1 Chapter 01: This is My Life

"You feel so good. Hah-who knew A geek like you would be so much fun?" "It's my turn now so move""Such A slut"

I jumped awake, as tears streamed down my face from the memories. Looking at the clock, I saw it read 5:15. Ugh, what A way to start the day.

There's no way I'm going back to sleep. Instead I'll just work on some extra homework or something. I gathered my books and got to work on the extra credit portion of my math homework and when I checked the clock again it was 5:30. I guess I'll just start getting ready for my day.

I went over to my closet and got out some of my clothes before making my way across the hall to the bathroom. I showered, scrubbing away the memories of their hands and let the hot water stream down my body some more.

Getting out of the shower, I dried my long black hair and started getting dressed. I put on my favorite oversized teal sweater, my jeans, some fuzzy socks, and slid on my pumas. Then I brushed my hair and left it down. I finished brushing my teeth and grabbed my glasses off the sink's counter before heading down to the kitchen.

Mom was setting the table for breakfast whilst dad was sitting at the table readjusting his tie before taking sips of his coffee.

"Morning baby, did you sleep well?", mom asked as she turned to see me taking my seat next to dad.

"Morning. Yes, ma'am I slept fine ", I lied.

She placed scrambled cheese eggs, toast, and sausage in front of me and dad, before joining us with her own plate. I poured myself some apple juice and thanked mom for the food before digging in. Wiping my mouth, I stood up and kissed my parents on the cheek before heading out the door.

Walking to the bus stop was just A small part of my day where I could relax before it'd all go to hell. I looked at the time on my phone and saw it was 6:40, the bus would arrive in five more minutes and I had already reached the stop. I looked up and noticed there was someone else standing there, but I'm usually the only one who catches the bus from this stop. I'll just ignore them, they'll end up hating me sooner or later anyways.

Looking over the mystery guy I noticed he was tall, with broad shoulders. His black hair was longer and in his eyes, his hood pulled up blocking the rest of his face as he stood there quietly waiting for the bus.

The bus pulled up right on time and I took my place in the last seat at the back, as it was always the only one left empty. This is the last stop after all, and most people just plop down in the first available seat. The new guy sat next to me on the bus and I subconsciously felt myself inch away from him, closer to the window.

He didn't seem to notice as he closed his eyes and tilted his head back, exposing the wire to his headphones. I looked out the window and watched the scenery go by as we continued on to school.

I guess I zoned out, cause the guy next to me nudged me with his shoulder and I jerked my head around to look at him, causing me to hit my head against the window. I reached up and rubbed the sore spot on my head.

"Sorry, I was trying to tell you we're here", the mystery guy replied, his green eyes holding concern.

"Oh, right, thanks", I mumbled back. I grabbed my bag from my lap and stood along with mystery guy and followed him off the bus.

"You good?", he turned to ask me.

"Yeah, thanks", I said and began walking off.

It's better to not even try to make friends. Everyone turns on you anyways.

I walked into hell, well high school, but pretty much the same thing for me. Walking through the halls I kept my head down, peeking up to make sure I didn't run into anyone, and made my way to my locker. Reaching my locker I started shuffling through, getting my books out and placing my binders in my bag. Closing my locker I turned around and was greeted by Macy's cold glare three lockers down, "Slut", she muttered before slamming her locker closed and walking away.

Just ignore her, I thought to myself. Then I continued onto my first class of the day, geometry.

I took my seat in the back of the class and waited for the teacher to come in and start. We still had A few minutes left before the first bell would ring so the room didn't have that many people in it yet. I took out my headphones and plugged them into my ears. I put my playlist on shuffle and laid my head on my desk.

The first bell rang, which means that people would start trickling in and class would start soon. I plucked one of my headphones out and leaned up on my desk. I turned around to go through my bag and grab my notebook for class, and saw someone sitting next to me. No one ever sits next me, I thought.

Looking up I noticed it was the same guy from the bus. He was leaning back in his seat, headphones in, typing away at something on his phone. I quickly averted my eyes and grabbed my things before turning towards the front of the room again. The room is pretty empty, why would he sit back here? It's not like it's my business, but still, no one ever sits beside me willingly.

The room filled up and our math teacher Mr.Spilk jumped right into lecture. After class ended, Mr. Spilk had the new guy stay after. I quickly grabbed my things and made my way out the door, waiting until after everyone left.

I continued through the hallway, trying not to bump into anyone as people looked at me with disgust. My next two classes went by in the blink of an eye and it was time for lunch. I was heading to my locker to put my things away and trying not to bump into anyone.

Walking through the halls I could hear people whispering about me, "She's such A slut", "Who sleeps with her best friend's boyfriend?", "Ew, what A whore" "She got ran through by four guys too".

I started walking faster, dodging their looks. A girl shoved me in the hall, "No wonder Macy hates you, you fucked her dude I'd hate you too", she said to me. Her friends started shoving me and I tripped, causing me to fall down. I could hear them laughing as they walked away.

I scrambled to pick my scattered things up. The tears trailing from my eyes in big, hot drops down cheeks. Then I felt two hands grab me from behind and lift me off the floor, causing me to freeze. I couldn't move as my eyes began blinking rapidly. I stood there frozen, my hands clutching my notebooks and papers tightly.

The person moved and gathered the rest of my things, their back facing me as I shook in place from the contact from before. It took me A moment to realize I wasn't in any danger as the person turned around, it was the guy from earlier.

"Here", he said gently, handing over my things.

"Thanks", I replied back softly, the tears still streaming down my face.

"Are you okay? What happened?", he asked concern in his voice.

"Yes, thank you. Nothing. I-I have to go", I replied back not meeting his gaze as I took off heading for the bathrooms.

Screw lunch. I hate it here. It's always the same shit, different day.

I stayed in the bathroom for both lunch and English. Wiping my face clean of any leftover tears, I made my way out of the bathroom. I went to my locker and swapped my books out and headed to my class as if nothing happened. The next two classes went by in A blur and it was finally the last class of the day, history.

About ten minutes into the class the new guy walked in and handed A slip to the teacher before taking the only empty seat left, directly behind me. Great, he saw me in the hallway and helped me out and I left him there hoping to avoid him just to have him end up sitting right behind me.

Thankfully he didn't say anything to me during class and things went by pretty fast.

After class I dropped by my locker and swapped my things out to take home with me, turning to leave when I crashed into someone. I saw two pairs of feet and looked up to see who they belonged to so I could apologize, but stopped dead in my tracks when I saw who it was: Alex Doneaway and Cole Stranten.

I retreated closer to my locker as if I'd been burned, scared of what could possibly come next.

"Well don't go getting shy now, babe", Alex said to me with mischief in his voice.

I tried ignoring them and walking around them but Cole moved in front of me, blocking my path.

"Where you going ? Did you forget about all the fun we had? Maybe we should do it again sometime", Cole said as leaned in closer to me. I felt my body cringe away from the thought of being touched by either of them again, let alone another male.

"Hey, you think you're too good to touch me now? Don't forget we've already had you", Cole said as he grabbed my wrist harshly and pulled it trying to bring me closer.

I could feel my face getting wet with the tears as they began streaming down my face. I tried pulling hand free, I wanted to run or scream but my voice wasn't working. It felt like it was happening all over again. No air was coming into my lungs as I felt myself starting to panic even more.

Then Cole's hand was torn from mine and I looked up to see the back of someone blocking me view from him. I could finally start to catch my breath again.

"What are you doing?", the voice, I recognized as the new guy's, asked Cole in A harsh manner.

"Just talking. What's it to you?", he replied back in A cocky attitude.

"I don't know what you said to her but it looks like she doesn't want to talk to you", the new guy replied back.

"Why do you care about that slut anyways? She fuck you already? She's not even that good", replied Alex.

Okay, I want to crawl in A hole and die.

The new guy turned towards Alex so fast, grabbed him by the collar and pushed him against the lockers.

"Watch your damn mouth. Apologize, or we'll have problems", the new guy said, his face inches away from Alex's.

"Why should I apologize? It's true. You must be new around here if you're gonna put your hands on me", he said back.

"I don't give A fuck if it's true or not. Apologize", the new guy said as he pressed his arm into Alex's throat. Alex pushed against his arm before relenting. The new guy released him, yanking him towards me.

"Sorry", Alex said. Cole just stood there watching everything in silence. Then the new guy let them go, and they walked off mumbling to themselves.

"Thank you", I said to the new guy.

He just nodded his head and picked up his bag from A nearby locker. I hurried to check the time, seeing that the bus had already left meaning I'd be stuck walking. Great, just great, I thought.

"You ready?", the new guy asked, right as I walked up to the school doors.

"Huh?", I replied back confused.

"We're heading the same direction. Figured we'd walk together", he said.

"Oh-um, sure", I replied back hastily.

The walk back was pretty quiet so far. I stayed A safe distance apart from him, my eyes watching the sidewalk where we stepped.

"What's your name?", he asked me, breaking the silence after about five minutes into the walk.

"Bernadette, you?", I asked back.

"Atlas", he replied back.

Then the silence continued. I don't really mind the silence seeing as this is the first time anyone's even walked with me in A long time, let alone been this nice. I must've been really distracted as I didn't realize we made it to the crosswalk. Next thing I knew, he grabbed me, yanking me back. I heard the horn as the car sped by, jolting me from my thoughts.

His hand holding my arm lightly, felt like A weight. I cringed inward A little at the newfound contact. He quickly retracted his hand, taking A step back before he spoke.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Just pay attention, please", he said looking at me with concern on his face.

"I-it's okay. Sorry-", I started apologizing at the thought that I might've offended him when he was only trying to help.

"Don't apologize. I scared you, unintentionally, but I still scared you. A natural reaction to fear would be trying to get away, don't apologize for that. Let's go", Atlas interjected, looking me right in the eyes.

We continued walking in silence and then he turned to me,

"I'd walk you the rest of the way, but I have some things I have to do today so I'll catch you at the stop tomorrow", he said.

"Okay", was my reply as I finished walking the rest of the way home.

It takes about thirty minutes to get to my house from the school when walking, so I had another ten minutes to go and I should be there. The rest of the walk home I thought about how today went and how I sort of made A new friend today. That thought made me smile. When I finally got home I made my way up the short drive, unlocked the door and stepped inside where I took my shoes off. I walked around in my fuzzy socks, setting the living room up with my school supplies and some light snacks. I worked on my homework, ate some pretzels, and took sips of my Powerade before curling up on the couch with A blanket and watched some Netflix.

I must've fallen asleep. Next thing I knew, mom was shaking me awake and telling me to come eat dinner.

I plopped down at the dinning table and was happy to see we were having steak, mashed potatoes, and broccoli and cheese. I was starving.

I was just about to dig into my plate when there was A knock at the front door.

"Could you get that Bernadette?", dad asked, A slight smile on his face.

"Yes, sir", I said as I got up from the table and made my way to the door.

I opened the door and almost cried seeing the person standing in front of me. Phoenix. My big brother, was standing there army clad with A big smile on his face.

I rushed to throw my arms around him. I sobbed into his chest, I had missed him so much! He's been away for six months. I knew he was coming back for leave soon but not this soon. I wonder what prompted this.

"I missed you too, Bird", he said as he squeezed me once more before releasing me. He walked inside and sat at the table, catching up and eating dinner.

This day had its ups and downs but between my somewhat new friend Atlas and having Phoenix here, I don't think anything could bring me down at the moment.