03: Coppercouth High

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"The only thing I learned in high school is that people are very violent and territorial

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"The only thing I learned in high school is that people are very violent and territorial."

-Gerard Way

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"FUCKING HE— who are you?"

This isn't how August expected her first day at a new school to go. Actually, she isn't really sure what she expected it to be like, but it sure as hell isn't this.

It happens in snapshots. She's on her bike, riding with the wind in her hair, moving, pedaling, breathing hard. Until she isn't anymore. She's crashing, colliding with someone or something, metal against metal, and then falling onto the ground. 

The air gets knocked out of her as soon as her head hits the concrete, and she uses the moment to stare up at the sky. Gray clouds roll overhead.

In all honesty, she's glad for that fact. She's glad she can't see the sun because then, it won't remind her of the fire from yesterday — or a boy being run over, or the same nightmare she's been having ever since coming to this goddamn town. She's glad because, for a while, she can forget. Live a giant delusion. Lie. She's real good at that, too — lying to people. Even better at lying to herself.

The sidewalk is dirty, and August tries not to think about the blood stinging her arms as she looks up to meet the angry eyes of a brown-skinned boy. White light bleeds through the clouds, forming a circle of light around his head, almost like a halo.

August can't do much but sit and stare. The guy's hot as hell.

        "Hello?" He leans over and waves a hand in front of her face. "Hello. I asked you a question."

        August blinks. "What?"

        "I said— " he rolls his eyes— "Who the hell are you?"

        She almost spits back some curse words but decides against it at the last second. Not because she doesn't want to make a bad first impression, but because it's a Monday morning and she's too fucking tired for that. 

        "August," she says instead. "I'm new here—"

"Yeah, clearly," he scoffs, standing up to dust off the back of his jeans. "Are you just going to lie there? Because I'm pretty sure you'd hate to get detention on your first day."

        "You go to Coppercouth High?"

        He rolls his eyes. "There's only one high school in this whole goddamn town. You live here, you either go to Coppercouth or you're skipping."

        August feels her stomach drop. Those boys, the ones in the forest. That means they go there too, doesn't it? A gelid wind blows over her skin. She pushes the thought away almost as quickly as it comes. "I don't think they'd be that harsh on a newbie."

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