Chapter Three (G/E)

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.Gabriel's POV.

Oh, you don't have to worry about that, Little Boy Freak.

Those words echoed throughout my head over and over again until my ears were ringing. On instinct, I looked up in alarm, wishing desperately that I hadn't when I spotted a camera phone being waved in front of my face. A laughing, blonde cheerleader was there, holding out the digital device. "Aww, poor baby Little Boy Freak, scared of something as normal as physical contact!" she cried dramatically. I felt my eyes water even more at the taunting coming from one of the school's most vicious students. I hadn't been able to go a single day of high school without her throwing some sort of insult at me. Right then, though, I refused to have her think of me as even more of a joke than she already did, so I ducked my head back behind my knees and willed myself to go into cardiac arrest or something equally drastic so that I could die.

"Quit being such a bitch and knock it off, Jurnee!" Evan demanded heatedly from beside me. I could hear him pushing himself up off the floor, but I didn't dare to risk a glance at him.

"Too late, the video's already been posted to Facebook. Now everyone will finally know how Little Boy Freak got his name."

"Would you stop calling him that? His name is Gabriel! Also, nobody even uses goddamn Facebook anymore!" Evan seethed.

"Well, if you insist . . . I guess I can post it to Twitter instead. Want me to tag you in it?"

I could practically hear Evan mentally forcing himself to resist the urge to strangle her. "You're being a bitch, seriously, you had no right to invade his privacy like that! That's just pure, cold-hearted, fuc--I mean freaking--evil!"

"I know, right?" she giggled, as if Evan was just another one of her adoring fans relaying a message she had grown used to hearing on a daily basis. "See you at the party tonight!" the cheerleader, Jurnee Peterson, trilled, then turned around. I could hear her sashaying down the hallway, content with her handy work. I peaked out from the tops of my knees, watching in disbelief as she exited the school in a fashion that suggested she was some magnificent queen while I was some random peasant that got beaten for her pleasure.

"Shit," Evan breathed, slumping back down next to me. I flinched at the curse word and curled in even tighter against myself, feeling suddenly extremely, violently ill. "Gabriel, are you alright? Don't worry about her. Nobody she tells will be able to get to you, not while I'm here."

God, I was so tired of being lied to. I wished he would just leave me alone--none of this would've happened if he had just minded his own freaking business and carried his stupid moving boxes to where they belonged.

At that moment, I wanted to die. I mean, I was used to wanting to die--I'd felt that way for nearly four years of my life. It was a feeling I knew all too well. But right then, as I was hunched over pathetically against my locker after being made to look like an even bigger freak than I knew I already was, the urge to just do it, to finally end it all, had never struck me so sharply. I was so tired of being the victim; I had played the role for so long that it really felt like it was starting to eat away at whatever remnants of sanity I had left. I just wanted to stop thinking--I just wanted to turn off all my chaotic thoughts until there wasn't a single comprehensive thing left for me to worry about. I wanted to stop my constant, neverending anxiety and panic attacks. I wanted to give my eyes a break from crying so often that they looked permanently bloodshot. I wanted to stop having to take my daily pills that were meant to make me feel better but only succeeded in making me feel worse.

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