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...


6. I promise, I'm okay


I exited the classroom feeling like my head had gained weight and it was too heavy for my throat to keep it high. It was lunch time and I didn't know if that was a good thing or not. My day wasn't going great since the last time I checked. You know, lunch time was always an equivalent of short-term controlled freedom. Okay, we wouldn't have lesson for the next twenty minutes but that didn't mean that we were free to do anything we liked. Therefore, because of that ridiculous dream I had last night, which was running over the streets of my mind destroying my brain cells, I had an aversion of entering into that place. Except of the supernatural reasons for my ruined thoughts, there were some rational ones that creeped me out, too. What if someone of Pete's gang appeared and had the 'goodwill' to tease me with their awful way?

My mind was full of this trash when I entered into the room. Fortunately, everyone had more important things to do than being occupied with my entrance. Maybe I was too self-centered?

My mind flew to a completely different subject when I spotted Chad sitting on our usual table. Jennex was nowhere to be seen. I was wondering which new hidden spot they had discovered so that they could make out without being noticed or bothered. These spots where important if you wanted a special moment with your boyfriend without being on spotlight. Anyway, I didn't want to risk it or I just never wanted to kiss my boy into this building. I felt like concealed eyes and ears were spread with the paint on each wall. It wasn't safe and it wasn't romantic. At all. It seemed like industrialized kisses which were meant to occur in this depressing place, suppressed love to be released and be blended with the smell of misery factories exchanging their steams.

When he saw me coming, his face lit up and a smile was drawn on his features. I couldn't help but smile back. Every time I saw his face I remembered the first time our eyes met. Yeah it was an instant crush. I was literally flying when I was around him. It was my first crack in love. When he had asked me to be his girlfriend I felt butterflies twirling up in my stomach. But for some unknown reason we didn't get along lately. I mean, we were still together but he had told me that I didn't care enough about him and I was getting lost in the maze of my thoughts. It was true that I wasn't really well lately, but I expected some kind of understanding from him.

 I hadn't told him about Pete and the bullies. He would get so mad and I was afraid that I would get him into trouble. He would probably get into a fist fight and I didn't want that to happen. I didn't want him to get hurt or expelled or bullied because of me. I couldn't do that to him. Moreover, I didn't want to look so pathetic to him. I wanted him to love me for my rebel powerful side and not for that teary little girl that couldn't face the real world and didn't know what to do when the popular guys mistreated her. Furthermore, I had learnt in my life to fend for myself. I didn't need superheroes. There weren't any. In life you have to learn that you are your own hero and stick to yourself.

He didn't know what was going on and he knew that something had changed. He couldn't tell what exactly that was, but he could sense it. I couldn't tell him the truth. I hated myself that I even let such behaviors to get me and ruin my self-esteem.

'Hey sweetheart! What's up ?' he said while I was hugging him. I hadn't seen him all day and I missed him. And yeah I had hugged him in front of the entire cafeteria. Had I mentioned that Jenna and Alex were showy? I should better take a look at myself...

'Everything's fine, Chad. Why shouldn't be?' I told him giving a reassuring expression with a warm half-smile. He smiled at me, too. We sat down again and we started eating what the cafeteria had prepared for us today. It wasn't such a good meal considering that it consisted of beans, a Cesar's salad and a piece of pizza, all of them had no actual taste and it seemed like they had been cooked at least three days ago. I didn't know who had the 'genius' idea that those three dishes went well together. After I played for a little with my food, tracing circles with my fork on the plate, I asked him,' you are coming tonight, right?'. My voice sounded a little more pathetic than I wanted it to. 'Of course, Hayley. I wouldn't lose the anniversary party of our friends.' He said the last sentence with a wink.

 'I was afraid that you couldn't make it because of the practice with Jordan. I can't imagine myself being in such a vomitingly romantic party without my partner in crime', I told him teasingly. Chad was in a kickass band with his best friend, Jordan. He was playing the guitar while Jordan did most of the vocals. They hadn't reached fame yet but I knew that there was so much talent in my guy that it was a matter of time until someone hears them and offers them a contract. Until then, they just practiced looking for other people who shared their passion in music to join them in the band and they sometimes did local shows. The truth be said, I was feeling a little envious because all I ever wanted was to be in a band but I would never joined my boyfriend's. That would ruin both our relationship and the band. But I would really like to play music for people being accompanied by my best friends, that was my wildest dream.

'Hayley? You have zoned out again', Chad chimed in. I've been doing that a lot, I guess.. 'Oh sorry, I was just thinking about tonight'. That wasn't a complete lie.

'Oh, okay. And if you were wondering, then no. We don't have practice tonight. Jordan has somewhere to go, I think to help his grandparents with something in their house so he will be out of Franklin for the whole weekend. That meaning that except from tonight, we can hang out tomorrow night, too. I know that with all these stupid unsuccessful shows in the area, I have left you behind for a little. But honey, I love you and I can help you with whatever you are going through even though you don't want to tell me about it. You are my girl and I want you to trust me....But I see that you don't count me in your life anymore...'

 His brown eyes melted and I was feeling so confused. Of course I wanted him in my life. I just needed some space to see where I'm heading in my life... Sometimes I was feeling like he was smothering me... But on the other hand... He had just stated how much he loved me and that he cared about me... But I just couldn't tell him... Another hint about how weak I was. But I didn't want him to get hurt in any way. It was my problem, not his.

Pathetic, my mind screamed at me. I looked at him and I tried to form sincerity in my eyes before answering, 'You don't have to worry about me. I promise, I'm okay'. I swallowed hard and then I added, 'Things were pretty rough lately. You know, I had that music project in which I wanted to do my best if I want to be accepted in music academy. And things at home aren't better. Erica and I nearly don't talk and my mum isn't at home and I miss her. My dad hasn't call for months and I ,I ...you know I am stressed out. That's all...I try too much to keep my life in balance and focus on my goals but that's not always easy. I really like you, Chad. And our relationship is one of the most important things for me. It's one of the things that keep me going into the obscurity of my life. Can you please understand me?'. I was nearly crying. Ι know I was pattering again but the words had stormed out of my tongue and right now I had just revealed one part of my desperation.

His eyes were locked into mine again and he saw my plea. He didn't answer. He just gave me a huge reassuring hug and his body heat spread over my body like wildfire. I didn't know what was most pathetic of me to say. That I was bullied by those people or that I needed him in my life because I was too lonely and I couldn't picture me without him? But what I had told him was nothing but the truth. It could summarize my every day routine. I was feeling so weak. Into his hug I was feeling safe. But I was so broken that he couldn't fix me.

 I didn't know if he could understand. A gap had started forming in between us. He never had time to talk to me or just hang out. Then when we'd meet he'd say that there is something wrong with me...Which wasn't untrue. Maybe I just needed space. We argued a lot lately for any insignificant reason that can be imagined and I always ended up crying or giving up. I don't know.. Maybe he was more part of the problem than the solution...Who knows?

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