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Never fall in love

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Rule 1: Always lock the door
Rule 2: Always pay the bills on time
Rule 3: Never let anyone over
Rule 4: Never fall in love

My life, simple. Follow the four rules and you survive. A friend once said to me, its not about survival, its about living. But if you dont survive how can you hope to live? Back when i had friends it wouldnt have mattered so much. My rules were more like.. guidelines. I have found if you break a rule, theres a consequence. And im not one for dissapointment.

The freezing rain kisses my skin, acting like silent tears cascading down my cheeks. I dont feel the cold seeping through my drenched clothes nor the warmth when i walk in to the coffee shop for a drink. Not even the steaming liquid scorching my throat can phase the numbness that is me. Walking home i think of the bills to pay and the homework that needs to be done. The chores to finish and the baby to take care of. Not about cute boys in my highschool, or partys with my friends. I dont try to remember what it was like to have friends, i dont even rememeber what it was like to smile...

I walk into my cheap apartment, locking the door behind me. Checking on my baby sister, Halie, making sure shes still asleep. I dumb my bag on the counter, i left no bills unpaid. Pulling out my homework i forge my mothers signiture on the papers that need to be signed. This is natural, i havent seen my mother for about year. Almost through my trig homework, Halie starts crying. I rush to the nursery, pick her up and start rocking back and forth. "Shh, pretty baby, its alright, im here, baby" . Looking down on her eyes scrunched tight, her light weight barely straining my arms, i worry about the life ahead of her. Sighing i take her to the kitchen, "here honey, drink" lifting the bottle to her mouth she sucks it dry, unwillingly letting herself be lulled back to sleep. "shh, halie." i start to hum her favorite tune, she doesnt mind that its off key or that it sounds like a funeral march. When shes done i softy lay her in her crib, quickly finishing my homework.
Every day the same, wake up, check on halie, eat, feed halie, get dressed, dress halie, drop off halie at the neighbors, go to school, go to work, get halie, get mail, check on halie, pay bills, check on halie, do homework, check on haile, eat, feed halie, go to bed. And so on... There was no life here, just a need for survival. A constant drill, an urge to keep going... if not for myself, for halie.

If you've ever been stuck in the same place, and even though youve been running, you havent moved? Well, that was where i was, untill this morning. I woke to the shrill alarm of my headphones and groan. I never complain about waking up! sitting up a take a deap breath. It smelled... new? getting out of bed i look in the mirror, why do i feel so different? Where has my numbness gone?? I hum happy tunes as i get ready for school. Checking on Halie i see shes aready awake. She giggles when she sees me and i smile! Picking her up i twirl her around, "Can you feel it baby? Change is comin!" I finish up at home and drop Halie off at the neihbors. Walking to school i feel the bite of the cold. Lookng around i finally notice the snow. When did everything become so white? The 2 mile walk was a burn in my legs and i was almost out of breath when i reached my highschool. Rushing to my locker i pack my stuff and actually look around. I see girls talking and guys goofing off. Everyone seems to have someone. A feeling of despair hits me, i have no friends. My mood slightly dampened by my realization i slowly head to class. Lost in my self wallowing i wasnt watching where i was going. before i knew it i felt myself collide with somthing hard and i ended up on the floor! "Oh!" i yelled in surprise. I mustve been running late, for no one else was in the hall except me and the person i had bumped into.
The stranger jumps up "Oh my god, i am so sorry! I wasnt watching where i was going and i was running to class cuz im late and i didnt see you there. Are you okay? Here, i'll help you up!" I just stared as this strange boy rambled on with his hand extended towards me. Weakly, i grab on and he hauls me up. "Thank you." i say. "I am so sorry!" He continues on and i notice his face. He has curious brown eyes and messy hair. Handsome in an innocent way.
"Are you new?" He asks me.
"No." This is the first conversation ive had with anyone in this school in over a year.
"Oh, where were you headin? I havent seen you around before" He clears his throat awkwardly.
"Math. I dont get around much." I try to smile but can feel it geting twisted.
"Really? Im in math next period as well, im almost certain ive never seen you here before..."
"I sit in the back, and sorta go unnoticed." Now i can feel the blood rushing to my face as my cheeks heat up.
He laughs. "You were pretty noticeable when i plowed into ya" I search his face to see if hes making fun of me. He seems innocent.
"Yea,... Should'nt we be getting to class?" i knew the teacher wouldnt notice my absence, but i could talk to this kid foreveer.
"We should, but that doesnt meen we have to." Looking at me with those deep brown eyes i know id do anything for this boy.
"Whats your name?"
"Gaberial, and you?"
i ponder giving him my real name, but can see no harm in it. "River."



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