Chapter 2: Gangsta
"I have to go. The money is gonna make itself," Alex said firmly as he pulled his body away from mine. "Just let him go, Angel. He'll be back if they don't decide to lock his ass up," Ashe snapped. "Yeah or if he doesn't croak from something somebody gave him. He always comes back," Brina said, rolling her eyes. I could hear a low growl in his throat. I thought no one hated Alex more than my parents, but then Ashe and Brina found out that we were talking and fooling around and they've been giving me shit for it ever since. Ashe constantly bitched about his age and how he was just manipulating me because I was young. Brina stayed on my ass because he constantly slept around with anything with a slit between their legs.
My parents were gone for the night and I didn't feel lonely when they left because Alex would usually spend the night until they got back. Unfortunately, he dropped the bomb on me that he was heading out of town as well. He refused to tell me where he was going. All I knew was that Anton, Pash, and Dominic were going with him and he made it very clear for me not to call him. My only other option to keep from losing my mind inside my empty house was calling Ashe and Brina over. Of course, they bitched that I only wanted them around because he was leaving and at least half of it was true.
"I fucking hate your friends," he said, looking me dead in the eye. Sometimes, the tension between the three of them was too much for me to handle. I wanted to live in this fantasy world where I had the guy that I wanted as my boyfriend who loved me and only had eyes for me and I wanted to have my best friends by my side to be supportive every step of the way. Like I said, all of that would only ever be a fantasy. Ashe and Brina were bitches and Alex was a dog. There was no other way to look at it. "The feeling is mutual, asshole!" Brina barked at him.
"Why can't I come with you? What makes Anton and Pash so special?" I said putting on my best puppy dog eyes with a pout. I was secretly jealous of my cousins spending more time with him than I had here lately. The only thing that made me feel like I had the upper hand was the fact that I was fucking him and I knew that he would come running back as soon as he made it back to McDowell County. If I had to guess, he was probably heading to Charlotte and that wasn't good. He only took trips down there when he had to break a few knee caps. He always refused to take me out of town with him and based on how banged up he would look when he returned, I believed that it would do more harm than good to be down there with him. I had never seen him get that vicious and I hoped that it would stay that way. I had seen enough bloody guns and brass knuckles to scare me away from the idea sometimes.
He rolled his eyes and I could tell that he was getting tired of my whining and begging before it could even get started. "You would make me vulnerable. You're not supposed to have your main bitch tied up in your business. I've told you this." He was lying. "Bullshit. You never have a problem with me stuffing my ass full of pills and whatever else you need to hide," I snapped as I stepped back and placed my hands on my hips. "Here we go. You always find something to cry about. Why the hell can't you just leave well enough alone?" he said, throwing his hands in the air, trying to maintain his composure. I knew that leaving well enough alone was going to make it much harder for me. This between us had been going on for a while now and he had made me experience things that never even crossed my mind before, both good and bad. "Maybe I have feelings too," I suggested with sarcasm.
"You agreed to do this with me and all that shit. I didn't force you," he took a step closer to me, looking down at me with his expression appearing much darker. I felt like I was as small as a mouse and he was the cat ready to pounce on me and tear me to shreds. "There's a lot of shit that I can go down for, but you know the one thing that I refuse to get locked up for. I've never forced you to do anything and don't you fucking forget it. I'm out." Ouch. He had very rarely used that tone with me. He never had a problem being stone cold to anyone else, but seeing him like that actually scared me.
"Just be thankful that I came to see your ass before I left." He turned on his heels and walked away. In the distance, I could see my cousins piled up in his black Trailblazer. I was so mad that I couldn't see straight. A small voice in the back of my mind was telling me to let him take off, don't bother texting or calling him, and when he gets back, treat him like he didn't exist. But, I knew that that would be damn near impossible. Like I told myself over and over again for almost a year now, he had his hooks in me and sometimes I thought that I couldn't let go of him no matter how hard I tried.
He climbed inside the truck, not even giving me a wave or one final glance, and they drove away in the darkness. I stood there, feeling like I had been hit by a wrecking ball. I had never felt so insignificant in all my life and I would have preferred to have been hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat. That would have been a lot less painful.
"When are you gonna learn?" Ashe said, shaking her head as I walked to meet them on the stairs leading back up to my porch. "She won't. That's the sad part," Brina added. I didn't even try to argue with him. Alex had sapped every bit of my energy in the process of making me feel like shit. I shrugged as I started climbing the stairs, feeling defeated. "I guess I won't." There was an ache in my chest and that was a clear indication that the rest of the night would be spent with me crying on the bathroom floor.
"Angel, Angel, Angel. Where's your halo?" Zach Evans said as I strolled by him to get to my locker. "I would ask about your wings, but I wouldn't be able to get a view of your ass," Shaq Jackson said, licking his lips. School was an absolute headache. When people weren't being loud and obnoxious, they were busy speculating that I had something going on with Alex. I'd get asked a few random questions from random people that I hadn't spoken to since elementary school, but I would blow them off.
It made it even worse that a lot of the guys decided to congregate in front of my locker on the third floor after every class ended. "Seriously, you fuckers don't even have classes over here anymore. Why do you need to stand in front of MY locker?" I said trying to remain calm. The shit was beyond old and without hearing from Alex for a few days, I was a little on edge. I put my hands together to fit between two of them and tried my very best to shove them out of the way. "Goddamn!" Blue Martin said as I continued to push him until he was completely out of my way. "You're pretty damn strong to be so small," he used his hand to adjust the front of his pants as he stared at me like I was something to eat. "Yeah, well stay the fuck out of my way," I growled as I quickly turned the lock. "And that attitude," he added. I glared at him over my shoulder when I was finally able to get the door open. "I don't want to hear about your nasty balls, Blue," I snapped. "You know I'm always ready to go, baby. They don't call me Blue for nothing," he said with a shrug. His jokes able constantly having blue balls whenever I was around him were beyond tired and they always made my stomach curl. "Nigga, they call you Blue because that's your favorite fucking color!" Shaq shouted. Blue's face was turning a bright red from embarrassment.
"Nobody wants to fuck someone that calls themselves Blue. Stop trying to hump her fucking leg," Andy Horn chimed in. I couldn't help but giggle and the sound caused him to glance at me from the corner of his eye. I could see that a small smile had spread across his lips. My eyes locked with his and suddenly, I was feeling giddy, like my stomach was turning flips. I shocked myself. I never would have seen him as being attractive. He looked too soft and honestly, I could probably break him and that sparked my interest and curiosity. He earned a few extra points for speaking up for me when it came to the herd of assholes that he usually ran with.
"Fuck you, Andy!" Blue shouted, just as the warning bell rang. "Mr. Martin! Come see me after lunch!" All of us turned our heads to find Mr. Harris towering over us all, glaring at Blue over the top of his glasses. "Apologize to Miss Dawson and get your butt to class! And pull those pants up! I don't want to see the crack of your behind!" he yelled, causing everyone in the busy hallway to stop and turn their attention toward Mr. Harris and Blue. Blue's face and ears were growing redder by the second. He looked at Mr. Harris with panic in his eyes and then back at me. I wore a smirk, raising one eyebrow as I waited for his apology.
Blue hesitated for a second and it was clear that he was about to go into panic mode. Mr. Harris reminded all of us of Joe Clark from Lean On Me and he had the ability to make you a better person and give you some of the best advice and lend a listening ear, or he could put you on the spot, embarrassing you and leaving you in tears. His height was legendary back in the day when the Northfork Blue Demons racked up eight straight basketball championships. It was his biggest advantage over all of us. He would glare down the halls, looking over the brim of his glasses with piercing eyes, occasionally cracking jokes about his "beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair," when he was obviously a bald brown eyed black man.
He was not the one to play with though. We'd been dealing with him since the day of sixth grade orientation when he had us all shaking in our boots thinking about what would become of us all for the next seven years. At this point in our lives, we knew how he worked and we made sure to behave respectfully for the most part whenever he was around. We were trained to be afraid of him because nine times out of ten, our parents were always going to take his word over ours simply because he was never going to steer us in the wrong direction. He proved time and time again that he wasn't afraid of putting you on front street and calling you on your bullshit no matter who was around.
"You must want me to make a phone call!" he quickly pulled out his signature flip phone that had stood the test of time and called home on all of us and the students at Mount View that came before us at least once. "Let's see if your mother wants to hear about your blue balls! I hope you know that's sexual harassment Mr. Martin!" he announced. Before Mr. Harris could hand Blue the phone to dial his number, he quickly spit out, "I'm sorry, Angel! I was only joking!" He was now sweating bullets. "Do you accept his apology, Miss Dawson?" Everyone looked at me as they waited for my response. Blue was absolutely shook and he was now as pale as a ghost with sweat continuing to roll down from his hairline. He looked like he was going to faint from the anticipation.
"Yes," I said with a chuckle. Seeing Blue's face was priceless and it took everything in me to keep from laughing. "Alright! All of you get to class!" he finished.
The traffic in the halls began to move once more and I closed my locker after retrieving my English notebook. Next thing I know, I look up to see Andy standing closer to me and I was reminded of how my body had reacted to seeing him smile just a few moments ago.
"Is it bad that that made my day?" he said with a chuckle. "Hell no. Seeing Mr. Harris light into him is fucking priceless," I responded, smiling from ear to ear. Mr. Harris jumped onto him almost every single day and even though we had gotten used to seeing it, it was still funny every single time. Andy erupted in laughter and I joined him. The shrill sound of the late bell rang through the halls and just like always, I felt like it was going to bust my fucking ear drum.
I could tell that I was enjoying this moment with Andy, but then I quickly remembered that I was late and Ms. Goosens was going to write my ass up for being tardy and I started to panic. "I'll catch you later, Andy," I said nervously, clutching my book to my chest. I darted away from him, locking my eyes on the classroom door that was still propped open. "I know where to find you!" he called back, throwing his hand in the air.
I made it inside, practically diving for my seat when I realized that I had forgotten all about the pissy mood I was in earlier because of Alex. I was also pleased with the fact that talking to Andy felt as easy as breathing and the thought of how he looked at me literally took my breath away. The thought of his face sent a shiver down my spine and remembering his smile almost made me melt in my seat.
Wait. What the fuck just happened?