Path of Endurance chapter 08
It begun like any other day. The sun rose up, stars faded ? Brianna was always up on the apartment's roof to see it. Even though she wasn't keen on sunlight, she enjoyed watching it set at night and rise in the morning. Bryan was sleeping on the sofa, under Brianna's olive-colored M-65 field jacket. Brianna knew she'd have to wake him up soon, but day by day it was always harder and harder thing to do ? not because Bryan would have refused to get up, but just for once Brianna would have loved to let him dream his dreams till the end. Brianna herself didn't need much sleep, if at all. She thought it was because of the brain damage she suffered when Cary struck his beer bottle into her head.
"It could have been Bryan," she whispered in her mind. "Cary would have killed Bryan easily. He hated Bryan more than he hated me. But instead of Bryan, he struck me. I was meant to take the strike for Bryan. It's as if... I am meant to sacrifice myself for Bryan if I must."
Brianna stood up and headed into the living room, where Bryan was sleeping peacefully. She ran her fingers through Bryan's hair and gave a gentle kiss into his forehead.
"Bryan must be meant for something special," she supposed. "Something important. That's why I was born before him and that's why I've managed to take care of him. I have to ensure his survival at any cost. It is what I was born for. To be my brother's bodyguard, and to make sure he survives anything that comes on his way."
She shook him gently to wake him from his dream. Bryan's calm, deep breathing ceased for a split second, but as his eyes met with Brianna's, he calmed down and replied to her warm smile. With one, swift pull, he pulled Brianna's jacket over his head and hid himself, as a childish prank. Brianna laughed ? her laughter sounded like that of faeries and angels ? and grabbed the whole pack from the sofa into her arms. Bryan was stuck in her jacket; he managed to open up Brianna's grip from its collar enough to let fresh air pour in. He laughed, too. Unlike many other boys in his age, he had avoided the typical defiance that followed as children grew up. Never-ever had he even thought about defying Brianna; he had pondered about their current situation and their past, and he had come into a conclusion that everything she had done, she did it for his sake. Understanding this, his love towards his sister grew wildly.
"Yo, sleepyhead!" Brianna hollered into the jacket. "You're gonna be late for school."
Brianna let Bryan out of the jacket. He landed onto his feet like a cat; Brianna's training had made him strong in every meaning of the word. He watched Brianna wearing her jacket, and her golden medallion shone bright against her black t-shirt. She had worn it as long as Bryan was able to remember; sometimes he thought she was born with it. The medallion wasn't very big; about a square-inch, and there was a carving of a striking snake on it. The snake's eyes were made of two blue-gray'ish stones ? stones that held exactly the same color as Bryan's eyes, as Brianna had once pointed out ? and it hung from a leather slice that was tied loosely around Brianna's neck. Bryan had always adored the medallion, just about as much as he had adored snakes as well. Especially pit vipers. They were almost as fast and deadly as Brianna was.
Bryan combed his hair quickly with his fingers and followed Brianna all the way to the school. Brianna had promised to speak with the headmaster, but he knew better than to expect a peaceful negotiation between the headmaster and Brianna. The headmaster had turned out to be quite a racist himself, whereas Brianna was ready to go at incredible lengths when it came to defending her brother.
"If this shit happens again, I swear the only one able to identify those sons of bitches is their dentist!" Bryan heard Brianna shriek at the headmaster. "Bryan's done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment from you! I'm tellin' ya, he won't stand put the next time those bastards try to beat him up!"
"There are over 150 pupils in this school, miss Fury," the headmaster replied, with a politeness faker than a psychic with a phone ID. "And less than ten teachers. We can't look after every kid. Kids fight always, there's nothing unusual in it."
"The kids don't gather in a ring, nail down their victim and beat him near death. Only criminal gangs operate in such manner."
"Are you accusing the kids of illegal actions, miss Fury?"
"It ain't legal to beat anyone!"
The headmaster stood up from his chair and walked too close to Brianna.
"Then what do you want me to do? Arrange a cop cavalry to protect your child? You wiggas think you can order around anyone you come across. I don't give a shit if the boys waste your son in the bright daylight. Now get out of my office."
Like a lightning Brianna shoved the headmaster off-balance and tackled him onto the wall. She squeezed his throat towards the wall with her arm and brought her psychopathic face less than inch away from his face.
"Three news flashes, little faggot...!" she spat, hardly subduing her wrath. "FIRSTLY ? Bryan is not my son, he is my brother, thus I will NOT take responsibility of his actions if he's provoked or threatened. SECONDLY ? you niggas think you can boss around any minor population of your area. Be it white, black or green for all I care, we all have the same rights. THIRDLY ? you think ANYONE would give a shit if I wasted your fat ass right here, right now?"
Bryan peeked from behind the headmaster's door. He was kind of used to seeing Brianna act violently, but he felt uneasy whenever she was enraged. Not because he would've been afraid of her venting her hatred into him, but rather, he felt uneasy because Brianna didn't vent her hatred to him. No matter how pissed off, mad or depressed, she always smiled at him as if she had no worries at all. Bryan knew her smile was a bald-ass lie.
Brianna smashed the headmaster onto the floor and left. There were couple of other pupils picking on Bryan down the hallway, making Brianna stop to observe. A smile crept onto her lips ? Bryan's reaction to the pupils made her proud. He completely ignored them. Bryan leaned on the wall and picked his fingernails. Suddenly one of the pupils grabbed Bryan by his collar and smashed him against another wall. Bryan, without any feelings, dug his right fist into the guy's gut. While the guy was stunned, Bryan gave him a right uppercut into his jaw and finished his Chains of Misery with a left hook. The guy dropped the instant. Brianna smiled with pride ? the boy had learned to defend himself.
Noticing his sister's arrival, Bryan lowed down his hands as if to show the fight was over. The rest of the pupils noted Brianna as well, and couple of them literally freaked out. Their screaming must have carried out all the way to the other side of the 8 Mile, for none of them had ever seen a white woman like her; Brianna's skin was very close to literally white tone, yet her pale blue eyes were surrounded by dead-looking skin that was much darker than rest of her face. What stood out the most though, was the massive size of her muscles. Every muscle and ounce of strength was earned with sweat and tears, never had Brianna laid a finger on steroids, speak of any other drugs that would mess up her mind more than it already was. For some reason she had been able to tell herself she was literally a psychopath ? she knew her mentality was unstable and her behavior rather violent -, thus she did everything she afforded to remain calm. She would never-ever forgive herself if she mistreated Bryan.
Like an ice queen Brianna walked down the hall to Bryan, ignoring the rest of the brats completely. "Take it easy, bro," she said and laid her hand over the boy's shoulder. "Don't kill everyone, you dig?"
"Not everyone, promise," Bryan assured with a wicked smile.
Brianna smiled and took off, since she was already late for work. Later the day Bryan was sitting under a tree yet once more, when he felt four other pupils approaching him. He stood up and turned to look, seeing three afro-American boys and one white boy coming at his way. They seemed not to have anything vicious in mind. Bryan looked closer; one of the dark boys was over-weighed and tall, the second one was thin-built and wore glasses, the third one was built normal and he had dreadlocks hanging from his head. The white boy wasn't small-built, but seemed rather dim. Nevertheless, he was certainly part of the gang.
"Hey, you the new kid, dawg?" the boy with dreadlocks inquired.
Bryan nodded hesitantly.
"What's your name, anyway?"
"Great to meet ya, Bryan," the boy said and quickly shook hands with him, in a certain gangsta manner. "My name's Daniel, and here are Jonathan -"
The thin-built boy nodded.
The big boy nodded.
The white boy nodded eagerly. "We hear you gave Don Doe a real whoop-up earlier today," he said, with fanatical adoring in his eyes. "I mean wow, man, how did you beat that giant?"
"...giant?" Bryan wondered, straightening his back without noting it. The gang noted the instant that Bryan, too, was tall for being as young as seven. Daniel nodded, agreeing with Adam.
"You aren't too small yourself, either, dawg," he laughed. "I tell ya what. We got some new toy cars the other day, and we got five of them. We were playing there by the dirt, but the fifth car hasn't got a driver. Would you like to come race with us, Bryan?"
For the first time in a long time, Bryan smiled to someone other than Brianna: "You got it!"
When the day was over, Bryan ran home from school. He was bursting with excitement to tell Brianna about the friends he had just made, about the car race they had and about everything that had happened that day. Brianna would come home from work about the same time as he would, though it took her a while to walk from downtown. She had had a tough day ? even though she was well-built and had enormous strength and power, she wasn't used to riding a bicycle, mainly because she had never had one. She learned quickly to ride one, but she was tired every day she came back home.
But no matter how tired she was, she would never turn down her brother.
Brianna lay down onto the sofa and sighed. Just as she was about to fall asleep, she heard running steps approaching her. "Sis! Sis!" Bryan's clear voice reached her, and not many seconds after Bryan hopped onto her. "Guess what happened today!"
"Something happy, I assume," Brianna smiled, hiding her tiredness.
"I met these four nice guys, Daniel, Jonathan, John and Adam, and we played car race together! They came to ask me to join their race when I was sitting under a tree one break..."
Bryan kept babbling, sparkling with joy. Normally parents just pretended to be listening to their youngsters, giving the rhetorical "Yes, dear" or "That's nice, dear" every minute and a half. But not Brianna ? she listened with honesty, absorbing and studying every word Bryan spoke. She chased away her sleep, just to listen to him. It wouldn't matter what Bryan talked about, Brianna was always wanting to listen, no matter how tired she would be. Yet Bryan wasn't blind, he could tell that Brianna was tired. After finishing up his report for the day, he laid his head down upon Brianna's chest. "...and now I'm pretty tired," he muttered.
"Naturally, you've been up and running the whole day," Brianna replied and laid her head back down on a pillow. Suddenly, Bryan lifted up his head.
"What did you do today, sis?" he asked. Brianna looked at him, eyes filled with surprise. Yet his eyes were sincere; he was curious about what Brianna had been doing.
"My work, bro," she told, laying her head back down again. "Delivering packages from here to there, riding the bicycle... damn, my ass is killing me!"
Bryan laughed out loud. "A hard saddle, or did you fall down?"
"Both," Brianna replied, joining Bryan's laughter. Bryan felt his sister's chest vibrating with the laughter. Oh, how he enjoyed the feeling! He enjoyed every time Brianna's inhale lifted him up a bit while he was lying on her stomach and chest, and he enjoyed every time her exhale brought him back down. Brianna wrapped her hands around Bryan, who responded by cuddling to her. A silence landed upon those two, until finally, a few seconds before falling asleep, Bryan broke the silence.
"I love you, sis," he muttered.
"I love you too, bro," Brianna replied, feeling a tear falling down her cheek. "More than anything else in the world."