Help Me Chapter 4: Awakening

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“A man may be born, but in order to be born he must first die, and in order to die he must first awake”. ~ Carl Sandburg

Is that really the truth in this world? That you can’t awake unless you’ve died once already? Or is death just some clever way of saying asleep. Cause I’m pretty sure…that if I die, the only way I’m waking up again, is in a casket. And coming back as one of the undead, isn’t exactly on my things to do before I…die…list. Now that doesn’t really work, does it? Being undead can’t really be on your bucket list, can it?

Well hopefully there wouldn’t be any army of the undead rising from their graves any time soon. Infected zombies were so much more popular than undead zombies now, so I guess I’m safe since the media thinks coming back to life is so unfashionable. Though I’m not really too keen on catching some zombie sickness before I…die? Zombies are making a lot less sense today.

I think I’m dreaming right now, like actual, honest to god dreaming. Not that odd phantom state I’d seemed to be in all day. Not really dreaming though…but I sure as hell was asleep, though it felt like I was being pulled out of this sleeping state.

“Damien, Damien wake up already…” muttered a voice that sounded masculine; well…I guess it wasn’t the nurse. Unless she took some steroids over the time I fell asleep, and they had already kicked into maximum overdrive. Well…that would be creepy, now wouldn’t it?

“Five more minutes mom…” I grumbled, as I waved a hang groggily at the arm that was trying to shake me awake. “I’m soooo tired.” I drawled out, not really noticing the fact that I sounded a bit looped out at the moment.

“It’s Billy…just wake up.” He muttered, as he gave me a hard swat on the shoulder. “School’s over man…it’s time to get up and go see the world. And by the world I mean the inside of my Algebra II textbook, cause this s*** is confusing me.” He grumbled, as he stepped back from the cot.

I sat up and brushed my shaggy brown hair out of my eyes, looking him over, and wondering why he was talking so damn loud.

“Yeah, those swears really needed to be thrown in, right Billy?” I asked, as I smirked over at the younger boy. The Junior to my Senior, a pretty smart Junior as well. Though not when it came to math, when it came to math I wasn’t exactly that smart either…but I’d already taken and barely passed Algebra II.

He frowned as I stood up, staring down at him. My 6’ 1” towering over his 5’ 6”. He never liked the fact that he was so short, but it was the Italian in his blood. His dad was short, as were his father’s parents. His mother actually had an inch on his father’s height that matched his own. The boy could only hope that he might grow a couple of more inches, before he was done with the whole process.

“I liked it better when you were sitting down Damien…” he grumbled, as he poked me in the chest. Which just caused a smirk to draw against my features.

“And I liked it better when you weren’t talking…” I retorted, which caused him to scrunch his nose up. He talked a lot, and he knew it. He also swore excessively, when adults and teachers were in close proximity. I couldn’t count the times I’d had to push a hand over his mouth, to shut him up.

“Are you going to help me or not, Damien?” he asked, as he frowned, and glared down at his sneakers. His face going back up to mine, looking serious as I feigned a look of contemplating. Of course I was going to help the kid; he was one of my best friends.

“Damien!” he whined, as he stared at me. Clearly not getting the fact that I was teasing him, I wouldn’t force him to dredge through it all by himself.

I sighed and took my cellphone out, “I’ll get my mom to drive us to my house…maybe Kara can help as well. She’s better at this stuff than I am…” I said airlessly, as I fished into my pocket for my phone. Finally having it out, I grabbed my backpack and dragged him outside.

“So I slept through three periods…” I muttered to myself, as I shook my head in slight disbelief, while I waited for my mother to pick up the phone.

Long story short, she arrived soon enough. And we all got to sit in the car, and listen to another one of Billy’s endless conversations…by the end of the car ride I wasn’t even sure what subject he had started on. He spoke about as fast as cheetahs ran, and he never noticed it himself, only if you told him. And of course if you told him, he just shut up the rest of the time he was with you, and I wasn’t out to hurt the kid’s feelings.

As soon as I head inside I saw that Kara was sitting in the living room, already having gotten a start on her own homework.

“Oh hey guys…” she muttered, as she smiled up at us. I saw the flush in Billy’s cheeks almost immediately, and couldn’t help being a bit jealous. Not that it was Billy, but that she was getting attention like that in general. It didn’t feel like anybody looked that way at me, or maybe I was just too brainless to notice. Apparently I was already a zombie, the no-brain thing being a major clue to that.

“H-Hi Kara…” he muttered, as he looked over to her. Seeming to walk right past me and over to sit down next to her on the couch, once he had taken off his shoes of course.
“Could you help me with the homework Mr. Anderson gave us?” he asked, as he frowned. “Something about the functions of parabolas…I don’t get it.” He muttered, frowning. I merely rolled my eyes and sat on the other side of him, smirking over to my little sister.
“Yes do enlighten us oh great one.” I said a mock look of wonder on my face. Kara raised an eyebrow as we both looked at her, both with a bit of a hopeful look in her eyes.
“Mom, can Billy stay for dinner?” she asked, as my mother nodded. Happy that me and Kara were pulling out of our depressed slump, and spending some time with our mutual friends. See what I did there, that was a Facebook pun. Okay, I’ll shut up now, fourth wall.
So that was how I spent my first Friday back at school, doing homework all night with my little sister, and Billy. It was fun with those too though. Of course, we ended up spending more time playing the family Wii than getting much work done. But what could we say; Wii Sports was a more interesting thing than making graphs, and pretending to understand what we were doing.
We bid adieu to our friend as ten o’ clock rolled around, and his mother came to pick him up. I eyed Kara as he left, wondering why she was so clueless to the signs that Billy was undoubtedly giving her.
As soon as he was gone, I cornered her in the laundry room, trapping her in the small area. She glared up at me, and tried to force me to move, so she could escape back up to her room, to go do girl things I suppose.

“Hey…” I started as I frowned and looked down at her. “Y’know…Billy likes you right?” I asked, as I stared down at her. She glared back up at me, her cheeks flared up red as I said this, and she bit on the inside of her cheek. I could tell by the face she was making.

“H-How do you know?” she asked, as what was that…hope, gleaming in her bicoloured eyes. And then I smirked, and moved out of the way.

“And from what I can tell you like him as well, want me to play matchmaker?” I teased, as I watched her retreating form.

“No…cause what if he doesn’t like me…and you’re just being a big idiot?” she asked, as she turned around, stamping down a foot. Before she ran back up to her room.

Looks like I had another assignment to keep my mind off Daniel for now. Damien’s matchmaking business was officially opened.





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