A little kerfuffle never hurt anyone...well maybe not in this case.
Or at least this seemed to be the case for Kaye.
After finding out about Frank's little antics, Kaye got in trouble for “talking in class” when really, it had all been Gerard's fault. She had simply been replying to something he'd said. So the one time Mr Browning decided to give a damn about people talking in his study class was the one day Gerard was talking too much for his own good. Kaye covered for him though, and had to agree to spending an extra 20 minutes after school as “punishment”. She had no idea what the point was, but this sort of thing seemed quite typical, especially since her day was going outstandingly badly. So of course something like this was bound to happen to her.
After the rather silly punishment was over with, Kaye headed to her locker to grab some books she would need that night. As she was turning the last corner that would take her to her locker, she realised something was wrong. She practically smelt the trouble that awaited her.
The two boys were waiting for her, leaning rather casually against the lockers beside hers. They were not terribly distinguishable, not the sort of people who stood out. They were typically the kind of guys who were forgotten, or simply not noticed. Perhaps this was one of the reasons why they frequently picked on Kaye. Really, she couldn't care less. She just knew that the two made her blood boil, being the absolute last thing she needed in her life, especially now.
The problem was they were both much larger than her, so they had size over her, and of course the fact that there were two of them.
She groaned to herself silently, but thought it was best to just not acknowledge they were there. They were silent as she reached her locker and opened it. She didn't look at their faces, or make eye contact, so she didn't see them smirking at each other.
She tried to get her stuff as quickly as she could but just as she was about to slam her locker shut and walk away as quickly as she could, the darker-haired of the two caught the door and used it to slam it against her face.
She fell against the other one due to the impact, who promptly shoved her against the lockers. They laughed at her. She could taste the blood that ran out of her nose as she clutched her face.
“Golly guys, that was very nice now was it?” she said, her voice muffled by her hands. She decided to remove them from her face, and grinned at them, like a wolf ready to attack, the blood running over her mouth. She was beginning to feel a familiar kind of rage rising inside her.
“Shut up, freak,” the darker-haired one spat at her. “there's no one here to help you--”
“Oh please, can't you be more original than that? God, it's bad enough you've decided to pick me out as your punching bag but at least try to be more original with your intimidating lines.” She knew she was just going to end up really pissing them off and this was a stupid approach on her part, but she didn't care at that point.
“You little bitch!” one of them spat at her. They then grabbed her thin arms and shoved her inside her cramped locker. Before they slammed the door and locked it, one of them said, “Have fun in here until someone finds you. If they do, that is. No one will notice you're gone.” He sneered at her and then slammed the locker door, throwing Kaye into smothering darkness.
She could hear them moving away, laughing.
“Fuck,” she said simply. Her nose was throbbing, the pain beginning to extend to the rest of her face. Soon it would become a headache and she didn't even have any kind of painkiller on her to avoid the pain.
Oh, and she was locked in her own locker too.
She had no idea how she was going to get out of this situation. The cramped space she'd been shoved into did not allow for any movement, but she tried not to think about that because she was already beginning to feel claustrophobic. It didn't help that she was quite terrified of the dark.
She groaned, letting her aching head rest against her knees.
Some time later, she was beginning to get a cramp in her foot which was squished awkwardly beneath her and a couple of books were digging into her back. Along with these inconveniences, the air in the locker was beginning to feel thin, letting Kaye know that if she didn't get out soon she would suffocate. But just as she was contemplating that fact, she heard her name being called.
She snapped her head up, causing her head to smack into the top of her locker. “Fuck's sake!” she exclaimed.
The footsteps got closer. “Kaye? Is that you?”
“Yes,” she replied. “Is that...Frank?”
“Yeah. What the heck are you doing in there? There's blood everywhere. And your bag...”
“Oh, so they didn't take it? That's some good news I guess. Just, please, can you try get me out of here? This is getting...really uncomfortable to say the least.”
“Ok...well, what's your locker combination?”
She recited it to him, eager to get out of her little prison.
She heard the lock snap open, and was grateful when the door swung open, the fresh air hitting her damp face. She tumbled out of the locker, stretching out her limbs, gulping down lungfuls of air.
“Jesus, Kaye, what happened? Your face...”
“Is it swelling?”
“A little. Just your nose and eyes a bit.” He fixed her with a worried look, a most strange sight for Kaye. She never thought she'd ever see him look at her like that.
He grabbed her arms and pulled her up to her feet. She let him do so, feeling dizzy from lack of oxygen, but once she was steady on her feet she pulled her arms away from him.
She looked down at her bag and the droplets of drying blood that dotted the floor in front of her locker. She could only imagine what her face looked like. She stooped down and grabbed her bag. She slammed the door of her locker closed, not caring anymore whether she had the books she'd need that night.
“Are you okay?” Frank asked her, sounding a little awkward.
“I'm fine,” she said bluntly. “I just want to get home and get cleaned up.” She didn't look at him while she said this. Looking at her watch, the floor, to Frank's left, his scuffed shoes. Anywhere but at his face.
“Thank you, by the way,” she said, feeling embarrassed. Before he could answer, she said “I'm going to go now. A shower and some painkillers would be good right now. And my nose doesn't feel like it's broken at least...” She trailed off. “Well, bye.” She turned to leave.
“Wait!” Frank said rather urgently.
She turned around, and forgetting not to look him in the eye, she did just that. The afternoon sunlight that filtered into the hallway through the windows made his eyes look honey-coloured and warm. She caught her breath, not knowing why.
She composed herself. “What?”
“Let me...walk you home. You never know...the guys who did this to you might be waiting for you.”
“Thanks, but I can take care of myself,” she shot at him. She regretted the acidity in her tone, but then realised that he still deserved it, whether or not he'd just saved her from suffocating in her locker.
“I'm sorry but, it doesn't really look like you can,” he said, smiling a little, gesturing to her face.
She fixed him with a blank look but he was right, somewhat. It had happened a couple of times before. She wasn't sure if she could take another attack right now. She felt rather light-headed, her nose still bleeding a little. She dabbed at her nose gingerly with her sleeve.
“Ok, fine.” She turned in the direction of the front doors, beginning to walk away, hearing him walk after her, catching up.
They were silent as they left the building. Just as they'd walked out of the gates, Frank spoke up. “So who did this to you?”
She paused, feeling weary. After a moment she said, “These two creeps. I've never been interested enough to actually learn their names...this isn't really a new occurrence...they've been at this since the beginning of last year, I think.”
“Why haven't you told someone about this?” he asked her.
“I have...Gerard and Mikey knows...”
“I mean like a teacher or something. “
She fixed him with a skeptical look. “Are you serious? As if that would help."
He looked as if he was going to argue, but then stopped. “You're right.” He laughed a little.
They went back to silence.
As they approached Kaye's house, he spoke up again. “You know, Kaye...” he started.
She looked at him. “Yes...?”
He stared at her for a bit, then stopped himself. He looked like he was looking for something else to say. Finally he said, “We're having band rehearsal today, if you didn't already know. Were you going to come along?”
She thought about it. “I'd have to get cleaned up first...but I might, yeah. What time?”
“Four, I think.”
They were already at Kaye's front gate.
“Well...thanks again...” she said awkwardly. She allowed herself to look at him.
He gave her a smile, which for some odd reason made her stomach region feel funny. She put this down to loss of blood and having had swallowed a lot of it.
She allowed him a small smile in return and quickly walked up to her front door.
She noticed he did not turn to leave until she was inside. She also later realised she hadn't asked why he knew where to find her, when everyone else had already gone home.
It was not until she was in the shower, hot water pouring over her aching head, washing away the dried blood, did she start crying to herself.