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The slamming door told me that Nigel was home just before he stomped into the kitchen.
 He stood just inside the doorway and crossed his arms “you want to tell me why you are here and why you stole my truck?” I turned around from stirring a pot of stew on the stove to look at him “sorry but I wasn’t comfortable there and just needed to get back here.”
He sighed rubbing his hand over his face “you didn’t think to tell me you were leaving?” I shrugged turning away from him again “sorry I guess I just forgot all about you” he chuckled coming over and hugging me from behind “thanks sis it’s nice to know just how much you love me” I pulled away from his arms and headed for the door “I have home work to do before school tomorrow so I will see you in the morning I muttered “Annie hiding in your room all the time or just running away is not good for you, you need to let people in people that care about you and only want to help you” I stopped just inside the doorway with my fists clenched at my sides “I am not running away and I do not need people trying to help me I am coping just fine on my own” I unclenched my hands reminding myself that it was my brother I was talking to “goodnight Nig” I heard him sigh sadly before he muttered a goodnight to me and allowed me to escape to my room.
 That night my dreams were again filled with my life with Reece, so the next morning when I made my way downstairs, I felt like I had been hit by a freight train.
Dad looked up from reading the newspaper “honey are you feeling alright?” I sat down in my seat at the table with a sigh “yeah daddy I just didn’t get much sleep.”
 He reached across the table patting my hand gently “do you want to stay home from school today sweetheart?” I shook my head grabbing the orange juice and pouring myself a glass “no thanks I would rather be there doing something then sitting here thinking about my horrible past.”
Dad nodded again picking up the paper “okay sweetheart then you had better hurry up and eat your breakfast or you will be late” I nodded and grabbed a piece of toast and buttered it.
After I had finished eating I headed backup stairs to get ready for school dreading seeing Kane and his sister again.
I pulled on my black skinny jeans and a long sleeved white shirt then put on a hoodie over the top.
Running back downstairs I grabbed my truck keys and raced out the door calling out a hasty goodbye to my father and brother that I could hear talking in the kitchen no doubt they would be talking about me and how messed up I was.
In my black dodger I leant my head against the steering wheel taking deep breaths as I told myself just to breathe that no one could hurt me unless I let them but Reece had no matter how many times I had pleaded with him to stop.
With a sad sigh I sat up and started the truck and back down the driveway and headed for another day of hell.
The school I went to was called River Bay high and I was in my last year but when you are tortured daily by not just the students but the teachers a year could be a very long time.
Parking my truck in my usual spot I just sat there staring at the brown brick building that was like a prison for me.
Aloud knock at my window had me jumping then turning in my seat to see Keith and Theodore standing there grinning at me.
With a sigh I wound the window down “hey guys what’s up?” Keith crossed his arms and lent on the side of the door “you tell us since we are not the ones just sitting in our truck staring at the brown hell whole that everyone calls school” I nodded and motioned for him to move then grabbed my bag and got out “okay I’m sorry I am just dreading today since I haven’t been sleeping very well lately.”
Keith hooked his arm through mine and Theodore did the same then they started dragging me towards the large red doors “don’t worry Annie with us guys here looking after you no one would dare mess with you.”
But when we walked through the doors and heard the excited chatter about the new kids I knew that I should have taken my father up on his offer and just stayed home.
A small black headed girl with bright green eyes stepped from the group of jocks and cheerleaders and raced towards us with a huge smile on her petite little face “Annie I was worried that you wouldn’t show up” I started to blush when everyone in the corridor turned their eyes in our direction “um I said that I would see you today remember?”
Amber nodded excitedly then looked at the two guys with me “Amber I would like you to meet two of the guys in the band with me and are also my friends” I grinned at the guys in question then looked at Amber “this tall good looking one is Keith as you can see he tends to stand out with his green hair and this short guy is Theodore.”
Amber gave them both a shy smile “um hi guys it is very nice to meet you.”
 Keith grabbed her hand and pulled it to his lips while giving her a lop sided grin “the pleasure is all ours gorgeous” I shook my head laughing at his attempt to flirt “come on lover boy we should get to our lockers before the bell goes.”
Walking down the hall towards A block and where our lockers were I spotted a dark headed male racing towards me, I squealed and tried to duck behind Keith but he just laughed and pushed me forwards so the guy could sweep me off of my feet and into his arms “Joshua put me down” I shouted while trying not to laugh.
His chuckles filled my ears “hey sweet heart did you miss me?” I shook my head while pounding on his back “no now put me down you idiot.”
He swung me back down onto my feet then swept me into a bear hug making me laugh again.
A throat being cleared had us pulling a part only to find Kane now standing with the others “hello Annabelle” I looked at him in fear then glanced around my friends “we should get to our lockers before the bell goes.”
Joshua ignored me still eyeing Kane up and down “hi who might you be?” Kane held his hand out towards him “hi I am Kane Morgan and I assume you are one of Annabelle’s friends.”
Joshua looked down at me and smiled “yes friend and best damn guitar player the band has” I chuckled shaking my head “yeah well mister guitar player if you have finished blowing your own horn we really should be getting to our lockers.”
Before I could follow the others towards our lockers Kane grabbed my arm stopping me “before you start over reacting I just want to make sure that you have no intentions of telling your little friends what you saw at my house because if you do then we will have to take care of you” I looked up into his startling green eyes and snarled “don’t worry like I said I am not going to tell anyone so take your threats and shove them where the sun don’t shine.”
With that I took of down the hall way to where my friends stood waiting beside our lockers.
Joshua looked down the hallway at the still watching Kane then at me “Annie is everything alright between you and that new guy?” I nodded trying hard not to blush or give myself away in any possible way “yeah Josh everything is fine so lets just get to class.

Submitted: March 20, 2011

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