I avoided Christen as much as I could.
I stayed in my room for the whole night, not wanting to face him. My wrist had started to go a purplish brown colour, the fingerprints from his grip clearly visible. I touched my wrist and winced.
I was getting ready for school, purposely wearing one of my bigger jumpers to hide my wrist. I don’t need people questioning why I have a bruised wrist. It would only add to the gossip, which I definitely don’t need right now.
I skipped quickly through the house, not even eating breakfast before I was out the door. I sighed deeply and walked to the bus stop.
After I got off the bus at school, I saw Veronica and her friends glaring at me from their car. Obviously, she still hadn’t gotten over the fact that I may or may not have thrown a fish at her.
I internally shrugged. She deserved it. She probably deserves a thousand times worse if she does that to people on a regular basis.
I was sitting in Calculus, trying my hardest to pay attention but ultimately failing. Seriously, who was the genius who decided to add letters into math?
The teacher was going through questions on the board, not even asking any of the students for the answer since he knew he probably wasn’t going to get one.
I leaned my head on my desk, shutting my eyes. The teacher didn’t even notice. In fact, most of the students were already dozing off on their desks.
Just as I was about to fall asleep, I heard the teacher speak. “Miss Arnolds?”
My head shot up.
That was a bad idea.
As soon as I had moved my head, a wave of dizziness washed over me. I gripped my head in pain, gritting my teeth. The pain in my head throbbed. “Yes, Sir?”
The pain wasn’t going away. I could hear my heartbeat in my ears, and my vision was getting blurry.
“Please, answer the question on the board,” he said in a bored tone. No one was paying attention anymore, either they were sleeping or playing on their phones under the table.
I looked up, squinting my eyes to see. I had started to read the question for about three seconds before the numbers, letters and lines had started to move around and double. I felt like throwing up and my head felt like it was on fire.
“Uhhh I.. I.. can’t.” My breathing was becoming shallow and my breaths short. My chest was heaving up and down, yet no one seemed to notice. Even the teacher had turned back to the board, oblivious to what was going on in his class.
“Sir, may I please be excused?” I asked before bolting out of the classroom, already outside by the time I got a ‘yes’ for an answer.
I held my head in my hands, staggering down the empty hallways. I headed towards the girls’ bathroom, which would hopefully be empty.
I was getting more dizzy as time went past, barely being able to walk anymore. I couldn’t hear anything anymore and I was starting to see black spots in my vision.
I didn’t make it to the girls bathroom.
I vaguely remember collapsing on the hallway floor, my legs giving out. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t get enough air.
I remember lying there, in so much pain, and then looking up, glancing at the end of the hallway where I saw Blake, Jordan, Ethan and Xavier standing, talking. They hadn’t noticed me yet.
Then I saw Blake finally look up, his facial expression a mixture of shock, concern and fear. He immediately started running towards me, the other boys following.
Then, all I saw was nothing.
When I woke up, I panicked.
What the hell had happened?
I opened my eyes to see a room that looked like a hospital room but with much less equipment.
Was in in the nurses office? That must be it.
Then, the door opened and the nurse walked in. I was right, I was in the nurses office. She smiled at me and came over.
“How’re you feeling hun? Alright?” she said in an accent that I couldn’t quite pinpoint.
I sat up a little straighter but it made me feel worse again so I stopped moving.
“Be careful now, you don’t wanna have another nasty fall,” the nurse advised, pouring me a glass of water from the little sink in the corner of the room.
“What happened?” I asked, still feeling a little confused and dazed.
“You collapsed in the hallway. Four boys brought you to me, and then left,” she replied, writing something down on a clipboard.
I raised my eyebrows.
They brought me here?
I shook my head and shrugged, pushing them out of my mind.
“Can I leave now?” I asked.
“Well I called your mother and since she was at work, she arranged for your cousin to pick you up, he would be leaving to come and pick you up in half an hour,” she replied, smiling warmly at me. I, however, paled immediately.
No no no.
I wanted to avoid Christen. Not spend the rest of the whole friggin’ day with him.
“No, really it’s fine. I’m feeling a lot better now,” I assured her, sitting up and ignoring the pain in my head, plastering a smile onto my face.
She pursed her lips. “Are you sure?”
“Yep, totally fine. I want to do some last minute studying for a test in the library, it will be quiet and relaxing there,” I said, lying. I was just trying to hold off going home for as long as I could.
She bit her lip. “Alright, I’ll call home and tell him that you’re okay. You better go now, lunch will start soon.” Damn, I was out the whole morning?
I nodded, thanking her.
When I walked out, I saw Blake and Jordan in the hallway.
“Are you okay?” Jordan asked, wearing a look of concern. Why was he concerned? He barely knew me. Blake was also listening, waiting for my answer.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just got the flu is all,” I replied, reassuring them both. “Thanks for taking me to the nurse.”
Jordan wore a cute smile. “Well we couldn’t just leave you lying in the middle of the hallway.”
I smiled a little. “Well, I better be going.” I turned around, starting to leave.
“Wait!” Blake said, causing me to turn around. “Would you like to sit with us at lunch?”
I bit my lip. “Maybe another time, when I’m feeling better. I’m going to go and relax in the library,” I told them.
I had entered the cafeteria, immediately spotting Kaitlyn sitting at a table by herself, playing with her food. I walked over to the table, taking a seat next to her.
“Hey,” I greeted her.
She didn’t respond or even look up.
“What’s wrong?” I asked, staring at her.
She huffed. “Veronica.”
“Oh,” I replied. “What happened?”
“I’m her partner in Dance. We gotta create a whole dance for a song,” she sighed, pouting. She buried her face in her arms, forgetting about her food.
“Damn, I feel sorry for you,” I snorted. She huffed again.
“I have to go over to her house later to get started on it.”
“Good luck with that.”
“Oh, so no moral support from my best friend? Thanks,” she rolled her eyes.
I smiled a little at the best friend part. I haven’t really ever had a real best friend, and when I thought I did they stabbed me in the back as soon as they found out about my sickness.
We sat and talked throughout the whole of lunch, only parting when the bell went. I checked my schedule, which I still hadn’t managed to remember, and saw that I had Biology next. I internally groaned and grabbed my books out of my locker, making my way to the Biology room.
When class started, I zoned out. The teacher was nice, but Biology just wasn’t my thing. While she went on about the elements, I stared out the window. I already knew about the elements. My parents had gotten me a tutor when I was sick, which helped me learn a lot more than I needed to know.
It was then that Veronica, who was unfortunately in my Bio class, put gum in my hair. I hadn’t realised that she was sitting behind me.
“What the hell?” I exclaimed when I felt the sticky piece of gum in my hair. I turned around to glare at Veronica who was smiling smugly.
“What is going on?” the teacher stopped talking to glance back at us. She watched with a little amusement in her eyes.
“She yelled at me!” Veronica squeaked out, fake tears pooling in her eyes.
“Oh please, I didn’t yell at you,” I rolled my eyes, trying to get the gum out of my hair. Thankfully, I managed to get most of it out but it was still noticeable.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about!”
“You have 67 protons that’s for sure,” I replied, chuckling. The teacher started laughing while most of the class looked at me confused. I inclined my head towards the periodic table that was sitting on the wall.
The only element with 67 protons is holmium, which has a symbol that says ‘Ho.’
Pretty proud of myself for making that one up.
The teacher was still laughing and a couple of the students laughed too. Veronica, sitting there confused as hell, simply kept up the innocent act even though the teacher could see straight through it.
“Veronica, annoy Stephanie again and it’s detention for you,” the teacher said, winking at me. I smiled triumphantly.
“But-” Veronica tried to argue.
“No arguing, unless you want detention now?”
Veronica shut up after that, still glaring at me the whole time but unable to do anything. I was still smiling smugly throughout the rest of class, waving bye to Veronica as I walked out of the room.
After school, I really didn’t want to go home to face Christen. I decided that I could, purposely, miss the bus today. Maybe go to a cafe or something and relax there for a bit. I could think up an excuse for Christen later.
I just walked down the street from the school, looking for a place where I could hang out for a while. I saw little cafe’s and shops around but I didn’t really feel like eating anything yet. I just kept walking, making sure that I had Google Maps so that I could walk home.
I found myself in a park. Children were playing on the playground, laughing and running around while the parents chatted on the park benches.
I spent most of my childhood in hospitals. I wish I could’ve had fun like these kids do, not having a care in the world about anything except for what was happening right then and there.
I smiled at them and kept walking.
I didn’t realise how long I had been walking for, but it was starting to get dark. I had just walked around the park, admiring the lake and the plant life that surrounded it and the park. People had started to leave since it was getting late.
When the playground was empty, I sat down on the swings, just listening to the sounds of the cars driving past and the birds calling in the trees.
I then noticed voices in the distance, I squinted my eyes to see who it was. All the way across the park were four figures that looked vaguely familiar.
You’ve got to be kidding me.