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Chapter 1

I sat on the cold concrete of the picnic tables, absent-mindedly sipping my apple juice in the early afternoon. Students laughed and talked loudly about the events that surrounded the previous weekend, ignoring me, as usual.

It isn't that I didn't like the solitude. In fact, I adored my lonliness. Especially on Mondays when everyone was engrossed in their own lives, and decided to stay away from me, saving my torture for Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

But, today was odd. Zeke Micheals, the school punk, was oddly present today. This meant he was present at school, to bully me around. His 'dork radar' went over board as he stepped onto the lawn and spotted me.

I peeked over the faded paged of my book I was so engrossed in to see the tall boy with blue spiked hair, sauntering over to me. His usual nasty smirk was placed upon his lips. Behind him, his goons were close on his heels, not missing an action or movement their 'lord' has made. I groaned inwardly and returned to my reading, pretending to look busy, and uninterested. And I was busy and uninterested.

"Ah, Sam. It's always a pleasure to see your nose stuck in a book." His deep, raspy voice slid out from his smirking lips as he sat next to me, leaning his elbows against the picnic table.

I didn't look directly at him, afraid I'd get slapped. "Of course, everyone would much rather see the outside of a book than your ugly face." His followers howled with laughter as he held up a hand to shush them.

"Too bad you don't have the brain cells to read anything besides your ABC books. Go back to the second grade where your intelligence level still exists." I shoved my novel into my satchel and started to stand, only to be surrounded by the tough, punk boys.

"Call off your monkey's Zeke.." I warned through clenched teeth. Despite my serious exterior, my insides were twisting with nervousness, and my heart was pounding against my chest, shaking me. "Why precious?"

"Do it!" I hissed, looking back at him. He wiggled his eyebrows, holding his fingers up to his mouth in a V-shape before sliding his tongue out, waging it in an obscene gesture. I smacked my fist across his jaw without thinking through my action carefully.

Zeke's head was forced to the side, before he slowly turned it back to face me. He shook his finger in my face before leaping up, grabbing my wrists.

"Wrong move, BITCH!" Just when I thought I was dead, a whistle was blown, and the students that had gathered around us vanished. "Mister Micheals." I recognized the strong, forceful voice to be the headmaster, Mr Knox. "Is there a problem between Miss Carner and yourself?" Zeke's cold blue eyes never left mine.

His hands also didn't let my wrists go until he was hit in the stomach by one of his goons. "Mr. Micheals, I'm speaking to -"

"No! There's no problem..." He jerked his hands away from me and turned around, smiling wickedly at Mr Knox. The headmaster stepped back as the boy towered over him and looked back at me, sneering.

His hand swept the picnic table, knocking the box of apple juice halfway across the courtyard. "See you in Chem, dork." I snarled as one of Zeke's monkey's shoved his gloved finger in my face. "Are you alright?"

"Yea...Just..shaken up a bit.." Mr Knox nodded, and turned on his heel, scolding some students as they kissed on top of the picnic tables. I sighed heavily and bent down to pick up the littered juice box.

"Sam.." I turned around to see Josh Potters, the epitome of tall, dark, and handsome. His unruly brown curly hair was styled perfectly in a messy mohawk, and his tan skin set off his blue eyes like fireworks against the night sky.

"If he ever touches you again, just tell me and I'll deal with it. You shouldn't let him call you names." I nodded, mesmerized by the fact that he was actually speaking to me. Without his friends around to hurry him along, as if scolding him for talking to a dweeb like me. I smiled, still nodding as the bell rang to start fifth period. "Let me walk you to class. I think we have History together, don't we?"

"Uh huh.." I murmered, only able to speak incoherent words. We walked into the red bricked building. "Joshie!" A high, squeeling voice called as soon as we were in the building.

I looked down the senior hallway to see a blonde, well rounded girl bouncing down the corridor. "Hey Tish." She locked her arms around him and silenced him with a kiss. I looked away immediately, not wanting to see Mr. Perfect being taken from my grasp.

And I actually thought he seen me as something other than the class dweeb, the loser, or the stupid girl. I turned and walked down the hallway, alone, and happy. I didn't need someone interupting my thoughts. Even if he was perfect in every way.

"You actually thought he'd go for someone like you?" I was cornered against a row of lockers as Zeke put his hands on either side of my head. "Go away!" I tried to slip under his arm, but he moved it with lightening quick speed, blocking me in again. "You're nothing to him. Wait, let me rephrase that. You're nothing more than a stupid girl that he pities. I can't believe you thought he'd-"

"Why can't you just leave me alone for once?" I asked, looking him square in the eyes. He paused to think about my question before turning his frown into a smirk. "Because...it's too easy." "Then get a more difficult torture subject. I'm tired of smelling your nasty venomous breath.." I shoved him away from me and escaped into my classroom, seeing all of their eyes, plus Mrs. Romani's, on me.

"You're late again, Miss Carner. One more and that's detention." I lowered my head and took my seat on the back row, sinking down in my desk as a boy waved his hand in the air eagerly. "Actually, Mrs. Romani, Sam has five tardies. This should be detention for her."

I stared at the boy incredously, wondering if someone had declared it national 'Torture Samantha Carner' day. If so, they forgot to send out flyers and warn me.

"You're right, Bryant. Miss Carner. Take this to the office and get your detention slip. You'll be spending the remaining day there." My brown eyes teared up as I slid my satchel strap over my head and let it hang on my shoulder and across my chest, coming to my hip on the opposite side of my body. I snatched the note from her hand and gained a glare from my history teacher. "I don't need an attitude, Miss Carner."

With a sigh, I threw open the classroom door and made my way to the headmasters office, wondering where Josh and Tish had snuck off to. Probably the broom closet that was an infamous make-out spot.

Our uncaring Janitors never swept, let alone looked in the broom closet. My black mary janes clicked on the dusty dirty floor of the hallway as my heart pounded against my chest. Detention meant a demerit on my record.

My record was clean! I had never received a paddeling, detention, or any serious means of punishment. 'Run, Sam...Just run. How will Mrs. Romani ever know?' I stopped in mid-stride and looked around the hallway, knowing I could run right now, and no one would know.

My grip on my satchel's strap had gone from strong, to rediculous. My knuckles were turning white from stress, and I could already feel the fabric tear into my skin.

"Miss Carner?" I snapped from my stare and looked at the office door to see the headmaster staring at me. His bald head shimmered in the flourescent light and I could see the curiousity in his eyes as I stepped forward slowly. It felt as if I were marching to hell, knowing Mr. Knox was the devil, and I was receiving my sentence. "I...I"

"Ah, detention. I believe this is a first demerit you have ever recieved." He snatched the pink slip of paper from my hand and scribbled his signature on the dotted line. "Go to room 12. Mr. Topica will be expecting you." I nodded, knowing I was going to cry.

As I turned around, a tear slipped from beneath my eyelid. As I neared room 12, I could hear Mr. Topica screaming at the students to behave. He was the P.E. teacher, and a terryfing one at that. His body was about three times the size of mine, and his biceps were the size of watermelons. Mr. Topica could be a body builder, or a wrestler, and easily make a living.

"SIT IN YOUR SEAT MR. MICHEALS! OR YOU WILL BE SPENDING YOUR DAY IN I.S.S!" I closed my eyes as I heard the dreaful name. Of course I had to be forced to spend three hours with my worst enemy, the boy who hated me as much as I hated him. "Oh, woe is me."

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