00 | PROLOGUE

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PROLOGUEPUNCH FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER★⋆★⋆★⋆★⋆★

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PROLOGUE
PUNCH FIRST, ASK QUESTIONS LATER
★⋆★⋆★⋆★⋆★

      Nothing was more annoying than the stares.

      If there was one thing Hadley wanted to erase out of this whole experience, it was the pitying looks she was receiving. They came from everyone nowadays: the mailman, the cashier at the grocery store, her neighbor. She knew they didn't actually care; they just wanted to show that they could be sympathetic and nice. They wanted to show compassion so they felt better about themselves, not so Hadley and her family could feel better.

      She was pretty sure she would punch the next person that gave her that stupid apologetic look.

      Walking through the halls of the local high school on the reservation was a weird feeling. For nearly eighteen years of her life, Hadley had never been alone walking into school. There was one constant always by her side, always walking to class with her, always discussing their English project or their math homework. There was always someone to make sure she didn't run into a locker when her nose was buried in a book, trying to study for the test next period. Always someone to lead her away when people made fun of them because they were half paleface and their mother didn't really belong in La Push. Always someone to tell her, "it's okay Hadley, they're just being stupid."

      Now there was nothing. Hadley wasn't sure how to feel.

      The late bell had already chimed long before Hadley had actually made it to her government class, which meant that people were going to look up when she walked in. She allowed herself approximately thirty seconds to prepare herself for those stupid looks. Don't be stupid. They're just your classmates. Without giving herself time to turn and run, she pushed the door handle and entered the classroom, interrupting Mr. Reynolds halfway through his sentence.

      "Do you have a pass?" His voice drawled out before he actually turned and noticed who it was that had walked through the door. It was almost comical how quickly the man's face changed. If Hadley had been in a better mood, she might have laughed. "Miss Cruise," he said softly, capping his pen and handing her the paperwork she had missed in the beginning of the period when she marched to his desk. "I heard about what happened. I'm so sorry. Feel free to talk to me if you need to."

      Hardly necessary, she thought to herself.

      Hadley wanted to take the papers he was offering and rip them down the middle. Instead, she nodded stoically as she walked through the small isle made by chipping desks, grateful that Jared Cameron had been missing for the better part of three weeks so she could have their shared desk to herself. She didn't want to talk to anyone today. All she wanted to do was sink down in her seat and forget the rest of the world existed.

      Only, Jared Cameron was back. Sitting in the spot next to her as if he hadn't been gone for three weeks. And ruining her plans in one fell swoop.

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