“Carnival, what a weird name.” was the most common thing that Carnival East heard people whisper behind her back. She constantly wondered what her parents were thinking when they gave her the name Carnival East. As if her rainbow hair and piercings weren’t enough to get her made fun of, she had to have a weird name to top it all off. She didn’t mind having the odd colored hair and she really liked her piercings, but she supposed she would like them more if she had a normal name. They had moved to a new town which meant a new school, new teachers, and new bullies to deal with. That also meant that she wouldn’t have any friends.
“Carnival! You’re going to be late to your first day of school! Get up!” Her mother hollered up the stairs.
Carnival groaned and rolled out of bed, going to her bathroom. Her rainbow colored hair was about waist length and her electric blue eyes looked groggy. She wasn’t ready for today. She would have rather slept all day and just ignored everyone all together. Her parents weren’t the best in the world. Her mother was a whore (literally) and her Stepfather like to beat her on a daily basis. She had bruises all over her chest, stomach, and back. She hoped that her parents were already gone like they usually were.
Peeking over the railing, the TV was off and so were all the lights. That meant that her parents were gone. She let out a breath that she was holding. She undressed and pulled on her Falling in Reverse t-shirt with the sleeves cut off. Her black skinny jeans were ripped in places and were tucked into her black converse. Shoving piercings in their holes, she ran downstairs and to the kitchen, grabbing some breakfast. It was normal for her mother to holler and wake her up then leave right after, not checking to see if she was up or not.
“This day is going to be somewhat okay.” She said to herself.
She left and locked the door behind her. She wanted to be long gone before her parents had the chance to figure out if they needed to return home. The walk to school was a peaceful one. Falling in Reverse, Black Veil Brides, and Asking Alexandria were blasting in her ears as she texted some of her old friends. They wished her luck, which made her smile. Looking up, she noticed that a small blanket of fog covered the ground, cars scarcely coming down the street. It was a nice scene. She shoved her phone back in her pocket after double checking to see if the volume was all the way up and pulled her Slipknot Jacket hood over her head.
Soon, the school came into view. It was time for her to slink back into her invisibility mode and hopefully no one would notice her. Too late. A group of guys, popular ones by the way that they dressed, came towards her. She really didn’t want any trouble this early in the morning. Maybe they were going to be nice and show her where her classes were.
Yeah right. Look at them and then look at me. She thought, sighing quietly.
“Hey, new girl! Wait up!” One of them said.
She kept walking, not hearing him over her music. She hoped that they were going to someone else. Her hopes weren’t answered as they circled her. She stopped, her music still blasting. She saw one of their mouths moving, but couldn’t make out what he was saying from behind her hair. She pulled her headphones off, the music fully audible now, Asking Alexandria screaming nonstop into the mic as she looked at each member of the group surrounding her.
“You’re new aren’t you?” One asked.
She nodded. “Yeah.”
“What’s your name?” Another asked.
“Carnival East.” Great, here comes the comments.
“Carnival East? That’s an odd name.” The first one said.
She shrugged. That wasn’t the worst that he could have said. She felt her hood being pulled off and they all snickered. Rolling her eyes, she tried to push past them, but they wouldn’t let her. She sighed and stood there. There were a few other students looking at her, all of them mumbling under their breaths about her appearance. She felt so awkward in the middle of that circle.
“What’s up with the hair and piercings?” One of the other guys asked.
“Is a girl not allowed to look how she wants?” Carnival asked, hoping she didn’t sound too much like a bitch.
She heard one of the guys scoff. The bell rang, saving her. As the group departed, she tried to move away, only to be tripped. She landed awkwardly on her side, pain ripping through her body. She sighed again, gathering her stuff, putting her phone back together and heading to class. Her shoulder hurt and her breathing was a little shallow. Walking into class, she was forced to introduce herself before sitting in the very back corner away from everyone, listening to all their whispering. There were three empty seats around her, one in front, one to the left, and one catty corner. About thirty minutes into class, a guy walked into the room, obviously out of breath. She could hear some of the girls swoon and a few of the guy’s growl. She guessed that the guy was fairly popular with the girls but not the guys, which usually meant that he was a player and wouldn’t pay her any attention. She sunk down into her chair and started doodling in her sketch pad, switching pencils when shading was necessary.
“Hey. Can I sit here?” She heard a smooth voice ask.
She looked up to see the guy staring down at her, his red hair spiked, gold eyes standing out. He wore something of what could only be described as a modern day pirate outfit. A scar was visible around his neck. She just nodded and went back to doodling. He smiled and sat down, watching her. Her hands moved so smoothly over the paper, her lines so light, detailed and shaded perfectly. She could feel him staring at her, which made her feel a bit uncomfortable. Soon, the bell rang and she shoved her stuff into her bag and rushed out of the room.
She went to her locker, trying to figure out how to unlock it. Damn things. No wonder I never had one at my old school.
She saw a pair of boots stop beside her, leaning against the lockers. She sighed. Was he going to make fun of her? She looked up at him. He was a little too close for comfort, but she didn’t let it show.
“Can I help you?” She asked.
“My names Connor. May I inquire yours?” The guy from her first class asked.
“Carnival East. What do you want?” She asked, getting frustrated with her lock.
He took the paper from her hands and opened the lock on the first try. “I just wanted to say hi and learn your name.” He said, moving out of her way.
She put her books in her locker and felt satisfied at how light her bag was. Looking at her schedule, she sighed. She didn’t have her favorite classes, English, History, and Art, until the very end of the day. She went to walk off and he followed her. She was beginning to get agitated but didn’t say anything. She went to her next class and let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding when he passed. The rest of the day sort of slugged by, people poking at her, whispering behind her back, tripping her. She wanted nothing more than to leave. She didn’t want to go home, she didn’t want to be at school. She wanted to be in her own place where she could fully relax for once. The last bell of the day rang and she hurried to her locker and tried to leave before the group from that morning noticed her.
Too late. They grabbed her and drug her behind the athletics building where there were no other students or cameras. They threw her to the ground, ripping off her bag and throwing it up on the roof (which wasn’t entirely too high, but high enough to where she would have to climb to get her bag). She sighed, pushing herself up, ignoring the pain. The group, about five of them, smiled down at her with devious smiles that made her feel entirely uncomfortable.
“Looks like this little kitten is a bit out of place.” One of them said.
Carnival looked up at them. Why were they picking on her on her first day of school? Couldn’t it have at least waited until tomorrow? She could already feel tears stinging the back of her eyes and they hadn’t done anything yet. One came closer, kneeling down to look at her face. He smiled, revealing a bit of tobacco chew in his bottom lip. The sight disgusted her and made her stomach churn.
He grabbed a fist full of her hair. “You know, I wonder how bad it would hurt if I were to yank one of them pretty piercings out of your face.”
“Please don’t.” She whimpered.
His smile got wider as he gently tugged on one of the piercings above her eye. Pain started to sizzle around the ring and she had to clench her teeth to try not to scream. The guy pulled a little harder, sending more pain, making it harder for her to hold back. Then, in one swift movement, he yanked the piercing out of her eyebrow and watched as she screamed with blood pouring down her face. The other four looked at him.
“Dude. That was a little too far.”
“Yeah. We were just going to pick on her a little, not rip her piercings out.”
“Dude, what has gotten into you?”
“What? I can’t have a little fun? The weird bitch deserves it. Look at her. Thinking she’s all high and fucking mighty and doesn’t have to talk to anyone because she’s different.” The guy that ripped the ring out spat at her.
They left her there to cry and scream and bleed. She covered the left side of her face, trying to calm down, trying to ignore the searing pain. She could faintly hear footsteps but didn’t dare look up in case it was the group again. She heard a soft, deep voice in her ear.
“It’s okay. Come here. I’ll take you to my place and fix your eyebrow.”
She didn’t hesitate any longer but let the stranger pick her up. She looked down, half blinded by blood, to watch where she was walking. She saw the familiar boots from earlier and looked up to see Connor. Why was he helping her? She didn’t care. Her face hurt and she was ready to get somewhere and find a way to relax. They soon reached a house. Connor unlocked the door and took her inside, setting her on the couch before running, literally, to get the things he needed to fix her face. Returning moments later, he went to work. He moved quickly but carefully, hoping that he wasn’t hurting her. Once he was finished, he went and made some tea before sitting back down with her.
“So, what happened?”
“Nothing.” She said sourly.
“Come on. I have metal too, don’t think that I can’t tell when you’re lying.”
She didn’t want to answer. The smell of blood was getting to her, metallic and odd. She wanted to just disappear. This day was not her day and she wanted to slink back into darkness and hope that no one would ever find her. She felt a cold hand on her shoulder and was ripped back to reality. Connor was looking at her with an odd look.
“What?” She asked, pain coating her voice.
“I know it hurts. And I also know that Derik is the one that pulled the piercing out. So why are you so reluctant to say anything?” He asked.
She stared at him. “How did you know?”
“As I was leaving the building, I saw them cornering you but I couldn’t get to you before he ripped it out. I tried, but I couldn’t get there fast enough. I’m sorry.” He explained, feeling bad for not being able to protect her.
“Oh.” She said simply.