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Seventeen - Moment Of Realization

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Looking like a grumpy puppy who has been abandoned on the sidewalk, I stare with wide eyes towards the gate, my chin resting on my hands as I slouch forward.

Slouching is so relaxing. Who cares if it will later hurt my spine? At least right now, I can actually look like I feel -- depressed as shit.

My eyes finally spot movement, and I shoot up, stumbling on my own overly long dress, and straightening up, pushing my hair out of my face. Heart beating fast, my breath comes rapidly. 

Is it Xavier? 

Please let it be Xavier. 

Holy poodles! It is Xavier!

And he's wearing a tux!

May I swoon and die please?

I'm about to squeal, jump like an overly excited baby, and throw myself onto Xavier, hoping to have a dramatic movie-scene where he catches me and laughs. Thank God I don't do it, because I freeze when I see his face.

Yes, he's wearing a black tuxedo, with a nice bow-tie and all -- the boy cleans up nicely -- with his black hair looking like he had jelled them to make them stay in one place. What bothers me though, is the cut across his eyebrow and the split lip, both on the left side of his face.

"Oh, my God!" I gasp, slapping my hand onto my mouth as I hurry barefoot towards him.

He looks up when he hears me, the streetlight illuminating his face which looks like it belongs to a boxer who just got out of the ring. Minus the sweat, of course. 

"What happened to you?" I exclaim, sliding in front of him and reaching out a hand to touch his face. "Who did this, Xavier?"

"Sorry I'm late," he says instead of answering my question.

"Late? Xavier, you're hurt!" I say, touching my thumb under his nose, where I can see a drop of blood trailing out of his nose. "Come here."

I grab his arm, leading him to the stairs of my porch and sitting him down. Dropping next to him, I pull up the hem of my white dress, and gently try to wipe the blood. He winces at the impact and my heart tears to shreds. My eyes sting and I bite my lower lip to prevent myself from crying.

Don't be a cry-baby tonight, Haley. Be a big girl.

Xavier notices because I see his face grow solemn.

"I'm so sorry," he mumbles, lowering his gaze. "I ruined your prom --"

"You think that's important?" I ask, shocked. "I don't care, okay? What I care about, is who did this to you."

He licks his lips, his shoulders slumped. "It's nothing, dad just ..."

"Nothing?" I cry out. "Nothing, Xavier? This is ... this is abuse. He keeps hurting you. Why the hell do you put up with this? You have to report him, we have to go to child services and --"

"Just a few more months," he mumbles. "Once I'm eighteen I can ... take mom and leave."

"That's too long," I argue, my voice breaking. "He keeps ... what if he hurts you even worse next time? Xavier, you can't put up with this anymore, please."

"He just got angry," Xavier whispers, dropping his head in his hand and closing his eyes. 

"For what?" I demand.

Xavier sighs a sad, mournful sound that rips through my heart. 

"What happened?" I ask him, my tone softer as my hand moves automatically towards his hair, pushing them gently back.

Knowing Xavier Hunt ✓Where stories live. Discover now