Chapter 1: The Boy From The Past
Everything is dark. I can't see
anything at all, not even my own hands. I try to scream, but the nothingness
that surrounds me swallows the sound. I can hardly move, my limbs hitting walls
on either side; I can hardly breathe in whatever little space I'm in. It feels like I
am trapped inside something. A sliver of a light flashes before my eyes. I
instinctively lean towards it. The light grows stronger until it cancels out
the darkness around me. I let out a breath of relief as I feel like I have been
released from a cage. I go to move, but something grabs me, pulling me down. A
pair of hands pressing against my wrists as I feel myself being pinned to a
transparent floor. I'm instantly afraid even though I can't see what is holding me down.
"No! Help! Someone help m-" My words are cut off as something roughly pushes against my pleading mouth. I only realize that it's another person's mouth against mine after what feels like a tongue violently violtates my mouth. I bite down hard at it. My wrists burn as I feel something digging into them. I try to kick and scream, but it's no use.
"You're such a dirty girl, you know that don't you? I won't let you get away so easily. I won't let them take you away. I won't let him have you. You're mine. You'll always be mine." A raspy voice spoke close to my ear. The grip on my wrists finally loosen, but then I feel a dead weight on my body. It's hard to move. It's hard to breathe. As I try to gasp for air she I can smell a strong metallic scent, it drenches everything. "You're mine." The words echo inside my head, over and over again as everything around me turns blood red.
"Acacia honey, time for school.
You over slept a little. Didn't you hear your alarm?" A sweet voice jolts
me awake from my not so peaceful slumber. I peer to the vanity across from my
bed. I'm a mess. My pale skin is thick with sweat, my honey brown locks are tangles and matted, and
dark puffy circles are visible under my almond shaped eyes. I then turn to look at the alarm clock
on my bedside table. It's nearly twenty minutes until my first period class
is supposed to start and school is at least a ten minute drive from the house. This means I have less than ten minutes to get ready. I toss my bed sheets off my body as I hurry over to my closet, searching through it frantically.
Tammy, the person who woke me up, gives me a small smile that doesn't quite hide the worried expression on her face. "Honey, you don't have to rush. Take a shower, do your make up, get dressed, and then come down stairs and have breakfast. Don't worry about the time. I'll take you to school after you're done. I'll call Beth to let her know that you'll be a little late so she can excuse you, okay?" She murmurs.
I calm down a bit. "Okay. Thank you, Tammy." I say as I lay my black
pleated skirt and light blue collared shirt on the bed. I run a shaky hand
through my disheveled hair as Tammy moves from the doorway. I give her a half smile before walking out of my room and towards the bathroom.
For the past three years, I've been living a comfortable life with my adoptive moms, Tammy and Beth Thompson. Even though my life with them is easy going, I'm still plagued with horrid nightmares and severe anxiety that keeps me from sleeping well at night.
I've been in the foster care system since before I can even remember. I have gone from one bad foster house to another bad foster house countless time. It was like a never ending nightmare back then.
Tammy and Beth are my saviors. They had taken me in just when I had given up hope of ever being happy. They treated me really well, as if I were actually their biological daughter. Still, it's not something that I will ever get used to. Not even after these three years I've spent with them. Even though I've warmed up to them by now, I'm still cautious and don't quite trust them completely.
Tammy is a hairstylist who only
works afternoons and evenings, while Beth is the dean of the private
school that I have been attending ever since they had taken me into their home.
Having two moms is convenient for me. I prefer living in a male free household. It makes it much easier for me to feel safe and relaxed for the most part. However, school is a different story. As much as I rather have attended an all-girls school my school, Remmington Academy, is co-ed.
Luckily for me, I've mastered the skill of acting. Pretending to be okay when I'm not, lying, faking a smile, and hiding my real emotions, are all things I had learned from my previous years in the foster care system. It isn't hard for me to keep the secrets that I don't want to be known, especially from my adoptive moms.
It takes me an hour but finally I've showered,
brushed my teeth, blow dried my hair, pulled my hair up into a messy bun, put on a
little bit of eyeliner and mascara, dressed in my school uniform, ate a little bit of eggs and toast, and am now sitting in the
passenger side of Tammy's Mercedes.
When I arrive at school I make a beeline for my first period class. When I get there class is almost over. I take my assigned seat, which unfortunately for me is in the dead front of the class. My Honors Algebra II teacher, Mr. Macc, glares daggers at me but doesn't comment about my extreme tardiness. I advert my eyes, but the stares from him and some of my other classmates make my stomach turn. I ignore the feeling as I paste on a fake smile, copying down the notes that were still left on the black board.
The school day seems to go by fast. After Honors Algebra II I had AP Literature class, Music class, Gym, first lunch block, and Honors Chemistry. I only have two more periods left before I can go home- Art class and then AP American History.
I feel excited as I enter the classroom for my art class. I generally like art even if I'm not necassarily a natural Frieda Castello.
Ms Veyers, the teacher in charge of both art and music classes, instructs us to begin on our new project- a self portrait. I start sketching immedietly, but I have trouble with it. All I can picture is the way I looked when I woke up this morning.
Fifteen minutes into class the heavy double doors of the classroom open. The assistant principal
comes in followed by what I only assume is a male student. I can see the
student's black dress shoes and the bottom of his navy blue trousers. I don't
pay much attention though, instead I try to focus on my self portrait.
I can hear the assistant principal say something quietly to Ms. Veyers, but I don't quite hear enough of it to make out exactly what was said.
Ms. Veyers, a heavy set middle aged woman with puffy platinum blonde hair and thick rimmed glasses, lets out a heavy sigh. "It seemed like we have a new student. Please make him feel welcomed. Young man, briefly introduce yourself and then pick an open seat to sit at."
I'm not at all interested in this, so I continue to sketch- or more so draw a little, erase it, draw a little, erase, and repeat- without even so much as glancing up. I don't have any interest in this new student or what he has to say. He's male, and that is all I need to know.
"Yes, ma'am." A deep voice
rumbles out, causing me to freeze. Even though the voice was much deeper than
the one that haunts my dreams, the familiarity of it has me shaken. Without meaning to I feel my gaze I slowly lift to look at the owner of that haunting voice.
Just as my green eyes reach his face, his icy blue ones stare back at me.
"I'm Jaxon Sorenstein. I'm seventeen years old, I just moved here from a small town about thirty miles south of here. I left home to pursue something I really want, in which I think I can achieve here at Remmington Academy. I look forward to getting acquainted with some of you. Thanks." He says, his eyes never leaving me as he speaks.
He's tall with wide shoulders and a strong jaw. His hair is almost white and in a buzz cut. He's what some girls might call ruggedly handsome. A shudder of terror runs through me just from looking at him. I imagine my eyes are wide with a fear that I can't hide. I feel bile rise up me throat the more I stare at him. His face is unsettling.
Jaxon moves to take the seat just left of mine, causing me to flinch as I scoot my chair as far from him as possible.
With him so close to me, I find it impossible to do anything. I raise my hand quickly. "Ms. Veyers, may I be excused?" I blurt out.
Ms. Veyers eyes me before nodding.
I give relieved thank you her way as I quickly get up from my seat and make my way out of the classroom. I race across the hall and to the girl’s bathroom. I barely reach the bathroom stall before retching up my breakfast into the toilet. After fifteen minutes of non-stop retching I stand in front of the bathroom mirror, washing my face and rinsing my mouth out with tap water. I reapply my makeup and pop two sticks of spearmint flavored gym into my mouth before leaving the bathroom, still feeling shaky and nauseous.
As soon as I leave the bathroom I notice the figure that is waiting in the hall, propped up against the wall.
The new kid.
Except, he isn't the new kid. Not to me at least. No, I know him somehow, but I just can't place it.
"Cia," He says in an affectionate tone, directing a nickname towards me that I can't seem to recall. I wince as I advert my gaze from him, attempting to walk past him.
Jaxon is quick to stop me, wrapping a strong arms around my thin waist. "I missed you," he whispers as he bends to bury his face against my shoulder.
His actions cause me to shake with fear. "N-No! I don't know you!" I stammer out as I push him away from me. "Don't touch me!" I hiss, taking a few steps away from him to keep a distance.
Jaxon narrows his eyes at me. "Is that how you greet me after I haven't seen you in three years?" He snaps out, angry at me. He's real quick to close the space between us. He grabs my arm tightly so that I can't run. His grip is tight, but the look in his eyes has softened. "I know I'm the last person you want to see, but please don't run from me. Please, Cia. What happened back then I..." He trails off, his voice cracking a bit at the end.
Huh? Three years ago...? Three years ago when I was still in foster care? I don't recall him, but then again I don't recall much from that time.
Before he can say another word, I break free from his grip. My whole body burns from his touch. I feel sick and disgusting, just like I would when any male touches me. "Stay away from me." I whisper out before running back into the girl’s bathroom. This time I don't even make it to the stalls before I give into the nausea. Instead I end up with my head hovering over the trash can as I violently vomited into it.
For the second time that day I rinse out my mouth and wash my face. When I exit the bathroom, this time there's no one waiting for me. When I return to class, thirty five minutes have passed by since I had left. Ms. Veyers glares at me as I entered the room, but she doesn't confront me on why I have been gone so long.
Jaxon is sitting in the seat next to mine, acting as if nothing had happened.
I advert my gaze from him, trying to resist the urge to feel sick again.
In my efforts I ended up getting sick all over the desk. I'm then escorted to the clinic by a female classmate. I lay on a cot in the clinic until the last bell rings.