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Before You Leave
Blonde hair is the one thing I can’t stand, look-at-me girls running through the hallway with their platinum blonde hair is something that just p***** me off. Parading through classrooms with their peppy smiles and bright colored eyes, ranting on excitedly about how “The cheerleading team needs new members! Don’t be afraid to sign up!”. I’d love it if the blondes were mean, self-centered girls, but no. These blondes tend to be sweet, smart and sometimes oblivious when people are being mean to them. Which really seems to p*** me off these days. See, I’m blonde, but not a cheerleader, I barely even count as a blonde, if anything you’d call my hair “slightly-yellow-but-mostly-white” because you can barely see the actual blonde parts. I’ve tried dying my hair different colors, brown, mousy brown, light brown, dark brown and even just a regular blonde color, but since my hair seems to have supernatural powers, it grows ultra-fast and I have to buy, like, fifty bottles of hair dye.
I nudged a pile of eraser bits into a neat pile on my desk. My annoyingly dirty desk that sat in the very back of the classroom. I stared at the back of Sam Reed’s head, letting myself focus on that rather than the boring subject of the day, which was most likely math...due to the fact that I was in algebra class. I’d seen Sam around lately, he was becoming a part of the hot-and-popular-crowd that a teeny part of me envied. In third grade we used to play house together and once he kissed me when I was playing the mommy and he was the daddy. I’d never forgotten him after that, of course, he probably had. He was nice enough after all, quiet but handsome, a strong jawline and a freak-out worth body. In 3rd grade I decided I liked him, but slowly our friendship faded and we became nothing more than classmates. I kept up a steady stalking-worthy crush on him up until 6th grade, which was when he became remarkably cute. No one saw this but me, everyone was used to little Sam Reed, the one who was just asking to be made fun of with his big blue eyes and shy glances that they didn’t notice how amazing looking he was becoming, I knew they’d notice it soon, and I’d have to give him up. Up until 10th grade when Sam became Sam. He became the boyfriend of Emily Fright, the main popular girl with long black hair and piercing green eyes. She was different and everyone loved her for it. Sam became louder, more outgoing and altogether confident in himself, he knew he was worthy of all this attention. I, on the other hand? Stayed in my little corner, not knowing if he’d ever notice me, soon not even caring if he did.
My name is Echo and I’m adopted. My foster-parents swear they didn’t name me, that they would have named me something cuter like Haley or Riley, which I tell them isn’t any better than Echo...just a bit though. I mean, who in their right mind would name their child Echo? Maybe my birth parents hated me just enough to ensure that I’d live a life full of anti-social, awkward moments. Or maybe that’s why I was put up for adoption, maybe they really were crazy, that would explain the name Echo at least.
Sam Reed turned around silently, his blue eyes staring straight into mine. The feeling from 4th-5th grade crept back into my heart slowly when he opened his mouth seductively. A sheepish smile ran across his face and he ran his fingers through his dark brown hair then whispered something to me. Something secretive, something that was just between us, I was ready for it.
“Hey Echo...you have an extra pencil?” He whispered, glancing at Mr. Horson nervously, obviously afraid to be caught talking during class
I willed my inner girl not to blush, and she happily listened to me. I nodded quickly, avoiding eye contact, I was lucky to be not blushing, all I needed was to look him in the eye even once and I was pretty sure my cheeks would start burning up. I fumbled through my pencil case nervously, grabbing the nearest pencil I could, which happened to be a nerdy yellow pencil with smiley faces and big bold letters stating “Daniel’s Dentistry is Good for You!”. I shoved it into his hands blindly, really trying not to look at his knowing smile or his perfect body, no, instead I focused on the algebra sheet on my dirty desk, which I never did unless I was forced to.
Mr.Horson’s eyes picked apart the room, looking for a victim, someone weak, someone he knew wouldn’t have the answer to the question. They hovered for a minute in my section, detecting some obvious weakness then stopped dead cold on me. S*** I thought. Next time I’d have to spend more time on algebra.
“Echo!” Mr.Horson boomed “Do you know the answer to this? It’s a very simple question. Many people have to earn their place in this class, please participate”
I made my way silently up to the board, hearing snickers and whispers that most likely weren’t even about me. Most likely I was just being paranoid but I thought I heard Emily Fright whisper to one of her oh-so-perfect friends “Wow, I wonder how she even got into this class sometimes...”
Thankfully, I looked up at Mr.Horson, he had given me an easier question on purpose, the other students must have been questioning if I was actually worthy to be in this class. Quietly, I scribbled the answer down
I trudged back to my seat with an obviously pitiful effect and slumped down lazily, longing for the bell to ring. I let my mind wander to the better things in life, you know, ice cream, junk food? It helped too. My mind was occupied with this until the bell did ring, and when it did I basically trampled 5 different people trying to get out of the door.
I tugged on my ear nervously, staring at what was supposed to resemble something like a meatloaf, of course, you could tell it had nothing even close to meat in it. I snatched up my tray, regretting my decision not to make myself a lunch this morning and shooting a glare at the lunch lady. I sat down at my usual seat next to Taylor and Andrew, the best friends that a girl could ask for.
Andrew threw up his hands excitedly “Echo! You brought lunch!”
I laughed stiffly “If you want to call it that. Sure.”
Taylor wrinkled her nose “That looks disgusting...”
Andrew stared at Taylor dully with his infamous “Are-you-kidding-me” expression “Seriously? Miss “I’m-going-on-a-cleanse-for-a-month-and-oh-how-I-will-miss-meat”
Taylor stabbed her salad defiantly “That was when I was still a selfish meat eater. I now see the error in my ways thank you very much Andrew.”
Andrew laughed and shrugged “Alright then!”
Taylor was that type of girl, the exotically dark type that you always wish you were, dark brown skin and even darker brown eyes. Her curly brown hair tended to curl up into a little bob by her ears, but today she wore it long down to her waist with a light blue headband, her eyelashes were so amazingly thick it was almost legendary and her eyebrows, thick as they were, seemed to be the image of perfection. Taylor of course, refused to hang out with anyone, and she was a complete loner until she met non-stereotypically-gay Andrew. They started hanging out and when I transfered into this school, I eventually realized that they were the misfits of the misfits and they were already destined to be my friends.
Andrew threw one of his warm grapes at me “Hey. Echo. What’d you bring us for lunch?”
I laughed and shoved my tray towards him “You can have it. I have no desire what so ever to eat that.”
Andrew looked down at it with disgust “Looks like...what is it? I mean what is it supposed to be?”
Taylor grinned “Do you actually want to know?”
i laughed again and slapped Taylor’s arm playfully “It’s just meatloaf”
An unanimous groan rang through the air and Taylor doubled over laughing
Andrew grinned “I’m sorry Echo. That’s just disgusting though”
I rolled my eyes “Oh, yeah, I’m totally into this meatloaf.”
Taylor kept up a serious face for five seconds “You dig it.”
Andrew and Taylor started laughing harder than ever. Apparently everything was funny today. Emily Fright’s table became silent with disgust, they all stared at us. Andrew and Taylor looked up, surprised by the silence in the cafeteria, looked at each other then doubled over laughing again.
Taylor grinned “Alrighty. So is everyone staring at us?”
Andrews face turned brigh red “Yeah, even Chrise...”
Taylor and I groaned “Chrise!”
The mysterious hot boy that Andrew had taken a crazy liking to, we’d seen him before, and failed to say he wasn’t hot, because he seriously was.
Andrew shoved himself up from the table “Hey guys, I’ve got to meet Mr. Kendrick for Algebra help...”
Taylors eyes widened “Oh...jesus. Same. Sorry Echo...you can come with us if you want”
I laughed “No it’s fine...”
That was when it happened, when my life changed in just an instance. As I watched my two best friends leave our shady yellow table, my life basically ended right there and then. Well no, my life ended a few hours later, but this was the begining of it all. The one person who would change my life sat down across from me, hood pulled over his eyes and this...energy...surrounding him.
Sam Reed sat down across from me, daring me to say something, of course, when someone dares me to do something, I tend not to give a s***.
I tried not looking at him and didn’t say a word. This was a moment i had always wished for and feared. Whatever he said in the next ten seconds mattered more than anything, I was giving him that long before I got up and followed Taylor and Andrew to Mr. Horson’s classroom. After what he did to me, that’s all he deserved.
“Echo...hey.” Sam basically whispered it to me, looking at me with pity in his eyes and most likely a lot of pity in his heart.
Hey? After what this a****** did, he owed me a lot more than ‘hey’. He owed me everything, litterally, everything and if I wanted, I could take it. I wanted to, but I couldn’t ruin his life like he ruined mine. I couldn’t ever take away the things he loved, the way he did. I could never stop loving him, the way he stopped loving me.
I realized 30 long seconds had passed, leaving me staring down at my hands, which happened to be shaking, whether they were shaking with excitement, anger or fear i didn’t know.
“What.” It was all I could say. what did he expect? A warm welcome and a heartfelt apology for not forgiving him earlier?
He didn’t look the least bit surprised “Just saying hi. Is there a problem?”
I scowled “Damn right there’s a problem Sam. Just...get the hell out of here okay?”
He frowned “...Are you still mad about what happened...?”
I barked out a laugh, an angry one, one I couldn’t even believe myself “What do you think?”