Learning to Live

by WordsofRemedy

Chapter 1: The Usual

"Not again."

I sighed and turned to face him.

"Good morning baby." The words slid smoothly from his tongue as he brushed by me, letting his breath linger on my neck a few seconds too long for comfort.

"Get out of my way Ashton." I replied to his slick attitude. "I'm not in the mood to be harassed."

He turned his head slightly, deep gray eyes staring hotly into mine. "Give me a call when you are ready baby." He winked slowly, obviously implying the physical aspect of 'harassed'.

My breath caught in my throat as it always did when he called me baby, or brushed by me. He and his laughing friends walked away quickly, some pointing at my outfit and disapproving on it without bothering to lower their voices.

The bell rang. "UGH!" I sighed and turned to my locker. It wasn't a full- length locker like most normal schools had, but instead a half-length. Mine happened to be on the bottom, right under Ashton's. Every morning he stood near the lockers, talking and joking cruelly with his jock/rich friends and many female admirers. I was the top morning entertainment. All the guys loved to see me try and shrink away from Ashton. They would all stand there until I arrived, leaning casually on the lockers and bullying freshmen in the hallway, before turning their jesting eyes on me.

I tried my combination three times before finally the lock clicked and opened. I brushed the blonde hair out of my face and tried to open the door. It was jammed.

"UGH!" I exclaimed again, retaliating by kicking the locker with my foot. I was wearing my usual faded converse, and immediately grabbed my foot, jumping up and down in pain. "Bad idea." I thought to myself. "It might have been okay had I been wearing boots."

But the door successfully swung open, although it creaked sullenly, as if very unhappy that my kick had not failed. I reached into my messy locker and grabbed my Algebra II book. "Crap, I am so late."

I caught a glimpse of my reflection in the locker mirror as I closed the stubborn door. My pale skin accented my blue eyes, the only thing I liked about my body. My hair was a strange blonde.natural but very light. I was an average weight, but I dressed uncaringly, throwing together my own outfits that won me looks of admiration, but also looks of disgust.especially from the preps.

I took a couple of deep breaths, preparing myself for yet another day at Green County High, and then took off for my Algebra class.

"Welcome to class Miss Braun." My teacher spoke as I tried to slink silently into the classroom. I had failed miserably this morning. "Take a seat. One more tardy and you'll have yourself a fun-filled day of Saturday school."

"Yes, Mr. Franklin." I replied as I walked toward my usual seat in the back of the classroom. I passed Ashton, already seated innocently in his desk. "What kept you?" He asked, a smirk playing on his face. Will, his best friend, snickered loudly.

"Is there a problem Elsa?" Mr. Franklin asked me.

I glared at Ashton and Will. "No sir." I said quietly and quickly retreated to my desk.

It was only first period and the day already sucked.


Lunchtime. I always sat under the oak tree, with some new novel spread open in my lap, a coke and bag of chips sitting next to me.my only friends. I always tried to finish and have everything packed so that I could get to class first, and beat the hustle of crowds, and more importantly, Ashton. But since we weren't allowed to be in the classrooms until after the bell rung, he sometimes came with his lame chums to bother me while I read. Today was one of those days.

"What new book have you got your nose buried in now, Elsa?"

I slapped my book shut and tucked it safely behind my back. "Go pick on some innocent freshmen Ashton and leave me alone."

"Nah, I lose interest in freshmen very quickly." He smiled maliciously and leaned towards me, resting one hand against the tree. His wavy, dark brown hair fell into his face and he brushed it smoothly back. Seconds later it did the same thing. Today he had on a new designer polo, and khaki shorts. He completed his preppy outfit with a pair of brown boat shoes.

"You're more interesting than freshmen anyhow." He spoke again. "Why is it that you sit alone everyday?"

"To avoid people like you."

"That hurt." Ashton said with a smile playing on his face.

"Why don't you hang out with us for a while Elsa? You might actually enjoy yourself."

"No thank you." I said sharply, grabbing my bag and trying to rise.

"Oh come on." Ashton drawled, as Will grabbed my arm and pushed me against the tree. The others laughed at my scared expression. "We could play around some, do some fun things."

"No! I have no problem being a virgin and I'd like to keep it that way."

I ripped my arm from Will's grip and Ashton ran his hand up my side.

"We'll see." He said, those eyes searching mine.

I paused and glared, trying to control the fluttering in my stomach before storming angrily away. I was already seated in French class when I realized that I had left my book back by the tree, in my haste to get away. They had probably already ripped it to pieces. Great. One more library book I would be forced to pay for.