Claw Marks and Corridors

Felicity saw something she shouldn't have. A dead girl in the bathroom at school. Not just any girl, Robin Cross, the head girl. Since that night all she's had in her head is images of a creature ravaging her body. But Robin was just stabbed excessively, right?

Felicity's life is shattering as she struggles to find the truth and anyone who will believe her. Even the corridors start to not feel safe anymore.

*First Draft*

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Author's note

This is a first draft, meaning that a couple of the chapters are going to be changed/need serious editing at some point! Please bare this in mind.
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35. Thirty-Four

 

"Ric?" Surprise rang through my tone as I pushed myself into a sitting position.

"Fe?" he echoed back in the same tone. The light caught more clearly on his face as he stepped forward.

"What-What are you doing here?" I asked and I tried to dry my tears away. The surprise had cast away some of the bad thoughts in my head. 

Ric continued to look down at me in confusion. "I could ask you the same question."

I stumbled to my feet. "I..." I tried to speak but didn't know what to say first.

"The camera arrived," he commented,  "I was coming to film...but I... Fe, you got arrested?" Curiosity spread across his face. I quickly shook my head.

"Dalton told me, the police escorted you out of school," he explained why he thought so. "I tried texting you but I got no reply."

"My parents took my phone," I explained and I realised my legs were wobbling as I stood there. My throat was still sore from crying and it hurt me to speak.

Ric still looked confused. "But... What happened?"

I didn't want to speak about it but I felt like I owed him an explanation. "Abi-Rose, I think she must have reported me having a knife. The police questioned me, gave me a youth caution."

"Shit." Ric's eyes went wide.

"Everyone... Everyone is disappointed in me." It came out in a sad tone, and my voice cracked slightly.

Ric roughly put a hand through his hair. He was looking shocked. "That shouldn't have happened. Shit... I'm so sorry."

I shook my head at him. "It's my own fault." I looked to the ground and April's voice swarmed into my head. Everything was my fault. My actions were hectic and stupid and I couldn't do anything right. I felt the tears pierce my eyes.

"Hey," Ric's voice broke though softly. "Don't cry... It's okay."

I shook my head again and again. "It's not."

"Come on," Ric said, and he reached to push me into a sitting position again. He sat down next to me. "You're not a bad person."

"I am," I protested. "I've done bad things. I shouldn't have had that knife!"

"You were scared," Ric said firmly. He gripped my arm. "You were scared and that's why you had it. Fear is not wrong. Fear doesn't make you a bad person."

I looked back at him, my eyes still blurred with tears. "But I am a bad person... The way I've been acting... April hates me. That man from the crash, he's in a coma." More tears erupted. "I've got myself hurt, in trouble with the police... All because I was trying to help, trying to work things out. But what accomplishment do I have from this? Nothing. I haven't done anything good. I haven't found Robin's killer... I've just messed up my own life." It poured out of me and I knew it was the truth.

"No," Ric snapped. "No, you haven't."

"I have!" I snapped back and my expression was almost  angry. "You can't tell me I haven't. You don't understand."

He gripped my arm tighter. "I do understand. I completely understand." He took in a deep breath. "I know it feels like it, like you've messed up but it's okay. We all do bad things... and you didn't do it because you're a bad person. You're a good person, better than me, better than anyone I know."

I shook my head again. "No. You're wrong."

"I'm not." He sounded desperate for me to listen to him. "Why do you think I have no friends?" I looked at him and he looked pained. "Because I drove everyone away."

"I drove April away," I whispered and instead of anger, sadness was flooding in to me.

"And I'm sorry about that," Ric replied. "I'm sorry that happened... but, please, it doesn't make you a bad person. You're just not on that same page anymore."

"And that's my fault," I murmured, gripped at my hair again as tears fell down my face.

"It's not!" Ric persisted. "If anything, it's mine... this whole time, I'm the one who encouraged all of this. All this investigating. The monsters... I was the one who kept saying over and over that we needed to find it. It's my fault."

I met his eyes again and shook my head. It was my time to protest. "No."

"Yes," he argued. "Yes, it is." He exasperatedly ran his hand through his hair again. "I latched onto you because you're the only person who ever showed signs of believing me... You didn't think I was crazy. But now I've dragged you down with me, into the gutter."

"Because I do believe you," I replied firmly. "And I wanted to be your friend. You didn't make me do anything, I did it myself..

He gripped his hair. "No you didn't." He sucked in a big breath. "I'm the bad person here."

I shook my head again and again. "No, you're not." My heart was beating so fast, my brain was spinning, trying to find words. I wanted this argument to stop. I wanted him to stop blaming himself.

"I am a bad person."

I couldn't find the words to protest, my eyes were too blurred, I was too dizzy. I just stared at the floor, my breaths heavy and my eyes stinging. Ric suddenly got up, I looked up at him. His face was almost manic, he looked sad, angry, upset, all kinds of emotions.

"Ric?"

He shook his head at me as he stepped back. I scrambled to my feet.

"Where are you going?"

He moved back and back. I stumbled forward more desperately.

"No..."

He kept going.

"Ric!"

He was walking away faster. I sped up too.

"Stop."

I gripped hold of his arm, tried to pull him back.

"Cedric!" I snapped. "Please." My voice sounded tormented, pained and sad. He kept trying to pull away, I desperately tried to pull him back. "Please, don't go."

He was still trying to leave. Panic was swelling in my chest. I'd already lost one friend, I didn't want to lose him too. He was the only one who believed me when no one else had. I might have messed things but up we both had and maybe it was neither of our faults. Maybe it was just both of us together, because we just wanted to know the truth.

"Ric." I was properly crying again, huge tears going down my face, shuddery breathes hurting my throat. "I don't have anyone else!"

For a second he struggled to get free but then his posture changed, he slacked. He paused and then looked at me for a long time. My hand fell away from his arm. I tried to say something again but I couldn't. The seconds dragged out. Then he grabbed my hand, pulled me towards him, and wrapped his arms round me. My body relaxed and tears poured out of me, as I cried into his chest.

After a long time, he let go and we sat down again. We hadn't said another word yet but that didn't matter. I was just glad he'd stayed.

Then he spoke, he almost cracked a smile. "Never call me Cedric again."

My tears had dried up but my throat was still sore. "Sorry... I just wanted you to listen to me."

"I know." He smiled sadly. "I'm sorry. I just..." He broke off, he clearly didn't have the words for it yet.

"Maybe we've both messed up," I commented and tried to relay some of how I felt. "And that's maybe bad but we're only trying to do what feels right. Trying to work things out. And maybe it's not going to plan, but that doesn't mean we have to stop, does it? It also doesn't mean we have to stop being friends?"

He shook his head. "No... I just, I felt bad. Like I was leading you astray." He swallowed. "I ruined my life. I dropped out of school, I've done some bad things, and I ended up in a job that my dad gave me because no one else would ever employ me. You have a whole life and I just felt like I was ruining that."

I shook my head. "You can't blame yourself...I, this is my fault." I looked at him sadly. "Ever since I saw Robin's body, I've been different. I can't come back from that." I sighed. "I didn't realise I changed but I have and April's seen it too, before I properly realised. That's why she won't be my friend anymore. And I guess, I have to accept that don't I? It hurts but she's right. I'm not the same."

Ric sighed too. "I changed too, a lot." He looked at the ground. "I try and make myself believe that I'm not a bad person for that."

"Well if I'm not a bad person, neither are you," I replied and I tried to reassure him.

He looked like he wanted to protest again but didn't. We'd had enough conflict.

"Why were you out here?" he asked suddenly.

I looked at the ground. "I... I wanted the monster to get me... I felt terrible."

Ric sounded relieved. "I'm so glad I came here then. You don't deserve to die."

I looked back at him. "I don't think I really wanted to die, I just, I was overwhelmed and sad. Everything felt too much."

"I get it." Ric nodded and then tried to smile. "It will be okay."

"Just please," I urged him, "don't blame yourself."

He didn't say anything and I knew he was still internally feeling bad. I was too, but for the time being we resorted to silence. Ric got out the night vision camera, showed me how it worked and we decided on the best spot to leave it in. After that we talked about the diversion programme. Then I told him about Matilda Carrington, showed him the number. Ric said he would get in contact with Matilda and see if he could find Amanda, whilst I was busy during the week. If he found out where she was, he would wait for me, so that we could go and speak to her together.

Then we went back through the hedge and said goodbye. We got back onto the two bikes and went in opposite directions.

Maybe that hadn't worked out how I thought it would, but as I slipped back into my house and got into bed, I didn't feel as bad. It had helped, to talk about things, to realise that we were in this together. I knew I had still messed up but that didn't mean my life had to be completely destroyed. I still had a life, it was just turning out differently than I expected. Things had happened that I never thought would, but I guess, it's not every day a murder happens in your school. That had made everyone's lives different here.

I was still me. I wasn't going to ruin everything. I had made mistakes and I did feel bad about them, but I had to push past that. I tried to persuade myself of those facts. My body still hurt, and I was still upset but at least I was alive. That was more than Robin could say. If anything, I should continue for Robin, keep pushing on. I was selfish to think the monster should just take me too. Robin probably would have done anything not to have died.

She needed justice. I needed to find that; but I also had to find a sensible way to do that. I couldn't keep being hectic, I couldn't keep getting myself hurt. I needed to be better than that. I couldn't allow myself to turn into something violent and feared, because that would have made me as bad as the monster. I was the one looking for the monster, whatever it truly was. I wasn't the monster. I'm not a monster.

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