Claimed

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14

Cole

I had spent the whole weekend looking for her. I went to every hotel in the area and no one had an Ophelia Harris or any Ophelia for that matter. I hadn’t slept since Friday and I was walking around like I was dead. I got to school early and waited to see her but once again I was left with nothing. I have always thought of myself as a strong person but this situation has been my limit. I’m not strong not even by a long shot, and I know that now. I am not afraid to finally admit what a coward I am. I just need to get her to listen.

I am walking out of my first class when I hear her yell. Pearce is there and it is obvious that he is trying to get her to listen to whatever it is he has to say. The look on her face says all I need to know and that is that she could care less what any of us has to say.

“Don’t! Don’t you dare tell me that you care anything about me? You knew the whole time and did nothing to stop it. You were just waiting your turn like everyone else. I was nothing but a game to you guys and I done playing! I will not stand around and be a pawn anymore. I’m done with this town and you people.” She yells this and turns to walk out the door. This is the moment I have been waiting for all weekend and I can’t let it pass by.

The next thing I know is that my confession has been almost ignored and she says she’s not ready to hear any of it. She walks out the door and I can’t help but wonder is this how she felt when I walked out on her not really telling her anything that would help in the cafeteria. Everything in my mind is telling me that I have to stop her that she is walking out of my life forever. My heart however tells me to let her go, that I have done enough to the poor girl and that the least I can do is respect this request.

The next thing I know I feel Pearce’s fist against my face in a right hook that will definitely leave a bruise. I look at him and see nothing but rage in his eyes and I know that all of it is directed at me. I spit the blood that filled my mouth on the floor and return his gaze with a steely one of my own.

“If you hadn’t claimed her none of this would have happened. I could have had her. She would have loved me!” Pearce yells and I see the tears that he doesn’t want to fall fill his eyes.

“It would have made no difference. Do you really think she was in love with you?” I laugh. It’s a real asshole move but I do it anyway. “If she had feelings for anyone it was me. I’m not being a jerk by saying this. I am just going by what I saw. You may love her but she loved me and I loved her but was too stupid to tell her.” I sigh and run my hand through my hair. By this time there is a crowd gathered around including my aunt and the office staff.

“We are all to blame for it. Whatever power or pride we felt by this stupid thing of claiming girls was the biggest mistake any of us could have ever made. We have done nothing but turn girls into a game and played with their feelings.” I say and look at him.

“Yeah that may be true but most of the girls if not all of them just went along with it. Ophelia is the only girl that has ever not been into sleeping with everyone she can get her hands on.” He says this looking around at the crowd as if he is waiting for someone to say something. “Half the staff here even knew what was going on and never said a word.” At that my aunt’s face morphs into one of horror. To think that her teachers would condone something as bad as this is going to shake up her views on her staff.

“Just because we all went along with it doesn’t make it right. I may have just lost the love of my life to my own stupidity.” With that I walk out the door and pray that I am wrong.

Ophelia

After I leave the school I head to the book store to talk with Gregory and let him know my plans. I know that he isn’t going to like it but there really is nothing that he can do to stop me. I open the door and there he stands talking with Maggie. They both turn at the sound of the door and Maggie runs at me as soon as she realizes it’s me.

“I have been so worried. Don’t ever do that again!” She yells as she pulls me into a hug. My heart aches at knowing that this conversation is going to hurt them both but I know that deep down they will understand.

“Gregory you may want to put up the closed sign for this.” He does as I ask and we walk over to the section where there is a small sitting area. “Please just listen to what I have to say and don’t interrupt. I love you both dearly and I hope that you will remember that. I am leaving this town and before you start I think you both know that it is for the best. I am going to graduate early and I will be moving this week. I will give you ways to contact me and I will stay in close contact. I will not however be meeting you face to face in this town ever again. When I feel it is safe we will meet somewhere of my choosing and it will not be where I live.” I take a deep breath and look to see the tears in both of their eyes. “Please know that this is not a decision that I came to lightly. I have always had this plan to disappear but I have just moved up the plans. I am disappearing from my parents and Cole. Neither of them are to know that you talk to me. Ever.”

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