Chapter Seven - Amazing

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**Trigger Warning, this chapter has some dark themes**

It was strange attending a school where I wasn't the outcast. I didn't have people point and laughing in my direction. I felt like a normal teenager for once. Daniel asked me out again after lunch, I heard Jackson scoff as Daniel began some gigantic spiel about me being his one and only.

Of course, I knew better. I said no again and walked with Jackson to our next class.

"You're right about him not giving up." I moaned.

"He's competitive, he always has been"

"I'm not a prize" I replied.

"I know that." He said opened the English classroom door. "But Daniel on the other hand...."

The rest of the day sped by. For the second day of the year we had a surprising high amount of homework, not that I minded. School work had always managed to help distract my mind.

After class Jackson and I walked across the school carpark in silence. Jackson unlocked it and get got inside.

"I think there is a shop in the mall that sells art supplies." Jackson said starting the car. "Do you want to try there?"

I smiled and nodded, it had been so long since I'd been back I had no idea what mall he was talking about, but as long as it had an art shop I didn't mind. Just sketching wasn't cutting it anymore. I yearned to press a brush against a blank canvas and paint.

I looked at Jackson and slowly my smile fell, he had been so open with me the evening before, and yet I still couldn't speak the words that balanced on the tip of my tongue. I couldn't help but wonder if this was the kind of person I was destined to be for the rest of my life. Someone emotionally scarred, unable to let anyone in, ever.

"You alright?" Jackson smiled, he looked at me and tilted his head as he pulled up to a red light.

"Oh yeah... just thinking, uh about school." I lied, and I knew he knew it, but it was easier than explaining the truth. He didn't question me though and I sighed with relief at the silence that followed. Things had been fine between us until real emotion had arisen, and now it had all come to a grinding halt. I was closing him out... again.

We arrived at the mall sometime later. As we walked across the carpark together I tried to ignore the feeling washing around me. I hadn't hung out with a friend in a really long time, it was nice.

"Was Hana pretty?" I found myself murmuring, although I wasn't sure why I'd even thought to mention her. It was none of my business, still I looked over at Jackson and waited for a response, and I knew he would give it because he wasn't evasive like me.

"I guess so." He whispered. "But you know what they say... Even the prettiest person can become ugly once they show their true colors."

"She was an idiot to cheat on you." I replied. "Guys like you are pretty rare."

I looked at Jackson, aware my face had flushed. But I didn't mind, it was the truth.

"That means a lot coming from you." Jackson whispered.

"Why?" I whispered, confused as to why my opinion meant anything. He shrugged and looked back at me, our eyes connected for a fleeting moment before I looked away, once again breaking the contact before I let him in, before it was too late. I was so close to spilling everything it wasn't funny.

"Because I know some asshole messed with your head." He replied. "And because you're you."

I let out a muted laugh and nodded. "Assholes." I corrected. "There was two of them."

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