"You better give that back, Will!" I growled out at him in frustration as I chased him down the halls. He had my sketch book in his hands, flipping through the pages while he ran away from me, and boy, did that piss me off. He knew it did, too, but he continued to do it anyway.

He laughed as he kept running and turned the corner on his left.

"William!" I screamed after him. I turned the corner also and see him running towards the boys bathroom. I desperately tried to run faster, managing to do so a little bit, but I slipped on something and fell. And ... it hurt like a bitch. No really, it did. It was painful as hell; I can remember it perfectly.

I didn't even realize that I had groaned in pain until William stopped in his tracks to turn around. "Lin?" I heard him say. "Holy crap, are you okay?!" I heard his footsteps get louder and louder.

I slightly turned my head up and forward to see William kneeled down beside me with worried eyes, my sketchbook laid down beside him. The laughter of the kids in the hallway made my face heat up, and even with my pride, I didn't know what to say to get rid of the awkwardness. I acted like I didn't notice and only stared at William's face.

"Ugh..." I groaned, "Just help me up." He grabbed my hands and helped pull me up onto my feet, with me barely putting any force into my body. Wow, I thought in amazement, I didn't think he would be able to lift me up with my lack of assistance, but he managed. Just how strong is he?

"You okay, Linny?" he asked softly, looking into my eyes.

"Mm ... yeah ..." I started, "I'm okay." There was a terrible pain in my right calf and I nearly collapsed but I held onto William's right arm for help. Panic ran through his eyes.

"A-are you sure? B-but that just ... I'm so sorry, this is all my fault. If I hadn't taken your sketchbook and made you chase after me, you wouldn't be hurt-"

"Blah!" I interrupted, "It's not your fault," I paused, "Okay, okay maybe just a little, but I'm the one that slipped. Don't blame yourself, it's all good." I tried to be as reassuring as possible, however, he still frowned, not believing it.

"I'm serious!" I added. He just sighs and smiles softly at me. He let go of me real quick, leaving me to balance on my left leg, and crouched down to grab my sketch book.

"Here. I shouldn't have taken it to begin with ... but I was really curious as to why you wouldn't let me see it ... I thought you trusted me already..."

I should've. It had been two months of us being best friends, but I didn't want anyone to judge my art.

"I know! It's just ..." I looked away, embarrassed and ashamed, "I didn't want you to judge me for my weird art."

"What!" he exclaimed, astonished. "Why would I say something bad about your art? It's freakin' awesome! Dragons are cool. And so are knights. And kings. And assassins. And-"

"Okay! I got the picture," I said with a chuckle, him joining me as well. I looked up at him and smiled. "Thanks." He smiled back at me.

"Ew! Like, why are you breathing my air?" Jennifer sneered. That bitch!

William had embarrassment and fear evident on his face because Jennifer's loud comment had attracted attention from students nearby, causing him to stutter out, "Uh ... I-"

"Save it, freak. Now get lost. Like, right now."

William followed her orders and walked back towards me with the reddest face I had ever seen. His Adam's apple was bobbing nervously due to all the stares he was getting, and he was marching over here like a robot, all the way from across the cafeteria.

"William?" I asked, worry clearly evident in my voice. I brought my hand and placed it on his shoulder. "Are you alright, Will?" My heart hurt for him.

His beautiful eyes gazed on me and I saw no other emotion in them besides rejection and hurt. I felt so bad...

"Will, I-"

"It's okay ..." he said, smiling down at the floor, "It's a good thing that I never said why I wanted to talk to her ... or that would have sucked even more, huh?" He looked up at me. There were tears in his eyes threatening to fall.

"Oh, William ... she doesn't deserve someone as sweet, and thoughtful, and caring, and amazing as you, okay? She's a bitch. All she is is looks, and nothing else. And she's freakishly tall, so there's no point anyway," I babbled on and on, trying to desperately comfort him and make him happy, because that was all that mattered to me, just as it does now, and when I saw his smile, I couldn't help but stare and smile too.

"Thank you, Lin. That means so much to me," he said, nearing tears. I wrapped my arms around him and ignored all the whispers around us, as did he.

He and I were both in different classes at that time the following Monday. He was in History 10 HA while I was in AP Calculus. It was fourth period, but I was still sleepy because of my lack of sleep the night before. My teacher was raging on and on about the Pappus' Theorem, which was too easy in my opinion, while I slightly closed my eyes and rested my head on my palm. I was so sleepy that I had to bite my tongue to try and wake me up, but in the end my sleep overcame me.

...And because of my stupidity, my teacher yelled at me, and at the speed of light, I sat up straight and stared at my teacher, waiting for her to continue talking.

She looked very annoyed at me, and very alarmed that I wasn't paying attention in class today because that was all I did- homework and tests and extra credit and so on. My heart was beating extremely fast because all the attention was on me, everyone was looking at me with looks that I didn't even want to describe, and I was so utterly embarrassed that moment, that I had to force myself to keep eye contact with my teacher. I heard snickers and whispers all around me, and that just made me feel even worse. It was a terrible feeling...

"Lin. May I ask why you were not paying attention in my class?" my Calculus teacher, Mrs. Hawethorne asked carefully. Her arms were crossed and her head was slightly tilted, as if she were examining me very closely. I gulped and openened my mouth to speak, but closed it when I couldn't think of anything to say. I kept staring at my desk, desperately trying to think of something to say.

Well, at least she woke me up.

"Aren't you going to answer me?"

I panicked. I couldn't think. I was so scared. All my pride, bravery, and wit just dissappeared. I couldn't think straight. I don't know why, but I just couldn't. I looked up and did the only thing I could think of. I smiled, sweetly of course, and opened my mouth to answer, "No, but, I won't do it again. Sorry."

Mrs. Hawethorne studied me a couple more seconds before turning back to the board and continuing her lesson. I let out the breath I didn't know I was holding and slumped back onto my chair. I still heard whispers going around, but I just ignored them and paid attention to what Mrs. Hawethorne was explaining. I knew then that I was never going to let anything bother me during class. Never. Never again, because, when one thing happens, a totally different thing spreads around the school. By the time it's lunch, who knows what I had done. Rumors are a practice Willowdale High School does very often. Very, very often.

"Did you hear?" a girl behind me whispered. I was at my locker getting the things needed for my next class, until I moved even slower to hear what these girls were going to say.

"What?" the other voice answered.

"Lin Vreindetta called Mrs. Hawethorne a bitch!"

What the hell.

"What? Are you serious?" the second voice responded. Yeah, I thought, are you serious? I would never do know such thing ... at least directly. Besides, I like Mrs. H.

"Yep! And then she pushed her against the board and ran out of the room!"

Bull shit! I only said eight words in that whole period! I didn't leave my seat until everyone else left the classroom, because kids tend to push a lot these days...

"Wow. Who knew someone so 'goody-goody' would do that..."

"I know right?"

Nothing happened that day, but everyone in my class spread a bunch of shit! That day was like middle school all over again, when every week there was a new rumor about me.

I growled under my breath, and slammed my locker shut. I turned around with my supplies in my arms, and sneered at the girls talking about me, making them flinch in surprise. I walked away and entered my next class, History 10 HA, with the sophomores.

The second, I'm not even joking, the second I sat down in my seat, Vince was standing by my desk.

"Holy shit, Lin. Why would you do that?" He exclaimed at me, placing his hands on my desk and lowering his head to meet my gaze. I looked into his eyes. Such a pretty blue color, but they would never compare to William's.

"I didn't do anything, this school is just retarded. I only said sorry to the teacher and shut up for the rest of the period when she caught me sleeping," my eyes narrowed dangerously, Which is stupid, might I add, since I'm the only person in the class paying attention while everyone else is texting!" I growled out, never once looking away from his eyes.

He just stood their and stared at me angrily, "I don't believe you."

"Well, screw you! I don't care what you think. Now where the hell's Andrew at?" I snapped, looking around the classroom for my brother. Damn, he's not here yet. The bell's about to ring, though.

I turned my gaze back to Vince, right on time to see him remove his hands from my desk, stand tall, cross his arms, and smirk. He knew something I didn't.

"Where is he?" I asked. Vince, however, just continued to stare at me with his smirk. If I weren't pissed at the time, I probably would have considered it to be attractive, but I was livid.

"Well!?" I demanded, my anger taking control of me. I stood up and glared up at Vince threateningly.

He spoke, not once letting his smirk leave, "He's beating up your nerd."

And that's when all hell broke loose.

"What the hell are you doing!?" I yelled, charging at my brother and grabbing his fist away from William's stomach. Andrew looked at me in surprise and immediately let go of William, who fell onto his back and looked up at me while wincing in pain. His right hand was covering his nose, and his breathing was hard and heavy. Andrew kept his eyes calm and steady on me, pushed my hands away, and simply replied my question.

"Well, what does it look like I'm doing, sunshine? Huh?" He was scowling now, and had his arms crossed at me, and was waiting for me to talk. I was absolutely pissed. Not only was I going to talk, I was going to beat his ass.

"You stupid asshole!" I screeched and took a step closer to him and looked up angrily, "That's my best friend you were beating up!" His eyes widened. Damn right they did, "And I swear, that if you touch him without genuine kindness ever again, I will kill you."

It was then my brothers turn to growl, "You couldn't do anything to me even if you tried. Don't you remember who taught you? And besides, you know I don't care," he smirked and leaned downward to whisper in my ear, "This will keep me at the top, and you know that I'll do whatever it takes to stay there."

I narrowed my eyes and growled my response while gritting my teeth, "Yeah, 'cuz your a pathetic selfish ass."

My brother just scoffed and glared at me, "Jarry, Greg, Jake. Let's get the fuck outta here." He gave me one last hateful glance and walked away with his friends that I hadn't even noticed. I was too pissed to notice, I guess.

I turned around and saw him lying on the ground, staring up at me all bruised and bloody; cuts running up and down his arms. Wait! Where are his sleeves?

I kneeled down next to him and touched his arms. He winced in pain and I had instantly regretted touching him. I looked up at him apologetically, and he just slightly nodded.

"Did they ..." I began, looking at his arms, "Did they have a knife?" I was staring into his eyes.

He hesitated, but then nodded, "They cut my sleeves and then ... cut ... me." The last two words came out choked, and my heart was swelling up from just seeing him so sad and so hurt. I hugged him.

And I cried.

I cried so much that I had forgotten that I wasn't the one that was hurt, but that he was. I cried so much knowing that it was my monster of a brother that hurt William. My 'brother' that used to be just as sweet and compassionate as William, but now truly an 'it.'

William had wrapped his arms around me and had let me cry on his shoulder. He was the one comforting me when it truly should have been the other way around.

I hated it.

I hated how reputation had changed everyone. I lost my friends, my brother, and my popularity because I wouldn't do what the others were doing.

I was just so glad that William was there with me, because I think I would have gone insane.