October 6, 2008
By Taylor Dickinson, Callahan, CA

“Amazingly, it wasn’t so bad.” Cheyenne Fisher said into the phone, her voice hesitant. She could tell Nick didn’t believe her by the short silence that he left through the phone line. “Really.”

“How could it not be?” Nick demanded. “Oh…did they finally realize how wonderful a person you are?”

Chey snorted delicately, if there was a way to do that. Her boyfriend was constantly saying how wonderful and beautiful she was – often, she would reply by questioning his sanity level during her absence.

“No, Nicholas. I guess they just forgot, or decided to ignore those rumors Jeremy started before I moved last year.”

“That’s good!” He was suddenly ecstatic, and Chey couldn’t help but giggle. She could easily picture his perfect face brightening, his brown eyes going wide. “You can make friends now.”

“No.” Chey said instantly. “I don’t need them, I’m coming back to California as soon as you come get me.” She heard him sigh.

“Cheyenne. You cannot just run away. Of course I want you back here, but what about your family?”

“My dad doesn’t care, not about any of us. He’s always drunk, passed out on the couch. Jake can take care of Stella until I can come back and get them, I need to be there with you. And, you know, everyone else…”

“You love me too much.” Nick informed her after a long moment.

“I know.” Chey smiled to herself.

“Just try and make friends, for me?”

“Okay.” Chey said reluctantly. “For you.”

It was raining.

Chey closed her locker and pulled her phone from her pocket, checking the time. If she didn’t hurry, she’d miss her bus. No way was she walking home in her heels.


Chey turned to the girl she recognized from her Chemistry class, surprised to be noticed kindly – which seemed to be normal, as of late. She was so used to the mean words, name calling, being pushed into walls, and the words ----- written across her locker every morning.

“Hi.” She managed a smile.

“My names Hannah.” The red-head laughed. “Sorry, can I borrow your cell? I can’t find mine.”

“Oh, sure.” Chey slowly agreed as she handed her green phone over. “It’s almost dead, and I have to catch the bus, so – ”

“I’ll be quick.” Hannah said hurriedly. Chey shut her mouth, not wanting to upset her. After all, she’d promised Nick…

Chey pursed her lips as another car zoomed by, closer to the sidewalk than it should have been, and covered her already water-logged body with yet another puddle.
The Hannah girl, or someone completely evil who hated her, had obviously planned this or something. She’d caused Chey to miss her bus, and killed her cell phone, forcing her to take off her heels and walk the five miles to her home, bare foot in an attempt to save her shoes.
Also, every teenager in her school possessing a car seemed hell-bent on following her route home today, slashing her each time they passed.
Iw was more then raining now, it was down-right pouring. Ridiculous Florida weather…all Chey wanted to do was get home into dry clothes and call Nick. She sighed thinking about it, missing him. She hadn’t been able to talk to him the day before because he’d been grounded. Biting her lip, she began walking a little faster, anxious to hear his voice, even though she heard it all the time on the radio, or her ipod…still, it wasn’t the same.
“Hey, baby, want a ride?”
Chey froze at the sound of his voice; the voice of the boy she hated more than anything in the world.
“What? Do you?” The one and only Jeremy leaned out the passenger window, his blonde hair falling across his wild blue eyes, an demeaning smirk on his lips. Turning stiffly toward him, Chey wondered how she hadn’t seen the pure evil that boy was before he’d ever had the chance to hurt her.
“No.” Chey said through her teeth, pushing her brown hair from being plastered against her face from the water pelting down on her. A slow smile overtook his smirk.

“You still telling people I hurt you, babe? No one believes it, and they never will.” Chey kept her mouth shut, resisting the urge to argue. “You know why? Because you’re just a stupid, attention seeking ----. I don’t know what I ever saw in you.” He chuckled darkly, hard to hear over the rain. “Should’ve known you were a -----.”

“I’m not.” Chey kept her eyes on him, narrowed in hopes of looking intimidating. “You were the one who – ”

“Oh shut up.” Jeremy rolled his eyes. “That was all your fault. Why else would everyone be against you, and not me?”

“You lied to them!” Chey suddenly cried, then shut her eyes tightly. She didn’t want to give him the satisfaction of her being hurt.

“Keep telling yourself that. It wasn’t you, it was me.” His last sentence was dripping with sarcasm. “And when your little wannabe rockstar boyfriend gets tired of you, you can still delude yourself into thinking it was all him, too. Nothing is your fault, is it?” His voice dropped to a low murmuer, but she heard every word. This time, her mouth wouldn’t open to argue…she thought he was right. “Think about it, Cheyenne.” The way he said her name – so gently, almost longingly…it made her want to get out of Florida and back to Nick even more. Jeremy stared at her and she shivered, not just from the rain.

“Chey.” Nick’s voice was strained from the second he answered his phone. “Please tell me what’s going on.”

“Just pick me up at the airport.” Chey said softly, trying to calm him down. She couldn’t tell him what happened – not while she was still unsafe in her house. Nick stared out of his bedroom window as the light rain padded against the glass. “I’ll see you soon.”

“I love you.” He reminded her quickly. Chey looked at herself in her mirror, staring at the bruises and red marks already forming on her shoulders, wondering how much longer his ‘love’ was going to last, if what Jeremy said was true.

“I know.” She mumbled instead.

“Just tell me if you’re alright.”

“I’ll see you.”

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