Bad Blood

"You broke my trust. I can't trust you again."

"I'm sorry. You're more important to me than anything. I miss you."

{One in Song Series}

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I walk into school with my three best friends, Calum, Mae, and Ashton. Walking in, everyone's laughing or whispering. I hate this place. I hate coming here. But I hate living at home more. I've hated living at home ever since I was ten but more loathing for living at home since I was twelve. It took two years for mom to divorce dad when she found out. In the early stages, I would always live with my mom, but court came and they sided with my dad so I now live with dad.

"What's with all the whispering and laughing?" Mae asks.

Ashton and I both shrug. It's a mystery as to why they're laughing and whispering. I know we all stick out somehow. Ashton and Calum being two of the tallest in the class-school really. Mae being that nerd girl who has tape on the bridge of her glasses, she really isn't a nerd. Me? I'm the socially awkward one. Public speaking and crowds just get to me that I end up freaking out and get dragged out of class or away from where it happened.

"Hey Jasmine, how's your daddy?" Avery sneers.

Avery Walker, typical popular girl. She has the Barbie body type, long perfect blonde hair and blue eyes. Every girl wants to be like her and every guy wants to get in her pants. Or skirts in this case. She has the whole student body as well as the teachers. The school knows she hooked up with the whole football and basketball team and is now working on the baseball.

I don't say anythinhg. No one knows what happens at home except for Calum. I look over at him and he avoids my eye. What did he do? I walk past, my fists clenched with my nails digging into the palm of my hand. I head to the bathroom and lock myself in the stall. The door opens and I suck in a deep breath.

"Jas? What's wrong?" Mae asks. I open the door and pull her in, breaking down.

She rubs my back, not saying anything. She knows that when I'm upset, it's best not to ask questions.

I calm down and clean myself up. Once I'm ready, Mae and I head outside where Ashton's waiting.

"Where's Cal?" Mae asks.

Ashton shrugs. "He wasn't following us. What did Avery mean about your Dad?" He asks quietly.

I shake my head. "I'll tell you later. Not in school."

~

Lunch comes and Calum pulls me into a janitor closet.

"Before I say anything else, just know that you'd always be my best friend." Calum says. I look at him confused and worried. "ItoldAveryaboutyourrelationshipwithyourdad." He says in one breath.

I look at him. "You what?!" I shriek. Loud enough for him to hear, but not loud enough for people to come in and wonder what we're up to.

"I told Avery about your relationship between you and your dad." Calum says.

I stare at him with a look of disbelief. He did what now? I shake my head when he opens his mouth. I fumble for the handle and when I do, I force the door open. If anyone was watching, which luckily no one was, I wouldn't have known what to say. Tears are brimming my eyes, but I blink them away as I head to the cafeteria. Ashton and Mae see me and I break down crying, again.

"Where's Cal?" Ashton asks. I look up and glare at him. I don't want Calum to be near me. Not after he betrayed my deepest secret in which I still have scars from on my back.

"Not the time Ash. Whatever's going on, it involves Calum and her dad." Mae says quietly. I get up, tears running down my face not as fast.

"I'm going home." I say. Mae opens her mouth to say something, but closes it. I give them an apologetic look and head off to the student parking lot.

I head home and groan. Great. My dad's home. Probably passed out though. Ever since the divorce, he's been drinking. How he still has his job surprises me. Oh wait, no. My dad's boss happens to be Ashton's dad, who's his friend. So that's basically how Ashton and I met. I just hope that his dad doesn't know what happens here. I don't go inside, afraid that if I do, my dad will wake up and start thinking that I got kicked out. Something that I know will make him happy. Especially since I'll practically be living here against my will. Instead of getting out, I head into town. I hang out and try to blend in even though that'll be impossible. Everyone knows everyone and what happens. It's hard to keep a secret a secret in this town. That is unless you try to keep it a secret.

"Hello Jasmine. Why aren't you in school?" The librarian, Sherrie, asks.

"Between you and me, I wasn't here. The real truth is my secret came out." I say. Yeah, besides my now ex-best friend Calum, the librarian knows as well.

"If you ever need to talk Jasmine, you know you can come to me." Sherrie says. I nod and give her a small smile.

I head upstairs where no one goes since it's usually where the old research books are. The only time there's people up here is if their parents made them do research from books and not the internet. Oh no, it's too much work to take a book out and look through it. Note the sarcasam.

My phone goes off and I look at the text.

Jas, I am sorry. Believe me? Cal

I delete the message. If he was sorry, he wouldn't have done it. Wouldn't have thrown thirteen years of friendship away for what? I check the time after I've been there for awhile. When I see school's about to end, I start to pack up to head home. I say bye to Sherrie, who reminds me again that I can come to her, and then head to my car.

I get home just as I see Ashton and Mae coming down the street. I slide down in the driver's seat, not really wanting to talk to them right now.

Mae comes and leans against the passenger door while Ashton sits on the hood of the car. Great. Trapped in my own car. After what seems like forever, I get out and keep my head down. Walking past them, I head to the garage which I took over. Dad doesn't care. Mom actually gave me the garage when I was ten since she knew I loved to draw. In a couple months of getting the garage, I turned it into an art studio. Paint is all over the floor as well as part of a wall. I blame it on splatter paint which is how I get my anger out.

"Jas, what's going on? We know that whatever's happening is something Calum knew. I get he's your best friend, but what did he tell?" Mae asks.

"You know I hate it here. That I do whatever I can to stay away." I say. They nod. "It started when I was ten."

My mom was always traveling for her job, but she did make time to spend with her family. It was like normal, mom left, leaving me with dad. He told me to go to my room and don't make any noise. Being ten, I didn't think about it that much. I just thought he had one of his headaches that he gets and didn't want to be bothered. I went to my room and started to play with my dolls. An hour later, my dad came in and closed the door. He looks at me with a look I never saw on him before. He came over and grabbed my arm and started to yell things at me. I was terrified and shaking. When he left, I broke down crying in my closet. The day mom was coming home, he threatened for me not to say anything. It happened everytime since.

When I was eleven, he started to abuse me. The bruises would always be places no one would really look, like my back, stomach, upper arm or thigh. I didn't know what to do. My dad still threatened for me not to tell anyone or call for help. I know I should've, but I kept hoping my dad would return. When mom was around, he acted as if everything was normal.

Twelve was when they got the divorce. It was because they weren't getting along like they used to, but mom did it to protect me. She saw the bruises on a day when it was just us and she had me tell her. Her expression was mortified that was filled with both love and anger. Love for me and anger for him. She gave me a hug as I was crying and apologized. She was mad that I didn't tell her, but she also understood that I was torn between telling and afraid of what will happen if I did. That night, they got into an argument when they thought I was asleep. I heard the front door slam shut and footsteps coming up the stairs. The door opens and mom walks in and sits on my bed. "You heard?" She asks. I nod weakly and she brings me into a hug.

After the divorce and when I turned thirteen, my dad picked up drinking. At first, it was only one here and there, but then it started to get consistent. There would be alcohol and beer bottles everywhere, he would start to come home after midnight. One night though, he came stumbling into my room and started to do things I can't even mention. After he left, I broke down crying. I was sore everywhere and was a mess. Thinking of Calum, I headed to his place. His mom answered, surprised to see me crying and dripping wet from the rain. She called Calum down and I told him everything in his room. He was upset, but what could two thirteen year olds do? I made him promise not to tell his parents, which I knew hurt him.

It kept getting worse from there. Dad knew I told Calum which is why he kept giving him stares when he was over. He's the reason for my grades dropping that I barely passed the seventh grade.

I finish and they just look at me. I was expecting some laughing or something, but they don't. They give me a hug.

"Jas, you should've told us." Mae says.

"So he physically abused you and...?" Ashton asks, doing a slight hand gesture. I nod. "You can't live here anymore. It's too dangerous."

I look down, tears streaming down my face.

"No wonder you didn't want Calum around you today. I wouldn't have." Mae says.

I nod, again.

"What I don't get, is this. Why would people be laughing and whispering?" Ashton asks.

"Avery is and they follow her lead." Mae says easily.

"Stay at my place." Ashton says out of nowhere.

Mae and I look at him.

"You're not staying here Jas. I don't care what you say. If I have to, I'll carry you over my shoulder kicking and screaming."Ashton says.

"Go Jas. It isn't safe. I'll have my dad look into this." Mae says. Her dad's a cop and he'll do anything to protect her and her friends. If they don't have a record that is.

I look at them and can tell that neither are budging. I sigh, giving in.

"Just promise me this though. Your neighbors won't be annoying me to the point where I'll end up punching one of them." I say.

Ashton holds his hands up. "No promises. You know how Luke and Michael are."

Luke Hemmings and Michael Clifford. Not related, but they might as well be. Micheal's family took Luke in when his left him. No one really knew the Hemmings' since they kept to themselves. It was in the newspaper of a boy who got abandoned. He basically lived on the streets for a week before Michael took him home. Ever since, he lived with the Clifford's. At school, they're known as the pranksters. Some are funny, while others, not so much.

Neither boy were followers of Avery. She did try to sway them, but they didn't budge. While that may not be annoying, but whenever I'm over at Ashton's house, they're always trying to hit on me or join whatever we're doing.

I nod and get my things from my room, which isn't hard. My dad's still passed out on the couch, his arm hanging off while his other is lying on his stomach.

~

Ashton gets home and the two boys are outside. They get up and come over to the fence.

"Yo, Ashton!" Michael calls. Ashton and I head over.

"Hey Michael. Luke." Ashton acknowledges. "Don't try anything on Jas. Especially now with what's happening at school."

"Those rumors? You actually believe them? Especially you Jasmine?" Luke asks.

I feel my hands go into a fist. Ashton, feeling me tense up, puts his hand over mine.

"Maybe some of those 'rumors' that Avery spread aren't 'rumors' at all." Ashton says. "Coming Jas?" I nod. I get my duffel bag out of his car and head up to his room.

"Sorry about them." Ashton says.

"It's fine. They've always been like that. You can't change it." I say.

Ashton looks at me. "Hey, Mae and I aren't leaving your side. We're your friends, not traitors."

I can't believe that I finally escaped my dad. And maybe forever.

"Does your mom know about what's going on at home?" Ashton asks.

"Yeah," I say. "It's just that she thinks my dad has stuff up his sleeve that will either hurt me or her."

Ashton hugs me and I lean against him. "I have to let my mom know that you'll be staying here for some time. I'll be back." Ashton says after a couple moments. I nod and he lets go, leaving his room.

I've been in here a million times before and nothings changed. I could say what's in his room and where with my eyes closed as well as the whole house. If I wasn't at my house, I'd be at Calum's or Ashton's. Mae's house was always too crazy with her younger brothers everywhere. After all, she's the oldest of seven.

I go to his bookcase which is filled with pictures and just random things. I look at the picture that always draws my attention. One of all four of us. The guys thought it would be a great idea to go to a water park and go on the water ride that's similar to Splash Mountain about twenty times so we were all soaking wet. Afterwards, we got ice cream when Ashton took that picture of us.

"Mom says you can stay in my room or the guest room. Whichever you prefer." Ashton says.

Most parents wouldn't like for their teenage son to have a teenage girl sleep in their room. But we're different, as you can tell. The only reason why is that Ashton and I have known each other since we were in diapers.

"I'll stay in the guest room." I say.

Ashton nods. "Oh and mom told me to remind you that you live here as well so you don't need to ask about anything." I nod.

I move my bag into the guest room and the door opens downstairs. His dad's home. I suck in a breath, afraid. What if my dad told his what happens at home? I doubt, but still. What if how my dad feels about me, started to rub off on Ashton's dad? I start to feel myself hyperventilate and my hands start to shake. I back myself up into a corner and sit down, shaking and hyperventilating. Next thing I know, I black out.

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