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Welcome (part 3)

I'm out of the house by thetime my alarm clock is sayin 7:15. I'm wearing my usual outfit of plains skinnies, a belt to keep them on me, and a t-shirt. My feet are encased in a pair of cheap sneakers from Wal-Mart, and my hair hangs loose in my face, mostly because of how strong the wind is, but also partially to hide from the stares.

I know they all see my scars. I know they see the fresh ones, some still oozing blood, but at least I can't hear them. The soothing sounds of 3 Days Grace drowning out the whispers of, "emo, freak, wh*re, etc." I don't give a f*ck anymore. I'm so done wtith all of them. As we file onto the bus, I feel the bus driver checking me out in the mirror as I walk towards an empty seat, far in the back of the bus. I stare straight ahead, my mind scanning the other riders of this Twinkie i'm trapped on, when I see a new face. He is chatting with Alicia, the b*tch who started all the rumors to begin with.

The boy looks up at me and smiles. I see Alicia's eyes follow his gaze as she leans over and whispers in his ear. He laughs and shakes his head, as if to disagree with what she is saying. He stands up and makes his way from her seat to mine, landing on the torn faux-leather seat that is littered with over 11 years worth of graffiti. He smiles at me and extends his hand.

I glance down at it, then glance at his eyes, and... I can't look away. This new kid with his shaggy brown hair, and green eyes, or maybe they are blue? Brown? They shift color faster than the bus's tires can roll. He says something, but I can't hear it over my music. I pull one earbud out, " OK, pause, rewind, playback."

The boy laughs, and it reminds me off my porch in the spring. My mother used to keep windchimes up. She claimed they would warn us when a spirit was coming for a visit. Thinking about my mother makes the back of my eyes start to burn, so I clear my thoughts and look back to the boy. He says his name is Andrew. I look at him, studying the sharp angles of is face. It's a young face, but it looks like it has seen too much of the world. It has the same, rough expression that you see on homeless teens.

He's saying something. Stop staring! My brain is screaming at me, but I can't tear my gaze away. I know he knows my secret. I know he can see my shame, hanging over my like a fur coat. I lower my eyes, hiding behind my hair once again. As I'm about to put my earbud back into my ear, he grabs my wrist, "Rose, is everything ok?"

I scan my memories, but I don't recall telling him my name. My question apparently runs across my face, because he quickly stammers, "Oh, uhm, Alicia mentioned you. She pointed you out. That;s how i knew your name."

"What else did Alicia say about me?"




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