Chapter One

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I slide my new earbuds into my ears and bop my head to the music, ignoring the heavy rain that beats down on my small hooded form as I trudge home. My phone is safely secured in my sling bag as I splash and dance, coating my poor white sneakers in murky puddle water. Each beat of the drums and strum of the guitar sends a thrill through my body as the energy from the music pumps me up. I've always loved music.

As odd as it is, music has always made me feel good, because it's always the same. Every song has a pattern, the beat, the rhythm, it's always predictable. Unlike life. Everything has its own special place that when put together creates the final piece. I guess it calms me to know what's going to happen next.

I jump the small distance over a particularly deep puddle and hit something hard. I stumble back and my head shoots up with a nasty glare.

"Watch where you're going!" I snap, knowing full well that it was entirely my fault. A lot of the time, my mouth works before my brain does and I can't control myself. Some people call it lying or being rude, but I call it blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. It often lands me in really hot water. Both literally and figuratively.

One guy got mad that I shouted at him for making me drop my phone into water, even though I was the one who threw it at him, and decided that if I wanted my phone that bad I could go swimming for it. That water was definitely hot. But, what else do you expect from a hot tub?

My gaze slides up to meet the face of a burly guy with his arms crossed and eyes narrowed. He does not look friendly, whatsoever. My glare doesn't waver. I've fought people bigger and I always come out on top. Another thing that I like; because of my diminutive stature, lots of people underestimate me and thus they become predictable. I love when things are predictable. It makes my life so much easier.

He takes a step forward and doesn't seem surprised when I stand my ground. That makes me furrow my brows. Most people are at least a little surprised when I don't back down easy. Why isn't he? I look past him at the rain pounding down on the streets and frown. I need to get home and he's in my way.

I open my mouth, ready to tell him off and leave, when a cloth is stuffed into my mouth and another one is held up to my nose. I hold my breath, knowing better than to breathe in what is probably chloroform. This isn't my first rodeo, after all.

Using my elbow to harshly jab my assailant in the ribs, I hear a satisfying crack and the hand wrapped around my mouth drops, the person behind me howling in pain. I jump to the side as the man who blocked my path lunges for me and watch as his head kisses the cement kerb with a pained grunt. He's not unconscious, but it probably still hurts like hell.

I smirk, looking around to see if they have any other friends. The rest of the streets are empty and the only sounds are the pitter-patter of the rain as it hits the surface of different objects and the men nursing their wounds behind me. I start walking again, leaving the groaning men to tend to their bruised skin and egos. Waiting patiently for the lights to say I can walk across the road, I survey the area.

All the lights in nearby houses and stores are out, which is reasonable seeing as it's around 10pm. The light flashes green and I once again start dancing in the rain, putting on my earbuds that I pulled out earlier.

Suddenly, a van skids around the corner coming straight for me. My eyes widen as it speeds up at the sight of me, the headlights burning my sensitive eyes. I leap to the side just as the van races past me, feeling the shift in the air as the machine whirs forward. I smack my head hard against the concrete, black spots playing with my vision.

I faintly hear the van tires screeching and smell the burning rubber before darkness finally consumes me, my music still playing peacefully in my ears. So much for predictable...

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