in front of a set of dying apple trees and starts stretching. “You might want to warm up a little.” I decided to do some of the exercises we did at baseball practice. I stretched and did crunches. I even jogged around the yard a little. By the time I got back to John, Sam and Michael was there, but no Claire.

            I looked at the trees. Apples laid on the ground. Each had a single round hole in it. Strange, I thought. I was getting ready to ask what that was about when I heard a sharp buzz fly past my left ear. The tree in front of me shook and an apple skewed with a blue arrow with orange ‘feathers’. I flinched and was shocked. I whirled around to see Michael laughing and Sam looked shocked and worried and relieved all at the same time.  John was smiling and was holding a black compound bow. “Todays lesson…” he said, “Archery.”

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