Part 18 – Fickle Friend

As much as Megan and her father had tried to convince me they were leaving town because they had no other choice, I didn’t agree. They would give up their entire lives in Clearville for me and it didn’t sit well.

I returned to my room and found a few of my old boys clothes and changed into them. They didn’t fit well for obvious reasons, but a quick use of my trick fixed that problem. I only changed the t-shirt and jeans enough to make them fit. There wasn’t enough fabric left over to form a bra, so I put on another shirt and used it to make one, along with a pair of panties. I guess, there must have been a little fabric left over between that and my shoes, because I found little shreds all over the ground.

I didn’t bother picking it up. Instead, I spun around on the balls of my feet and made my way to the window. I opened it up and climbed out. Though a little more difficult than I’d anticipated, I was able to crawl across the overhang on the back patio and jump down. After a less than graceful landing I made my way around to the front of the house.

Once I started walking, I realized I had no place to go. I needed to clear my head.

Maybe it was better if I left town alone, but the idea scared the crap out of me. I hadn’t been alone for more than a few hours a day in my life. I had no idea how to fend for myself.

Clearville didn’t seem like a safe place for me anymore, which made my walk even more idiotic. It was still early, and I had seen no one out yet, but the longer I was out the more likely I’d run into someone. About two blocks away from the Hails’ house I turned a corner and kept going until I reached the park. I plopped down on the first bench I found and let it all out.

I felt so alone, my mother hated me, the only friends I had were being threatened because of me and I didn’t have a clue what to do about any of it. A part of me wanted to run away and just leave it all behind, but the only place I knew I could go was Spiral, looking for my long-lost father. Even if I made it that far, I didn’t have an address, and I’d already tried countless times to find him online. He may well have changed his name or passed away for all I knew.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I had no choice, but to rely on Megan and her dad. It was a shitty deal for them, but I wasn’t brave enough to do it on my own. It made me sick just thinking I would let them go through that for me, but what other choice did I have?

A part of me wanted to run and just keep on running until I found a place to escape it all. Yeah and fucking pigs could fly. I wanted everything to go back to the way was… well, not everything. Megan had been the one bright spot, but I’d turn back the clock if it meant keeping her from being driven from town.

I kept asking myself the same questions over and over in my mind hoping to find some new answer that might help me decide, but the more I ruminated over it the more angry and confused I became. It wasn’t right. I had done nothing to deserve people’s hatred, but I’d become a target for hate mongers and bigots without even trying.

It didn’t help that I wasn’t alone. A few joggers and runners ran along the outside of the park. No one said a word but as each one of them passed, their eyes burned holes into me. One jogger in particular, scowled each time he looked at me and it was his looks that motivated me to leave.

It wasn’t’ so early anymore, and I was no closer to deciding. I was sure Megan and Mr. Hails had discovered my absence by that time and so with a shake of my head I turned back towards the Hails home hopeful I’d find them there when I got back.

I heard the screech of tires before I saw it and I swallowed as I looked up to find Jeff Goldwin scowling at me from inside his Jeep. He pulled over to the side of the curb and leapt out of his car and I backed away.

I knew it would not be a pleasant encounter from the start, but when I looked into his eyes, it sent cold chills down my spine. Once, I had considered him a friend, but all that hatred and malice I saw on his face told me I needed to get the fuck out of there. He jerked his hand out and grabbed my wrist. He slammed me face first into the side of his Jeep.

“You have a lot of nerve showing your face in public. Didn’t you see that message we left you scrawled all over the Hails’ front lawn? Can’t you fucking take a hint?”

“Jeff, please you’re hurting me,” I said hot tears stinging my eyes. He didn’t relent and in fact he pushed harder.

“You act all innocent, but you twisted are all alike. You’re dangerous and need to be put down like rabid dogs. There’s no place in the world for people like you.”

He grabbed me by the back of my neck and slammed me to the ground. I screamed as my whole chest burned with stabbing hot pain. I gritted my teeth and rolled away before he could get his hands on me again.

“Stupid bitch,” he yelled lurching toward me. I kicked up, hitting him in the face and climbed back to my feet.

I ran, and within moments I heard his feet pounding on the pavement behind me. Though I’d been a fast runner before my twist, I couldn’t move half as fast. Not that it would have mattered. Jeff was on the school track team and was the fastest runner I knew. There was no way in hell I would have ever outpaced him. Sure enough, he caught up and latched onto my shoulder.

I spun around to face him, just in time to watch his fist soar toward my face. I tried to dislodge him, but he had too good of a grip on me for me to do anything but brace myself for the impact. He hit hard, and I staggered back dazed from the force of the blow. He let go of my shoulder and before I could make a move, he hit me again. This time I flew to the ground and I hit the side of my head on the curb.

I tried to get up, but he kicked me in the side and I lay there groaning as he rained blow after blow down on me. Something inside of me snapped, and I felt all my pent up anger and frustration explode out of me. When his foot came down again I grabbed ahold of it and pushed with all my strength. Though an awkward maneuver, it seemed to do the trick. Jeff lost his balance and careened into the street behind him.

I scrambled back to my feet just in time to watch him pick himself back up. “You’re fucking dead!” he screamed and started toward me again. This time when he got close enough, he swung his arm out at me I ducked and I closed my eyes and slammed all my weight into his chest. We both went down in a tangle of limbs and when I jerked back I realized that my face was buried in his chest. I was back on my feet in an instant, but Jeff didn’t move.

His neck had hit the curb, and it was bent at a weird angle.

“Oh god,” I whispered clasping both hands over my mouth. “He’s dead.”

“Hey!” A voice yelled, and I spun around just in time to see a figure come sprinting toward me. No one would believe that I had only been defending myself. I was a twisted freak. So, I did the only thing I could think of doing, I ran like a bat out of hell.

It wasn’t long at all before sirens blared in the distance and I cut through the park hoping that the trees would provide cover. I guess it worked because when I craned my neck an ambulance and a pair of police cars zoomed past.

I should have watched where I was going a little more closely, but I wasn’t thinking with my head on straight. I ran into an overhanging branch from a nearby tree. My feet flew out from me and there was a flash of pain in the back of my head. Then nothing.