My name's Elissa. Elissa Hollinrake. Most girls would kill to be popular, to be pretty and well known and adored by everyone in the year. I'm not one of them. But I am well known. Well known for being an easy target for bullies. Well known for having moved schools several times in the past four years. And well known for having a drug addict father and a mother with cancer. My calls for help always fall short, but this time, I'm telling my story to the world.


5. It's Intoxicating

I stared at Jason; half confused, half intrigued by what he'd just said to me. He wanted to help me- or so he said. No matter how large my doubts were, I could feel that he meant me no harm and was genuinely concerned.

"Why would you want to help me?" I questioned. Jason perched himself on the kitchen table, so we were in close proximity to each other. He looked at me, plunging into the deepest depths of my soul. He knew things about me I had no idea he knew.

"I want to help you raise awareness of bullying, so it will stop happening to you. I don't want you to suffer any more and I'm sick of hiding behind the bullies. Together, I think that we can get through this," he told me. His face was alight with excitement and enthusiasm.

"We're so different though, Jason. We hang out with different people, we lead different lives. I spoke to you for the first time today- that doesn't exactly make us best buds."

"I realize that, and I understand that you might be skeptical about this, but I want to help. I have been in your situation, and it took someone to push me towards speaking up, and that ended the bullying for me. I'm hoping it will do the same for you, Elissa. Please, give me a chance." I had no idea what to think, what to say, what to do. I barely knew Jason, but his idea had hit a nerve with me, interesting me into following him up on his offer.

At the same time, I was unsure, I didn't want to get caught at the receiving end if Louisa again, I didn't want to get beaten up. I was also extremely scared. Jason may have been a potential threat to me at one point, but that doesn't make me different to anyone else when it comes to crushing on someone. Jason is stunning. He has these forest green eyes that remind me of emeralds, his hair is a sandy blond, falling in neat waves around his ears. On several occasions, I have caught myself staring in his direction in the canteen or in the halls, when no one else was looking. Falling for him completely would be a death penalty for me.

Being so close to him, alone with him, made the hair on my arms stand on end. I didn't know what feeling I was experiencing, but it was one that freaked me out. I've never felt this way before around anything, about anyone. It's intoxicating- it fills up your lungs and seeps into your pores. It feels amazing, yet at the same time, it feels dangerous. It's a type of adrenalin that I could get used to.

"Jason, I really don't know. I'm scared we'll get caught, and that will be bad for both of us," I explained nervously, picking at my nails and looking at the floor, not wanting to catch Jason's eye. I heard him sigh, and push away from the table. I looked up in time to see him wrap his arms around me.

"Elissa, you can trust me. Please, trust me," he pleaded, burying his face in my hair. "I can help you."

"I know you can, Jason, but I can't give you anything in return," I sighed. Jason unravelled his arms from me, and held me at arm's length, looking me straight in the eye.

"Did I say that I wanted anything in return, Elissa?" I shook my head. "Exactly. I don't want anything from you. There are things I would like from you, but I don't necessarily need them. I would like to have them, but it's not the end of the world if I don't. Do you get me?" I nodded, still confused, but I didn't want to say anything and sound thick.

In the rush of everything that was going on, I hadn't heard my dad stumble into the hallway, drunk and needing a fix, so I almost screamed when I heard him shout.

"Elissa! I know you're home! Bitch, where are you? I need a fix!" I looked at Jason, eyes wide and mortified of what could happen if Jason saw my dad or my dad saw Jason.

"You've got to go Jason. I'm sorry," I urged, pushing him towards the door. He was like a brick wall, and refused to move. He took my wrists forcefully, making me look at him.

"No, Elissa. I'm staying."

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