Chapter One- Welcome to my life
I stood next to Kayla at her locker, tapping my foot impatiently. "We have to get to practice! Coach Harris killed us last time we were late," I say, anxiously looking at the clock. I was already in my practice gear, shorts, shirt, hair in a ponytail, shoes on, stretched, everything. But Kayla still had her hair down, wearing her heels and dress from that day.
"Look, if you're so worried about being late, go on without me. I'll be there in five minutes, promise," Kayla said, fixing her make up.
I groaned and said, "Look, you are going to get kicked off the squad if you don't put more effort in to be at practice on time! You wanted this so bad, you got me to try out, and now you just don't care?"
"With everything that's going on at home, no, I don't care. I can't pay my fees for it anymore, and I feel like I need to take risks and if doing that means getting kicked off the team, so be it. Now, go."
Rolling my eyes, I walked away from her, and as soon as I was out of visual, I booked it. I had six minutes to get across the entire school. And Ridgeport High School was huge! I darted past freshman and seniors alike, my only destination- the only thing on my mind- was getting to the gym.
I sprinted, faster than I've ever sprinted before and made it with one minute to spare.
"Abby! Girl, come over here," my friend Hannah yelled from across the gym.
I jogged over to her, still catching my breath from sprinting across the school. "Hey," I smiled when I stopped next to her.
"Where's 'Miss Risk-taker', Kayla?"
"Probably at her locker with some hot guy, as per usual," I said, sarcasm dripping from my voice.
Coach Harris walked in the gym, holding her clipboard, her hair in a tight pony tail, not one hair out of place, in jeans and a crisp white shirt. She wore black flats and had a whistle around her neck.
The woman was terrifying.
"She looks even more terrifying than yesterday," Hannah whispered in my ear.
I nodded once slowly so Coach Harris wouldn't notice. I watched as she raised the whistle to her mouth and blew, loud and clear.
"Ladies! I didn't see one single person stretching! And where is Kayla?"
I gulped. "Abby, where is Kayla?" she barked at me.
"I don't know, I didn't see her after school," I lied, keeping my face as blank as possible so she wouldn't see through my lie.
"Very well! Because of her absence, 15 laps! Outside around the track!"
We all nodded and shuffled our feet, except one girl, who was all about the running. She was peppy and full of spirit. Something the rest of us didn't have when it came to coach Harris.
When Hannah and I pushed the doors open, we saw rain. Nothing but rain and lightning. Thunder cracked over the school and I groaned. We had to run 15 laps in that. Yay.
Practice ended three hours later with lots of conditioning. All because Kayla skipped! I couldn't believe her sometimes!
As I walked through the basically abandoned school, the only people here being cheerleaders, football players and basketball players, I dug my keys from my purse, and my phone. I was sopping wet, wearing black booty shorts and a white tee-shirt with a neon pink sports bra underneath. And for a moment, as I walked past a group of football players, I forgot about the bruises on my stomach. A few of the boys were staring and some teachers just leaving glared at my "vulgar" appearance.
I walked out of the school, once again into the rain and jogged over to my car. Once inside, I turned up the heater, plugged in my phone and turned on Taylor Swift's "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together," blasting it and singing along loudly.
"Yeah, we, are never ever ever getting back together, we are never ever ever getting back together. You go talk to your friends talk to my friends talk to me, but we are never ever ever ever getting back together!"
Oh god, I loved that song! I probably sang along to it four times before I pulled into my driveway. It wasn't just a short little hill leading to a garage. No, see, I lived on three acres of land. The driveway was insane long and it used to take me forever to walk down when I was younger and had to take the bus. The yard was covered in beautiful green grass and I had made a little area at a little blind spot under my balcony that was all white flowers, so soft against bare legs and a place where I had met up with many boys. We could lie for hours under there at night, staring at the sky, cuddling and kissing.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a slut. I don't make out with random guys from school, or do bad things. I would always be down there with a boyfriend, or a guy who had asked me out on a date.
Sighing, staring up at my big house, I didn't want to get out of the car. My dad had just gotten home after a month of being away in Tokyo and, well, I didn't want to see him.
There is some pretty bad things my dad does. He's genuinely a nice guy, warm and caring. But then, when he starts drinking, things get bad. He used to abuse my mum and it got to the point where she got hit so much that she can't have another child. This was around a month after I was born, so I'm an only child. That's why I made that flower bed under my balcony. He can't see it.
He didn't only hit mum. He would hit me sometimes, when I didn't get good grades, when I did something "wrong," or he caught me with a boy after a date. But he had the "decency" to wait until the boy had gone before hitting me.
That's why I never wore bikinis or anything that revealed my stomach. He punched me there so no one could see what he did to me when I went to school the next day. And then I realized that after practice, people could have seen those bruises and they would know I was abused.
I never trusted anyone to tell them what he does, not even Kayla, my best friend in the whole world.
So as I stared up at the four story cream colored house, I felt cold. I turned off my car, throwing my keys in my purse, and pulling my warm ups over so my dad won't see me wearing clothes he didn't approve of. I grabbed my things and went inside, dreading seeing him, knowing he was probably already drunk and if I made one wrong move, I was done for.
I could hear yelling upstairs, my mums voice, her cries of pain and begging for it to stop. I quietly crept up the stairs and into my room, quietly sneaking past the second floor to the third. I closed my door and set my things down. I quickly stripped from my practice clothes and into my Hollister jeans, white long sleeve shirt, wrapping my grey scarf around my neck and putting my grey Uggs back on. I redid my brown curly hair into a messy bun and fixed any smudged makeup. I took my contacts out and replaced them with my glasses, because dad said, "Girls with glasses are sophisticated and smart," meaning "You wear those glasses, you don't get hit." I looked presentable to my dad. If I wore anything that would tarnish the families appearance- like you haven't done that already you abusive bastard- I would get hit.
I grabbed my bag and went quietly down stairs to sit at the table and I what homework I had left that I didn't get finished in study hall. If I was working, wearing clothes that were not provocative and had my glasses on, I was safe.
Suddenly, the yelling up in my parents room stopped. I heard the door open with a loud bang and my dads heavy footsteps pounded down the stairs. I gulped and scribbled away at my English essay, using my book and waiting for the wrath that is my father.
"Ah, Abby. You're home," he slurred drunkenly.
I looked up from my almost complete essay, book and pencil in hand.
"Yes, Father, I am. I'm sorry it took me so long, I stayed after to get a little help with a few problems I didn't understand in Trig, and Chemistry, but it shall not happen again," I said, sounding as well mannered as possible.
"Smart people ask questions. You should do that more often," he snapped.
I nodded, and said, "Very well. What shall I cook you for dinner?"
I put my essay away into my folder and piled my things up.
"Put your things away properly and then come make some beef stew," he said, seeing I was not going to test his temper.
"Very well. If you would like to watch football or the news, I shall put my things away and have dinner ready within an hour to an hour and a half."
He nodded gruffly, leaving for the basement.
I sighed in relief. I wasn't going to get punished today, unless I didn't clean the dishes. I carried my things to my room, setting them on the desk and gathering my cheer clothes. I threw my practice clothes in the hamper, and I took my warm ups to my closet. I had a very nice advantage being an only child.
I had a whole half of the fourth floor-the attic- for my closet and the other half was my reading nook. I had four bookshelves and they were all filled to the brim with books, and lining the floor were various bean bags, cushions and pillows. My father had said that he would give me the entire third floor and attic if I decorated myself. And that I did. I paid for everything. The book shelves, the closet walls, the couches and TV in the living room on the third floor, the bathroom decorations, the paint, and my clothes. the only room I didn't have to pay furniture costs for was my bedroom. My father had painted it a light baby pink, and gotten me a black bed frame. I picked out the duvet I wanted and he gladly paid. The desk was a creamy white and I had told dad I would pay for the belongings that were on the desk such as my laptop, cell phone charger and anything I needed such as paper, pens, pencils, all of that. My room was spacious because I had turned my closet in here to my beds space, having sheer black curtains to drop and cover them at night. I bought the throw rug in the middle of my room and I had done a good job furnishing my whole part of the house.
I went back downstairs to begin cooking dinner. This night was going to go one way or the other. Abuse free, or, thinking the worst, abuse city.