Kidnapped or Saved?

Chapter Two

I've been told by countless adults, mostly in their twenties, that I have an old soul. It's mostly because I wear my pants a bit sagged and you can see the very tops of my undies. I wear my tank tops tight and a bit up so you can see my midriff. They say I have a '90s flavor to me. I did like debuting Aaliyah and TLC's style before they started dressing like women and stopped dressing like teenagers.

At lunch, I'm sitting with my head down having already devoured my food. The noise doesn't bother me. In my house you learn to sleep through anything.

I feel a hand barely touching my stomach and I jump.

"Hey, Zar," Terry whispers in my ear.

I punch him in the chest. He traps my fist against his heart and pulls me in for a kiss.

Kissing him was one of my favorite things to do. We used to spend a lot of time in the back stairwell.

I pull out of the kiss. "What the hell, Ter?! Where's your girl?"

He smiles a crooked smile. He's got chicken nugget brown skin and his eyes are practically black but he has a good heart. You have to really know him to know that. Off the top he comes off like a jerk.

"Right here."

"Boy, please," I say holding back a smile.

"So, has your mom's newest boyfriend gotten to you yet?"

I snatch my hand away and stand up.

"Why would you ask me that?" I whisper, disgusted.

He stands, "I didn't mean it like that."

"Then how did you mean it? I told you that in confidence."

"I know but--"

"You'd be in jail if I hadn't talked you down."

He looks away.

"That will never happen again. I was..." I trail off not knowing what I was.

"I'm here for you, Azaria."

"I know."

I suddenly feel very lost and I think he senses that because he hugs me.

"Terry, what's going on?"

"Go away!" I hear him growl at the voice I know belongs to his girlfriend.

Everyone in this school knows Terry and I will never be over, new girlfriend or not. We were perfect for each other in a destructive kind of way. We were in love; still are to a degree. I just didn't want us to get to a point where we changed from violent love to all violence and no love. I had enough of that at home.

He's also the only person who knows about my life at home. He's been there at night, unbeknownst to my mother, when she brought a random guy over who paid her for her services and then beat the stuffing out of her because she didn't last that long or because she, on the rarest of occasions, kept him out of my room.

He knows me. Not just the me I want everyone to know. I'm all that I am but I bring my "shining" qualities to the forefront when I don't want to give off hints that something's bothering me.

I realize how much he means to me and I kiss him like he's still mine. I know everybody's looking because that's like one of my things, to be watched. And I know she's watching and hating me but in pain because of him. People tried to warn her. Maybe she thought she could change him.

"Thanks," I say and turn to go.

He holds on a bit longer than he should then lets me go.

I escape to the band room. I find my seat and my snare drum and tap away at it, not too loud and not too serious.

Mr. Washington comes in from his private office.

"I thought I heard someone out here."

He is the youngest and most attractive band coordinator we've ever had. Thta's how good he is.

Today he's wearing blue jeans, a white button down and a red pullover vest. Earrings shine in his ears reminding me that he's somehow gotten away with that so far.

"What are you doing here so early?"

"Had to get away."

He's attracted to be but I'm okay with that because I'm attracted to him, too.

He keeps his distance, "What're you running from?"

The world, I think.

I shrug my shoulders for him.

"You don't strike me as the unsure type."

"I'm not. But there are just some things that even my careless attitude doesn't have an answer for."

"You never cease to amaze me with your maturity."

I laugh, "Some people would argue with you on that. But I have no choice but to be mature. Azaria doesn't have the luxury of being a happy-go-lucky teen."

"Sounds deep rooted. Do you want to talk about it?"

I become acutely aware that if I say yes, I'll have him. Our relationship will grow until we finally sleep together and he eventually loses his job. Meanwhile, I'll possibly graduate and go on to live my life while his is ruined.

"No, thanks. I've been coping for this long. I can manage a bit longer."

He smiles and heads back into his office.

Band class helps me get out some frustrations. After school, I head home. I see Terry and his girlfriend. She's yelling at him but he's smiling and waving goodbye to me. I see my brick bungalow house coming up soon. It's nothing special with its broken gate and its crappy lawn and it's terribly paved driveway.

I walk up the walkway and up the four stairs and sigh, not quite prepared for another day at "home".

When I open the door, Brad is standing there.

"Not in the mood," I warn walking pass him.

"Too bad. And we finally get to have some...alone time."

Something about the way he says that alerts me to my current predicament.

"Where's my mom?" I asking, stopping.

"Not here. Aren't we lucky?"

I quickly turn back toward the door and he grabs my backpack. I slip out of the straps and fall out of the door that I hadn't completely closed yet. I skin my hands in an attempt to protect my face from the fall.

"You'll have to come back sometime," he muses.

"Like hell I do."

I spit on the walkway. He doesn't like that so he comes out after me but I run back down the walkway and away from that house. I spot a black truck parked outside the house but keep running. This time for my survival.