"If I were you I'd stay away from him."

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"Shit, shit, shit," he cried. His usual calm and cool aura had vanished. His voice was shaking and he nervously paced back and forth. "This can't be fucking happening. Not again."

Everything had been a blur to me. I couldn't remember a single thing that had happened in the last ten minutes. I hadn't the slightest idea about how I ended up lying here on the hard ground.

My palms were sweating and my head was throbbing. I couldn't stop shivering, even though it was a fairly warm day out. My tear-stained cheeks were smudged with dirt, and it felt like I had a knife in my chest. I struggled to fill my lungs with air. I wanted to close my eyes and let all the pain fade away. He begged me to keep them open.

"Stay with me. It's going to be okay," he knelt down beside me and wiped some dried blood off of my forehead. Although my vision was blurred, I could see tears streaming down his face. His nose was running, and I noticed that his knuckles were bleeding. Even through the loud ringing in my ears, I could hear his voice clearly. "Please don't leave," he said between sobs, "Please don't close your eyes." I was too weak to answer.

I wanted to believe him when he said that everything would be okay. But he had lied to me before. If it weren't for his lies, then none of this would have happened. As I lay there struggling for air, I began to regret every second I had spent with him in the past few months. None of this would have happened if I had just listened to Laur, I thought. What was I thinking? Why didn't I listen?

|| FOUR MONTHS EARLIER ||

Butterflies danced around my stomach as I parked my car in front of the big brick building. I peeked at my reflection in the rear view mirror one last time before I stepped out of the car. I smoothed my silky white tank top, took a few deep breaths, grabbed my backpack, and headed towards the front doors. This was it. This was my first day at Pine Ridge Secondary School.

I knew I would be fine. I was bubbly and outgoing, so I figured I wouldn't have a problem making friends. But still, it wouldn't be easy. I was moving halfway through high school. These kids had been going to school together for years, and I was just joining in.

A sea of students flowed from the parking lot into the school. I was surrounded by unfamiliar faces. No one looked at me, let alone introduced themselves. I tried to keep my cool as I reached for my class schedule from the front of my backpack. But as I was pulling it out, it slipped from my fingers and onto the sidewalk.

"Shoot," I mumbled. I bent down to pick it up. As I was reaching for the schedule, I heard whistling behind me.

"Damn," a voice from behind me called. "Take your time down there, babe."

I grabbed the piece of paper and quickly spun around. I turned to face a boy, about my age, checking me out. Woah, he's really attractive. I could practically feel my jaw dropping to the floor. He was easily over six feet tall, with long chocolate colored hair and sparkling white teeth. He was dressed in all black. A black t-shirt under a dark jacket, black jeans, and black Vans.

"If I dropped my keys, would you bend down and pick those up for me too?" he smirked.

I felt my face get hot. There was no way I was going to listen to this. "Get lost," I rolled my eyes and began walking away from him. I'm sure there'd be other cute boys at this new school.

When I finally got inside the school, there were people everywhere. My hands shook as I read my schedule, trying to figure out where my first class was.

"Need help?" A pretty brunette approached me. "You look confused."

I smiled at her, "Yeah actually, I do. Do you know where Ms. Parker's room is?"

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