I h a t e y o u .


And my eyes flashed back and forth around the room, searching--desperately searching--for someone. But not just anyone. In fact, this was something all together different than anyone who knew me would expect. I, Avery Ella Martens, the shy, quiet, guarded girl, was searching for the boy of my dreams.  And when my eyes landed up him, I took a deep breath, and for the first time in almost four years, I spoke louder than I had been. And the three words I screamed across the crowed room that mid-November day, were the three words that could change my life forever.

I h a t e y o u.


"She's an idiot!" My mother's voice ran like a bell dismissing the class for summer break. It was cheerful, it was exciting, and unlike that final bell on that late May day, this, I wasn't ready for. My eyes popped open, and I leaned back in my chair. Too far. And the next thing I knew, I was lying on the cold, white tilted floor, my eyes meeting the black paint speckles that were splatted across it. And I thought back to those summer days, when me and my mom had paint fights.

I thought back to when painting was my passion, my love, my life. I smiled, running my finger across them slowly. "I miss it." I told her, but as usual, she wasn't listening. I had gotten used to the fact that I could talk as loudly as I wanted and wouldn't be heard. And I lWoved it, here at home, because I knew, in school, it was the opposite. One soft whisper, and your life would be changed forever. I glanced back at my mother who was pacing back and forth, a soft click, click, click as her heels clanked against the tile floor. She was pre-occupied with whoever was she was expressing her negative emotions too. I sat up, rubbing the back of my head, pulling the dark brown tie away, wrapping it around my wrist as my hair fell loose.

I stood, making my way to the island, my arms leaning forward and resting on the black granite counters, and I looked around the room. My mom was no different than she'd be any other day, a phone pressed tightly between her shoulder and her ear. A note pad was tossed about on the counter, tiny ruffles of paper stuck out from the edges, a pen laid neatly across the sloppy scribbles.

I turned, my back to her, and I looked towards the other side of the kitchen. A small picture still sat on the wooden table near the front door. It was out of sight, but I could see the outline of the frame. It was shinny, a silver color, with small rinestones speckled about. And I knew, even with the picture, covered in a protective coating of glass, facing away, I could tell you every detail about that picture. I could tell you every detail about that day.

It was the last time I had ever picked up a paintbrush. It was the day, I met him.

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