I woke up to a striking pain on my head. My willingness to get up doesn't match the available energy and so there I laid in discomfort.
"Stay still" An unfamiliar voice commands.
"Will she be ok?"
It seems Brandon is speaking to somebody.
"She'll be fine. I'm glad you called as soon as you came here. If you would've waited a little longer it could've been worse."
"Thank you doc. I really appreciate it."
"No problem. If you need anything just call."
"Alright. Vincent, please take him back home."
The sound of footsteps begin to leave the room.
Brandon caresses my face, softly gazing into my eyes.
"Brandon? Where's my—"
"They're fine, don't worry."
"It's fine! I had them stay at my house. Michael is also with them."
My blood ran cold as the memories began to crawl back into my mind. My hands shook with fear at the thought of Brandon's Dad.
"Please don't think about what happened. You should focus on your recovery."
"That's easy for you to say! You're not the one— ow! My head..."
"I just told you to relax, why don't you ever listen to me!"
He cups my cheek while softly stroking them.
I stare back at his sapphire blue eyes. The vastness inside scared me a little. It was almost unrecognizable; like if I've seen them for the first time. He had a gentle gaze that made me fall for his never ending tenderness.
Suddenly, I felt a sharp jab coming from my head. When I tried breathing, the air around me felt heavy.
"— can I please get a breath of fresh air outside— I feel cramped in here..." I gasped.
"Of course! But do you feel good enough to walk around? Do you need me to carry you?"
"No! I can walk by myse—"
Before I could finish my sentence, Brandon picks me up princess style. If I wasn't in such a bad condition I would've complained and jumped off.
He walks into an elevator, carefully adjusting himself.
"Where am I?" I asked.
"Why? Shouldn't you have taken me to the hospital?"
"And let my dad take you? Yea, as if I'd ever let that happen."
"What do you mean?"
"If only you knew how corrupt the world is. Your hate for rich people is justified in my eyes."
I held in my tongue. There was nothing for me to reply with because he's right.
We make it to the rooftop of the apartment. It looks just like how I remembered it.
He lets me down carefully.
"Want to sit somewhere?"
"No it's fine, I'll just lean on the rail."
I started moving towards the railing, slowly leaning on it. I look below at the bustling street, admiring the windy weather.
"The doctor says it's a miracle you didn't break anything. You must have strong bones."
"If I didn't break anything, why did I bleed?"
"He said you landed on your face, causing the interior of your mouth to bleed. Your organs are fine it's just the outer skin that is heavily bruised."
"Oh thank goodness. I thought I broke a rib...."
"Well of course you didn't, you're stronger than that."
"How would you know?"
"Because you haven't changed since the moment we first met"
"We met a month ago?"
"No, we met when you were only twelve"
"Yep, don't you remember that boy that was sitting outside the store?"
That boy— HE was the boy?!
"Wait what!? But that's impossible! He was wearing scruffy—"
My mouth throbbed with pain before I could finish.
"Take it easy tiger!" He joked while holding my arm.
"— that's impossible."
"It was me, I promise. I even remember what you said that day."
"Really? Then what did I—"
"You're not going to solve anything by crying."
I turn to look at him in disbelief. Why was he in my neighborhood? What happened to him that day?
It was back when I was a middle schooler. My mom allowed me to walk at the corner store down the street. I remember when I came out, I saw a strange boy hunched over on his knees crying. At first, I walked away not caring but my guilt grew the more I fled so I turned around and told him.
"You're not going to solve anything by crying"
He looked up at me with red eyes.
"So what, it's none of your business!"
"It is now because you're crying in public"
"Go away kid, you don't know anything!"
"Fine, I was only trying to help you."
"Yea well I don't need it!"
At this point I realized he was much older than me. He looked like a teenager.
I remember wanting to leave but the pity I felt for him was dominating my senses. I turned around then threw a honey bun at him and left running back home. At the time, I kept on wondering why he was sitting there, heavily crying on the cold pavement floor.
"You remember now don't you? Well that day, I was almost kidnapped...."
"— You're lying."
"My family was hosting a party at the house. Some famous business men came over to celebrate my father's position as the new CEO."
He sighs loudly, looking down to his feet.
"My parents made me join them so that I could have "future reference" on who to do business with... I was talking to a really famous tv director alone in the backyard when this happened. He snuck some alcohol for me and insisted that I drink. I obviously refused but the man called out to of his guards and they took hold of me."
"— Brandon I'm—"
"Don't worry, I managed to escape. Thankfully, KJ lived around my neighborhood. He asked his mom to let me stay at his house for a sleepover so I ended up staying the night, thinking that I was safe but I was wrong. My father came looking for me hours later. KJ told me to sneak out using some hand me downs he had and his dads car to drive by a really poor neighborhood. I ended up driving to the high school you were both going to eventually attend. That place was known as the "ghetto" around my area."
I look up at him sympathetically.
"KJ was sure my father would never find me there. I decided to wonder around, hoping I could just disappear from the world. I ended up walking to the corner store where I met you. I can still remember when you threw that honey bun at me... I felt so happy at the time. It was a really special moment since most of my friends barely cared about what was happening and only stayed around because of my status. I remember wishing to seeing you again... little did I know you'd become the person to free me from my darkness."
"Brandon— I never knew how much you suffered. I'm sorry for thinking you were—"
"A jerk? Ha, it's not your fault. The next day when I went back home my father found out everything... after he punched me he said "real men are strong, slick, and rich! You should learn from me." I guess because of that, I act the way I do... it's the only thing I was taught."
"I'm sorry to hear that. I really am."
"Don't be, it's not your fault."
"So you talked to KJ before?"
"We were practically best friends. He was only a year older than you but he was really mature for his age. We had similar circumstances so we both vented about our problems. We even gave each other nicknames... he would call me Bee and I would call him Kay. My dad told me he was the one that rated me out. I asked KJ if it was true but he said nothing so I assumed it was. I just couldn't forgive him after that, I hated his guts since then."
I knew it! But I didn't know they were friends since way back.
"I'm sure KJ wouldn't do something like that..... he doesn't seem like the type of guy."
"You're probably right. I don't want to believe it either. It's all in the past now though, so I guess I don't even care much."
"I really want to see you guys become friends again. I'm sure he does too...."
"Maybe after all this is over and I get to see my dad behind bars I will. The three of us could become best friends.... what do you say?"
"That's fantastic! Do you promise?"
I looked up grinning. A peaceful climate could be felt between us. Now more than ever did I understand Brandon, I wanted to hug him right then and there but my head was hurting again. I felt strong stinging coming from both of my sides.
I crouch down holding my stomach.
"Mika! What's wrong!"
"— I'm fine— really..."
"Come on, let's go! I'm taking you back to bed!"
He carries me again into the room I was in. I lay there, zoning out the more I stare up at the ceiling.
"What do we do about my dad's house?" I ask.
"Vincent is already working on that. I know your father will have the deed back in no time."
"Ah! There's something I wanted to tell you, I already have everything I need to take on my father. All of this will end very soon so please stop stressing about it, ok?"
A wave of relief came upon me. A heavy load was now lifted from my sore back. Soon, I will have what I once took for granted. My loneliness.
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