This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
"You’re good for nothing!” he screamed at me.
I was used to years of this. My mom left us when I was only six years old. She had had enough of my dad and she didn’t even care about me. She left me with him to endure this life.
I just ignored him and kept making my dinner.
He threw the remote at me, hitting me in the back. “Listen to me when I talk to you!”
I whirled on him, “Maybe if you didn’t beat me senseless all the time I would pay you a little more attention!”
He pulled his arm back and punched me in the face. His fist hit me square in the cheek. I clenched my fists at my sides and took it. I wanted so badly to fight back but I knew if I did I wouldn’t hold back. I could kill him.
I shoved him away from me and ran out of the house. I looked around wondering where to go. A light in a window next door caught my eye. It was Shaina Collin’s house.
I jumped over the fence and climbed up to her window. Peering inside, I saw Shaina sitting on her bed, with her back to the window, listening to music. I reached up and tapped on the window.
She pulled out her earbuds and looked at me. I tapped again.
She got up and opened the window. “What are you doing here?” she asked sounding nervous.
“I need somewhere to stay and your house is the closest.”
I saw her eyes wander to the bruise forming on my cheek.
“Don’t you have a friends house you could go to?” she asked me.
Honestly, I had two friends and they lived across town. I wouldn’t be able to get there without my dad finding me.
“That’s the first place he’d look.” I told her seriously.
She bit her lip nervously.
“Come on, Shaina. It’s only one night.” I coaxed her.
Finally, she nodded and stepped away from the window.
I climbed in and she went back to her bed.
I sat down behind her and peered over her shoulder. “So what are we working on?”
“Ooh my favorite.” Which wasn’t a lie. I loved chemistry.
“Really?” she asked me disbelievingly.
Before I could answer her mom poked her head in and called Shaina out into the hallway.
When she came back I asked her, “Is it a problem I’m here?”
“No. Not at all.” she reassured me. “My mom was just surprised that’s all.”
“Why?” I asked kind of confused.
“Well because we aren’t really friends so I don’t think she expected you to be here...” she trailed off.
It was completely true. We weren’t really friends. I mean yeah, we were neighbors, but we didn’t really talk or hang out. We're nothing a like.
“Oh,” I felt like I really just needed to relax. “Hey, do you mind if I smoke?”
She looked at me like I had just asked her if she was from Mars. “Not in here!” she exclaimed.
I chuckled, “I wasn’t going to smoke in here. I was just wondering if you minded.”
“I mean, I would really rather you not but if you must, go outside.”
I got up from the bed and climbed back out into the roof. I sat down, pulled out my pack and lighter from my pocket, and lit up a cigarette. I closed my eyes and took a long drag.
Shaina called me, “Hey Matthew?”
I opened my eyes and blew out the smoke, “Hm?”
She looked around all shy, “Could you.... Could you help me with my chemistry?”
I nodded. “Bring your stuff out here.”
She clambered through the window and cautiously made her way over to me. She looked pretty uncomfortable. As she tried to sit beside me, her foot slipped.
My hand shot out and I grabbed her arm and hip to keep her from falling.
She started gasping for air.
“Are you okay?” I asked her concerned.
She shook her head. “I-I hate heights.” she stammered.
“Then let’s go back inside.” I kept a hand on her arm to keep her steady as I put out my half finished cigarette and tossed it onto the grass below. I guided her back to the window and helped her inside.
I immediately noticed her hands were shaking. I gently took one,“What’s up with your hands?”
“It’s-its a fear response,” she answered looking away embarrassed. “It’s always happened. Ever since I was little.”
“Will it stop?” I asked worriedly.
“It should soon.”
I took a seat at her desk as she sat on her bed. We worked through her chemistry but her hands didn’t stop shaking.
She got frustrated and tossed her binder on the floor.
I watched her silently realizing this girl was more broken then she let on.
“I thought you said it’d stop soon?” I asked breaking the silence.
“It usually does.” Shaina responded angrily. “Usually I just distract myself till I calm down and it stops.”
“Why does it happen?” I asked cocking my head to the side.
“It’s anxiety.” she responded quietly. “When I become overwhelmed by something that scares me this happens. It stops when I calm down but apparently I can’t seem to calm down from this.”
“Are you that afraid of heights?”
“I was traumatized when I was little.” she responded quietly.
“I’d rather not talk about it. It usually causes me to have an anxiety attack.”
“Okay.” I said dropping the subject understanding she was uncomfortable.
“I’m going to get ready for bed.” She stood up and grabbed her pajamas.
“Here, I’ll leave. It’s your room.” I said standing. I left her room closing the door with a quiet click.
She opened the door a few minutes later dressed in a t-shirt and leggings. I entered her room again and saw she had dragged a mattress into the room.
“Are you good sleeping down there?” She asked me.
“Oh yeah.” I answered quickly, “It’s perfect.”
It was pretty much what I had at home.
She climbed into bed and turned off the light.
“Good night, Shaina.” I whispered quietly.
“Good night, Matthew.” she answered softly.
sujitha nair: What's so distinct about this story was that it could easily be real. Praveena can be your classmate, neighbor or that girl you saw at the coffee shop today. The important decisions she makes and the dilemmas she faces, remind us of our own twisted lives.
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
colt: i love your books! all of them! i am so happy for you! when i first read your book i thought "this seems really interesting" and i just got hooked had to have more, i wondered if you had a sequel to the first one, and you did, i was so excited that i had to start reading it. your series left me t...
sunshinebennybear: First, I would like to address the elephant in the room. The author forgets her own character's names. She mixed up Liam for Jace, Harri for Maiya, and Freya for Clary. I love The Mortal Instruments as much as the next fangirl, but I find myself unforgiving about this. Throughout the story there ...
Lydia Sherrer: I first read The Speaker almost a decade ago when I first discovered author Sandra Leigh. I loved it then, and I still love it now. It is a simple, easy read, yet deep in meaning and rich in storyline. I do not know what kind of research or prior knowledge Leigh has of First Nation tribes, but sh...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
MelanyFrey: This story is just so realistic and so amazingly written that I felt I was a part of it. It starts off completely ordinary, describing the lives of three young brothers, then slowly shifting the focus on one of them, putting him into the spotlight and following him into this unusual, but yet so r...
Riskaninda Maharani: This story told about love between Christopher Schlösser (a German) and Anggia Selestina (an Indonesian) that happened in Düsseldorf, Germany in an autumn. The German autumn which was so different with the autumn in the other four season countries, especially in Anggia's eyes when her heart-movin...
Ruby0h: Overall I thought your story was really good! It drew me in right away and kept me interested as the story progressed. I loved the character of Kayla being inserted into this story, and the way she affected and shaped the life of the original story into something totally new and interesting. I lo...
catd69: Karim is a very talented writer. When I started reading his journey it took me into the book and I was in the story till the end. I've never felt this way with any other writers stories. If you want to read a gripping adventure, this will be the one book I would suggest you pick.
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."