Without You (Book 1)

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Chapter 4: Popularity At A Price

It’s finally lunch time, classes were long and boring. I’m gonna spare you the details.

“Dawn, over here” Tia calls out, drawing attention to me.

I make my way to her ignoring all the people looking at me. I understand why they are because I’m usually always by myself and now the most popular girl in school is calling me over.

Honestly I didn’t really have many friends until last year, when my friend Kayla introduced me to Tia. It wasn't until 6 months ago we became friends though.

“Damn she’s hot.” A guy I don’t recognize says to his friend.

“Has a nice ass too” the other guy adds in.

“I think she’s ugly and fat.” The girl sitting with them glares at me.

I look away and sit beside Tia. “Hey”

“I was just telling them about Zac” she smiles at me before turning to her other friends and continuing.

I look around, noticing a lot of people are still staring, making me feel extremely uncomfortable.

“She’s probably a slut, dressing like that.” The girl from before says.

“That’s fine with me, I’d hit that.” The guy says.

They’re sitting across from me, like hello I can hear you.

“My names Dawn, and I can clearly hear you.” I speak up.

Tia shoots me a small glare. “They’re obviously teasing, lighten up or leave.”

Wow okay. “I’ll leave then.”

I stand up and start walking away.

“Awww the slut is butthurt.” The girl yells out, laughing.

I pick up my speed and leave the courtyard, tears threatening to escape. I’m just gonna go home, tell my mum I didn’t feel well or something.

I practically run down the street before coming up to a park and taking a seat on the bench, my head falling into my hands as tears start streaming down my face.

Great just great. How could they talk about me like that? They don’t even know me and instead of Tia defending me she was rude.

I should have known better. I should just keep to myself and save myself from being humiliated further.

I look up from my hands to see Jackson walking up to me. I quickly wipe the tears away and clear my throat. “Did you follow me?”

He rubs the back of his neck, looking uncomfortable.

“Just go away.” I shake my head and stand up, getting ready to walk home.

He gently grabs my arm and pulls me into a hug and instead of fighting it I let it happen and start crying.

“I’m sorry they were mean” he whispers in my ear, his hot breath warming my neck.

“It’s whatever. I should have known better.” I sigh, stepping back.

“You shouldn't let assholes like that beat you down.”

I wipe my face before looking at him, his eyes never leaving mine.

“I should go home.” I look down.

“Then why aren’t you moving” he asks, stepping closer to me, almost closing the distance.

I look back up at him, his green eyes drawing me in. He starts leaning toward me, about to close the distance. My heart starts hammering in my chest. “I-i can’t.” I blurt out, stepping away.

“I just can’t. I’m sorry” I mutter before running the opposite way, towards home.

As soon as I walk in my front door my mum greets me with an frustrated sigh. “Why are you home?”

"I didn’t feel well, I’m sorry. I’m just gonna go lay down. Hopefully I’ll feel better tomorrow.”

She nods and walks away.

That whole night all I did was lie in bed and cry, cry because of how much I hate myself, because of how often I’m reminded how ugly, fat and unwanted I am. If my mum had a choice she probably wouldn’t want me either.

The next day comes and I just stay in bed, ignoring my mum bugging me to get up. I roll over, making sure my back is facing the door. I don’t want to do anything today.

“I’ll tell the school you’re still not feeling well.” She says, finally giving up.

I listen to her walk away. Letting me be alone. Letting me hate myself.

I close my eyes, letting the darkness wash over me, making me warm inside.

“Dawn it’s 3pm, you have to come out of your room to eat.”

I rub my eyes, urging them to adjust to the light. shit I must have fallen asleep. “Okay” I groan.

I grab my phone, 5 new texts. Tia and Jackson.

Tia: why didn’t you come to school?

Why aren’t you answering me?

Whatever be a loser then.

Wow. What a good best friend you are.

Jackson: I’m sorry about yesterday

I hope you’re okay.

I ignore Tia's messages and decide to message Jackson.

“Hey, sorry. I slept all day. I’m fine just tired.”

Before I have a chance to put my phone down he replies

“All good. How would you feel about hanging out? Just you and me.”

Smiling I type out a reply.

“When and where?”

“The park, now?”

“See you then!”

Oh god did the exclamation point make me seem desperate?


What am I gonna wear?

Running into my closet I start looking around frantically for something nice to wear, I want to impress him but I don’t want to seem like I’m desperate for him to notice me.

I push aside my brand new, unworn pink leopard print pajama set, in the back of my dimly lit closet I spot what I’m looking for.

A delicate, black, lace fabric jutting out from between the mass of clothes. I carefully unhook it from the hanger, bringing it over to my bed and laying out.

The whole dress is a floral lace, the sleeves only containing the intricate design while the body has a thin layer of silk underneath. I carefully put the dress on realizing there’s no fabric covering my back besides the lace that covers my shoulder blades.

Turning around and looking at the front I notice it shows just the right amount of cleavage, covering the rest.

I honestly look like I’m trying too hard but I don’t care, this dress is worth it. Grabbing my pair of black velvety heels I carefully slide them on before looking back into my stand up mirror, admiring the design and how it’s a perfect fit.

Deciding to just add a light layer of mascara, I grab my purse and practically skip down the stairs, grabbing an apple and letting my mum know I’m going out.

I take a bite of my Apple, welcoming the flavor it brings. I love apples, they’re the perfect amount of sweet and sour combined into one.

I should probably send a text to Jackson.

"I’m on my way -Dw”

I take my time walking to the park, enjoying the sun warming my skin and the cool breeze that accompanies it.

I’m more of a winter girl, I love the brisk air and how beautiful the snow makes everything look but I can enjoy the warmth in the spring and summer.

I look up to notice I’m almost at the park but there’s no sign of Jackson from what I can see so I pick up my pace until I have a full view, looking around I see a couple of kids playing tag, a few others playing on the apparatus and some parents sitting on near by benches but Jackson isn’t here yet.

I walk over to a empty bench and take a seat, pulling out my phone.

“I’m here. -Dw”

While I’m waiting for a reply I decide to message Tia.

“Sorry I wasn’t feeling well. -Dw”

Before I get a chance to put my phone away it chimes, hoping it’s Jackson I quickly pull up my messages realizing it’s just Tia.

“Whatever I’m bored, come over? -Tia”

Sighing I type out a quick reply and send it.

“Busy, sorry. -Dw”

“Whatever I’ll just hang with someone else. -Tia"

We aren't always like this to each other, She just has a hard time letting people in so she comes off as mean and I've dealt with it for so long it actually annoys me so we bicker.

After waiting for 20 minutes I get up and start to walk away, this was a waste of time, I thought to myself.

“Dawn! Wait.”

I turn around and notice Jackson running up to me. “Oh you made it.”

“Sorry I was held up. You’re leaving?” He asks, sounding a little disappointed.

“I was gonna, yeah. I waited for a while.”

He gently grabs my hand and starts leading me away from the park.

“Umm. Where are we going?” I ask, confused.

“I want to show you something” he smiles at me before looking away and leading me somewhere.

I let out a small giggle before holding onto his hand and following.

I don’t know why but I feel comfortable around him, like I don’t have to worry. He makes me feel safe but, Is that a bad thing? Like I just met the guy. Just have to keep reminding myself to create space between us.

After following him around cluelessly, he stops in front of a forest before turning to me. “Do you trust me” he asks, taking a step closer to me.

“N-Not really” I stutter.

"I wont hurt you I Promise."

The corners of his mouth come up into a mischeavious smirk before lacing his fingers in between mine, holding tight, but not enough to cause pain. “Follow me” he says as he walks into the forest.

“Wait you aren’t gonna murder me right?” I ask

He let’s out a deep laugh, shaking his head. “No, I’m not.”

Reluctantly I start following him. “A murderer would say the same thing y'know.”

“In that case, yes I’m taking you into the forest so no one can hear you scream, better?” He shakes his head at me.

“Yes definitely better cause now I absolutely think I’m not gonna be murdered” I roll my eyes, my voice filled with sarcasm.

After a while of him navigating us around the forest we come to a clearing and what looks like a small lake with nothing but trees on every side, the wind making small waves in the water, and the sun that was starting to set making it look magical.

“Wow” I breathe out, amazed at it’s beauty.

“Yeah.” He says silently. “Absolutely stunning.”

I look over at him to realize he’s looking right at me, smiling.

“I’m talking about the water” I look back to it, loving the calm the washes over me.

“I’m talking about you.” He states as he walks over to me, putting his hands on my waist and pulling me closer to him. “I never did get a kiss yesterday” he leans closer to me.

“Oh” was all I could say suddenly feeling extremely nervous. I have kissed someone before but with him it’s just...different.

As he starts to come closer, I put my hands on his chest, gently pushing him away. "I can't"

He takes a step back, visibly frustrated by my rejection. "Why not?"

"I don't know you." I state.

"So? I like you, You like me, it's simple" He raises his voice a little, clearly agitated.

"It's not that simple" I yell. "I'm going home." I practically hiss before walking away. Who does he think he is?

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