I WAS TRIPPED.
I fell face-first onto the ground, the notes in my hand flying out of my grip. They scattered across the floor, their once perfectly crisp edges immediately being bent as students walked all over them.
The cruel laughter of everyone filled the small hallway, echoing in my head. I could feel my cheeks heating up in embarrassment and scrambled to my feet. A dark shadow loomed over me and I lifted my gaze to see Derek Hannigan smirking down at me.
His appearance completely contradicted his ugly personality. His tousled, dark hair was shone in the light, flopping over his eyes. He had deep, ocean blue eyes with flecks of green in them. He had a strongly defined face, one that gave aided in his intimidating aura. His thick eyebrows sloped downwards, and his mouth was drawn into a hard line across his face.
“Hey Devin,” He sneered.
I glanced at his small group of friends that stayed behind him. They all had similar expressions of amusement as they sniggered and pointed to my helpless figure, still sprawled on the ground. My fists unconsciously clenched in anger but I didn’t dare open my mouth.
“Have you got my homework done?” He raised an eyebrow, daring me to day no.
My gaze shifted over to my crumpled notes. I knew I didn’t have his work done; the only other option I had was to give him mine. I had spent nearly half the night working on it, that I completely forgot about Derek’s.
Derek let out an impatient sigh and bent down to my level. I glared up at him, but he only seemed amused by my pathetic attempt to appear tough.
“If I have to ask again, you’re not going to like the consequences,” He threatened, his voice low. “Where is my homework?”
I tried to conceal how fearful I really was of him; adrenaline flooded my system, pumping viciously through my veins. My heart pounded against my rib-cage, like it was trying to jump out of my chest. While my mind was screaming at me to get up and run, my body betrayed me by staying still. Beads of sweat trickled down my brow, and my throat closed up.
“Hey,” He raised his voice. I could see his anger rising with every passing second that I remained silent. “I asked you a question, freak.”
“I. . .”
I noticed some of the pitiful looks that were being shot my way. I could almost hear them shouting at me to say something, but fear managed to lodge itself in my throat.
Derek grabbed the collar of my shirt, roughly pulling me to him. His nostrils flared, while his chest heaved up and down in heavy pants.
“You asking for a hit?” He seethed. “If that’s what you want, I’ll give it to you.”
My eyes widened and I shook my head fervently. “N-No -”
He raised his balled fist, aiming it straight for my face. In a pathetic, and futile attempt to block it, I tried to raise my own, but it didn’t hinder him in the slightest.
His ring cladded fist hit the side of my cheek. The pointed metal ripped into my skin, tearing it, until I felt a trail of blood ooze down my face. I staggered back as he released his grip on me, and I fell to the floor for the second time.
I scrambled back on my hands until I hit the wall. My vision began to blur, dark spots contouring the edges of my eyes. My chest heaved up and down as I gasped for air. Choked sounds escaped my lips and my hands scratched at my throat as if that would help me breathe.
No one laughed this time, their faces full of pity. The hallway grew almost eerily silent, the only sound being Derek’s heavy pants.
“Let me ask again,” He snarled. “Where is my work?”
With trembling hands, I pointed to the few sheets of paper that had been knocked out of my hands. He shot me a satisfied grin and turned to pluck it off the floor.
“This could all have been avoided if you just told me in the first place,” He rolled his eyes, placing the blame on me.
He gestured for his small crew to follow him as he stalked away with a triumphant smile playing on his lips. The small crowd began to disperse after Derek left, but a few remained, idly standing by.
Humiliation would barely describe what I was feeling. All I wanted was for the ground to swallow me whole, but I knew that wouldn’t happen. Lifting a hand, I wiped at the small trail of blood. It didn’t hurt; I had a high pain tolerance after everything that happened when I was younger, but I never seemed to be able to get rid of this deeply rooted fear of violence. As soon as someone raised a hand, or their voice, I would go into this lock-down mode.
It was why everyone branded me as a freak here. I had gone hysterical one day while in the cafeteria. Derek had chosen me to be the one to be his slave for the year, and when I refused, he tried to hit me.
However, all he had to do was raise his fist in the air before I had crumpled in fear.
Despite all that, it wasn’t Derek that I feared the most. It was the thought that I would never be able to free myself from the invisible chains of my past.That I would be locked down forever.