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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6. 0.5

The next couple of weeks go by with nothing really happening. I met with my mom and told her what happened with dad. She was upset that it still happened, but she also expected that since she knew he wouldn't change his ways. We caught up with the last two years and I learned that she found someone that's treating her right. I told her about Calum and she had the same reaction my friends and I had. She agrees that I should be staying with Ashton or Mae for the time being. When I asked if I could move in with her, she frowned, saying that money is tight as ever and that it's hard enough for her to keep up with her bills.

Calum tried to apologize for that night, but I wouldn't accept it. Why would I? He came to Ashton's house, drunk; he basically attacked me after trying to make me feel better; he said words I never expected him to say; sometimes I wonder if he was ever my friend, if it was all fake.

I'm getting used to being around Ashton's dad, but not fully comfortable, which he understands. He fired my dad by calling home, saying some very colorful words about what's been happening to me before he hung up. We would start off with a couple minutes, which I couldn't handle unless someone was there with us, usually Ashton. Now, I can spend a full ten minutes or more with him, if it's on a good day. On a bad day, it would be from two to four. He doesn't push me to talk or anything, which is good. We've basically been working on contact with each other. I would always flinch or my anxiety would kick in.

Ashton basically became my undeclared bodyguard. He fights all my fights and doesn't let anyone who treats me differently due to what my dad did. Ashton knows that there's a Calum shaped hole in my life, one he knows he can't fill and I can tell that that upsets him. One day, I can be myself, the next I don't want anyone near me. I know I'm hurting Ashton by pushing him away on those days, buf I can't help it. The only person I would let come close to me before on those days was Calum and he obviously isn't an option.

Mae's been helping out as well. When Ashton isn't around, which is rare, Mae takes over. She's good protection, but it isn't the same without Ashton. We've become distant, so it's usually quiet with us. I think I may be losing another friend that means a lot to me. Just what I need.

As for Luke and Michael? Yeah, my walls got built up after that night. They try to talk to me, but I just shake my head. I do know that Ashton told them not to push it and that I'll let them in when I'm ready. I feel bad that I just shut them out, but I can't help it. It's my natural instinct if I feel I'm getting too close to someone.

"Jasmine?" I look up and see my math teacher looking at me as well as the rest of the class. I squirm a little in my seat, uncomfortable.

"Um..." I look at the board and struggle with the question. I may find the idea of school useless, but I'm a good student somehow. I don't do the work or anything, yet I manage to get an average score on a test or quiz if I'm not irritated somehow beforehand.

"This is why you pay attention when you're in class." Mr. Black says. He calls on someone else and I feel my cheeks gettin hotter. Even though the pressure is off of me, my chest still feels as if there's a ton of bricks on it. I take my pointer and thumb of my right and start pinching my wrist, trying to calm me down.

At the end, Mr. Black calls me to meet him. I get my stuff and walk over to him, nervous.

"What's going on Jasmine? You usually have an answer to the question. All your teachers are worried about you." Mr. Black says. "If something's going on, you can tell me. If not me, then another teacher or adult. We heard some rumors about you, if it's true-"

"I'm fine alright? I've just been having a bad day!" I explode. I hate when people try to understand. They don't get what I've gone through. I hate sympathy sorries. They don't mean it. It's just something to say in an uncomfortable situation. "Can I go?" I ask.

"Of course." Mr. Black says. I nod and leave, Ashton wrapping his arm around me and pulling me close.

~

I watch as Ashton, Luke, and Michael start a game of catch. They wanted me to play, but I declined, not in the mood. I did tell someone about what happened, I told three adults and three friends. One of those friends happened to stab me in the back to become popular.

I sit on the back porch, my head resting on my hand. It may seem boring to watch a game of catch, but it is kind of funny when one of them happens to mess up, especially Michael.

"F*** this s***! I'm done!" Michael yells. Instead of catching the tennis ball, he ended up hitting it to the ground with the palm of his hand. The other boys are doubled over in laughter and I'm trying to hold mine back.

"Michael! Come back here!" Luke exclaims when Michael storms off. When Michael doesn't stop, Luke runs after him and jumps on his back. "Come back and play with us Mikey." Luke says, practically begging him.

"Fine." Michael says grudgingly. He comes back with Luke still on his back. "Get off." Luke jumps down and they start again.

I stand up and leave, knowing that I wouldn't be missed. Walking up to my room, I go through the top drawer, taking my razor out. I've been clean for two weeks now thanks to Ashton. I can't backtrack now, can I? I can and I'm going to. What Mr. Black said runs through my mind. I know that it shouldn't bug me, but it does.

"We heard some rumors about you, if it's true-" If it's true what? I'll get more people involved that needs to. Oh wait, Calum did that for me by telling Avery that.

I press the blade on my wrist hard, blood starting to come just under the surface. Pressing harder, I just made a new scar. I watch the blood pool out and start to drip. Thankfully, I'm doing this over a garbage can so my blood doesn't get on the carpet. I make a couple more cuts, each one deeper than the previous.

Hearing laughter come up the stairs and in the hallway, I quickly clean the razor and hide it in my drawer, but not quick enough. Ashton opens the door and his eyes land on my wrist. Luke and Michael, who are behind him, walk straight into him. Their laughter dies out and their eyes go to my wrist as well.

"Why Jas? You've been doing great for the past two weeks." Ashton says. He walks over to me just as I fall to the floor. He holds me as I start crying.

"I'm sorry Ash. When Mr. Black talked to me, it just put me back. It reminded me why I'm like this, why Calum left, why my dad did what he did." I say. A ball of tissues get placed next to me. I take them and put them on the cuts, the tissues absorbing the blood.

"Shhh. Don't think about yourself like that Jas. What Mr. Black said, he was just trying to help you. Calum was an idiot. He wanted to become popular. As for your dad, he's an a******." Ashton says. "You? They made you feel like this. It's their fault, not yours. You don't choose their actions. You're the result of it."

"Don't leave me Ash. Please don't. I already lost one rock, I can't lose another." I say, crying.

"I won't. Mae won't. My parents won't. You know who else won't? Your mom." Ashton says.

"These are different situations, but if you ever need to talk, I'm here for you Jasmine." Luke says. I look up and concern is written across his face as well as Michael's.

"Thanks." I say quietly. He's right. These are different situations than mine. His parents left him. Mine divorced and I got stuck with the one who abuses me only because my mom didn't have enough to take care of me. The only thing I see similiar between us is the fact that we had to get taken in. "Sorry about leaving. I just needed some alone time."

"It's fine Jas, but going back to this isn't the answer. You're stronger than this." Ashton says. "Just remember that there's always going to be someone who loves you."

Ashton asks Michael to get the band-aids from the bathroom cabinent while he has Luke take his place.

"Tell me where you keep them." Ashton demands. "This is for your own good."

"Top drawer, old sweater that's folded." I say quietly. I know that what Ashton is doing, he's doing this to protect me, to keep me safe from myself.

"Keep her distracted Luke." Ashton says, leaving the room.

"So, um, how long?" Luke asks. "Wait, don't answer that. What's a happy memory?"

All of my happy memories involve Calum and my family as that, a family. I look at him, not answering.

"Um, favorite color?" Luke asks.

"Black, like my heart and like everything else to me." I reply simply.

Michael comes in with rubbing alcohol to clean my cuts and band-aids. He kneels in front of me and takes my wrist, causing me to flinch. I hate people touching me in any way. Only Ashton's allowed to do that.

"What do you do in your free time?" Luke asks.

"Think. Think about why I'm even here, why this is happening to me, what did I do to lose my best friend, and most importantly, what changed." I say, my voice growing from fury.

I hear the flush of the toilet and realize what Ashton did. He got rid of my blades. I go quiet and Luke picks up that I don't want to talk anymore. Ashton comes in and takes me from Luke, something I forgot about. I don't know how since Luke isn't Ashton.

"We'll see you tomorrow you two. If you need to talk, Luke's here for you Jasmine." Michael says, the two boys leaving.

I nod and sink back into Ashton's arms.

~

"How was your day?" Ashton's dad asks. Ashton and I look at each other. I made him promise notbto say anything about what happened earlier today. I don't want to talk about it and ruin his parents night as well. Most of all, I don't want to go to rehab where there isn't an Ashton.

"It was good. Luke and Michael were over." Ashton says.

I push my food around with my fork, not hungry.

"Jasmine?"

"Good." I say quietly. "May I be excused? I'm not very hungry."

"Of course Jas." I push my chair back and put my plate on the counter. I go upstairs and just sit in the corner, lights off. I'm out of tears, the rest of them came out before. I just sit there, my knees to my chest, and my head down.

I feel two people sit on either side of me, one rubbing my back. The lights are on, so his whole family must be up here.

"Ashton told us honey." I feel myself stiffen up. Why? This is why I can't trust. "He did the right thing you know. You're too strong to go back. You can tell us anything Jasmine."

I don't say anything. I just sit there, like a lump. I can't lie and say that he's lying since my wrist proves what I did and Ashton would never lie about something this serious. I look up and see Ashton in front of me. "You promise! You said you wouldn't say anything yet you did! This is why I didn't tell you or Mae what was happening!" I yell, starting to get up.

"Jasmine, no. You can trust me. I'm doing what's best for you." Ashton says, grabbing my wrists.

I look at him, terrified. This is exactly the position my dad had me. Against the wall, holding my wrists. I start to scream, but nothing comes out.

"Calum's right. I am tired of listening to you complain. Leave." Ashton says, anger in his voice and eyes.

"Jasmine! Wake up!" I feel myself getting shook. I do and my breathing's heavy, sweat running down my face. "You were just dreaming."

"I was? So you never told your parents? You never told me to leave? And most importantly, you didn't say Calum's right?" I ask, my voice shaking.

Ashton shakes his head. "I love you too much to ruin our friendship." He brings me into a hug. "I'll never leave you Jas."

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