Kori was the first to comfort Gar. She gently but hesitantly put her hand on his back.
"Please tell us what happened, Garfield. I do not understand, what happened to Terra?" Kori knelt down beside her friend, who was on the ground with his head and arms lying in a chair.
Gar lifted his head and looked around at everyone in the room. Kori, Dick, and another handful of people who came for Roy, even Jade who was in the back, staring at the ground, "Terra... She was driving. She stole a cab, started speeding down the street. She was just two blocks away when- they- they said she- she died on impact. I saw her body, before the ambulance even got there." he stared at the ground as if he was remembering.
Dick stepped forward, "Gar, we're all really sorry-"
"Come on Dick, you aren't sorry." Gar interrupted, pushing away Kori's comforting hand, "You barely even knew her, you didn't even like her, None of you did!"
"Garfield wait a minu-"
"No! You guys are probably glad she's gone!" he threw his head into his arms and sobbed.
"Gar, we are your friends, we don't like seeing you upset." Kori said.
Gar stood up, and sniffling he said, "Fine then, now you don't have to see me at all!" he pushed through the small croud and ran out the doors.
Everyone mumbled to each other while I stood away from the small crowd. I was debating whether to stay or go, when a doctor came in. He was immediately bombarded with questions from Roy's worried friends who had all seemed to forget Gar... For the moment.
"What happened to Roy?"
"Can we see him?"
"Is he going to die, Doctor?"
The doctor signaled for them to quiet down and said, "He wants to see the girl who he came here with. Someone named Rachel."
Everyone looked around and mumbled to each other, most had not yet met me or even noticed me yet. Dick stepped towards me.
"Go," he gently pushed me towards the doctor who led me to Roy's room.
The walk to Roy's room was almost in slow motion. All I wanted was for him to be okay, even though I barely knew him, I still knew him the most out of everyone I had met at the new school. He was the closest thing I had to a friend here and I couldn't lose him."Hey." Roy called in a weak voice as I entered, "I'm so sorry you were there." he said as I sat down beside him. The doctor drew the blinds and left us alone in the hospital room. I couldn't help but stare at the pile of clothes in corner of the room that were drenched in blood. Roy noticed my worried glances, "I lost a lot of blood," he said, "But nothing's damaged other than that, well, at least nothing important." he laughed.
I didn't laugh.
"Oh, uh, your jacket," I said, beginning to take it off.
"No, no consider it a loan. You need it more than I do," he said looking down at his hospital gown. He sighed and looked around as if looking for something. He finally settled his eyes on mine, "Rachel," he started, "I think you should know why those guys attacked us."
"You think!" I lashed at him, "You could have been killed while they forced me to watch! You knew them! You gave them money and... Oh God! You have like 3 days to get more money or they'll get you in school! What could you have done! What?"
I started crying and Roy was silent. He spoke quietly at first, "I did something, something really bad. Something I'm not proud of. I thought it was behind me." he rubbed his temples slowly, as if it would help him say what he would say next, "I used to be addicted to heroin. I owed that guy some money cause i got some stuff from him when my dealer went to jail. It's a funny story, well maybe not, but it's actually how I met Jade!"
I calmed down enough to ask, "What?"
He chuckled, "Yeah, Jade was my dealer's daughter. She was totally off limits. And you've seen her, she's totally hot too!" he smiled. He had a great smile, a real smile, and I couldn't help but crack a small grin, "At first, though, I just used her. She would give me free drugs and all I had to do was play her like a whistle, treat her really good. Then I got busted and I had to go to rehab." he looked down shamefully. I squeezed his hand, urging him to continue. He went on, "Eventually Jade's father was caught and sent to prison, where he still is. I never saw Jade after that- and didn't want to- until I found out that she had been pregnant by me and had the baby while I was in rehab, and suddenly I couldn't stop thinking about her." he seemed to be reminiscing, but then his face turned solemn, "I tracked her down, so I could tell her I was sorry, and to win her back and to be a father to our daughter. I found her and learned that now she was the one who needed help, she had to go to rehab before I could talk to her and I was left to take care of a three month old baby, for six months until Jade got out. She's been out for almost half a year, and we had been together and we were doing good, until Lian, our kid," he swallowed hard and I could tell Roy was on the verge of crying, "Child services took her, they said we were both at a high risk of relapse and weren't safe for Lian. That was it for me and Jade. We've been blaming each other for losing our daughter for so long we forgot about our love, for each other and Lian. I wish Jade could remember, cause I do." he shook his head, obviously he felt their relationship was hopeless, but I never told him that Jade had heard him, she had started to come in while Roy was telling his story but held back and listened in to what he said and Roy didn't notice her though I did. When Roy finished his speech, Jade left. Her hearing his side of the story is probably what saved them, but that happens later.
I really wanted Roy and Jade to make it, their drama, their story reminded me of all the love stories I had ever read, so I pulled from those stories the words I said next, "She just needs time," I tried to comfort Roy.
He pulled a pillow out from behind him and pressed his face against it, "I gave her time!" once again it was like our words were scripted using all my favorite love stories, but at the moment, trying to convince Roy that Jade could come around seemed like a lost cause so I changed the subject.
"What did you mean when you said I was like you, earlier before we were at the hospital?" I asked.
He looked up, a weird expression on his face, and he was about to speak when-
"Roy!" The crowd of friends that had came for Roy flooded the room, and in ten seconds it went from being almost completely silent, to being so loud that I couldn't hear my own voice.
"What's up ginger! Lose a fight against Jade again?"someone teased.
someone else chimed"I hear you fell off a fifty story cliff and got schishcobobbed by a tree! You'd never be such a pansy that you'd go to a hospital before you'd try fixing it like a man!"
I don't know what it was that compelled me to say what I said next, but I felt like since Roy had just told me everything, I owed him.
"Actually, Roy's a hero. Five- no-ten, huge, gruff looking men pulled me into an ally to do God knows what and Roy saved me." I grinned. They bought it.
"You really took on ten guys at once?" someone asked Roy, who looked to me. I nodded at him and took off about how he took out three with just a soda can, then got into an eight man tussle with the rest and held them off until the cops, who I had I called, got there and they ran away.
I quietly slipped out of the room. I felt uncomfortable with all those strangers and now I really needed to get back to school.
On my way out I saw a tall man with blond hair and a handlebar mustache head for Roy's room. At the end of the hall I looked back in time to see the man walk into Roy's room then heard him start yelling. I was half right at the time when I had guessed it was Roy's dad, because as I learned later, he was Roy's father, but not his dad.
I exited the hospital, not really sure what I would do next. I walked a few blocks, just wandering because I didn't know my way around. I found an empty park where I sat on a swing, letting the breeze push me a few inches back and fourth. I was there by myself for a long time, but after a while I was surprised to find Garfield walking up to me.
"Hey." he said casually before he took the swing next to me.
"Hey." I replied, "You okay? I was just at the hospital. I heard what you said about-"
"I'm fine." he said, but he was clearly not fine. He had red bags under his bloodshot eyes and blood on his shirt. His breathing was also abnormally shallow. Despite all this I knew he was better than he had been earlier.
"Why are you here?" I asked, sounding more snobby than I thought I would.
"Well, If you have to know, I was just heading to my car to go back to school, and face my punishment for skipping again." he chuckled at himself. It was then that it dawned on me that I had skipped my entire first day of school. What was happening to me? I would never cut school back home, I would go even if I was sick, even if I missed the bus, my bike broke and it was sleeting outside.
"I should go back too," I sighed, " I'll probably be expelled, so I guess this is goodbye," I extended my hand as I stood up.
Gar looked at my outreached hand and surprised me by shaking his head, "No." he said.
I somewhat lost my temper at this point and said, " Okay I get that we're not best friends or anything but I'm trying to be nice. I just wanted to say bye-"
"No!" he repeated, standing and taking my hand, "I mean they can't expel you. We wouldn't let them! I just lost the girl I loved, or at least I thought I loved her, and I know this sounds corny but I can't lose you too. There's just something about you, Rachel. You're something special. Earlier at the party, I felt a kind of curiosity I haven't felt in a long time, and I don't want to lose it.
Something about what Gar said made me feel amazing, the feeling of being wanted was something I'd always dream of but now it almost felt too good to be true. And I was blindsided as well, I wasn't ready to show any kind of emotion to him, "We probably haven't said a hundred words to each other, I think you'll get over it." I turned away from him, "And I'm not special. Only two people in my life have ever cared about me, and right now one is probably rotted beyond recognition at the bottom of a river and the other is home with his kids and wife, much to busy for me. If anything I'm bad luck. I mean look, Roy got beat up and Terra died!" a stopped and took a deep breath, realizing that Terra was probably out of bounds.
Gar was silent behind me for a while, then said, "If you want a ride back to school, I'd be happy to drive you." I turned around. He was looking down at his feet, then looked up at me and gave a weak smile.
It started to sprinkle rain and Gar looked up at the sky and laughed, "Now you have to accept," he grabbed my arm and pulled me to his car.
Once we got back it was clear that the school staff and students knew what happened. The dean of students was waiting just inside the building and ushered us off to the office where others who had been at the party and the hospital were also waiting. There were other students walking by, on there way to and from their last class of the day. They looked down on us, each one obviously had some idea of the events of the day.
The headmistress then came out of her office, a disapproving look on her face.
"The school board is disappointed with each and every one of you. We hope you see as clearly as we do that the two accidents that happened this afternoon would have never happened, had all of you stayed in school." Many of the students looked down shamefully, "We are sorry to say that we cannot afford to have students of the likes of all of you ruining our school's reputation. For that reason, all of you are hereby expelled from this academy." everyone immediately started shouting and yelling in protest. Two guards came out of the headmistress office and signaled for everyone to quiet down, the headmistress continued, "All of you guardians have been contacted and they are all on their way here to collect you. You will be escorted off school grounds and you will never come back."
"This isn't fair!" Dick angrily slammed his fist onto a desk in the classroom where all of us were waiting. Everyone was mumbling amongst each other in little circles. I sat next to Gar and across from Kori and Dick. Kori was trying to calm Dick down with help from Gar. I just sat with my eyes closed, dreading the moment when my father would walk in the door. I would be all alone. My father was an hour away, so everyone would be gone by then. He could kill me in the classroom and no one would know.
A tall man, with short dark hair, and dark blue eyes walked in, immediately everyone grew silent in awe. Even I recognized that it was Bruce Wayne, the most eligible zillionaire in the world. I guess thats why it surprised me when Dick stood up and shook his hand.
"Bruce." Dick gulped.
"Richard, I didn't expect this from you." he sighed, "I know you weren't involved in the two tragedies, but you should have never been skipping classes. You always told me it would never happen again, then always went back on your word. If anything you earned your expulsion."
Dick showed no emotion reflecting his remorse, instead he looked angry, "Bruce, just listen. The only reason I would skip in the first place is because I always had everything handed to me because your my father! I just wish people could treat me as something separate from you and not an extension of your money or your power!"
Bruce Wayne stared down at his son, "Well then I guess you get you want, if what you want is to not have everything handed to you. You're going to public school."
"What?" Dick exclaimed.
"You heard me. And there will be no discussion between us on that matter. Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to a meeting with your headmistress." Bruce Wayne left and Dick just stood there, as if unable to move. Kori quietly walked over to him.
"Dick," she started compassionately.
"I'm fine Kori." he took her hand walked her back to their seats.
"I can't believe he'd really put me in public school. I hear they're dangerous!" Dick raged.
"Wherever you go, Richard, I will follow." Kori said.
"I'm there for you too, dude," Gar added.
"Thanks guys. At least I have good friends," he then turned to me, "What about you Rachel? What are you going to do?"
The whole room seemed to go silent and stare at me.
"Well, I came here on scholarship, so I doubt I would go anywhere but public school. However my father doesn't live nearby, so I won't be going to school with you guys."
Kori began to say something, but she was interrupted when the doors to the room were suddenly and forcefully flung open, revealing none other than my father, Lucifer Roth.
My heart stopped.
Everyone was looking at him, wondering why he was here, and who he was.
He scanned the room with his beady eyes, finally resting on mine. I couldn't tell if he was furious, surprised, or maybe happy that he found me.
He stumbled towards me, and people began to whisper.
"Rachel," he grunted, "Don't know how you got here. Hell, after a few days I figured someone had murdered you," he had a dark look on his face, "Why would you do that? Lead your old man to think you was dead? Huh?"
I gulped, "You signed my released papers, my-" he suddenly slapped me across the face, knocking me out of my chair. Gar immediately stood up and I heard the scrapping of other chairs moving as people stood to see what had happened.
Kori helped me up and asked it I was okay. I assured her I was fine, then turned to face my father.
He looked around at the teens around him and said, "We're leaving, Rachel."
"No." I whispered, shaking my head. The last thing I would do that day was go home with him.
"What did you say?" he asked in his strange form of sarcasm.
"Dad, I don't want to." my voice was shaking.
He was silent for a few moments.
He quickly grabbed my arm and began to pull me towards the door. No one tried to stop him.
But what could they do? I was a minor, my father was in the right if he wanted to drag me home.
I tried my hardest to break free from his hold, but he was too strong. He pulled my out into the hallway, it was empty.
As soon as the doors closed behind us and no one could see, he punched me in the face.
I fell over, I could feel warm blood spewing out my nose. Now that I was down he kicked me multiple times. My chest was burning and I was beggining to feel light headed. I knew that just one kick in my head was it, and it would be lights out.
What happened next happened so fast I hardly believe it happened.
I remember hearing Bruce Wayne yelling, the hearing my dad cursing and shoutig, as the security guards cuffed him and pulled him away.
Then things began to slow down, and I realized I was now in the nurses office with an icepack on my nose.
Bruce Wayne and a short man with a briefcase came in.
Bruce knelt beside me, "Rachel?" he started wearily, "Has your dad hurt you before?"
I looked over towards the short man, he had some sort of tape recorder out and it was recording. If I said that he had indeed hurt me before, it would no doubt be played for my father when he denied being abusive. He would hear it, and that terrified me.
Bruce Wayne noticed my pause and said, "No matter what you say, Rachel, this will go to court, and you won't see him until then."
I closed my eyes and sighed, "He has abused me for years."
The short man's eyebrows were raised. He pulled out a cell phone and texted someone.
"Where is your mother?" Bruce asked.
"She's - she died, a long time ago."
Bruce put a gentle hand on my knee, "I'm sorry."
The short man finally spoke, "Miss Roth, you are now a temporary ward of the state and you will be placed in the custody of a social worker, and after-"
"I'll take her." Bruce interrupted, "She moved here less than a week ago, and now she's been expelled. My son is facing the same thing and I think what Rachel needs most right now is someone to relate to."
"Then it's settled, Rachel, you will live with Mr. Wayne for a few weeks until we have a proper court hearing. After that you can either apply for emancipation or be paired with a legal guardian."
I couldn't believe it. I was finally free of my father. And what's more, Bruce Wayne, the man who was rich enough to buy and sell the entire state of California volunteered to take me in.
This was the start of a new chapter in my life.
I had no idea as I was walking toward a limousine with Richard, but in the year following I would find out the truth about my mother, experience my first love for a man, hit rock bottom, and become part of a family. I would end up where I am now, telling this story, five years after after I came here to Jump City. But I didn't know it then...
of this chapter. So I've been writing this for at least a month. I never proof read and I wrote the last part five minutes ago, but I think it's ready.
Anyways from now on i think it won't be written from Rachel's perspective, I was thinking to maybe put it in Kori's perspective. I don't know, maybe it will be third person. Anyways I guess this is me signing off for now cuz I probly won't update for a few months. However, I will be updating other stories of mine throughout this week.