"Look at it this way El, you're half way through the week." My dad said trying to lift my spirits as he pulled into the school parking lot.
I felt horrible for everything I was putting him through, I knew he worried about me constantly, but I couldn't get out of this horrible mood.
"Yippe." I grumbled dryly while grabbing my backpack and tossing my hood up. Of course it was pouring out, just to add to my morose mood.
"See you later!" He smiled at me as I slammed the door to the truck shut.
I didn't even want to admit why I was feeling so crummy, because it was just completely and utterly ridiculous. It seemed that no matter how much I told myself I didn't care, something about Jace Parker just pulled me in, and he didn't even want to be my friend.
Fine, I was just going to ignore him completely today. Give him a taste of his own medicine. I was smiling conspiratorially as I walked into chemistry.
I took my place in the seat next to Jace, and didn't even glance his way while I unpacked my text and notebook. I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I realized the way he was sitting there, with his hands in tight fists resting on the table. He looked like he was in agony and I almost broke at that moment and asked him what was wrong, but he surprised me by turning towards me. Uh-
He just sat like that for a good thirty seconds staring at me. I could feel my face burning and I lowered my head so that my hair would fall between us, hiding me. When he was facing forward again I allowed myself a quick peek at him, he looked like crap and yet still amazingly hot.
His eye was still bruised, and there was a horrible dark circle underneath the un-injured eye. His face was set in a frown, and I could practically feel the hostility seeping off of him. I cringed away involuntarily, because even though I knew he wasn't angry with me he was making me nervous. Ever since that night with Brad I was always on the defense around people, especially guys, and this guy apparently was dangerous.
I continued studying his profile, remembering what my dad had said the other day about him having a record. What exactly had he done to get into trouble? I was driving myself insane with all this Jace business, I was obsessing. God, I was pathetic.
"Why are you staring at me?" He whispered huskily startling me from my thoughts.
"I'm not." I offered dumbly and looked down at my notebook pretending to write down notes.
"Whatever." He snorted.
"You were staring at me first." I pointed out chewing on the end of my pen.
"I didn't know if you were going to be all fucking weird again like yesterday." He shrugged, as if discussing my level of weirdness was no big deal.
I just continued chewing on my pen until I thought I was going to snap it, or break a molar. He thought I was a freak, I knew it. Well, at least I could get over this obsession and move on. I had my scissors and thats all that really mattered.
I didn't talk to Jace for the rest of the period, and I was already planning a trip to the bathroom when class ended. I sat there with my leg bouncing as I watched the second hand drag slowly around the clock. When the bell finally rang I picked up my backpack a little too hastily, spilling its contents everywhere.
"Damn it." I cursed bending over to collect my belongings. Two boot clad feet stepped in my line of sight, and I straightened up with the handful of loose papers I had just picked up.
"These your's too?" He asked holding out my scissors with a look of confusion.
I swallowed hard and snatched them out of his hand. "Thanks." I mumbled as I packed them away safely.
I left the classroom quickly and started walking toward the bathroom. All of a sudden I got the feeling of being followed, I peeked over my shoulder nervously and no one was there. Maybe I was becoming overly paranoid now too.
Finally I was in the safety of my usual stall, I pulled up my left sleeve and made a swift slice. I had wanted to let some of the other cuts heal before cutting this area again, but I just needed to feel the release, and it was worth it.
I drew in a sharp breath as I studied my work, the cut was a lot deeper than I normally went. It wasn't anything serious by any means, but maybe I had gone a little over board this time. After running it under the faucet I took some toilet paper and wadded it up under my sleeve to keep the blood from staining my shirt.
I ran out of the bathroom not wanting to be late to the same class for the second day in a row, and collided with none other than Jace freaking Parker. What the hell? Honestly did this kid have a magnet strapped to him? It was like I was always destined to cross paths with him. He grabbed my arm to steady me and I winced as he squeezed the freshly cut flesh that was hidden by my sleeve.
"You really need to fucking watch where your going." He stated, but it sounded more like a parent speaking to their child this time, maybe minus the swearing. He didn't seem angry with me or anything, but I couldn't be sure he wasn't so I pulled my arm from his grasp carefully, and watched in horror as the wad of toilet paper fell from my sleeve.
"What the-" He bent over to pick it up with a look of confusion as I slowly started backing away from him. I had to get out of here. "What the fuck, are you bleeding Ella?" He asked sounding concerned and a little angry.
"I um, got a scratch." I fumbled with the lie lamely as the bell rang begining second period. Great, late again. I let my eyes dart around with out focusing on anything in particular.
He started walking toward me and I panicked, backing away timidly until I felt my food hit something hard. I looked over my shoulder at the wall behind me, he literally had me cornered. The familiar feeling of not being in control was overwhelming. I choked on the air around me and started shaking.
"Please." I asked, not sure what I was pleading for.
"Let me see." He said taking my hand in his and gently pulling my shirt sleeve up. He inhaled sharply as we both stared down at the marred flesh on my arm. There were six scabbed cuts, plus the angry open one from today. His eyes shot up from my arm to my face and he looked sad, and then pissed. I shuddered and pulled my shirt sleeve down roughly.
I was still trembling from the fear of him cornering me, it took me a moment to realize he was mulling something over, invisible wheels turning in his mind. He looked at me slowly and then his whole body coiled like he was going to run, and then I realized that thats exactly what he was going to do.
He was probably going to go find someone to tell, he probably believed it would help me if someone found out, and that they could stop me. He was wrong.
"Promise me you wont tell anybody- please." I begged.
"I can't do that." He shook his head pursing his usually pouty lips into a thin line. He looked like he was battling with himself as he pulled his hands through his hair gripping at the ends roughly. "Fuck." He cursed shaking his head and pacing back and forth.
"It wont help you know." I offered
He stared at me through narrowed eyes, the effect probably would have been better if one of his eyes wasn't bruised.
"I mean it, and they will probably just haul me off to some looney bin." Again. I shuddered at the memory of my short stay in the mental hospital. I had been so depressed after what Brad did to me that my mom didn't know what else to do with me. My dad had gotten pissed when he heard where I was, and thats when he came and brought me to live with him.
"Damn it." He cursed some more. "What the fuck Ella, this isn't fucking cool."
"I'm sorry, just please-" I looked into his blue eyes now. "-Please, my dad thinks I'm getting better. You can't do this to him, it would break his heart. It wouldn't solve anything if people found out."
"Fine." He growled. "But just so you know I'm watching you from now on."
"You can't stop me." I warned him.
"We'll see." he said before walking away, leaving me in the hallway by myself.
I had ended up skipping second period all together after the mishap with Jace. Third period had been completely uneventful, well except for my panicked racing thoughts. Now I was in math waiting for the bell to ring. It was almost lunch time and I had to find Jace. I just kept praying he was being honest and wasn't going to tell anyone.
I was biting my lip and bouncing my leg up and down frantically as I finished the last of the classwork that the teacher assigned. I looked over at the door and saw Jace standing there through the narrow window. I tapped my pen restlessly as the last minute of class dragged on feeling more like an hour.
I stood outside the math class just waiting for her to get out. I still couldn't fucking believe that she was cutting herself. I guess it explained a lot about her weird behavior. She definitely had anxious tendencies from what I noticed over the past few days. I knew because I would recognize that shit anywhere, considering I was one anxious motherfucker myself.
The bell finally sounded releasing her from the class, I swear during the past three days that I've watched her, I had never seen her move so fast. She was up and out of the class within seconds.
"Hey." She said softly, looking around nervously.
I rolled my eyes at her obvious distrust. "I didn't tell anyone, would you fucking relax?"
"And you're definitely not going to?" She asked timidly.
"I fucking said I wouldn't." I snapped at her and then shoved my hands in my pockets before I could do something foolish, like hug her. I just couldn't stifle the urge to hold and protect her. I was fucking losing it.
She just nodded slightly at me. "Thank you."
"Yah, well, now you're stuck with me." I said roughly.
She looked up at me, confusion written across her face.
"I told you, I'm going to be watching you." I was dead serious too, I would make sure if she was going to do that shit that it wasn't on my watch.
"And I told you that you can't stop me." She said fiercly. I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing at her, because to be fucking honest this girl was anything but fierce.
"Whatever." I dismissed her statement continuing on. "Anyways, I figured that we could eat lunch together, off school grounds. Like go to Wendy's or some shit." I stared down at her and couldn't help but notice that she smelled fucking fantastic.
Shit I'm so fucked.
"Um, okay." She said looking a little apprehensive.
"You got something against Wendy's?" I asked trying to figure out what was causing her unease.
"No, its just- um- its stupid really." She said kicking at the ground and turning red.
"Cut the shit, and spit it out." I knew I was being an asshole, but she was irritating me. I didn't know how to help her and it was driving me insane.
"I just don't like being alone with guys." She said all the words together and quickly.
"Oh, ok." I mentally kicked myself for forgetting that the whole reason she had moved here was because of an ex-boyfriend. I wanted to know what the hell he did to fuck this girl up so badly, and I also wanted to find where he lived so I could maybe fuck him up in return. "Thats fine, we can just eat shitty school food." I shrugged.
"You don't have to do this Jace." She sighed.
"Well I don't really have a fucking choice do I?" I was getting a little pissed, she couldn't just expect me to carry around this huge secret for her and let her continue on the way she is. I couldn't take that shit, I didn't need another death on my hands.
"I'll be fine, I'm not trying to kill myself if that's what this is about." She gestured between the two of us.
"Oh you're not trying to." I nodded my head in mock understanding. "Well then, its all fucking fine then, I'll just hand you a knife and turn the other way."
She just sighed at my response and pulled on her sleeves.
"Like I said, you're stuck with me. So just fucking deal with it, or I can tell whoever I want." I ended that shit right there.
She just bowed her head in defeat and accepted that I was involved now.
Once we were seated at the table I normally occupied I noticed every motherfucker's eyes were planted on us. You would think we were two god damn celebrities, the amount of attention we were recieving.
I watched as Ella kept her eyes trained on her hands in her lap, her hair falling around her. She looked extremely uncomfortable. I sort of felt bad, but then decided that if anyone should be uncomfortable it was me. Sitting at a table with the girl I just found out mutilates herself, and feeling the eyes of every fucking moron in the school on us, yeah if anyone had the right to be uncomfortable it was this guy right here.
"So-" I started to talk but she cut me off.
"Can we not talk about it now?" She asked looking uneasy.
"How long?" I asked ignoring her.
"I just started doing that this week." She looked so uncomfortable, but I didn't care this wasn't fair to me either.
"I don't know, I really don't know what made me start." She sighed frustrated. "All I know is now I can't stop. It helps me release the pent up anxiety."
"Why not go on meds?" I asked my thoughts wandering to the bottle of pills in the bathroom cabinet at Ian's appartment. I shuddered remembering my dream from last night.
"I hate the way they make me feel." She shrugged. "Yesterday when I came into school, you said I was acting weird, its because my dad made me take my anxiety meds the night before."
I nodded but in the back of my mind I was wondering why the doctor that perscribed her those pills never followed up with her, it could be something as simple as the dosage. I didn't dare ask though, because then I would have to divulge why I knew so much about medication, and that was something I was not willing to share.
After lunch we had gone our seperate ways, and for two whole periods I had to listen to the whispers of my classmates. They already had several different stories going, the rumors were fucking ridiculous. Everyone had come to the conclusion that the two crazies at the school had found each other and gotten together. They were some what right in the sense that we both weren't normal and we had found each other, but this was strictly business, not romance.
I was on my way to english, and I hated how my body was thrumming with anticipationn at seeing Ella again. I comforted myself with the thought that I just wanted to see her so badly to make sure she was ok.
I looked up at the sound of my last name and saw fucking Ryan Weber smirking at me. I just kept walking not even acknowledging that asshole.
"No wonder why you got so bent out of shape when I was talking about the new girl, I didn' t know she was your girlfriend." He was still wearing that fucking smirk and I wanted nothing more than to wipe it off his punk ass face, but I kept my cool and continued ignoring him.
"Let me know if she's a good lay, I bet she's a real freak in the bed." I was trying really hard to block out his obnoxious voice, but it was getting extemely difficult not to just go over and beat the shit out of him.
"Although that pussy might be all fucked up from the last guy. The douche bag ruined that tight little body when he raped her. How inconsiderate, at least let another guy have a turn." He snorted. "Who knows? Maybe she likes it rough."
Alright, that was fucking it. I started towards him, jaw clenched and eyes narrowed. I was right in his face at this point and-
"Jace?" The sweetest voice ever cut through the haze of anger that had enveloped me, and stopped me in my tracks. I turned and she was standing right behind me.
"Come on lets get to class." I mumbled grabbing her hand and dragging her behind me.