Samantha Dole, a deceased 12-year-old girl, has left her family in tears and pain for three weeks now. Her father, Gregory Dole, is a detective that is being given a raise if he solves a suicide case of his choice. Respectively, he chooses his daughter's case and sets out to find out why she committed suicide. As he looks for answers, he unravels more than he wanted or expected.


1. Prologue

"Worthless piece of trash!"


"Why even come to school? You're just a waste of space!"


"Let me guess, it was 'the cat' again?"


I shoot up from my bed like a robot. Sweat beads were all over my forehead and my breathing was off. Another "recall-dream" of yesterday at school. Seems as if I can never get a break, huh?


I step towards the mirror by the front door. I look somewhat decent, even though my bangs got trimmed yesterday. I can't wait until Hunter Browne sees the way how I look today. He'll definitely notice me instead of spending the whole first hour talking to Claire. I twirl a strand of my hair with my index finger and bat my eyes, acting as if Hunter is in front of me.


I jump, startled, when I hear my stepmom honk the horn of the car my dad bought her. "Hurry the hell up, Samantha! I've got an early nail appointment with Linda!" She shouts at me as if I came out of her. She's probably worse than anybody else's stepmom. To this day, I still don't know why my dad married her.


I speed walk out of the house, slamming the front door behind me. As I climb into her Ford Edge, I can tell that she's giving me a cold glare as usual. I gently roll my eyes and gaze out the window as we pull out of our driveway. Situations like this make me wonder why my birth mom and dad separated. It also makes me wonder what my dad sees in Hanna. She's nothing like my mom and doesn't even seem like mom-material. I miss my mom. Now she's in Wisconsin, probably getting full off of our favorite cheese -- cheddar. I smile warmly whenever the thought of her being happy crosses my mind. At times, I smile when I look at the used-to-be-shattered picture of my mom and dad's wedding. He had his arm wrapped around her waist as the two looked at each other with love in their eyes. What happened to that love?


Ten minutes later, Hanna drops me off at school and as I close the car door, she rolls down the window. "Don't come out late again like last time," she says while examining her 2-inch nails. "And make some friends, kid. It wouldn't hurt to spend the night over someone's house."


She then drives off at full speed, having other parents honk their horns at her. One of her favorite reactions and replies to things like that is the middle finger. She treasures it as if it was a freshly cut diamond.


I exhale loudly and rub the back of my neck. Another day in prison, I whisper in the back of my head. I'm wearing a mint green chiffon shirt with a white skater, which I have to add is out of my fashion sense. I usually wear anything with my white Converse instead of these panda flats that I have to admit are kind of cute.



I pick up my feet and, unwillingly, make my way to Mr. Blake's Social Studies class for first hour. As soon as I take my first step into the classroom, everyone stops their talking and looks at me. I blush as I see Hunter look at me with a smile on his face. I peek behind him and see Claire and her clique glaring at me with dirty looks. Ha! Jealousy.


I sit in my assigned seat and wait for the first fifty-five minutes to go by. In the corner of my eye, I see Claire whispering in Hunter's ear but he completely ignores her and continues to look at me. I throw a wink at him and he tosses one back. Claire gasps at our actions and her brows furrow. She whispers once more into his ear and sits back in her chair, not once taking her eyes off of me.




Third hour is now over and I keep having heads turn at me. I walk out of Miss Hernandez's Spanish class and I see Hunter look at me with his friends. His waves his hand, signaling me to come over to him. Shocked, I do so and his friends smile at me as I walk over there. Hunter puts his arm over my neck and brings me closer to him. I flush and hang my head in embarrassment. Why is he doing this all of a sudden?


"Hey guys," he says to his friends and they all look at him, "this is my new girlfriend...uh--"


"Samantha," I add. He nods his head.


"Yeah, Samantha."


"I-I'm your girlfriend?" I stutter like an idiot. Since when was this decided? Not that I go against it but still...


"Yes, you are, Sammy," he replies with a grand smile. And I can't help but smile back.


"Cool, bro!" his friend, Anthony, says. The rest of them congratulate him and he sets me free to continue talking to them.


So this "new fashion sense" thingy actually works?! I can't believe I'm actually Hunter's girlfriend! Claire will be so jealous, I can't wait to see the look on her face when people spread the word.




I can literally smell everything the last girls did in the bathroom stalls. Poor toilets.... I shake my head to get rid of all of the Mother Nature thoughts. I look in the wide mirror and bounce my hair, giving my curls some type of volume to them without hairspray. I lightly slap my cheeks to make my blush go away from earlier.


"Guys, this is my new girlfriend."


He said it with so much pride! I can't help but smile every time I rethink it over. I put my smile away and walk to the exit of the bathroom until I bump foreheads with Claire. We both look at each other with unflattering expressions until she finally speaks.


"Glad I ran into you, Samantha," she says with attitude. She takes multiple steps towards me and I take multiple ones backwards. "I heard that you're Hunter's girlfriend now, huh?"


I furrow my brows at her then smirk. "Claire, I can't help the fact that you're jealous over our relationship. Just go get your own boyfriend and leave him alone."


She cocks her head to the side.


"Oh, I will. As soon as I see what a real couple does."


Huh? A real couple? What does she mean by that? Suddenly, she snaps her fingers and entering the girls' bathroom is her clique and Hunter...? Hunter? Does he not know that he can't enter a girls' bathroom?!


"H-Hunter?" I say, confused as ever.


"Hi, Sammy," he says with a wide smile. His arms are folded and he looks as if he's waiting for something.


"I'm so confused, why are you in here?"


"Didn't I say that I want to see what a real couple does?" Claire interrupts.


Her clique steps in front of her and comes towards me. I take a step back and get trampled by them. They hold me down by my arms and cover my mouth with their salty hands. I grunt and try to shout but it all turns out to be worthless. Tears stream down my face and soon come down their hands.


"Stop screeching," Claire says as she and Hunter step towards me. Hunter looks down at me with that same grin plastered on his face.


What are they going to do to me? And why isn't Hunter doing anything? I'm his girlfriend and he won't even save me from whatever they're going to do to me! Claire kicks me in the stomach and I shout more. She then stands on top of my stomach with her dirty combat boots and jumps twice on me. I spit and throw up my lunch in one of the girls' hand.


"Ew!" she screams and grabs a paper towel to wipe off my lunch. She comes back and slaps me hard, thrice, and I wail like a child looking for its mother. Because that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm looking for my mom to rescue me. But I know she can't. She's all the way in Wisconsin and I'm in Michigan.


"Bitch, will you please shut it!!" Claire yells at me. "It's ten minutes after school. No one's still here and if they are, they're downstairs in the computer lab. Since you're starting to give in, we'll stop hitting you. Now, Hunter, here's your end of the deal."


What exactly is Hunter going to do? He's supposed to be helping me, not them! I begin squirming on the cold tile floor of the bathroom, making Hunter grab me by the hips and hold me still. The girls' grip never loosened and I don't they will. They actually got tighter and closer to the floor. I feel his fingers crawl upwards to my skirt and pull down my underwear. I close my eyes from then on, letting myself get violated and corrupted.




"Thanks for the early birthday present, Claire."


"No problem! Thank you for showing me what a real couple does."


"Probably one of the best things that happened to me so far!"


"You deserve it and so did she."


The sound of boots walking away stick into my eardrums.


"Jeez, Claire, I feel kind of bad."


"Yeah, maybe we took it a bit too far."


"Say another word and I'll call Hunter back in here so he could destroy you two."


It grows silent. Now the sound of multiple people exiting at once glues into one of my five senses.


I rise from the cold floor of the bathroom. The sharp pain in my lower abdomen doesn't even think of leaving my body. I...I can't believe that just happened. I feel so disgusting and dirty now. Filthy. Rotten. Cold. Alone. Ashamed. It's so unbelievable...but so true at the same time. I glance at the area underneath me. There's blood and I wince at it as I get up from the floor. I limp to the exit and walk down the hallway to my locker. I shake my head, just don't think of it as real, just don't think of it as real. I repeat the hopeful mantra in my head in hopes of forgetting about it. But it can't.


I begin to cry, crying which turns into wailing. Like Claire said, it's past school hours and no one's here except for the janitor Phil. I look up at on of the hall clocks, it's 5:32 p.m.. I already know that Hanna is pissed and probably drove off back home with her fresh 2-inch nails. I eventually fall down on my knees at my locker as I grab my lightweight black parka. I throw it to the floor and kick it around. No...just, no.... I can't take anymore of this!


Phil usually cleans Mrs. Bernstein's classroom lastly. Her room has the highest ceiling fan. No one can touch it without using a chair. Maybe if I grab one of her strings from Art class, I can end this. This pathetic life I call mine.


I bedraggle myself into her classroom and go snooping into her drawers for sixth grade Art class. A purple ball of yarn comes to my face and I grab it with a pair of scissors, cutting a long strand of it. I grab a high chair and step onto it, wrapping it around my neck and the base of the fan. I then place the sharp scissors between my hair. I always wanted to have it cut short but was never courageous enough to do it. Since this is my final day, I figure that it's okay to have at least one thing I want to go right.


Ready?... Ready, I speak to myself in my mind. Is this really what I want to happen? Is this how I really want to end my life? I suppose so. No. I know so. I can't take another day living in this prison people call school. I tighten the string around my neck and kick the chair.


I'm losing my breath nanosecond by nanosecond. I feel lightheaded. Dizzy. Sick. Like I'm going to throw up. It reminds me of how Mom used to make me drink Pepto Bismol whenever I had a stomachache and had to skip school for a day or two. And how my dad fed me chicken noodle soup when I couldn't eat regularly for almost a week. Those were the good times; when I actually felt loved and cherished. I can never get that feeling ever again with the both of them together at once. Tears roll down my cheeks as I whisper to myself:


"I'm sorry, Mom and Dad. I love you two."

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