The chattering voices halted to a stop at the wretched voice screaming at a young girl. Rolling her eyes, the young girl turned around to come face to face with a slender woman. Brown curls reached the woman's shoulders, her light blue eyes piercing the teenager's. Unfortunately, for the woman, the cold look that she sent the girl's way did not faze her in the slightest as she stared right back at her.
"Really, there's no need to yell," the girl called Kirsten said, both of their eyes never wavering. "I'm right here."
The woman's blue eyes narrowed further in Kirsten's direction and the young girl mimicked her.
"Well, Carlisle, if you hadn't noticed, you have once again disrupted my class with your sorry attempt at truancy," Mrs. Harrington said, irritated with the young girl skipping her class.
The young girl's grey eyes looked past her at the clock.
"Now why would I ever attempt such a trivial sport?" Kirsten replied jokingly, refocusing her gaze back on the woman. She grinned at the woman before continuing, "Takes some serious skill, you know."
"Miss Carlisle, when you come back to school next year, I will make sure you get detention for—Carlisle, get back here now!" Mrs. Harrington screamed as the girl started her way towards the door. Kirsten cringed at the shriek and immediately pitied the woman's husband.
Their arguments must be wretched.
Turning back around to face the furious woman, Kirsten smiled slyly.
"That's ridiculous, Stephanie. How many times have I missed your class this year?" she said, tilting her head and shrugging her shoulders. "It's a pity that no one else has bothered to inform you of how horrid you're classes are. Or you, to be honest."
A look of shock crossed Mrs. Harrington's features as Kirsten finished that sentence and the teenager laughed. However, Kirsten's laughter died down as she caught the murderous expression on the teacher's face along with the fact that said teacher was walking towards her.
"And I'm outta here," the girl muttered quickly, taking quick strides out the door that led into the wide hallway.
Readjusting the strap of her bag, Kirsten glimpsed over at the furious woman exiting the classroom and gave her a mocking wave. The bell rang a second later; releasing a wave of students and aiding in Kirsten's disguise to get out of the school. Shouts in the distance reached Kirsten's ears, calling her name. One thing she wasn't going to do was turn to face them. She had done just that the previous term and never heard the end of it.
The excited chattering students swarmed the area around the grey eyed girl. She heard bits and pieces of where some of the students were going on holiday as they explained to their friends. Stepping through the opened doorways, Kirsten let out a sigh as she thought of what was ahead for her.
"Damn, am I going to get an earful from the Wicked Witch of the West," she muttered to herself, but a small grin happened to appear on her face at the memory of watching The Wizard of Oz. If only it was as easy as throwing water.
To delay the punishment, the girl decided not to get on the bus back home.
Kirsten's feet guided her on the little trek home as she walked along the pavement. Within two hours, she found herself making her way up the steps to the building that she had lived in for the past twelve years of her life: Blake Orphanage. Opening the door, she glanced around to see if the matron, Madame DuPont, was anywhere in sight.
With no sign of the woman near or the sound of her heels clicking against the hardwood floor, Kirsten checked the stairway stretching from her left. Trying not to apply much pressure on the floorboards, she headed towards her goal. She crept past the office door and into the large living room. All heads turn in Kirsten's direction when she peered through the door, and despite several looks of loathing, she let out a small "ha!" in triumph. Her eyes landed on the stairs leading up to the bedrooms.
"Ah, damn," Kirsten muttered.
The young trouble maker reluctantly turned herself around to face the origin of the new voice. A blonde woman with piercing brown eyes stared the girl down. "I was on the phone with one of your teachers today."
Whirling around the blonde woman began to walk off in the direction of her office. Kirsten blinked back in surprise at the calmness the woman expressed, while motioning for her to follow.
Well, that's odd.
"Did she tell you that I was arguing with her again?" Kirsten asked, testing the tall woman that she was walking beside. She glanced at Madame DuPont and saw that her pursed lips were thinning into nothingness.
"Well, I wasn't," the girl said simply, shrugging her shoulders, "I was merely disagreeing with what she said in class." And with that said, Madame DuPont's eyes narrowed into slits as she opened the door for the teenager to enter.
Kirsten's eyes landed on a woman sitting down comfortably at DuPont's desk. A green tweed outfit covered her wide frame and the disgusting woman looked up at Madame DuPont. Then her eyes landed to linger on Kirsten's form. It was Dupont's cousin.
The girl noticed she was not wearing her usual hideous pink getup again and wished she was wearing it. It would have been much funnier if she were to resemble a pig. However, she did seem to heavily resemble a toad at the moment.
Glancing back down at the papers on her desk, the wide woman piled them quickly into a folder and stood up.
"Well, look who it is," Kirsten muttered, making herself comfortable in the seat placed in front of the desk. "It's the She-devil herself."
"Hello to you too, Kirsten," a high girlish voice exited the woman's mouth. Her lips curled up into a nasty smile. "Have a lovely holiday."
That bloody b —
"Are you even listening to me?" DuPont snapped, looking irritated beyond belief and settling herself down in her chair. Kirsten turned her head around to face the administrator with her brow furrowed as she tried to come up with the bits she heard of Madame DuPont's barking.
"Yeah, you mentioned some bull — words along the lines of how I inappropriately addressed Mrs. Harrington… that embarrassed her in front of the entire class," Kirsten told her, hoping that it was something along those lines. She inwardly sighed with relief when the woman did not begin to berate her for not recalling the one-sided conversation correctly. "I think its very kind to call someone by their first name. It means that we're friends, right Catherine?"
Another stupid move. She really need to stop infuriating the hell out of everyone.
"That is the thirteenth time you acted out this year in class," DuPont said, glaring at the grey eyed girl.
"It's not my fault the woman has it in for me!" Kirsten responded, crossing her right leg over her left and leaning back in her seat.
"You are not allowed out of the orphanage unless I say otherwise," she stated, moving several papers off her desk. Biting her tongue, Kirsten tried her hardest not to come off as angry so DuPont wouldn't know that she was actually furious for a change.
Not as bad as last year.
"Not even for a happy stroll in the neighborhood?" Kirsten asked cheekily. The woman raised up a thin blonde eyebrow in response.
"So, Carlisle, grounded for the whole holiday, again?"
Kirsten heard a joyful voice gloat. She merely glanced in the direction of the voice to see the honey brown haired girl that had always despised her. Kirsten's eyes rolled at the other girl's feeble attempt to get her riled up. Though despite the foul greeting, the mischievous teenager threw a smile at the brunette and the group of girls gathered around the sofa in the living room.
She was used to them.
"Oh yes, Victoria. My time spent in this magnificent and elaborate room will be the most outstanding summer I've had my whole entire life," Kirsten replied sarcastically, heading towards an empty armchair, which was more shifted away from the group of girls. One of the girls in the group whispered "freak" and the whole group of girls started to giggle.
It was funny and pathetic that Victoria had to have a little group of girls laugh at Kirsten in order to make her feel better.
Kirsten glanced their way before looking out the window, and then looked at them again as a plan formulated in her mind to shut them up.
"Sociopath is a much better term," Kirsten informed them knowingly.
The girls looked on with confused expressions on their faces with the exception of two.
"What are you talking about, Carlisle?"
"Well, you see, a sociopath lacks a conscience. I was reading a book of general psychology at a bookstore one time and found out symptoms of future sociopaths…"
"Wait a minute, Kirsten. When the bloody hell do you ever read?" one of the girl's asked, amusement clearly evident in her voice. Kirsten's eyes met the owner of the voice and she gave her a little grin.
"Last holiday," she reminded the girl, and Sophia let out a low chuckle.
"Now I remember. Madame made you —"
"Yeah, I think we all know and remember those dreadful lessons," Kirsten interrupted impatiently, not trying to divert the subject any longer. "Some sociopaths tend to go on a murdering rampage, and still don't regret their actions."
"So put two and two together, and you equal Kirsten doing something appalling to you in your sleep," she said rather happily, adding a little smile to further their mingled horror and shock.
Kirsten's eyes traveled across the room to the television where many of the others were seated around. Blue eyes caught her attention, however, and she saw a smirk spread on the owner's lips.
"Hi Kirsten," he greeted. Kirsten watched the boy with a slight smile gracing her lips.
The other boys and girls around him, eyed the two and then turned back to watch their program. From the corner of her eye, Kirsten saw Victoria seething while the other girls were chatting about something from the magazines in their hands with Kirsten's words no longer in mind. It was no secret Victoria liked Aaric ever since he stepped through the doors two years ago. During the school year he would be shipped off to a boarding school and come back during holidays. Everyone in the orphanage found him fascinating. However, Kirsten found him odd. He was the only one at the orphanage that was open and friendly towards her. And it was obvious that he wasn't fond of Victoria himself.
"There's a couple coming tomorrow."
Kirsten eyed the group of girls settled around the television. Once she spotted Victoria among them she continued to walk past.
"And I heard Madame say they are definitely going to adopt," the brunette added smugly.
Kirsten raised an eyebrow at her, wiping the sweat from her brow. She glanced at the stairs and then looked back at Victoria. She really wanted to take a shower after playing a rough game outside with several of the boys.
And Oliver better make her a sandwich…
The boy thought she couldn't score against him. Obviously, he thought wrong.
"Do you realize how much of a killjoy you are?" Kirsten asked her.
"It's definitely not going to be you," she continued, watching Kirsten pick at her sweaty shirt. "Nobody wants to adopt a bitch."
"So will you be hiding up in your room?"
Giggles could be heard from the group of girls. Kirsten smiled at Victoria, who scowled, before turning to head up the stairs.
"Like you did?" Victoria remarked. "Remember Patrick?"
Silence filled the room. No one spoke as the name resonated through the room and Kirsten froze in her tracks. Slowly, she turned to face Victoria.
Victoria couldn't possibly know what happened. How could she know about him? It was years before she came to the orphanage. Hell, it was years before most of the orphans here were orphans.
"Nobody likes you, Kirsten," Victoria continued. "I can't blame Patrick for what he did –"
Kirsten didn't let Victoria finish her sentence as she swung her fist as hard as she could at the girl's face. Victoria landed on the floor from impact and Kirsten stood over her. Both girls continued to glare at one another until Kirsten turned to leave.
Before her foot could reach the bottom step, Kirsten felt hands wrapping around her neck. Reaching for the pair of hands, Kirsten tried to pry the fingers off of her neck but they wouldn't budge. Little black dots began to obscure Kirsten's vision as she felt a sharp pain in her chest. Kirsten jabbed her elbow behind and fell to the floor, taking in as much air as she could. The black dots faded from her vision and she quickly turned to see Victoria, clutching her stomach. It was then that Kirsten almost felt sorry for the girl, but that thought shattered as she felt another sharp pain in her stomach.
Grey orbs met Victoria's navy blue eyes and a pent up fury built up in Kirsten. Victoria's eyes widened as Kirsten brought down a curled fist, swinging it on Victoria's cheek. Hard.
Shrieking pierced her ears, but it didn't faze Kirsten in the slightest as she slammed down another fist onto the girl's reddened cheek. The feud ended when a fist collided into the side of Kirsten's face, causing her head to turn to the side and bringing her out of her flurry of punches. Tears began to well up at the hard impact and Kirsten wiped away the evidence of the tears with her shirt.
Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump.
She could hear them again. The sounds. The noises that drove her into a fury. She wanted everyone around her to be hurt. Just like the way these noises were hurting her.
"Leave me alone!" Kirsten hissed angrily.
As Kirsten looked back at Victoria, who had been moved several meters away and surrounded by some of her friends, her eyes widened. Victoria's body jerked back suddenly — as if an invisible lasso had been tied around her body — breaking free from her friends' grasps, and was flung right against the wall behind her. It wasn't far and hard enough to knock her unconscious but it still caused Victoria to scream. Loud.
The blood in Kirsten's veins ran cold while staring at the space Victoria occupied earlier. And it wasn't for Victoria's well-being….
"What did you DO!"
The ear deafening shriek from Victoria's best friend, Kate, brought Kirsten from her reverie, and noticed that the noises finally stopped. With Victoria's ear piercing scream and Kate's deafening shriek, the back door burst open in mere seconds with the boys filing through, sweaty from their soccer game. It wasn't long until Madame DuPont came rushing towards the scene from her office, looking around for the source of panic. Her questioning gaze lingered on Kirsten before they moved to where the girls were all crowded around.
"What happened?" the woman asked, moving to where the other orphans were heading and she bent over Victoria.
"Victoria's just got her ass kicked," Aaric said, trying to control his laughter. However, he failed miserably. His cerulean blue eyes left Victoria's form and looked over at the girl responsible for her condition. Kirsten couldn't help the smirk that slid onto her face when he winked at her, and she noticed that several of the boys were trying to control their laughter as well. It wasn't every day that some of the boys laughed at Victoria's misfortune.
"Aaric, this is no laughing matter," DuPont snapped at the black haired boy. "You two as well, Oliver, Gregory."
"I don't… I don't know…" Kate began when the administrator looked upon her once again, "Kirsten said something really mean to Vicky and she ignored her. But Kirsten punched her…. And then Vicky was telling her to stop and then she gets thrown to the wall. Kirsten wasn't even near Victoria when she threw her. Something just threw her back! Kirsten did something to her!" Kate exclaimed, stifling her quiet sobs and pointing her index finger in the suspect's direction.
Everyone in the room became silent and all eyes were on the accused. Sophia glanced at her guiltily but did nothing to defend her, though the stare coming from Aaric was one of interest; like he knew something that she didn't and it bothered Kirsten. She saw how the sixteen year old boy's eyes flickered over to Madame DuPont, then back at her. The matron, however, stood up from where she was kneeling and whirled around to face Kirsten.
"William, Sophia, take Victoria to my car," the woman instructed, pulling out a pair of keys. As the trio walked away, Kirsten caught a glimpse of Victoria's messy hair and bloody lip. Victoria's eyes narrowed at the sight of Kirsten. It wasn't Victoria's disheveled appearance that got Kirsten's lips twitching upward; it was the sight of the brunette's painfully twisted right arm.
"I started it. Everything. It wasn't Victoria's fault," Kirsten lied; all traces of amusement left her face. There was no way she was going to talk about Patrick here. In front of everyone. Kirsten eyes drifted from the people scattered around the room to Madam DuPont. Her cold brown eyes pierced Kirsten, and the girl knew that this will not bode well.
"And you threw Victoria as well?"
Silence rung throughout the living area with all eyes were on her. A ghost of a smile splayed on Kirsten's face as she looked directly at DuPont.
"Can I throw a cow?" she questioned. With the look on matron's face, Kirsten thought she was clearly going to get slapped right then and there. However, the woman did nothing but glare at her. "Obviously not. She wasn't even close to me –"
"She's lying, Madame!" Kate yelled in Victoria's defense. "She did something weird again! Like that time during the field trip!"
Kirsten's jaw dropped as she stared at Kate in disbelief, and she could feel all the stares once again. Watching the girl in front of her, Kirsten wanted nothing but to punch Kate as hard as she could. Kirsten forgot that Kate was one of the few in the orphanage that was here when Patrick was around. She was the one who told Victoria. As soon as Kirsten caught a slight twitch on Kate's face, she realized what was going on. Kate was baiting her. Trying to make her snap.
"You don't even know what weird is," Kirsten said, smiling slightly at the girl.
"Go clean yourself up and stay in your room, Kirsten," she heard Madame DuPont command. Kirsten's eyes snapped in the woman's direction.
The trip back to her room was quick and short. No one dared to talk to her and she could hear the whispers coming from the others. It was then that Kirsten made up her mind as she entered her small room.
Closing the door behind her, Kirsten grabbed her schoolbag and dumped the contents out. She watched as the last bits of crumpled paper hit the floor and walked towards the small wardrobe. Several clothes were piled into her bag in a matter of minutes along with a small stack of paper notes and coins and some food that she would casually sneak out of the kitchen.
She shoved the bag quickly in her wardrobe after closing it, and jumped on her bed before the door swung open. Her eyes strayed over to see blue eyes staring curiously at her from her closed door.
"Hey, Aaric," she greeted, somewhat out of breath.
"Hey," he replied, a smile tugging on his lips. Kirsten watched him as he came closer to her. His presence was somewhat demanding. All the kids in the orphanage seemed to love him and respect him. It could be because he was the oldest, just turning sixteen. He sat close to her on her bed and tilted his head, staring at her. And it unnerved her.
"What?" she questioned. "Do I look that bad?"
"Not quite. Just wanted to see how you were," he told her. He reached out for her face, and his fingertips lightly grazed her cheek. Kirsten flinched in pain at his touch. "You have a cut here."
"I can feel that," she said sarcastically, but a small grin made a way onto her face. "And you decided to touch it?"
Her grin widened as she saw scarlet rush to his cheeks.
"I'm sorry, Kirsten. I did – I mean, I didn't mean to hurt you. I wasn't thinking at all and –"
"Really, Aaric, it's no problem," Kirsten said, assuring him. "It doesn't hurt much anyway…"
Silence passed between them, and Kirsten felt the lighthearted mood fade away as she glanced at Aaric. His eyes were downcast, looking rather thoughtful as he stared at the floor.
"Is it true?"
Kirsten feigned a quizzical look. He caught the look on her face and continued, "The girls downstairs told everyone else what happened. Did Victoria just slam against the wall?"
Her heart was pounding at this moment. Aaric was the only one who was her friend here. He didn't know any of the weird events that surrounded Kirsten's life. All the odd occurrences. He was at boarding school for most of the year anyway, so he couldn't. And she wanted to keep it that way. But he would find out eventually.
"I don't know if it was me," she admitted, avoiding his eyes, "but more than likely…do you think I'm odd?"
She felt his fingers against her chin and in the next instance, her eyes met his. She watched his sapphire-like eyes gaze at her curiously. He was too close and Kirsten could feel the blood rush to her cheeks. Her heart was racing as she could feel his breath on her at this point. He was way too close.
"Why would I?"
Kirsten immediately took the chance to scoot away from Aaric and turned to look at her now opened door. Blond hair peeked through, and she caught sight of Oliver. He smiled slightly in her direction before focusing on Aaric.
"Mate, that bloody woman's coming over soon –"
Kirsten didn't bother with listening to the rest. She immediately knew who he was talking about. Madame DuPont she could deal with, but her cousin? No. She imagined the woman, wearing her pink getup. The last time she saw her was when school let out, and she wanted to keep it that way. That woman was borderline insane and to think that she'd be in a room alone with her? Especially after what she apparently did to Victoria?
It was all in a matter of seconds that Kirsten made up finally made up her mind.
"Would you two mind carrying this conversation elsewhere?" she asked both Oliver and Aaric. The blond boy nodded his head and gave her another small smile.
"Good luck with her, mate," he told Kirsten. Then a look of realization appeared on her face. "Almost forgot to give you this."
She didn't realize that he had been holding a sandwich in his hand. With all the events that have recently occurred, Kirsten forgot that he owed her a sandwich since she scored a goal on him.
"Thanks, Oliver," she said, giving him a smile and the boy left her room. Her eyes landed on Aaric next.
"We can talk later?" he asked, his blue eyes watching Kirsten.
The smile she sent him was nowhere near as genuine as the numerous smiles she would usually throw his way. He probably knew what she was planning. But she wouldn't admit it out loud. He would probably try and stop her. And she needed them to leave before that woman would arrive.
"Definitely," she lied. "Goodnight, Aaric."
Before he could walk out of her room, she grabbed his hand. "Thank you."
"Any time," he said, gripping her hand.
Kirsten thanked God that DuPont kept the lock on her door. As soon as Aaric left her room, she bolted the door and rushed towards her wardrobe. Pulling out her bag, she placed her sandwich in there she made sure it was secured before throwing it over her shoulder. She surveyed her room and smirked slightly for leaving her bed unmade. Memories of all the lonely nights she spent in this room. This was the room that she grew up in for the past twelve years of her life. And she was finally going to leave. Leave everyone behind. Aaric was going to be the only one that she truly missed around here. He was her only friend. Her mind raced back to what happened just moments ago and she could feel her face getting hot. She shook her head, trying not to think too much into it.
It didn't take her long to convince herself that he was just a friend who wanted to make sure she was okay.
She could write to him. The only problem is that he'll leave for boarding school in a matter of weeks. Kirsten sighed in frustration, staring at the door and at the window near her bed. As much as she cared about him, she had to leave. This place was hell.
"Sorry, Aaric," she muttered, opening the window. Her eyes cast down at the ground and she took a deep breath. She absolutely despised heights. And her living on the second floor didn't help the problem. She could feel her heart racing within her chest. She glanced at the large tree branches stretching towards her window, and was glad that trees surrounded the building.
Overlooking the room one last time, Kirsten turned towards the window.
An hour passed when Kirsten found herself walking alone on a deserted street with houses on the opposite side. She decided it was better to go to West End first before leaving for good.
Her feet stopped in its tracks and she jerked her head around in alarm at the sudden noise. Kirsten's eyes landed on a large black bear-like creature several feet away from her. For the second time that night, Kirsten's heart was beating rapidly.
She observed the outline of the creature and summed up that there was no way she could outrun it. The creature came closer, causing the young teenager to back onto the bare street. As the animal moved further from the shadows, Kirsten realized it was only a dog. It didn't look menacing in the least considering the fact its teeth were no longer bared in her direction. Instead the dog simply looked at her. Her heartbeat considerably slowed down with the realization and she let out a chuckle.
It was actually kind of cute.
She heard a grumbling noise and smiled at in the dog's direction. She pulled her bag off her shoulder and pulled out the sandwich Oliver made for her earlier. Kirsten cringed a bit as she saw some mustard smeared on one of her shirts. She ripped the sandwich in half and held it out for the dog. The dog didn't budge.
"Take it," she muttered. She decided to take a bite from the other half in order to encourage the dog to eat. "I heard your stomach growling, mate," she added, her mouth full. She hadn't realized how hungry she really was and was happy that she had some snacks on her.
It took several more seconds until the dog took ahold of the sandwich in her outstretched hand. Only a minute passed when both Kirsten and the dog finished with their food. It was odd that Kirsten found herself comfortable with the stray.
"I hope you don't have any fleas," she joked, talking to the dog once and scratching behind his ears. "You are a boy, right?"
The dog barked lightly in response as if it understood what she just asked.
"Well, then. You wouldn't mind being my partner —"
She stopped immediately when her peripheral vision caught sight of a bright light approaching her and the dog. Everything happened so fast, that she didn't realize what happened until she found herself lying down on the hard pavement of the sidewalk. A heavy pressure left her chest and she heard the horn of a car blaring in the distance. A car almost ran her over…
"You just saved my life," Kirsten muttered, closing her eyes as she rolled onto her back. She expected to hear a light bark or feel a muzzle against her cheek. What she didn't expect was a voice to respond.