The day was just barely beginning, or mine was anyway. It was almost 12:30 and I was just getting out the door. I had a tendency to sleep in until it was time for me to work on Saturdays. I preferred to work on Saturday days. It always gave me an excuse to turn down offers to hang out that I got every so often during the week. It was unbelievably cold that day so I walked brisqly to work not making any stops until I made it to the small shop. Miles, the guy I worked with every once in a while was sitting down in the back smoking a cig. I went to my business, giving him a brief nod and receiving one in turn. Miles never really did anything except sit in back and get high but that was fine with me.

The days usually went by fairly slow with costumers so I grabbed a book off of the shelf and sat down at the table in the corner. The table was hidden by all the book shelves so they didn't see me when they walked in whispering harshly to each other. I couldn't really make out what was being said and I realyl didn't give a rat's ass. That was until I heard the name that was spoken oh so menacingly.

"Dani, goddamn it, you fucking told her? Are you aware that she could narc on us? Or is your brain to fucking small to comprehend THAT too? I swear to fucking God, you are the dumbest fuck I've ever met!", were the words that were cutting through the air, sharp as knives. The people must have been fairly close to me since I could hear the whispering pretty clearly now.

"She's not gonna say anything baby..." came a much softer kinder voice. " I'm sorry.. But she's my best friend. We can trust her.. I promise we'll be fine. Morg.."

The sentence was cut off by a slap and squeak.

" DON'T open your mouth again you stupid bitch. I'm so sick of you fucking everything up for me. I'd be better off without you. But No. Of coarse. I've gotta be this great guy and look out for you. You know Kemper and JC wouldn't even both with your stupid ass if it weren't for me."

I didn't know what the hell was going on. All I knew was there was a girl and guy in the store and the guy had just slapped her. My first instinct was to jump up and beat the shit out of the asshole who hit a girl but I really didn't have time. The pair walked to my side of the book case and were now standing before me. Codey and Dani stood there looking at me. Dani was holding her cheek and Codey looking even more like a prick as ever. Both were studying me with their eyes, both looking like they were debating something in their heads.

It was kind of awkward and felt like a century went by before any of us said anything.

" Can I help you guys with anything?" I said then cleared my throat. I figured it'd be better for all three of us just to pretend that nothing had I hadn't witnessed Codey harm Dani. Dani.. The only girl in the world who probably never deserved to have a hand laid on her. I felt kind of bad not helping her but come on. I'm scrawny and I didn't stand a chance against big ass Codey. Neither of them said anything and just continued to stare at me. I could feel the electricity in the air and began to feel uneasy. Until Dani smiled.

"Heyyy, don't you go to school with us? You're Nole, right? I'm Danielle but, God don't ever call me that. I go by Dani. Whatcha find yourself here doing buddy?"

Faking a grin I nodded and responded like I thought I should. "Yeah, I'm Nole. I work here. And yeah, I know who you are. Everybody does." It was a straight answer and it'd been a while since I'd had a friendly conversation so I really didn't know what else to say. Dani looked liek she wanted to say something back to me but Codey I'm sure was what was keeping her from doing so. I glanced at him then realized he ad this look. A look I remember to this day. A look I would see quite a few times more though out that year. One that you could never forget. It was purely terrifying. Thats not even an exaggeration. Codey had this atmosphere about him that made you want to stay out of his way to begin with but when you throw in the fact he had just beat a woman and then the whole look thing, it just made you want to get the fuck away from him.

"Let's get the fuck out of here Dani. Fuck JC and them. They can meet us somewhere else." Codey finally spoke.

"Codey, we can't just leave. how about you head to my house and I'll wait for the guys okay?" she stole a quick glance at me then continued, "I promise I won't say anything to the kid. Just head to my house. Jen will let you in."

Codey looked like he wanted to rip her hair out or break her arm in two ro something but I'm sure he knew better than to do it in front of me. Now that I look back on it, I'm pretty sure that is the only reason he didn't do it right then. He just turned around and stomped out the door.

Dani let out a sigh, " You are SO fuckin' lucky kid. He was about to flip shit. I'm not gonna lie. Codey flippin' on you is really not something you want." Then she smiled her gorgeous smile again and pointed to her cheek. " Trust me, I know first hand and that little tap wasn't anything. He's got quite the sailor's mouth ain't he?"

Before I could open my mouth to say anything she got about an inch away from my face and continued. This time she didn't have any trace of that smile on her face, " Look, Nole, you can not say anything to anybody about what you might have heard, okay? This is serious shit and you can't be getting involved. If you did Codey would be the least of your problems. I wish I hadn't gotten invovled myself these days."

The tone in her voice as she finished her sentence had such sadness in it. Such a nostolgic sound. I found myself wanted to draw her into my arms and just hold her. To make her pain go away. To make whatever it was that made her so melancholy just disappear. But just as quickly as that tone in her voice had come, it was gone again as the door to the book shop opened and in walked JC, Kemper, and lagging a bit behind them watching her feet was Morgan.

Dani jumped away from me like I had shocked her or something. "Guys! Change of plans. Codeys meeting us at my place and he's kinda pissed. We gotta get going. Now."

" Hang on baby. Looks to me like you were getting awfully close to fucking this guy right here on the table. That why you're in sucha hurry to get outta here?" JC had on a smirk that just made you want to rip her face off. "Could that be why Codey wodeys pissed? His baby girls moved on to bigger and scrawnier things?"

"Stop it JC. We gotta get going. You know how the dick gets when we take forever." Kemper spoke glancing back at the door, where Morgan was stil standing and looking at her feet. Dani let out a sigh.

"I'll see you around Nole. Remember what I told you okay?" And with that the lot of them walked out with Dani smacking JC in the back of the head at a remrk I didn't over hear. Something about riding.. Now you know how most people let curiosity get the best of them. So the rest of the day I was deep in thought. Thoughts of Dani. Her smile. the sorrow that was in her eyes. I was infatuated. That was the day I had realized there was so much more to this girl that everyone thought was flawless. There was so much more. That was the moment I was determined to figure out just what it was she was hiding inside.

Now, at this point in time, I regret making that choice. Maybe things would have turning out differently for all of us if I would have stayed out of it. Or maybe it would have just gotten worse anyway. I don't know. I will never know. All I know was that day, that moment, and that desicion was the turning point in all our lives. That was the moment where I, of all people had just condemmed us all.