“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.
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
*Cameron POV* I lean my head back against the locker as I wait for Faith outside the locker rooms. The hallways are empty and I breathe in deep, appreciating the rare alone moment. It’s these small moments I really enjoy the silence and sound of my own thoughts. The more time I spend alone and away from everyone, the more I’m learning about who I am versus who I want to be. Who I want to be is someone worth something more than my looks, grades, and family money. There is only one girl who seems to not care about such things, the invisible girl. She walks out of the locker room without noticing me and I quickly pick up speed and land myself next to her. Without even looking up, she scoffs at me and I can’t help but smile. She sends me a sidelong glance and rolls her eyes, and halts in her steps. “Ok then. Let’s get it over with.” she says, making a ‘move it along,’ motion with her hands. “Get what over with?” I ask, b
*Faith POV* “Wait, hold on. I’m sorry.” Mia puts her hand up, stopping the flow of conversation. “Cameron invited us all to a party tonight? And you really think we aren’t going?” “Because we aren’t,” I reaffirm, looking to Noah for help, who is shoveling food into his mouth like a starved animal. “I think it would be fun. I’ve never been to a high school party” Noah chimes in, finally looking up and catching my evil glare. He winces and is about to backtrack when he looks at Mia, who is staring at him happily. He smirks, and I know I’ve lost. “Do I have to go with you?” I plead. Berry walks up and takes a seat next to me, and I gawk at him. I was worried he would still be upset with me after our date. I’d run with him since then, sure, but they had usually been silent and I was afraid to say anything. “Berry!” He smiled at me warmly “Hey, Faith,” “Y-you’re going to eat with us today?” I asked hopef
The large gate opens slowly as we all stare, mouths agape, at the expansive property before us. The beautiful lawn is lit up with sparkling fairy lights in every shrub, tree, or bush. Quaint little lanterns illuminate the path that weaves from side to side in various curves leading up to the main attraction. The massive modern mansion seems to be made of glass framed by opulent trees and a flowering landscape that cascades down each end leading to a lit-up pond filled with overfed fish and lily pads. Once we pull up beside the pond, the doors are opened for us and Noah’s car is valeted by a young man a few years our senior in a black button-up with gold buttons. We all look at each other, trying to verify this is real life, and Berry chuckles at us as he walks up to the ornate cobblestone bridge that leads to the front door over the pond. He stops at the base of the bridge and turns to face us, bowing in an old English manner. “Mi Lord and Mi l
I don’t know what it is, it could be the alcohol, his kind gesture. Maybe it’s the pool or the scenery. All I know is that right now my heart is pattering like a drum at a rock concert and my gaze is drawn to his. We lock eyes as our noses touch as when I turn my head slightly, my breathing hitches at the small contact and I try to settle my heart down. Cameron brings his forehead to mine and looks directly into me. An overwhelming feeling of need vibrates through me as I look at his lips and search his eyes, looking for any type of trick. All I see are emotions mirroring mine and I take a drunken leap and gently press our lips together, closing my eyes. I swear I can feel sparks erupt as my cheeks heat and he softly pulls me closer with his arms. His lips are gentle and strong as he searches to deepen the kiss. I allow him to kiss me again and again as one of his hands comes up to my neck, cupping it softly and rubbing his thumb along my jawli
A gentle movement wakes me up as I open my eyes, blinking in the darkness, I look at my phone to check the time and see that only ten minutes have gone by. I yawn while sitting up and turn towards the window to see the lights still raging outside. “You always take naps in strangers' beds?” A voice asks and I jump. The voice registers as Izzy and I breathe hard. “Dude. seriously you need to stop just showing up in the freaking dark or one day I'm going to Ninja you.” “I'm sorry you’re going to what me?” “Ninja you. Obviously.” I say like it's the most normal thing. “Oh yeah obviously” I can hear the sarcasm in his tone and I can't help but grin. “What are you doing here