We are only half alive

Hayley is a teenager who isn't actually having a great time with her life at the moment. Her mother is working long hours, her communication with her sister, Erica is faulty, her boyfriend, Chad doesn't understand her. But it's not only that. She is being bullied by the most popular clique of the school whose leader is the school president, Pete. After one confusing incident with Pete's friend, Patrick, Hayley goes to her best friends' anniversary party, where she finds out something that shocks her. Trying to cope with the situation she tries to find some evidence in order to change the things. But during the process, something occurs. Something that she would never thought it would happen... And then..It's too late...there is no way back...


7. I don't wanna be the blame, not anymore


Lunch time had officially ended by the ear piercing noise of the bell. It was hanging next to the obsolete and always dusty clock of the cafeteria and it was slightly broken because of all these years' constant use. I popped out of my seat and I gave one last half-reassuring - half-melancholic smile to Chad. He nodded and then I turned around in order to get to my next class. 
Oh my god, this day seems endless... When one of those days of extreme boredom occurs, I feel like time is crawling by so slowly on purpose, in order to extend your boredom and make you feel sick of your own existence. 
The good news is that only two hours were left and then we could finally go to our homes. I wanted to lie on my bed for the whole afternoon doing nothing. 
But I had social responsibilities that I could not neglect. You cannot wipe off of the face of the earth whenever you want. Because if you do, then when you are finally ready to get back and socialize, no one is there waiting for you just because you have changed your mood and you have the urge to communicate. You have to show to people that you are always available, because if you don't, they are never available for you. Yeah, I know that's difficult and harsh and I don't really manage to keep up with it. But it's the ugly truth... 
For that reason you have to keep up with reality as long as you can, as much as you can handle. As you can see I'm not such an easygoing person. 
While I was thinking about how much socially disabled I must be and if a psychological test exists somewhere to measure that, I had a flash of realization lighting my mind. I had P.E., so I had to go to the gym.
I am of the opinion that P.E. is such a difficult subject to get through, as I am not really in shape. My body seems skinny and flabby at the same time and my muscles are so weak. I look like a 7-year-old and I have such a baby face. That can be quite annoying. 
Because of my body structure I can't run really fast and I always end up taking the last place in races. I am not doing well in push-ups either. When it comes to sports, volleyball isn't too bad I guess. I mean I can pass the ball but it often lands on my head, making me feel dizzy for a while and that's when I leave the team to calm down for a while and pull myself together. When I actually do that, I earn a few looks from my mates that say 'incompetent bitch, you can't handle the game can you?'
But this is common for me so I have gotten used to it. What's worse is basketball. Being ridiculously short myself I am a disadvantage for any team, so I always get picked last.
I raced into the dressing room and I put on my tracksuit the fastest I could. I didn't want to be late for the second time in a day. But there's more to it. If you arrive late in P.E., Mr Howell makes you run around the court for 10 minutes, which is as devastating as you can imagine. 
So as I entered the court and I started walking towards my mates who had started gathering around Mr Howell, I saw Jenna making a gesture that meant she needed to talk right now and by the huge smile that reached her ears I could tell she was overexcited about something. I went beside her to let her tell me, but unfortunately our conversation had to wait. The professor told us that we had to warm up for five minutes and then we could play volleyball or basketball. But for the first time today, luck smiled at me. He told us that he couldn't be our referee/coach or whatever is equivalent to pushing us to continue to play or judging our techniques. He mentioned that he had paper work in the office that could not be postponed, so we had to play on our own, without supervision. 
Yeah that was great. We could finally talk with Jenna without anyone hearing or interrupting our conversation. When he left, some kids started playing sports, others left the gym in order to get out for smoking or whatever other reason. Jenna and I sat on the top of the bleachers.
' Hayley, I have to tell you something important.. You are my bestie, so I want your opinion on an issue.. ' I nodded saying 'Whatever Jen. What's wrong?' I couldn't imagine what was bothering her, as she looked both excited and anxious at the same time. A lot of things could cause that. ' So tonight after the party Alex and I decided... You know.. To take our relationship to the next level.. ' 
At that point she was looking at her hands and then she finally looked me in the eye searching for understanding. 'You are going to do it, right? Wow!' I said excitedly. Her expression changed to a more angry one but she was clearly blushing, looking around to make sure that no one heard.'Shut your mouth! I don't want the entire school to learn about what I'm doing in my bed! '
But she was definitely not angry. More like nervous to the highest level. 'Okay, calm down! It's going to be alright. Don't think about it. You gotta let it happen. I wish I could give you some better advice but you know that me and Chad are not in that level yet'. That was true. Chad is my first boyfriend and we haven't had any sexual activity in this level, except making out of course. That has happened several times. But for some reason I just didn't feel I was ready, you know? 
I wanted that perfect moment when I would be with him and then it would actually happen with our consent but without having that stupid idea in our minds like most couples who say 'we are having sex because we are a couple for a long time and it has to happen anyway'. That is the silliest thing you can possibly do to your body, to your psychology and your partner. 
So I just asked Jenna about it, because she and Alex are my best friends and I don't want them to get hurt,especially by hurting each other. 'Guys ,are you sure you want to do this? I mean you have decided it and you are okay with each other? '
Jenna looked at me for a moment thinking about what I had just told her. Then she sighed and spoke. 'Hayley, we are okay. I assure you. I know you care about us. It's a consensus and conscious decision. He didn't push me, I didn't either. ' She said all these with honesty and maturity. I was sure that they knew what they wanted. They needed each other and that was so wonderful and precious. Love is a difficult thing to find. And it's even more difficult to make it last. I knew I sounded like their mother but I cared for my friends and I was truly happy for them. I knew that they cared for me q's much as I did and that theyd give me the same advice if I was in their position with Chad.
But if I had to be completely honest with my own feelings, I was feeling a little bit weird. I mean I wasn't envious. I just couldn't help but parallel their relationship with mine. They were the perfect couple, the one that you could say that they had a chance for more than a high school romance at the age of seventeen. While my relationship was going downhill for some reason. We had lost the spark. We were still together, we loved each other but something was missing. I don't know, maybe passion? Adventure? I was being overdramatic? I don't really know. I feel confused. I need some time to think. 
Jenna and I stood up and started walking slowly around the court. I pulled my hair to a high red pony tail and I started drinking some water from my plastic bottle. Suddenly, I felt like I was losing grip of the bottle and it was knocked out of my my hamds. It fell open to the wooden floor of the gym,being spoiled everywhere around me. Thank God , I was dry but the liquid was spread at any other direction. It took me a minute to realize what had just happened. Someone had kicked it off my mouth and my hands by making a jump, while running with a high speed. I looked around and saw Pete looking at me with his squad and bursting in laughter. 'You should hold it more tight Williams! Otherwise, it may fall!' He said ironically. 'Are you a complete douche? What the hell do you think you are doing?' I said yelling the more I could without tearing. I could feel my lungs burning and my chest aching from the fire of anger. Jenna tried to take me away from all this, but that moment Mr Howell entered the gym again, yelling. ' I left you for ten minutes and I hear shouts Mrs Williams! What is going on here? Why is water on my court? My basketball team is going to trip.Who is responsible for this mess?' 
I couldn't find my voice. Then I heard Pete talking. 'Sir, let me explain to you. Hayley is a mess. She dropped her bottle. I, as school president, told her to clear up this mess and she refused. That's all.' I couldn't believe in my ears. 
'No, sir. I don't want to be the blame. That is untrue. I didn't... ' was the only thing I could verbalize. 
Then the coach cut me off saying 'is the bottle yours?' I wanted to break Pete's nose right now, who looked at my with a devilish grin. But that would make things worse for me. So I just said 'yeah, but what really happened is...' 
I was cut short again.
'if it's yours, I don't need to hear any other false explanations, Mrs Williams. Clean it up. Right now! '


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