Standing up, I gathered my books and left the classroom in a hurry. I went to my locker and collected my folder and the books I needed for the next classes. Slamming it shut, I began to walk to chemistry class.
As I made my way through the crowded hallway I felt several pairs of eyes on me, scowling at me while others just blankly ignored me. I was glad that they pretended that I didn't exist rather than pick on me. Bullying was the last thing I wanted to go through in life.
Sheepishly, I kept my head down, my eyes gazing at the plain white tiles of the corridors as I walked straight to my class.
I was among the individuals who were at the top of their class and were given the title of nerd. Though I wouldn't really give myself that adolescent title. I was just a teenage girl who didn't have much to do at home other than study or read a book. Reading was something that kept me occupied and flew me to the parts of the world that I wish I could visit someday. I'm talking about Hogwarts here. It took my mind off from the things that were happening in my life and for a short time made me experience the lives of others.
The closest person to a friend I had left this town a year ago. Her father had transferred to California due to business, so she had to move there as well.
Her name was Lily. She was like a sister I never had. Our friendship started in kindergarten when I was sitting on a bench alone during a lunch break. She came to me and offered me food. I don't remember much about that day but I do remember one thing, that from that moment onwards we became inseparable. Her loyalty to me stayed true all those past years and even though I went through so much she never left me. I still hit her up whenever I needed someone. She always listened to me and was always there for me. I considered her my best friend.
The hundreds of miles long distance between us couldn't break the precious bond we had.
Before her departure, we tried to spend as much time together as we could. We went to the mall and spent hours there buying nothing in the end, had late-night sleepovers, cooked recipes we couldn't even pronounce correctly, and binge-watched romantic movies that made us cry through the night. And let's not forget the immense effort she put in to teach me to do my own makeup -at which I failed miserably.
I was purely devastated when I first heard the news because she was all I had. The only friend I had made was leaving me. I couldn't even think of roaming the hallways, going to long boring classes, and eating lunch alone. Every day she would make something new and bring it in for lunch. It had become our thing.
There were so many beautiful memories attached to her. Even though she was herself going to California, I felt like she was taking away all the nostalgic fragments of amazing memories, she and I had made together over the course of years we had spent with each other.
I was an introvert. Mingling in dense crowds and talking to new people wasn't really my thing. I liked to stay in and catch-up on a novel or watch a show on TV. Since I didn't have many friends I never got to do the usual teen's stuff which mostly included going to big parties or other things. I didn't really know anything about fun. There were times when I felt like I was missing out on some really cool stuff in life but then my subconscious would remind me that I had to stay focused on my future. Because of my shyness, I had never interacted with anyone - especially boys and received the same treatment in return.
I saw myself as a simple girl, with the most basic hair color - dark brown and ordinary light brown eyes. I preferred to wear hoodies and clothes that didn't show skin because I hated being the center of attention. I liked staying low-key and doing my own thing in the quiet corner of the room.
Also unlike many girls of my age, my self-esteem was ten feet deep underground. Lily always tried to boost my self-confidence by giving me lectures for hours, trying to make me understand that I am pretty, but that's something you have to do yourself. No one can make you feel beautiful until one day you just wake up and believe that you are someone special and perfection is just an illusion.
'You're still waiting for that day Hope,' my mind mocked and I couldn't help but agree.
When I last talked to Lily. She told me that she had already made a couple of friends there which wasn't surprising at all. With her charismatic aura and lively persona, she could befriend anyone in this world. She was a total extrovert and I sometimes wondered why she considered me her best friend when she could have anyone in the world. The famous girl of the school was friends with the studious freak. Surely that didn't sound normal.
As for myself, I had no friends but I didn't mind that. I loved living in my own bubble of stacks of books, so the idea of making new friends didn't really appeal to me. Especially when I already had Lily with whom I still talked thrice a week. It wasn't much, but it was enough. She knew me and the stuff that had happened in my life. I didn't have the heart to explain everything to someone new again and gain their sympathy.
Shaking my head to get rid of my thoughts, I approached the Chemistry class and waited for Mr. Carlie.
He was an old man with only a bunch of thin white hair on his shiny bald head which sometimes shone when exposed to bright light and I couldn't help but smile at it every time it happened. Unlike other elder people, Mr. Carlie was not surly. In fact, he was super sweet and quite sprightly for his age. The other aspect of his amazing personality was that he was a teacher who always tried to help his students achieve good grades. His encouraging words always seemed to work, and those in his class received good grades. I wish there were more teachers like him in our school or even in the world.
"Good morning students. How are you all?" The voice of the old man was loud and polite as he energetically paved his way into the class. After a string of replies, he turned his back to us and began to scribble something on the blackboard with a thin white chalk.
He wrote thermochemistry on the blank blackboard which had a light smeared layer of white chalk on it already. I had studied the topic in advance, so I began to look out of the window to kill time.
Through the thick dainty glass window, I saw a guy standing distantly near the bleachers, with a phone pressed against his right ear. He was slowly walking around with his back towards me. I began to run my mind through the faces I knew at school, but I couldn't put one on his back. I mean his hidden face.
Who are you? I asked myself.
As if to answer my question, he slightly turned around and I figured that it was none other than Heath James Travon.
Heath was the infamous bad boy of Liberty High. He transferred here last year. At first, things were normal. He came to school, people gawked at him and he would ignore them and the day would end. Everyone - especially girls tried to talk to him and befriend him but he would just give them an icy glare and everyone would back off.
After a week things started to change. The jocks and other popular kids tried to pick on Heath but he turned a deaf ear towards them and passed by. Until one day a bunch of football team players cornered him in the hallway and began to make fun of him. Every single person, when heard the rumor, got there, and soon a large mob gathered around them.
Heath just blankly ignored them and tried to walk away but they wouldn't let him. Xanon, a guy from the football team, whispered something to him and the next thing I remember was Heath lunging at him and hitting him straight to the face. He landed loud strong punches after punches and all were directed to his face. In no time Xanon was a bloody mess but Heath didn't stop.
Guess Xanon had something really bad to Heath, which got him riled up so quickly.
No one dared to step between them and just watched the scene which was horrifying as it showed a totally different side of Heath. He looked ruthless.
The fight only ended when the principal strolled into the hallway. When he saw the fight happening, he pulled Heath away. Xanon was severely injured while Heath didn't even have a scratch on him, except a few scrapes on his knuckles.
The only punishment Heath got was a suspension for a week from school. Everyone steered clear of him since then, especially the jocks.
Heath had this dark aura around him which attracted girls and kept boys away. He never interacted with anyone. The most he had spoken was a word or two to some teacher, other than that he was mostly mute. Girls swooned over him, but he hardly ever paid attention to them. He didn't even blink in their direction and minded his own business through the class. Students assumed that he was gay since he had never been seen with a girl. He never looked at them. It was like he was immune to all their attention. No girl impressed him. No one.
As he was walking around, I took in his clothing. He was wearing a black shirt with black jacket on top, black ripped jeans, and black and white trainers. The outfit was all black and fit him perfectly. But something that stood out the most was this thin metal chain on his neck that shone brightly under the warm rays of the illuminating sun and quickly caught my eye.
I gazed at him longer than intended. I had seen him around in the school but I had never really paid attention to him.
I watched him run his fingers through his thick dark brown hair as if he was frustrated. A scowl splitting on his face.
In the very next second, he further turned around and at once his eyes found mine. He gazed at me for a millisecond and then narrowed his eyes as we stared at each other. He was far from me so I couldn't really see the color of his eyes but I could definitely feel them burning my face like a flame of fire. I didn't want him to be on his radar, so I turned my head away from him, breaking our eye contact and letting out a sigh of relief. I opened my folder to arrange the disorganized papers.
Rumors were that Heath was involved in dangerous things, as some had seen him carrying a gun and threatening people around. His hands were often covered in bruises or wrapped in white tape, and he wasn't regular to school either, which further approved the theory. People at school feared him especially after the way he had beaten Xanon. That incident had earned him quite the reputation. Pupils tried to not cross his path. After a couple more fights at school, he had gotten even more threatening. People gossiped about him, but only Sebastian knew the real him.
Sebastian was a blond with a beautiful pair of grass-green eyes. He stood 6'2 tall and had a muscular body. Contrary to Heath he was sweet. He had an energy that made you comfortable around him. Everyone liked talking to him, but with Heath around, they all avoided him like a deadly plague. He was Heath's shadow so people hardly got to interact with him.
The class ended when the blaring sound of the bell reverberated in the school.
Mr. Carlie announced that there was going to be a test on Monday. Everyone whined except for me. I had already studied the topic only because I wanted to finish the novel I was currently reading.
Piling up the papers and folder on top of each other I got up and dashed out of the classroom into the sea of people crowding the hallway.
A lot of papers were in my hand and I feared that they might get dropped so I was arranging the worksheets in my folder. While I was doing that I felt the strong vibration of my phone in my back pocket. I balanced the sheets and the folder in one hand then reached into my back pocket and took it out.
I looked at the screen and saw messages from Mom. A pang of worry laced my heart. I hoped everything was alright. Trying to read them while walking wasn't the best idea, for I had no idea where I was going.
Suddenly I collided with someone, stumbling back at the impact. Instead of meeting the cold hard floor, I felt arms circle around my waist saving me from my fall. Looking up I met a pair of bright Caribbean blue eyes staring back at me.
'His eyes are so beautiful up close,' my subconscious exclaimed in awe as I looked at Heath. Being this close to him I figured how snow-white and clear his skin was. His jawline was chiseled sharp and looked like it could pierce through anything. And his eyes were the shade of blue you would have never seen before. Deep blue like ocean waters.
The set of blue eyes were intensely gazing at me as if he was searching for something. But at once something flickered through them and he averted his gaze. Clearing his throat, Heath stepped back. His hold on my waist loosened and I got out of his hold and looked around.
His hands were warm as when he took them away I missed the heat. Strangely I was always cold. My body functioned properly, but my skin would be really cold to touch. I never understood why.
Drifting my eyes down I saw all the papers and the folder strewn on the floor. I lightly gasped and immediately bent down.
There were so many papers and every single human was just walking on them blindly. I grumbled at their blindness and tried to pick them in the quickest way possible. I collected all the papers from one side and then turned to the other side. But a hand was already stretching out with all my papers and old dainty pink folder.
I peeked up at Heath who was crouching down in front of me. I met his eyes which were fixed on me. His gaze felt like a gamma-ray that was penetrating me and I felt uncomfortable by the way he was looking at me so I nervously looked down at his hands.
Thank God, now I won't have dirty footprints on them like the rest, my subconscious reminded me.
Thrusting the file and papers in my hand he stood up. I carelessly put all the papers in the file and hug it tightly to my chest.
Standing up I looked at Heath who literally towered over me. I was 5'8" tall but Heath was like 6'2" or something. He looked at me coldly and was going to walk away when I blocked him.
A look of pure annoyance graced his face and he intensely stared at me. His glare was enough to make my heart race and my hands clammy from nervousness. Plucking up the courage I said to him "thanks for collecting the papers and sorry for the collision. I was just busy che-."
"Next time look where you're going. Perhaps then no one will have to save your sorry ass and collect your damn papers,"