“Fuck… What time is it?” I slap my hand around on the bedside table until it touches glass, grabbing my phone and pulling it above my face. Squinting at the light, I can make out the shapes of numbers: 10:23. “Shit!
I throw the covers off of me and jump to the floor, practically sprinting to the bathroom. “God damn alarm! Gonna be fucking late.” I speed through a shower, brush my teeth, put on deodorant and throw on the first clothes I can grab from my dresser.
I’m nothing special to look at, I think. I’m cute enough, I think the thick, brown mess I call hair makes me look a little unique and I’m not too ripped or too thin. I’ve got boring brown eyes and a tall but rounded face.
“God fucking dammit!” I sprint out of my front door while pulling on my backpack and make my way outside by jumping down the steps. I waste no time in bolting towards the subway until something catches the corner of my eye.
As I’m running past an alley, I see three men towering over a hoveled form. I stop dead in my tracks to watch them begin kicking the, now clear, man. “That’ll fucking teach you!” “Stay down next time.” “Lil bitch.” The third guy didn’t seem as clever as his friends. I was trying desperately to just leave it but I saw one of them pull out a knife and reach down.
I try to take keep moving but my body is paralyzed. “Dammit,” I mutter under my breath. Gritting my teeth, I turn to the three much larger men… “Hey! Leave him alone!” This is stupid. I’m an idiot.
The men stop their kicking and turn to me. The biggest and clear leader of the band of thugs scoffs. “What’re you gonna do about it, twinkie?” They all laugh at his bad joke.
It’s true that I’m not necessarily a big or strong guy but ‘twinkie’ felt a little rude. “I’m gonna have to… Stop you all.” My banter skills leave a lot to be desired. Despite everything in my body telling me not to, I step forwards. The big guy laughs and looks back at his friends. Then, suddenly, he spins back around and swings: bashing me across the face.
I recoil and hunch over, gripping my face as I open my jaw to make sure it’s not broken. As I get up, a knee hits my chest and blasts the wind out of my lungs. I’m knocked back a step but… Something is weird this time. The pain isn’t as bad as the punch. One of his friends moves behind me and slams down on my back with both hands clenched together. It hammers me onto the concrete and this time I can tell the pain is far more mild and it feels like… Like the force is filling my body?
I stand up and get bashed back down over and over. With each hit the pain is nullified more and more and my body starts to feel like I’m going to explode. I get up for the fifth time, and now the men seem angrier that I’m still up than me interrupting them. “Why the fuck won’t you stay down, kid?”
“Honestly, dude, I don’t know,” I say, exasperated. “But why don’t I try?” I swing up at the leader’s jaw with a right uppercut. The moment my fist connects, it feels like all the tension building in my body is sucked out through my fist. A loud bang cracks from where my hand meets his jaw and a blast of force explodes out around me. It sends him flying into the air and several feet back, throws the two other thugs, pushes the unconscious body, and shatters the windows on the lower two floors of the alley. “What the fuck?”
I look around at the groaning men and down at my hands. The three thugs get up and all start limping away from me and back onto the streets. “Yo, let’s get the fuck out. We can kill the kid later.” They all murmur in agreement as they stare at me with fear.
I shake myself out of the confusion and run over to the man on the ground. He was curled up in an orange hoodie and dirty ripped jeans. I roll him over onto his back. He’s probably around my age, 20 at most, raggedy brown hair and bleeding. “Oh fuck. I don’t have time for this. God dammit!”
I pull my phone out and hover my finger over the contacts. I hesitate… But I push the last name I want to but the one I have to. A few rings later, a voice comes through. “Tyler? Why are you calling?”
I sigh and swallow my pride. “Luke, I need you to just shut up and listen. I found some guys beating up a kid around our age who looks homeless. I’m in a huge rush and if this guy really is homeless there’s no way he could afford a hospital if I called an ambulance. I’ll text you the location. Please hurry, he’s really beat and cut up and he’s bleeding quite a bit.”
“O-oh! Alright! I’m getting in the car now. Hurry up and text me where he is!” I hang up and type with shaking hands. Looking at the injured man beneath me, I pull of my hoodie and tie it around his stomach where he’s bleeding the most. The cold air whips my arms but there’s no time to care.
“Someone’s coming for you buddy, hold on.” I tap his chest and stand up. Hesitant once again, I know I have to leave now. “I’m sorry. I’ll come check on you later.” With no more words, I start running back towards the subway.