Prologue: The fallen angel meets the fairy queen
That particular day was tattooed in my brain to stay for all eternity.
The stormy gray skies that made me sick. The stink of piss coming off the concrete outer walls of the gym. The sweet smell of pot wafting from a "secluded" corner over there. And the acrid, nauseating smell of cigarette smoke being blown on my face.
I remember them all.
My eyes rolled back and forth into my head. I saw white and black spots and stars. I wanted to scream to block out the high-pitched ringing in my ears and the taunting laughs of the boys around me.
My arms went slack and my knees gave out.
A one punch man.
Aww... Look. He's cryin' for his mommy.
Make him pee, Jace.
Kick the sonuvabitch in the nuts.
Cut 'em off.
Naw. Let's get this pipe in his ass.
You sick, man!
My eyes flew wide open. Warning signs flew everywhere. Panic. No, not that. Eric's right. That's sick.
Oh look! He's scared.
Why so worried, eh, fag? Your ass is already too loose, you probably shittin' 'thout meanin' ta.
How many dicks can you get up in there, eh?
Their laughter stabbed my heart. I staggered from pain a thousand times worse than the damage caused by their lead pipes and baseball bats.
How did they know?
How the fuck did they…
It seemed as if my lungs had collapsed. I couldn't breathe. Great. A panic attack in the middle of getting beat up.
I wanted to scream that nothing had happened. That the fag who bought me for a couple hundred bucks never got to do 'nything. That the cops came before he…
I grunted and gritted my teeth as a foot hit my left rib.
I tried not to cry. I did. I really did. Not gonna give 'em that satisfaction and all that shitty stuff macho men say in them books.
But I'm just me. Skinny, white ass kid who got attention without meaning to.
I half-coughed and half-cried when a hammer-like force got me in the gut. Now for real. I couldn't breathe. I mean, I was breathing but my lungs felt no air coming in. Scariest shit so far today. Damn.
It was the end of the school year. End of middle school. Should be the happiest day. My happiest day.
They said I had gotten the highest grades. The highest grades in New York. A boy from the projects getting the highest grades, beating out even the best from snobby private schools. Triumph of the public school system.
Yeah. Imagine that. Some boy who never really existed. Even in a school reserved for the dredges of society, I was beneath them all.
Yeah, I saw him with that rusty old bike.
The one with the green sweater? Wears it everyday?
Yep. Shaved head and all.
He's on the newspaper.
Good morning, America, bitch.
Oh. He's kinda cute.
I think I'm gonna say hi.
What? Jace'll kill him just for that! Stop-!
I wish she never did walk up to me and say hi.
"You like lookin' at my girlfriend, Bates?"
Don't wanna get Chlamydia.
It was getting really hard to stay focused and live through it. I begged them to stop. Even if I never laid an eye (much less a finger) on Jace Montana's girl, I swore not to do it again. I pleaded for mercy and forgiveness again and again.
No such luck.
They left me lying on the harsh, crumbly asphalt. Stagnant water mixed with my blood and their piss. Cigarette butts scattered around me like some perverse offering. I shivered as the heavy drops of rain pelted my bruises. The bastards took my clothes away.
I laid there, tight-lipped and wishing for a quick death. Maybe sleep and then waking up to the proverbial tunnel with the white light at the end of it.
Then a rumble of laughter rose within my gut. I must've looked sickeningly funny. A 14-year old. Curled up, stripped to his worn, ratty underwear, broken, bruised and bleeding.
Middle School Valedictorian.
Pride of New York City.
Hell. It was my luck, wasn't it? Nothing ever came fully right with me. I was born unlucky. That's what my mama said. She didn't want to say that I deserved it. That this was punishment for my being alive. Sins of the father, or rather mother, and all that shit.
My laughter didn't end up on my lips. I choked on my laugh and coughed; not surprised to see blood red mixed in with my spit.
I wished that the rain would stop. The drops were making the pain in my ribs a thousand times worse.
And would you look at that.
God, actually listened. My sore gut ached once more as I found humor in the irony of it all.
The rain did stop.
No, it didn't.
But the pain from the rain drops! Gone! Or am I… Am I…
You're not dead, moron. Not yet.
Too bad then.
"Are you still alive?"
The quick gasp I made was like a thousand needles attacking my lungs.
I tried to turn my head to look up. A girl. That was definitely a girl's voice. Shame coursed through me like hell fire. Again, sick laughter threatened to bubble up as I thought how ridiculous it was that I was wishing for better underwear.
Ah! If I only knew I'd get beaten and stripped by gangsters today, I should've worn much more presentable underwear. Preferably the navy blue boxers I got from that pedophile living a floor above my unit.
"Don't try to move. Please."
A girl indeed.
Her voice was… It was a… It sounded like a wind chime. Annoyingly happy-sounding, though I had a feeling she had no control over this.
I felt her kneel down by my side. I saw yellow boots with green dots.
I coughed violently. Christ.
I immediately closed my eyes.
I flinched for a second when something heavy landed over me, covering me. At last, warmth.
"It's going to be okay. I already called for help."
I must've not lost that much blood since I still had the ability to blush. In a second, with all the blood flooding my cheeks, I felt faint once more.
"You're still alive, right?"
My cheek tingled as she poked it repeatedly. Relentlessly. Until I grunted.
I slowly flipped my eyes open when I heard her grunting and moving around me.
No panties in sight.
Then I blinked multiple times as my eyeballs realized that I was staring straight into her eyeballs.
Fucking huge blue eyes.
Jesus. Too close.
I groaned again as my sudden urge to run stretched some of the most sore parts of my body.
"Hey. Stop moving."
She drew her head back and I blinked multiple times as confusion set upon me.
I know you.
I noted the tight-lipped smile that reached her sapphire-eyes. No sympathy. No concern. No awkwardness. Just a happy smile. The kind of smile you do when getting a free sundae with strawberry—
Speaking of sundaes, I took in the sight of her hair. A towering swirl of blonde splashed randomly with red and green highlights and adorned with rainbow-colored rope or something.
"I know you," I croaked out. She wasn't wearing her signature, huge-ass hipster eyeglasses. But yeah, it's her.
The girl who was infamous for talking to cockroaches and dust bunnies. Heck, she talked to anything except people. A real basket case. Nobody had made proper conversation with her. Not even the teachers. That was supposedly the reason why she's still in middle school even when she's already 17 years old or something.
She just smiled. A lot. Even when the bitches openly mocked her appearance or her inability to get out of middle school.
Ah, well. She's rich.
Well… not rich-rich.
But she arrives to school in a car. That should count for something.
So, in a way, they can only hurl words at her to hurt her. That's the golden rule in my high school. You never physically hurt rich people. Maybe a snide, thinly veiled insult once in a while but nothing more than that. You never know who your father is working for.
Lucky her. Wish I had a car too.
She smiled, revealing braces with black rubber.
No doubt about it now.
It's the self-proclaimed fairy queen.
"Stay alive, Gabriel. Help is coming."
I trusted her and closed my eyes.
Hey! :D Well, wasn't that depressing?
This is Gabriel's story. Pre-Drea and Alex fiasco. No need to read the other story to understand this one.
To all Teenage Mom readers, I'm just gonna say that I'm on it. I just had to get this out of my system.