Count On Me(2)

By: Melyssa Winchester

It’s happening again.

The way it looks as it makes its way down her legs to the ground does something to me. Where I couldn’t move before, in either direction, now all I can do is move and it’s not in the direction I wanted only minutes before. No, this time I’m moving straight for her.

Dillon shoves her away from him before I can get to her and she falls to the ground, right in the small puddle that’s accumulating at her feet. Hearing her sobs, either from pain or embarrassment is more than I can take.

Fueled by a rage like I’ve never felt off the field, I switch directions at the last second, turning my attention to the asshole that did this to her. Grabbing his shirt, I yank him to me, so close that there can be no confusion about what’s about to happen.

“Say sorry.”

“Fuck you, Kayden. It’s not like I’m doing anything you haven’t done before!”

“I don’t give a shit.” I snap, positioning my body so close to his that he’s blocked in like the animal he is. “She doesn’t deserve this shit. Apologize. Now.”

“Oh, I’m sorry man. I had no idea this was your girl. You should’ve warned me.”

I’m not exactly sure what pisses me off more; the arrogant way he says it or the words he’s saying, but I’m bored with it. My fist connects with his face and as he reacts to the impact, I hit him again. He falls backward, catching himself at the last second, attempting to mount a defense. Too bad for him that there’s nothing he can do.

See, that’s my secret. This isn’t the first time I’ve been in a fight and I’m pretty sure it won’t be the last. I live with an alcoholic brother that enjoys beating on me at least five nights out of seven. After having it happen for the last eight years, I’ve learned how to fight back and now, no one can take me. Not even Dean.

I slam my fist into his face again. As he stumbles, I land another hit to his stomach and finally he falls to the ground. Lifting my leg up, I kick him and keep on kicking until blood pours out of his mouth. I don’t even stop then.

It’s only when I hear the wounded whimper a few feet away that I force myself to stop and back away. Turning, I walk toward her and it’s only when she starts backing away that I get what she’s seeing.

I’m filled with rage and she can see it all over my face.

Moving forward, I bend down slowly and whisper. There’s no guarantee it’s gonna work, but I gotta try to calm her.

“It’s okay, Isabelle. It’s over now. You’re safe.”

I reach my hand out, hoping she’ll get the hint so I can get her up and out of here. As she places her small hand into mine; I’m shocked by what happens next.


One word.

My name and just like before, I’m completely frozen in place.

It’s the first time I’ve heard her speak in almost eight years. Despite my reputation for being a total jerk and not giving a shit what anyone thinks, the way my name sounds rolling off her tongue makes me feel pretty damn special. It’s like to this girl right now, I’m her savior.

I find myself liking it, though I’ll never admit that to another living soul. Just like I won’t admit how badly I want to hear her say it again.

Shaking off my thoughts, I take her hand and pull her up until she’s safely nestled in my arms. As I turn around to grab her backpack, I feel someone shove into me. I grab on to her tighter, balancing my body off of hers while at the same time, protecting her from falling again.

Turning around just enough to see the person who pushed into me, I come face to face with the very person I just sent to the ground.

“I don’t know what’s gotten into you man, but you’re gonna pay for that shit. Maybe not right now, but you will pay for it.”

“Anytime—anyplace—anywhere.” I seethe as I turn Isabelle in the direction of my car and start walking away.

The further away we get from everyone, the more the reality of what just took place sets in. I just kicked the living shit out of my best friend for Isabelle Reagan.

What the hell have I gotten myself into?

Chapter One


It’s always been this way.

People think that because I’m quiet, I don’t hear the names they call me. Retard is the most popular, but there’s a ton of other ones. They assume because I don’t talk that I must be deaf, so I’m called deaf mute a lot. It used to bother me, but I guess after you hear the same names repeated for so long, eventually they lose their impact.

If they paid attention, they would know that I’m not a retard, I don’t ride the short bus and I’m not a deaf mute. I’m just autistic.

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