Casey doesn’t think he’ll ever figure out Zeke.
Original story: Nobody Else by sophinisba, 2558 words.
Remix author: ibonekoen
Never Figure You Out (The Why Remix)
Casey was pretty sure that he was never going to be able to figure out Zeke Tyler. The boy who was repeating his senior year for the nth time and who sold homemade drugs and other miscellaneous items out of the trunk of his car was the last person that Casey would ever have imagined would be helping him with his cuts and bruises. Getting beaten up at school was just one of the daily rituals that Casey had long since resigned himself to and he barely blinked an eyelash at it. The teachers weren’t going to do anything to help him and none of the other kids were going to stand up for him, so why was Zeke suddenly so concerned?
He watched the older boy rifle through Nurse Harper’s medicine cabinet and wondered what exactly he was hoping to get out of this. It couldn’t be because he was trying to be nice. Everybody in school knew that Zeke Tyler didn’t a shit about anybody or, at least, that was how he came off to others. Casey thought that Zeke went out of his way to encourage that kind of thinking, which brought Casey back to his original question -- why was Zeke Tyler helping him?
After Zeke cleaned up his wounds and settled into a chair, Casey watched him, trying to glean some kind of insight about the other boy. “I don’t get it.” he said finally.
Zeke raised an eyebrow, looking up. “Yeah? Maybe you’re not supposed to.” he said with a shrug of his shoulder.
Casey shook his head. “You just seem more like the type who would be beating up a kid like me instead of helping me out.”
Zeke snorted and shook his head. “Man, if you think that about me, then I must not be doing something right.” he said. “I mean, have you ever seen me beat up a single kid, Casey?”
Casey licked his lips, trying to think. He was just about to answer that yes, he had seen Zeke beat up a kid when Zeke added “Well, any kid that didn’t deserve it, at least.”
Casey scowled. “What are you getting out of this?”
“Out of what?” Zeke’s eyebrow arched upward again and he tilted his head to one side as he gave Casey a curious glance.
“This.” Casey raised his hand, motioning around the room. “Helping me.”
Zeke was quiet for a moment, then shrugged. “What does it matter? At least you’re not still lying on the floor of the locker room, bleeding your heart out, right? What does it matter why I’m doing it?”
Casey pondered that for a moment and frowned, realizing that maybe Zeke was right. Maybe he didn’t need to know what Zeke’s reasonings were for helping him. Maybe he just needed to be thankful that it seemed like he had one ally in the whole school.
Later, he’d realize just how lucky he was to have that ally. For now, he simply pondered why.