“Y’know, I never thought I’d meet someone as stubborn as your older brother, but you’re doing pretty well on that front,”
Thank you to Lwarfield3, 3RR0R, PrisonerBeDamned, Poppana, Scarlet13, SukeIsAKilljoy and Forbiddendreams for leaving me 7 lovely reviews! SEVEN! Woah! Holy shit I love you guys! I've replied to all of them!
Also big thanks for making the last chapter green, you guys!! You're all waaaaay too good to me!
Anyway; on with the chapter! I hope you enjoy it, the next one is gonna be a bit happier!;) Sorry if it's moving along too fast, I'm not too great with starting stories out! xø
“Ah shit,” I muttered, glancing down at the inoffensive sheet of white paper clutched desperately in my pale, shaking hand. “Physical Ed,”
“Have fun,” Suke smirked annoyingly as she ducked out of our Art class, looking to her left and tapping her black, converse-clad foot on the grubby lino impatiently.
“I’ve got Geography… Where the absolute meeseshit is Mikey at?”
I simply shrugged in reply, brushing off her odd use of words and shaking my vivid red hair in front of my tired, hazel eyes routinely as I glared some more at my lesson timetable, wishing I could erase the godforsaken subject I would have to endure in less than 10 minutes time from existence eternally.
Sure, I detested most of my subjects, but Physical Ed was simply out of the question, what with my non-existent coordination and complete un-enthusiasm towards the subject, it was the absolute bottom of the worst, most fieriest pits of hell conducted by the Devil and Hades themselves.
Okay, that may or may not be a bit too far, but it’ll have to do for now.
“Oi! Earth to Emma!” Suke implored, prodding me forcefully on the upper arm, unintentionally hitting a recently formed, bluish-purple bruise that lay beneath the thin fabric of my hoodie.
I hissed through clenched teeth and recoiled from Suke’s un-intentionally harsh touch, clutching where she had prodded my pale, violently bruised arm and looking up to her inquisitive, scorching chocolate brown gaze.
“Bruise,” I responded to her un-uttered question, smiling meekly. She simply nodded, looking somewhat relieved.
“Shit, sorry! I was just saying that you’re with a friend of ours in your next lesson. Her name’s Eleanor. You’ll know it’s her; she has fucking electric blue and purple hair. She’s an odd little fucker like that. I’m sure she’ll look after you. Good luck!” She babbled way too fast for me to understand anything but a few words such as Eleanor, electric blue hair, and odd. She grinned incredulously at me before departing, Mikey in tow.
“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I mumbled to myself quietly and I shoved my flimsy, slightly crumpled timetable grouchily back into my pocket, ambling off towards the PE block.
After multiple wrong turns of my own accord, and even more due to misguiding sluts and jocks, I had managed to find my way to the old, crumbling PE block.
Right on cue, a short, brightly-haired girl sprung onto my back, clamping her small hands over my eyes and squealing excitedly. I squeaked from under her cold hands, making sure my hair was covering my face before laughing nervously and trying to shrug the girl off of me.
Now, I was an awkward person, and not knowing who was currently sat on my back scared the living shit out of me.
“Guess who?” The girl sang airily, hopping off of my shoulders and releasing my head from her surprisingly strong grasp.
“You must be Eleanor,” I replied nonchalantly, trying to ignore the nervous, slightly hysterical edge to my voice as I gave her a small smile from behind my protective fringe warily.
I really wasn’t good with people at all. I couldn’t even form a simple sentence without seeming frightened.
“Too right! But don’t call me Eleanor; or I may just have to accidentally on purpose kill you. I prefer Elf, okay? Good,” Eleanor babbled quickly, looking up at me expectantly as I just blinked at her in a confused daze. I hadn’t caught a single word of what she had just said.
Did everyone in New Jersey have a knack for talking so fast it was impossible to understand? Or am I just being slow?
“Emma?” Eleanor questioned happily, bouncing in place.
“Eleanor,” I replied with a small smile.
“It’s Elf! Call me Elf! Now c’mon, we’re getting changed!” Elf sang hyperactively, grabbing my arm enthusiastically and swinging us round, darting off towards the grotty female changing rooms.
Unfortunately for me, she’d unintentionally grabbed the same bruise that Suke had jabbed not a few minutes ago. I refrained from yelling out into the grubby, near-empty corridor, but instead endured the pain until –thankfully - she let go, swinging the rusty door that lay before us open on its hinges with a high-pitched screech.
The foul stench of cheap perfume and body spray hit me like a brick wall, making me instinctively wrinkle my nose in distaste. The sound of fake, high-pitched laughter assaulted my eardrums maliciously, clawing at my brain and unconsciously making me wince.
“C’mon, we’re changing over here!” Elf enthused, breaking me out of my thoughts and pointing to a disused corner on the far end of the shabby changing-room. She danced across the room lithely as I slouched after her, dumping my battered bag onto the grimy floor and pawing around for my PE kit as I shook my hair in front of my eyes warily.
I noticed that the room had quietened some as we walked in, and that nearly everybody was staring at us, no matter what stage of changing they were in.
Some of the girls were decked out in skirts that looked as though they were supposed to be belts, and cropped shirts that showed off their toned, orange stomachs; while others had gone for extremely short shorts that showed off their stick-thin, sickly orange legs and a short sleeved v-neck that showed of their abnormally large chests.
Literally everyone in the changing room was a fucking slut.
As I dug through my bag, I eventually found my long-sleeved turtleneck tee and my sweatpants, along with my converse and some deodorant. I quickly whipped out my turtleneck, followed swiftly by the old, well-worn sweats.
As I yanked out my converse, I felt a familiar twinge in my wrist. I ignored it as I managed to finally tug my converse out, but then the threatening twinge turned into a warm, tingling burn.
The burn only a re-opened cut can create.
“Fuck!” I muttered under my breath as I felt the warm liquid slowly spreading across my wrist. “Not right now!”
“What’s up?” Eleanor asked; a worried expression etched upon her innocent face as she turned to face me, mid-change.
“Nothing! I… I uh… I just forgot something in the bathroom; I’ll be right back!” I lied quickly, shoving my shit back into my bag and slinging it over my shoulder, near-sprinting out of the grimy changing-room as I tried to find my way back to the mixed-gender bathroom I had been in a few minutes ago with Gerard and Frank.
After about 5 minutes, I had managed to stumble my way hastily back to the bathroom. I sighed in relief, wrenching the door open quickly and collapsing inside, gripping my wrist tightly through my thin hoodie sleeve as the door swung shut with a muted click.
I quickly ducked into the nearest cubicle, grabbing a fist-full of cheap, scratchy toilet paper and walking back out, dumping my bag next to the sinks and wetting the paper. I yanked my thin hoodie sleeve up, putting the wetted paper down for a moment and inspecting my arm warily.
There were cuts criss-crossed up and down my left fore-arm, and the word ‘Fuck Up’ was fairly visible through the malicious slashes and tares that were gashed through the delicate surface of my pale arm.
The cuts were in various different stages of healing, some of them were red and puckered, whereas others were merely slightly raised skin that was paler than the rest of my arm. I truly hated myself for it, but not even my music could substitute the relief it gave me anymore. It was like an addictive drug to me.
“Emma?” Questioned a somewhat familiar voice from behind me, causing me to yelp out in surprise and tug my sleeve viciously down over my mauled arm. I winced as the thin fabric caught the re-opened cut, but otherwise payed it no heed.
I breathed slowly and steadily, focusing on each separate breath deeply as I stared intensely at my scruffy shoes, my frightened hazel eyes wide with both fear and anger, but there was a feeling of sadness weaved profoundly throughout.
Neither of us spoke for a little while, we simply stood. There was no sound in the little disused room apart from the occasional drip from the broken faucet, mine and Frank’s steady breathing, and my pounding heartbeat.
Soon enough, Frank became slightly unnerved by my response and shuffled awkwardly on his feet. I could feel his earnest eyes boring into mine via the cracked mirror that hung lopsidedly in front of us, but I payed him no heed. I simply stood and vainly tried to win a vigorous staring competition with my battered old shoes.
The shoes were currently winning.
“Emma?” Frank repeated tentively into the uneasy silence that had fallen rapidly on the disused room, reaching out a shaky, comforting hand to place on my shuddering shoulder as I glanced up at the cracked, grimy mirror to return his intense gaze.
“Frank,” I responded flatly, stepping away from his reassuring hand to stand in front of yet another grimy, cracked mirror.
My voice sounded empty and emotionless; the complete opposite of what chaos was going on through my head right now.
“Why?” Frank questioned simply, gesturing shakily to my arm and pivoting around lithely on his feet when I didn’t answer him, bringing us practically face-to-face.
Aside from the fact that his eyes were just about level with my nose, he looked pretty intimidating.
And I never felt intimidated. Not by the taunting jocks that were determined to make my life a living hell, not by my poor excuse of a mother, not by the orange sluts that gossiped about me and spread nasty rumours behind my back.
Why did this person I hadn’t even known for a day seem to intimidate me?
Why did it feel like he could see through all of the barriers I had carefully constructed around my near-hollow being as to shield myself from the rest of humanity?
I glared fiercely into his burning hazel eyes, that near-tangible feeling of almost being able to hear his intuitive thoughts fluttering significantly in the back of my already-overwhelmed mind.
“I have my reasons,” I responded finally in a clipped tone, crossing my stiff, mangled arms across my chest securely and searching Frank’s hazel gaze intently for his genuine reaction.
It wasn’t the voice that spoke the truth, it was the eyes.
It was always the eyes.
Frank’s dilated pupils seemed to shrink ever so slightly, his caramel irises hardening as his intuitive gaze turned into a semi-glare of annoyance. He held his intense gaze steadily, almost speaking his words through his eyes instead of his mouth.
“And what reasons might they be?” Frank queried, his eyes narrowing.
“Well, I-“ I began snappily, before abruptly cutting myself off.
What the hell was that about?
Did I really just begin to let myself tell this stranger all of the reasons I took fucking razor blades to my pale skin?
What the absolute fuck?
What is wrong with me today?!
Well? Frank probed, his gaze intensifying, if possible.
“I’m not going to fucking tell you if you just keep on asking! That isn’t how it works!” I near-screamed at him, throwing my arms up into the air in exasperation and lifting my eyes from his questioning gaze, my arm subtly stinging in protest. I glared up the grimy, cobwebbed ceiling angrily, refusing to let him get the better of my emotions.
“Uh… Emma?” Frank questioned after a short silence on his part, his tone so much different to before that I did a double take, glancing back down at Frank as I lowered my arms slowly.
“…I, uh… I only asked you once…”
“But… You… I… You… You did ask again though! Just then! You did!” I exclaimed childishly, my voice rising up a few octaves as Frank slowly shook his head at me, his gaze confused.
“I didn’t say a word, I swear,” Frank promised me, his burning hazel eyes sincere.
“Then… What the hell?” I groaned to myself, grimacing and bringing my left hand up to slap my face sharply.
“Pull yourself together, woman!”
“Hey! Hey!” Frank exclaimed, alarmed. “What was that for?!”
“It wakes me up,” I replied with a shrug, not really knowing the logic behind why I just slapped myself in the face.
Frank sighed in frustration, pinching the bridge of his button-nose between his calloused index finger and thumb as I shook my hair protectively in front of my eyes.
“Y’know, I never thought I’d meet someone as stubborn as your older brother, but you’re doing pretty well on that front,” Frank sighed, releasing his nose and glancing up at me through his hair, his eyes glistening.
“I won’t ask you any more questions; just let me clean you up, okay?”
I sighed in defeat, shrugging as Frank picked up the discarded wet tissue from the grubby sink, wrinkling his nose at it before throwing it away and getting a new one.
Frank calmly walked over and stood at my side, warily taking hold of my arm before gently pulling my thin, blood soaked sleeve up.
He gasped slightly as he pulled the sleeve all the way up to my elbow, seeming to take in every cut and slash that impaled my ivory skin with wide, hazel eyes. He glanced up at me, a million questions in his eyes as he held his tongue, gently tending to the freshly opened, angry red slash on my wrist.
“It looks like you hit a vein when you did this one,” Frank murmured calmly, breathing evenly as he cleaned up the cut.
“You said no more questions,” I reminded him in a whisper, staring at his face as he cleaned up the re-opened cut.
I didn’t mean to seem creepy; it was just somewhere to look. I didn’t want to pass out from the sight of my own blood in front of Frank.
That would make me seem even weaker than he already thinks I am.
“That was a statement,” Frank retorted quietly, gently applying pressure to the puckered red gash in a vain attempt to staunch the flowing scarlet.
“How did you know that anyway? That I hit a vein?” I wondered aloud, watching as his chapped, shell pink lips pulled into a small frown.
“I have… experience,” Frank offered vaguely, frowning as he gently swiped one more time over the now-clean cut.
“Can I uh… Can I see?” I whispered quietly without thinking, ducking my head as I realised what I had just said.
Things like that were private. I would know.
“I… Shit. Uh. Nevermind,” I gushed, pulling my arm away from Frank’s grasp gently.
“…No. It’s okay. It’s only fair,” Frank sighed, removing his thumb from the crudely-cut hole and casting a look at me, nodding to himself once before gently pulling up his hoodie sleeve.
Frank’s arm literally mirrored mine, insults aimed crudely at himself peeking out sheepishly from underneath the scattering of slashes covering his pale arm. Some of the slashes were puckered, angry, red lines, while others were simply raised ivory skin on Frank’s delicate, pale arm.
Suddenly, I had a new found respect for this kid. He must have been through a lot of shit too to have an arm that was almost as bad as mine.
“I’m sorry,” I murmured to him, not exactly 100% sure what I was sorry for.
The people that caused him to do this to himself? The way I had been acting around him?
I really wasn’t sure. I was just sorry.
“It’s okay,” Frank sighed in response, tugging his sleeve back down over his battered arm.
“It’s not your fault,”