Chapter 3 - The Grove

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I know this story is completed but I'd love it if you guys could comment throughout, I still really like to hear peoples thoughts! Maybe even vote if you really liked it! I always reply to comments or I try my best to!

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My parents were so excited to hear about my first day, I was not thrilled to speak of it. I didn’t like school, I could tell already. I enjoyed my life of solitude in Antarctica, I enjoyed waking, and pulling on my snow boots, trekking through the heavy snow. I loved to sit and watch the sky, feel the fridge icy air on my skin. That’s what I wanted.

I didn’t feel comfortable here. I didn’t like that I was constantly surrounded by people all the time. In school I was steadily seeing new strangers, people who I wouldn’t speak to, people who were simply around me. It was like that everywhere, on such a high level. It was so overwhelming.

“Have a nice day.’ My mom shouted after me.

I was giving her the silent treatment, it was immature surely but it was the only weapon I had. I drove to school, heading toward my locker to drop off my books. I had a lot of homework to catch up on, but luckily I had studied a vast majority of the topics covered so I was confident in myself to get it done.

“What?” I mumbled. I saw him walking away from my locker. “Hey,’ I shouted. He didn’t respond. “You with the curly hair,” I was blanking on his name. “I am speaking to you!” I shouted. He stopped and slowly turned, looking confused.  “W-Why were you at my locker?” He didn’t respond, he started walking away again. “That was rude.” I shouted, it was pretty bold for me, to shout like this. But I was losing it by being in this place.

“Are you still talking to me?” He seemed completely and utterly disgusted by me.

My jaw dropped. I’ve never, ever encountered such a rude person before. “No, I’m not. You rude j-jerk,” I spun in my shoes, throwing my things in my locker. I marched down to the main office. “I need my combination changed, locker 161.”

I finished getting the combination changed, and settled to my first hour before the bell rang. Mr. Walker was impressed that I finished the work already.

‘You’ll have to tutor me.” Rachel laughed as the bell rang.

“Late again Mr. Styles,” I looked up to see that locker creep walking into class. He was in black pants and long sleeve gray shirt. “And your absence from yesterday is unexcused.”

He nodded, and sat in the front row. I rolled my eyes. “Don’t like him? “Rachel laughed.

“He was at my locker again.”

“That’s so strange. He is an odd ball; he’s always been that way. He doesn’t have a single friend at this school, not one.”

I frowned a bit, is that what people thought of me? Was it bad not to have friends? Why do humans have to need someone? I grew up just fine with only my parents. This place was making question all of myself so quickly.

I was at lunch, sitting with a paper bag. I didn’t like school food. That guy Taylor was staring at me. I mean, really, really staring me. It made me so uncomfortable.

‘Guys we should show Finley the Grove.”

“Oh yeah,’ they all smiled.

“G-Grove?”

“It’s this really cool mountain range. It’s just grass, green, flowers. It’s amazing.” Rachel smiled.

“It’s great.” Linda chimed in; she was part of the group too. “We should go after school, it’s supposed to rain tomorrow.”

They all agreed, apparently, I was riding with Taylor. I finished the school day, sliding on my backpack. I walked outside, seeing Taylor leaning against a glossy black truck. Apparently his father owned a lot of the small town. Rachel filled me in, they had an awful lot of power in this town, and he knew it too. He wasn’t a bad looking guy, he was tall and lean, but I never really liked guys before. I never liked anyone.

“Hey Finley, hop in.” I got into the truck. It seemed to be unnecessarily large and flashy, I actually had to jump up to get inside. He began driving after we settled in. “So… tell me more about yourself.”

“T-There isn’t much. I’m fairly boring.”

“Oh that can’t be true.’

“Ah but it is. H-How about yourself?”

“I work at the local hardware store, my dad owns it. I played football but I’m out because of a knee injury. I do track in the spring, so hopefully it’ll be better by then. I don’t do much but just hang out with my friends.”

“Athletic.”

"You’re not?"

“Nope, not in the least,”

“You look like you would be.” I didn’t know what that was supposed to mean, but the tone in his voice mad me incredibly uncomfortable. I just gripped the seat a bit, and prayed we’d just get this field trip done with.

It was actually a very beautiful place, I mean, sure, there was no snow, but it wasn’t so ugly. I liked green in doses, but I knew my heart would always be pure white, for the snow. I liked feeling the faint wind on my cheeks and enjoying the spread of warmth. I loved the views, and it was actually nice to see everyone interact with each other outside of school. They had a history, they were laughing and joking. I felt rather left out in truth, but I didn’t know what else to expect.

“Today was fun.” He stated as he drove.

“It was. Thank you for taking me with you guys and inviting me out.”

“No problem, do you want to go get some ice cream?”

“O-Oh,” was that a date? I wasn’t sure. “N-No, it’s getting late. I should head home.”

“Another time then,” I didn’t respond to that, I really didn’t know how. He pulled up in front of my house and turned to me as I unbuckled. “It was cool hanging with you Finley.”

“Y-You too.” I clambered out of the car ungracefully and scurried into my house. My parents jumped into their line of questioning. “It was great!” I shouted, not really meaning it. I jumped into my bed, hating, hating, that I wasn’t in a pile of snow.

“Finley?” My mom came in, knocking softly first. She sat in my bed, her hand on my leg. “What?”

“It’s so hard!” I grumbled into the pillow.

“Talk.”

“They have all known each other for years, and I feel like I have to spend time with them but I don’t really know them. I won’t ever know them on a level that they know each other.”

“Time, you’re jumping into this year so fast. I know for a fact you were up half the night doing all that homework. I heard you. You just ease into it, get your feet wet. You don’t just jump off into water before you know how deep it is.”

“I just want to feel settled.”

“That might not happen for a while honey.”

“Ugh,”

She laughed slightly and kissed the back of my head. “I love you, I’m proud of you for trying.”

She walked out and I rolled onto my back. I felt like I wasn’t speaking the right language here, or I had something odd written on my forehead. I wondered when that’d stop, I wondered when I would find a new identity. Even if I didn’t want one.

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