Saturday, April 25, 2015

Writing: AU - Shadows - 3

A new chapter in Hunter's story. I know, it's a bit longer than usual, but I wanted to include a lot of things in this one.


Hunter's PoV

They were all there. All except one. The friends was gathered in the nearby woods. Today one of them were missing, however. They all sat around on the ground waiting. The summer sun was gentle, but warm. Hunter looked at his watch again. He was supposed to be here half an hour ago. Where could he be?
“I don’t think he’s coming”, Scarlet said with a sigh, pulling a bit of ginger hair away from her eyes. Donna chimed in; “Yeah, he’s probably sick”.
“We’ll wait until noon”, Hunter said and playing with the shoelace of his sneakers.
Donna sighed out loud, but Damian agreed, “Yeah, it’s better to give him a chance to make it”.
The minutes passed by, slowly, and by the time it’s was nearly noon, they were all looking impatient in different degrees. Hunter got up and looked down the hill just beneath them, but there was no sign of Tahir.
“Should we move on?” Scarlet asked. Hunter shrugged.
“Don’t be upset, Hunter, he’ll…”, Donna tried saying, but Hunter cut her off with a snarl, “I’m not upset!”.
But just as Hunter turned his back to the hill, Damian stopped him. “It’s Tahir”.
Hunter turned back around so fast, he slipped, but regained his footing before making himself too embarrassed. He closed his eyes and thought to himself: Be cool.
But the butterflies soon left his stomach, as Tahir approached. The gloom on his friend’s face was hard to not notice. His whole posture was weak. Damian sent Hunter a look, but Hunter decided it was better to not mention it at all.
“I thought you was gonna let us wait the whole day”, Hunter joked. Tahir broke into a meek smile, “Sorry, guys”.


It was soon decided that the friends wanted to go to the beach. The nearest beach was a bit away from their homes, but it was Damian who suggested they could just use their bicycles. It was all great, until they went to ask for permission.
Hunter and Scarlet went to ask their mother, but she flat out told them no.
“Why not?”, Scarlet complained.
“It’s way too dangerous for a group of seven and nine year olds to go swimming in the ocean alone”.
At first, Hunter looked annoyed at Kate, but then he got an idea. “Why don’t you go with us?”
Kate looked thoughtful as she considered it, “I guess, I could…”, she didn’t get to finish her sentence, before the phone rang. Hunter answered it.
“Hi, it’s me”, Tahir’s familiar voice said, “My dad said I couldn’t go alone”.
“Kaaaate?”, Hunter called for their mother. He explained the situation for her and handed her the phone. She asked Tahir to talk to his father.
“Hello, you’re talking to Kate Hale. I believe we have already met, I’m Scarlet and Hunter’s mother. As I can understand from my kids, they want to go swimming in the ocean. Yes, I told them no, too, but I would be willing to go and watch over them. That would be okay with you? Fantastic. Sure, I can come and pick him up? Oh, no. I’m so sorry, I had no idea. Sure, I’ll be there within 15 minutes. Okay, thank you”.
Hunter and Scarlet listened closely to the conversation, but as soon as their goal had been met, they stopped caring about Kate. Kate hang up, but Hunter insisted she would call Damian and Donna’s parents too.
“Okay okay, sweetheart”, she replied and picked up the phone again, “Can you guys go look to Adam? I have a feeling, your father has falling asleep again”.
Hunter and Scarlet tiptoed into the living room. As Kate had predicted their father was sound asleep on the couch. In the playpen next to him, Adam was laying, also sleeping. The two year old boy, with a head full of thick black hair like his father, had always been such a calm and easy brother. They sat down beside the playpen, so the rough carpet itched their uncovered legs.
Jack, however, slept a lot less peacefully. Occasionally, he would let out a growl or a murmur. The kids had learned a long time ago to be wary of his mood swings. He could be the kindest, warmest man alive one day, but the next day, he could be harsh and rough. It made Hunter never feel completely safe, but he was ashamed of this feeling. He owned so much to Jack, and he couldn’t even be a good son to him. Make him proud.


It had been five years since Jack and Kate adopted him. Hunter didn’t remember much about his time before the adoption, but he had been told stories about it. How he had been an aggresive and violent child. He had been sent from foster parents to foster parents, but had always caused enough trouble to being brought to the next in the system. Jack and Kate was coming to see a girl they were supposed to adopt, but Jack liked Hunter. Kate was not thrilled with the idea, and she protested, but when Jack wanted something, he would see it through. A lot of time went on filing the correct paperwork and getting it approved, but eventually Hunter moved in with them.
Jack had picked him over another child. Hunter had always prided himself on that account. Kate had never, and would never believe in him. Much less ever love him.


“Hunter, Scarlet”, Kate whispered, and she went to pick up Adam and signaled to the children to follow her.
“Damian and Donna are on their way here. When they’re here, we’ll go and pick up Tahir. I’ll go and ask the neighbour to look after Adam”.


The sand were hot, but the kids had no trouble running to the ocean, throwing themselves into the mild water. Donna was hesitating going in, touching the surface, with only her feet under water. “I’m afraid of jellyfish”, she admitted. Kate put her hand gently on Donna’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. They’re not dangerous”.
“I do know how to swin”, Hunter heard Scarlet say just before a wall of water hit him on the back.
“Scarlet, take it easy”, Hunter yelled, but when he looked up his eyes caught the smile on Tahir’s face, and Hunter couldn’t resist smiling back.
Damian was left looking a bit uneasy, and it seemed like Kate noticed it just as Hunter did. She walked up to him, and sat down on her knees, so the water covered her waist. “What’s wrong, darling?”
“I don’t know how to swim”, he admitted.
“I can help you”, Hunter said and walked up to the two year younger boy, “Swimming isn’t hard”.
“I can help you too”, Tahir chimed in.
Kate assisted the two boys slowly and steadily helping Damian learning how to swim. It wasn’t easy, Damian was nervous and his body wouldn’t relax, but Tahir had a trick that helped.
“Close your eyes. Yes, like that. Now think about the water. Feel the stream through your body and the flow in your head”, and Damian started to relax, lying in Kate’s arms. Hunter held his hands, Tahir his feet. Kate let go of Damian, who instantly opened his eyes in panic, but Tahir’s mild voice relaxed him. “Don’t think about swimming. Think about how the water feels”.
After a while the boys could even let go of Damian. Soon after he panicked and fell to the bottom, but it still felt like a small victory.
“Oh my, it’s getting late, kids, we have to leave now”, Kate said, with a disappointed response.


On their way back Donna and Scarlet fell asleep in the back of the car. Damian sat next to Kate in the front of the car, while Hunter and Tahir sat in the middle section of the 7 person vehicle. Hunter observed the changing scenery outside the window, feeling both warm and tired in his whole body. It had been a great day. Except…
He glanced at Tahir to see, if the shadow was still on his face, but he felt relieved, when his friend just smiled to him. For a moment, Hunter considered, if this was what a best friend felt like. He had for years thought Damian was his best friend, but this was a new feeling, and he just knew, it was important.


When they arrived back at home, Kate went to get Adam. Tahir looked like a big question-mark.
“I guess, I’ll have to get going now”, Tahir said, and the pained expression was there again. It worried Hunter, though he couldn’t understand what had caused it.
“Do you want me to see you home?”, he asked. Tahir looked embarrassed, which was confusing to Hunter. He had never seen his friend like this before. Tahir looked like he was having a deep internal discussion with himself, until he muttered something along the lines of “If you would, that would be lovely”.


Hunter tried to start a conversation. Several times. Tahir responded, but he kept being distracted by his own thoughts, it seemed, so Hunter gave up. As they got nearer to Tahir’s home, the brown eyed boy got more nervous.
“Can we use another route?”, he asked. Hunter was surprised, but replied: “Sure”.
Tahir seemed to lighten a bit up. He even talked some. Until it happened.
“Look, who’s here”, a yell from behind stopped the two boys. The sound of the voice made Tahir freeze, “Haven’t you left yet?”
Hunter turned around to see a group of five boys, four or five years older than himself and Tahir, approach.
“Didn’t you hear I’m talking to you?”, a tall, dark-haired boy asked, walking up passed Hunter to Tahir, who didn’t turn around. Hunter wasn’t stupid, he felt the aggressive vipes from the older guys, but he wondered why they would chose Tahir as their victim, “Maybe monkeys are deaf”, the dark-haired boy said and laughed out loud.
“What did you say?”, Hunter spat out, unable to control the anger, the tall boy had caused within him. He knew, if it came to a fight, Hunter wouldn’t win, but he couldn’t think straight, “Apologize!”
“Did you hear the small one?”, the bully asked his friends, who burst into laughs.
“And how exactly, will you make me apologize?”
“Just leave it, Hunter”, Tahir said, now facing Hunter. He looked more worried about Hunter than himself now.
“What it’s gonna be?”, the boy asked.
Hunter was furious, but he decided to listen to Tahir. “Let’s go”.
The older boys didn’t follow them, but kept yelling insults from a distance.
“Thanks”, Tahir said.
“For what?”
“Not causing anymore problems”.
“You’ll have to confront them someday”.
“... I know. But I still need to figure that one out”.

4 comments:

  1. Poor Tahir ; w ; But I really like the scene at the beach :3 Your characters are always so well-written, and it was neat to get a bit more background on Hunter too!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words TwT

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  2. Such an interesting story :D
    I love your characters and the way you write about them. ^^
    Tahir and Hunter are so cute :3

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    1. Thank you :3 I must admit I love this group of friends a lot.

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