I sighed, looking at my dad who was passed out on the couch. It was a regular thing for me to find him in this position. After using me as a punching bag until about twelve o’clock last night, he had drank himself sick. I had heard him throwing up in the bathroom until the early hours of the morning, and then eventually all noise had stopped when he finally passed out.
I knew what he did to me was wrong, but I couldn’t leave him. I couldn’t run away, and I couldn’t tell people what was happening at home.
I was all he had left.
I knew somewhere deep inside of him, he just had to love me. I was his daughter after all; his only child. He couldn’t absolutely hate me.
I trudged out of the house and down the dirt path that led out toward the main road. I walked to school every morning. It was about a forty-five minute walk, but I refused to ride the bus, and my dad didn’t take me to school. We couldn’t afford another car, so this was my only option.
When I walked into the doors of the school, my body was already aching from the bruises I had recently gotten. It had hurt like a bitch this morning to cake the make-up on my face, but I had to hide it.
I had to hide it for his sake. I couldn’t let him rot in a jail cell. I had to be there for him.
I grabbed my things out of my locker, smiling as my best friend Carley ran up to me. She was always such a happy and hyper person. I wished I could be like her for just a second - to feel the happiness that she always felt.
Her parents absolutely adored her and wanted nothing but the best for her. She had everything a girl could ask for, and she was so nice to everyone.
I didn’t know how we were friends, much less best friends, but we were. I was the complete opposite of Carley. I had the tendency to run people away if they spoke to me. Not many people noticed me though, even though Carley was so popular, but that was mostly due to the fact that I didn’t interact much with others. I kept to myself. It was better that way.
“Hi, Natalie!” She exclaimed, throwing her arms around me.
I flinched at her unexpected hug, but returned the gesture quickly, and then took a quick step back even faster. I loved her to death, but I hated being touched.
I always felt vulnerable when someone touched me.
I turned to grab my stuff out of my locker, closing it as Carley began to tell me what happened over the weekend. “So, I met this cute guy named Joshua. He hangs out with Kaden Brookes - you know who that is, right?”
I nodded. Everyone knew who Kaden Brookes was. He was the notorious bad boy of Falls High - and also the son of a biker club president.
“Anyway, he came in during my lunch break at work, and I was really upset because for some reason Saturday, customers were so frustrated and angry, and they all seemed to be taking it out on me.” Carley was the kind of person that didn’t take being yelled at too well. She tended to get upset, and sometimes, she cried. She was a very soft kind of person, and she was very passive.
“So, he came over to my table where I was sitting and asked me if I was okay, and we started talking. He took me out to dinner after my shift.” Her eyes were all dreamy, and I couldn’t help but to smile at her.
Carley deserved to be happy. I hoped this Joshua guy didn’t fuck things up. I didn’t know much about him, and there were never many rumors around school about him, but the fact that he hung out with Kaden Brookes was a warning in itself.
“Just be careful, okay?” I told her.
She sighed, smiling at me. “You worry too much.” She said, laughing at me. “Anyway, I’ve got to get to class. Lunch today?” She asked.
Every couple of days, I would eat my lunch outside on the benches. Some days, I didn’t want anything to do with people. Lunch was my safe haven. I didn’t have to worry about people trying to strike up conversations with me.
Carley thought that I was just a closed off person. I told her I suffered from depression after my mom died, but she didn’t know the real reason behind my mom’s death, and she didn’t know the true reason why I hid away from people.
We had a mutual understanding. I was her best friend, but she didn’t pry for information about my personal life. I hated talking about it.
I was so closed off from her that Carley didn’t even know where I lived.
I shook my head at her, giving her a sad smile. “Not today, Carley.”
She sighed, her smile dropping off of her face. I instantly felt bad for hurting her feelings, but I shoved it aside. I had to do this for myself.
She turned around and walked off towards her next class without another word. I sighed and chewed on my bottom lip, turning to go towards mine. I didn’t go far though before someone crashed right into me because they were too busy looking at their stupid fucking phone.
“Ow, fuck.” I muttered as I went crashing to the floor, a very heavy body falling on top of me.
I felt my body screaming in pain at the impact. It wasn’t helping the fresh bruises that covered my body.
Jesus, this mother fucker was heavy.
“For fuck’s sake.” A deep voice rumbled above me as he stood up. “Do people never watch where the fuck they’re going anymore?”
I glared up at the handsome bad boy. I knew exactly who he was - Kaden Brookes. He could practically make a girl’s panties drop with one look. He had dark blue eyes and blonde hair that looked like he had run his fingers through it multiple times - or maybe some girl had.
He was notorious for his numerous flings.
He was also well known for his extensive criminal record. He was part of a motorcycle club around here. He was the son of the president, and he sure as hell acted like he was part of some bad shit, too. Satan’s Demons weren’t people you wanted to fuck with from what I had heard.
And from the fights I had seen, and the rumors about him, Kaden Brookes was also a force to be reckoned with.
I grunted as I stood up. My body ached like a bitch, and part of the reason it did was his damn fault for not watching where he was going.
“If you hadn’t been so busy texting, you would have seen me.” I spat at him.
I bent down to pick up my books, ignoring the stare boring into the back of my head. “You’re a little spit fire thing, aren’t you?” He finally asked.
I ignored him. The day was just beginning, and I wasn’t trying to find trouble. I just wanted to go to class and get out of here. I didn’t need someone like Kaden Brookes up my ass. God forbid my dad found that one out.
“It’s not nice to ignore people.” He taunted.
I stood up with my books in my arms, completely ignoring him. I began to walk away, but his hand clamped around my elbow, spinning me around to face him. My heart tripped in my chest. I could feel the eyes of people staring at us. I could hear their whispers. No one had ever noticed me before, and now that Kaden Brookes, the ultimate bad boy was talking to me, I knew I was no longer going to be that unnoticed girl anymore.
And I could tell by that sinister smirk that tilted his lips, life was about to change for me - and it wasn’t going to be for the better.
“Let me go.” I ground out through clenched teeth, panic clawing at my chest.
I hated it when people touched me.
“Touchy, are we?” He asked, that infuriating smirk of his twisting his lips.
Great, now he thought I was something fun to play with.
If he didn’t fucking let me go, he was about to learn very quickly I wasn’t a goddamn toy, and I really fucking hated him touching me.
“Let me the fuck go.” I spat at him, pushing down the panic in my chest.
Just get your goddamn hands off of me!
He stepped closer to me, and I took a step back, glaring up at him defiantly, a sneer twisting my features. “I love a girl that’s feisty, baby.” He said, that devilish smirk still playing across his lips.
I tried ripping my arm away from him, but he just held tighter. I winced, knowing he just made the bruise on my elbow that much worse. He caught my wince though, and he instantly let me go. The warning bell sounded through the school, and I turned away from him, glaring at the ground in front of me. I would take the long way to class and catch a tardy. I didn’t want to even try bypassing the cocky son of a bitch.
“Hey, cupcake, you’re going the wrong way!” He called after me.
I cringed at his nickname for me. Jesus, he was insufferable, and I hadn’t ever talked to him before that day.
I flipped him the bird over my shoulder, walking hastily away. I didn’t want to interact with him, and I sure as hell wasn’t trying to bring trouble into my life.
I already had too much to deal with as it was. Kaden was an unnecessary problem.
I checked my phone before I entered the classroom to make sure I had no calls from my dad. If he called me or texted me to come home, then I left school, no questions asked. Yes, I knew what awaited me at home every day, but it was something I was willing to live with to make sure he didn’t kill himself or end up in jail.
At the end of the day, we were all each other had.
I walked into the classroom after seeing no missed messages or calls and stepped inside, cringing when everyone’s eyes turned to me. I hated being the center of attention, and it was all Kaleb’s fault.
All eyes quickly left me though when the door burst open behind me and someone else sauntered in.
“Mr. Brookes, how many times do I have to tell you not to make grand entrances into my classroom?” Ms. Terrance asked.
I felt his presence behind me way too close for my liking. I quickly moved away from him, scampering to my desk. I hadn’t ever noticed that Mr. Cocky Ass was in this class. I didn’t know how. It seemed like this wasn’t the first time he had been late.
“Sorry, Ms. Terrance. I’ll try to keep my dramatics down.” He said, smirking. “Just practicing for the school play, you know?” Giggles erupted around the room considering everyone knew Kaden Brookes would never be caught dead in a school show.
“Mr. Brookes, would you care to explain to the class why you decided to disturb us so rudely?” She asked, placing her hand on her hip and leaning against her desk.
He looked to me, and a devilish twinkle lit up his eyes. I knew the next thing to come to come out of his mouth wouldn’t be good.
“Oh, I was just talking to my new friend right there.” He said, gesturing to me.
I sighed. Fuck my life, and fuck Kaden Brookes.
The teacher turned to me, and I swear, I saw her struggling to remember my name. I was so invisible to people in this school that teachers didn’t even realize who I was.
“Would you like to explain to me why you were late?” She asked me.
I sighed. “I got knocked over in the hallway, and I had to pick my books up.” I told her, partially lying, not bothering to tell her that Kaleb had made me late.
I hated all of the eyes on me. I wanted to run out of the room, away from all of the prying eyes.
I glared at Kaden with absolute hatred. This was all his fault. If he hadn’t decided to talk to me, if he had just knocked me over in the hallway and moved on with his life, I wouldn’t even be in the predicament.
I would still be the invisible girl.
“Take a seat, Mr. Brookes.” Ms. Terrance snapped at him. “Do not disrupt my class again, understand?”
He smirked, nodded his head, and walked over to the empty seat next to me. I sighed, dropping my head on my desk, making him snicker.
Could this day get any fucking worse?