"Thanks for driving me home," I say to Thorn.
I'm shocked the guy went out of his way to drive me all the way home. I pull up to the side of my house and honestly I'm a little embarrassed, but the truth is Thorn doesn't even seem to care. He's not looking at my neighborhood. He's looking at me.
"Wait...hold up," he states, "I wanted to talk to you about what I told you earlier."
The whole car ride was awkward. Thorn had offered to drive me home. I wanted to say no, but I figured it'd be even more awkward seeing the guy around if I said no. For some reason, I just feel weird about the whole situation.
Thorn Michaelson was Fat Matt.
How the fuck was that possible? I watch him staring at me. He has a way of doing it that just makes you feel...weird.
" It's dark as hell," I state, "Maybe I'll see you later."
He stops me. Leaning over and grabbing the door shut before I can open it. He's close to me. Real close. He smells so fucking good. I look back over at Thorn. He has this smirk on his face. It's different than any smirk I've seen before. It's sexy, but still so fucking mysterious.
"Scared of the dark?" he asks.
"Scared of a dead boy in the dark."
He flicks the light on at that moment and that's when I see his face. He still is over my seat a little bit. Thorn leans into me and for a moment I swear he's going to kiss me, but he doesn't. He just grabs me and touches me. I can smell him. It's the strangest way thing. A few seconds pass and he is just touching me. His hands are so firm and yet so soft.
Finally, he reveals what is up with the touching, "Do I feel like a dead boy to you?"
I'm so confused by it. I'm so confused by all of it.
"You faked your death?"
He looks over at me, "Is that so bad?"
I look over at this guy. The first thing I think is crazy. Is he fucking crazy? Who does what he's talking about doing. People mourned Fat Matt. Well, maybe not a lot of people, but I did. I mourned him.
"You look so different."
"I'm assuming that's a compliment," he tells me.
"How did you become...this?"
It wasn't just his look that changed. This man had a swagger through the roof. He was someone and we all knew it. We all knew what he was. The truth was that he was perfect in more ways than one.
"I can show you," he states, smiling at that moment, "If you want me to, I can help you."
"Who says I need help?"
He laughs, "Come on. Look at you. You're a mess."
All I want to do is leave at that moment. I just want to run away. I just want to get out of there. I've never been so fuckin' embarrassed. Hearing someone say it to me means so much. It sucks because I know it's true. People like to say high school won't matter. People like to say you'll get over it one day. The truth is that wasn't the case. The memories I had would be with me for the rest of my life.
They would shape the person who I would become later in life.
And right now I just feel like shit.
Thorn grabs me. He holds onto my hand stopping me from leaving, "I didn't mean it like that. I meant to say you help me, I help you. I want revenge on the Dollhouse. I want these people to pay. And I want to replace them."
I had no idea what he was talking about. Replace them? What the fuck was that all about? I look at Thorn and I don't see those kind eyes of Fat Matt. I see a boy whose been hurt one too many times. A boy who has something in the back of his mind. He wants something.
There was a reason Thorn was back here and it scared me.
I shake my arm away from him, "I'm good."
I get out the car not saying another word to Thorn. He called me a mess. I can't believe it. I can feel his eyes watching me as I walk to my house. He doesn't pull off. The kid is so fucking weird. And yet for some reason, the mystery of it all just seems so sexy.
How did Thorn fake his death?
Why was he really back in Lionsdale and what was this plan he was talking about?
I get in the house. The worst thing about living with my dad was that he didn't cook. I knew I'd have to cook for both me and him. So when I walk in the house I head straight for the kitchen when I see him sitting there in the living room.
"You're home," he states, "Yogi, come here for a minute."
"Don't worry. I left some meat out. It'll be done in a second."
"Yogi---leave the meat alone. Come here for a second."
I walk back into the room at that moment and that's when I see that my father isn't alone. My mouth drops when I see Aunt Carolina there. She's there with her daughter. Serena. Serena is sitting in the chair that my father sits in. He never lets anyone sit in his chair. Aunt Carolina is standing up with her gloves on and looking extremely uncomfortable as though she'll catch some sort of disease from being in a house like ours. I see them and I'm just shocked. I look at my dad. His face isn't the usual face. He looks...worried.
"Yo man, sit down for a minute," my dad tells me.
I don't sit. I'm just as uncomfortable as Aunt Carolina. The fact that she is here and with Serena is worrisome, to say the least. I look at Serena and I see her smirk a little bit. The smirk is clear. She's enjoying whatever this is.
"What's going on here?" I ask.
My dad answers, "Your Aunt Carolina came by. She says that you came to her house unannounced."
"I was invited," I state.
"Lies," Serena responds.
I'm shocked. The fact that this little bitch is sitting in MY dad's chair with this smirk on like she paid bills in this house drove me nuts.
"What the fuck do you know? You weren't even there?" I ask.
"This is unfortunate behavior," Aunt Carolina states, looking at my dad instead of looking at me.
My dad turns to me, "Calm down Yogi. I think we ought to listen to the concern of your Aunt here."
Aunt Carolina crosses her arms, "Serena tells me that you've been blackmailing Micah. I know that Micah is very easily manipulated and I'm hoping that isn't the case."
"He threatens to tell our friends about our family," Serena states, "I've heard it before. He probably forced Micah to bring him to the house."
Serena is a foul mouth lying bitch. The truth has I had no idea why she was here lying either.
"My mother lives in that house," I state.
"Your mother wants nothing to do with you," Aunt Carolina states, "I'd hope by now you got that through your little head."
It hits me like a ton of bricks when she says that. I look over at my dad. He's speechless. My dad is a loud mouth. I'd seen him curse people out in public for even looking at me funny. Now all of a sudden he's as quiet as a mouse. I can't fucking believe it.
I have so much pride at that moment. So much fucking pride. This woman felt like because she paid for me to get into Lionsdale that she was entitled to something. I can see it all over her face. Entitlement. She had passed the same entitlement to her daughter.
"I didn't go there to see her. I was invited. I don't want anything from my mother, your family or Micah."
"Is that why he pays for you to eat?" Serena asks.
My father looks at me.
"Is that true? Are you taking money from Micah for food?" my father asks.
"Micah offered...I just...I was hungry and...he's my fuckin' cousin! And then gave me some money another time. Why the fuck can't I have a relationship with my own fucking cousin?"
I didn't get it. What was the fucking problem that they had with me? I just feel so worthless. Standing there I just feel like shit. As I start raising my voice and cursing I can see Serena's smile get even wider. She's getting something out of this. I don't know what yet but she's getting something out of it.
And then it clicks. I had embarrassed her earlier today. I had embarrassed her with Thorn. This was payback. It was clear as day.
Aunt Carolina makes herself very clear when she looks at her father "I've been more than considerate of my sister's love child through the years. I've done MORE than I should. Including paying the bills in this house."
"You pay the bills here?" I ask.
I look over at my dad. He never fucking told me. He's standing there looking stupid and now I realize why.
My dad has nothing to say.
Aunt Carolina has the last word, "One thing I can't stand are moochers. Stay away from my son and my family."
She says it as though I'm not a part of her family. I watch how she looks at me when she walks past. She looks at me as though I'm some sort of burden. She looks at me as though I'm nothing more than the grovel beneath her feet.
And then she and her daughter leave. Just like that.
That's when I just look at my dad. I've never felt so ashamed of him. Not when he went to jail. Not when he did drugs. None of that.
"You didn't even defend me," I state.
I've never felt so hopeless. I've never felt so fucking miserable. This was my father. He was at least supposed to have my back. I watch him sitting there in the chair. He breaks out in tears.
"They control everything," he states, "Everything is in her name. Wait. Yogi! Don't walk away from me! YOGI PLEASE!"
I can't stand him. My father was nothing more than Aunt Carolina's whipping boy. She was paying for his lifestyle and he could do nothing more than accept it. I was so sick of my father. I was so sick of my fucking life.
I get to school the next day. My school life was horrible but at this point, I didn't know what was worse. My school life or my life at home. I get to lunch and yet again I don't have any money.
"Here..." a voice whispers.
I turn and it's Micah. He's trying to sneak me his card. As sneaky as he is I can see his sister staring over at us. Serena doesn't miss anything. I see her little sidekick Ivy sitting there next to her. The two of them are staring at me hard.
"Don't bother," I state.
I turn and walk away. I sit at the lunch table. Candice is there. She's eating. She looks over at me and she just looks confused.
"You OK?" Candice asks.
"You're not eating."
It was a lie. I was hungry. I was so fucking hungry that my stomach was growling out of nowhere. I refused to take money from Micah. He was an O'Neil. His mother had made it clear that that side of my family wanted nothing more to do with me. If I could I would move out of the house they were paying for. I would stop attending this school they had me enrolled into. Maybe then Aunt Carolina would stop looking at me like I'm some sort of mosquito sucking the life out of her family.
"I'm sure you can eat. You need to put on the protein," a voice states, "Skip the carbs."
I look up and sure enough, it was Thorn. He sits down at the table and slides me a tray full of fine steak that looks like it should be served in a 5-star restaurant.
"I'm not hungry," I state, pushing the tray back.
Just then as though my body was betraying me it growls. It's as though my stomach is saying, `bitch, fuck your pride. We need to survive.' Candice hears it too. She looks down at her tray. I wonder if she's feeling bad for not offering.
"What's your name, pretty girl?" Thorn asks.
Candice damn near gets wet at the table giggling like a little school girl, "I'm Candice..."
"Candice. I don't like that. From now on your name is Candy," Thorn states.
I think Candice would be offended. Who the fuck just walks up to someone, introduces themselves and then renames them. Thorn was just...RUDE. There was no other way to describe it. The guy was a fucking dick.
"Sure," Candice says, "I like that!"
I roll my eyes.
"Candy, can you tell your friend here that he needs to eat. Can you tell your friend that he is too skinny."
"Is everything that comes out of your mouth offensive?" I ask Thorn, "Honestly?"
"Come to the gym with me after school," he states.
"OH my god. You won't stop!" I state.
What was this guy's obsession with my appearance?
"You are a little skinny," Candice states.
I look over at Candice. A cute boy comes and then all of a sudden my best friend forgets whose side she is on.
"How about this. You eat less and he eats more, Candice you are a little on the thicker side," he states.
I watch as he literally takes her tray away from her and gives it to me. He grabs an apple out of my tray and hands it to Candice. I'm shocked. I watch this and I'm just beyond shocked. What's even more shocking is the fact that Candice literally starts eating her apple.
"You really think I need to diet?" Candice asks.
"15 pounds. I can get you there in no time," he states.
I look over at Candice. She is looking down all of a sudden at her weight. I can almost see her insecurities flooding out of nowhere all of a sudden. The girl is just staring down at her stomach. She had a little bit of a pudge. Sure she wasn't shaped like some supermodel but she wasn't some obese girl or anything like that.
"Candice you look fine," I state before turning to Thorn, "Why are you bothering us man? What the fuck do you want?"
He slams his phone on the table. I look down on the phone. It's Micah's birthday party next month.
"We're going," he states.
"As in the three of us. Candy you're going too. I've decided you are the perfect candidate for our first girl for the plan."
Candice looks over at me. She is intrigued. I can see how her eyes light up. The girl is so goddamn gullible and Thorn's smile and his aggressive demeanor weren't helping that matter. She was like putty in his hands. She literally leans over.
"Plan?" she asks.
"I'm going to pay for you guys to get makeovers," Thorn states, "Keep eating, Yogi."
"Makeovers...that sounds amazing," Candice states, "Doesn't that sound cool."
"It sounds stupid," I state, "We are fine the way we are."
Candice shakes her head, "I don't know. I have been thinking about going on a diet."
Thorn looks over at me, "Yogi. I'm telling you I can help you."
"Help me what. What I want you couldn't give me?"
He laughs, "I doubt that. Like I said. You help me. I help you. I can be your fucking magic genie if you let me."
"You are full of yourself, aren't you?" he asks me.
"I think it's sexy," Candice comes out of nowhere.
"I can teach you both things you wouldn't imagine," he states.
I'm so confused by Thorn. The more I talk to him the more confused I get, "Why me? Why don't you go find some other weird motherfucker that wants to change."
"No. It has to be you."
"Because you're perfect..." he states, "Where it really matters."
He looks over at me at that moment. It's the nicest thing the guy has said to me since we've been reintroduced. For the first time, he sounds like Fat Matt and not Thorn Michaelson. I look at him and for some reason, he makes me nervous. I hate it.
"Let's say I did let you...help me," I ask, "To what end? What's the goal of this...plan...of yours?"
Thorn lays back in his chair. He's really full of himself. I think he's even more full of himself. He leans back and just glares at me. It's almost as though he's seeing me naked. I feel so uncomfortable with his stare that I literally hug myself securing myself as though it would make any difference.
"If you could have anything in the world what would that be? Name it. Anything in the world?"
I pause. I don't know what he's saying. I don't get it. It isn't until I see a shadow cast over me. I didn't even realize someone was walking over to where I was. I look up from the table and all of a sudden I see none other than HIM.
"Hey..." he states.
"Adonis, come on you said you were going to walk me to class," Serena states.
"Give me a second," Adonis states.
Adonis is still looking down at me. He smiles.
"What's up?" I ask.
My tongue is stuck in my throat. I get so nervous around this guy.
"Listen, meeting you at Micah's house was really cool. You coming to his party next month?" he asks, "I'm starting to take RSVPs."
"Of course, he isn't," Serena states.
Adonis looks over at her, "Why you all in our conversation? Serena, damn."
"It's OK Adonis. I didn't get an invite," I state.
Adonis looks confused, "Really? That has to be a mistake. Micah thinks your cool as hell. We still talk about the day we all hung out. He told me a bunch of cool stuff about you. That has to be a mistake or something."
It was no mistake. Maybe Micah would have liked me to be in his life. Maybe he didn't despise me, but his sister did and Aunt Carolina was right about one thing. Micah
"All I'm saying is look at him. He's nobody."
"Marisol doesn't think so," Adonis states.
Shit. SHIT SHIT SHIT.
"Marisol?" Serena asks, "What about Marisol?"
Adonis looks over at me. I'm frantically shaking my head. No. Please no.
"Don't worry about it. Let's just say he's not as lame as everyone thinks," Adonis states putting his hand on my shoulder at that moment, "I hope I get to see you at the party man. Invite your friends too. I wanna hang out with you more."
Adonis bites his lower lip when he says it. I'm not imagining it. He bites his lower lip and I'm just left there smiling as he touches my shoulder a little bit. Damn. My heart is beating fast as hell as he walks away. I can see Serena looking weird at that moment. I see her and Ivy walking away gossiping as usual.
None of that matters at that moment.
Adonis thought I was cool.
Lunch is over. I'm walking to my locker when I feel the arm around me. I turn and notice it's Thorn. Jesus-fucking-Christ. This guy just didn't give up. It's almost as though he didn't know how to give up or something. He has his arm over my shoulder before I know it.
"So that's what you want?" he asks.
"Him..." Thorn states.
Thorn signals over to Adonis. Adonis is laughing it up with some guys on his basketball team. Of course, Adonis is the star of the team but it looks like they are about to head to practice or something so they are all gathering around him. The amount of attention Adonis gets even from guys is ridiculous.
It takes me a second to even break from my hypnotic glance of Adonis to realize that Thorn was insinuating I was gay.
"What? I don't know what you're talking about," I state.
"Oh you don't..." he asks me, leaning forward, "So I guess this doesn't turn you on?"
He's breathing up against my neck. It's the middle of the day. People are walking past. I'm shocked by it. I don't know what Thorn is doing at first but I watch him grab my ass. He takes a whole handful of it! He gets closer and closer and licks my neck. He literally runs his tongue all the way up my neck until he gets to my lower lip. He flicks my lower lip with his tongue! I'm shocked.
"What are you doing!"
That's when he reaches down and grabs my dick. I'm rock hard.
"Proving my point," he states laughing and then backing up, "You're gay. And you know that you want you some of him. I have to admit. You shooting for the stars. What is that guy the best looking guy in school or something?"
I adjust myself feeling so weird at how far this guy would go to prove a point. He literally licked me to see if I would get a hard-on---in the middle of the hallway!
"Just say it. What do you want?"
"I want you to go to the gym after school?" he asks me, "You're shaped like a 12-year-old boy."
Irritation doesn't cover what the hell I feel at that moment. My face gets red. Did he just say that?
"You're so fuckin' rude."
"You're still sexy," he says smiling.
I'm so confused. One minute I'm shaped like a 12-year-old boy the next moment I'm sexy. Thorn smiles when he says that. I'm confused at first not sure if he's going at me or if he's giving me a compliment. He smiles as though it doesn't even matter.
"I'm not doing this with you."
I start walking away. Thorn was annoying and he was rude as fuck. I was not going to listen to him insult me all day. Just because he wasn't Fat Matt anymore didn't give him the right to talk about the physical appearance of others.
As I walk past I notice something. Crying. Someone is sobbing loudly.
Then there is laughter. Everyone is gathered around the person who is crying. As I get closer I notice who it is almost immediately.
"Marisol are you OK?" I ask.
Marisol seems pissed. She pushes me as hard as she can as though I'm one of the people attacking her. She doesn't see I'm trying to help her. I notice why she's crying almost immediately.
On her locker are the words, "MARISOL SWALLOWS!"
It's in red spray paint. I'm shocked when I see Serena and Ivy leading a group of girls. They are starting to pull at Marisol's clothes. I'm shocked by it. One guy comes out of nowhere and shoves his crotch in Marisol's face. The entire school is laughing. Everyone. Everyone thinks it's funny and no one is hearing Marisol's tears. I've never heard a wail like this. I've never heard anything like this in my life.
Why were they doing this to her? Why the fuck were they doing this to her?
Thorn just shakes his head, "Damn shame...huh?"
That's when I see Bates literally walk over to me and pat me on the shoulder, "You did your thing son."
"What the fuck are you talking about?"
"Someone told Serena that you got Marisol to swallow your kids. You know she can't hold anything. It's going around the school."
I'm pissed. I'm beyond pissed. How could this get out?
"Relax," I hear Thorn state.
I can't relax. I run forward. I am pushing people away from her. I don't care if it's a guy or a girl. I don't care who it is. I just want to get people away from her. I end up even pushing Serena as hard as I can. I turn back and I'm surprised that Thorn is helping me, clear people, away from gathering around Marisol. I'm shocked but he seems to have my back at that moment.
I see Marisol running away at that moment. She runs into the bathroom but a bunch of guys is following behind her. They are asking for blowjobs. She literally has to lock herself in the bathroom as these immature ass guys are asking for "Their Turn."
I turn and I storm back to Adonis. I push him up against his locker.
"YOU TOLD HER! YOU TOLD HER WHAT I SHARED WITH YOU?"
Adonis looks confused.
"What are you talking about?" Adonis asks.
"You need to chill," another voice states.
It's my cousin, Micah. He tries to push me off of his friend. As he does it I realize his hands are stained. They are stained with red.
It wasn't Adonis who told Serena. It was Micah.
I turn around. He was just as bad. I'm realizing that now. He was just as bad as his sister. I walk over to the bathroom. I try to walk past but I can see the guys haven't crowded around the bathroom anymore. Everyone is quiet. Real Quiet.
"What's going on?" I ask Bates.
Bates was one of those guys chasing after Serena trying to get her to suck his dick.
"The bitch is crazy. We were just messing with her..."
All of a sudden the teachers are getting involved. People are running in the bathroom. I see one teacher on the phone. He looks like he is in mad panic when he's talking. I don't know what he's saying but he looks like he's really upset.
I'm scared to even ask.
"What happened?" I ask.
Bates looks as though he's all innocent at that moment. As though he isn't the one who was fucking bothering her not too long ago. I think it's that moment I realize just how much of a piece of shit he is. I realize just how much of a piece of shit a lot of these people in this school was. They were followers. They were pussies.
And I had been apart of it.
He shrugs, "She's tripping. Marisol ran in the bathroom. She slit her wrist."
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