Chapter 1 Day -1
Moore College, a small co-ed school located in the North West of England, about thirty miles from the nearest city. The school could almost be considered famous for not being famous, constant mediocre marks and one footballer who’s career ended over a decade ago. But this tiny school of underachievers and over reacher’s housed two seemingly ordinary students, who would come to be instrumental in the events that followed.
The last bell finally rang, signaling the end of a long lesson and an even longer day. Roughly shoving her books into a shoulder bag, quickly followed by a few pens and a ruler, a girl stood up from her desk and threw her bag over her shoulder as she made her way over to a quickly forming group of six others, in the centre of the room.
The girl stood at a little under six foot, with a thin figure emphasizing flexibility and agility. Her blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail for efficiency while still looking smart. A stray strand of hair hung uncorrected over her pretty face in a way most considered cute. But her defining feature was her bright emerald eyes that sparkled in the light giving her an aura of innocence.
Joining the group the girl proceeded to hop onto a nearby desk, listening to the conversation. Stood at the very centre of the circle was a tall well-built boy with cropped black hair.
“How do they expect us to stay awake on a day like this when the lessons are that dull? Can I borrow your notes again Amy?” The boy complained a little too loudly as he feigns puppy dog eyes at the girl. Reaching into the bag by her side the girl, Amy, handed over an A4 book replying exasperatedly.
“Ben, if you don’t start working soon you’re going to fail your A levels.” Ben happily took the book from Amy’s outstretched hand.
“I won’t fail babe,” Ben responded cockily.
“Really, how did you do in your mocks?” One of the other guys in the group asked. Ben went red with embarrassment muttering a feeble excuse while the rest of the gang burst out laughing. As the laughter slowly died away Ben tried to recover some credibility by stating.
“Come on I do more work than John.” This time it was one of the girls that responded.
“That doesn’t count, that weirdo’s like some genius isn’t he?” Amy didn’t bother listening to the response, instead, she allowed her attention to drift over to the boy they were referring teachers. He sat secluded in a corner of the classroom, leaning back in his chair apparently sleeping. His straight brown hair was neatly cut though a few strands were long enough to cover his right eye.
As the group had said he was smart, the trouble was he knew it. The boy barely paid attention in lessons and he damn near ignored anyone, be they teacher or student, that asked him a question. Everyone got the message don’t bother me and I won’t bother you. The teachers didn’t care so long as he continued to top the tests and to the students, his behavior demanded ostracization anyway.
As if he sensed her looking at him John opened his eyes and stared back at the girl. Amy broke the eye contact, quickly turning her attention back to her friends.
“Jane didn’t you used to play hockey with him,” Ben asked, clearly the conversation had not moved on Amy thought wearily.
“Yeah a few years ago but then he stopped cause it interfered with some camping thing,” Hannah responded though it was clear by the look on her face that she did not like being affiliated with the social outcast.
“Come on enough talk of the weirdo we need to set off. You’re all coming to the match right?” One of the boy’s asked standing. The others of the group followed his example the guys grabbing their sports kits.
“Fraid I can’t come, mum’s working late tonight so I’ve got to walk home.” Amy responded jumping off the desk she had been perched on and made her way out, in a hurry to start the long walk ahead of her. The group shouted goodbyes after her while Ben quickly caught up to her and took her hand. When Amy looked at him questioningly Ben smiled back at her saying.
“What kind of boyfriend would I be if I didn’t at least walk you out.” The two walked through the emptying school, Ben talking animatedly about the match ahead while Amy remained silent content to listen. As the couple left the building and made their way to the school gates Ben pulled Amy to one side.
“Are you sure you don’t want me to walk you back?” Ben asked his girlfriend.
“I’ll be fine now go to the match and score a goal for me kay?” Ben brightened up at that, kissing Amy on the cheek he jogged off towards the pitches shouting over his shoulder.
“I’ll see you on Monday.” Amy waved at his retreating figure before putting on a set of headphones and hitting play on her iPod.
The long walk home was quiet and uneventful for the most part, Amy hummed along to songs while she weaved through pedestrians and darted down alleys. She loved walking, a love sadly not shared by her family or friends. Something in the dull rhythmic feeling of her steps spoke to her nature and Amy would just lose herself in it.
However, as the winter sun started to dip below the horizon Amy came face to face with the thing that would haunt her for the rest of her life.
She was about ten minutes away from home when she decided to take a shortcut down a nearby alley. Unfortunately, there was already someone in the alley. A man, around forty and his balding head shone with some of the light of the setting sun. The man blocked her path wheezing at the girl. Amy initially dismissed him as a drunk as she tried to maneuver around him only to suddenly fall back terrified as the man lunged at her. Amy retreated quickly deciding on the only sane option. Run. With that idea firmly in her head, Amy sprinted out of the alley the way she had come, running all the way home.
In the coming months when Amy remembered this moment she would have one thought.
“If I had known what was about to happen, what I was about to experience. I probably would have let him kill me then have to deal with the horrors that were to follow.”