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I wasn't always like this.

There was a time in my life when everything seemed okay. When I could smile and feel happy. There was a time when I looked forward to the future, when I wasn't so depressed by the past, and when I enjoyed every moment of the present.

That time is gone.

It was taken away from me. Someone, something... took it all from me. All of my happiness was stolen that day four years ago. It was replaced with bitterness - coldness. My veins no longer bleed the color of love... rather, the color of death. My soul is inked in blackness, an empty pit longing to be filled by something that no longer exists.

"Hey," I groaned and felt the sweat clinging to the fabric of my tee shirt, the droplets heading down my forehead towards the bridge of my nose, "Are you okay Tanner? You don't look so good."

I opened my eyes and shrugged Thomas's hand from my shoulder. I had fallen asleep and like always, I was thinking about the past, present, and future. "I think you've already established that you don't like the way I look, get over it." I used the inside of my arm to wipe the sweat from my forehead.

Thomas rolled his big brown eyes, "You were shaking and sweating... it was creeping me out."

I ignored him because I knew exactly what happened to me every time I fell asleep. It had been happening since I was thirteen - I don't remember the last time I had gotten a full eight hours of sleep without waking up drowning in my own sweat and pity. There was nothing I could do about it, nothing he could do about, nothing my grandparents could do about it and definitely nothing Woodlands could do about it.

I was broken.

"It's not a big deal, probably just happened because of your stupid cologne." I smirked before checking my phone and realizing that we should be landing in Utah pretty soon.

"Your sarcasm needs improvement," I shrugged and he looked at me quizzically, "why are you visiting Utah anyway?"

Leaning on the armrest in between our seats, I figured it wouldn't hurt to tell him the truth about this bull shit school I was about to spend the next year in. It's not like I was ever going to see him again.

I sucked in a breath as he waited for the truth, "I'm going to some stupid ass boarding school called Woodlands... it's supposed to cleanse my soul and make me a saint. Cause you know, I'm a badass." I looked at him and suddenly wondered why he was staring at me in awe. After a good whole minute his lips curled into a smirk, he ran a hand through his black hair and laughed smugly.

What the hell just possessed this dude?

"Damn, I didn't think you and I were that much alike..."

"Ok, what the hell are you talking about?" I was officially confused, I sensed that he knew something I didn't.

He opened his mouth to speak but was cut off by the pilots voice, the plane had landed and we were all free to go our separate ways. That didn't diminish my curiosity though, I stood alongside Thomas as he grabbed his messenger bag from the overhead. We both walked down the isle of the plane and into the warm Utah air. I was standing beside him, he was noticeably taller than I was and we both began walking towards the inside of the Airport to retrieve our luggage.

"So uh, what did you mean about us being alike? I am nothing like you." I gestured between the two of us. My long brown hair was swirling madly around my face from a sudden gust of wind that temporarily calmed the heat.

Once we approached the entrance of the Airport, Thomas held the door open for me before entering himself and looking around for baggage claim. I replicated his actions and then followed him again as we went to claim our suitcases. I remembered the instructions that Woodlands had given to me via email. There would be a bus outside of the Airport to pick me and any other students up and transport us to the school.

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