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Classes were being held at a new school with ours being closed down for a while. The new school was called Center school. It was almost an hour from my old school and hell to get to. By the time I arrived I was highly annoyed. It was the local public school where as my old school had been the expensive private school. I'm not sure what was the use of it and this new school with these new students were so strange to me. The school had finally opened back up and immediately there was that tension. I felt alone and abandoned. It felt like my life was crumbling slowly and now Jonah was gone on top of that.
I heard a car beeping behind me as I pulled up to the school. It was a weird school. Strange. I didn't want to be here. I wanted my old school. I wanted my boyfriend back. I didn't have that though. I had been fucking abandoned.
The car kept beeping behind me as I didn't move to park anywhere.
The car swerved past me and a boy rolled down his window.
"What the hell man? You blocking traffic?"
I didn't know what came over me. It was this wave of anger as I opened my car door and walked up to the car. All the anger I had built up in me I felt coming out at that moment. I kept thinking about Jackie, Lauren and Jonah.
"Fuck off! You hear me?" I said screaming at the top of my lungs at the car, "You don't know me. You don't know what the FUCK I been through."
The boy was a dark skinned boy...handsome but looking completely stunned. He had this weird look in his eyes as he looked at me.
He raised his hands up while in the car, "Yo relax...I just wanted to make sure everything was ok. You weren't moving your car."
MOTHERFUCKING FINE. Don't fuck with me!"
"Listen, do I know you?"
He didn't look a bit familiar. He'd probably seen me on tv. I had all these interviews already about what happened. Here I was again. I was the victim. I lived with the Hills. One shot up the school and the other died. Everyone wanted the inside. What went wrong with Lauren? How was she like? What finally triggered her? I was the one who should have known the answers to all of those things.
"No. But next time you go around beeping at someone you don't know we can definitely change that."
"You're a dickhead."
That's when I did something that I couldn't believe. I spat on his windshield. I wasn't sure where the hell I was coming at with that but I felt the guy get out of his car immediately. He came at me all of a sudden gripping up my collar and pushing me up against my car.
I could feel my blood getting heated as I wrestled with him trying to throw him on the ground.
That was when I saw Adrian. Great. I wasn't sure what he was trying to do at first.
Adrian came between us and that was when it just happened. I swung my arm as hard as I can and I hit Adrian. I hit him hard in the back of his head. And he stumbled over. My arm hurt.
The other boy looked at me, "He's fucking crazy. I'm outta here."
It actually felt good to have Adrian just look at me the way he was doing. I had been wanting to do that since he put the cops on Jonah. It was because of him that Jonah had been taken away.
"What the fuck?" Adrian asked, "I was trying to break you guys up. I was trying to stop YOU from getting your ass beat."
"Oh I wasn't about
to get my ass beat."
"Since when are you a brawler Quashie?"
"Fuck you...fucking bitch."
"You been ignoring my calls," Ozzie stated.
He had sat next to me in the cafeteria. It had taken so long for me to calm down over the events that had happened this morning and Ozzie being around wasn't helping my calming down process.
I rolled my eyes.
"Not in the mood to really talk."
"You should come sit at the table we have set up over there," Ozzie stated.
I looked at the table that Ozzie was talking about. It was a group of kids from the old school. Not many had come to this school. I noticed the faces though. Adrian and Aaryn were among them. The weird thing about it was it just wasn't the popular kids at that table. It was everyone at that table.
"What is that? Everyone is merging now?" I asked a little annoyed, "The lames and the popular kids get together. It took a shooting to make that happen?"
Ozzie shook his head, "Does it matter now? I mean all the popular, unpopular thing doesn't really matter? We have been kicked out of our school by a tragedy. We are all we have."
"I'll pass. You can go though."
"Quashie you are being difficult. I know it's been hard with Jonah leaving again. I know it's even been hard with Jackie and hell it was hard with Lauren. But you can't isolate yourself. That is what Lauren ended up doing."
"Don't worry I won't shoot up the school."
"Ozzie I'm good. Adrian and Aaryn are the last people I want to be near."
"They are the ones who actually invited you over," Ozzie stated.
I looked over at the table again. Adrian and Aaryn were looking over at me. I could tell they were trying to see what was going on between Ozzie and I. Ozzie wasn't lying though.
"Fuck them," I stated, "Aaryn is the reason Lauren shot up the school. And Adrian is the reason that Jonah left. I don't want anything to do with either of them. You go back and tell them that."
"You sound so angry."
"I AM!" I said raising my voice.
I was causing a scene. I knew I was. The cafeteria got a little quiet when I screamed at Ozzie. A few people turned to look at me.
Science class. It looked so similar to the classroom where Jackie and Rebecca died. It looked almost identical. It was fucking creepy really. I walked into this new class in the middle of the day. All the new kids immediately turned to look at me. They had this look on their faces that said "You are the new kid." I felt like it too. A few whispers were going on around the class. I could almost feel instantly that I wasn't welcome in this new school. Who knew why? Who even cared.
"I said what's your name young man?" the teacher asked.
I hadn't heard him the first time but I looked over at him, "Quashie."
"Oh good...Quashie...you'll need a lab partner. Let's see Mitchell...how about you show Quashie the ropes."
I looked around the class. No one was really looking up and I couldn't tell who Mitchell was. Me standing there was causing even more stares. It was causing a few laughs even. Fuck these kids. That's all I could think of. Fuck these fucking kids.
Then as if them laughing at me wasn't worse I found out who Mitchell is. I also ended up finding out why Mitchell didn't say anything.
Mitchell was that kid from this morning that I almost got into a fight with.
After taking a good look at him he had all these tattoos all over. I hadn't seen someone our age with so many tats. He waved his hand in the back of the class. As I made over I could almost stab myself.
"This is interesting," he stated.
"Don't start," I said, "I don't want to be working with you either."
He laughed. I could tell he was working on something. He had a microscope in his hands and was trying to see something. He kept glancing over to me as he did it.
"Look I'm sorry about beeping at you this morning," he said shaking his head, "I was a jerkoff. I saw your nice car. I figured you were one of those rich, popular assholes."
do you know I'm not one?"
"Saw you sitting alone at lunch today," he stated, "Those assholes were talking about you too."
"I think the one kid's names is Adrian. He's really popular at your old school from what I hear," he said, "He came from your school. I don't know what they were discussing but by the way they kept looking at you I could tell you were on his mind."
Adrian was talking about me. That didn't seem to surprise me at all.
"Yeah. Lauren used to hate his guts. She called him a follower."
"Lauren Hill," he stated, "And I'm not talking about the singer. You should know that name by now though."
"You knew her?"
"Yeah...I was actually one of her few friends," he stated.
Strange. I had no idea that Lauren had any friends. Then again I remembered his face all of a sudden.
"You were with her one day outside...under the bleachers."
"Yeah," he said, "I remember where I know you from...you used to live with her."
"You gave her drugs didn't you."
gave me a look and raised his hands, "Listen, I was giving her Xanax, that is hardly a drug."
"Are you a doctor?"
He rolled his eyes, "I felt bad for giving it to her but if it wasn't for me she probably would have shot up that school a long time ago. She had crazy anxiety. It was the only thing that calmed her down."
I didn't want to hear this. There was something weird about this guy. I wasn't sure if I was just bias. He had all these tattoos and was one of Lauren's only friends before this. She had never introduced him and only hung out with him in private. Were they dating? I gave him a look as I looked through the microscope. What was it about this guy?
"I can't find anything."
"What are you looking for?" I asked.
"The nucleus, you want to look."
I rolled my eyes, "Ok. Move."
"Ok feisty. Lauren always said you were the nicer one."
Lauren said that about me? Obviously it must have been before she thought I was a sellout. It was DEFINITELY before she ended up putting a pistol to my head and threatening my life.
I moved and looked through the microscope.
"How do you not see it," I said, adjusting his focus, "It's right there."
I could feel him brushing up behind me. He was close. His crotch was on the back of my pants and I immediately felt shaky. I had to admit he was a handsome guy in this bad boy type of way. He wasn't like Adrian who was this All-American model type. He wasn't like Jonah who was the mysterious introvert. This guy Mitchell...his allure was scary...
The way he just pressed up against me was something that Adrian and Jonah would have NEVER done.
He smiled when he noticed that I noticed what he was doing.
"You feeling bold huh?" I asked, not knowing what else to say about what he had just done.
laughed, "I couldn't help it."
"How do you even know that I was..."
God. How much did Lauren tell this guy? I could barely get two words out of her that weren't curse words and this guy was able to get information of me from her. She told him that I was gay for godsakes.
"Well I'm taken."
I wasn't. Well I didn't
know? I supposed not.
It was just a reflex.
"By her brother right?" he asked, "She liked him a lot. He was her favorite."
"You know a lot about her?" I asked.
"She talked a lot."
"Yeah I couldn't get Lauren to shut up half the time," he said and shook his head, "It's crazy that she's gone man. They pushed her too far...way too far..."
I thought for a moment.
"Can we get together sometime?" I asked him.
He raised an eyebrow confused, "Thought you had a boyfriend."
"No...not about that. It's about Lauren," I explained, "I need to---understand---why she did what she did. I find myself hating her for it. I don't want to hate her..."
weekend is free for me. We can meet up
and hang out...if you want?"
"Well Saturday is the funeral for Jackie but after that..."
"After that angel..."
He smiled at me.
He had just called me angel. The idea made me nervous. It was what Jonah used to call me all the time.
The funeral for Jackie was the saddest thing that I had ever seen in my life. I found myself sitting towards the back. Mr. Hill and Pristine were alone. All their children were gone in one way or another. I hadn't known how to talk to Pristine about it. I don't think anyone knew. It was almost like immediately she had become the elephant in the room. Jackie was a very popular kid though and the place was packed with people. Mr. Hill did most of the public speaking. Pristine had covered herself in all black from head to toe.
I remember him saying in a cold voice, "No man wants to bury their son."
I hated that it took me and Jackie so long to get close.
this seat taken?"
I turned my head surprised to see Mitchell there. Everyone was already leaving at this point to go to the burial site. I had been crying quietly in the back away from everyone else. I hadn't noticed him roll in. He wasn't wearing a suit like everyone else. He was wearing dark shades and a leather jacket. He looked like he stepped off the set of Rihanna's Good Girl Gone Bad or something. I knew Pristine's uppity ass friends were looking at him probably offended but hell at least he had showed up. Jonah was Jackie's brother and he was nowhere to be found.
"You don't have to hide your tears," he stated.
"Why are you even here?" I asked him, "Did you even know Jackie?"
"I feel like I owed it to Lauren to show up."
"Don't let anyone hear you saying that out loud," I told him.
"Lauren is a victim too. She's just as big as a victim as Jackie is," he explained to me as though he was trying to convince me, "Don't forget that."
"Look this isn't the time to talk about this?"
"Can I drive you to the burial?"
"I thought you came here for Lauren."
He smiled. Mitchell had a dark smile like an amused sexy vampire. Like a black Edward Cullen or something.
"You being here doesn't hurt..."
"You coming on strong," I told him.
"Well I been watching you from the back this whole time, I couldn't help it. Shouldn't your man be here cockblocking?"
"Well if he's complicated, I'm easy. Real easy."
I rolled my eyes. A part of me was amused but another part of me was heavily annoyed.
"You are not flirting at me at a funeral."
"Funeral's over shorty. You are just sitting here. If you give me our hand I can drive you to the next part."
taking our hand...but...I may let you drive me.
Hell last thing I want to do is ride in the family limo."
I could imagine how Pristine would break down in the family limo. She had cried the entire way to the church.
I had to admit that if Mitchell wasn't around for this I wouldn't have been able to make it. Everything was so unbelievable. Mitchell had a good sense of humor even though it was a little dark and cynical. I found myself in the bathroom at the reception after the funeral just looking at myself in the mirror. I felt all this anxiety. Luckily he hadn't left my side.
Suddenly the door of the bathroom opened.
It was Adrian.
I washed my hands immediately and tried to walk past him.
He blocked me.
"Excuse me," I said.
"No, you can't ignore me forever," Adrian stated.
"I can definitely try man," he explained.
Adrian shook his head, "Well ignore me all you want. Don't hang out around that kid."
"That kid Mitchell," Adrian stated, shaking his head, "I heard some crazy things about him. He's not like us. He's a fucking weirdo."
"Like Lauren right?" I asked, "Or maybe like Jonah."
do that," he argued, "I warned you about Jonah. Tell me I didn't warn you about
him. I told you he would pick up and run away.
He had a habit of doing shit like that.
You two weren't good for each other."
"And you know that how?"
"Because you belong with me," Adrian stated.
He grabbed my hand and tried to pull me closer. I resisted.
"You are the reason that me and him didn't work out," I stated, "It was you who fucking told the cops that stupid lie. We knew he was fragile already."
"I didn't force him to run away."
"His brother just died. His sister killed him. Then on top of that the cops are accusing him of having something to do with it."
"The cops came back you know? They've been asking about him. His sudden disappearance made them very suspicious. Doesn't it make you suspicious."
"He was scared."
"So why not take you with him?"
He had tried to take me with him but I hadn't even realized it. All I cared about was my stupid inheritance. That was the only real reason that I was staying.
"Adrian, just give up on me. The moment I fell in love with Jonah it was over for a possible relationship. The moment you ratted Jonah out to the cops it was over for a possible friendship."
"I can't believe this place," Mitchell stated, "Lauren made it seem like you guys were living in a hell hole."
I laughed. I had brought Mitchell back to the mansion after the wedding. He had the wack tour of my house. I was scared to show him the whole house as I'd get lost in it.
Mitchell jumped on my bed and laid on it. It was a little rude to be honest with you but I didn't really take any offense to it. He had definitely made himself comfortable relatively quick. It spooked me because he was right in Jonah's spot.
"So this is where the magic happens?" he asked.
No more like the shower was where the magic happened.
I shook my head and laughed, "Something like that. You want anything to eat, drink? I can have Preston bring up something."
"I'm good. I can just chill. As long as your boyfriend doesn't attack me for being in your room."
"You don't have to worry about that..."
"He's crazy," Mitchell stated, "If I had a dude like you I wouldn't let any guy in his room. I'd be jealous as hell...all the time."
Was he flirting? He was more aggressive than Jonah for sure.
"He should make more time for you. He's a lucky guy," he said smiling at me, "Come here."
I shook my head.
"I'm good here. Hey tell me more Lauren."
He could tell I was uncomfortable. He actually scooted closer to me as he looked at me. There was something so dangerous about this boy with all his tattoos and his dark eyes. He was a badass. It was one of those guys that you knew was probably no good but he was so fucking sexy. I had to admit how sexy he was. I had never met anyone like him before.
His arms were completely covered with tattoos. Dragons, skulls, all types of crazy shit was drawn all over his body. His neck was tatted up. He even had a small star tatted underneath his eye.
"We used to fuck," he said.
I raised my eyebrow. He wasn't joking. He was dead serious. He licked his lips when he said it as though I should find it appealing.
"You and Lauren were together?" I asked, "I thought you were..."
I like pussy too. It wasn't nothing serious between us though. We were just...fuck buddies. You
know? Still sad as fuck to see her gone.
She used to spend a lot of time in this local
bar with me. Everyone thought we were so much older.
She was a good friend you know."
Wow...Lauren had a life that none of us knew about.
"Did you have any feelings for her?" I asked.
had feelings for me," he explained but shook his head, "I didn't want to get
too serious with her though."
"Let me guess you don't believe in love."
"No, it's the opposite. I believe in love at first sight," he stated.
He got up off the bed and was now in my face. He was too close. I felt like I was in his shadow. He had moved way too close to me and was definitely making me nervous.
"You see someone and you want someone so bad. It's a spark. I didn't feel that with her. I wanted to feel that way but it just became a physical thing. It wasn't...more..."
He was so close that if I swayed just a little bit forward we would be kissing. I could almost feel his eyelashes against mine.
"I don't believe in love," I stated.
I moved away.
He grabbed my hand though pulling me back, "Your boyfriend would be glad to hear about that."
"I lied. He's not my boyfriend," I explained, "He left earlier in the week. He didn't even say goodbye. He just up and left me hanging. It was like nothing."
"He's fucking crazy. I'd never leave you..."
I didn't believe him. The angst was building "I just want to forget about him. I just want to end the pain."
"Yeah that's what Lauren said. She had a lot of anxiety. Said she just wanted to end the pain. You reminded me a lot of her just now."
"Did the Xanax work?" I asked.
"Damn," I said shaking my head.
"Something else did work though."
I raised my eyebrow. If anything could take away this pain it would be great. I just needed something to numb the pain.
"What worked?" I asked.
He pulled out a pill. It was a clear pill...almost looked like glass. It looked like a diamond really. It reflected the light.
"It's a new drug...not too many people have heard of it. Pop one of these and it just numbs you. It takes you away."
"Is it safe?"
He handed it to me.
I hesitated for a moment.
"I'm sure," he said laughing, "Stop being a pussy."
I grabbed the pill and put it in my mouth. The reaction was immediate when I swallowed. I didn't think something could hit you so fast. All of a sudden I found myself being transported somewhere...somewhere far away.
"Oh my god."
Before I knew it I was hearing diamonds by Rihanna. But no music was playing. All of a sudden I felt like this song had a whole new meaning.
Find light in the the beautiful sea
I choose to be happy
You and I, You and I
We're like diamonds in the sky
Youre a shooting star I see
A vision of ecstasy
When you hold me, I'm alive
We're like diamonds in the sky
"What is it called? What do you call this drug?" I asked.
In my mind I was on a sea and the water ran over my body. And I was happy there. And the water splashed all over me but it was ok. It was warm and relaxing. It was like relaxing in a hot sauna at the end of a hard days work. It relaxed me.
It completely numbed me.
"The pills are called Comforts. Quashie meet Comfort. Comfort meet Quashie..."