The sky grew darker as I walk home from school.The sky rumbles announcing the upcoming storm, and I can feel the light sprinkle of rain that would soon become a huge downpour. The smell of wet grass lingers in the air, and I cringe at the foul smell as I pass by the park. It is deserted. The basketball court is empty and it feels secluded. I don’t mind the feeling of solitary because I’m used to it, but I had hoped to see at least a specific person.
Almost everyday after school, I would pass by the park and I would see this boy, about my age, playing basketball. He was always alone and there was no sign that he had much friends. I would watch him with curiosity, wondering who he was and why he was always alone.
Although, today, there is no sign of him.
Feeling slightly disappointed, I check my watch and I see that I am forty minutes earlier than usual. Of course. I was sent home because of my bruised eye that I refused to tell anyone about. With all the extra time, I contemplated to myself if I should stay out in the rain or not. Eventually, I decided that I would rather stay out in the rain than go home.
So I took a seat at the benches near the playground and I got out my phone. I listened to music because it was the only thing that helped me calm down. I closed my eyes and breathed in the moist air as I hummed to the music. I could’ve fallen asleep, but the feeling of precaution that someone could sneak up to me, kept me alert.
Then I hear the wheels of a skateboard rolling against the concrete. I flash my eyes open and I look behind me to see that it is the boy. His back is turned to me, so I cannot see his face. He even wears a hoodie that prevents me from seeing his entire head. The only way that I knew it was him was because of the basketball that he carried under his one arm. He seems unaware that I am there.
I watch him as he stops under the basketball hoop and dribbles the ball through his legs neatly with skill. He does one crossover before finally shooting it which swishes perfectly through the net. I nod, impressed. He’s pretty good. He bounces it around his back until he looks up. . . . . . At me.
My heart skips a beat as our eyes met. Even though, I have seen him plenty of times, I never really pay much attention to him. Especially how he looks. He has light skin and black hair that falls to his brown eyes. He is taller than I thought now that I am closer, and I feel embarrassed that I find him handsome. I quickly look down at my phone, breaking the awkward staring contest between us.
It is about ten minutes later until I feel the need to use the bathroom. I get up and head to the tiny building where the restrooms are. I feel somewhat warmer in there as I step in, and I wonder if I can stay in there than outside. After doing my business, I start to wash my hands, but that is when I hear a disturbing sound.
It sounded like men yelling.
I hear a few shouting outside the restrooms, and I run outside to see what the commotion was all about. I stare at the scenery before me in utter shock and fear.
There was a black van parked near the basketball court. There were three men outside arguing to the boy, and one of them began to push him. They looked a lot taller than him and more stronger, and I thought that if they ever got into a fight, the boy would have no chance against them. I feel sorry for him, but I begin to think that matter would only get worse if I got involved.
That was when I see one of them begin to push the boy. The boy dropped his basketball and pushed the man right back. The two began to hustle and eventually it was three men against one boy. They hold him by the back of his hoodie and at first, he seems defenseless but I see the boy kick the man who had pushed him, who staggered away in pain. Then he grabbed the other two men and he punched them hard in the jaw. He got down on the ground and I see him do a quick sweep-kick that I would see in Karate movies. It makes the two men fall right on their backs.
Then the other man comes in again but this time, attempts for a punch. The boy blocks it and pushes the man away in the chest. He manages well, but not until the other two men grabs his arms and the boy struggles under their hold. The one man punches him hard in the face and gives him a hit after hit.
I feel guilty for not at least trying, and now that I see the boy in the arms of injustice, I feel regret. He could die, and I’m not doing anything to prevent it. So without thinking, I rush over. I take my backpack and I beat it against one of the men’s head who was holding the boy. He looks at me in shock and then smiles. He grabs my shoulders and I scream. No words come out of my mouth. Just my screaming of adrenaline and fear.
His grip is tight. He turns me around and covers my mouth from making any other sound, but I sink my teeth into his flesh and he yelps in agony. I can taste the blood, but I don’t pay much attention to it. I kick him where I know it would REALLY hurt, and I use the time to get away. I run, but the man catches me. He drags me to the ground and I fall flat on my face. He takes my hands and puts them behind my back. So there I am, tears falling down my cheek, on my face with my hands behind my back, and him kneeling on me.
I look up at the boy.
We meet eyes.
Then I see something that I would describe as pure fury. He shouts in anger and elbows the man holing him in the gut and kicks the man beating him. he does another sweep-kick and when the man is on the ground, he kicks him hard the chest. The man screams in pain and he spits out blood. the boy growls at the other man and the man staggers way in fear.
The man on top of me stands up and runs away with comrade who wasn’t beaten. They pick up the man on the ground and they rush to their van. The boy watches after them, and he doesn’t even try to stop them. He just turns to me and holds out his hand. His face is bloody and bruised. Worse than mine. I take his hand.
“You okay?” He ask me softly.
“Yeah.” I reply, brushing myself off.
He peers down at me. “They punched you.” He points to my bruised eye.
I shake me head, smiling. “It’s not from them. It’s. . . . . . complicated.” I explain without meeting his eyes.
He breaths a sigh of relief and whips his hair to the side. “Well, I’m glad you’re alright.” He says, and that is when I realize that we’re at it again. We just stare at each other for a long time. Not saying a word to the other as we stand out in the pouring rain. The sky is dark and I can hear thunder in the distance. I am being drenched, but I don’t care.
Who is this boy, I think to myself.
* * I hope you guys liked this. The first chapter won’t tell you much just yet about the main character (who is a girl) or the background story of her life and who she is. If you have read the prologue, then you probably know that she has something really dark about her, and you won’t learn more about it until chapter 2. This chapter is to introduce you to the mysterious boy, who you’ll eventually learn, is a very vital character to this story and to the girl. Enjoy!