She runs from the cafeteria as if I have some incurable disease. My face still tingling where she had been so close to touching my cheek, only a thin napkin between us. I close my eyes, trying to calm my beating heart. For years I had watched her build walls around herself, erecting one after the other by ignoring the mean comments from guys angry about her lack of attention to them.
Each year she sank further and further from the spotlight and every year I yearned more and more for what she had, invisibility. But this year, when she slammed into me, it was like an emotional barrier falling away as I got lost in her snarky comments and deep green eyes.
My life is grand if you like snotty people who like your family’s name and wealth more than you as a person. I’m surrounded by a world of shallow people who use fame and money like it’s the cure-all. And often it is. But money can’t fix a broken relationship. It can’t develop that bond between parents and their kids. I learned rather quickly what was more important to my family. Our image. I’m gifted all the newest, most expensive things, five thousand dollar watches? I have 6. Brand new sports cars limited editions? I have two.
I never have to ask for anything because it shows up before I can even think of the need. But what I need now more than anything is the one girl’s attention who literally runs from me. And this is the only one I want to chase. It’s not your typical I want her because she doesn’t want me, it’s that I’m intrigued because not only does she not want me, but I have nothing to offer her that could entice her to want me. The man with everything and nothing to give. It’s infuriating.
I take a deep breath and turn back to her friend, who I’m supposed to show around the school. I offer her a kind smile.
“Cameron,” I say, offering my hand. She looks at me strangely and accepts it.
“Mia.” She looks me up and down. “Are you really supposed to show me around? That seems a little...”
“Below me?” I ask finishing her sentence.
“Yeah, kinda.” She affirms.
“It keeps me humble,” I say, winking at her and she scowls.
“Right, well I’m sure you need lots of humbling.”
“A little humility is good for everyone,” I say, stuffing a fry in my mouth. I see a shadow coming from behind me and I sigh heavily, closing my eyes and finding the fake smile to plaster on my face. Angela. She’s beautiful and completely dense. Both are the pinnacle of her blase personality.
“Cammy Baby.” She says, placing her hand on my shoulder rubbing it along my back. “What are you doing with…” She motions towards Mia with the snap of her wrists as she judges her with her eyes. Based on the venom in her tone, I can tell she has rated Mia high among the pretty girls and finds her to be a threat.
“Mia. She is new and I’m her tour guide. No need to get catty.” I snark at her. Angela gapes at my snark. Huh. Must be learning something from Faith.
“I’m sorry, Mr. Attitude,” she says, getting close to my face. “I don’t think I deserved that remark.” she pats my cheek rather hard as she takes a seat in my lap and I sigh, annoyed.
“Right well. Cameron, it was nice to meet you and super sweet of you to offer your tour guide services. But I’ll just text Faith if I get lost.” Mia stands up and collects her bag and tray. And with that, she is gone. Angela zeros in on me, her eyes narrowing.
“You ever call me catty again, I will tell Daddy and he will have some choice words with your father.” I roll my eyes at her. I push her off my lap and stand up, walking out of the cafeteria wanting nothing more than to disappear as everyone waves or says hello trying to get my attention.
*Faith POV* My phone sits on the kitchen table vibrating relentlessly as we eat dinner and I happily ignore the phone calls that are going to voicemail. Mom, who is sitting across from me, is staring as I twirl my spaghetti and spear a meatball, shoveling it in my mouth and moving quickly onto my garlic bread. I can see her nudge Mia in my peripheral vision, who looks up at me and sighs. Placing her fork down and crossing her arms across her chest. I look up at them as I swallow what’s in my mouth. It’s times like these when they are both cross with me that they seem to look similar. Though Mia is more of an exotic beauty, gifted to her by her deceased father, she and my mother have the same slim face shape and stick straight dark hair. And when they both are sitting in this position, even their sour looks seem to be identical. I groan in annoyance and place my fork down and dab my face pretentiously with my napkin. “Ok. What?” I
By the time my alarm goes off at 4:45 am, I’m already fully dressed and sitting in my running gear on the end of my bed. I haven’t been able to sleep since seeing Dad for the first time. My heart and my mind are in a constant battle over forgiveness or revenge. Lately, my hormonal mind has been winning the battle as I snub him every chance I get, intentionally learning his schedule at school and how to avoid him. Running club should help. I hope so. Today is the first day and we are starting with a 5K and then hitting the weight room. I could join the track team, but the running club does all the same things without recognition. No one staring at me. No one cheering my name and drawing the spotlight on me. Just me, working my aggression out and clearing my mind. When I arrive at the track, the lights are just coming on, lighting the way, and I can feel a small smile forming. I’m far more excited than I thought I would be. Maybe I enjoy ru
I bust through the weight room doors laughing as Berry comes in just behind me. I toss my hands up in victory. “Victory is mine!” I spin to look at berry who inches closer with a suggestive smile on his face. “Ooh, Woah there buddy. Victory means a date. Not a kiss.” he chuckles loudly, tossing his head back and I’m kind of enjoy the sound. I look up at him with a grin on my face. “So that means you’ll finally go out with me?” he asks happily. “Ugh. I guess.” I roll my eyes with intense exaggeration as he wraps his muscular arms around my waist and hugs me tightly, spinning me around in a circle. “Yes!” He hoots “Freaking finally!” The door opens behind us as Mariah and Ari walk in and stop dead in their tracks, watching me come down from the spin and release myself from Berry’s arms. I clear my throat and look at Berry, who is grinning from ear to ear, and I elbow him in the gut. “So... what’s going on?” A
I was standing outside Mia’s first class waiting for her to come out to regale to her with my dubious morning. The bell had rung over 3 minutes ago and she still hadn’t come out of the room. I stepped up to the door and peeked through the little window and I could see her talking to someone of similar height. I could see her shoulders moving in a giggle and I couldn’t help but think she was getting someone’s number. My impatience gets the better of me and I rap on the window. She spins around and, seeing me, she smiles brightly, waving for me to come in. Hesitantly, I step back and open the door, peeking my head around. “Hey Mia,” I call to her “Dude, I was going to walk you to your next class and tell you all about my morning!” “Yeah, just a second, ok?” She finally turns enough out of the way for me to see that seated in front of her is a cute guy with crutches to the side. He looks familiar and I try to place him when he catche
“Are you ready for our date tonight?” Berry asks, pulling me in for a quick hug. I feel a moment of hesitation. It feels wrong to go out with him now. The only person I can think about is the mysterious hoodie guy who I haven’t seen or well heard from in over a week. I’ve finally decided I need to find out who he is, but it’s very hard to do that when there’s zero contact. “Yeah, I guess so. When are you picking me up?” I look around, making sure no one is watching us. And Berry laughs at me. “Everyone knows we are friends. A hug between friends is nothing new.” “I know, I know. I’m just being-” “Paranoid, you’re being paranoid.” He bops the tip of my nose and I crinkle it in distaste. A shadow grows behind me and for a second my heart flutters in excitement, thinking it’s my mystery guy. Much to my dismay, it’s the ever annoying Cameron who has taken to randomly popping up and talking to me. I groan inwardly. “Par
Since dad’s been back, I have actively tried to avoid him. Just the sight of him often triggers my anxiety, though it’s not been as bad as the first few times. Yet for the past few days, my nightmares have rocked my nightly sleep schedule. I wake up covered in sweat, reliving the hatred in his eyes as he kicks me, punches me in the stomach. My right shoulder aches from all the abuse it took, phantom pains to remind me I’m awake, that it was all real. That these memories are still too fresh. I walk into AP English with my hood up, hoping it shields my red puffy eyes. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in the last week so my mood is about as good as my appearance. Which was enough for Mia to comment on and drop when I scowled at her. Mrs. Smith wasn’t in the classroom yet, so I decided to try my hand at a small nap. If I don’t hit a REM cycle, I won’t dream. Or is it the other way around? Ugh! This brain is not cooperating. Just lay your head down for a
*Cameron POV* Faith sits staring at the wall, her legs pulled tight to her chest as the nurse looks at her head. She looks so different now, so small and broken. Gone is the strong snarky girl, replaced with the real, raw version. Seeing her like this is hard, especially since I’ve only ever seen her on the defense. When I saw her lay her head down, I couldn’t help but smile. The way she hides, trying to avoid detection. Watching her jolt and shake and whimper and ultimately fall back and hit her head had been nothing compared to her after dream state where she sobbed for death at the hands of some illusion only she was witnessing. I couldn’t bare her pain. I had to walk away and yet, when I got to the door, I found I couldn’t leave. The new teacher had sent another student running for Mia. I felt useless not being able to leave but having no real reason to stay. I wanted to help her. The need to just do something was so strong. S
*Faith POV* My phone illuminates the darkroom as I stare at the name displaying on the screen “Izzy”. My mind races with thoughts and reasons he is calling me at 1 on an early Wednesday morning. I roll my eyes. He probably somehow magically knows about yesterday’s events at school. I wouldn’t be surprised. He seems to be everywhere and nowhere at the same time. I’ve cried on and off since yesterday and stayed home from school today so I could get some much needed rest. Everyone seems to gloss over the fact that I’m afraid of what I see when I get said rest. Mom and Mia are being pushy about talking to the therapist on a need basis and not my usual twice a week. Mom even suggested I try therapy with Dad. After seeing my face Mia shot it down, she and mom got into an argument. About what’s best for me. It should bother me that my best friend is vying for my mental health more than my mother, but I honestly feel numb to everyth