Cold Hearted

I hated him with every fiber of my being. He bullied my brother, said the crudest things to me, and lusted after anything with a decent pair of breasts.

This was never supposed to happen, I was nothing like him.

So how did I end up needing him more than air?

The answer is: I don't know, but he can be awfully persuasive.


1. Robbie Made a Friend

The sun began to sink below the snow-capped hill tops, darkness crept upon the land scape of my surroundings. Coldness kissed my left cheek as I leaned the side of my face against the car window. I glanced over to the right, my little brother Robbie was fast asleep. His lips were parted slightly, his warm breath combined with the cold air from outside had fogged up his glasses. I giggled slightly at the sight.


 I looked back outside my window at the beautiful scenery. The woodsy setting soon transformed into a crowded city as we continued to drive along the curvy road.


“Almost here.” My plump Aunt Sylvia called cheerfully from the driver’s seat. “Isn’t this city beautiful, Charlotte?”


 “Mhm.” I mumbled uninterested in the densely populated town. I pushed my hair behind my ear as I reached down and began reading my book.


“Be sure to take good care of your grandma. She’s strong but you know she occasionally has problems with her heart and all.” Aunt Sylvia advised, making eye contact with me by using the rearview mirror.


“Yes Aunt Sylvia.” I poked my nose back into my book.


“Do you ever stop reading Charlotte?” She chuckled quietly.


“I’ve always been a book worm.” I stated dully trying to find where I had left off of in the chapter.


“Are you excited to live with your grandmother?” I could tell my aunt was trying to make friendly conversation.


 I put down my book on the floor between my feet before speaking, “Well yeah I suppose. It’s also a nice plus that I’ll have my own car at her house though. Mom could never afford to buy me one.”


“Yes that was very nice of her to do that for you, make sure to thank her.”


 “Yes Aunt Sylvia.”


She cranked the steering wheel onto a familiar street, my childhood memories came flooding back to me. Aunt Sylvia drove the car onto a driveway and cut the engine. I nudged Robbie’s arm, signaling for him to wake up. He opened his eyes sleepily, rubbing his fingers against the foggy lenses of his glasses.


“We’re here kids.” My aunt chirped happily.


 I stepped out of the car, pulling my jacket tighter against myself for warmth against the icy wind. I looked up at the house where I had spent some of my childhood. It looked the same, still painted blue with bright white shutters that covered the windows. All of the lights inside sprang to life at the sound of our arrival in the driveway. I saw from a distance the front door slowly creek open, and there stood my grandma wrapped in her favorite cotton floral robe I had gave her three Christmas’s ago.


 I went around to the back of Aunt Sylvia’s car to grab my things, as did my brother Robbie.


“All of you, hurry up! You’re going to get sick if you stand too long in this weather!” My grandmother worriedly called from the porch.


The three of us moved faster, not daring to disobey her orders. I lugged the last of the bags over my shoulder. The three of us waddled all the way to the front door. We quickly plopped the heavy luggage down as my grandma closed the door behind her.


“Grandma!” Robbie ran to her with open arms. The kid is fifteen years old and still loves his grandma to death, how sweet is that.


She gave his small frame a tight squeeze before admonishing him, “Please call me Nana. It makes me feel less old.” Her heart felt giggle made me feel instantly at home. She let go of him, making her way to me next. “Charlotte, I haven’t seen you in so long. My sweet Charlotte.” She pulled me into an embrace. For being an elderly woman, her strong hugs almost suffocated me.



“I missed you grandm- I mean Nana.” I stifled a laugh at the near mistake in her name.


“I’m so glad you two have come to live with me. I’ve been so worried about you two ever since you’re mother…passed.” Nana’s wrinkled face was etched with concern and I felt awkward. I wasn’t sure what to say.


 I was relieved when Aunt Sylvia broke the frosty silence, “I would have let them live with me but you know how I make barely enough money to make ends meet. They’re much better off here.”


 She was right in that respect. Aunt Sylvia had gambled her way into debt five years ago and since then had been working a series of dead end jobs. Out of all of the relatives I could choose for me and Robbie to live with, I would choose my Nana. Even if that meant moving far away and starting over at a new school, I knew that my mom would want me here too.


“Don’t worry about it Sylvia, I love my grandchildren and of course I would take them into my own home.” Nana wrapped one arm around Robbie before speaking again, “Alright well you two already know where your rooms are. Up the stairs you go, I need a second with Aunt Sylvia.”


Robbie and I nodded in unison as we grabbed our things and trudged up the stairs. In the past we had stayed here for weeks on end during the summer time. Robbie and I had separate rooms that we would always stay in.


 I loved my room here. The bed was always drowning in soft blankets and freshly cleaned pillows aligned the edge where my head would rest. Robbie eagerly went inside his room as I slowly turned the door knob to open mine. The door went forwards and I threw down my bags quickly before I fell over from the heavy weight I had been carrying. My hand moved along the wall in search of the light switch. I came upon it through the darkness and switched it on.


Just as I recalled from my childhood, my comfy bed was waiting in the corner, begging for me to lay on it. I sat down on the bed, nuzzling my face against the familiar soft sheets. I looked around the room, the walls were still baby pink and the picture I had drawn for Nana was still tacked to the wall.


 I love Nana, even though things had changed drastically in my life she knew that I would appreciate at least one thing that stayed the same.


 I placed my reading glasses back on, shoving my nose back into the book I had been addicted to.


 I loved reading. Everyone always called me a bookworm and they were right. Books were my escape during my mother’s illness especially. Books were also my escape when my father left us. But I never told anyone that, I dared not show anyone how depressed I had been during that time. Things had gotten better but my mom’s death was still fresh on my mind.


Robbie entered my room without even knocking, something he had a habit of doing. He plopped himself on my bed, interrupting my reading. I peered up at him from underneath the frame of my glasses. “Way to knock.”


 He ignored my comment, “Ready for the first day at our new school tomorrow?”


“Not particularly,” I shifted my glasses along the bridge of my nose and sat up.


“Oh come on, just because we have to transfer in the middle of the school year doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.” His eyes danced with excitement.


He was always so positive it almost annoyed me. I don’t understand where he got all of his optimism from, couldn’t have been from our father that’s for sure.


“I guess it’s just harder for me because I was in my last year. I had to leave all of my friends behind, but your still young and have four years of high school ahead of you.”


“Don’t act like you were so popular Charlie, you were always too busy with books.” Robbie snorted.


I guess he was somewhat right, I only had a few friends at my old school due to my quiet and reserved nature. My love of reading didn’t make me much more popular either…


“I don’t know why you’re calling me out on not having many friends, you’re just as nerdy as I am.” I laughed as I poked the lenses of his glasses.


 “No I’m not just going to watch my high school years fly by, I’m going to make the basketball team.”


“The basketball team? Robbie I think you should just stick to playing the piano.”


“Girls don’t like band geeks! They like athletes and that’s what I’m going to be.”


 I felt bad for him, all he wanted was to be liked not only by his peers but also the opposite sex. Most fifteen year old boys had already had their first kiss. But Robbie was a little socially awkward, a trait that we both seemed to possess. His shortness and lack of a masculine voice added to his reasons for lack of a dating life. But who I was I to call him out? I was eighteen years old and still never had been kissed.


Unfortunately we also shared the same habit of cutting ourselves off from the rest of the world in order to dedicate time to our hobbies. Mine was reading and his being music.


 “Don’t change who you are for girls, that’s stupid just be yourself.”


He shook his head as he made his way out of my room, “Nope, nope. I’m trying out for the team this week, and you’re going to watch me do it!” He strode out of the room with confidence.


I decided it was best to refrain from making any sarcastic comments towards him. I was instead glad that he was setting a goal for himself, something to help distract him from our mother’s passing. I needed something to distract me as well, perhaps something other than literary comfort…



“And then just turn left at the stop sign. You’ll see it clearly, it’s a rather large school.” Nana handed me hand written directions to the school.


“Are you sure you don’t want me to drive you two? It’s no trouble really, I don’t want you to get lost-“


“No Nana. We’ll be fine, don’t worry.” I patted her on the shoulder gently.


 Robbie and I both gave her a reassuring hug before heading out the door. Our feet crunched against the freshly fallen snow as I eagerly approached my brand new car. It wasn’t anything fancy, but any car was a great car to me. Nana knew my parents were never financially able to buy me one, so she was nice enough to find one for me once she learned that we would be living with her. I love Nana.


As I reversed out of the drive way, Nana stood by the front door with a worried look on her face. She waved good bye as she held her robe tighter against her frail body. Once we were on the road, I had Robbie read out the directions for me. That was probably not a good idea, Robbie was book smart but when it came to directions something just didn’t click with him…


“And then go right at this stop sign.” Robbie wasn’t even looking at the directions, he was staring blankly ahead.


 “Are you sure? I could have sworn Nana told me to go left at the stop sign.”


“No, Charlie. Go right.”


“You’re not even looking at the directions!” I yelled at him.


 The car behind us honked since I couldn’t decide whether to go left or right. We only had about ten minutes before school started and I didn’t want to be late. Perhaps Robbie knew where he was going after all.


“All right,” I sighed loudly, “Right it is.”


 He smiled in triumph as I veered right and onto more unfamiliar territory. I must have driven down the street for a good five minutes and no sign of any high school was around. It hit me that my instincts were probably right and that I should have gone left. Robbie must have realized it too as he sank back into his seat, his face burned crimson with embarrassment.


“Nice going Robbie,” I snorted, “Now we’re going to be late for our first day of school!”


 “Sorry.” He mumbled.


I maneuvered the car quickly to turn back around. By the time we finally found the school, we were already late. I parked the car in one of the few remaining spaces.


I struggled to compose myself as I stepped out of the warm vehicle and into the freezing environment. I clutched my black peat coat closer to my body in attempt to calm my nerves and keep the cold away.


 My focus shifted over at Robbie who suddenly was flushed pale with what I deemed as nervousness. Poor kid, he was already insecure enough and now he had to stress out about being late to his first day of school.


“Hey, it’s your fault we’re late you know.” I nudged his skinny arm with my elbow trying to lighten the mood. His thin lips curved into a slight smile, but he still looked mortified.


 The school building was large and made up of gray cement blocks. It reminded me of what a prison would look like.


We managed to navigate our way to where the front office was. Luckily it wasn’t a scavenger hunt to find it unlike trying to find the school itself. We approached a desk where a thicker woman sat. She looked bored and un-amused by her job. Hell, I would be too if I had to sit at a desk all day for the rest of my life. She didn’t even look up from the computer screen that was in front of her as Robbie and I awkwardly stood in front of her.


“You two are late. Did your parents call in ahead of time for a tardy pass?” She casually took a sip from her syrupy iced caramel Frappuccino.


“Err…um, no. We’re new here. Today is supposed to be our first day.”


She finally made eye contact with me, cautiously eyeing Robbie and me up and down as if I was lying.


“Names?” She poised her fingers above the keyboard preparing to type.


“Charlotte and Robert Taylor.”


The woman’s chubby little fingers began to vigorously strike against the key board.


 I heard the click of the door to the office open and I cranked my head to see who had walked in. I silently prayed it wouldn’t be my Nana, worried that we didn’t make it to school on time. But it was quite actually the opposite.


 Instead of my small and fragile Nana walking through the door, in walked a guy about my age. His hair was jet black and slightly messy. He wore a leather jacket that clung tightly to his arms and shoulders. He strode into the room like he owned the place, a smirk placed itself neatly underneath his honey colored eyes. And tucked underneath his arm looked to be a black motorcycle helmet. But despite his initial attractiveness, he had a sense of arrogance around him. It was almost like he assumed that every female in the room was attracted to his presence. This guy hadn’t even said one word to me and I already was annoyed with the way he carried himself. Call me judgmental, but I really can’t stand guys that waltzed into a room like he did.


 “Good morning, Deborah.” The black haired boy rudely stepped in front of me and Robbie as he leaned against the woman’s desk. It was like we were invisible to him, like we didn’t exist. This angered me even more.


She paid no mind to him as if this was a daily routine, “Late again? No surprise there.” The lady scoffed as her fingers continued to dance across the keyboard.


“You know me, I’m very busy with my…academics.” The boy laughed loudly at his own joke like it is was the funniest thing he had ever heard.


The woman at the desk finally cracked a small smile for the first time, “Get to class Zayn.” She handed him a pink tardy slip.


His laughter seemed to fade after he saw the pink piece of paper, “Deborah I was hoping you’d help me out here and maybe give me a break today?” He ran one hand through his black hair, clearly flustered that he wasn’t getting his way.


 “A break? Zayn you’re late almost every day. You’re lucky I haven’t reported you to Principal Wilson yet for all of your tardies. Now stop calling me Deborah and get to class.”


 He huffed at the woman’s blunt statement. I was hoping that he realized he had rudely stood in front of me and Robbie when he turned to leave, but of course he didn’t.


 He readjusted the helmet underneath his arm as he called back to the secretary, “See you later Deborah.” And with that, he was gone just as quickly as he had come.


“I’ll be counting on it.” The woman muttered to herself as she began to press buttons on the printer that was connected to the computer. I shot Robbie a look of annoyance to which he was quick to reciprocate. We both knew it was going to be a long first day.


 “Alright Robert, here is your schedule and Charlotte, here is yours.”


“Thank you,” I said taking a glance down at my classes.


 “No problem, but in the future may I suggest you be on time? It’s your first day so I’ll give you a break. I wouldn’t want you to develop bad habits like Mr. Malik.” The woman sucked down the last of her caramel drink, using the straw to nab any leftover whipped cream on the sides of the cup. It was like watching a thirsty hyena desperate for any water that it could find in the deserts of Africa. Basically something you would only see in a National Geographic magazine, this woman had no shame.


 “Um Malik?” Robbie was confused as to who she was talking about.


 “Yeah, Malik. Mr. Motorcycle man who just walked in?” She said it as if we should have known already.


Robbie nodded in realization and I tugged on his arm to steer him towards the door. I was anxious to get to class and away from this odd secretary. The two of us parted ways when we approached the hallway lined with classrooms. We muttered words of good luck to each other before going different directions.


Thankfully, my teacher for my first class understood the reason for my tardiness, although I did get a lot of curious stares from the rest of the classroom. I didn’t like being stared at, but I guess I understood why.


 It was either one of two reasons: One, they thought I looked like a freak of nature, or two they thought I looked like a freak of nature. Sure, call me insecure. My appearance in reality probably wasn’t that bad but of course I was my harshest critic. I always had my glasses on and made sure to have my hair in a perfect braid to the left side of my face or in a pony-tail, every day. That was my routine as far as my physical appearance went and I was okay with that. Make up, hair spray, and all that other cosmetic bull shit was just a waste of money and time in my opinion.


 Around mid-afternoon lunch finally came. As I entered the crowded cafeteria, my eyes anxiously roamed the room for Robbie. But he was no-where in sight. I should have panicked that I would be eating lunch alone, worried that perhaps I would look like a loner on my first day in a new school in front of my fellow peers.


In all honesty I didn’t really care. I was only here for one purpose: to graduate and not have to see any of these people again. Of course I wouldn’t have minded having at least one person to sit with…


 Instead of worrying I searched for an empty table. I quickly spotted one in the far most corner, eager to take it and get on with my day. I sat down taking out the lunch Nana had packed me. I know it sounds juvenile that at eighteen years old I had my grandmother packing my lunch but I can’t deny the fact that food tastes so much better when it’s made by someone else.


I cracked open my book as I took random bites out of my ham sandwich. I had become engrossed in my reading until I heard female voice mumble within my proximity.


 “Well this is awkward, now where are we going to sit?” I looked up from my book to see a guy and a girl clutching their lunch trays, staring at me. I immediately felt uncomfortable and wanted to flee from their strained looks.


“Oh, um I’m sorry I didn’t mean to take your table,” I began to get up from my seat, “I’ll just leave.”


“No.” The boy held out one hand to me, “It’s fine. Don’t mind Sarah she’s a little obnoxious sometimes. I’m Eric and this girl with the lack of manners is Sarah.” The girl rolled her eyes at his playful jab.


 I cautiously held out my hand to shake his, “Charlotte, but I go by Charlie.”


 “Hi Charlie.” Eric grinned politely as he and Sarah took the seats across from me.


Eric was slightly attractive, he reminded me of the one and only boyfriend I had had in the seventh grade. He had sandy blond colored hair that matched his bronze skin. Sarah had hair that matched Eric’s as well as her skin tone, they looked just like each other.


“We’re twins.” Sarah said quietly as she stabbed her plastic fork into her salad that was drenched with ranch. “I can tell that you were wondering by the way you looked at us, everyone does it.”


I grinned slightly as I put my book back into my bag and focused on my lunch. “I have a brother too, we’re not twins or anything but it’s our first day here.”


“You transferred schools?” Eric began to plop packets of ranch dressing onto his salad. Holy moly this family really loves ranch apparently. You wouldn’t guess that by their body types, they were both perfect physically.


 “Yeah, I did.” I let my answer out minimally hoping that they wouldn’t ask why I had transferred.


 “Why did you leave your old school?” Sarah asked with her mouth full of salad. I guess I should have expected that question.


“Um, it’s complicated.” I was aware that I sounded like a bitch and I really didn’t mean to. Luckily these two seemed too friendly to be phased by my short answers.


 “So where is your little brother at? I could show you two around the school if he wanted.”


 I was pleasantly surprised by Eric’s generous offer. Maybe being at this new school wasn’t going to be so bad after all.


 “Yeah I would actually really appreciate that and I’m sure Robbie would too. It’d be nice if I could find him…” I glanced around the room filled with hungry adolescents. I sat up slightly when a commotion at the corner of the room had caught my eye. A group of guys had created a circle around two people, but I couldn’t tell who they were.


 “What’s going on over there?” Sarah and Eric directed their attention towards the direction my finger was pointing at.


“Looks like a fight. Probably Malik beating up some kid again.” Eric shrugged as if it was no big deal, like it was nothing out of the ordinary.


Malik, there’s that name again…


 “He’s probably getting ready to beat the living shit out of Tyler. Word around the school is that Tyler hooked up with Zayn’s girl.” Eric started informing me, almost sounding like a tour guide.


 I looked back down at my sandwich, mentally making a note to stay far away from this Zayn kid. First he walks up into the office acting like he’s the shit and the next he’s starting fights. What a douche.


“No, that’s not Tyler. I don’t recognize that kid.” Sarah was still staring at the disturbance on the opposite side of the cafeteria.


 I looked back up to see that the crowd had slightly cleared, giving me full vision of just who was standing in the middle of the circle of jeering teenagers. There stood an angry looking Zayn, his hand clawed into the collar of a smaller guy’s shirt, the opposite arm was poised to release a hefty punch to the victim’s face. My heart stopped as all of my limbs turned to putty and mush in realization.


 “Oh my god! T-That’s my little brother Robbie!” My body didn’t hesitate to spring up from my chair as I hastily pushed past groups of curious on lookers. This guy was about to punch my little brother’s face in. Robbie stood no chance.

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