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Chapter 1

Chloe placed a pair of large headphones to her ears after she zipped up her jacket and slid her arms through the bag straps, securing the bag as she stood at her desk while making sure that she had everything she needed for college.

It had been two years since her friend’s death and it had never once left her mind. Not that she could ever escape it thanks to the long hours at the police station only to be released due to the lack of evidence, the media on the other hand always hounded at either her home, school or anywhere that she would decide to go. Demanding answers to what happened that dreaded night, trying to find ways in order to sniff out the version of the story in order to satisfy them and their readers. Not caring at how much this would affect her one bit.

For it resulted in people calling her names, making speculations and spreading ideas on what could have happened. For example they mentioned about her dead friend being a crazy boyfriend who then suddenly kills himself in her house to ugly fights that broke out in the house before he died. The worst part was that the media had mentioned that she could have done it and had threatened her parents to keep quiet or else she’d kill them as well, they even made tales or claimed to have received tips saying that her parents were at home to begin with even though Chloe and her parents knew right off that it was false. Unfortunately for Chloe the accusations resulted in the police and the courts getting involved to search the house as the ‘evidence’ and tips were leaving the police doubting that Chloe was even innocent and had in fact threatened her parents or them in on it- that it was planned from the very start. Hearing this though disgusted Chloe enough to the point that it left her having a mental break down, wondering what she had done to deserve such hateful lies. She would never want to hurt her friend, the thought never once did cross her mind and what made her upset was that it all started because he tried to kiss her.

As expected the alibies of Chloe’s parents had checked out but it hardly made much of a difference to anyone in the area, so in the end the police and courts could not find anything that would bring them a step closer to the truth, but that still didn’t stop the rousing suspicion. Not even the autopsy report of her deceased friend who had died in such a painful horrific manner could shed any other details. Except that he hit the glass table but no one could not fully understand why his face was so disfigured, especially since there were no items in the house that had blood on them, what also frustrated them was that there was no blood at the doorstep or on the door or on any of the floors at all except for the spot he could be seen laying dead on.

The police even tried to find out possible ways and had began to interrogate Chloe who was shaking half to death thanks to their attitude towards her, they had even tried to threaten or bribe her but still her story never changed leaving more frustration on all sides. Sadly her statement didn’t satisfy anyone in the slightest and as a result she and her family were called names and were made a complete laughing stock, to make it worse the gossip always revolved around that night as people tried to find the truth by any means necessary. Even though Chloe had wanted nothing more than to forget about it and move on since there was no way to fix things or bring her friend back to life. Despite the fact that she wanted answers as to why he had done what he did, they were friends right? So why did he try to do that? Why had those voices tried to push her away from him? Why did they claim that he was untrustworthy? Sure he was a bad boy who at times got into trouble but he was slowly maturing and becoming a better person so why? Why did things end up the way they did? Why did she have to lose someone she cared about in such a horrific manner? And without warning as well which left Chloe wondering about who would also suffer next if she ever did get close to anyone else. Harry had been her only friend, a friend who was there and actually made an effort to be her friend. There was no pretense, he didn’t use her or anything nor did he have any friends. Instead they only had each other, it was them against the whole world and that was how she liked it even if people were against it for various reasons. However now it was just her and at times Chloe was not even sure if she could cope without him anymore.

Even now Chloe had wanted to confess what happened but if her family, the people or the media had found out that she was hearing whispered voices the night he died. Voices that only she could only hear. The distressed girl was sure they would no doubt just throw her in the nuthouse if she were to ever breathe a word about what truly happened. Even her parents had ordered for her to see a counselor and began distancing themselves from her at times once they moved to a new area.

Sadly thanks to the media, the police and gossip this only resulted in her moving into three different areas since new or old problems would keep popping up, everywhere was the same no matter where they went- they knew who she was and would often make comments about her even if she was in the room. Most students even distanced themselves while adding crude speculated comments about what could have happened that night, each more appalling than the last. While at the same time the rest of the students and the teachers would just avoid her like the plague since they didn’t want to be targeted for whatever reason. Not that she would want them to suffer any ill but there was nothing she could do, she had no voice for the media, gossip and rumors kept circulating around her like a dark cloud. The worst part was that she could not stop them no matter what, even at one point she had stood up for herself and tried to declare her innocence, which sadly was in vain since no one wanted to hear her point of view and those who tried were ridiculed and treated badly causing them to avoid her to save themselves. Not that she could ever blame them for it.

Unfortunately there was so much Chloe could tolerate and was slowly starting to get sick and tired of their cold words, so instead of allowing them to bother her. Chloe would often put her large headphones on in order to drown out the noise in hopes of finding some peace and quiet from the cruel world that wanted her to suffer for whatever reason. Sadly that would hardly happen for the hushed voices would often still find their way into her ears despite the loud volume due to the fact that she had increased the volume to high, however to thanks to the fact that her headphones were soundproof it allowed her to enjoy her music at any level without upsetting anyone nearby.

Chloe at times often suppressed a shiver here and there thanks to the voices and how they managed to bother and invade her private space, just like the media who no doubt were outside her house right now.

"You’d think after two years they would up and leave" she muttered grudgingly to herself but refrained from lashing out as she turned to look at her simple oval mirror that rested on the other side of the room. This allowed the eighteen year old to see an image of a blank faced pale girl wearing a black jacket over her waist length faded grey shirt, black trousers that were a little messed up around the bottom thanks to the constant tripping and running as she tried to escape the media and occasional overzealous people who wanted to hurt her, she also wore black socks that were slightly hidden from her dirty white slippers. Not that she could fix the slippers anyways since the floors will get dirty from time to time.

Even now Chloe didn’t truly recognize who the girl was in the mirror anymore, and to think that two years could truly change someone who use to be happy but shy while she wore bright colours to match her peppy mood. Now a days she just wore black and kept to herself because according to the word outside she was a monster, a freak that somehow killed her friend and somehow was able to cover up or ruin the evidence. It was thanks to those words that encouraged her parents to ban her from ever going near sharp objects. Thus making Chloe feel invalid and isolated, powerless. In truth she hated it but there was nothing she could do and even her parents were starting to resent her for all this trouble that was being made over that one night. Not that she could argue her case for they wouldn’t believe her nor would they care anymore as it got to them, after all she allowed her friend to enter their house- a teenage boy of all things and now he was dead. Maybe it was because of everyone’s words that had got to her parents and it was what encouraged them to slowly stop believing in her.

"Why you had to bring that boy here Chloe is beyond me! Now look his dead and you’re being branded as a murderer!" Her mother screamed at her the day the media started to spew rumours and comments about what happened that night causing her parent’s friends to stop talking and began distancing themselves from them. This in turn made it very clear to them that even their friends wanted nothing to do with a suspected killer.

"Rumours Chloe! They’re spreading rumours about us as well, saying we were in on it and it’s all your fault! Why did you have to be so stupid and let him in?!" Her mother’s words still continued to sting leaving Chloe to fall in a state of depression, to make it worse even Chloe’s counselor who was suppose to not be bias was also trying to make her doubt herself. Saying that what if she did do it and she had blacked it out? He even went as far as to say that if she confessed what she did, it would then all be over and done so everyone could get on with their lives for she right now was being very selfish and unfair with the fact that she ruining people’s lives with what she was doing- hiding the truth. Which in turn shock the horrified girl who had started to slowly trust him, thinking that he was on her side only to realise that he was just like them leaving her with the only option which was to leave and never go back to see him again. Sadly this didn’t sit well with her parents who then started to get angry at her until she explained the reason for her sudden ‘outburst’. Her parents that day were shocked and horrified to see their own flesh and blood- their daughter crying without any means of stopping as she screamed at them that she didn’t do it. That she didn’t know why his face got disfigured as soon as he leaned close enough to kiss her, she couldn’t even explain to them why anything happened since she was also confused.

Plus who would believe her about the constant whispers that continued to plague her since she was a child. At first she had assumed that it was because she had been lonely that time, that she had her own imaginary friends but now leaving her parents that time to think that it was cute that she had ‘friends’ to play with. Only now the voices themselves terrified her for they never left her alone making her realise that they weren’t imaginary, that they were not in her head but if they were then there must be something wrong with her. Was she mentally unwell? Did she have an illness that made her hear things? She didn’t think so.

But there was nothing she could do, no one would listen or believe her.

No one and it wasn’t ever going to change.

The walk to college as usual uneventful minus the fact that she could see people moving away from here giving her more walk space, the hushed voices still at times still continued to enter her ears even though she wore the headphones much to her dismay. But the young girl had made no move to comment besides it’s not like the hushed voices were any better than what other people around her were saying about her.

However what troubled Chloe was that at times the voices occasionally spoke in a different language that she could not understand. There had been one time when she did try to ask a language teacher about this language due to curiosity when she had been in high school, only instead of a positive response she had received a funny look from the teacher.

You dare mock me with such gibberish?! The nerve of you Chloe and I expected better from you!" The teacher had exclaimed in anger before giving her detention and then immediately sent her to the head teacher’s office in order to complain about how Chloe was ‘mocking’ her and was making fun of the different languages. This in turn earned her a disapproving look from her head teacher as he looked at her.

"I had expected better from you Miss Wilona” was the head teacher’s response before she was made to apologise to the language teacher for the distress she caused. To Chloe’s dismay the language teacher refused to accept her apology and demanded that she received a severe punishment, however to Chloe’s relief the head teacher denied the language teacher’s request and instead just gave Chloe detention and forced her to write a letter to the language teacher. Saying that she was sorry and would promise to never upset or mock her again. To which the troubled girl did without complaint even if she was scorned by said teacher and was made to endure the teacher’s anger in class, however instead of complaining she had kept her nose down in her books until Harry had appeared out of the blue. Immediately taking her out of her dismal mood by doing something that ended up making the girl smile, he listened and was there for her even if he didn’t know about the voices.

Once Chloe approached her classroom door, she sighed heavily as her right hand gripped the doorknob a bit tightly before turning the object in her hand around in order to open the door. What greeted Chloe were stares coming from four of her classmates before a few either went back to talking to the other most likely gossiping or they were looking back at their books with anxious eyes. Not wanting to associate with her anymore than they already had to since they didn’t want to be next on her list.

Just knowing this made her frown but made no comment as she went to her seat- at the back of the class but to the window. Chloe once at her seat sat down and began to take out her notebook, she flipped through her notes before going to a few pages that were at the back of her book and took out a pencil. Once she had the pencil and began to draw strange symbols that had curved or pointy edges, each one more unique and interested than the last. As she made the symbols the girl then lifted a hand so it was supporting her chin and tilted her head slightly as her interest on the symbols grew.

“Look it’s her again” said a female voice that was filled with disgust causing Chloe to stop what she was doing, however instead of looking up she kept her eyes down. The female in question had curly brown hair that was free from being tied up and green eyes, her skin was slightly pale but not too pale. She wore a designer light brown top, a few gold bracelets that jingled when she moved her arms, blue jean shorts and blue trainers.

“Look at her, she’s drawing rubbish on her notebook again. Why does she bother drawing those things anyways? They’re nothing!” asked another female who walked towards her own desk. She had black hair and blue eyes, tanned skinned thanks to her trip to Spain, she wore a creamy white top that was almost see through, a black vest that had the straps seen by her shoulders since it was underneath the top, she also wore black leggings and black shoes. Chloe as she listened to the comments just kept her eyes to her paper until it was forced off the desk and onto the floor before she could stop it from happening.

“Oh my bad, I didn’t see it there. I guess my hand slipped” said another female causing Chloe to lean on the side of her desk and grab her notebook, sadly this only resulted in pain as she felt a shoe land on her hand the moment her fingers grabbed the notepad. This in turn almost made Chloe wince and almost cried out from the pain knowing that she might have bruised her fingers.

“Oh sorry I didn’t see your hand there” the other female said before walking to her desk. This girl was a ginger haired girl with green eyes with blue specks in them, she had a revealing orange top and brown leggings while her black high heels clicked on the floor causing Chloe to almost cringe from the noise. At the same time the injured girl continued to bite her lip so she didn’t let them know that she was hurt. Instead she lifted her hand containing the notebook gingerly and placed it on her desk, ignoring their jabs against her.

“Look at her! She’s so pathetic, how is she still here is beyond me” The first female said darkly.

“I know right Jenny? How they even allowed her to study here even though no one wants her here is shocking” said the second female as she sat beside Jenny.

“And she killed someone as well let’s not forget Agatha, if we’re not careful we’ll be next” the third one hissed coldly causing them to glare at Chloe who was still trying to keep to herself. Eventually the classroom started to fill up with students until it was time for everyone to begin their lesson. However to the students’ surprise their teacher who was a young brown haired male with cheerful blue eyes entered the room, his suit as usual was unwrinkled leaving everyone to wonder how he had managed to keep it in one piece. Smiling the teacher tilted the frame of his blue glasses as he tried to see who was in and who was not.

“Good morning class, I hope you’ve all done your homework during the weekends” he said with a chipper voice causing the students minus Chloe to whine and grumble from his words, why he had to bring THAT up was beyond them. The teacher however seemed unfazed by their responses as he continued to smile at them.

“I am happy to report that we have a new student today and he’s come all the way from America” the teacher said with a smile causing the class to either murmur while some were silent from the sudden announcement. Chloe however wasn’t bothered nor did she care since the results would be the same- hatred, isolation and gossip. Each thought was more distressing than the last but what could she do? Everyone hated her and didn’t want her in the college, who would want to be friends with someone who was suspected of murder.

The teacher continued to smile as he looked around the room.

“Is Daniel Stevenson here?” he asked causing the group to blink and look round, seeing their reactions he then went to the door and looked at both sides of the hallway before closing the door. “That is really weird, he should be here today” he muttered before looking at his class.

“Sorry students but can you stay seated for a bit before I contact the receptionist and the head teacher to see where he is” he said before rushing out the classroom to the students’ surprise. Chloe however was mentally relieved that the attention was now shifted from her to the new student, although she was surprised that a student was even joining when almost half of the year had already ended.

Just as she was about think about ponder on what was going on the teacher then came back in to the room.

“Mr. Williams, where is the new student?” asked a brown haired male with light blue eyes, the teacher however smiled weakly.

“It appears that he’s chosen not to come today” was all Mr. Williams had said causing complete confusion in the class, even Danielle was at a loss of what to say since this was the first time a new student had decided to skip class.

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