Lydia

As we get out of the car and walk into the restaurant, I spot Graham and Rick in conversation. My heart pounds for a moment. What could those two possibly have to say to one another?

"Lydia?" My dad calls.

"Yeah, be there in a sec." I tell him, and stay rooted to my spot. I'm trying to decide if I need to go over there and intervene, or if I should just let this play out. I feel like Graham, if he knew I was watching, would tell me to stay away. But I don't generally make it a habit of listening to anything he has to say.

Before I can decide what to do, I see Graham smirk and Rick sneer, but Graham has already turned away and is walking towards me. He spots me and waves, almost timidly. I guess he must be wondering if I'm still mad about last night. I wave back. I'm not sure if I'm mad or not.

WHAM!

"GRAHAM!" I scream as I watch Rick run up behind Graham and swing a fist into the side of Graham's head.

Graham spins for a moment, wobbling like a spinning top, then he stumbles into a parked car and holds on for support.

I run over to them. "Oh my God Graham!"

Rick just stands there and sneers down at his handiwork. I reach Graham and throw my arm over his shoulder.

"Get off me," Graham mutters, righting himself and shrugging me off. There's a look in his eyes I've never seen before. "Really dude, hitting a guy while his back is turned? Is that really the kind of man you are?" Graham spits at the sidewalk. Blood.

My heart is racing. I know I have to stop them.

"Graham, don't! He's not worth it!" My voice doesn't penetrate. Graham is looking at Rick the way a bull looks at matador, only this matador has gone white with fear.

I see Rick's adam's apple bob up and down a few times. Like he just realizes what he's done. Graham, even out of shape, has twice the muscle mass and he knows how to fight.

"H-Hey man, sorry, I really didn't mean..." He's backing away slowly as Graham advances towards him, holding up open palms in front of his face.

"Next time you hit a guy from behind, make sure you can actually take him down," Graham's voice is a low snarl. I realize I've seen this look on his face before. It's the one he wears playing football, and he's lining up against the opening team before a hut. He keeps advancing and Rick keeps back up.

Rick also doesn't see the edge of the curb behind him. I see it but a second too late for me to yell. At least I think it's too late. I'd like to think I would have warned him if I had noticed. Even if he is a giant jerk.

With a strangled yelp he falls off the sidewalk, arms and legs flailing wildly then with a sickening crack he lands in the street. For a moment he sits there looking stunned then in the next he's holding his left arm and tears are streaming down his face.

"Oh my god, my arm! My arm!" People are starting to gather nearby. A shopkeeper who works at the flower store comes out and offers to call an ambulance. I see Graham backing away and then falling against a car. One hand cradles his head.

"You okay?"

"That jerk really got me," he admits.

"Come on, let's go get you some ice," I say, and lead him towards the Spotted Cow. No one pays any attention to us as we walk away, his arm over my shoulder, his now familiar limp by my side.


A/N: Sorry folks, was outta the country for awhile but I'm back. Hope you all liked this! I would love to get this wrapped up by the end of the summer. Seems appropriate, no?