Chapter Nine

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How could I have been so stupid? Of course he would like Cristal. I mean, look at her. She was beautiful, smart, and captain of the cheer squad. He must have a crush on her or why else would he have let her put her arms around him? I wonder if that's why Joel was coming towards me with a sad look. Was he trying to warn me or let me see what was going on? I couldn't trust Joel, so I'm glad I just let myself figure it out on my own. Now that I let my heart break into a million pieces, I won't let myself fall hard for anyone ever again.

I looked at myself in the mirror. The fluorescent lights made me look pale, revealing the under-eye circles from lack of sleep. My green eyes looking like a light blue. My eyes were also bloodshot from the tears that were beginning to form. Before I could let them fall, someone entered the bathroom. Of course, it was the last person I wanted to see, who was Cristal. Her smile flashed her pearly white teeth, evil inside her eyes. "I told you I was going to get payback, Breanna." she said happily. "Are you happy now? You have Marcus and Craig wrapped around your finger. You win!" I yelled, leaving the bathroom and storming down the hall. I could hear her laugh echoing in the hall.

"Breanna, wait!" I heard Marcus shout, but I kept going faster. I didn't want to look at him. His footsteps got quicker, but I wouldn't let him catch up to me. I looked out the window and saw how close I was to the forest. Even though I wasn't allowed in there during school hours, it was the only escape from Marcus. I quickened my pace and flew through the doors, going towards the forest. "You're going to get yourself killed in there!" he yelled, staying in the doors. I turned around and faced him, letting him see my bloodshot eyes. "I don't care! I would rather be in there than see you and Cristal kissing in front of the locker!" I yelled back. His face had an expression of hurt, but I didn't care. I just turned around and ran straight into the forest.

I never knew how scary the forest actually was, until I entered it. The leaves crunching underneath my feet didn't help. Even though there was daylight, it still seemed dark, like a solar eclipse was happening. Every few minutes, I would hear sticks cracking. It was either when they fell off of the trees or something was breaking them in half. I could even see my own breath from the cold. The worst part was, if someone was to come looking for me, I would probably be dead. It would be either from the temperature or from a wild animal that lurked the forest.

As I walked deeper into the forest, I could see old tree trunks in the ground, while the logs were right next to it. A hole in one of the logs nested wood bugs and possibly ants. I finally got in the forest deep enough that I couldn't see the school and no one would be able to hear me. I looked around and sat down on a stump that was flat as a rock on the top. Not one thing seemed to be living on or in it. As soon as I sat down, that was when I allowed myself to cry. You know, the cries that are really ugly and most of the time you're usually loud. That was the cry I wanted to happen.

I had stayed strong for far too long and I guess it just needed to come out. I had cried for losing my mother, my father not knowing I was still here, losing Joel, having Cristal come after me, and now for losing Marcus. My heart was damaged too much and it was going to need time to heal itself. After what seemed like hours of crying, I finally stopped and let myself relax. I listened to the peaceful quiet that was in the forest, until I heard twigs cracking.

So, it looked like I was going to die. I was going to get attacked by a bear, if they were still out. The heavy footsteps and the crunching leaves made it sound terrifying. I started saying my goodbyes to the people that probably would miss me, until I realized that I had no one to say goodbye to. I started to count down the hours to my death, but then a voice spoke. "Breanna? Where are you?" it yelled. The voice seemed familiar, but I still couldn't put my finger on it. When he came through the clearing, I noticed that it was Marcus.

I stood up right then and started walking away. I didn't get very far because he grabbed my arm and spun me around, holding me on the spot. "Why would you dare try and get yourself killed, Breanna? Do you know what would happen to the Academy?" he asked, almost shouting. "Why do you even care?" I asked, shouting at him. My entire body was shaking with anger. How dare he try and confront me like this. "Breanna, I care for you a lot! I couldn't even imagine you being hurt if I could have prevented it." he shouted, but then spoke softly.

"You have Cristal now. It's not like I matter anymore." I continued to shout, anger releasing itself. He looked at me seriously as he spoke. "Do you honestly think I like some girl who is so full of themselves? Is that how you think of me?" he asked. I didn't know what to say, so I kept my mouth shut. He started to shake his head, putting his hands on his head. He paced around me, thinking of the words to say. Then, he planted himself right in front of me and said the words that I never saw coming. "Breanna, the only girl that I like in this school is you. From the first day we started talking, I had feelings for you. I had felt protective of you since Craig decided to put you down. When Joel was hurting you, I couldn't stand seeing you get hurt, so I hurt him. Whenever I look at you, my heart wants to explode and whenever I touch you, I feel electricity. I mean every single word I say to you. I like you a lot and I really hope you return those feelings back." he explained, taking breaths when he needed to.

I could only stare at him in shock. I had never expected him to say that. My heart felt like it was going to pop straight out of my chest and into his hands, it was beating that fast. He came and found me in this forest, just to tell me that. "If you have feelings for me, why did you let Cristal put her arms around you?" I asked, looking down at the leaves. "I didn't know what she was doing. When I saw you and then looked at her, she was smiling straight at you. Before I even had the chance to explain to you, you ran off." he said, sitting down on the stump I was on. "She was trying to flirt with me, but I wasn't paying attention to her. She kept flirting though, hoping that I would start flirting back with her. When she realized that I wasn't interested in her, she started wrapping her arms around me and then you came around the corner." he continued, looking at me. "When I saw your face, the way you were trying to fight back tears, it broke my heart." he said, standing up.

"Did Joel see you two?" I asked. "I'm not sure, why?" he asked, walking towards me. "He was walking towards me, tears in his eyes. He looked so upset and I wouldn't give him the time of day. I was unsure if he was trying to warn me or if it was an act." I said, softly. "That's how I knew that Cristal was just playing around. I heard that Joel broke up with her, but her friend, Bianca, told him and that's how he found out." he said. "Well, now she's after me. She assumes that I broke them up." I replied. He looked at me, not seriously or with an angered look. He seemed to be red, but also looked sweet. "What?" I asked, looking into his eyes. He stepped closer to me and pressed his lips against mine.

His lips were warm and tender against mine. I wrapped my arms around him, bringing him closer. As I did, he wrapped his arms around my waist. Our breathing was getting heavy, being tangled with each other. He broke the kiss, but didn't remove his hands from my waist. I looked into his eyes and smiled. My face was red from the heat of the kiss. We stared at each other, not letting the other person talk. "So, I'm assuming you like me back?" he asked, holding back laughter. "Your assumption is right." I replied back, giving him a quick peck on the lips.

"Would you like to be my girlfriend, then?" he asked, nervously. I smiled at him. "Of course I would." I answered, hugging him. We stayed in the forest for a few more minutes, before we started heading back to the school. "I'm going to get in trouble, aren't I?" I asked. I skipped most of my classes, which meant I would probably get in trouble. "Yes, but you won't go down alone. I'll also get in trouble." he replied. He put his arm around me, walking back into the school. "Well, here goes nothing." I said, as we entered the school.

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