I stare up at the people on stage. They are annoying, preppy, and overall everything that is wrong with this world. Aaron smirks at me, noticing how tense I am. My brother waltz’s over, being the bitch, he is. “Yes?” He shrugs, grabbing my wrist, just to drag me out of the auditorium and into the sunlight. “You still haven’t answered my question….” I realize that people are there, specifically Nole is there, a sickening smirk on his face.
Lucy giggles, stepping closer to me. “We were told to keep track of you.” Nole, finally breaking the silence, informs me of what we are doing out here. “Cool.” Nole sighs as Lucy scoffs. My brother, Jack, grumbles under his breath before grabbing a fistful of my hair to yank my hair back. I wince, knowing I haven’t had enough of what I need today.
“You will respect them.” Jack hisses in my ear. I nod, blinking away the tears of pain. He releases my hair, his weight off my body finally gone. “Nole is the one who will stay with you.” Jack explains. “DAMIEN.” I hear Doctor Roberts yell. The others turn, confused. I sigh as he shoves something in a bag into my hands. God knows what it is. “The room is set up.” Roberts says quickly to Nole.
I raise an eyebrow. “The room?” I ask softly. “The room. Not two.” Roberts confirms. I leave, done with this. I walk to the med ward, where my room is. Instead of the one bed I normally have is gone, two twin beds on the opposite sides of the room. I turn, hearing the door open and close. My parents ignore me completely, waiting for Roberts to show up.
I watch, my eyes narrowed as they discuss things to themselves. Roberts comes in quickly, producing a fake smile for them. “Is he causing any trouble?” My father asks, already fed up with being here. “No. Damien is doing well, I have him drink the pure form, mixed with water every day.” I cross my arms, leaning on the doorway. “Good. He isn’t smoking again right? The smell is terrible.”
Roberts smiles, assuring them I’m not. I mean it’s better than the liquid that contains nicotine. I’m not viewed as a child to them, just an experiment that didn’t work out. Yes, because genetically enhancing me with nicotine is going to solve the world’s problems. Yet they are surprised when they get calls, saying I am being to rowdy or what not. This is my last chance to stay in school.
Then it’s back to the basement. Fun times, I promised myself I would never go back. Well besides for breaks but that can’t be helped. Not in this case anyway. Roberts beckons to me. My feet move slowly, not wanting to be near my parents. They drone on, finally leaving after what feels like forever. Nole walks in, looking proud of himself. I ignore it, just sitting on the couch, not wanting to deal with more people.
I must have ended up falling asleep, because I’m shaken awake. Roberts smiles gently, seeing my panicked face. I breathe out a sigh of relief before getting up. “Dinner.” I nod, following him. My fork pushes the food around the plate, my stomach not hungry. I’m not hungry in general. “Nole.” Roberts says sharply. I look up, confused. “Remember, you can’t tell anyone his medical shit.”
“You told him?” Roberts purses his lips. “He needed to know in case- ““In case what? I try and kill myself again?” The anger is evident. “Damien, do not cut me off.” Roberts commands. “Why not? You aren’t my parents.” I reply. “Do you cut them off?” Nole asks quietly. “I can’t.” I growl, pushing my plate away. Roberts eyes it. “Eat.” I smirk. “I did.” Roberts sighs, seeing the smallest bite taken out of the green bean.
“Fine, you win. Tonight.” I frown, hearing the tonight part. “Nole, if you want to have people over you can. Aaron, you are finally back.” The D ward is for... people. Aaron is like me. He was in the batch of three kids’ part of the experiment. Charlotte should come in soon. That’s the three of us. Then there is Roberts. “AARON YOU LITLE SHIT.” Charlotte screams, running in.
I smirk, seeing Aaron freeze, scared out of his mind. “No fighting. Have your dinner.” Charlotte pouts, sitting next to me, Aaron sitting across. “Wait why is Nole here?” Aaron grumbles, before spooning the food in his mouth. “He is watching over you three.” I lift my gaze when Roberts clears his throat. “You have therapy tomorrow morning.” I glare at him. “Not going.” He sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose. “Look, your… things have been getting worse. You aren’t eating breakfast, barely eating lunch, and dinner, clear example right now.”
My gaze falls onto the floor. Luci grumbles about the kids who annoyed her. “Alright, get ready for bed.” Roberts orders. I stand up, ignoring how he looks at me. I stalk to my room. Nole follows me. Scratch that, our room. “Do you want to go first?” I ask softly. “Sure.” I lay on my bed, staring at the ceiling. Nole comes out a little while later, only wearing clothes on the bottom half of his body.
It makes me annoyed, pissed even on how good his body looks. I grab my clothes, dropping them on the tile floor of the bathroom. I pull off my shirt, staring at the bruises I have, the scars, and my ribs poking out. I just ignore it, pulling off my pants and boxers, stepping into the shower. The water runs over my body, calming the tense muscles that are in use all the time.
I hum to myself, scrubbing the grime away from my head. The shower is nice. It’s always the best of part of my day. Luci and Aaron feel the same way. It’s the only time we feel truly not looked at or judged. I dry myself off, quickly pulling on my PJs before walking out, rubbing my face. Nole glances at me, his eyes looking at my body, for once not super covered up since these clothes are tighter.
I climb into my bed, tired. Nole walks around for a bit before the light shuts off. I curl up, bundling myself in the blankets, just hoping I don’t wake up crying or screaming.
My hoping was wrong. Nole wakes me up, a scared look on his face. I immediately try to get away, falling off the bed and onto the floor. It’s a reflex nowadays. Roberts rushes in, probably heard me screaming. “Nole what happened?” “I- I woke up to him clutching his head and screaming. Then when I tried to wake him up, he wouldn’t, and I got scared. When he finally woke up, that’s what happened.”
Roberts nods, understanding. “He get’s nightmares, they are really brutal on his mind. I’m sorry your sleep got interrupted. The falling part is a defense mechanism. He tries to get away, due to his childhood.” Roberts explains, helping me up. I sit back down on the bed, not tired at all. I check the time, smiling when it says 6 am. Not bad. “Well, it’s already morning, so why not just get ready.”
I sit on my bed, sketching something random. “Hey Nole.” Lucy calls. I look up, paling a bit when their entire group walks in. “DAMIEN.” Charlotte screams. I sigh, pushing past the five people to get to Charlotte. “What?” “Try this.” I sniff it, scared. The liquid is disgusting. I spit it out in the sink before I have a chance to gag. “What the hell is that?” “She tried making it taste better.” Aaron calls from the couch.
“Why?” Charlotte giggles. “I wanted to make it so we wouldn’t feel disgusted.” I sigh, flopping beside Aaron. I get pulled onto his lap, my head tucking under his chin. He isn’t gay. Or straight. Doesn’t care for people, but he likes cuddling something warm. Apparently, I’m warm. Charlotte giggles, changing the show. Aaron lets me get off his lap so I can go get a bottle of nicotine.
“FUCK.” I yell when the precariously perched sodas fall on my head. “What was that?” Roberts calls from his office. “NOTHING.” I shout, quickly collecting the cans and grabbing the bottle. “DAMIEN YOU BETTER NOT HAVE MADE THESE SODA CANS FALL.” I hear a soda can explode. “Oopsie.” I mumble before running to the couch. “DAMIEN YOU LITTLE SHIT.” Roberts yells.
I curl up as he picks me up. “There is going to be a punishment.” He growls in my ear. “No please no.” I beg. Roberts chuckles before setting me down. I scream as he tickles me. This is his form of punishment. Charlotte giggles, holding my arms down. Aaron holds my legs down, so I don’t kick someone. I have tears rolling down my face at the end of it. I wheeze, laying on my back on the floor, exhausted. I sit up after my stomach stops aching. Aaron helps me up. “Damien.” Nole says, startling me. “Huh??” I ask, confused. “My friends said you were saying stuff to them.” I pale, my good mood ruined. “Excuse me? I didn’t say shit.” I answer turning to face him. “They are the ones who punched me for no goddamn reason. I get black eyes from them and...” I trail off, seeing the expression on his face. Nole slams me against the wall. I whimper, scared now. “I don’t believe that for one second.” He hisses.
I grunt, pushing him off me. “Don’t fucking touch me you prick. I’m done.” I growl, annoyed now. “YOU ARE THE ONE WHO STARTED SHIT.” He shouts. I snort, crossing my arms. “Yes, because I would intentionally put myself in a position to get hurt.” Nole grabs my wrist, dragging me back to our room. “Say you are sorry.” I see the smirks on their faces.
“No.” Nole pushes me against the wall again. “I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL KICK YOU IF YOU TOUCH ME ONE MORE TIME.” I yell. Nole stays, so I’m left with no other choice. I kick him in the sweet spot. Jack grabs my hair, dragging me. “LET ME GO.” I scream, getting the attention of Roberts. “JACK, LET HIM GO.” Roberts yells. Charlotte sees my shaking legs.
It’s all bravado, I didn’t think Nole would release me. “Jack let him go.” Aaron commands. I whimper as my head is smacked into the wall. “Not so tough now huh?” Jack hisses in my ear. I try to stifle another whimper, but he holds my mouth open. “JACK LET HIM GO.” Charlotte screams before everything goes black.