RED

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“When life gives you lemons, always remember…your blood is RED”

RED

Author

Nicole Martin

Β 

πŸ“•

The bell sounded ending classes for the morning.

Maybe they’ll let me play today-he thought.

With a little hope in his heart, he felt excited.

His locker door jammed-“yawch”

-his thumb caught the hinge.

Books and writing implements were tossed with little care- today, there was no time for his usual meticulous habits.

The locker door slammed closed-‘bang’-his desperation evident.

Such discombobulated energy disturbed the delicate balance of the bottle he was supporting under his chin.

Falling heavily to the floor, it’s contents showered a group of ‘porcelain perfect’ girls- now sneering at his clumsiness.

He hesitated for a moment, searching for an escape,Β  however in an attempt to redeem himself, he chose to boot the bottle across the hallway.

“Stupid, rotten thing-he screamed.

πŸ“—

Half way there and an over-sized mouthful made swallowing a challenge, but chewing his peanut butter sandwich was not a priority.

Getting to the field in time to be picked for the team-was.

He stood in the back of the circle behind some others waiting patiently for his turn.

There were two boys directing the show- the leaders.

They were always the leaders.

‘I must be next” he hoped.

-but the boy behind him pushed in, and then they chose someone who turned up late, and then they convinced some random to join in who was clearly disinterested but joined regardless.

‘Can I play?’-he asked the leader

πŸ“˜

He was pale in complexion, a little heavy with wavy brown hair. His knees were his mothers – “Shaped like boiled eggs.”- His grandfather would always say.

At 14 years of age, he had one best friend-Tom.

Tom and he had shared a life together. Many timeless moments were enjoyed in each others company playing tiggy in the long grass, building forts down by the creek, and talking about everything and nothing.

Tom was four years old now; an offering from Mr Sheldon one of his Dad’s friends after his mother passed away. This precious little pup at barely 6 weeks old, had moved in-shortly after his beloved mother, moved out.

πŸ“™

“Sorry? Did someone talk?”

“Can I please play? You said yesterday that I could play today”

“Are you serious? You? Ha, whatever”

“Let him play Jack, and we’ll see if his knobbly little knees can run. Maybe then he’ll realise he’s pathetic”

πŸ“”

Their taunts were continuous, but something inside, told him to man up and endure it.

“You’re such a disappointment to your family”

He swallowed, in an attempt to wash away THAT snide remark-but it was laden with lead, and his stomach felt ill under it’s impossible weight.

“Just ignore them son” the voice of his father echoed.

“What goes around, comes around”- he would say ever so casually whilst puffing his pipe and shining the black seat of his tractor.

“What goes around, comes around…”

Strangely, this advice fell on deaf ears. It never helped. For he fearedΒ  his father was missing the point. The whole wicked, bitter and twisted,Β  self-confidence crushing point- That maybe they were right. Maybe,Β  there WAS something wrong with him.

That sick feeling-his old pal he knew so well, from before, from yesterday, form last week and last year, began to crush his will. His will to carry on and endure the emotional torment. Just short of running away, his attention was captured by the ball in mid- flight, as if an arrow, aimed to wound him.

πŸ“’

The blood, it trickled, and then it gushed.

The ground was cold on his face, that’s the only way he knew he wasn’t dead.

He heard a few mutterings

“Why did you throw it at his head?”

“He deserved it. Look at him, he shouldn’t have thought he could play with us”

πŸ“š

He sat.

It was over.

Any hope of fitting in was gone.

Any hope of anything was gone.

He felt the humiliation was insurmountable; that it was eating him up slowly but surely, bit by bit until there was nothing left of him.Β  He wanted it to eat him up. He didn’t care.

πŸ“–

He felt the warmth of her on his shoulder. Her hand was resting there.

“Would you like a Strawberry? I have many, look…”

He kept his head down, but she lent over and smiled.

“They are the best strawberries in the world- I promise”

He tilted his head ever so slightly, and gazed at her kind expression. His face turned sour as he dispelled the contents of his mouth. Blood, tears, dirt, despair.

She was a little older than him. Sixteen maybe.

He took a strawberry and examined it carefully before devouring it’s sweetness.

‘Thank you”-He whispered, as he proceeded to stare at the bloodied pool he’d created at the foot of his boots.

“You know…” She said quietly;

“Only the strongest soldiers are given the toughest jobs”

She handed him a tissue and he took it to his mouth in deathly silence.

“Look at your blood.”

“Pardon?” he questioned.

“Your blood…It’s RED”

This time, he lifted his head and looked her in the eyes—–Oh God, she was not from this earth. Just another person to love and lose, he thought.

She took the tissue and dabbed his lip gently.

“When life gives you lemons, always remember…your blood is RED”

He nodded, and held his gaze, giving her his full attention.

“…and as long as your blood is red, it means there’s oxygen it it…

and as long as there’s oxygen in it, it means you are breathing…

and as long as you are breathing, it means you are alive…

and as long as you’re alive, you must fight.

You must fight for your right to live.

When you are dead, your blood is blue…

but YOUR blood is RED, just like these Strawberries.

Ok?”

πŸ““

Not Lemonade WordPress daily prompt.

Photo credit: JLM Photography. via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND


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