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I woke up the next morning to the birds chirping and the sun shining in my eyes.

That was weird. It was silent.

I checked my phone and gasped when I saw the time.


School started at 7:10, and if I got one more tardy I would get Saturday detention.

I ran downstairs yelling but didn't hear a noise in the house. Nobody was home. I grabbed my phone and frantically dialed Jackson's number.

He picked up after two rings.

"Hello?" He said, sounding annoyed.

"Jackson you all left me here and I have no way to get to school, I'm going to be late," I snapped at him.

"You wanted to be treated as an adult. Adults find their own transportation," He said, finishing with that and hanging up the phone.

I groaned in anger and frustration. I quickly called my neighbor and asked for a ride. Luckily, she was just about to leave and gladly offered me a ride.

I arrived to school and saw Ben and Ryan leaning against one of the outside walls of the school, a huge crowd of jocks and popular girls surrounding them as usual. I glared at Ben and he nudged at Ryan, making them both laugh at me. I knew Ben being nice to me wouldn't last long. It was too good to be true.

On any other day, I would've ignored their teasing and walked away. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

But for some reason, it really just set me over the edge.

I approached the crowd of people rather quickly and aggressively pushed my way into the middle. I stood directly in front of Ben, not even close to matching his massive height.

"What do you want, kid?" He asked, teasing me.

"I want you to leave me alone and stop being so fucking mean, Ben," I demanded, causing him to raise an eyebrow.

"You're so tough, I'm so scared right now. Look at me. I'm literally trembling," He laughed with his friends.

I had enough. It was time for revenge.

All of a sudden, I stretched my arm out and tried to slap him in the face.

Centimeters before I hit his cheek, he grabbed my wrist mid air and squeezed it tightly.

"I wouldn't do that, babykins," He said in his intimidating voice. I yanked my hand away and pushed my way back out of the crowd to go to class.

Why could I never win a fight or be scary? I just wanted them to stop treating me like I was little and weak.

I moped through my classes for the rest of the day and it was finally almost time to go. I pulled out my phone and texted Jackson, because he was the one who usually picked us up after school.

I asked him twice if he was picking us up from school and he didn't answer. I finally texted Ryan and asked if Jackson was picking us up and he answered. His text read,

"Yes, but he said he is only picking up Ben and I because we're apparently supposed to be teaching you a lesson."

I genuinely rolled my eyes in annoyance. I decided I would just walk home. I'd have to find some way to get to gymnastics later.

After the bell rang, I met up with Nathan to say goodbye and we parted our ways. He had to stay after for practice, so we could never really hang out after school.

I began my walk home, which really wasn't all that bad. The weather was nice and it smelled of spring and sweet flowers. It gave me sometime to think about my life and trail off into deep thought.

Before I knew it, I was home and trudged through my front door. All of the boys, except Dylan, who was at work, were in the kitchen, either working on homework or eating a snack.

"Can someone take me to gymnastics please?" I asked, as nicely as possible. I didn't really have an option at this point.

"Hey, if you're an adult, you gotta learn how to do things on your own," Jackson suggested.

"You're literally paying for it, it would be stupid if I didn't go," I argued.

"Yeah, good point. If you don't go tonight, you're grounded," He stated, smirking and leaning back on the couch.

"You can't do this to me!" I raised my voice a little. I was so frustrated with them.

"You wanted to be an adult," Ben chimed in.

"Stop using my words against me," I snapped back.

"I was just trying to respect your wishes for independence," Jackson said.

"Okay well whatever, I take it back. I'll go back to being a stupid little baby who can't take care of herself," I growled.

"Atta girl. Go get ready for gymnastics and be in the car in ten minutes," He said, pretty much ending the conversation.

I sighed for what seemed like the tenth time that day and got ready for gymnastics. I put my leotard on, my Nike Pro shorts, an old T-shirt I got from a competition, and pulled my hair into a floppy bun.

I went out to the car, slamming the front door behind me. Jackson followed a few minutes after, getting into the car and starting the ignition.

We drove in silence for about five minutes when I finally decided to speak.

"Why are you all so mean to me?" I asked, genuinely wanting an answer.

He thought for a minute before answering.

"Do you really think we're mean to you?" He asked.

"Um, yeah. I do think that. You guys always pick on me and I don't know why," I said.

Maybe I sounded slightly defeated when I said that, because I wasn't respecting Jackson to respond.

"Well I'm sorry kid. I guess sometimes we can get carried away," He apologized.

"I just don't get it. Is it because I'm the youngest or just fun to pick on or what? What did I ever do to you guys?" I asked him.

"You didn't do anything, you're just the baby of the family. The youngest is usually always the one who's picked on. You're also really weak," He added, laughing.

I punched him in the arm. He didn't even flinch.

"Okay, okay. I'm sorry if we haven't been good brothers lately. I guess we can try to lay off the teasing just a little bit. But you also need to listen to me. If I tell you to stop cussing, stop cussing. It makes you sound trashy," He said.

"All of you always cuss, why is it different for me?" I asked.

"I can't really explain. Just don't," He demanded.

I decided to drop it and we finally pulled up to the gym parking lot.

"Bye loser," Jackson said, as always.

"Bye jackass," I said back, closing the door and starting to walk away.

I looked back to see him shaking his head and smiling. Dork.

I walked into the gym and started stretching and warming up. I was surrounded by people I loved and people who loved me.

But my mind was somewhat scattered. Tomorrow was exactly 4 years since my dad passed, and 5 years since my mom passed. March 19th was a terrible day for my family.

A terrible day.

Hey guys! Hope you enjoyed this update. My brothers are home for spring break so it should be a really fun week. Please comment ideas for this book because i'm starting to run out and I want to keep writing! Thanks!

xoxo, livvy

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