Category : Books-Fiction
Sub Category : Fantasy
Kumara slammed his bedroom door shut, his eyes stinging with unshed tears. Everything about this was so unfair; his family was treating him like a criminal because of something he didn't even do - something he had no control over.
I didn't try to hurt Vincent and his family. I would never. Fritz did it all.
Anger burned through him like wildfire at the thought. Fritz was the reason this was happening. He'd taken Kumara as a kid because of his position in Vincent's family, and he'd used Kumara to ruin Vincent's life. He never gave a crap about me or wanted to be there for me. He just needed me to be his pawn.
I can't believe I thought of him as family.
He wiped at his eyes, feeling his tears brimming over. How stupid was he? Nobody wanted him; his parents hadn't wanted him, Fritz hadn't wanted him, and now his aunt and cousins didn't even want him.
How do I fix this?? he thought desparingly. What can I do?
He paused; there was someone else in the room.
He backed up a step, scanning the room quickly. In the dim light, he spotted a form slipping in through the window. He spotted red, saw the messy hair, and he felt bitterness clamp down around his heart. Fritz.
"Kumara," Fritz's voice was soft as he came in and started towards him. "Let's go."
"Go?" Kumara could barely stand to speak to Fritz; he was filled with such bitter anger and sorrow. He'd considered Fritz a teacher, a friend - and a father figure.
But all along, Kumara hadn't mattered to Fritz at all.
"We're going to dip. You're not about to get screwed over by some stud who doesn't know how to die." Fritz held out a hand, waving Kumara over to the window. "Come on, let's get you back home."
"Home." Kumara snorted; gosh, he had never been this angry at anyone in his life. "The School? With you?"
"Yes - what are you, stupid?? Let's go." Fritz waved him over again, his tone surprisingly lighthearted. "You don't want to hang around with miss valley girl downstairs, breathing down your neck, do you?"
"No. No." Kumara took a step back, his anger choking him. "I can't go with you."
"Hey, don't worry, it's tight." Fritz gave him a serious look. "I know they put you on house arrest and shit, but we're breaking you out. We're not giving up on you that easily - you're one of us." He cracked a small grin. "Also - I'm in the mood for ice cream. You want ice cream? There's an ice cream place on the way home."
His eyes searched out Kumara's, something that looked like concern flashing through his eyes. Was he worried about Kumara? Fritz hated ice cream - Kumara was the one who loved it. What was that about?
Kumara shoved these thoughts from his mind as Fritz came a little closer, saying quietly, "Come on, kid, we don't have forever."
"No," Kumara spat. "No! You did this to me!"
Fritz frowned. "Did I?"
Kumara turned away, putting a hand on his head. "I'm losing my family because of something you did - something you used me to do!!"
"...Vincent?" Fritz was coming closer.
Kumara whirled around to face him, stopping the man in his tracks. "Did you only take me because of my connection to Vincent?? Because you wanted to use me to hurt his family?"
Fritz was giving Kumara a cautious look, and he slowly stuck his hands into his pockets. "...yes, that is exactly the reason. For all of it: taking you in, playing teacher - okay, I never had a choice for that one, but you made me take it more seriously - lying to your dimwitted aunt. All of it was to destroy Vincent."
His words broke Kumara's heart, and the nonchalant way he said it made him want to break something.
He wiped at his eyes, unable to stop the burning, furious tears from escaping him. "So you really never cared about me. That's great."
"Now wait a minute, who ever said I didn't care about you?" Fritz tilted his head to the side. "What the hell is this about, Kumara?"
"You!" Kumara choked back a furious sob. "You used me! You cared about destroying your brother's life so much that you broke mine down to do it - and you didn't even care. You don't care about me at all; but all along, I cared about you, I trusted you!" He groaned, putting his face in his hands. "I loved you. But the entire time, you were just taking advantage of me. And now I'm losing everything that's important to me because of it."
Fritz looked like he was trying not to show how annoyed he was growing. "I know things are rough for you right now, but I really think you should shut up before you say something stupid. Just come home. We can talk about this tomorrow."
Kumara backed up as Fritz held out a hand to him. "No! That place isn't my home - and neither are you. Get out of here, Fritz! Get out of this house - actually, I'd rather you get out of my life entirely!"
Fritz's expression darkened, and his eyes lit with bitter fire. "Outta your life? And why do you want me gone so much, so suddenly?"
"It isn't sudden," Kumara spat out, feeling sick from the immeasurable amounts of rage and betrayal tearing him apart. "This has been coming for a long time. Since the day Vincent got arrested, and since you almost killed that detective. I'm not a bad person, Fritz, not like you. I may not be entirely good, but I'm not like you and I never will be like you. I don't want what you have. I don't want to be someone who is hated by their own family so much that everyone in it changed their name so they won't be associated with them. I don't want to be hunted by the police - by Spice - and spend the rest of my life running from my own mistakes. I don't want your life."
"Those are pretty bold words, Kumara." Fritz's voice was quiet, but Kumara could hear the simmering fury building up.
Kumara was poking the bear now, but he wasn't anywhere close to being done.
"Because I'm saying what's true." Kumara straightened himself up, meeting Fritz's gaze unblinkingly and letting their anger clash. "And it is, isn't it? You wasted your chance at a good life, and now you're trying to make me waste mine. I can't do it; I'm not going to throw away my life and spend it with people like you at the expense of everything I love."
"Do you think you're better than me?" Fritz stepped closer sharply. "You're better than any of us. Amelia? The kids? You're not a dirty, worthless criminal like the rest of us, right? You're a star citizen. You're not associated with the likes of us - you're a good person."
He scoffed as he said it. "Talking about my life as if you're above me. Step off and get your head outta your ass, Kumara. You're not the most important person in the room! You're not above anyone; not Amelia, not your family, and certainly not me."
Kumara opened his mouth the argue, but Fritz cut him off sharply. "No, don't say a fucking word, Kumara. You're better than us? It's not good enough for you anymore, now that your precious family disapproves? Do you not have pride in everything we've done? Because you did before this. We were your home. And we - I - put my ass on the line to sneak in here and break you out...just to find that you're an ungrateful piece of shit!"
"Ungrateful!" Kumara finally got a word in. "What is there to be grateful for?? You've only made my life harder - there are things I can never do now because of my connection with you! They wanted to send me to prison!!"
"And you would have deserved it," Fritz hissed, "for turning your back on everybody."
"What does it matter? It's not like you ever cared about me having your back at all!"
"Who said that?! Who told you that nobody cares??" Bitter rage flashed through Fritz's face in a moment of uncontrolled aggression, and he stepped closer sharply. "Nobody ever said shit like that to you, unless that jackass Miller has been whispering in your ear."
Fritz reached out to flick Kumara's ear and Kumara shoved him away roughly, his chest tightening in outrage.
"Don't touch me!" He slammed his hands into Fritz's chest, his anger making him hope to hurt the adult as he pushed against him with all his might.
Fritz's only reaction was a small wince, though Kumara knew that was only a gut reaction to being touched. Fritz glared at him though, his eyes on fire, and swung his arm around.
His elbow slammed into Kumara's jaw, sending pain blossoming up from the spot he hit. Kumara fell to the side, crying out in pain.
Fritz grabbed him roughly by the upper arm, met his gaze, then threw him hard into the wall. Kumara fell against it with a loud bang that shook the walls and disturbed the general quiet of the house.
He stumbled, slipping down the wall as he lost his balance.
Fritz grabbed him again and shoved him into the wall, pinning him in place as he kept him from falling.
"Listen to me," Fritz hissed lowly, shaking Kumara once as the teenager struggled in his grip. "Your piece-of-shit parents didn't fucking want you. Your aunt downstairs was too busy with her own problems to take care of you. I found you, I told Amy to give you a chance, and I have always taken care of you."
"You only took me because I was close to Vincent," Kumara spat. "You didn't take me because you cared. You don't care about anyone but yourself."
"Bold words from someone who has no idea what they're talking ab-"
"No, I know exactly what I'm talking about!" Kumara met Fritz's eyes. "You're a terrible person, and I was stupid enough to look up to you. You used me for your own personal gain - to get back at someone who had every right to turn away from you. You're selfish and you're cruel. I hate you, Fritz, and I wish I never met you!"
"So that's it? All the years we sheltered you, every time we took care of you, every minute spent with you, you don't give a shit about any of it now?"
"What do you care?" Kumara tried to pull away. "Shouldn't you be glad that you don't have to be burdened by me anymore?"
"You don't know anything, Kumara." Fritz leaned close. "And apparently, neither do I. To think I thought you were different..."
He dropped Kumara roughly and backed up a few steps. "I'm giving you one last fucking chance, kid. Come back with me where it's safe, or rot here under the eyes of Miller and your worthless 'family.'"
"I'd rather die than let you ruin my life anymore," Kumara hissed without hesitation.
Fritz bowed his head, laughing bitterly. "...fine. Have it your way, you little shit." He looked up. "I'm not going to forget this. One day, I'll make you regret the day you chose to turn your back your home."
"Like you did to Vincent?" Kumara sneered bitterly. "I'm not scared of you, Fritz."
Fritz snorted, and turned to the window, and Kumara watched him walk away, his soul burning with hatred and anger.
Fritz turned to him as he reached the windowsill. "I didn't waste my life, kid. The only thing I've wasted is my time spent on you."
Kumara didn't flinch. "Get out."
Fritz turned without another word and slipped out the window. His coat fluttered once in the breeze, then he was gone.
Kumara leaned back heavily against the wall, sliding down and pulling his knees to his chest.
I made the right choice.