A bright light brought her back to reality. She slowly opened her eyes to see Mr. Blair wrapping her arm with gauze and cloth. She was in a bed, which was very soft and warm around her.

"Mr. Blair? Where am I?" her soft voice whispered. His saffire eyes gazed into her and she felt herself blush.

"In my bed for a moment. You were out cold for the last hour or so. Since you were so persistant on not having your parents or a doctor around, I decided to dress your wounds on my own. I apologise for any lack of skill," he explained, resting her arm at her side. He walked over to where her head rested and he placed a hand on her hair. "What happened? Why did you do this to yourself?"Meredith looked into her mentor's eyes and tears rolled down the sides of her face. "You can tell me."

"I...don't deserve to live..." she replied.

"Why do you say that?"

"Because I am a whore and a loser," her voice was dreary. She turned her head, looking away from her teacher in shame.

"What? That isn't true. You are a bright girl and very talented," Mr. Blair said. Meredith sniffled and shook her head.

"No I'm not. I can't write anymore and everyone hates me. They all think I am a witch and a whore for liking yo.." Meredith stopped herself before she could spill out her heart to him. She was too afraid to.

"Don't listen to those other students. If you wish, you can give me their names and I can report them to the principal. He can take care of it for you,"

"No. My family bares gossip all around the town, and if you did that, it would make everything worse. I'm already considered trash in school."

"You're not trash, Meredith," Mr. Blair said, his hand running down her hair and touching her cheek gently. "Look at me, please?"

Meredith turned her head and stared into his endless blue eyes. Some of his hair had fallen out of his hairtie and ran down his shoulders. She felt herself blush. "You are a very special girl, Meredith. Don't you realize that?" She shook her head and frowned.

"I am a loser. My mother and father are losers and hateful people. I am trash because of them." she eard her voice shake as she spoke. Mr. Blair sat next to her on his bed.

"Whatever your parents do does not make you any worse of a person. That all depends on what you do with yourself. I have seen you grow into such a bright girl since you entered the high school. You have impressed me as well as many of your other teachers. They all have faith in you. I have a lot of it in you." His eyes were so soft and his face looked like an angel's to her. If she could only touch it...once...then she could die. She turned away from him again and felt herself slip into sleep. She prayed that when she would wake up, she not be home.

It was warm when she woke up. Her eyes gazes at the window by the bed and she noticed that it was night time. She still was in Mr. Blair's bed! She was going to be in so much trouble! "Hello there, Sleepyhead," Meredith saw Mr. Blair walk in with a glass of water. "Don't worry, I called your home and left a message saying that you were staying after school for some extra work and help," he said. He sat down on the bed and handed her the water as she sat up.

"Why are you helping me so much, Mr. Blair? You should've reported me to the principal or my parents..." Meredith said after sipping some of the cold water. Her teacher smiled a little and looked up.

"I was in your shoes once. I guess that is why I decided to help. When I was around your age, I had a reputation as a 'nerd'. Most kids in my school never really cared for my instrests or my hard work. I felt really alone during those long years," he explained. Meredith watched his face change from calm and soothing, to painful and sad. "I guess you could say that my parents were never there for me, either. My father died when I was younger, and my mother worked two jobs to support me and my younger sister. Life was really difficult for me as I grew older."

"I'm sorry to hear that." Meredith said. She lowered her head a little, some of her hair falling into her face. Her eyes stared at the bandages on her arm.

"So, when I noticed you growing distant, i began to think about how I was when I was your age. Then when I saw you in that act...I knew that the doctors and parents wouldn't help you. That's why I decided to let you come here. I want to help you, Meredith," he said, looking back down at her. She looked at him and smiled. "Besides, you want to prove them wrong, dont you?"Meredith nodded and looked back down at her bandage.

"How am I going to hide this?" she asked. Mr. Blair pulled down her shirt sleeve and handed her a jacket of his.

"Here, wear this. It will hide anything that can be seen," Mr. Blair said. The jacket was made of leather and was big for her. But luckily, it was long enough to hide any bloodstains and bandaging. "You can say that a friend gave it to you o something, but I want it back! It's one of my favorite jackets!" he laughed a little, making her smile even more. She would have to thank him for this somehow. "Are you able to stand up?"

"I think so," Meredith pulled away the silky sheets and placed her feet on the carpet on the floor. Mr. Blair smiled and helped her put the jacket on. "Thanks, Mr. Blair. I don't know how I can repay you," she said. He smiled and handed over her shoes.

"Write me a short story. Not one that is chalky and boring, like the ones you are required to write in my class. I want a story that expresses your true talent of feeling and emotion. That can be payment, if you wish to give it to me," Mr. Blair said as she put her shoes on. She joined him and they walke doutside to his car. He helped into the car and he then drove off towards the school. They were in the parking lot within moments and Meredith took out her car keys from her jeans pocket. She got into her car and thanked Mr. Blair once again before driving home.

When she returned home, she notcied a few flickering lights on in her house. Mom must be home...I hope she hasn't started early, she thought as she parked her car. She stepped out and took a deep breath as she adjusted the jacket. Here goes nothing...

The back door creeked open as she walked inside. She heard the rumblings of a television show in the living room and she sighed.

"Meredith? That you?" her mother's voice was dulled from the alchohol.

"Yeah, I'm home, Mom. Sorry for being so late," Meredith said as she walked into the living room. Her mother had golden-blonde, curly hair that was a little messy. She was still in her housekeeping outfit: a large, red cotton shirt with a pair of white pants and white shoes. She was a little on the heavy side, but was still attractive. She was in her late-thirties and her dark blue eyes expressed experience. Her body was sprawled out on the couch; an open bottle of vodka in her hand.

"Where have you been? I was worried sick!"

"My teacher called you earlier. I had to stay after for some extra help," Meredith explained, walking past her mother. "Have you heard from Dad today?" Her mother grunted as she shifted from side to side. The television was flashing some sort of reality show and her mother seemed only partially interested with what her daighter had to say.

"No, that bastard hasn't called yet. I'm sure he'll be coming home late...from work...again..." her moter's voice trailed off as she lifted the bottle at her lips and took a swig of the clear liquid.

"Oh, alright. Well, I'll go upstairs then," Meredith said.

"Be down here soon to cook dinner, ya hear me?"

"Yes, Mom," Meredith sighed and walked upstairs to her bedroom.

"Whatever your parents do does not make you any worse of a person. That all depends on what you do with yourself." Mr. Blair's voice lulled in her head as she took off her jacket. her stomach and arm tingled a little in slight pain and she sat down in her dsk chair. "I want to help you, Meredith..."

"Oh god...I really do have a crush on him, don't I?" she stammered as she turned on her small black desk lamp. She laid her hand on the table and stared at the bandage.

"I want a story that expresses your true talent of feeling and emotion."

"How can I write you a story, when I promised Dad that I would stop?" Meredith sighed and lowered her head.

"You want to prove them wrong, don't you?"

"Yes...I want to prove them WRONG!" Meredith exclaimed and slammed her fist against the wood. She opened a drawer and took out some sheets of paper. Her eyes burned with determination as she took a pen and started writing down another story, but this one would have all her feelings poured into it. Mr. Blair will be proud of her!