He lip up, and blew out a long, thin stream of smoke and sighed. He used to smoked a few years back when he hung out with a bad group of kids, and he hasn’t touched one since. He fake frowned at her, and rolled his eyes. He didn’t think he was that bad, sure he could be a pain in the ass at times, but still. “Yeah, well you weren’t a walk in the park either, Vi.” Which was the truth, she’d make fun of him and push him around every chance she got, but he did the same. He kind of liked it though, she was different and didn’t take his shit like the rest of them. He got a little closer and smiled. “You secretly liked it, don’t lie.”
Violets phone on the bench started to ring, and he got up to see who it was. Of course it was Ben, checking up on them. He answered unamused. “Yeah? - Okay. - Be there soon. - Yep.” And hung up. “Time to go, Vi.” He shoved her phone into her back pocket, and they started to walk back.
As soon as they walked into the house, Ben yelled. “Dinner time!” Tate took a plate, and mushed the food together on his plate as fast as he could manage. “Mind if I eat upstairs?” He asked, trying not to sound like an ass. Constance let him eat in his room all the time while he watched TV, it was kind of his thing. “No, sit. Now.” Ben hissed. Ben knew that Tate didn’t have any interest, and he didn’t care.
Tate took a seat next to Violet, and poked at something that looked like chicken. He shot her a told-you-he-hates-me-look, and looked down at his intertwined hands.
When her father demanded Tate to stay down with them, Violet felt a knot in her belly. Anxiously she sat down on the opposite side of Tate, her father at the head of the table. She smiled slightly to Tate, as if to reassure him everything was to be fine. But Violet had no idea what to expect out of this dinner. AfterConstance’s death Ben had become unpredictable and scattered. Not just with Tate, but with his daughter as well. One moment he was a fatherly figure, caring and tender. The next moment he wanted to be left alone in his room, secluded from everyone and everything.
Ben grabbed the large kitchen knife from the table, it glistening under the light as he began cutting the pork on the silver platter. “So, Tate…” Ben began as the knife cut down the hunk of meat. Violet sucked in her bottom lip, rubbing at her forehead as she shook her head. “Only a month left of senior year. What do you plan on doing after that?” He asked, looking up at the blonde head who sat coolly and unmoving as if he weren’t affected by Ben’s intimidation. “Violet is only a Junior and is planning on going toLawSchool. Any… Interests?” He asked coldly, another chunk of meat sliced down the middle.
“Dad…” Violet began but Ben shook his head, gesturing for her to be quiet as he looked back to Tate in question. Violet looked up to him, meeting his brown eyed lock.
Tate laughed at her attempt of a compliment. “You don’t have to lie, I know it sucks, but it’s kind of like this hole in the wall that you can go to anytime you want to escape. Partly because most people dont know about it, and the ones that do are scared off by it’s appearance. But theres so much more to things than their looks. So what if this looks like a piece of shit coffee place. It’s actually a really cool place to hang out with out people bugging the fuck out of you, you know?” He knew he was ranting, be he also know Violet didn’t care. She would let him talk for hours without interrupting. He knew that because he had done it. That was one of the things he liked about Violet. They could talk about things, and she would listen, not to mention they had the same opinion about almost everything which made the connection better. Honestly, there wasn’t one thing he could think of that he didn’t like about Violet, except her wrist. Not that it had scars, but the fact that she felt the need to drag that blade across it at all. Which reminded him… “So, the new ones on your wrist, is that because of me?” he asked in a hushed tone. He was prying, and he knew that, but for some reason he cared about Violet, and he wanted her to know that.
The place was a run down shit hole. But Violet could see the liking Tate had with it. No one would come here; even now it was nearly vacant. It was grey and depressive, the tacky eighties wallpaper peeling off and revealing the white drywall behind it, the woodened chairs splintering and the floor tiles were all loose. But she wondered how much history was held between these walls and she realized then that this was a perfect place for Tate. On the outside, it seemed questionable – but on the inside there was so much to be learned, so much that was hidden.
Tate had interrupted her thoughts and she quickly pulled down the sleeves that were already covering her scars. Her jaw went taut, her eyes adverting as she shrugged. “It was…” She paused for a moment, reflecting on what it truly was. She wasn’t even sure anymore. So many things, so many emotions that build up inside her and she has no way to release it but with the pain she knew oh so well. “A lot has been going on.” She said, her grey eyes looking to him with such a vulnerability – one that she never showed around wandering eyes. “I thought I could hide them well.” She laughed emptily at herself. “I guess I’ll have to try harder.” She smiled forcefully, one that was filled with the sadness that embedded deep into her milky white skin.
It was an extraordinarily hot day in sunny California, and the house had become stuffy and hard to breathe in. There was a park a few blocks away, and they both agreed the heat would be kinder to them if they sat on the shaded…
An innocent smirk formed on her lips as he moved, sitting in the dusty empty swing beside her, his hand reaching out for a cigarette. She handed him one, pressing her lips together to suppress her smile, lighting the cigarette efficiently before handing him the lighter. She pushed off with her pale skinny legs, taking a hit of the cigarette before leaning back, her body in mid air as her slender fingers held onto the rusty metal chain. “I used to hate you.” She said, her feet planting on the ground to take another hit. She looked at him through her sandy blonde hair, her head resting against the chain. “I thought you were a pretentious little fuck when I first met you.” She laughed, biting down onto her lip.