Categories > TV > Lost

making it worse

by KipperMay 0 reviews

Jack just can't leave well enough alone. Kind of a flashback-esque short one-shot.

Category: Lost - Rating: PG - Genres: Drama - Characters: Jack - Published: 2008-09-05 - Updated: 2008-09-06 - 436 words - Complete

"Is there some kind of problem here?"

I hope they realize that I probably want to be here even less than they do. Even before I got out of my car, before I called out to them, I could see the contempt in their eyes. I know what they see; it is what I saw when I looked at men like me my whole life.

I take a deep breath when they pause, fix their gazes on me, repeat my question. I hope it comes out as lightly as I am trying for. "Is there a problem?"
My mouth pulls automatically into a smile, fake, simpering, polite. The two bigger ones scowl in reply.

"What's it to you?" one asks. The other has turned away, is pulling a third, smaller boy to his feet and dusting him off. There is a cut above this third's eyebrow, and he is watching me warily.

"I just...." What is it to me, though, really? What does it matter if these kids, obviously just schoolyard bullies, beat up on this scrawny teenager in front of me? It's common enough. does matter to me. I seem to be incapable of minding my own business.
Now they are all watching me, almost expectantly. I take another breath; look at the small kid. "You want to get out of here?" I ask him. He hesitates; his pale, frightened eyes flash first in one direction, then the other before returning to meet mine. He nods, once, quickly. His breath is coming in shallow, panicked snorts.

I try to keep my face calm, impassive as I return his nod. "Then go." I try to say it with authority, with power, but my voice comes out in a whisper, as if the force of my heart pounding within my ribcage has knocked the wind out of me. "Go," I tell him again. He stares for another moment, then wrenches his arm from the boys' grip and runs down the block and around the corner like the devil himself is chasing him.

The boys watch him go, then turn back to me. "He owed us money," one says, and his matter-of-fact tone and expression catch me off guard. They are surprisingly calm.

"Sorry," is all I can think of to say. As I turn to walk away, more than a little unsettled, the other calls after me.

"You're just making it worse for him," he says.

I look at him as I climb into my car. "I know," I tell him. "I'm sorry for that too."

But I just can't leave well enough alone.

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