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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/627863
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Teen · #627863
The story of the one no one believed, and what happens when she returns to the scene...

"Evette, don't look so glum. You said it yourself. You miss everything about public school. Nothing will happen to you. Haven't I helped you in burying what happened all those years ago? Your diaries helped me in reaching the conclusion that you are ready to go back to what is now Yesterday's Brook High. Your parents have agreed that your attitude has certianly improved. Last but not least, Evie, you know you can't hide forever." He raised my chin up and grinned. "Anywhoo, what's one more measley little year?"

Evette Lessermon
D.O.B.: 12/08/86
Gender: Female
Admitted: 1/30/99
Dyagnosis: Mental Trauma; three days of
hospitialization- shock.
Ward: Resident Psychiatric Discharged
from Pro. Hask... 10/16/03

Professor Haskins had finally crossed the line. I knew he would eventually the day he told me that. He came to us the day that I came home from a broken school. That very day he came. Of course, I wasn't ready to talk then. But he stayed by my side in the hospital as if he really cared. Oh, I belived he did, too. I belived he was like family. He was a friend I could confide in, and it did help. It helped to write in the notebooks he gave me, to paint on the canvases he readily provided, and mostly to talk to him, even at the wee hour of three A.M. if I had felt the need. Haskins understood, too, until the day he left. And I was back to square one.

I'd never speak of what had happened with anyone but him. He told my parents, though, and my mother had a breakdown. She didn't believe me, of course. My father stayed with Professor Haskins and me while my mother went off to live with my grandparents. She never came back.

I don't think my father believed me either, but someone had to be strong for me. Professor Haskins believed. He believed, and even went to check the scene out for himself. He found everything I told him he would. "Ashes to ash, dust to dust," I had hinted. He brought back a zipperbagful for me, and there was even a tooth in the bag. I went into hysterics. It had only been a few months since... it had happened! Even though my father and Professor Haskins offered to take me out every once and a while, I declined. I didn't even feel safe in my own house; how safe would I feel out in the open world?

"Ahem," someone broke into my mold of "Evette indulgence" as Professor had called it. As the betrayer had called it. "You're in my seat," they added. I looked up to the voice. A stylish brunette with eyebrows raised was looking down at me as the bus took off to get to the next stop. I scooted over, so she could also sit. She switched her weight from one hip to the other. "Um, no, you'll just have to move for my friend in a few minutes, it'd be easier if you moved now," she informed me. She moved out of my way as I moved farther back on the bus. I noticed alot of the same students went to Yesterday's as did Georgetown. They as well as their parents knew all about me and my little "band of brothers," and probably didn't believe us, either. Of course, my friends weren't faced with the same humiliation as I, going to the same school after it was rebuilt. I just couldn't see how this was going to be healthy. The same ghosts would haunt me here as they would at Georgetown. Same ground; same memories.

Friends. Jessica Kinney, Dairy Wessner, Kirk Movich, Howard Levins, and Joey Silva. They were
with me, fighting by my side that day. After the event- and after everyone shoved their distaste for our story down our throats- Dairy and Howard just couldn't take it. They led themselves out of this hellhole by speeding off of Dover Bridge. Needless to say they didn't make it. Jessica, Kirk, and Joey moved away. Far, far, far away. My parents, however, weren't as understanding of the situation. They didn't see how it would make it any better for me by moving. They didn't care if it would or not. So we stayed here, and I got
homeschooled. Professor Haskins' wife was my teacher. They both moved in and cared for my indivudual needs. Only me, for about three years.

A bump in the road later, I saw the brunette's friend get on the bus. She sat with her, and I could tell by directional head nodding and whispers that they debated my return. Oh, this would be fun. Stares galore would trace my figure as I walked in those halls coming up just ahead. The school came upon my eyes, finally, and my stomach fell even further. As the bus unloaded, the tears that I knew would come came. I rushed to the restroom, which wasn't hard to find, and got it all out. My eggs and toast even came out, too. I washed up and headed toward the office. This was an exact replica of Georgetown High, just with a new name plastered onto the walls.

August 12, 1997
Evette Lessermon
S.S.#: 320-876-4000
D.O.B.: 12/08/86
Parental Contacts (work):
Lessermon & Co.

Frieda Lessermon

Georgetown Bank & Trust (West St.)

Home Phone: 822-0371
Grade Level Entry: 9
Entry Date: August 12, 1999 (reg. admission)
Signed By: Principal, Greg Hill, Sr.

14, 1998

GPA: 3.76815392

NO RECORD FOR 1999-2000, 2001-2002:

August 20, 2002

Evette Lessermon
S.S.#: 320-876-4000
D.O.B.: 12/08/86
Parental Contacts (work):
Lessermon & Co.

Home Phone: 822-0371
Grade Level Entry: 12
Entry Date: 10/20/03
Reason for Tardiness: Temporarily Mentally
Signed By: Principal, Josie A. Adkins

May 17, 2003

The secretary gave me a fleeting glance as she read the last line, which I could clearly see, also. She quickly blocked it from my view after she saw it's contents. I scoffed, and commented.

"You know, therapy's a bitch." She looked up at me, wide eyed. I faked my "accidental cursing." "Oops! I guess I'm still not up to par on those there inhibitions, so very sorry, ma'am." She kept her brow wrinkled, scribbling on my records. I pushed her farther. "No chance of me being suspended for cursing at you, is there?"

She laughed. It gave her pleasure to send me to my first class. She obviously was new to this school, and it was even more obvious she had no clue as to what "temporarily mentally uninhibited" meant in my case.

I looked over my schedule. First period: Hart, L.-English 4. Second period: Gerard, K.-Psychology/Sociology. Third period: Young, W.- Adv. Geometry. ADVISORY: Gerard, K. Fourth period: Caldwin, A.-Wellness. Fifth period: Best, P.-Child Development. Sixth Period: Free. So, I got to leave a bit early from school. My worry was wellness. I had kept my excersising up in my father's pitiful excuse for an indoor pool with water aerobics. Water aerobics. Oh well.

My first period class was a bore. I didn't remember the teacher; she was probably new. I had expected more of a mind tweaker, since I had missed half of a semester. But they had only received their books a week before I had arrived. The teacher informed me of the one test I had to make up, and that was a simple standards test, to make sure I was at the level I needed to be for that class. I'd probably have to do one of those for all of my teachers. I received my book and the next thing I logged in my mind was the bell ringing.

Psychology/Sociology was still on the psychology semester. I was happy about that. I had studied all that homeschooling had to offer the sociology/psychology field. Prof. Haskins gave me hints along the way of what his motives were when he talked to his patients. My participation level would be at its high in this class. I received my book from Mr. Gerard, and then was assigned a seat. When I took my seat, the girl in front of me slid up in her desk, and the guy beside her coughed, acknowledging my presence rather rudely.
They snickered together. I made a note to make him look like an ass at least twice this year, and to give her some kind of incurable disease (just some morbid humor for my mind, of course). Oh, the joy of starting high school again.

In advanced geometry the people were less cocky and a hell of a lot quieter than the people my previous classes had presented to me. It was a good break. Math came like pissing to me, so I laid my head down on the desk and blocked out all the sounds that proved to me that I was indeed in school. My hands stayed clamped to the desks, and that was my position until someone tapped me on the shoulder.

"Um, aren't you going to at least get the homework assignment?" a girl tapped me on the shoulder from behind. I turned around to face her. She was the punky rebellious type, or would have been classified as that the last time I attended school. "Wouldn't want Miss Goody Two Shoes to miss out," she smiled, inviting me to say something, anything. I smiled back.

"And what makes me look like a Miss Goody Two Shoes?" I put my head in my hands, like I dealt with this everyday. In all truth, I didn't have problems with people at school before, but the students were the least of my worries, for now. She looked me up and down.

"You are the poster girl for Aeropostle, hun," she rolled her eyes like I should have known that. I looked at my outfit. I would just sound crazy (okay, crazier) if I explained that I didn't know that I was wearing Aero. My dad had went out over the weekend and bought me a few new things to wear to school. I didn't care to examine them.

"Okay, go right ahead "hun," put your labels on me," I turned from her sight, but made sure to keep her in hearing distance. "It would hurt oh-so much. If only I gave a damn." I jotted the assignment down anyways. This was my last year; I sure as hell wasn't going to repeat it. The girl was close to me, I could tell. Why wasn't she backing off? Did she like my perfume? I could almost feel her freaking breath on my neck!

"Do you have a problem?" I turned in a nanosecond toward her. She wasn't intimidated, and kept her stance.

"Heh," was her only comment. I couldn't help but be perturbed by this. I made a mental note to myself to take more meds the following morning.

Yay, I had reached advisory. Luckily I wasn't stuck in my classroom for long. We were all hurdled to the gymnasium because our teacher had a meeting to go to. I sat alone, on the top bleacher, in the corner, so no one could come behind me.

Fourth period started with lunch. I hid out in the restroom until the bell rang for us to go back to class. While I was there, in the stench and silence, I had nasty flashbacks. It almost made me want to go back to the noise of the cafeteria so I wouldn't be alone with my mind. But I toughed it out until the bell rang, and
marched on to gym class. I didn't have to excersise that day because I was new. So there were benefits to this day.

I found fifth period to be rather humorous. Child Development. Of course no one eagerly volunteered to be the new kid's partner, especially one with such a rumored past. It didn't help that most of these kids had been here when the school was Georgetown High. There were no volunteers, and since children weren't really made by three people anyways, the teacher couldn't assign me to a group. I sat at the far right of the class, and was shadowed by staring the whole period.

"Hey there, sweetcheeks," my dad greeted at the end of my day. He had come to the school to get me at one thirty each day because that's when my classes ended. I couldn't drive myself; I didn't even have my permit. I had been too preoccupied by my therapy. I slid my backpack off of my shoulders and made him carry it. He mumbled, "Fair enough," and followed me out of the school. I walked backwards to the parking lot starting as soon as we got out of those doors. Nothing was going to catch me off guard.

"Everyone stared, I didn't learn anything, and I puked as soon as I got here."

"Evie, you're going to have to stop this nonsense. If these things you've made up in your-" my dad caught himself, rolled his eyes, and continued, "Walk right, please." I continued walking the way I pleased, and he shrugged. Didn't he know I'd be giving him hell? He, after all, was the one who decided to send me back here.

I had been walking for quite a few seconds, so the end of the sidewalk was nearing. Right as I turned around I collided with another person. I lost my footing and fell over. The other, however, stood tall and made no attempt to catch me or help me up. I glanced up to see another punkish looking student, I guessed, grinning. He was amused by my fall.

"Well, thank you for that," I helped myself up. "It was the most real and unnerving adrenaline rush I've had in quite some time," my dad saw me speaking, and walked past us to our car. I couldn't believe he was going to leave me there with this stranger. I started to walk off, ready to chew my dad out for yet another reason, but the guy spoke.

"You must not get out much, then. I'm sorry I've been your only entertainment," he stopped to look back at me, and I paused for a second to study him one last time. Me, not get out much? Duh! He couldn't have not heard my story...

"Dad!" I cried when I got into the car. "Leave it to you to walk off when a complete stranger plows me over."

"I told you to walk right," he replied and we left the school parking lot. By the time we got home and in the house, my fears had subsided somewhat and my nervous energy had turned into gas. I went through the house three times to make sure everything was locked. Now that I had gone out, they could have followed me home. I hoped we really did kill them all, but I'd never forget the one that got away.

At dinner that night, Dad made his specialty, Macaroni and Cheese with hot dogs. We got along most of the time. He got used to my rantings and outbursts and paranoia. It was just part of my persona now. I felt a breeze on my neck, and turned to see the window, wide open. I paused in mid bite and asked my dad if he opened it. In those tense seconds while he was chewing and couldn't answer, my grip on the napkin laying on my lap became deathly. He nodded his head and
I wanted to hurl. If he had said no I don't know
what I would have done.

"Promise me you'll stay up all night and keep a watch out," I went over and locked the window. He nodded once again, but I knew he wouldn't. His promise made me feel a bit safer, I guess.

The next day on the bus I automatically went to the seat I ended up in the morning before. Fourtunately upon my arrival at school I didn't regurgitate my breakfast, or lack thereof.

In English we started a murder mystery, called A Murder On the something or another. The period was supposed to be dedicated to reading silently along with the narrarator on tape, but all I heard were snickers and all I saw were murderous looks being shot at me. I was already tired of this.

In second period the guy who coughed wasn't there. The girl didn't do anything to acknowledge my presence herself. So she just put little shows on whenever she had someone to entertain. The teacher was discussing marriage, family life, and divorce. I was rather disappointed. The only thing I got out of it was that 80% of people who get married, get divorced. Darn.

We had to get out of the halls... climbing... the vent was big enough ...one following us ...Jessica kicking it down... falling... alone ...with the thing ...screeching ... banging....alone...with the thing.

Sweaty and nauseous, I awoke with apprehension. A look at my alarm clock told me it was three thirty in the morning. I decided to stay up until the bus came. At least I'd be consious and well aware of what was happening and what was not. What was not happening was what I worried about most.

"Evette, wake up please," Dad shook me. I was out on the porch, waiting for the bus, and I must have fallen asleep. Dad sighed, looked at his watch, and mumbled, "I'm going to have to take you to school. Get in the car. Late for work again," I felt bad for about a minute, but it quickly faded when he said, "You know, you've been acting like a baby ever since you found out you'd have to go back to school. You're almost an adult. What are you going to do when high school's over?"

I didn't get in the car. He continued to look at me as if I were supposed to answer such an insulting question. "I don't know, Dad," I started sarcastically, "maybe I'll be an undergrad at the local psyche ward."

He stopped, too, and we just stood there in silence. Then, of course, it was my fault we were becoming even later.

"Are you going to get in the car, Evette? I'd really like to get to work so I can continue to provide for your every need." he swung his door open and threw his bag into the back seat, accenting his anger.

"Oh, Dad, you know I love that sarcasm! It makes me feel so very happy," my tone was becoming quite audible, so, naturally, Dad got loud, too. We continued our "discussion" for a few minutes until a white Jetta pulled into our drive. Dad stopped his yelling and straightened out his attire. I switched my weight from my left hip to my right and didn't remove my glare from my father.

"I couldn't help but overhear," a voice was removing itself from its car, "And if she needs a ride to Y.B. I can give it to her. I'm going to be tardy myself." I studied the male that was offering this. He didn't look familiar in a threatening way, but he was the guy that bumped into me after school the day before.

"Ha. He'll try to make me take the ride from him. It ain't gonna happen," I thought, looking at Dad to see what he would say.

"No, it's quite alright, we'll be okay. Fifteen more minutes together won't kill us, but thanks," Dad surprised me. He was so fervent about me getting back into the high school routine, and now he wasn't going to try to make me do one of the things almost every high school student does: get a ride with a friend. I couldn't believe his hypocritic nature. If Jessica or Howard were still here and we were in this ordeal, he'd jump at the chance to dump me off with them. Of course, I wouldn't have minded, either, being close to them and all. I sighed, and made up my mind to rebel.

"Dad, I'm going. Have a nice day at work," I smiled as if nothing was wrong, and then rolled my eyes at him when he told me the same. The guy waved at my father and I got into the passenger's side. Grim satisfaction rose from the event. My actions weren't exactly predictible due to my behavior of the past few years.

"So," he began as he shut his door and pulled out of the driveway. "Does that happen alot?" I looked at him. He was outfitted in a tight, longsleeved, mesh shirt with a red tank underneath it. His arms were red where they were slashed in various places, and on his neck (I had to scrunch my eyes to see) the word "lies" was knifed. His brown hair was cheaply highlighted with blue; it looked like Crayola paint.

"It couldn't happen alot," I tore my gaze from his arms. He looked over to me as my Dad pulled out and went off to work, leaving me with this strange guy who claimed he was going to Yesterday's Brook, too. How could he leave me like this? Didn't he know it- my acceptance for the ride- was just an angry impulse? My head started to get heavy and I fought the urge to cry.

"What's your name?" he asked. "I'm Evan, but you can call me Hash. I just moved here from Cali. That was my nickname."

"Well, Hash, I'm sure your name and life's history is interesting and all, but I'm not exactly feeling the whole "people person" vibe right now." He laughed.

"Is it that time of the month?" he questioned. I wrinkled my brow.

"No," he saw I wasn't offended, and got curious.

"Most preppies would bite your head off if you asked them about their period." I looked down at my wardrobe. I had almost forgotten my appearance, since I had dressed at about four that morning. I was decked out in Aeropostle again. If that was what my dad picked and purchased, that was what I was going to wear. You couldn't get me in a clothing store for a million bucks. I had my threatened life to worry about.

"That's a stereotypical assumption," I mumbled. "Am I supposed to tell you about all my bodily functions since you're giving me a ride or something?"

"Of course," he replied. A smart ass really wasn't helping my morning.

"And by the way, I wear Aero because that's all my Dad buys me. 'kay?" I glanced over at him. "You know, for the punk type you sure are narrowminded."

"Ah, so now you assume I'm a narrowminded punk because I'm dressed like this?" he waved one hand over his aura. I reflected over my comment and chuckled to myself.

"My apologies," I continued to smile and he joined me.

"What's your name?" he asked.

"It doesn't matter," I kept my guard up. He could be a spy for her...

"If it was important enough for me to ask about then it matters," he replied. I sighed.

"My name is..." I couldn't decide whether to tell him or not. "No. I can't tell you, I'm sorry. Only not really."

"Okay," he sounded weirded out. I didn't care. We rode the rest of the way in silence, besides the mellow tunes playing on his radio. I recognized it as Mozart. He didn't strike me as the "Mozart" type.

"You listen to classical music?" I asked with a sound of doubt in my voice.

"Now, if you're going to get curious then you have to start giving me some answers, too."

"Well then," I said. Silence took over again, and I took time to study his arms again. It looked self inflicted. Mozart, the word "lies" across his neck, and an obvious cutter. Can we say starving artist? No, that's stereotypical...

We arrived at school, and he parked in the deserted parking lot. He didn't get out, and when I went to go, he got my attention by saying, "Yeah, I listen to Mozart." I smiled to myself as I walked towards the school. I didn't even thank him for the ride.

Later that day I caught myself thinking about Evan. I mean, Hash. It tripped me out how much I really did want new friends. But I knew I could never do that. Because if my fears turned into reality...-

My thoughts were interrupted by a tap on my shoulder. I turned, coming out of my Evette indulgence, and saw Hash. He grinned and started to say something but was cut off by the bell. I hadnt even logged in my brain that we had changed classes. My thinking had become so mechanical and worn out. I sighed and tried to return his smile but I couldn't. He whispered to me as the Child Development teacher called role.

"So you want to have some imaginary babies, too, huh?"

"Um, no, I had to take something to get at least five classes. I just got my psychologist to fill in the blanks for me, and this is what he chose." I wasn't lying; Prof. Haskins did help me with my schedule. Hash was thrown off a bit, I could tell.

"You see a psychologist?" he asked.

"You don't even know my name; you get what answers you get," I raised my pencil when the teacher called my name. Evan "ahh"ed when I answered to her call. She called Evan (Harper)'s last, since he was a new student.

"So, Evette Lessermon, you see a freak doctor?" Hash repeated the question with more of a playful curiosity and looked around me, awaiting my answer.

"No, I used to." I looked to where he was looking, and the bunch of people who were staring turned back around. We continued to eye the room for a few seconds, observing the cliques and the teacher's instructions to do the chapter review today.

"What was that about?" he asked. "You have that many enemies already this year?" he questioned the one group's gaze.

"No, they just think I'm crazy, along with everyone else here that used to attend when Yesterday's was Georgetown."

"Ahh, I see," he announced and turned in his desk. "So, will I, like, get a bad rep for hanging around you?" he mocked a few "preppy" girls at the front of the room.

"Probably so," I sighed and nodded, but without any remorse. He looked at me, nodding and making the same facial expression as I. My book was open in front of me so I began to read. The teacher soon silenced all of the remaining talkers. Evan took out a piece of paper, scribbled something on it, and passed it to me. I looked up at the teacher to make sure she wasn't watching. It read: Why don't they like you?

Hash looked at me, awaiting a written answer. I shook my head no, and looked back down at the reading. I decided to write him back, though. They don't belive me about what happened. Ask one of them to explain it to you.

And that was that. Hash didn't talk to me at all the rest of the period, and when the bell rang he didn't follow me out. I almost missed having him to talk to. Oh well, I was just one day closer to graduation. My dad was waiting for me in the office, and he smiled weakly when he saw me.

"How was school? You made it here in one piece, I presume," he commented. I gritted my teeth and told him that I had made a new friend.

"He was the one who drove me to school this morning. He cuts and listens to Mozart," I stated, opening the door for my dad. He led the way to the car, and asked, "He cuts what, exactly?"

"His arms, of course," I answered casually, taking pleasure in my father's nefound knowledge.

"Will he be driving you to school every morning now?" he fumbled with the keyes as we neared the car. I said no as we drove off, leaving Yesterday's behind, for the time being.

At least I'm not alone now. If something happens, maybe Evan will be willing to listen and help. I wonder if he asked them why they dislike me... I stayed in Evette Indulgence for quite awhile, almost the whole ride home. I thought over my homework, Evan, and Prof. Haskins even came into my mind. I missed him so much. He was all I had for three years, all I had right after the most tormented part of my life. As the hump on our driveway broke my thought process, I sighed, long and hard. Dad patted me on the leg, and said something I never thought I'd hear again.

"I love you Evie, I really do," but of course it was followed by, "but you need to let it go." He got out of the car, knowing I'd sit there until he was in the house and out of my view.

"I'll never let it go. Obviously, I'm getting better, though. I would've never sat out here alone a few weeks ago."

Click...clunk...tap...tap... I awoke over twelve hours later to the tinkering of something at my window. My heart started going, and I started to pray to whoever would listen and bring mercy down to me from up there. My body sat still and heavy in my bed, waiting for it to come in. Instead, I heard Hash yelling my name. I threw back my comforter violently and cursed him for scaring me to death.

"Nice nighties," he said, fully dressed, when I arrived at my front door.

"You too. You do know it's four o'clock in the morning and we don't have to be at school for another three and a half hours, right?" I confronted him with a frown. "Give me your jacket since you insisted on me coming to the door. We can't go inside because my dad will wake up."

"Here ya go," he took off his jacket, and started walking to his car. "Get in," he demanded. When he got situated in the driver's seat and looked out, I was still planted on the porch. He stuck his head out of the window and announced teasingly, "Don't worry. I'm not a vampire."


My heart cringed as soon as he said that. I fluidly made my way to the car, feeling the little color I had disappear from my face. I hadn't prepared myself good enough for the talk we were about to have. But I was ready to talk.

"So," I started, adjusting my seatbelt. "You've asked around and found me out."

"No, I've asked around and got bullshit. You're the only one who can help me find you out," he answered wisely but intricately. I nodded my head. Maybe I needed to talk about it.

"Before I say anything, what have you heard?" I asked with caution, staring straight ahead at the dim streetlights lining Governor's Parkway. He turned into the mall parking lot without saying anything and parked in front of the back entrance. I began to get clammy, but he spoke right as I was about to jet.

"When Yesterday's was still Georgetown, you and a few friends supposedly snuck in over spring break. They say you all claimed that your newsletters that were handed out said that sping break was over a day early. Anyways, they said you all claimed that a group of students and teachers were there, so you just thought it was a normal day. "Does anything seem off to you today, Howard?" "Yeah, everyone's so...mechanical." ...Laughter. "Give 'em a break, you guys; we just got back from spring break. I mean, look at me for Christ's sake." ...Dairy's robot dance. Then, you all said that they locked and jammed the doors. Don't say anything to them; maybe we're having a ceremony today or something..." They announced over the loudspeaker that they wanted your blood, and started a chase. "Ladies and Gents: let the bloodshed begin, let the bloodbath be drawn, let the hunger be satisfied! Opisas!" Y'all fought them off, and claimed that they were vampires, because each one you were "forced" to kill supposedly turned into ash. Am I getting hot?" Yeah; really hot.

I breathed the air through my teeth until I felt the cold sting my roots. Hash looked at me, searching my face for answers.

"Well, it looks like people know me better than I know myself," I looked down and fumbled with the buttons on his jacket. Instead of belittling and ridiculing me, Hash just kept asking questions.

"Was everyone except you and your friends vampires? Why did they want you?"

"Heh, slow down." I forced a smile. This was just like all of the interviews I went to at the police station. I didn't want to relive this yet again, but I wanted someone to know the story clearly before they started to judge me. "Yeah, every single one of the people that day were vampires. They didn't have fangs and shit, but they were, how do you say, "supernatural." We were to be the feast of the festival. That day was like a holiday to them..." I led myself to a stop and looked out the window. It was getting sunny, and I wanted to go home. I didn't want to say anymore, and Hash didn't push it.

"Look, I'm going to go in there for a minute," he said, nodding at the mall. "I'll be right back, alright? Will you be okay, or do you want to come, too?" he looked into my eyes, wanting an honest answer. I nodded. We got out of the car, and I asked, "D-d-do you work here?" The parking lot was deserted and I knew it wouldn't be open this early anyways. A shiver had come over me when we got out of the warm car.

"Yeah, I work here; can't you tell?" he questioned, stopping to gesture toward his wardrobe.

"No, forgive me for being a hermit for three years. I had a minor trauma to get over," my sarcasm made him smile, and he took his key out and unlocked the door to a long hallway, for employees usage only.

"Hot Topic is where I work. Not to brag or anything, but I'm the manager," he started to jog down the hall. It was quite long; I found myself running so I wouldn't be too far behind. When we got to the mall, it was faintly lighted by vending machines and games that were never turned off. Sounds erupted from the games every so often, adding to the eeriness. The smell of movie theater popcorn still lingered, even though none was being made.

"We're going to get you an expressive outfit," he turned to me. I smiled at my thoughts. Couldn't I even dress myself?

"So, this is your workplace," I examined the shop. Very dark. A lot of red and a lot of black made this place up. Mesh was a fad now, I presumed, because many of the clothing items were made of it. I went over to the music section while Hash picked out whatever he wanted for me to wear.

"Ooooh!" I snatched up a CD I had wanted two years ago. "I can't believe they still have this in stock," I enveloped myself in the track list. Hash looked up to see what CD I had.

"Dracula 2000? Weren't you in lockdown mode in 2000?" Evan went back to his search.

"You'll never believe this, but my dad thought watching a vampire movie marathon would help me somehow. Needless to say I needed therapy for another two years."

"You can have it if you want it; it's on me," he handed me the clothes he had chosen.

"And all this, too?" I asked. He nodded and rubbed his neck with his hands.

"Go try them on," he pointed to the dressing room, then let his hand drop. His eyes followed me until I slid the door shut. I smiled to myself. Was he being this nice because he felt sorry for me? Did he feel sorry for me because I was crazy in his eyes?

The outfit wasn't at all what I thought it'd be. I liked the way it looked on me. A black top showed this little doggy with an afro (Afro Ken, the label said), and the blue jeans had a big flare that went nicely with the black boots he picked out. It all fit perfectly, too.

"Perfect fit," I said, stepping out of the dressing room with pajamas and houseshoes in hand. I handed him his jacket, but he told me to keep it.

"Why are you being so nice?" I gave him a curious frown.

"Can't anyone be nice these days? And don't tell me you don't like the clothes," he raised his eyebrows in disbelief and handed me a Hot Topic bag to put my pajamas in. I slid his coat on and we walked back out to the car.

"Do you believe me," I mumbled, rather than asked. "You can be honest; it won't hurt my feelings. I really don't think I have any-"

"Yeah, Evette, I believe you. I don't think you're a liar," he was blunt. We pulled in to the school parking lot forty-five minutes early. He went to get out of his car, but I put my hand on his arm.

"What?" he asked. By merely looking at him, I found out the truth. He didn't believe me. He wanted to get the hell away from me.

"Hmm. Nothing," I said and smiled. We said a silent goodbye to eachother with our eyes, and I knew it was the end of the beginning of a friendship. "Thanks for the clothes and stuff!" I called after we had parted a ways. He flung his hand toward me nonchalantly. "No problem," I imagined him saying.

In English class, the teacher made us write an essay on the short story we were assigned the night before. I hadn't read it, so I sat there, letting my pencil roll down the desk and blowing it back upwards when it reached the bottom. A few students grunted, but I didn't care if I was being a minor distraction. I'd be more than happy to leave the room. The teacher got up and click-clacked her way over, telling me to stop. She asked me to start writing, and I informed her of my lack of knowledge on the story. She wrote me a note and told me to go read it in the library.

I didn't know where the library was. My memory hadn't been as sharp as I suspected. I wandered around in the halls, checking out the scene. I passed by the blue hallway, but came to a halt when I looked down it.

The place where I had fallen through the roof was still unmended. I took a double take and saw that it had been fixed up to where it wasn't as noticeable, but still broken all the same. Was I seeing things? The sun was glaring on the site. I started to walk faster, going closer to the hole. The hole wasn't abstract; I wasn't imagining things. I took off running back toward the main hallway, but as soon as I got going a teacher stopped me. I could feel the heat of the sun coming through the glass doors and reflecting off of my shirt, but I could also feel the heat of the Hispanic instructor's scavenger eyes upon my face.

"Hall pass? What's the rush?" the curly haired, middle aged man asked me. I showed him my note, and he grinned. I went to go, leaving the note with him, but he decided to escort me to the library. "Panic attack? Is that one of the side effects of your...problem?" he kept a steady smile. No teacher should have the right to talk about that so carelessly with me. I told him that I didn't appreciate his conversation, and he grabbed my arm, restricting my escape. His grip tightened, and he whispered grimly into my ear.

"Girl, you gave this school a very bad reputaion, are you aware of that?" he paused, looking over both of our shoulders. "Some of the teachers have went to extreme measures to keep their jobs." he chuckled, and his next sentance rolled out as if he was waking from a nightmare. "You almost made us loose our jobs! But don't worry; strong connections have kept us alive." His voice grew raspy, and if I hadn't been in this type of situation before I would've noticed the resemblance of his voice to the bad guy on horror movies. But we weren't in a horror movie; he was just a stressed and desperate teacher. I kept telling myself that, but it didn't slow the pace of my heart. The man's beady eyes devoured mine, but he let go as the bell rang and students flooded out into the halls. I walked backwards, facing him still. If he decided he needed to lunge for me, I'd be able to jump the opposite way. I bumped into many of the student body, but they'd be much easier to deal with than that psycho.

"Boys and girls, I think you need to get back to class...!!" Keep talking to yourself, weirdo. All we need to do is get to the doors...yes! But...
"They're boarded up!"
"No, that's metal. How the hell'd they move metal over the doors in thirty minutes?"
"We need another way out."

"Get OUT!" I felt a shaking hand on my shoulder. Leaning up from my seat, I noticed the teacher was the one vigorously shaking my shoulder. I turned my posture toward her.
"I-" I recalled my daydream which triggered goosebumps to rise. I hadn't been fully asleep, but really zoned out. "I must've dozed off," I lied. She rolled her eyes, went to her desk, and in front of the whole class told me to get out again.
"Where ever shall I go?" I questioned rather sarcastically, gathering my things up for the second time that day. My comment caused a few snickers, and the teacher looked up to give the evil eye to the rest of the class. She had seemed pretty likeable. I thought a psychologist teacher would have been the most flexible, but I was dead wrong. The couple who had a problem with me broke out into hysterics. The teacher looked past me, and told them to get their things, also. We'd all be going to the office, together.

To be continued...
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