Falling

Up until the accident I was that girl. That girl who enjoyed parties and got drunk enough to forget her name. I was that girl who everyone knew - the typical cheerleader. I was that girl who had everything. But then that night had to happen. It was my fault, that much I knew. And I would do anything to be with my family again.

Bad things seem to follow me everywhere. And now I know they were never just coincidences.

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6. Chapter Five - Misfit

 

** 06/24/14 I have revised the story from this point onward... 

 

I was the girl who never settled for the sidelines. I wanted the attention. I thrived in it. 

 

Until that night.

 

I used to love dodge ball too. Really. But I'm sitting this one out - especially since one of the best throwers hated my guts. Christa Adams was not-so-happily chatting with my cousin Cara, Angelo's twin sister, in the middle of the gymnasium.

Christa and I go way back - at least in terms of cheer leading. We used to be on the same team and got along well... until she wanted what I had. She tried to steal my boyfriend and my position as captain but she failed. She transferred schools and became their co-captain. Unfortunately it was to our rival school, St. Thomas High. Which just so happened to be the same school I transferred to after losing everything.

And she never stopped reminding me.

She was wearing the school's P.E. uniform for the summer, displaying her long, naturally tanned legs. How she could survive the freezing temperature, I have no idea. That was against school rules, but the teacher, Mr. Pavel, didn't seem to mind. The co-captain and the captain of the cheering squad seemed to be having a small heated debate but it ended when Cara left the scene, shaking her head. It made me wonder why Christa hadn't sabotaged Cara yet.

 

I silently stood by the class, waiting for the period to finish even though it hadn't started yet. Eventually, Mr. Pavel blew the whistle to signal the start of the dreadful class. After the taking of attendance, I took a seat on one of the bleachers.

 

Christa was now talking to Jordan. The co-captain was rolling her eyes until Jordan's lips formed into a sly smirk. It made Christa smile and then they continued their conversation as they walked towards where the rest of the class was gathering for the activity.

 

The gymnasium was located in the middle of the town. We had to ride the school bus to get here. I looked through the open exit at my side of the court that gave me a partial view of the ice rink. It was lower than the gym, being built by the foot of the hill where the gymnasium was at. The school's hockey team was having their practice. I saw Angelo hit the puck with the same hockey stick I gave him years ago. I can't believe that thing was still with him.

 

I was suddenly reminded of that night; that dream-or-not incident two nights ago. I thought it was real. I thought I felt the snow beneath my feet, the coldness of the wind that blew my hair as I stood by the wall of the dormitory, the warmth from the blue light that enveloped my body. Those were real... or was I just imagining those things?

 

I was too deep into my own thoughts to notice the red ball coming my way. It bounced off the wall next to me and smacked against my face. It felt like I was slapped by a large, calloused hand. I held my face because it hurt like hell. The red ball bounced on the floor until it stopped in front of the laughing students. Christa was smiling - God, she could throw - while Jordan was holding a ball in one hand. He raised it and threw the ball at me, hitting my shoulder. And of course, like the 'Alpha male' he was, the others followed him. Dammit.

 

Like a huge wave, the balls came at me, hitting me everywhere. I frantically looked around for the teacher, but he was conveniently missing. 

"S-Stop it," I muttered, "I said stop!" I was yelling now but it only made them laugh louder. So I ran.

I burst through the doors at the same time I lost control of my tears.

 

I kept running until I fell onto my hands and knees on the icy ground down the hill from where the gym was at. I sat on my legs, not caring about my clothes getting soaked and that my hands were becoming numb. I lifted one and touched my face. The coldness of it soothed my aching cheek.

I was still looking down at the snow while my tears fell silently. Moments later small red spots joined my tears. I moved the hand from my cheek to my nose. My fingers returned with blood on them.

"Here." A white handkerchief came with the deep voice. 

I looked up and found Daniel sitting on the lowest branch of the almost dead tree close to me. How long had he been there?

His feet barely touched the ground. It wouldn't have given me weird thoughts but his feet were bare. In this weather. He was wearing our uniform: the blazer bearing our school colors, the white dress shirt underneath it, and the black slacks that seemed to fit him perfectly. The black and gold necktie was in his other hand.

His face remained blank even as I took the handkerchief from his warm hand. I immediately placed it below my nose. And before I could stop myself, I was already staring at him.

There was just something about him that I couldn't put my finger on. I don't think it's bad, at least that was what my gut told me.

"I don't think it's broken." He spoke again, bringing me out of my thoughts. "Your nose."

"How do you know that?" My voice came out muffled by what was probably the softest handkerchief I have ever touched.

"Does it hurt when I do this?" Before I could ask, he already reached for my face and pinched the bridge of my nose.

"Ow -" I expected pain to shoot up my face but it didn't. I still swatted his hand away. "No... I don't think so?" Something about his warm touch startled me. I was pretty sure my nose was stinging a while ago. The cold must have numbed it.

"Then it isn't," he said.

"Is this the part where I say you're being nice again, and then you'd snap at me?" I asked.

"I'm not being nice."

"Thought so," I muttered, my words still muffled. His eye twitched and the corners of his mouth lifted slightly. It was probably what he had that was closest to a smile. Around me, anyways.

I just realized this was the longest, most normal conversation we ever had in the span of four days since he got here.

"It really depends on how someone sees things. I merely handed you a piece of cloth."

What was he doing here? He didn't have a class here, did he?

"Well," he hopped off the tree branch and landed on his feet next to me, "time for me to go." He stretched his arms above his head, his necktie dangling onto his forehead. He dropped his arms to his sides and placed his hands in his pockets. My eyes followed after him as he walked away, the snow crunching under his bare feet.

Moments later somebody tapped me on the shoulder. I looked up and was met by grey eyes.

"Cara told me what happened." Anger was clearly forming in his eyes.

"I'm fine," I said, standing up. I placed the handkerchief in my pocket. Hopefully there was no longer any trace of blood on my face.

"I can talk to your teacher so you can ride the bus with us," he told me. The class must have finished.

The thought of riding the same bus as Christa and Jordan left a bitter taste in my mouth.

"Yeah, that would be great," I gave him a small smile.

 

 

I got on the bus with Angelo's arm around my shoulder. Their coach nodded at me in acknowledgement. I focused my gaze on the floor until we have reached the very back. I chose to seat myself next to the window. There was one other person sitting in that row. The goalie, Ethan, silently regarded me with his brown eyes. Angelo sat between me and him.

When the bus started moving, Angelo turned to me. He wiped something from above my mouth with his thumb. "Does it hurt?"

My gaze lingered on my pocket where I placed the handkerchief. "Not anymore."

 

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