I curled up tighter when the screeching of my alarm began. My room was most likely about fifty nine degrees right now, due to the two fans I had going, though it was nearly winter. I dug deeper into my blankets, refusing to subject my warm body to the chill of the world outside of my cocoon.
That is, until I heard my father's door slam open. If he caught me dawdling, he'd have my hind end for sure. I jumped out of bed- literally- and was immediately shivering, covered from head to toe in goosebumps. Mondays suck.
I ran to my closet, desperate for warmth. I pulled out my favorite jeans and a thick North Face zip-up hoodie. It was the comfiest of my sweatshirts by far, and the most expensive, which cracks me up. North Face costs a fortune. To an everyday person, I'd appear to lead a luxurious life- a large house with a pool and hot tub, nice clothes, phone and iPod... but, that was all a way to cover the fact that I had a pretty crappy time at home.
I threw on a fresh tank top, then pulled on my jeans and jacket, and started jumping up and down quietly. I sighed happily when I stopped shivering.
"Get down here, now, Kalia!" My father boomed from downstairs. Oh, joy he was in a bad mood today.
I didn't bother to do much with my tangle of hair. I settled with just brushing it, not even cringing when pieces got pulled out- my father was much worse when he was in one of his moods. Checking my reflection, I noticed a nice size bruise on my left cheekbone, most likely a result of last night's annual slap fest. This time, his reasoning was that I didn't cook the crust of his pizza to his liking. I didn't eat, either. He said I wasn't worthy of even my 'crappy' cooking.
I flew downstairs, not even trying to conceal the bruise, considering it was just too fresh. Not even my darker concealers would cover the deep blue and black of it.
My father waited in the kitchen, tapping his foot impatiently. The look on his face made me want to skip breakfast completely, to just bolt out of there like a bat out of Hell, but I couldn't do that. I'd have much worse than a little bruise if I did.
I shyly walked past him and pulled out some bacon to cook. That's all he ever ate. I cooked it as fast as possible, while trying to not burn it or leave it undercooked. I ignored the few times the grease popped and burnt me.
When I got the nod of approval from him, I ran to the cupboard, grabbing a granola bar, and bolted out the door while he was chewing on his bacon. I slowed down when I got halfway down my driveway, where he couldn't see me. I sat on a fallen tree, resting for a minute. My driveway was nearly a mile long. Personally, I think it was another torture device that he'd set up for me.
The granola bar did little to settle down my stomach. It plowed on with it's constant growling and protesting of lack of nutrition. When I finished, I reluctantly stood up and continued my trudge up my driveway.
I made it to the end just as the bus pulled up in front of me. I got on quickly, eager to get to school, escape this god-forsaken place I refuse to call home. The bus driver smiled politely at me.
Making my way to the back of the bus with my head down, I silently prayed Laken was on today, and not sitting at home lazily.
Sure enough, he was in our usual seat, 24, ear buds in. He smiled at me when I plopped down in the seat, throwing an arm around my shoulders.
"Hey, Kal," He said.
"Hi," I spoke softly, as usual, and it was almost drowned out by the sound of my stomach growling.
He laughed and searched his bag for something. After a minute, he pulled out a Pop Tart, handing it to me. I took it, immediately opening it up and chowing down. So unladylike.
"I see he's starving you once again," He commented, looking quite upset.
I shrugged, looking out the window. Laken was my only real friend- actually, he was more like a brother- here in Lebanon. He'd seen me on the first day here, back in eighth grade. I had bruises up one of my arms and a cut of my face. He was the only one who even bothered to ask if I was alright.
I brushed him off, afraid to tell anyone. He never gave up though. He was incredibly sweet to me all week, ignoring his friends, and scaring off anyone who made fun me. Eventually, I gave in. I told him everything.
|Phoebe Tonkin||as Kalia Evergreene|
|Alison Lohman||as Payson Summers|
|Matt Lanter||as Kodi Pierce|
|Colton Haynes||as Laken Roth|