No. Allison Lia was different.
Instead of acting out, the red-haired, green-eyed girl hid inside of herself, working hard to stay invisible and out of the lime light. She wasn't one to join clubs or go to parties or even make friends. In fact, most of the time she was absent from school, her excuse being that she had a low immune system and was constantly sick.
But that wasn't the case at all and as she walked down the packed halls of her high school, Allison kept her eyes glued to the white-tiled floor and made her way to homeroom with three, small, pink slips held tightly in her small hand. They were her doctor's notes for the past three absences.
Stepping into the empty room, she walked up to the teacher and held out the slips to him. "Mr. Jeffrey," she started meekly, not making eye contact at first.
The brown-haired teacher looked up from his book – he was never seen without it – smiled. "Miss Lia. I am so glad to see you are back," he chirped.
Allison finally looked up at him and gave a faint smile. Mr. Jeffrey was not only homeroom teacher, but also her art teacher and he seemed to genuinely care about her illness. Even if she didn't know how to show it, the red-haired girl appreciated his concern. "Here are my doctor notes."
Jeffrey took them from her pale hand and let his eye scan over their contents. Finally, he nodded. "Are you feeling better?" he asked, placing the slips in his desk.
Allison nodded. "Yes."
"Good, good. Now why don't you take a seat until the bell rings?"
She took him up on his offer and found a seat in the very back corner. This was where she would commonly sit so as to stay out of sight from her classmates. Thankfully, no one ever seemed to notice her or even pay her any mind, which sat well with her. She liked being left alone, but there were those few who found hassling her was a fun routine to make their lives more interesting.
One of those few entered the classroom at the sound of the yelling warning bell, followed by her boyfriend and another girl. They were a trio commonly seen together and admired by both the males and females at the school. They were part of the popular crowd, at the top rung of that ladder, and practically ruled the school. Of course, they were a just a few of the popular students, but the others were assigned to different homerooms or were just not there yet.
But she was the one who seemed to just love torturing Allison the most. Her blond hair was commonly pulled back in a long ponytail to show off her high cheekbones and beautiful facial structure. Her piercing blue eyes scanned the abundant empty desks as she mentally chose which three she wanted to claim for her and her friends. Tight, low riding jeans hugged her thin legs and a glittery tank barely covered her taut tummy.
She was Lydia Drew and her eyes landed on Allison. Striding over to her, her friend and boyfriend following in tow, she planted a hand on the red-haired girl's desk and bent down to hover over her. "My, my, Allison," she started, flipping her hair over her shoulder. "You're back. I haven't seen you around in three days."
"I hope you got your shot," started the other female. Her light brown hair was pulled into a bun which also showed off her bone structure. Wearing a short, plaid skirt and flirty top, she was just as beautiful and dominant as Lydia was. "I don't want to catch your disease," she said ignorantly.
Lydia laughed at her friend's comment. "I hope so too Brittlyn," she replied just as insultingly.
Lydia's boyfriend, Mark Williams, snaked an arm around his girlfriend's waist. "She is too troublesome, babe. Let's just grab seats before all of them are taken," he said, pointing out that the classroom was filling up quickly. He was tall and thin and wore designer clothing. His skin was pale and contrasted his dark hair.
Lydia shrugged herself away from the desk and sent an intimidating glare towards Allison before finding three chairs next to each other and taking a seat.
Allison sunk down in her chair. It was common for her to stay quiet and just take whatever the blonde girl and her friends dished out to her. It was also common to have an empty seat next to her. She was perceived as weird and introverted and no one wanted to sit near her because of that.
That day, however, things would drastically change.
As Mr. Jeffrey read announcements aloud, a male walked into the room and caught everyone's attention. His ebony hair was disheveled and spiky and it matched his cool, charcoal-colored eyes. Dark, baggy cargos hung low on his slender waist and he wore a matching tee over a long sleeved white shirt. Allison could already see drool dripping from the girls' mouths and dangerous envy vibrating off of the males.
Jeffrey stood from his desk to introduce the new student to the classroom. "You must be…" He shuffled through a large mound of papers on his desk before picking up a small yellow one. "Ah. Here it is. Brian Lake, correct?"
Brian gave a small nod before shoving his tanned hands in his pockets.
"Welcome to my class Brian. Here is the schedule I was told to give you." Jeffrey handed the yellow paper to Brian. "Just take a seat anywhere."
The only available seat was the empty one next to Allison which he took, receiving gasps and wide eyes in response. Lydia was especially heated by it for her face puffed up like a balloon. Even though she was dating Mark, Lydia was still considered the biggest flirt in Konoha High and wouldn't miss the opportunity to use her charms on Brian.
Allison gave him no mind. He was attractive, yes, that much she could admit, but she had no doubt that he would soon mix in with Ino and the popular students and be on her case in no time. She didn't want to speed up the process.
Within a minute, his table was swamped with giggling girls and envious boys, who wanted a piece of the new student. They wanted to know about him; where he was from, what his favorite color was, what his favorite music and movies were. But, he barely said two words to them. He just kept his arms crossed over his chest and his eyes moving from peer to peer, not straying on one too long.
Allison was uncomfortable with the mass of bodies around her and grabbed her book bag and moved to an empty table. She figured the previous owner wouldn't mind her taking it. Pulling out a sketchbook, she began to draw (the only true thing she enjoyed doing) and tried to block out Ino's loud, flirty giggle.
But, from when she first moved, until the time the bell rang, Allison swore she felt eyes on the back of her the entire time.
Jason Bent and Alice Anders: the strangest pairing at Hilia High. Jason's golden hair countered Alice's dark hair and his energy completely overshadowed hers. He was loud and she was quiet. He was obnoxious and she was polite. He was outgoing and she was shy. But even though they were completely opposite, they were a perfect match.
They were already in the art room when Allison arrived, as was their teacher, Mr. Jeffrey. Though they were a part of the popular gang, (Jason being an original member and Alice joining once she started dating him). Alice was always willing to offer a smile and a greeting, showing that she didn't let the popular group intimidate her into acting superior towards others.
"Hello, Allison," Alice said softly.
"Hi," she responded before taking a seat on the other side of the room. A greeting was as far as she would allow herself to go in letting people in and trusting them. In her mind, no one could be trusted.
Taking a seat on a stool, she continued on a collage of hands that she had been working on. Using her own, and those of the people around her, she drew a variety of hands in different ways and doing different actions.
Suddenly, Jason's boisterous voice shattered her concentration, forcing her to look away from her picture. "Brian!" he yelled, pulling a stool over next to him. "How was your first couple of classes, man? It's so awesome that your family moved here and you transferred to my school!"
The said boy rubbed his temples after taking a seat on the stool Jason pulled up for him. The blonde's voice seemed to annoy him already. But when he slapped the dark-haired boys back, Brian returned the sentiment with a dangerous glare.
"Alice," he said, ignoring Brian's stare. "This is an old friend of mine, Brian Lake. And this is my girl, Alice."
Alice said hello and received a nod in response. She looked back at her boyfriend with a questioning and somewhat hurt gaze.
"Don't take him seriously, Alice. He's just intense and kinda anti-social." Wrapping his arms around her, he kissed her forehead, making her blush.
"Hey, Alice," came another voice from the doorway. It was Brody Anders; Alice's cousin. He was tall and slender, but his arms showed that he was well-built as his short sleeved shirt revealed muscles. His short dark hair and grayish eyes matched his cousin's almost perfectly.
Alice smiled. "Hi Brody," she greeted warmly. "This is Brian Lake."
Brian didn't even acknowledge the boy's greeting, making Brody's eyebrow twitch in annoyance. "What's your problem? Too good to say hello?" he questioned accusingly.
Again, Brian remained quiet causing Brody to grunt. Brody was known to have a short fuse and it was slowly shortening. Jason stepped in before things go too heated. "Whoa. Calm down Brody. This is just how Brian is. I've been friends with him for years and it just takes him a while to warm up to people," the blonde assured.
Brody cooled off, not feeling that Brian was worth getting into a fight with, and took a seat next to his cousin.
Allison had watched the whole scenario take place from her seat and sighed. She had seen Brody in some fights before and wasn't sure if Brian would even stand a chance against Brody. She was thankful that Jason stepped in before anything serious happened. She glanced at Mr. Jeffrey to find that he was just reading his book as she expected.
When the class started, they were told to just continue with the month's major project; a still life. In the center of the room were boxes, pots, urns, vases, flowers, frames, pumpkins, squashes, and other objects placed in a decorative pose. They were to sketch out a couple different angles of it that week and chose their favorite. Then, they had to choose a medium and compose a final project using one angle and one medium.
Allison already had already completed three sketches throughout that week and now she started her fourth. Looking straight ahead she began drawing out rough edges of a pumpkin and the urn sitting next to it. But whenever she looked up, her eyes looked past the thick, green pumpkin stem, and strayed on a certain dark-haired boy on the opposite side of the room. Sometimes, his eyes would flick up to the still life, but Allison swore he was looking at her.
Swallowing hard and shaking herself, she continued her sketch until the bell rang. Looking at her picture, her cheeks heated up as color rushed to her face. Not only had she drawn the pumpkin and the urn, but she also unconsciously drew Brian in the background.
Crumpling up the paper, she stood from her stool and tossed the drawing in the trash on the way out.
Mr. Lia was a surgeon at the Grace General hospital, which was also the reason why Allison was always able to produce doctor's notes. They were wealthy, but that luxury came at a price for Allison and as she lay in her bed, half naked and curled up in fetal position, with fresh bruises, she wished she could give it all back. She didn't need a large room filled with expensive clothes that she would never wear and pricey perfume that smelled like rotting fruit.
What she wanted was a day when she could come home and not fear a beating, mental or physical. She wanted a normal life full of friends and excitement. She wanted to be able to make friends confidently, bring them over, and not worry about what they would think of her abusive father.
But that, she knew, would never happen.
Carefully, and painfully, Allison rose from her queen-sized bed and made her way to her bathroom. Closing the door, and locking it, she turned to her mirror and looked at her fresh markings. Grip marks scarred her bare upper arms and her breasts were bruised from her father's rough fondling. The other scratches and bruises on her abdomen were from previous beatings.
She was his punching bag.
Allison was thankful though. She hated missing school and was always playing catch-up because of her frequent absences. These bruises could be hidden with a long-sleeved shirt and she wouldn't have to stay home again.
Looking away from the reflecting glass, she turned her shower on and removed the rest of her clothing. Stepping under the cool water, she washed away her scars of the day and reset her mind for tomorrow.