There were rumors running around in school that someone, an unknown thief of the academy, has been stealing food during lunch break. Of course, this was all a rumor from what Leaf had heard. She heard from her friends, other students, and even other staff members had even mention about it. Well...apparently these rumors aren't exactly what it seems, heck she knows for a fact that it isn't. The fact that it had happened to her without seeing the culprit taking her lunch. It's not that her focus wasn't towards the food, and it's not that she was distracted, no...her eyes were shut. They were always shut since she first arrive at the school, and her whole life. She always has the white cane by her side to assist her on walking around and identifying objects. Although her eyes are shut, her other senses were stronger than an average person: smell, touch, and hearing. Leaf is never alone in school since she has close friends she knows she can trust that can assist her lead to class, walk her home, and just to socialize like any other normal person. The day when the thief had taken her lunch and sped off into god knows where, she took a whiff of his scent, and it wasn't pleasant at all. Her friends had caught on with the scent eventually, but Leaf caught on a bit faster, and the next thing she knows, her food was missing. She recalls that her friends were still getting their lunch and that she was the first one on the table eating her lunch in peace. The scent got stronger to the point where she swore that there was literally garbage next to her that some lousy student pull a prank on her. She does her best to ignore it of course, but as soon as she tries to place the fork on the plate, it hit nothing, but the wooden table.
"Hey sis, what's up with you all of a sudden? You're more quiet than before." A young adult said as he puts his gaming device down on the floor. He had green eyes, short brown hair, a blue t-shirt with light blue jeans. The two siblings were sitting on the couch as Leaf's brother were watching T.V. Leaf didn't watch, but listened instead, and she somewhat enjoy it despite not being able to view the image on the screen. She turns directly towards her brother and gave a small chuckle.
"Nothing Garnet, just thinking what had happened at school recently." Leaf responded as she taps her cane on the ground in a rhythm.
"Oh? So what's been happening? Did someone got shot?" Garnet jokes as he gave a small laugh. Leaf frowns as she turns towards him.
"That's not funny. No, there's someone that's been stealing food during lunch period. That person also stole food from me as well! However..." Leaf trails off on her words.
"However?" Garnet responded to her silence.
"However, it had stopped all of a sudden. I wonder if the school had enough of their antics and kicked him or her out?" Leaf wonders.
"How long has this been happening?" Garnet asks as he focus his attention to the T.V.
"Well...the thief's been going around doing that for about a week or two. Strangely enough, no one has ever seen that person taking their food." Leaf stated.
"Pfft, that's some shitty school security. Heck someone could have brought a gun and start a school shoot out." Garnet stated.
"Dude, don't say stuff like that. I know you were in the military and just came back and all, but can you stop joking around gun related subjects?" Leaf asks, getting a bit annoyed by her brother's addict being a gun nut.
"Okay, okay, fine sheesh." Garnet whined.
"But the person did smell...like...garbage? No...puke?" Leaf said as she listed the things she could remember from the top of her head.
"That's fucking gross! It's probably some bum that somehow got into your school and started eating all that crap you call food." Garnet responded which Leaf chuckles from his extreme response.
"You may be right, the school probably found the person and kicked him out for good measures without causing any sort of uproar. But..." Leaf said as she trails off in her words.
"Right, right, anyways sis, it's getting late and I gotta go out soon." Garnet said as he stood up from the couch and starts stretching his arms up in the air and turns the television off. Leaf frowns as she couldn't believe time went by so fast without noticing it.
"Where are you going?" Leaf asks.
"I've got a date with that one chick at the bowling alley that I met last week." Garnet said with a smirk.
"You don't even know her name?" Leaf asks with a giggle.
"Shut up, I've got a lot in my mind right now. Anyways, mom and dad trusted me to take care of you while they're on their business trip, so it's best that I follow their orders." Garnet stated.
"They did a shitty job picking you to be my babysitter." Leaf jokes as she laughs.
"Hey! That's not very nice to say that to your older brother." Garnet remarks which Leaf laughs even harder.
"Right, right...anyways, help me up from this couch." Leaf said as she outstretches her arm, awaiting for his support. Garnet rolls his eyes as he grabs her hand and gently pull her up on her feet. Leaf reaches around the area where her cane is and manages to find it with ease.
"Need help escorting her majesty?" Garnet asks with a polite manner.
"Very funny, but yeah I do." Leaf ashamedly admits. She feels her free hand being gently grab by her brother as they both head upstairs to her room. She makes her way to the bed slowly and gently places the cane down on the floor, she lays on the bed, thinking about random things in her head.
"Garnet? Are you still there?" Leaf calls out his name as Garnet was about to leave, he was just waiting for her to get into bed.
"Yeah, I am now." Garnet said with his hands in his pockets.
"Sorry." Leaf chuckles.
"What's up sis?" Garnet asks.
"Sometimes I wonder, what would I do without you? You're the best brother I could ever ask for, and since our parents are so busy with work, I always wonder how I'd be able to deal things around here without you."Leaf stated.
"You make sure you have someone to warm the bed with ya." Garnet jokes which Leaf blushes madly at his crazy response.
"Garnet!" Leaf yells out as she grabs a pillow and throws it randomly at his direction which it misses of course.
"Ha, I'm being a bit serious about that sis. I can't be around with you forever, neither can our parents. You have to find someone out there that will take care of you. You're like...what? Thirteen? Twelve?" Garnet stated.
"I'm sixteen! I take that back, you're the worse brother ever!" Leaf pouted as she crosses her arms which Garnet laughs in response.
"Okay, but still, there's someone out there for everyone." Garnet stated.
"Even a loser like you?" Leaf asks with an adamant tone.
"Ouch, that stings a bit, but yes...even me. I'm just not ready ya know?" Garnet said.
"And you think I am? Garnet, I'm blind in case you've forgotten those sixteen years." Leaf stated.
"Yeah, well, gotta make your time count for something. Anyways little sis, I love you, but I gotta go out with my date Jean." Garnet said as he picks up a pair of keys in his pockets and jingles it.
"Her name is Jenny." Leaf corrected.
"Whatever! I'm going, good night." Garnet said as he turns off the light and shuts the door. Leaf lays her head back on the pillow and sighs.
"Stupid Garnet." Leaf whispers to herself as she tries to get to sleep.
A fist connected to Red's left cheek as he twists and turns, then falls flat on the ground. His father standing above him looking down at his son in disgust and annoyance.
"Piece of shit, you were trying to cheat my little punishment by stealing other people's lunches eh?" Red's father said as he rolls him over with his black boots to see directly at him. Red lays still as he looks directly back at his father. He wish he was dead, he wish that he wasn't found when he stole lunch food. However the principal of all people, found him stealing food from one of the student who was apparently blind immediately recognizes him and called his father. Red knew he was some kind of outcast bum from his peers, he stunk, wore raggedy clothes, and he was even bullied several times. Teachers would often pity him, simply because he was a mute and especially since his own father spread rumors around the town that his own son always harms himself for pleasure. Of course, all of that is a complete lie and full of bullshit.
A kick to the face made a scratch on Red's face as he curls himself, hands above his head, eyes shut tightly as tears stream down, enduring every beating his father lashes at him. Not only that, but his stomach kept growling, he hadn't eaten in six days, since this was his father's punishment for not bringing home some beer that day.
"Have you forgotten what you did boy!?" Brad took a huge gulp from his can then burps.
"No food for a fucken month! But since you've cheated...I'm extending it for another month!" Brad continues. Red's eyes went wide in horror he immediately went to him and fell on his knees, begging as he grabs his hand.
"What's that? I can't hear you." Brad said as he cups his ear and leans down at Red. The teen did everything he could to say anything, even though he knows it's inevitable. Only small whimpers and harsh breaths escape from his lungs.
"Welp, if you can't say anything, how am I able to respond to any of your pleas?" Brad laughs. Red shook his head furiously, still on his knees begging for forgiveness.
"Let me remind you who I am because your memory is as good as a goldeen. I'm the fucking sheriff of this town, if you run, I'll find you, if you hide, I'll find you, if you ever look for help, I'll know it was you. You got that!? I took you in and move to a different region so we can get away from your mother, it's what you fucking wanted right!?" Brad stated as he backhands Red across the face as he falls hard on the ground twitching.
"Get the fuck out of my sight...and don't ever fuck with me again." Brad warns as he drank down all of the beer out of the can and tosses it directly back at Red who didn't even respond from the impact hitting him. Red could hear him walk away back into his room and the door shut. Red slowly got up from his feet and put a hand on his face as he limps towards the kitchen. He couldn't take this pain anymore and he wanted out.
Red stare blankly at himself in the mirror, a kitchen knife in his hand. He was disgusted at himself, at his living condition, his father, and his life. He wanted out, and no one is there to help him in any sort of way. Then his eyes slowly turns down on the knife in his hand.
It would only hurt for just a few moments...then it'll all go away, besides...he's use to being in pain. The hand that's carrying the knife, slowly pointing the sharp object directly at his heart. His palms were sweaty, his fingers feel tingly, and his heart was beating at a constant rapid rate. Now he puts his other hand on the knife either forcing himself to plunge it deep, or resisting it, he doesn't know, but he does know that it is gripping on tightly. Tears streams down his face as he starts sobbing when the knife drops onto the ground as he falls on his knees. He doesn't even know what he wants anymore.
School lunch time was like any other day of the week for Leaf as she sat on the bench with a tray full of food that consists chicken strips, mac n' cheese and a juice bottle. She talks to her usual friends like they always do. Texting, and chattering on what the biggest gossip of the day was and usually tease at one another. Leaf enjoys their company and it made her feel like an ordinary person without them berating her lack of vision. Of course there are some exceptions from other peers, but she easily ignores them.
"You're not going to eat your food Leaf?" One of them asks as she turns her eyes directly at Leaf's food.
"I am, just give me a moment and I'll be chowing it down." Leaf responded.
"Say, are you going to ditch school today?" Another one asks the blind girl. Leaf turns towards the other direction and laughs.
"Something like that, but just this once. I get to use a free pass for my condition." Leaf responded. The school bell rang and the students were heading back to their classes except Leaf as she slowly ate her chicken strips. The foul smell started to linger closer to her and she was waiting for this exact opportunity.
"You know...I can smell you." Leaf suddenly spoke out without turning towards the direction of the smell. Out of the bush came out Red, eyes tired, and saliva salivating from his lips. He looks towards her, afraid of what she will do now that he's going to be caught a second time.
"I see you're not a bum right? You're a student here too?" Leaf asks, she gets no response as Red couldn't even answer that question.
"Cat got your tongue? C'mon speak up!" Leaf said. Red just stares to his right, ashamed to have try to steal someone that's blind, twice, but he was starving and hunger gets the better of him.
"I see...well...not really. How about this? Answer my questions by tapping on the table to respond. Since apparently you're kind of shy and this is the best way to start out small." Leaf said. Red turns back to look at her, strange that this girl just suddenly wants to start a conversation, but he has decided to agree with her little charade.
"Are you a student here? Tap twice for yes and once for no" Leaf asks. Red sat across from her, his stench have strongly resonated around them, but Leaf does her best to not offend him by his odor.
"Okay...are you a boy or girl? Twice for boy and once for girl." Leaf stated.
"Hmm...are you hungry?" Leaf asks.
Taps twice. Leaf moves the tray of food away from her, gesturing Red to eat. He couldn't believe what he had just witness as he stare at her dumbfounded when he notices that her eyes were completely shut. With no time to waste he hastily scarfs down the food starting with the chicken strips.
"Easy there. So...why aren't you talking?" Leaf asks. Red stops eating for a moment, he doesn't know how to answer that one, so he did one thing he could to actually respond.
"Huh? What do you mean?" Leaf asks. There is no response, but she could feel his presence around her, and of course his stench, so he's not going away. An epiphany had came across Leaf as she clenches her hand, not sure if her response will cause any harm.
"Wait...you mean...you can't talk...like at all?" Leaf asks cautiously. There was a slow pause between them as Red stares down at the plate of food and ate slowly.
"Whoa..." Leaf mutters, trying to absorb what she had just heard.
"You're a...mute?" Leaf asks with caution in her words.
"Whoa..." Leaf mutters as she frowns, realizing that this unknown person has some sort of disability like her and that he goes into the same public school. She doesn't want him to touch her at the moment, especially since he reeks.
"I got a lot of question for you, why don't we meet up after school? We can talk some more." Leaf suggested. Red looks back at her and frowns as he is unsure how to respond to that. A moment has pass and Leaf was still waiting for a response from him and she was getting a feeling that he doesn't want to interact anymore.
"It's okay if you don't want to...I'm sorry if I pry a little too much into your life." Leaf stated. Then he finally responded.
Taps twice. A smile bore on Leaf's face.
"Great! Why don't we meet up at the front of the school, since you know what I look like and such, it can't be hard to find me right?" Leaf questions. Red was starting to regret answering as he starts thinking about his dad, about how he knows what he's been doing in school, then again...it's a hell of a lot better than being at home. Either way, he'll probably get a beating anyways.
It was the end of the day and all of the students pour out of the school, making their way home or some decided to stay and chat for a bit. Red was by his usual self as he leans his back against the tree, waiting for Leaf to arrive. It didn't take long for her to be spotted as he sees her chatting with her friends as they assist her leaving the school building and her white cane sticking out in front of her as she taps the end of the cane on the floor. Red couldn't help, but feel a bit envious, he wish he could have friends like her. He waited for a bit until she bid her friends farewell and she stood by the sidewalk as if she were waiting, this was his chance. The teen fixes his favorite red cap as he came behind her.
"Is that you?" Leaf suddenly asks which made him stop. He stomps on the ground twice to respond to her question.
"I figured, you still smell, I sure hope you wash her hands at least, otherwise we'll have to do this again tomorrow." Leaf stated. He approaches and stood next to her and took a quick glance at the brunette. A blush appears on his face as he notice how attractive she looks. Red finds this extremely odd, ever since he had started going to school here he had not notice her during his time at the Cystra region. Then again, he usually avoids people because they either bully him on his condition, and verbally abuse him. He had always hated people deep down, but this girl before him was different, she's actually attempting to start a conversation to someone like him.
"We can't always tap things to start a conversation so instead..." Leaf pauses as she extended a hand to him, he looks at her in confusion.
"Why not trace something down on my palm instead? I usually know braille but I did learn the alphabets as well. You did wash your hands right?" Leaf suggested. Red stomps on his foot twice.
"Excellent, so...first. Tell me your name." Leaf said. Red lick his lower lips, unsure how to proceed, this is the first time interacting with someone that isn't speaking through words, but instead by touch. He grabs her extended hand and starts tracing his name, but before he could do that; Leaf's face seems concerned the moment she felt his hand connected to hers.
"Your hand...it feels...rough like it's been cracked." Leaf whispers. Red pauses for a moment and gave a silent sigh. He continues on tracing.
"R-E-D? Red?" Leaf questions. Red stomps his foot twice to respond. Leaf's expression became somewhat interested in him.
"Like the color? Huh, I guess that makes us both having weird names. Parents am I right?" Leaf stated as she gave a small giggle. Red frowns from her response.
"Well, my name is Leaf, and my last name just so happens to be Green. See the resemblance?" Leaf asks. Red starts tracing her hand.
"R-I-G-H-T. Since we're on the same subject of colors. What does the color red look like? I mean...I know the concept of it. Like if you're in the danger zone, or there's a 'red' light on the street, stop signs, the sun, and flames are red too right?" Leaf questions. Red gave her a quizzical look, it's strange to him that someone is suddenly asking all of these questions about colors.
"T-H-E C-O-L-O-R I-S L-I-K-E S-O-M-E-T-H-I-N-G T-H-A-T S-T-A-N-D-S O-U-T. T-H-E C-O-L-O-R R-E-D I-S U-N-I-V-E-R-S-A-L-L-Y S-H-O-W-N. Is that so? Well...if everything in the world is comprise of that color...then that makes like ninety percent of everything being red?" Leaf asks. Red was stunned, feeling awkward to make a strange and naive conversation.
"W-H-Y D-O Y-O-U W-A-N-T T-O K-N-O-W A-B-O-U-T C-O-L-O-R-S? In case you don't know. I'm blind. I'm kind of interesting in colors because I just don't know anything about them. I just know the concept of it. The color blue is like water, green is like grass, yellow is like bananas, purple is like grapes, white is emptiness, and black is darkness. But when you put it like that, it's kind of hard to understand, especially when there are other colors that's the exact same thing. I'm sorry if it's a weird subject, but I guess I wanted to ask someone that's like me." Leaf stated. Red's eyebrow furrows.
"L-I-K-E M-E? Yeah, I mean...we're both disable right?" Leaf asks. Red pauses for a second and sighs.
"Y-E-A-H. I'm sorry if I came up too strong, but...wait a minute, aren't you the same Red that's been known to self harming themselves." Leaf asks as her face went from curiosity to concern. Red blinks several times, and sighs as he notices that his father spread that false rumor all over the school. He was about to trace her hand until he stops and thinks for a moment. His father will find him if he were to leak out any sort of information about the abuse, and if he did find out, things won't look pretty. As much as he wanted to tell her, anyone for that matter, he can't which makes Red shuts his eyes.
"Red?" Leaf calls out his name, wondering if everything is all right. He starts tracing her hand, a lie.
"I-T I-S F-U-N S-O-M-E-T-I-M-E-S. Don't do something stupid like that, you're gonna end up hurting yourself. I don't see any sense of pleasure in all of that." Leaf warns. Red's eyes widen as he became surprise that someone is worried about him. Someone that doesn't know him, a nobody in the eyes of other, and it's coming from this blind girl that he had just met. Maybe...just maybe...they can be friends.
"I W-I-L-L T-R-Y T-O B-E C-A-R-E-F-U-L. I'm glad to hear that. I was wondering if maybe we can be friends?" Leaf asks. Red's face brighten up as she had thought of something he had wanted.
"I W-A-S H-O-P-I-N-G Y-O-U W-O-U-L-D S-A-Y T-H-A-T. Same here, I feel like we can understand each other better. You can be my eyes and I can be your voice. Oh and please, take a shower." Leaf said. Red gave a silent grunt.
"I W-I-L-L T-R-Y. You better, otherwise I'd bring the hose. Ha!" Leaf laughs which makes him smile in response.
"So how come I've never met you? Are you new here?" Leaf asks.
"N-O-T R-E-A-L-L-Y J-U-S-T A-V-O-I-D-I-N-G P-E-O-P-L-E. I see...I guess that makes sense." Leaf said.
"W-H-A-T A-B-O-U-T Y-O-U-R F-R-I-E-N-D-S? What about them?" Leaf responded.
"D-O-N-T T-H-E-Y A-L-W-A-Y-S H-E-L-P Y-O-U O-U-T? Yeah, they do, but they don't understand what's it like to be blind, to be different. I guess I wanted someone I can relate to you know?" Leaf stated. Red stomps his foot twice. A smile appears on her face, as they both understood each other. Suddenly there was a large car horn that blew in the air, a silver looking car approaches the curb and the window went down.
"Hey Leaf, I'm here!" Garnet calls out from the window.
"Oh my, the time flew by so fast. It feels like we just barely talk." Leaf said as she turns her direction towards Red. Garnet looks at Red who made a disgusting face as he stares at the person standing next to his sister.
"Leaf, get in the car. Hurry." Garnet said as he got out of his vehicle and open the passenger door, his eyes still looking at Red who just frowns in response. He could tell that he didn't like what he sees.
"Alright, just give me a second." Leaf said as she makes her way to the vehicle with her cane sticking out. Red was about to help her get inside until Garnet step in front of him.
"I got this. Thank you very much." Garnet said as he place a hand on Leaf's shoulder, guiding her way through as she hands the cane over to her brother and she went inside. She grabs a hold of the handle and shuts the door. Red felt uneasy tension as he sees her brother giving him some sort of death glare.
"Hey Red, we can talk some more at lunch time tomorrow." Leaf said as she sticks her head out of the window with a grin. Red gave a small smile and taps his foot twice.
"Great! I'll see you later!" Leaf exclaims as she waves her hand back at him, although he knows that she can't see him he waves back out of instinct. Garnet went back inside of the car and sped off.
"Looks like I made a new friend." Leaf said as she twiddles her thumbs together." Leaf said, awaiting for the response of her brother. He didn't say anything as he eyes were focusing on the road with tension in the air.
"He was the 'bum' we talked about last night. He happens to be a student though which is a relief." Leaf stated.
"Don't go near him." Garnet warns, his voice serious and stern. Leaf's expression became confuse.
"W-What? Why?" Leaf asks, almost hurt when he said that.
"His face...his expression...they were dark." Garnet said as he turns the wheel to the right, making a turn around the corner.
"Dark? What do you mean?" Leaf asks.
"His cheeks were bruised, his eyes were red, there is dry blood on his jacket, he is dirty, and..." Garnet pauses on his words as he place a hand on his mouth.
"And what...?" Leaf whispers.
"He looked insane." Garnet finishes.