What Are You Struggling With?
The school was buzzing with gossip when I got in, probably the reason Rock skidded up to me with a broad grin on his face.
I shook my head. What was he so happy about? I leaned against my locker and told him to spit it out.
'Reds been busted.'
I smiled then, this was indeed good news, but hardly new news. That waster had been in and out of prison as long as he was legally of age to go- so a good five years at least. We walked towards class as he told me the details.
'So the police turned up, and found a fuck load of cocaine. He's looking at seven years this time at least, according to my mom.'
I whistled through my teeth as I shook my head. Not really my concern, but I suppose it was karma biting him on the ass.
'Rumour has it, our ice queen was there.' Rock raised his eyebrows as he shook his head.
'She was arrested but she wasn't charged.' He stretched as he spoke and I followed him to class.
'So she's got a criminal now. On top of looking like she does. I swear, one night with her fine legs wrapped around me-' I tuned out, not wanting to hear about his fantasy with the local bad girl. If anything the fact she held company like that should be off putting surely? The little girl, Belle's face came back into my mind and I frowned as I wondered what her story was. She must be the little sister or something? But she was dressed well, looked clean and looked after. From the little information I had about Veronicas mom, it seemed hygiene and general care of a child would not be on the top of her list. My attention was drawn to the front of the class as the teacher told us to open our books to a certain page and read quietly before we discussed it. I noticed Rock on his phone and I shook my head. That boy will end up unemployed forever at this rate. He came from money, and therefore I think he felt he could just fall back onto his inherited wealth, which I suppose he could, but where was his ambition? I tried to pay attention to the book in front of me but I found my mind drifting back to her constantly. The day passed without any more drama, and I found myself sitting on the bleachers reading 'The Shining', a book I had read many times before but every time I read it I felt like I read something new. I was so lost in the book I didn't realise there was an argument taking place right below me until the voices were raised and angry.
'You know nothing about me, so keep your pretty little mouth shut or I'll fucking shut it for you.'
'I didn't say anything that wasn't true.' The second voice spat back. 'Your mom is a whore and she gets paid to spread her legs. Must be where you get it from.'
There was the sound of a hand striking skin, and a yelp followed. I sat up quickly, my book tumbling down my chest as I hopped down the bleachers, in time to see Veronica with a handful of blonde hair in her hand as she spoke into the ear of our head cheerleader.
'I will fuck your daddy and make you watch, you fucking cunt.' Her grip tightened as she spat in her face, causing a whimper from Rochelle.
'Veronica.' I strode over, pushing my self between them both.
'Fuck off. Take this little slut with you.' She muttered as she crossed her arms, breathing heavily. Her eyes were wild as she glared at me and I actually began to fear she would be going for me next. I turned to Rochelle who turned and ran away, a sob breaking from her chest. I turned back to her then and ran my hands through my hair.
'What the fuck Veronica? You can't do that kind of stuff!' I was shocked, but I couldn't believe she would do something like that to someone.
'What would you fucking know? What would you know about anything? Why do you keep fucking popping up in my life anyway? Fuck OFF.' She scowled as she turned away, her black jumper sliding down her shoulders as she lit a cigarette, leaning her head forward to protect the flame from the wind. Her creamy skin was suddenly exposed, and I saw a dark blue bruise forming. My stomach clenched in anger as I imagined how it had got there.
'What happened to your back?' I asked her softly as she whipped around, clawing her top up.
'Do you not have a life? Why are you so interested in mine?'
I watched her, my gaze now searching all available skin for signs of more abuse. Her jumper covered her arms, the frayed edges of her jumper covering her hands, her ripped black leggings and boots covering her legs. I racked my brains trying to remember if she had that bruise the last time I saw her, but I knew it looked too fresh.
'What happened.' I demanded stepping closer to her. She inhaled on her cigarette and closed her eyes as she waved me away, a smile replacing the sneer.
'Look. I'm fine. Just, go.' She hugged herself as she turned, staring through the gaps in the bleachers as the football team roared at each other on the field, as they chased that stupid fucking ball.
'Who's Bella?' I asked, and she looked at me with a look that would stop Satan in his tracks.
'What are you struggling with? Have you been dared to talk to the little goth girl? Is that what this is?' She was angry, but I held her gaze as I walked closer to her, my heart suddenly pounding.
'No. I don't know what guys you know, but my heroes don't do dares.'
I held my book up as her eyes glanced at it quickly before turning away.
I wanted to reach out and touch the skin that the bruise held captive, my fingers wanting to run over it, make it disappear somehow. I suddenly felt protective of this crazy girl, and I didn't know why. I knew it was stupid, because in reality, she would be the one protecting me. When she turned back towards me, she smiled softly.
'I know you mean well. I do. But you really need to keep away from me. Everything around me falls apart. People fall apart. I'm a real life villain, and I don't even try.'
She pushed past me then, leaving her scent behind of cheap perfume and cigarettes which should have smelt vile, but instead were intoxicating.