Letting Go

After being brutally abused by her father and outcasted by her classmates, seventeen year old Keller Alvidas is glad and even relieved to spend her last year at Edge-of-The-World, the sleepy small town she grew up in. Everything changes when the Gabriels, a group of orphaned teenage boys arrives. They break all her rules about meeting new people but they too have secrets and when the truth comes out Keller has to decide wether to let go and save herself or to continue to be dragged through everything she wanted to run away from, all for one chance she might never get.

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10. Before The Lights Go Out

James' P.O.V

Yes,yes,yes! I think. Not only does Keller want to walk with us, she would love to walk with us! I couldn't help but smile when she agreed and I can't help smiling now. I return to our room to find the guys already in bed.

"So, how'd it go? Is she coming?"asks Al hopefully lifting his head off the pillow. I felt bad for him, ever since he lost his sister when he was young he'd always try to get close to someone else.

"She's coming with us," I say happily. Everyone smiles.

"She's somethng different isn't she," says Ed.

"She's sad, and broken," I say frowning.

"What in the world are you talkng about? Keller was fine today when we were talking with her-" starts Will.

"I know, but the way she was laughing and smiling, it's like she's never done it before, like it's new or something," I say thoughtfully,"and after what her father did to her and Josh and other bullies, for all we know maybe it is new to her."

"Then it's our job to make up for lost years," smiles Ian.

"Yeah, Keller seems really cool, not to mention funny," agrees Will. There's a pause and then Ed starts to speak. His voice is far off, like he's really thinking.

"She's pretty, but in a less obvious way. Kind of like a spring rainstorm, effortless yet when you look at it long enough, it's something special," says Ed. We all stay silent, did Ed just say something deep?

"Woah, deep words man," says Will reading our minds. We all laugh but on the inside I wonder if that's what Ed really thinks of Keller. A wave of protectiveness washes over me for the girl with the broken smile.

"Anyways, she's fierce, she's not broken," says Al.

"Doesn't matter, she's still shy, no denying that," says Ian and we all seem to agree.

"So Keller is a sad, cool, funny, fierce, and shy person?" asks Will, "That's next to impossible." Al gets up to turn the light off and we all shuffle around in our bunks.

"Well, she's interesting and that's why I want to know her better," I say through my yawn. I remember her ringing laugh and smile one more time before the lights go out.

Keller's P.O.V

I wake up to see snow shafting through the sky in chunky flakes. I open the window and a blast of cold air hits me and fills my lungs with winter's frigid breath. I cold air revitalizes me for a second before I start to freeze. I shut the window closed and grab my towel to take a shower. Once I step into the hot water I remember the events of the night before. Those boys, they made me happy. They made me smile and laugh so effortlessly like it's natural to them. Like it's breathing to them. I've never been so comfortable with anybody ever. All my previous friendships started off great but burned later on.  I really hope this doesn't end up biting me in the butt.

I step out of the shower and dry my hair. I can see light bruises forming on my forehead from the attack yesterday but I can fix that with a little foundation. I pull out my dark wash skinny jeans and my favourite black shirt to that says Carpe Diem on it. I peak out my window and check the snow levels. The snow's too deep to wear Converse so I pull out my black leather ankle boots. Before I leave I spot my university brochure peaking out of my covers. I quickly grab it and look it over once more and smile. After this year I will be able to leave this hell hole of a town and go to a different city and just start over. I can't wait, I think excitedly.

I pull on my wool coat, tie my hair in a loose ponytail, grab my bag and I go outside to wait for the Gabriels. Surprisingly, they're all there already and checking their watches. I walk up to them with a smile on my face and then immediatley wipe it off. Better to not let feeling leak to the surface.

"Have you guys been waiting long?" I ask feeling bad that I might've made them wait in the cold for a long time.

"No, we just got outside. You want to go now?" James asks politely. I nod my head and we start to walk towards McNeilson High, the school.

Almost immediately Will starts the conversation going talking about how this school was the nicest one he's ever been to and the such. Ian and James argue with him.

"What are you talking about, the music room doesn't have a single guitar and the food isn't even that great,"James mumbles, "no offence."

"None taken, I hate this school too,"I smile, "but didn't you say yesterday that you didn't eat anything all day?"

James blushes bright red and is immediately in defence mode, "Hey, I did that to help you yesterday, your stomach growled so loud you could hear it from the other side if the room. If I didn't lie than you would have starved half to death last night. So blame me for being a gentleman!" he says loudly.

"Yes, because every gentleman says a girl's weird internal noises can be heard across the room," I say sarcastically while laughing.

We continue talking about weird noises and food until we reach homeroom. I grab my usual seat at the back of the class, what I didn't expect was the guys sitting next to me. I looked over at them in confusion, first Ed and then James. Ian sat beside Al on my right and Will sat in front of Ed. Ed flashes me a quick wink when I looked at him I question him.

"What the heck was that?" I hiss.

"Was what?"he asks innocently.

"The," he flashes another wink, "that!" I flush red and decide to ignore him. I could hear him chuckle as Mr.Pandler walks in and scribbles on the board.

After the bell rang I grabbed all my books and stuffed them into my bag. I say bye to the guys before leaving.

"We're going to see you later right?" asks Will.

"Sure, what about after school at the orphanage?" I respond unsure of how to respond to situations like these. No one's ever really wanted to see me after school before.

"See you there," winks Ed. I roll my eyes and walk out. I stand by my locker and get my math textbook. Right when I snap the locker shut  a bruised and scratched Josh is in my face.

"If you don't leave right now I will hurt you worse than yesterday," I hiss.

"I just wanted to say sorry, just calm down," he says irritatingly.

"'Just calm down'? I will not calm down! Yesterday you tried to tie me up and leave on the front steps of the school! Go eat your apology and die in a hole Josh," I say walking away.

People start to stare and I ignore them while Josh continues to walk up  to me.

"Come on, what will it take to forgive me?" he pleads.

"Why do you suddenly care so much? It's not like we're friends or anything," I reply.

"I thought we could become friends, you know," he tries to say convincingly.

"And so you wanted to become friends through leaving me out in the dark and cold. You're real friend material Josh," I say sarcastically while walking away.  He suddenly grabs my arm and yanks me back.

"Let me go," I yell. I get more stares from people and the whispers begin in a second. 'What in the world is Josh and the freak doing?', 'It was Keller who grabbed onto him first.', 'Did you see you see her scar, it's huge!' A couple giggles erupt after the last comment and I genuinely feel like punching them in the face, who hasn't seen my scar already? I've been here for all four years of high school.

A swift figure in dark jeans pulls Josh away from me and I stagger back grateful.

"When someone tells you to let go, you freaking let go," says Ian venomously. I stand beside Ian and we walk to math together. Josh just stands there feeling dejected. After a while I decide to speak up.

"Thanks but I had that under control you know," I say.

"Sure you did, and you're welcome. I just can't stand that jerk. He treats people with such low respect," says Ian with a scowl on his face.

"So, did you understand the homework?" he wonders suddenly.

"The english work or the math?" I ask.

"Both, sometimes I can't even tell if the teachers are writing in english in english or not, it's so cluttered," he laughs. We continue talking about homework and messy writing until we reach math class and take our separate seats. I can't believe it but I can't keep my eyes off the clock, urging it to go faster. I doesn't occur to me until class is over that I'm actually looking forward to meeting the guys later.

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