Finally, chapter four, which so far is one of my favorites. Not that it's profound or anything, just that you learn a lot more about Dex and why he is the way he is(like why he always talks 'proper'). Also this chapter gave me the idea to change the title of my story, from 'Out Cold' to 'My Knight in Shinning Armor' which will make complete sense by the time you finish reading this part.
Another thing, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be rewriting chapter 3. I was reading it again and it just didn't feel right the way it was, like it wasn't up to par. So as I continue the story I'll be doing that as well and I'll make a notification when it changes. Along with that I'll bring in Kylie's dream world a little later.
Well, I think thats all I had to say. Read on.
Do you ever step back from it all, and just appreciate the simple things in life. The things that seamlessly complete your day, turn up the corners of your lips, and make the hardest times the best of times. If we took the time to just be grateful then maybe it would be less a blow when they're gone. Maybe it was just me; after all it was I who had something so special, so irreplaceable, and I had let it slip through my fingers like sand. "I should have told her!" I wanted to yell at myself, "how would that have changed anything, if not made it worse." my other half retorted. It was all I could do, argue with myself. Til' the hands of time silenced my sorrow heart.
"Dex, are you awake?" I heard the hesitant cry of my mother. If I didn't answer she'd walk away and let me sleep, which was exactly what I was intending to do. But I couldn't sleep, hadn't slept, at all. Two roads diverged in a yellow-wood, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference. The words from Roberts Frost's "The Road Not Taken" echoed through my mind. It occurred to me that I had but two choices: to wither away lonely, in my room or to face the coming days no matter how hard they may be.
"Yeah mom," I replied. The door squeaked open and the edge of my bed sank a little. Turning my head back over my shoulder I saw my mom look at me with her always loving green eyes. Her hands were folded in her lap but slowly one reached over to brush the hair out of my face. I could feel the guilt running off her fingertips as they stroked my cheeked.
"What is it mom?" I said while sitting up next to her. She shook her head and placed her hand on the side of her mouth.
"It's nothing, really. Just, looking at you and feeling so happy your alright." a single tear ran down her face and I was confused as to weather this was a happy or sad moment.
"Mom, you're crying." I stated the obvious and felt like a five year old for doing so.
"I know. It's just. Is it wrong for me to be happy when they can't be?" I'd typically expect this kind of conversation to happen between my mom and my dad. Of course it had been about a year since they've had any real, thought out conversation about anything. So my mom turned to me; the only one who'd listen and understand what she was going through, who even knew about it. But this was one question that I had no answer for. I couldn't say 'yes' and hurt her more, yet saying 'no' would be denying the guilt I felt.
"I don't know mom." I whispered and ducked my eyes. Still I could imagine her sniffling, nodding her head a couple of times and then walking away, at a loss for words. Slowly I looked up and sure enough she was gone. I felt guilty that I couldn't help her, but I had my own torn life to mend right now.
Gradually I stood up and made my bed, the soft comforter tempting me to crawl back under its safe surface. How I wanted to deny it all, live in an ignorantly bliss world where everything was perfect, and there was always a happy ending. I've been watching too much "Full House ", I tell myself so I don't drift too far from reality. There was no perfect world, no heaven on earth, no happy endings, at least I didn't feel like there could be.
My body unwillingly dressed, always having to be reminded that this was for my own good. That otherwise I'd cower in these four walls. For her, I'd be brave, her knight in shining armor, the one she always wanted.
The lunch room was buzzing with the new school year. All of the second grade classrooms had joined in the cafeteria to eat and catch up with each other. Everywhere there were kids laughing, fighting, and a few crying because they didn't want to be in school. I was happy to be back in school though. After spending a long summer at my grandparents' house in Florida, I was back in PA with my best friend Kylie O'Ryan.
"So how was Florida?" she asked as we sat down across from each other at the long table.
"Hot." I replied smartly which made her give me a look that said 'duh'.
"Well I know that. I meant, like, are there really palm trees? And is it always sunny? Does it rain in Florida? Did you go to Disney land?" she was panting, out of breath, and I could tell there was still more she wanted to know.
"Yes, there palm trees. It's not always sunny, just most of the time. Except when it rains; which is like every afternoon. And I didn't get to go to Disney cause my mommom and pop don't live near it."
"That would have been so cool to go there. I wish my parents would take me to Florida." She said, and cupped her face with her hand, dreaming of the sun.
Lunch passed quickly, us talking more about my summer and Kylie's at day camp. Eventually we got up to throw away our trash and then everyone lined up to go out to recess. At the front of the line I could see a blond haired kid picking on a boy named Tim or as he was more known as shrimp, shortcake, and tiny Tim for his size. I could see the tear rolling down Tim's cheek as he was pushed to the ground. The blond kid turned back to a group of boys who were laughing at Tim. I didn't recognize the bully but I wasn't planning on getting to know him.
Opening the door, the old lunch aid had been blind to Tim's' fall, and the bully went running out to the fields, his accomplishes on foot. As we arrived at the front I saw Tim huddled in the corner, knees tucked tight to his chest.
"What's the matter Tim?" Kylie asked, since she had not seen what happened.
"The new kid, Zach, was picking on me. He said that I was so short that I should look out cause someone might step on me and squish me like a bug. Then he pushed me and I fell." Tim sniffled a little, and rubbed his finger under his nose.
"Here, give me your hand," Tim extended his hand so she could help him up. "And you can play with us so Zach can't hurt you any more. Right Dex."
"Yeah, sure," I said, though it seemed Tim was a magnet for bullies and I didn't want to become a new target. Together the three of us walked out to the swings which were oddly unoccupied at the moment. There were four swings contained by a wooden border in which wood chips were placed so that no one would get hurt if they fell. At the edge of the far side I saw a boy standing there like he was waiting for something. Tim took the closest swing, obviously seeing the boy with a look of fear. Kylie went on the next one, leaving the third for me, and one swing in between me and kid.
"Hey, you can't use those!" he yelled at us and came closer with balled fists.
"Why not?" Kylie asked, trying to sound tough but faltering her voice a little.
"Cause those are my swings." said another voice from the other side, as the bully, who I now knew as Zach, approached. He looked at Tim disgustedly. "It's shrimpy again. I guess you need anod'er lesson about who's the boss."
"No," Tim said as he slink-ed his way off the swing.
"He was using that swing so he doesn't have to get up." Kylie defended him though her voice wasn't as strong as she intended it to be.
"How are you gonna stop me, your just a little girl."That really fired her up. If Kylie hated anything in this world it was being called weak because of her gender. The only problem was that when Kylie got angry her body instinctively would cry; a draw back from the rage. Sure enough, a teardrop trickled its way from her eye and Zach took that as proof that indeed girls were weak.
"Look at that, she's crying. I knew you couldn't do anything. All girls can do is cry and run to their mommy's." The other boys with Zach began to laugh, which only made Kylie more infuriated, and embarrassed all the same. Like a lightning bolt she ran off towards the cafeteria, making the boys cackle more like the cruel hyenas they were.
I had just noticed then that Tim had already disappeared and I was standing there with slit eyes watching them. Zach turned to me with piercing blue eyes, as well realizing I was the only one left.
"What are you lookin' at?" he said threateningly.
"A jerk," I whispered under my breath so that they wouldn't catch it.
"Weirdo." He said and the group walked off, leaving me glaring. But I didn't stay there long. As soon as they were out of sight I went off to find Kylie and make sure she was alright. I felt guilty that I hadn't helped her-stood up for her somehow- that I had been as big a coward as Tim.
I found her under the jungle gym, beneath the stairs that led up to one of the many slides. She was curled up just as Tim was before, except her face was not frightened, but torn between hate and sorrow. Silently I sat down beside her and pulled her into a hug. For a few minutes we just sat there, me protecting her like I should have before.
"Thanks Dex," she whispered as she pulled herself free from my arms which gave me an odd feeling of sadness. "You always make me feel better."
"Yeah, but I wish I could have stopped him from hurting you in the first place." I admitted.
"It's ok. I know that you don't like being around bullies. And as long as you cheer me up after I'll be ok." Her words were reassuring but not entirely. "What I need is a knight to protect me."
"Why a knight?" I asked, curious.
"Because knights are brave, and handsome, and always have good manners." She explained, and I watched her again, picturing it in her mind. I could be your knight, I thought. I knew then that in the future I'd always protect her; I'd be her knight in shinning armor.
The car ride was slow, and silent. I sat in the back seat away from my father who was purposefully driving the long way so we wouldn't pass by the site. It was awkward to say the least. Every minute or so he'd turn back his head to say something but then act as though he forgot, deciding not to ask whatever it was on his mind. He probably wanted to know what mom had to say to me earlier, either that or some kind of 'everything'll be fine son' pep talk.
Slowing down, if that was possible with the already snail-like speed, the car gently stopped in front of the school. Today, the monument to education seemed different, like it had suddenly become sullen and dry. Different from the feel of expedition and conquest it usually gave me. I remembered how I could walk into class and sense a current charging the air with electricity. When my eyes would scan over new material I was aware of a power fulfilling me. Knowledge was my power, and I never felt more dumbfounded.
I slid across the bench seat to reach for the door handle; the metal icy at the touch, sending a shiver downs my spine. The locks opened and I pushed forward to get out.
"Son," my father said, almost to faint to catch, "Ha-have a good day." His voice shook a little and I could see this was out of his protocol.
"You, too." My voice sounded unsure and I quickly closed the door, gave a curt wave and walked away. It was chilling to think that in only a year our whole family dynamic crumbled, like a glass pot on an unsteady surface. I knew what's done is done, and the past remained shattered as it is. Though I wish I could do more then sweep the broken pieces under the rug; gilding the mess from peeping eyes.
Drawing in a long, weighty breath, I took the first step forward towards the new day that lye just a few feet ahead of me. I hope I don't regret leaving bed, I thought and pushed open the glass door to my own mortification.
So, what do you think? Personally I feel this chapter was better than chapter 3. If you think I should just leave it, well then maybe I won't publish the second version, just make it for my own pleasure. Anyway, I know I just changed the title but then I thought that it would be better as just 'Knight' since that would play on both Dex wanting to be her knight and the night that Kylie is stuck in. This was just an idea though, so you tell me whether or not I should just leave keep things the way they are or if my ideas are any good.
Please feel free to criticize, I live off others opinions, as far as my writing at least. Hope you enjoyed this chapter as I did.