The Red Phoenix

Feeling helpless

It was 7:45 in the morning and I was late to school, again. I didn sleep much and I ended up waking up late. I was in a bit of a bad mood because I kept on thinking shes never coming back… Shes never coming back. I was shedding tears while on the bed. I knew that my dad was probably dealing with it worse than I am and I just wish that Im strong enough to help him recover. I got up and got ready for school as I passed his front door I stopped and went back to knock. But I didn get any answer from him. I opened the door and found him snoring with a bottle of whiskey on his side. He was snoring heavily. I sighed and left for school.

I got to school and we had history this morning which doubled my despair. I still have five days of detention left and Im late to school again. Who knows maybe Ill get two weeks of detention now. It doesn matter anyway. I have more than enough to deal with. I thought to myself. I entered the class and I became the center of attention. Everyone knew about my mothers passing and I also looked a bit messed up which gives them a bit of a right to stare. It feels awkward though.

” Mister Leo, why are you late to my class again? ” Mr. Hart asked. I had no explanation so I didn say anything. I was also not in the mood to talk to him.

” Did you not hear me, let me repeat myself. Why are you late to school again. ” He asked with a calmer but more dangerous tone. I wanted to answer him when I heard a few of my classmates whispering.

” Damn, Leos in trouble. ”

” He was already in trouble. His trouble is just going to double up now.

”Will you keep it down guys?! ” Caitlin, a girl in my class said.

” But he should be left alone to be honest. He just lost his mom, I don expect him to remain the same again. ”

”You guys know nothing about Leo. Not even the death of his mom can bring him down too much. ” It was Tracy who made this statement. I was smiling inside. At least someone believes in me. I thought.

” Im sorry sir. I couldn sleep last night so I woke up a little late this morning… ” I cooked something up, but that was the truth…. Okay, maybe not the whole truth. My dad and I played chess and by the time I got to bed it was already thirty minutes past twelve. Mr. Hart stared at me for some time and that stare gave me the creeps. I didn like it much but then he sighed and told me to get to my seat. I was a bit surprised. Normally, the man hates people coming late to his class and he always punishes them for it but him letting me go now was a shock. The most surprising thing was that the whole class was surprised and also not surprised. They thought that maybe he knew about my mums passing that was why he let me go. If he didn , that would be a total surprise. ” Do not forget that your Detention still continues Mister Leo. ” He said as I sat down. I frowned. Thats a bummer. I had already forgotten about my detention. ” Hmm. ” I shrugged.

We finished history and it was time for chemistry. I was totally not myself. Because I mostly failed chemistry tests I decided to listen attentively this time. Mrs. Jameson was explaining and I was listening and jotting down. The one thing about chemistry and I is that we are born enemies. I hate chemistry more than anything and it mostly seems like it hates me too. I try to get it sometimes but its more or less like chemistry doesn want me to get it. When Mrs. Jameson explains something, it enters through my right ear, do a tour around my brain and make me feel like I understand it and then gets out through the left ear. that is plain wickedness! I mostly tell myself. This time around though, I wasn listening. I got carried away. my moms death is going to leave a scar on me. Kevin was right, I definitely will never be the same again. Thats the least of my worries though. Im really worried about my dad. I just hope he doesn do something extremely reckless to hurt himself…

I got carried away by my thought that I did not notice the fact that the whole class was staring at me including Mrs. Jameson.

”Huh, Leo… Leo… LEO. ” Tylor called. I didn hear him until he shouted my name. I was already too deep in thoughts and I was dealing with my own personal problems.

” Yes yes yes. ” I answered three times to give the impression I heard him whereas I didn until he shouted. He motioned for me to look at the front and I saw Mrs. Jameson looking at me with disdain.

” What was my last statement. ” She asked. I tried looking for something to say because I obviously didn hear what she said but I still searched my brain to see if I heard anything, even by accident but there was nothing in there. I looked at the board and saw the topic there. It was organic chemistry and I had an idea.

”Huh, you were explaining something about organic chemistry on how the huh… Protons of huh… Hydrogen and something about bonding… ” I had no idea what I was saying myself.

”I never mentioned anything of the sort. Whats on your mind Leo. ” She said smoothly but I couldn say anything. All I did was drop my head.

” See me after class. ” She said as she wanted continue with the lesson

”Yes maam. ” I replied. The class ended in ten minutes and the whole class went out to take a break. I was about to when Mrs. Jameson approached me. She sat on my desk and asked.

”You
e not the Leo I know. What happened to you. You are one of the most active students in my class but today you seemed….a little carried away. Whats wrong? You can talk to me. ” She said. Im not the kind of person who relays my problems to other people ( that depends on their closeness to me though) so I lied.

” Its nothing maam, nothing to worry about. I was just a little upset about my huh….detention. Its nothing, actually. ” I said, stammering a little.

”As if detention will make Leonardo Anderson upset and carried away in class. ” She said. She could detect my lie and besides, Im not a good liar anyway. ” Leo, Im not stupid. I know something is wrong with you and you can tell me. ” She added. I almost started to sob but I held it in. I already promised myself not to cry over this anymore. I stood up, went towards the door slowly, stopped and turned my head to her. ”I just lost a precious gem in my life, My mom. ” I said and I went out of the class. Mrs. Jameson was astonished and covered her mouth. ”Im so sorry, I wasn aware. ” But I was already gone when she said that.

**********

I went for my locker to drop a few of my books and picked up my geometry text book. After that, I went for the bathroom and I washed my face, then I looked into the mirror and I stared at myself. I looked messed up a bit. My hair was rough and my eyes were a bit red. I sighed, took out my comb and combed my hair. The show must go on. I said to myself. I left the bathroom but as I opened the door, someone hit the door. It was more like the person bumped into the door. I closed the door to look at the person and it was Jesse. She was slightly as beautiful as Tracy only that she was a bit shorter. She was blonde while Tracy had black hair. They both had blue eyes and their body shape was basically the same. ”Ouch ouch ouch! ” she said, in pain as she held her nose. I helped her up. ”Im sorry. I didn mean to. You okay? ” I asked. I saw that her head and nose was slightly red. She must have been running really fast to have that impact. ” Im fine for now, I hit my head really hard. Ow. ” She said, touching her nose to see if its bleeding. By the time she opened her eyes to see me she was astonished.

”Wait, you
e Leo right? ” she said. ”Oh Tracy told me about your mom, Im so sorry. ” She sympathized.

” Its okay. I gotta go, catch you some other time. ” I said to her as I turned to leave. I wasn in the mood to talk to anyone. I went for the next class and I tried to act normal but I got an F in that aspect. The class ended like a normal and I went to the field to stay alone. It was break and I just thought being on the field and getting fresh air. I took out a paper and started to sketch animals. I was sketching a lioness and my mum sitting on a rock, watching it and its cubs.

Tracy came to sit beside me but I didn notice, as I was sketching different memories, both real and unreal, about my mum was flashing through my mind. ” Watcha drawing? ” she asked. I almost screamed. I threw my pencil up and shook out of fear until I realized it was Tracy. I wasn expecting anyone to approach me. ” please, don do that again. ” I said with seriousness in my voice. ” do what? I only asked a question. ” She replied lackadaisically, trying to see what I was sketching. ” wow, thats beautiful. Thats really good. ” She commented checking out the paper. She looked at me and saw that I didn look interested then she felt pity. Tracy is known for lifting bad atmospheres which is one of her many gifts. ” how about this… ” she went on. ” how about you sketch me right now. I would love to see how beautiful I would look in your paper. ”

”Not interested. ” I quickly turned her down. That is not something you see everyday. She was not surprised though.

” Please, come on. Just this once. ” She said as she hugged my hand close to her chest and looking at me the way a dog would look at its master when begging for something. It was cuter on Tracy though. I sighed. ” Just this once. ” I said.

” Yaay, once is enough. ” She said as she kissed me on the cheek. Then she posed on the chair she sat on and I went ahead to sketch her. My fingers moved slowly on the piece of paper. I drew every line with precision, she looked as beautiful on paper as she did on that seat. My drawing didn do justice though. It took me fifty minutes to finish up and then I gave her the paper. She thanked me and looked at it with love on her face, I wrote a poem…or more like a love letter to her behind the paper. She didn read it though…well, not yet.

”Thank you, its beautiful, ” she said, her gaze not leaving the picture. I pushed her chin up, her gaze fell on me. She tilted her head slightly, inviting me.

Instantaneously, my lips met hers and like the other times we kissed, shivers ran down my spine. She dropped the drawing and wrapped her hands around my neck. I picked her and sat in the seat that was once hers. She moaned in my mouth, the sound sent hot blood rushing down south. She broke this kiss for a bit, a smile etched on her lips. I flushed as her gaze fell down, not wanting to hear what she had to say, I stood and wanted to head for the library. ”Umm… I gotta go. Im going to the library, see if I can feed my brain a little. ”

”Okay, Ill come with you. Im less busy now anyway. ” She replied.

”Okay, cool. ” I went towards Tracy but the library was the other way. Tracy stopped me with her hand and then looked at me.

”Library is that way. ” She point to the gate at other end of the field. I rubbed my head and turned back.

”Sorry, my bad. ” I said as we headed for the library.

We were still on the field when Boyd called me. ” hey light feet… ” Boyd said. He is a bully and Im his most cherished customer. I earned the name light feet when we were in one of our brawls. He was picking on me on one faithful day so I slapped him and took to my heels. God knew how fast I was. My brain was swimming in adrenaline because I know that if Boyd catches me, Ill be doomed. Boyd was five feet and seven inches tall. He had big muscles and he had a bad temper. I really had guts to slap him that day. He couldn catch me that day but the next day, he caught me and he beat the sh*t out of me, together with his gang that day. If I had run there was no way he could have caught me. I went back home with a swollen eyes and a broken rib. It was not a good event to remember. Boyd approached me, together with Mick and Ford. ” Hey there light feet. I can see you
e hanging out with your girl friend huh. I don mean to interrupt the love time between you two. ” He continued.

”What do want Boyd? ” Tracy asked with annoyance in her voice. She won forgive Boyd for what happened the other day

”Easy there sweetheart, you might start what you can finish. ” Mick brought his hand forward to stop Tracy from doing anything harsh.

”And hows this your business Mr. Dog. ” Tracy yelled. Mick was about to hit Tracy but Boyd stopped him and he faced Tracy.

” Listen here Miss Wilson, I didn ask for your opinion. My boy light feet here and I are having a discussion. And ladies are not invited, so why don you just back off and leave this place this instant eh. ” He said. I was speechless and didn want Tracy to involve herself in all of this drama. She might get me hurt or get herself hurt which will also get me hurt.

” Tracy, don worry, I can handle this. ” I said to her, she nodded and took a few steps back. Boyd went on to look at me and he continued.

” I ain here for trouble. I heard from a friend about you mums death. Just wanted to say Im sorry about your loss. ”

” Thank you. ” I said, I felt a little touched

” Don take it too serious though. You might be surprised this is coming from me but I gotta tell you I know how you feel. When my old man passed away it was like a part of my flesh just got torn away. But you gotta move on. Be yourself, and never hold back. ” He said. He did get me surprised. He went ahead to pat me on my shoulder and he left.

maybe we
e not so different after all. I thought. I turned to face Tracy. ”Well, that was astonishing. ” She said. I looked back at Boyd and he nodded to me as Tracy and I left the football field.

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