Numero-freaking Seven

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The bell rings and I head out into the hallway, half expecting Jax to be waiting like a puppy outside the door. I'm partially relieved when he isn't and head to my next class, the last one of the day. I just had one more class to get through, and it was a test so no one would be speaking. I wouldn't hear the whispers.

I'm ugly because I'm fat?

I pick at my shirt, untucking the fabric from various pockets my flesh creates. Do the people teasing me realize that the average size for women in the US is like a size sixteen? These scrawny girls that kill themselves to be skinny have everything backwards, I think. No one likes a girl that looks like bat wings. Or, well, the way their skin looks with their bones.

Whatever.

I wish I didn't care, that I could shove this all away and forget the party ever happened, but my mind won't let me.

I pass by a decorated locker, flowers and notes taped to it with a picture of the girl who recently died on it. The flowers are wilting and some of the tape is losing its stickiness, various notes falling off. I realize I've stopped in the middle of the hallway, staring at her locker. I didn't know her. Amabel Doll was friends with everyone, did everything. I wonder if anyone teased her. Bullied her until she cried. She didn't seem like the type to be bullied, nor the kind to bully. She was one of the good people in the world, and that's all I know. I wonder if she starved herself for attention or for acceptance.

Of course not. She was perfect.

I sigh at my thoughts. Isn't it strange how death can make someone selfish, even if you didn't know the deceased? You wonder if you could have done something, been there for them, for someone you hardly know. I guess the outcome of someone's life can't be changed in some instances. Maybe hers wouldn't have changed at all. Maybe she wouldn't have liked me and meeting me would have turned her into a bully. The whole school loved her. It seems to be the opposite for me.

I walk up to the locker, the picture of her smiling back at me, bright and happy. The notes on the locker read We miss you, and You were loved, and whatever else. But how many of these people actually knew her? How many were close to this girl? Most of these are probably worthless, just papers with words. I don't think anyone really understands what death is because they're blinded by life, the lie we call it. They don't care. They're just glad it wasn't them.

I lift my hand to pluck off the dead flowers and loose papers off, despite my instincts telling me not to. If the janitors aren't going to do it, someone has to.

"What are you doing?"

I jump, my heart hammering in my chest. A tall girl with short, spiky blonde hair stands to my right, staring me down as she pops her gum. Her black leather jacket makes me cringe. She must be so hot in that.

"It's all falling off," I mutter, picking off the tape. "It's been up since before break. You would think the janitors would have cleaned it up by now."

The girl sets her jaw and pulls a flower from my hand, fixing the tape and placing it back on the locker.

"Don't touch this," she scowls, her large hoop earrings slapping against her strong jawline. "You didn't even know her."

"And you did?" I ask, rubbing a spot where a thorn got me.

"Actually, yes," she snaps back. "Just for a little while, but I'd like to believe I was closer to her than anyone else despite that. She had it rough at home and she died too early. Don't take away her memory just yet. Not until everything is okay again."

I clench my jaw, keeping it closed.

She turns to me, huffing as she places her hands on her hips.

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