Healing Hands

I sat up groggily in my bed as the sun caressed my face with its' warm, golden beams, shining through my window. I slowly tossed the blankets off of me, stretching my arms up above me as I yawned. A bird sat just outside my window, twittering away a happy sounding tune. I smiled and hoped that the rest of my day would be as lovely as it was right now. However, it was a Monday, which made that prospect doubtful. Going to school could never be described as fun or exciting, far too many bullies, who were all too eager to make my life a living hell, lurked the hallways of my high-school. My eyebrows furrowed together at the thought of having to face them again. There had been multiple incidents, though none of them had been serious. Not yet. I feared, though, that as all of us aged the bullying would get progressively more serious until the bullied ends up in a hospital and, hopefully, the bully ends up in jail. These are the sort of things I thought on as I got ready to leave the house to go to school. I showered, brushed my teeth and changed out of my pajamas. I changed into a pair of black skinny jeans and a long, white t-shirt with the symbol of a bleeding heart on it. I didn't know what the heart was supposed to symbolize, but, for some reason, it resonated with me. I was about to leave the room when I remembered to put on my best-friend necklace. My best friend, Jennifer, had moved away quite some time ago and, as often happens, the distance between us has proven our friendship to be too difficult to maintain over such a distance. Now the two of us rarely talked. For a brief span of time, I debated whether or not to get rid of the necklace. After all, if our strong friendship was gone, so should the necklace be. Eventually, however, I decided not to. I liked the necklace too much. I reached my hands behind my neck, fumbling about with my fingers until I find the clasp and snap it around a link in the silver chain. As I stood in front of a full-length mirror, looking at my reflection, I realized that it dangles just to the right of my heart. I nodded at my mirror image and walked out my bedroom door. My parents, per usual, were arguing. My mother had already set out a plate of something that I thought was edible. I hoped so, at least. It looked like some sort of oatmeal. I was suddenly reminded that I was not hungry that morning. I was running just a few minutes late anyway, and so I decided to skip breakfast and, due to the fact that shouting is simply not the atmosphere I liked to surround myself with, I pulled on a pair of shoes, slung my backpack over my shoulder and walked outside, sitting cross-legged on the lawn to wait for the school bus's arrival. I ran my hand across the soft, green grass. It was so verdant, so alive, so full of energy. I wished then, as the bus pulled to a stop in front of my house, that I could absorb some of their energy to face the day that awaited me. I stepped through the doors of the bus and quietly made my way to the back of the bus. My spot next to the window, as always, was left open for me and I practically threw myself into it and simply stared out the window, not wanting to pay any attention to what was being done or said around me. Regardless of my attempts to ignore my surroundings, I noticed a new boy that stepped into the bus as the bus stopped at the house right next to mine. I had forgotten that some family had recently moved into that house, I supposed that was their child. He was Asian, with dark, almond-shaped eyes and light, red hair that seemed to sweep around his head in thick, soft strands. He was not overly tall, nor short, but he stepped into the bus with an aura of confidence around him and his very presence seemed to command everyone's complete attention. Everyone was silent for about a minute as he slowly made his way to a seat two rows in front of me; he sat next to some blonde girl. Then the conversations resumed and I resumed...staring out the window. Throughout the rather short trip to the high-school from my neighborhood, I could not help but sneak furtive glances at the new guy. He was already talking to the girl next to him and the two guys across from him; he was a natural little socialite. Wonderful, another social butterfly was exactly what my school needed. The bus arrived at the school and everyone, except me, filed out quickly. I, however, took my time leaving the bus. When I was off the bus, however, it was like I had left my safe haven; I took quick, sharp steps forward. My first classroom was the next safe place I had to get to. I wasted no time in going there and arrived at my first classroom shortly. The class itself, however, seemed to go much faster and it was over before I had even really noticed it had begun and, indeed, much of the day went by just as quickly...until lunch period. I retrieved a tray full of the refuse they called food and sat at a table by myself. After forcing down a few bites, I got up and went to the restroom...and that was my first mistake. As I turned on the faucet to wash my hands, two of my least favorite people seemed to materialize out of thin air. I didn't even have the time to make a sound or a shout before they had me shoved against a wall, my left arm twisted behind my back. Had they seriously planned this assault? Did they have nothing else to do with their lives? I tried to shout but my mouth was pressed against the wall, making me unable to cry for help.

"Hey, fag." One of them said, I didn't even know their names. Why did they hate me so much? I wasn't gay. At least I didn't think I was, I had never been in a relationship with anyone, male or female, so I wasn't completely sure which one I preferred. But the two of them insisted that I was. Their reasoning: I wear skinny jeans, I play the piano. Idiots.

"What is wrong with you?" I struggled to say, through a clenched jaw.

"What was that? Huh?"

"I think he said he likes to suck it." The other one said, laughing menacingly.

"You're both idiots." I managed to say as the one's grip faltered. I groaned as he twisted my arm further upwards, causing daggers of pain to shoot up my arm. He spun me around and shoved me hard against the wall. I sunk to the ground.

"Say it, fag." He seethed, mere inches from my face. I thought then that he couldn't seriously want me to say "I like to suck it," but they stared at me, expectantly with what looked like hatred burning in their eyes. What had I ever done to them?

"What is that going to prove?"

"Say it!" He kicked at me, his foot stopping a mere hair's width from my face. I tried to swallow but couldn't and when I finally did it felt like I had swallowed a stone. I knew he wasn't going to ask me again.

"I-I-" I stammered, my face flushing with embarrassment.

"What's the matter?" the other one said, "Too scared to admit it?"

Both of their hands began to curl into fists.

Hot tears began to spill from my eyes. "I...like to...suck it." I whimpered.

They both laughed uproariously.

"What a crybaby!" One called as they left. Every time. Every time. What had I done? What had I done? I sat still, sliding my legs up in front of me and resting my head on my knees. The tears splashed against my jeans, making dark little circles on the material. I needed to get up. I needed to. If anyone walked in and saw me like this, no doubt, only more bullying would ensue. Then the restroom door opened. I lowered my head and tugged my legs closer in, preparing myself for what might happen.

"Oh my God, are you okay?" I heard someone say. Surely, they weren't trying to comfort me, and so, I did not respond. "Hey," the voice began again, softly, "you okay?"

I hesitantly looked up, knowing what a mess I must look like with my red eyes and tear-stained face. It was the new kid, my new neighbor.

"Yeah," I sniffed, "I'm fine."

"Well, I hope you don't mind me saying this but you don't look fine." He crouched in front of me. Maybe he wasn't such a bad person after all.

"Just having some tough times at home. I'm good, really."

He nodded, slowly. "Well, if you ever need to talk about anything, I'm here, okay?"

"Okay." I answered, smiling lightly.

He got up and started to leave, "Oh, and my name's Hyung." He smiled back at me.

"Thanks, Hyung."

The rest of the day went by quickly also, though not as quickly as the first half of the day had. From the incident in the restroom I had received only a large bruise at the base of my spine that pained me when I sat. I had dealt with worse. When school ended for the day, I stayed late to practice for the upcoming recital and mostly everyone had left by the time I began to walk out. I walked down a dark hallway, watching the door that would open up to the light of the outside world at the end of the hall. A strange odor wafted across my nose as I walked past a stairway. I glanced around. That was when I saw the two that had assaulted me behind the stairs, smoking what I knew to be weed. I almost jumped with joy. Finally, I could be free from the two of them. All I would have to do is report their drug use. Hopefully, they would be asked to take a test, which they would fail, of course, and they would be out of my life for quite some time. Now all I had to do was get away without them noticing. But it was too late, they had already spotted me. I spun and raced toward the exit, my heart pounding frantically inside of my chest. There was no telling what they would do to me in order to keep me from reporting them. I felt a searing heat on my inner forearm as one grabbed me and spun me around.

"It'll be your neck next, if you tell anyone." My neck? What was he talking about? A flash of metal shone in his hand and I spotted the knife he held. I heard a dripping noise and with my hands trembling, I looked down at my arm. He was truly insane. He had slashed at my arm. He had slashed at my arm! The cut began at my wrist and stopped at about the center of my forearm, winding around my arm like a snake. I clutched at my forearm. Had he hit a vein on my wrist?

"Oh, my God!" I shouted. The reality of what they might have done dawned on them and they took of running through the glass doors, leaving me in the dark hallway alone, my crimson blood falling in a seemingly steady stream against the bright, polished floor. I felt light headed.

"Oh, my God." I whispered. Then I screamed as a fresh wave of pain rippled through me. Then Hyung rushed around the corner and stopped directly in front of me. I stared into his dark, brown eyes, with fear in my own eyes. He did not hesitate, but grabbed my uninjured arm and pulled me toward the nearest restroom. He did not speak as he sat me down by the sinks and began to gather paper towels. He pressed them against the cut. I must have been growing pale, because he wrapped his thin fingers around my neck, holding me steady. Time passed as red seemed to envelope the paper towels he held pressed against my arm. He pulled them away a few minutes later as I tried to slow my breathing to calm myself. I looked away.

"How bad is it?" I asked, fearful of what he might answer.

"Actually, I don't think it's that bad; it just bled a lot."

I risked looking down. My skin was red and swollen around the cut and blood still trickled out of it. I gagged and looked away once again as he began to gently dab the wound with fresh paper towels. He pulled my arm under a faucet and turned it so that the water ran slowly down my arm, then began to pat my arm dry. I couldn't help but stare at him as he worked so diligently. No one had ever treated me with this much care before. My eyes roamed his face, studying his features. His eyebrows were thick, but light. His slanted eyes were perfectly shaped. His nose was small and wide, though not very. His lips were both full, though it seemed that his top lip was ever so slightly larger than his bottom lip. His skin was like porcelain, pale and flawless. It was only then that I realized I was smiling. His dark eyes flicked upwards catching mine and I quickly looked away. A faint smile spread his lips, though he did not speak.

"Thank you," my words echoed between the restroom walls, "for everything." Why did I sound so awkward? Why was I shaking? His grip on my wounded arm tightened ever so slightly, stilling my tremors.

"Your welcome." He looked up at me, smiling brightly. His teeth were so white.

"I live next door to you." I blurted out, gawkily. He nodded slowly as he got his hand wet and gently splashed some of the water onto my arm again. I didn't even feel any pain anymore. I didn't feel any pain at all. I felt perfectly peaceful here.

"Hyung-" I started, but then I realized I didn't have anything to say after that, so I blushed and looked down at the arm that he tended to. My eyes followed his slender hands, his long fingers as they dabbed away the pain. I was shaking again.

"All done." He cheerily said, standing and patting my knee. As he turned to walk away, I placed my hand over his. My heart fluttered. What was I doing? I had never done anything like this before. Never doneanything like this before, with anyone. He stood just slightly above me as I sat on the sinks, my long legs dangling off the side. For a moment, he just looked at me, his brown eyes locked on my light blue eyes. Then he took a step toward me. I didn't notice myself leaning slightly forward as if in anticipation. There wasn't a sound; it was so silent. One step closer to me. His other hand lifted and he placed it on my cheek. What was going on? I felt so strange. His hand lowered; his gentle, yet strong fingers curled around the back of my neck and I felt his thumb against the back of my ear. I heard us both inhale. He moved so slowly as he lowered himself towards me while simultaneously pulling me towards him. My head seemed to loll to the left; his did the same. We held each others' gaze until his eyes faltered and his gaze fell to my lips. My focus remained on his eyes. They were so dark, almost intoxicating. I unintentionally gasped as I realized how close we were; I could feel his every exhale. I let out a quivering breath before he put his moist lips on mine. We stayed completely still, our lips pressed firmly against the others', his hand cradling my neck. My uninjured arm raised and I placed my hand on his waist. I felt it expand and contract. He pulled me closer to him and he took his hand out from under mine, spreading it across my upper back. I did not want us to separate, not even by a centimeter. Right now, I wasn't scared, I wasn't anxious, I wasn't hurting. I wanted to stay here forever, savoring the feel of his lips against mine. I inhaled deeply and pushed our lips together harder. His hand seemed to massage my neck softly, yet firmly. I wanted to forget the pains of the past, the pains of tomorrow. It was only here, with him, with Hyung, with his arms and hands pulling me to him, that I could.