Chloe walked home feeling tired as she juggled with the weight of her bag while her mind was still on school. Unlike the other students she refused to think about the new one who decided to miss his first day at school for what ever reason. After all it was his problem not hers, he wanted to ruin someone’s chances of joining getting a good education because he wanted to be selfish and not turn up when expected to, it was his problem not hers and there was no way that she’d ever allow herself to stoop low and waste any time on it because of someone who wanted to be irresponsible about their future.
Chloe knew that some people wanted to be something in live, some sadly don’t even get the chance to even go to school, college or university for specific reasons. For example the costs of travel and the fees that the education system is making the parents or students pay out. It wasn’t fair to some degree because the prices always increased every year because the government chose to do so for whatever reason. Yes teachers need to be paid but what was the point if there aren’t any students turning up because of low incomes, even Chloe had almost struggled because of how pricey all the colleges were but was lucky to even get to a college that would accept her. Even if the prices were cheaper it was still a battlefield just to get accepted thanks to what had happened to her two years ago, another reason to resent the media since she was never able to secure a job after all who would want to work with a suspected killer who could ‘snap’ at any moment. It left her sick and angry but she was grateful that her parents still had their jobs; in fact their bosses even though they listened to the news were in fact parents themselves and were surprised by what they were listening to, especially since they had seen Chloe more than once to know that she would never be capable of murder at all. So what made the distressed girl more at ease was that both bosses- even though her parents didn’t want Chloe to be seen by their bosses for various reasons, had actually arrived at the house to listen to her side of the story and chose to listen to her plight without any hesitation. Shocking her and her parents a lot as they witnessed both bosses and their spouses asking Chloe questions that were not relevant to her story.
“How are you fairing through all this though darling?” Asked her mother’s boss’ wife who could see how stressed and upset Chloe was as she looked distant and almost out of touch with everything when she was in the room with them. All three mothers at that moment could see that Chloe was on the verge of falling apart thanks to the pressure and it was getting to the point that it was hard to watch her break down in such a manner.
Just hearing that question had completely shocked Chloe to the point of tears, making both couples feel their hearts go out to her and her predicament, so instead of asking more questions for they could see that she was anything but alright had all came to an agreement to help the troubled family out. Even if other people who worked with them were not so keen to work with the parents of a suspect.
Sure things had been tough during those years but Chloe had hardly complained even when her parents cracked a few times and had lashed out at her because of the media’s cruel words, they still loved her dearly enough to try and keep her safe. Sure they made an error by allowing Chloe to see a counselor who had done anything but make things worse but it was something to learn from, yes they didn’t like how the media and the people around them portrayed Chloe in the way that they saw fit. But they knew that without a doubt Chloe had not murdered anyone. In fact there was no blood on the teen’s fingers let alone her nails nor did she had a murder weapon on her when they arrived and according to the autopsy report he had died half an hour before they arrived. So what happened was known and seen only by Chloe, and if their daughter said that she didn’t kill anyone then they believed her… even if though they were confused as to how he died. However what shocked them was that Chloe had confessed that she didn’t know either, all that happened was that her friend was leaning towards her and then his face was slashed multiple ties by something she could not see before he got up to get something to help him with the pain and blood, only to blindly land on the glass table resulting in the destroyed table they had come across the moment they entered the house. Hearing her side of the story had shocked her parents a lot for it was something that they could not see happening, however despite all that they had agreed to keep the first part quiet. Given that it sounded ludicrous and impossible but on the other hand there was no explanation that they could come up, given that they had not been there when it happened and Chloe was the sole witness to what had happened so they all agreed to keep it to themselves.
Now home Chloe sighed as she took her shoes off and placed them on the shoe rack, once they were in their usual spot the tired teen forced her feet towards the stairs leading to her room. Not caring if she was dragging her sore and tired feet thanks to the day she had. On route her mother a pale skinned who had long dark brown haired woman with greenish blue eyes had popped her head out from the kitchen and smiled as soon as she saw who it was.
“Oh hi Chloe, how was college?” her mother asked with a bright smile on her face which then faded the moment she saw Chloe’s brooding look. When she saw Chloe’s expression it had informed the mother of all that she need to know- it was bad. “Not good today?” Her mother asked kindly until Chloe had given at her a withered look that signalled that her day at college was anything but good.
“No” Chloe replied glumly as she moved her bag strap slightly so it wasn’t digging into her right shoulder thanks to the unwanted weight caused by her books.
“Anything new though?” her mother asked with an interested smile leaving Chloe to realise that her mother wasn’t going to let things go until they had talked about how college was. Sighing and bending her head slightly in defeat Chloe had then slowly walked towards her mother, she then went to sit on a chair in the kitchen that was located near a large round table which was used for their meals. Her bag strap was taken off her shoulders while her bag went to the floor.
“New student today” Chloe replied glumly but thanked her mother for the drink after it was handed to her and began to drink it slowly. Her mother smiled as she sat down, the mother then made a noise that signaled that she was interested before she sat down beside her daughter.
“Oh? So what’s this new person like? Are they nice? Is it a boy or a girl?” her mother asked sounding a little too eager, this in turn left Chloe slightly uncomfortable since that could lead to problems. After all her mother at times did try to get the unhappy teen to make new friends given the circumstances, sadly this had always ended in either the ‘friends’ being rude and hating her or avoiding her like the plague, mostly thanks to her ‘reputation’, the media or the people in either school or college. Giving her mother a look she shook her head before sipping on her orange juice again, the tangy but tart taste left her slightly relaxed as she slumped a bit in her seat.
“It’s a guy called Daniel Stevenson, unfortunately I wouldn’t know if he was nice or not because he chose not to show up today” Chloe replied bluntly as she frowned at her mother, however just hearing that the new student had not turned up for class shocked her mother a lot given that she took education seriously. The older women had made sure that her daughter did as well.
“Does anyone know why he didn’t show up?” her mother asked still surprised from the information while Chloe shrugged her shoulders looking like she didn’t care, this in turn made her mother frown at her rude behaviour.
“Beats me” Chloe replied blandly causing her mother to give her a disapproving look in order to show Chloe that she was not happy with her response.
“Chloe…” her mother said in a near scolding tone causing Chloe to groan loudly and put her head in her arms as they rested on the table.
“Mum I couldn’t care less” Chloe muttered with disdain in her voice “no doubt it’ll be the same all over again- hate, rumors or he runs away because of what the people say about me” Chloe said weakly, sadly this left her mother giving her a sad look.
“I know darling, but may this time it’ll be different, he might-”
“Mum I doubt that it ever will! Besides I have no time for romance nor do I want any friends, especially guys after what happened last time” Chloe stressed as she peeked her head up slightly so her mother could see her pained eyes. The older woman winced from the memory.
“Chloe… you shouldn’t allow what happened to push people away” Chloe’s eyes narrowed.
“They pushed me away mum! They all started rumors and I tried so hard, so hard to stand up for myself but it was always on deaf ears!”
“No one will ever believe you” Chloe went rigid from the hushed whispers catching her mother’s attention.
“Chloe?” the older woman placed her hand on her daughter’s tense shoulder the moment she saw that there was a change in her daughter’s eyes- fear. But why? What caused this?
“They’ll just think that you’re crazy, so if you tell then what?” Chloe went pale as the voices continued to speak, at that moment she wanted nothing more than to drop the glass so she could place her hands to her ears in order to cover them but they would still find away to make their voices heard.
“Chloe what’s wrong?” her mother asked, her voice slightly shaking as she voiced her concerned but Chloe didn’t hear or notice her given that her attention was on the voices.
“It won’t make any difference” Chloe felt her shoulders sag from their words, they were right but why her though? Why was she hearing their voices? They were anything but friendly and no doubt they were the ones who killed her friend Harry. But how? Why? Because to them he was not trustworthy? But then if he was not trustworthy then who was? She was scared and didn’t know who to turn to or trust.
“To them- you are crazy” the whisper said almost making her think that it was mocking her.
“Chloe!” Chloe jumped the moment she heard the sharp tone of her mother causing her to knock the glass over, spilling the orange substance over the table which then started to drip on the floor, this caused the shaky girl to stand up and whine before she tried to get something to sort out the mess. As soon as Chloe tried to mop up the mess did she turn to look at her mother, she froze when she saw her mother’s stunned eyes as she too was standing up to avoid the mess. Did she do something wrong?
“Chloe what is wrong with you?!” The mother cried in alarm as she stared at her pale daughter who looked down and winced from how she allowed the voices to get to her. How could they not? They made her feel like she was going crazy from the fact that she was hearing things. This wasn’t her, she was not going insane so how could she explain all this?
‘Mum I can hear voices, do you think I am going crazy?’ even the idea of telling her mother would not end well and no doubt would result her being forced to take medication, which was something she did not want. Nor did she want to be in a straight jacket because of this.
“Uh-” Chloe’s shoulders sagged again leaving her mother feeling frustrated for not knowing what was going on with her own daughter. Was it because she spoke about her daughter’s friend? What could she do though? How could she help her own daughter who was pushing her own mother away, and as a result it was leaving the older woman feeling completely powerless. She could help couldn’t she? The mother may not know how to help but talking about it was something right?
“Chloe, please talk to me” the mother pleaded “I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s going” Chloe’s mother said with a worried look as she placed her hand on her daughter’s, only to have Chloe’s hand moved backwards as she felt like like she had been electrocuted by the touch of her own mother.
“No one can help me, not even you mother” Chloe thought with a pained look on her face that left her mother shocked at what she was seeing. What was happening to her little girl? Not knowing why this was happening or what was going on had terrified the mother a lot to the point that she didn’t know how to help. How could she know or help when her own daughter was too afraid to talk to her?
“Sorry” Chloe muttered as she grabbed her bag strap before pulling on it causing the bag to be lifted off the ground, without looking back she walked out the kitchen.
“Chloe!” Her mother cried as she stood up but instead of going after her daughter, her own feet felt as if they were glued to the floor. Leaving the woman to feel as she was forced to stand there and watch Chloe leave the room.
Chloe remained in her room with a brooding look as she laid against the wall of her bedroom, she sat cross legged on her own bed while thinking about her attitude towards her mother. She knew that her mother meant well but there were things that you just couldn’t talk about and to make it worse the voices had come back, leaving her at a state of unease just like before making her more on edge. Scaring the teen on what would happen next and who would suffer because of her. After all bad things had happened to Harry because she was close to him, so then who’s to say that it won’t affect her parents as well? And the last thing she wanted was to lose them because they got too close.
Biting her lip she looked out the window and cringed when she saw her reflection on the glass.
Why was she now scared of looking at anything that contained her reflection?
Was it because of what she could see when she gazed into to the reflective item? Was she that hideous or something? After all her hair was slightly messy thanks to the wind and from rushing about. Her eyes did show that she didn’t get much sleep and the dark circles were present allowing people to see as well to her dismay.
Or could it be because by looking at the mirror it would remind her of the reality of what was happening? She was mostly alone and had lost someone she cared about, and by looking at the mirror it would just remind her of the fact that she had caused it somehow by letting him close.
Who was this person who she could see in the glass though? This troubled person who looked terrified to even look back at her? Who wanted to run and hide because she didn’t want to be seen or known? It had taken a lot of Chloe’s self control to not break the window. Instead she covered it with the blinds by twisting the thin handle by the side, that covered it for now but it still didn’t change the fact that her reflection would be seen the moment she pulled up the blinds.
Chloe was scared as she looked at her hands that were now clenched from restrained frustration. It wasn’t fair! It really wasn’t! Should she be free from prison even though she didn’t physically kill her friend? This was the main question that hit her at times as guilt and pain filled her distressed form.
“He was not a good person, you should never trust him” said a voice that left her wanting to wail as her heart started to weep from their words.
“His intentions were not good, who knows what he would have done when your guard was down” the second hushed voice said, no distain in their voices what so ever instead it was almost as if they were trying to console her somehow. But she didn’t want them! She just wanted to be left alone! Normal but apparently that was too hard to ask for since they wouldn’t stop, they never stopped hovering or speaking in her ears. At times she did think that her eyes were playing tricks on her as she thought that there were some blobs moving in the shadows only to see nothing a second afterwards. It had happened so fast that it left her mildly confused.
“I must be going crazy” she muttered as she shook her head and went to sit down with a loud thump, her bed springs groaned from the sudden impact before the springs went back to their usual position. It didn’t matter what her parents said, even if they believed her after they accused her of somehow killing her friend.
“It was not your fault, we don’t know how this happened but we believe you and know that you would never do anything like that” Her father had said but was he right? Because no matter what. She could still feel her guilt and self loathing hit her repeatedly. Who were the voices to say that her friend was bad? They didn’t know her friend like she did so who were they to judge? She wasn’t perfect and like him had made a few mistakes but he was turning his life around, only his life had been taken before he could make something of himself.
Chloe now feeling unable to stomach any food as she caught the smell of pizza turned her head, she allowed her mind to go back to that night once more as she laid on the bed and pulled the covers on her saddened form. Remembering one thing before her friend was attacked- the sudden headaches.
But why though? Why did they suddenly happen? Did she overwork herself that day or something? Had she been dehydrated? She didn’t know and was left sighing as it was probably nothing, after all headaches happen at anytime for any reason so what would that have anything to do with this?
“It probably hasn’t… maybe I am being stupid” she muttered mentally to herself at how she could just be making excuses and grasping on things that were irrelevant. Sighing heavily as she nuzzled her soft pillow while her hair half rested on the soft fabric and her right shoulder, her hand tightened its grip on the bed sheets as she tried to sleep.
That is if she could…
“Something is wrong” Chloe’s mother said with a distraught look on her face as she looked at her husband, both were surprised at how Chloe wasn’t coming down to eat one of her favourite meals. Chloe’s father’s face showed that he was brooding before slowly nodding after he placed the slice down.
“I know Gwen, but what can we do?” the father said with a pained look on his face, even this was bothering him and it was hard to talk to his own daughter because of what she went through. How can they have a decent talk when things of ten point to the past? It was almost making his hair go grey from the stress and non stop worrying.
“You didn’t see her earlier on Blane” Gwen cried as she placed her slice down a while later. “I am scared that something bad is going to happen, she is distancing herself from us and I am worried that she will pull away completely”
“No Blane, when we were talking college and her new classmate she went quiet some time in the middle of our conversation. She looked like her mind wasn’t there until I yelled her name after she didn’t respond the third time” This took Blane by surprise. “She even knocked a glass because she was so startled and acted like she had seen something, Blane this isn’t healthy and you know it” Gwen said with a withered look as she placed her hands on her lap, her greenish blue eyes were close to tears as she felt frustration take over. Why couldn’t she help?! Why couldn’t they for that matter? They were her parents for heavens sake! They should be able to help and yet with what they witnessed that night, it was anything but normal. Even now she wanted to know what happened but could see how petrified and confused Chloe was. Her daughter was closing herself even more than before and it terrified the woman that Chloe would soon do something that would be irreversible.
“Oh gosh!” Gwen croaked causing Blane to look at her sharply with worry etched on his face.
“What? What is it Gwen?” He asked hastily as he wanted to know what got his wife spooked.
“What if she’s cutting herself or worse is planning to take her own life? There is so much she can take and with what’s going on-” Blane held her hands not caring if his brown sweater was getting pizza sauce on it, his eyes solely focused on hers as he tried to calm his wife even though he was scared of the thought as well.
“Gwen, she wouldn’t”
“But how would you know?” she screamed at him sounding hysterical “We’re not there for her because of work and college! She could easily take something sharp and hurt herself with it or take pills for that matter” Blane gripped his hands in order to steady himself and signal for Gwen to stop talking, seeing her bit her trembling lip left him wanting to sigh and cry but held himself strong. He had to be her rock after all, if he broke down then who would stop his wife from assuming the worst? He had to keep this family from falling apart and be there, after all a husband was suppose to be there for his wife and support her during times like this. And he would be a fool if he just rolled over and allowed this family to fall apart.
“Gwen, do you trust Chloe?” Blane asked while trying to keep his voice stern but steady, Gwen choked on a sob as she looked at her husband who was masking his own worry. “Do you trust Chloe?” he asked again as he stared at her.
“Of course I do, but there is so much a person can take and we can’t take her to see a counselor! Look what happened the last time?!” she cried causing him to sigh knowing that didn’t go well as he had hoped either.
“I know, but panicking like this will now solve anything. Yes right now Chloe is avoiding us but give it time”
“And if we don’t? What if we end up wasting it instead of trying to be there for her?” she asked while her voice shook, she did have a point to his dismay.
“We’ll talk to her tomorrow” Blane said with a soft smile as he used his thumbs to rub the soft spot on her hands.
“But when?! We have work tomorrow!” she said shrilly while her eyes narrowed slightly from nearly breaking down.
“I’ll talk to my boss in going home early, I am sure he’ll understand and given that I’ve put a lot of hours in it’ll be okay” Blane replied with a shaky smile as he tried not to chuckle at her protective mama phase. Only she would act like this, even when Chloe had fell off the swing when she was about five. The mother had not stopped fussing over their little girl as she cried from the cut on her leg. This had left Blane to wonder if Chloe would ever be able to have the courage to get back on the swing again, only she did a while later with a determined look on her face leaving the man smiling proudly at how despite the setback was able to give it another try even if it didn’t go well as she hoped. It was something and that left him more proud at how she was coping so far, however it didn’t stop him musing and smiling over how he wished that the moment had lasted for a long time. He didn’t want her to grow up and yet she was making the man chuckle, yes despite this setback with what happened Chloe would come back from this. Even though the odds were stacked against her, even though there were rumors and the media trying to tarnish her she would persevere like she did before.
He had complete faith in her.
Chloe sighed as she sat at her usual seat in class, just hearing the girls left the upset teen wanting to go home and forget coming back to college. But no she couldn’t since her parents wanted to talk to her once they had finished work, this meant that going home was not an option and no doubt the college would rat out on her for missing a day or semester of college. Sighing heavily to herself resumed reading a book that she had just took from her bookshelf at home. She really didn’t want to read but it was better than doing nothing, although Chloe did wish that she could cover her ears with her headphones. However that was not an option, given that class was going to start soon and that would mean missing out on important notes whether they were to do with her studies or not.
“So I hear that the new guy got spooked because of you?” Jenny asked Chloe coldly as she glared at the black haired girl darkly. Jenny much to Chloe’s dismay continued to stand at the unhappy girl’s desk not showing any signs of leaving, Jenny’s eyes showed Chloe that she wanted to pick a fight the seated girl despite the fact that it could cause it would cause a scene. Chloe on the other hand said nothing leaving Jenny more angrier than before, without warning Jenny had slammed her hands on the black haired girl’s desk causing Chloe to almost jump from the sudden noise.
“Hello are you deaf?! I just asked you a question!” Jenny snapped until the room suddenly went deathly silent. Curious about the sudden change Jenny soon turned to look at what had caused the abrupt silence only to have her eyes go wide at what she was seeing. Chloe’s eyes on the other hand went back to the book not caring about what was going on since it was probably nothing important. However Jenny to Chloe’s surprise was silent leaving the girl feeling relief that whatever caused the ginger haired girl to go quiet had also effected the whole room, given that it was too noisy thanks to the insults and gossip about things they either watched or had to deal with the day or week before. Just as she was about to relish the temporary silence, the good feeling suddenly went as a something blocked the light that was being filtered through the windows leading to outside thanks to the blinds.
This on the other hand didn’t deter Chloe from reading until the silence and whatever besides the blinds that were blocking the light continued to linger, this left Chloe feeling annoyed as the silence and lack of light grew to a stage where it was getting harder to concentrate. Leaving the black haired girl almost wanting to huff and glare at who ever it was before telling them to move away. However the moment she looked up did the young girl pause as she stared at what was covering the light, she had definitely not seen this person before that was for sure.
There in front of her was a tall pale skinned male with neck length messy black hair, he wore a thin black jacket that had a zip which was completely undone however showed off his black no sleeved black shirt, he wore black trousers that were wide at the ankles while they almost covered his black trainers but covered his black socks. Basically to Chloe he looked like someone who had a major obsession with black and took being miserable seriously, since he had a gothic look to him. It she did leave her wondering on why his skin was so pale as well since it looked like he had never been out in the sun for years. In fact girls obsessed with vampires might have immediately took a liking to this appearance since he looked like he was undead.
What also took her surprise was his eyes- they were pure black.
“Are those contacts? They can’t be real” Chloe muttered as she stared at him but had found herself unable to look away, why though? In fact without knowing why her heart the moment she looked at him had skipped a beat while her cheeks heated up from feeling a bit exposed by his gaze.
The people in the classroom as Chloe continued to stare at his cold black eyes began to disappear, almost as if they were the only two people in the room.
People as Chloe looked began to glare or whisper about her staring, but the female had paid no heed given that the male had somehow captured her full attention.
“Ah Daniel, nice to see you today you’ve missed a lot yesterday” Mr. Williams the teacher greeted with a chipper smile, this in turn caused the black haired male to blink slowly almost as if he was processing that the teacher was talking to him, for some reason to Chloe as she looked at the male it looked as if he was forcing himself to turn and glare at the teacher. Only when he did turn did Chloe snap out of her daze and soon begun to realise that she had been staring at him, now feeling her cheeks going warm from what had happened Chloe had slowly looked down at her book in hopes of trying to salvage her pride for what she did.
However to her dismay soon after Mr. Williams had started to do the register did Chloe soon feel eyes on her leaving the girl feeling completely uncomfortable, was it the class she didn’t know. But when she gained some courage to look up at the students to see if they were staring at her did she feel some relief as she saw that they were staring at the teacher, feeling the breath that she had held in leave her slowly did she almost feel herself mentally smile in relief until she paused on one person. Her mental smile at that moment vanished the moment she spotted why she was now feeling uneasy, Daniel’s eyes were to her shock focused solely on her.