"I love you" he whispered into my ear, holding me close. I could feel his warmth against me. Usually I would snuggle closer and say I love him too. But I knew he didn't. If he loved me, why wasn't the world allowed to know? If he loved me why wouldn't he kiss me? I had never had my first kiss. He had. So why wouldn't he kiss me? The warmth of his body against mine made me feel cold.
"Don't you love me too?" He said sharply. No. No I don't love you. Yes. Yes I do. You're a bully and you disgust me with your mean ways but I can't help it. He squeezed me really tight. Not to please me, to hurt me. "You don't do you?" I should have walked away from it all. I knew it could only get worse, but I was scared of him. Terrified even. He was bigger and stronger than me.
"Of course I love you." I said and he hugged me.
"I know you do." And that was all the romance he could give for today. That was all the time he could give up for me. "Gotta go. Bye!" And he just strolled off. He didn't have anything to do. He'd just had enough. I always had plans I had to sacrifice for him, he knew that, but I didn't walk away when I felt like it.
I went home feeling empty and hurt. This wasn't how a relationship should be. I was no expert on love but I knew that much. I curled up on my bed, it was only half seven but I fell asleep straight away, fully dressed.
At school the next day I kept my distance from him. I didn't even look at him. He never looked at me so why should I make an effort. I didn't even put much make up on. I put on less foundation than usual, powder and mascara. No blusher or bronzer or eyeliner. He was the one I used to make an effort for, if I didn't he used to tell me I looked ugly, but I didn't need to anymore. I loved him uncontrollably but I wasn't interested in what he thought of me.
Justin was in all of my lessons and he chose to sit by me in most of them. We chatted a lot and without noticing we got pretty close. I didn't talk about Brandon but he knew everything else about me. And I knew everything about him. Unless he had some secret like I did, but he wasn't like Brandon. He was a good person. The best.
"Wanna hang out at lunch?" I asked. "A few of my friends and yours?" It was about time my group of friends bonded with the other sex!
"I would love to! I was literally about to say the exact same thing!" We both laughed. "Great minds think alike!" He winked at me. I nudged him with my elbow playfully and he flinched.
"Oh you're ticklish huh? I'll remember that!" And I returned his wink.
At lunch there was me, Ali, Danielle, Justin, Marcus and Joe. It was so fun! I got to know the boys a lot better, they weren't like I thought they were. We had a great time until we bumped into Brandon...and all the laughs from that lunchtime crumbled away. Me and Justin were playfully pushing each other around, he was becoming a great friend. We were all teasing each other and walking along laughing. Justin laughed so much that he tripped and fell onto my foot.
"Ouch!" I cried. Totally overreacting I fell onto the floor and rolled around. Everyone cried with laughter around me.
"Madam, I am awfully sorry. Allow me to assist you." He said, mocking my British accent.
"Shut up you!" I smiled. He reached out a hand to pull me up and I took it. As I stood up he didn't let go quick enough. We weren't alone in that corridor.
"Get away from my girlfriend NOW!" Brandon came out of nowhere and launched himself at Justin. He started kicking and punching and shoving him. Justin was right, he didn't let people walk all over him. He managed to defend himself without laying a finger on Brandon. Brandon soon gave up and turned to me. He shoved me against the wall for the third time, but before I could react he started hitting me. Hard. I cried out and screamed but he pressed his hand across my mouth.
"What do you think you're playing at?" He hissed.
"Nothing. He's a friend." I said. He looked even more angry. "Anyway, what are you playing at? What kind of boyfriend are you?" I narrowed my eyes at him and he loosened his grip on me. But I didn't stop there. "Hitting your girlfriend in front of everyone. And I thought you wanted to keep us a secret? I'm not the one that told everyone. That was you. So much for your plans." I sneered. Justin ran in and pushed him off me.
"Are you ok?" He asked me sympathetically. Before I could reply...
"Oh that's it, protect your girlfriend. Wait, she's my girlfriend!" He shouted. "Get off her NOW"
"You can't control me. I don't think you deserve to be anywhere near her." Justin snapped.
"And I'm not your girlfriend..." I said quietly. "Not anymore."
"What?" He spat.
"You heard!" I yelled. "I've had enough. I deserve better than you." And that was the big breakup. The big breakup of century that the whole school found out about. It got out pretty quick and everyone knew about it. But I didn't care, it was over.
"Thank you so much Justin. I don't know what I would have done if you hadn't been there." Our friends stood around us, horrified and shocked at what just happened.
"Don't thank me." He said sharply. "I thought we were friends. I thought you trusted me." And he started to walk away.
"What are you talking about?" I called after him helplessly.
"I told you everything. Why would you lie to me? I really like you, Oli. I thought you felt the same" and he walked away. "How do I know if anything you told me was true?" And he disappeared around the corner.
I collapsed on the floor in tears. The boys went after Justin and the girls crowded round me. Our perfect lunchtime was over.