Chapter 1: Jamie
I think I've worn these jeans like five times this week. My favorite washed out blue jeans with the rips on the knees that I can't really remember if I made or if they were there before. I pull on one of my white t-shirts over my worn out bra and cock my head at myself in the mirror. Basic. I always look so basic, I think as I tie my sandy brown coloured hair into a typical high ponytail.
Cold metal tingles the tips of my fingers as I fumble to get my old chain around my wrist. This rusty bracelet was the last thing my parents had given to me before they left for their honeymoon ten years ago. Their cab ended up slipping on some ice and crashing head on into a tree, killing them instantly. I remember that night so vividly. Two big, intimidating police officers escorting me out of my house after exclaiming "Your parents are dead." And then shoving me into a freezing car where they brought me down to the station. From there I was brought to an orphanage and soon adopted by a woman named Julie Green. Only later did I figure out that she was an alcoholic with a pretty severe anger problem.
I'm seventeen now and wondering when my life will become better, or even remotely normal again. I work three jobs, mainly to support this household, and since I work so much, I barely have time to have a social life, which means I don't have any friends. I'm alone, but I guess I'm OK with it; the quietness is nice.
I sigh as I sling my bag over my shoulder, walk downstairs and head out the door without saying good-bye to Julie. It's not like she cares about me anyways, someone could tell her I was dying in a ditch and she would just shrug her shoulders. I don't even know why she bothered to adopt me, I guess maybe she was just lonely or needed a drinking buddy or something. Either way, what she did to me was unfair. Taking me up out of a depressing orphanage and then putting me into an even more depressing household. The only reason I stay here is because I need a place to stay like any other person. I would rather live with an alcoholic than live out on the streets.
I reach my stop and wait patiently for my bus to arrive. It's pretty crowded here today, I hate when it's like this because that means there's gonna be limited seats on the bus. I start thinking of strategies to somehow snake my way on first, when I feel someone grab my bag from my shoulder.
I snap my head towards the culprit. He's dressed down in a white track suit and he's running pretty fast, but not fast enough for me. I shoot forwards, he has a pretty good lead on me but I'm close behind him. He races out into traffic, just as I'm about to step out onto the crosswalk, the light turns green and a car comes barreling fast towards me.
I brace myself for the impact, but it doesn't happen because someone yanks me backwards out of harms way. I smack into their chest, they have a tight grip on my arm. "Hey, let go! That guy has my bag!" I scream angrily. My wallet was in there, all of my money, he has it!
"Hey, chill out, what's going on? You do realize you almost got hit by a car right?" The boy's voice is calm and reassuring. I turn to face him and my stomach almost drops out of my body. He's probably the most beautiful person I've ever seen in my life. Everything from the shimmering blonde hair, to the mesmerising hazel eyes, and the smooth tan skin dotted with cute beauty marks. He's so surreal.
I feel myself blush as he lets go of my arm. "Did you say someone stole your bag?" He asks seriously.
I nod slowly. "Yeah, he ran off though, I don't know where he went. Um, thanks for saving my life by the way."
He smiles sweetly. "No problem, I'm just your friendly neighborhood hero."
I smile too, but it quickly disappears when I realize that I have no money for the bus which means I can't get to school on time. The boy gives me a concerned look. "Hey, are you alright? Did you get hurt? If you'd like, I can help you look for the guy that stole your bag." He suggests.
I shake my head. "No, he was way too fast; we'll never be able to catch up to him. And he has all of my money, I don't know how I'm gonna get on a bus now."
"Hey, don't worry about it, we can at least file a report to the police station. That way they can easily help us find him. And I can give you some money if that's OK with you." He replies confidently.
"Um, no it's OK, I don't want you to go through too much trouble," I start but he hands me $200 without even thinking. "Whoa, this is way too much, I'm only taking the bus." I laugh nervously.
He shrugs. "Yeah, you'll probably have to make some change, but I'm feeling kinda generous today so you can keep it all of it."
I take the money hesitantly. "A-Are you sure about this?"
He gives me another killer smile. "Positive."
My heart flutters in my chest. I glance down at his wrist and notice he's wearing a really expensive Rolex watch. Then my eyes trail over to his outfit and notice he's wearing pants and a fine pressed blazer that look like they were just recently plucked out of an A-line men's clothing store. And his shoes, they're the nicest shoes I've ever seen; not to mention his jewelry that I'm pretty sure is encrusted with real diamonds and gold.
The realization then hits me like a bus speeding down a freeway. He probably knows that I'm poor so he feels bad for me. That's why he's giving me all of this money like it's nothing. I should've known, someone like him would never give someone like me even a second look; he just feels sorry for me. A poor, clueless girl who doesn't even have any money to ride a dingy street bus.
Anger bubbles up inside of me. I shove his money back towards him. "Sorry, but I don't need this, I just realized that I have some extra money back at home." I avoid eye contact with him as I say this.
"Oh, alright if that's OK with you, but, uh, do you think I could get your number before you go? You know, so we can report the guy who stole your bag?" He sounds nervous; why? Why is he still trying?
I shake my head. "Sorry, but I can do it myself. I don't wanna cause anymore trouble for you."
"You're not causing any trouble for me, I-"
I clench my teeth. "I need to go, I'm sorry, I can't be late." I turn on my heels and usher back towards my stop. I can feel his eyes on me as I walk away, but I don't turn back around to look.
I don't even know his name, but I think it's better that way. Him and I could never be associated with each other. It just wouldn't work out. How could we possibly have anything in common with each other? I look down at my arm, it's still tingling from where he touched me. We could never be, but for some reason; I still can't stop thinking about him. His eyes and his voice imprinted deep into my memory. My stomach squeezes and I suddenly feel sick. What is wrong with me?