Journey of the broken

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Annaleigh

It’s been a year since that party, and I hadn’t seen Gaelyn again, but I couldn’t get the picture of him pulling himself out of the pool. I couldn’t get the image of his back muscles rippling. I would never forget the look on his face as he’d met my eyes across the pool. I had immediately felt his gaze on my face, and had felt my face grow warm, remembering the harsh words he’d spoken to Rachel.

“Anna, get your lazy, worthless butt out of bed!” I heard Mrs. Mead holler from down the hall. I scowled, but pushed my covers off, and threw my legs over the bed.

I had a vague feeling that something was about to happen today, something that would change my life. For good or bad I don’t know, something just felt off to me. Walking over to my closet, I opened the door and started searched for a dress. I pulled out a simple blue dress that was sleeveless and came down to my knees.

Quickly changing, I walked over to my dresser, and grabbed my brush. Dragging it through my hair, I debated on doing my makeup. Most days I didn’t wear any because I really didn’t see the point in it. I didn’t date, because I considered most of the guys in high school were too immature for my taste. Still for some reason I wanted to look different today, not so different as usual however.

Sighing, I decide to not mess with makeup and just pull my hair back into a pony tail. Slipping my feet into so flats, I ignore the yelling of Mrs. Mead and go about shoving my books into my backpack.

Finishing, I walk out of my room, past Mrs. Mead and Brook, the other foster girl in the home, and head outside to wait for the bus. I was already glad to be going to school and getting away from my foster home. The Mead’s shouldn’t even be foster parents; they didn’t care about any of the kids living under their roof. I was tired of being berated constantly, even though I done quite a bit to help around the house. Too bad Mrs. Mead didn’t seem to think it was good enough, whatever I didn’t care. I didn’t have that much longer until I could get out of here and find my own place to live.

After waiting twenty minutes the bus finally came around the corner. I hated living in the city, being that most of the good seats are already taken on the bus. It used to not be so bad, when Sophia rode the bus, my best friend always made everything better. Then of course, because my life couldn’t get any harder, Gaelyn started driving Sophia to school. I almost wished I could ride with them but at the same time, I didn’t think I could handle being that close to him, after everything I’d heard him saying about me.

Climbing on the bus, I found an open seat and sat down, holding my backpack in my lap. I turned and looked out the window, refusing to talk to the other teenagers on the bus. Eventually the bus pulled up to the high school, and I stumbled to my feet and trailed off the bus. I enjoyed school, and for the most part made all A’s and B’s. School always took my mind off of the things going on at home, and everything that had happened with Gaelyn.

Trailing into the school, I noticed that Gaelyn was just dropping Sophia off, so I waited for her at the entrance. Despite all the times I’ve been moved, I had still stayed close with her. I was glad I had her in my life; she was the best friend a person could ever ask for. She was tall, where I was short, she had short light hair where I had long dark hair, we were polar opposites but we got along well. She was also more popular than I was, but popularity never mattered to me, I just wanted to do my best in school and graduate and move on from this forsaken town.

I couldn’t wait until I turned 18 so that I could leave the Mead’s house, I wasn’t sure where I would go, but I would be so glad to leave.

“Hey, friend” Sophia greeted with a wide grin as she entered the building. I couldn’t help but grin back her, Sophia was always in a good mood, and she had the tendency to pass it off to everyone around her.

“Hey, giggles.” I greet back, glad to see her and to be rid of the gloominess that seems to hang onto me every time I’m in the Mead household.

“Stressed?” Sophia asks as we head towards our lockers which were luckily right next to each other.

“I can’t wait till I can leave that place behind me, I’m tired of being in foster care, with the state telling me what I can and can’t do.”

“It’s almost over” Sophia said “and then you’ll be free to make your own decisions on how you live your life.” I nod and grab my books out of my locker, I nod a see you later at Sophia and then head down the hall to my first class of the day, not knowing things were about to change for the worst.

Forty minutes later, I heard what sounded like gunshots going off. Another second later a student rushed through the door, with blood gushing from shoulder wound, screaming about a shooter in the building. Terror filled me and chaos interrupted in the classroom, as everyone got up and rushed towards the exit. I froze unsure of what to do. There were so many kids rushing through the doors, that it was starting to get blocked. One thing was apparent, not everyone was getting out of here alive. I backed myself into a corner and dropped to my knees, hoping that if a shooter entered the classroom, I wouldn’t be seen. Tears filled my eyes as I thought about where my friends were. I didn’t have any classes with Sophia until the end of the day, so knowing that she could be danger, scared me more than anything.

I pulled my knees up to my chest and covered my ears, trying to drown out the sound of the terrified screams.

“Please end soon, please” I mutter over and over again under my breath. I couldn’t get the visions of the kid, bloody and screaming for help out of my mind. I wondered how day that could start out so well could end in a nightmarish quality. Terror filled me as I could still hear screams echoing in the halls, as the gun shots continued loudly, slowly getting closer and closer. My shaking got worse as the door that had once been filled with students creaked open. I held my breath and kept my eyes closed as I heard footsteps approaching my hiding place.

I thought I was safe when I heard a cold voice say: “I found another one.”

“I think she needs to see the destruction she missed by hiding.” Another voice sneered, I knew those voices they were both in my classes, and I had thought they’d been friends. They were both like me; they didn’t socialize with a lot of people, in fact more often than not, they were made fun of for their lack of socialization. I had talked to Tommy and Rodney Harris on more than one occasion. I had thought we were sort of friends but apparently I was wrong, they’d only been biding their time until they could pull this stunt off. I had never thought those two would ever do something like this, but it just goes to show just how well I truly didn’t know them.

A rough hand reached down and yanked me to my feet by my pony tail. I winced as was forced to my feet, and forced out into the hallway. I felt like vomiting when I saw the bodies of students and teachers alike littering the hallways. Tears filled my eyes as I looked at the destruction, how two kids could have so much evil inside them to pull off something like this, I would never know.

“Why, are you doing this?” I gasped as I was shoved down to my knees in a puddle of blood.

“We’re sick of bullies; we’re tired of listening to them constantly putting us down. It’s your turn to listen, we don’t have to take the crap that’s handed out to us, we’re not taking it anymore.”

“I’ve never made fun of you” I say wincing as Tommy pulled on my hair again. “I’ve always gone out of my way to be friendly.”

“Because you’ve had a messed up life like us, which is why we’ve decided to not let you suffer, it’s time to escape the pain you’ve lived with for years.” I swallow hard, terror overriding my senses; I knew I had to try to make an escape if I wanted to live. I may have been tired of getting treated badly by the state and by the people that were supposed to be responsible for me, but that didn’t mean that I wanted to die.

Hearing a noise down the hall, I took my chance and shoved Tommy away from me, and forced myself to my feet and took off running. I knew I couldn’t outrun a gun but I could hope to get somewhere safe before they thought to take a shot.

Sure enough a few seconds later I felt a sharp pain rip through my back, and the force of the bullet hitting my knocks me to my feet. I try to get back to my feet but numbness beginning to spread through me, and I only collapse back to the tiles. I want to scream as I hear Tommy and Rodney fast approaching, I close my eyes so that I won’t have to see the body of another student, I could feel the students blood soaking into my clothes and I struggle not to vomit, this was not how I imagined this day would go. The only way I would come out of this alive would be if they believed their shot had killed me, I wasn’t sure exactly where’d they had hit me but I knew the fact that I couldn’t feel my legs at this moment wasn’t a good thing.

“We should put another bullet in her, make sure she’s dead” Tommy suggested as they stare down at the motionless body in front of them.

“By now the police know what we are up to and are probably already in the building” Rodney said and in fact, they could already hear footsteps heading their way. They knew hundreds of students had escaped already and wouldn’t reenter the building while they were still in here. They looked at the carnage surrounding them, the blood staining the tiles would take a long time to clean up, the bodies littering the halls, several bodies were the ones who had bullied them, and some

were just simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, much like Annaleigh Robertson, she’d lived in much the same hell as they had, but she’d been determined to make the best out of her life.

“Let’s get out of here; she won’t make it by the time they find her.” Tommy said turning and heading for the back exit and disappearing.

I lay there barely breathing, hoping that they will believe that I’m dead. Once I heard their footsteps running in the opposite direction, I manage to drag myself through the hallway, dragging myself through the hallway stained with blood. I could see police officers in the hallways searching for survivors, and I wanted to cry out in relief, but I was getting tired from loss of blood, I didn’t think I could drag myself to where they were.

Collapsing onto the floor, I moaned as my feet hit the cold concrete. Taking a deep breath, I try to call out for help and I hear someone shout.

“I’ve found another one over here.” I close my eyes and pass out as the pain becomes too much for me to handle.

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