I make my way into the classroom, clutching my tattered things to my chest. The teacher looks up as I enter, averting his eyes the second we lock. Odd. Usually, that fat bastard greets me with a smile and a wave, but not today. Everything about today is odd. So fucking odd. On autopilot, I walk to the area where my desk sat and halt. I stop dead in my tracks. Looking around every other desk is occupied and mine? Mine disappeared.
"Ah-Mr. Hall?" I ask, looking back at the big guy wiping sweat off his forehead with that disturbing penis handkerchief again.
"Please have a seat, Miss. Cole." He says without a second glance, turning his back towards me.
"But, Mr. Hall, my desk has gone.... missing." His fists clench and unclench.
"Then sit." He says through a breath.
"On the floor?" I ask, feeling pretty fucking suspicious.
"On the floor, Miss Cole, now please, I need to start class." He never looks back at me and begins his lesson on whatever. I can't listen. I'm still flabbergasted about the whole "sit on the floor" fiasco. Seriously? A teacher? This just keeps getting weirder and weirder.
A wadded and wet, tiny paper ball hits the side of my face. Casting my eyes to the dickhead in the back of the room. Carter grins, taking the empty pen body away from his mouth and motions with his finger for me to sit. I huff. I puff. I'm the fucking big, bad wolf, but I don't want to stand all fucking period. So I sit. On the cold fucking tiled floor, with no view. I cross my arms across my chest in silent protest.
Throughout the lesson, pain develops in the depths of my stomach. Curdling and cramping in violent waves. Sweat pours from my forehead as I clutch my stomach for dear life. Holy fuck. It feels like I ate volcano slathered nachos. Several students look back at me, including Chase. Our eyes lock for the second time today. Sadness pours off of him like a hurricane surging over the land, laying its devastation on the people below. His eyebrows furrow in worry.
"Kace?" I swallow hard, looking up at Zoe. She said my name, but she's staring straight ahead. "Girl, you look like you're dying. You ok?" She asks, concern lacing her tone. Her face remains cool and collective like she can't speak to me. So I don't. I shake my head.
My stomach gurgles again, a little louder this time, and then I feel it. Hot liquid. Oh no, it's coming. I frantically claw at my books, throw them into my arms, and hightail it out of there. The teacher acts as if I don't exist, and at this moment that's fucking fine. I run to the bathroom clenching my cheeks and explode the second I land on the toilet. My stomach cramps, breaking my entire body into cold sweats. As I spew my breakfast out of my ass for the next thirty minutes. I can't move. Everything hurts. And it won't stop.
I take a few deep breaths, pressing the call button on my phone. I stay on the toilet, afraid to move. If I try to make it back to my apartment, I know a new nickname would emerge.
"Baby?" My mom's voice flitters through the phone with concern. I always imagine her as this badass business butterfly, flying from room to room, protecting everyone in her sights.
"Mom," I groan, leaning my head against the toilet's cubicle. "Mom, can you call me in, I think I'm sick." My voice rasps, my tongue heavy with non-existent sand. Making every cell in my body desperate for water.
"Oh, baby! Do you need anything? I can be there in a few hours!" I picture her movements. Her body getting up from her office chair, prancing towards the door with her assistant hot on her heels, begging her to get back to the important meeting she's walking out on.
"No, no. I'm just going back to bed." I groan again, lightly slamming my forehead against the cool metal of the bathroom stall.
"If you need anything, you don't hesitate to call! I'll commandeer a private jet if I have to!" I know in the back of my mind, she'd do that.
"Thanks, Mom. I love you." I murmur into the phone. We hang up just in time for the bathroom door to swing open. The bell must have rung while I spewed my soul from my ass. The halls once again filling with rage-fueled students once again.
I flushed the toilet long before I called my mom, but I'm sure it doesn't smell pretty in here. So as girls come and go, I wait them out. Once the coast is clear-or-once I won't shit my pants making it back to my apartment, I'll walk out of here. And hopefully not into any danger.
The stalls on either side of me close and lock. "Ohhhhh-boyfriend stealer!" Harlow coos from above me. I groan, looking above me to two phones trained on my very vulnerable body. One held by Harlow and the other by one of her minions. "Say cheese for the camera!" She sniggers, snapping a few pictures of me on the toilet. Because that's what normal, sadistic teenagers do. They snap pictures of you shitting like they planned-----Holy shit. Shit fuckers in a basket!
"You bitch," I rasp, looking up at her, venom spewing. "You planned this. You put something...."
"Me? Put something like laxative sprinkles onto your pretty little pancakes? Maybe ask that none sense talking bitch?" Her smile grows wider, the flash of her camera coming to life. It's still pointed at me as she talks into the camera. Great. A video. A video of me shitting my guts out because she poisoned me. Fan-fucking-tastic.
"Well-see ya later, New Girl. Enjoy your time here! Because it won't be for much longer." Her idle threat sits like lead in the pit of my stomach. I still have questions to ask, but I just close my eyes. The only thing calming my frantically beating heart is the fact I can take care of this. It's like I've been training to do this with my siblings for years. If my disgusting video is on the internet, I can remove it myself. So-yay for small victories. I just have to tell my stomach to calm down for 10 minutes so I can make it home. Then I can die in peace.
The clatter of students in the hall dies down as the second bell rings out, echoing through the empty halls. I flush the stupid toilet one last time, forcing myself to my feet. I groan at the intense cramping, clamping down my stomach walls. My hand clutches my stomach, like that will stop it from trying to kill me from the inside out. Sweat pours down my forehead, actually, it pours from every inch of my body. From my ankles, to awkwardly dripping down my asscrack, I need a shower. A shower that lasts at least 24 hours to wash away the pain, the sweat, and the massive amounts of humiliation.
With a big breath, I peek my head out of the bathroom. My ears perk at the silence in the halls and I make a run for it. My stomach continues to cramp and revolt against my movements, but I can't stop. Even if someone called my name, I'd still go full force. The toilet in my apartment is calling my name, again. Fucking again. If I could ever manage to get off the toilet, it'd be a miracle.
After another hour, yes, a miserable hour, on the toilet. I finally feel cleansed. Maybe there is a perk to the laxative she made me ingest. At least, every shitty demon living in my guts disappeared. Hallelujah!
I sit in front of my computer, freshly showered. Determination runs through my veins with the need for revenge. This shit will not stand. They will get a fight if that's what they want. I will not sit back and let entitled assholes get the best of me. No. No. I'll make a list, a fucking list.
The dining hall
For fuck's sake, that's ridiculous. Three incidences in less than five hours. Well then, they work fast, but so do I. It seems every incident pulls me back to one nasty little nuisance. Harlow Lacey.
When my computers show life, I start my mission. They plaster my toilet incident over every single social media site known to man. I find Harlow's Flashgram account and snarl at the face looking back at me. Poor me. Pale, sickly looking, looking up at Harlow with pleading eyes to end my pain and torture.
"Looks like our little boyfriend stealer caught herself a case of the shitting STD's. Stay clear of @kayceeAcole or you'll catch it too." I roll my eyes at the stupidest thing she's ever written. Everyone from school joins in on the comments, giving the stupid picture at least 350 likes. Ridiculous. My head shakes on its own. If it's a fight she wants, well, so be it. I will bring all my skills to the table, skills they do not understand I possess.
Within a few keystrokes, I bypass her password and her two-step verification. I'm in. I smirk as I scroll through all her posts. I peek inside her messages, which are mostly disgusting dick pics from guys she doesn't know, and some she does. I tilt my head at the dick pic in front of me. Trey Gallagher. Hmmm... he goes to this school too. His family owns the biggest pharmaceutical company in the country. He's absolutely loaded and apparently loaded for her. Gross.
Trey Gallagher: you like that, baby?
Harlow Lacey: oh yes, show me more.
The text exchange makes me want to gag but also gives me more ideas.
Harlow Lacey: meet me? I need you.
I gag more. How cliche sounding is that, but from what I've seen of her, it sounds legit. He replies almost instantly.
Trey Gallagher: right now? Hell yeah.
Harlow Lacey: Make it a surprise, just like your pic. ;)
Lord, what am I doing? This could spell disaster, but I don't have time to think about the consequences. Remember, Kace, she took a picture of you and posted it online for the world to see.
Trey Gallagher: fuk yeah..I'll meet you. Be prepared baby.
Harlow Lacey: I'll be awaiting you......
After a few more disgusting texts back and forth, I end the conversation. The likes on my picture have grown by 200 likes now. Bringing the ground total to 550 likes and comments. Time to end this. I delete the picture from Flashgram with a grin and set up a tracker, effectively deleting every copy out there. If anyone has the balls to post it again, my computer will alert me. Then I can go in and do the same things I'm doing now. And if they keep trying to ruin me through this, I'll run a virus through each and every computer. Just for fun to anyone who dares to defy me. Speaking of defying, I go into the settings and change Harlow's password. I copy her current email listed and ruin anything else associated with her account. With any luck, this bitch won't be able to log back in any time soon. I wonder how long it'll take her to discover I have locked her out of her 1 million follower Flashgram?
With her Flashgram account still up, I switch tabs. I bring up the email service, Yohoo, and get to work. In the same keystrokes as before, I break the fuck into her emails and feast my eyes on her most private exchanges. School emails. Scholarship emails. Her emails with her precious daddy. But the one email that stops me cold is from Planned Parents, with the title, 'Your test results are in'. Oh-fuck me.
I fold my hands, raising my eyes toward the ceiling. Thank you, God. Thank you for giving me this little piece of gold to ruin a tormentor. Sure-she's only done a few things to me so far, within five hours really. But she's like a toddler. If I let her get away with these things now, she'll never learn. She may strike at me harder, making my life just a little more miserable. But fuck it. I have to strike her down before she strikes me down again.
The old movie "Mean Girls" flashes through my mind. I'm about to lay the smackdown, Regina George style. Except, I'm not the villain here. I'm the hero swooping in to save my ass for once.
"Harlow Lacey, your test results are in. Please log in to your patient portal to retrieve your information. If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call Dr. Mason at any time." A link to her patient portal lays in blue at the bottom of the page. My nose wrinkles as I get to the page. Getting into patient information is a little more tricky than hacking Flashgram and Yohoo. There are more hoops to jump through, but I can manage. I take about 10 minutes to finagle my way into her patient portal, but dear God is it worth it. Within seconds, I see my revenge in the palm of my hand.
"Harlow Lacey, please be advised your test results have pinged back positive for gonorrhea. We have sent a supply of antibiotics to your local pharmacy, please take the prescription prescribed. If your symptoms don't ease within the 7-day period, please come back for another appointment. It is important to inform all your sexual partners and to refrain from any sexual acts."
This is gold. Too golden to pass up. You take a picture of me shitting my guts out? Well... prepare yourself, Harlow. I told you not to touch me again. I cackle like a witch as I upload the Harlow's newest Flashgram post.
"Uh-oh! I made a boo-boo! Better get yourselves tested!" I make her stupid caption say like she's a little baby or something. Victory runs through my veins, spreading towards my war-drum beating heart. Screw girls like her. Screw everyone like her. Screw it all. I want to burn this place to the ground and laugh while they fight to survive. They wanted a war with me? Well, they're getting one - one they won't see coming.
My computer pings non-stop as the comments flood in.
TreyGallagher: WTF?! ANd you wanted to hook up!!! #snotgreenpussyew
Oscar: Fuck-shit.. seriously? #thatsnasty
SegerWest: Well, that's one way to let your fuck buddies know you're infected! #downwiththeinfecredho #imcleanhowboutyou
Ainsley Benoit: eww, lowe, I think you've been hacked or something. That's disgusting.
Hadley Lacey: OH MY GOD DON'T BELIEVE THIS! my sister is clean! This is a FAKE!!! #fakefake #imreporting #bullshit
I fold my arms across my chest, laughing to myself. Her sister Hadley can report that shit all she wants, but it will only trace back as Harlow's doing. Nothing I do from this spot will ever lead back to me.
My hands rub together, my mind turning with new ideas. Harlow was one person. Could she have done everything else? I know she captured me at my weakest moment. But the rest? My tongue runs over the top of my teeth, making my way to the security footage. Whoever painted my door would be there. Whoever put a disgusting dildo in my locker would be there too. There's evidence everywhere.
I check through the timestamps, circling on the videos for my building. I watch each tape with an eagle eye. I will miss nothing from last night. After a few hours of watching each video, I'm about to give in the towel. For fuck's sake, this is taking forever. Whoever did it really waited----
"No fucking way," I breathe, leaning in toward my computer screen. A flicker of movement starts at the end of the hallway. Five figures emerge in black robes. They fold their hands into their long sleeves, not giving away anything about their features. Black masks appear over their faces. What is this... a ghostly cult? As they form a semicircle in front of my door, white lines emerge on the footage. They completely take over the screen, corrupting the footage beyond repair. Minutes roll by, the white lines taking over the screen like static. The numbers stay. And as three minutes roll by, the screen comes back to normal. A gasp falls from my open mouth. They paint my door in its entirety. How I found it this morning. And the ghost cult has disappeared from the frames. What. The. fuck.
What. The. Fuck. Is all I can think, as I copy the footage to my own hard drive to watch repeatedly. There are ways to uncorrupt the footage from whatever they did to it, but it's difficult. And more Tristan's type of duty. But could I trust him to do something like this and not freak the fuck out on me? He already claimed I gave him a heart attack with my mission. I grumble to myself. I need outside help with this, with whatever this footage could show.
As I ponder calling an outside source so I don't give Tristan a heart attack, I check the other footage. The time stamps say 3 am, so in theory, wherever they came from should be visible from the cameras around campus. I check every camera angle, in every fucking building, and it's all the same. They're all corrupted through static. Every single piece of footage that could help me is missing. They even corrupted the hallway footage. I can't even see who stuck that vile thing in my locker. Whoever-or whatever is behind my sudden hate, wants it a secret. One step forward in victory and ten giant leaps backward. Fuck my life. Why couldn't it be simple? Simple students ruining lives.
The next two on my shit list hurt the most. Their identical faces flash into my mind. The rage and the hatred flashing through their eyes turns my stomach like the violent current of an ocean. I close my eyes. Last Friday we were friends in a maze and today we are enemies forged from some stupid cloak wearing cult. My fingers trace the wrinkles of my forehead, willing my brain to think. Think. Think.
Seger and Zepp denied me food. They refused to let me enter my god-given right. My parents paid for that food through my ridiculous tuition. How can I get them back for being douchebags? And I wonder, too, will they keep doing it? Hm... I could easily strike the two of them the way I struck Harlow, but it all seems too simple to me. I don't want fingers pointing back to me, just in case. For now, I can cross Harlow's incident off my list. But the other two are in limbo. I can't strike back at masked men, who obviously have some sort of pull with the security cameras... like I do. My back stiffens at the thought. Whoever is a part of that creepy, cloak wearing team, did exactly what I did. Instead of completely disabling them, they scrambled them all to hell. They must know.... about me. What I can do. What I've done over the last five years for Callie and Bodhi. Fuck.
I jump up from the chair, pacing the room. If they know my skills, then they know why I'm here. I'm here to fuck someone up and they know it. Shit. Shit. Shit. Ugh. My phone buzzes on my desk a few times.
Tristan: No bullshit?
Tristan: I'm having the shittest day
Tristan: talk me off a ledge or something
Me: well...climb in the boat, because I'm right there with you.
Tristan: lets run away together... I'm just... tired.
Me: I'll meet you at the bus stop in an hour ;)
Tristan: HA! please... come down to fucking maple street
Me: be there in 5... bring... booze... or something....
Tristan: whiskey? it soothes the soul. In fact..... I'm having some now.
Me: take a shot for me....... and you... sounds like we both suck.
Tristan: suck is about right. I'm just being forced to do things I don't want to do right now. :(.
Me: Then don't?
Tristan: no choice, babe. I g2g... I'll ttyl, ok? Just... meet me on AW later? Kick some ass?
Me: This is the best way to spend the day.
A tight smile forms on my lips as I stare down at his messages. Seems to me my mysterious friend is having about as much luck as I am. We never get into the specifics of our pain, unless we declare our "no bullshit" rule. But it always seems to help us, even if it's vague. I shake my head and look at the clock. 5 pm. The dining hall should fill up with students, as dinner gets underway. My stomach twists and turns. It groans and gurgles in disapproval at the thought of any sort of food going into it.
"Fine, fine, you petulant child," I chide my stomach, tapping it softly. "We won't waste our time there tonight. Knowing my luck, you'll expel everything in front of everyone." I snort at myself for having a full-on conversation with my stomach. I head to the kitchen in search of something plain to eat. Like soup or crackers or anything at all. But as I open the cabinets I remember, I have nothing. My cabinets are bare. I was so consumed with getting a new lock... and the weird fight between Carter and Seger, I didn't even think about what I needed to do. I'll go tomorrow, after another day of school, to supply myself. For now, Panera sounds delicious. A nice sandwich and a large cup of soup would suffice until then.
I order through their delivery app, thankful they'll come here with my food. After the humiliation the day brought, I don't really want to face anyone. It probably makes me the biggest coward in history, but what can I do? I'm only human.
After collecting my take out and slowly ingesting it, a knock comes from my door. I stop mid bite, staring at the foreboding door. Another small knock echos through my silent room.
"Kaycee?" My brows pull together, sucking in a deep breath. I walk towards the door and open it just a peek.
"Heya, Piper, you probably don't want to be around me right now. Flu and all." I say through tight lips. Her face falls, nodding, but she holds up a brown paper bag. Mist clouds her eyes, staring at me so sad.
"Jumping jellybeans, I just wanted to make sure you were feeling up to par. I heard what happened-I saw th----" I hold up a hand, nodding my head. Trying to forget the picture Harlow took.
"Yeah-I just have the flu. I'll be alright, I promise." I mutter out. My voice left me ages ago. Piper nods, a hint of sadness crossing her usually chipper self.
"I'm so sorry it came to this, Kaycee." Her lips pull together, moisture leaks from her eyes, cascading down her red cheeks.
"Ah-uh-it's not your fault.?" I strain to say. Her big blue eyes well up more. She tries to cover up her sniffles by shaking her head.
She swallows hard, "I just hate to see this happen again." She whispers, turning her face away from me, fingers covering her nose. "I'll check on you later, I've got a jump, skip, and hop to cheer now." She gives me one last lingering solemn look before heading down the hallway.
I watch her walk away, wallowing in an overwhelming sadness she can't seem to shake. I'm not sure why she's so upset by my new 'hated' status so much. It seems misplaced to me. She could just worry about herself. Although, I can't deny it's nice to have a friend right now. If she's even that.
Me: ready for war?
Tristan: bring it, babe!
I guess Piper isn't the only person happy to talk to me. I still have Tristan. The only person on this planet, besides my siblings, I trust with my life.