I always love stories. All kinds of stories. The ones you'd tell around the campfire, the ones that would be famous stories one day. Even the ones that don't always have happy endings. That's why I'm telling you mine now.

Thinking about it now, maybe I should have started this story with "once upon a time", but I feel that even a phase so simple has lost all of its meaning. But, I guess you could say it was once upon a time. A time when everything was beginning to change. Including, myself. But, not exactly in the way you would think...

The crisp fall air fills my lungs, as I step on to the pavement that surrounded the tall, looming building. I can't help but smile. Washington Heights High School, the one place that was mine. I'm a big deal here, I matter.

"Hemmo!" A voice from behind me calls.

I smile looking behind myself, as my best friend Ashton, emerges from the parking lot. "Hey!"

He runs up to me, running a hand loosely through his caramel colored curls. "Senior year," He says letting out a satisfied sigh. "Finally."

It was all we'd been waiting for since Freshman year. After making our way to the top of the food chain, there was no way in hell I was going back down. "Our kingdom awaits," I smirk as we enter.

The smell of Pinesol and whatever it was they passed off as pizza in the cafeteria filled our nostrils. We turn to each other, laughing happily. Something about being somewhere so firmiliar, felt comforting. We made our way down from the steps that surrounded the foyer, towards the cafeteria, where we always sat before school.

Everyone cheered as we walked into the cafeteria.

I raise an eyebrow turning to Ashton. "Why are they cheering?"

"Kick off game on friday, remember?" He reminds me as we walk to our table.

With everything that had happened this summer, I had almost forgotten the traditional football game we played the first friday of every year.

I set my backpack down on the chair of the cafeteria table, sitting on the top of the table next to Ashton. I feel a pair of hands push me from behind off of the table, and a firmiliar laugh.

"Tyler, you doche!" I say laughing.

A pair of blue eyes smirk down at me, helping me up. "Shut up your whore mouth, Hemmo."

I laugh slugging him in the arm of his red Washington Heights varsity jacket, similiar to mine. "Where have you been all summer?" I ask smiling. "You missed the wickedest summer ever."

"Manditory vacation to Utah with the Step-Monster," Tyler explains referring to his step mother. "Why? What did I miss?"

What didn't you miss, I think to myself. As I opened my mouth to speak, a dark figure passed our table, sending me glares like daggers. I avoid try to avoid his gaze, but I still see him shake his head at me disapprovingly. I turn away looking down at my feet.

"What's Clifford's problem?" Tyler asked raising an eyebrow.

"Ask the several therapists," Ashton says smirking.

They both burst out laughing, as I remain silent. I can't even talk to Michael anymore. Much less about him. I push my spiky, blonde hair out of my face, faking a small laugh.

"The only thing I know is that he has some serious problems," Ashton says tapping his fingers gently against the cheap cafeteria table. "Him and his fag pack."

"Speaking of that, did you hear?" Tyler says turning to both of us.

"What?" We ask in unison.

He gives us a look of surprise, as his eyes become clouded. "You really didn't hear? I guess word doesn't travel as fast as I thought it did."

"Ashton doesn't pay attention to stories that aren't about him," I tease laughing.

"Just tell us the bloody story, Jackson," Ashton says rolling his eyes.

"My cousin, who goes to South, says that there was this crazy fight last year," He explains biting into an apple that sat on his breakfast tray. He chewed, opening his mouth again to speak. "This kid was even in the hospital for a week. It was the last week of school, but the kid who started it still got expelled."

"Oh my god, that's horrible," I say thinking of that poor kid that sat in the hospital. How bad could one kid have hurt him?

"Yeah, but get this," Tyler says holding our attention. "Remember Mali Koa, that hot chick that was a senior when we were Freshman?"

We both nod. Who could forgot Mali Koa? Basically, every guy in the school drooled over her.

"It's her brother," He says.

"I didn't even know she had a brother," Ashton says in surprise.

Tyler nods in agreement. "But that's not even the best part," He says taking a small bite of the apple. He chews, and laughs softly. "He--"

Suddenly, a silence fell over the entire cafeteria. All the laughter, and whispers cease. I turn towards the door, as I hear hollow footsteps walk into the cafeteria. A tall, dark haired boy studies the room, as the entire school has their eyes locked on him. New kid, no doubt.

"What?" The mystery boy calls out, scowling. "Take a picture, it'll last longer."

I turn back to Tyler, as the cafeteria still remains in silence. A pin could drop, and it would echo. Ashton raises an eyebrow as his green eyes look to Tyler.

"Is that--" Ashton begins.

Tyler simply nods pursing his lips softly, into a straight line.

I fumbled with the sleeves of my jacket, slipping my hands back into the pockets. I turn back, as my crystal blue eyes study him as he sits down at a table, from which everyone dispurses. A sort of unexplainible darkness, and mystery seemed to surround him, like a cloak in the night.

I chew my bottom lip, without taking my eyes off of him. His dark eyes look up to meet mine, as neither of us seem to look away from the other. He winks softly at me, as I let out a soft breath.

"What's his name?" I ask curiously.

"Calum," Tyler says softly following my gaze. "Calum Hood."

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