[9] Nathan

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You tell Mark to have a good day at school,

But he ignores you.

He’s still furious,

Even after three months.

Luckily,

No one has adopted him yet.

But you know it will happen soon.

On the way to school,

Jake surprises you.

He slams you into the ground,

By the handle of your backpack.

He had been continuing tormenting you,

Hurting you,

Breaking you.

But you never fought back,

And it was for Mark’s sake.

Fighting back,

Would mean the words,

Aggressive behaviour,

Would be marked on your application.

That would lessen the already low chances,

Of you being adopted with Mark.

So you bite your tongue,

And take the beating.

When it’s over,

You wipe the blood,

Cover the wounds,

And head to school.

As much as you missed Jocelyn,

And she missed you,

She won’t talk to you.

But you were never one for talking anyway,

And you don’t deserve her words.

But if you can’t hear her voice,

You have to see her.

That’s why you head towards her table at lunch,

And sit with her like every day.

When you came back to school,

She had been sitting with Katie,

The pretty,

Sweet girl.

Paige,

The broken,

Bruised,

Helpless girl.

Aiden,

The dark,

Depressed,

Miserable boy.

Somehow,

All of you were struggling.

Each,

Has their own problem.

But today,

Katie’s has your full attention.

She chases Aiden through the doors of the cafeteria,

Crying,

Yelling,

Pleading.

But he doesn’t turn around.

As he passes your table,

You grab his arm,

And tell him to calm down,

Take a seat.

But he shrugs you off,

And keeps walking.

Katie collapses on the ground,

And you rush to pick her up.

Paige is at your side,

And you know she has been in this situation before.

She pats Katie’s back,

And tells her comforting words.

You can be happy without him.

You don’t need love.

But you know,

She’s feeding Katie words that,

She can’t swallow herself.

Jocelyn meets your eyes,

And you smile sadly at her.

But her eyes look past you,

And soon,

Just like this morning,

You’re thrown backwards.

Jake stands above you,

And you scramble to your feet.

After what happened with Katie,

And now this,

The entire cafeteria is silent.

Leave him alone.

Jocelyn walks around the table,

To stand beside you.

She intertwines her,

Fingers,

With,

Yours.

Oh,

You mean your baby’s Daddy?

The whole room laughs,

But Jocelyn stands with her head held high.

Come on, Jake.

We both know I only ever slept with you.

Kids watch in silence.

I didn’t even know Nathan,

When I found out I was pregnant.

But if you’re going to try to deny it,

And lie to yourself,

When the baby is born,

I’ll get a DNA test to prove it.

Everyone is dumbfounded,

Except for you and Jocelyn.

You both always knew the truth.

But this was going to make school history.

The once popular couple,

Was now in a standoff.

I’m not doing a stupid DNA test.

Jocelyn laughs.

Why?

Are you scared?

Jake rolls his eyes,

And heads out of the room.

When the chatter returns,

Jocelyn turns to you.

Now are you going to tell me where you’ve been?

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