Holy shit. Sorry guys. Thank you all so much for your wonderful support! I love hearing from you all, and I hope that you like this… xxx!

---

I entered my house and no sooner had the door closed behind me did I hear my dad shout for me. Excellent. He was sat at the table, surprisingly nursing a coffee rather than something stronger. He gestured for me to sit and as soon as I had he got straight to the point.

"I'm a bit tight on money at the moment. You're an adult now -" – oh, so he remembered my birthday then? News to me. "And I've realised that I've been far too lenient on you." I almost snorted at that, luckily I held it in though. "I'm sick of you being a lazy little layabout. You need a job."

"What?"

For fucks sake, I can't believe this.

"You have board to pay. Starting next week, any weeks it takes for you to get one will just pile up."

Oh gee, that's kind.

"I've got exams. Important exams."

"And you have board to pay too so don't be lazy."

"How much?"

"Thirty a week."

Fuck.

"Can I get one after exams and pay more in the summer?"

"No because I would have told you to get one in the summer if that was okay. Do not argue with me, you're pissing me off now. Get one or we will have this same discussion without your fucking backchat and without my tolerance now get out of my fucking sight."

I opened my mouth to argue but shut it quickly when the coffee mug shattered purposely on the floor, a sharp and clear warning. He left the room and I cleaned the mess up mechanically, trying to figure out how I would get a job, and how I would manage one.

---

Climbing into idiots car that morning wasn't fun. I wanted to slam the door until his windows shattered, instead I turned the radio on so loud I hoped the same would happen to his ear drums. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked shocking, I barely slept like night. I kept alternating between being upset and being in a state of raw panic. I don't feel any better now.

The worst thing is that I cut myself again. I promised myself that that was something I would stop. But I gave in. The worrying thing is that all of a sudden, I didn't help anymore. I don't know if it's the scale of my worries or its shear guilt for doing it in the first place. I don't know if having twathead know about it has taken something away from the relief it used to offer, but it just felt wrong. And that upset me even more last night because I didn't know what to do. I felt lost. For once, I couldn't wait to talk about this problem because it was one that I could willingly share with my friends.

"What's wrong?" they were the first and only words spoken in the car ride. I thought about answering when he asked me what was wrong – he sounded almost genuine but then I remembered he didn't give a shit and stayed firmly silent, leaning my head back and closing my eyes. He didn't care about anything else shit in my life. He wouldn't worry about this. He should save his pretence for school.

I just didn't care anymore.

I don't have time to play girlfriend.

I just had to find a way to end it.

I stormed into registration but our tutor was there and I only barely had time to tell Jaynee and Liam what was wrong before lessons. They understood though and lunchtime couldn't come soon enough. When it did though I appeared to have lost Jaynee on the way to the cafe from the English classroom.

I answered Liam's question of where she was when he turned up to just me sat by myself. "She was right behind me after English."

Just then though she appeared. She didn't mss around, just sat there and blurted out "I had an interesting talk with Jacob. He urm, he's worried about you – said that you weren't very good this morning."

"Yeah I was a bit of a bitch to be honest…"

"Why didn't you tell him?"

"He doesn't understand how bad the fact that dad wanting me to get a job is."

Her glossy lips formed an 'o' of understanding. I blinked several times and looked at the ceiling whilst she and Liam exchanged looks with each other. Actually he did understand. He just didn't care.

Liam spoke. "That's interesting because Micheal asked me if you were okay too."

"Wonderful."

"What are you going to do?"

"Jaynee I don't know. I have a week before I have to start paying then it piles up."

I sighed and cast my eyes around the room, tiredly looking at all the retards we shared a year group with because I didn't want to meet Jaynee and Liam's worried eyes.

"You're stressed enough as it is though, Jesus. Can't you just get a summer job? School's over in what, two months?"

"I tried that. If you want to argue with him then go ahead."

Silence.

"I don't have any money to lend you." Jaynee whispered and Liam nodded.

"I wouldn't take it anyway."

More silence.

"Did he hit you?"

"Liam!" Jaynee hissed she smacked his arm for his bluntness even though I know she must have been thinking the same thing.

"Well she wont tell us if he did will she?"

No answer. He is right to be fair, I wouldn't. But still.

"No. He just broke a mug. It was quite tame to be honest." He did threaten me, but I don't think they need to know that bit. "I'm never going to get one. I don't have any experience."

I met Liam's eyes. I don't think he believes me, he's looking at me critically as though he will suddenly be able to see under my clothes and find out if I'm lying or not, but when he opened his mouth all he said was, "We'll help you look. It doesn't matter where you get one. I'll drive you there every day if I have too."

Later that day I ran into Paul in the hallway, "Liam said you need a job. Here." He shoved a piece of paper at me, "you need a reference, your qualifications, shit about yourself and your details on your CV. Set it out on a computer, professional and neat and you'll be fine. That's all I had when I applied for my job. Go into shops that aren't even advertising and just ask them to take a copy and call you if something comes up. I work in the shopping centre at the big clothes shop at the back, I'll ask if they want anyone to hire so make sure you give me your CV. I have to go my lesson, good luck and talk to me if you need anything."

I would have to make a mental note of where he worked to tell Liam. His future boyfriend is very helpful.

---

That afternoon we drove to Jaynee's house. She had apparently invited twatface when she'd spoke to him earlier so that we could write my job applications and go and hand out a million of them. I was driving with him, and Jaynee with Liam. Clearly, I wasn't happy about this – I'm not in a good place right now and having him there was not an improvement. I was venting my frustrations.

"So," I started snidely, "I hear you pretended to care about me this morning. What's up with that jackass?"

"You don't have so many friends that you can take for granted the ones you have you know."

"Fuck off. I have Jaynee and Liam and that's what matters. We are not friends."

He sighs and pulled into Jaynee's house. She's already been inside and grabbed her laptop and snacks so we could sit outside due to the glorious weather. We sit outside on her back garden, she was bouncing on the trampoline and me, idiot and Liam were laid in the grass watching her doing flips. "You're a fucking freak," I called to her. She laughed at me as she flipped over and landed perfectly on her feet.

The weather just lately has been nothing short of insufferable. It's uncomfortable, suffocating and just fucking annoying. What's worse is, everyone else is going fucking doolally over it because apparently summer is a good thing. Not when you have a short sleeved shirt on underneath a jumper.

"Lucy Take off your jumper you look boiling." Shut up Liam. Shut the fuck up.

"I, no, I'm fine."

"You're lying."

"I am not! Why would I lie about how hot I am!"

He shrugs but doesn't look convinced.

Today is seriously not my day. I couldn't even take the shirt off under my jumper instead because that'd be too obvious. I just wish I hadn't done it last night. Then I could say that I'd stopped if they saw my scars. There's no way they would believe that now. They're too suspicious.

I run off to the loo in the hopes that all will be forgotten upon my return. Whilst in the bathroom though, I could hear them on the garden talking as the bathroom faced onto the back garden.

"Jacob are you sure that you've never seen her without her shirt on?"

"No. We've not done anything like that." He wasn't technically lying he never has seen me without long sleeves and he's hardly going to admit to my best friends that he knows what's wrong with me but doesn't care. "Why are you asking?"

"We're just worried about something."

I hope they think I'm only hiding bruises.

When I got to the garden, Jacob was guiltily looking on his phone and Jaynee and Liam were sat in the middle of the trampoline talking. I crawled over to them hoping to not show my nerves and we laughed, talked and acted like nothing was wrong.

We spent hours writing up my job applications and trawling through papers and internet searches looking for jobs. Without any luck. We were going to hand them out tomorrow.

Everything was in much more comfortable territory now we were focused on the job hunt. Well, I thought it was until Jaynee spilled a glass of water all over me and produced he argument it didn't matter if I changed out of my wet clothes there as she has tits as well, my boyfriend wouldn't mind who was someone Liam would rather watch undress than myself.

I think she did it on purpose.

Note to self: need dumb friends.

My heart was pounding into my chest as I tried to decide what to do, and just when I thought I was fucked the most unlikely thing ever happened…idiot boy helped me. My attack on him earlier might have actually guilted him into this. And thank fuck it did!

"Fuck we have to go or you'll be late. Really late."

"Shit. By guys, see you tomorrow thanks or all your help."

"You're soaked, you can wait a minute surely."

"I have an extra hoody in my car."

"Thanks. Bye guys, I really don't want to be late."

And that right there, is the most decent thing he's ever done for me.

I climb into the car and he hands me his hoody and starts the car. I pull my own over my head and replace it with his. He kept his eyes on the road. He has nothing new to discover.

"Look. Can we sort something about this arrangement? I don't want to do it anymore and I'm stressed enough as it is. As you know. Can we break up?"

He paused. "We'll break up in just over two weeks…we can't before because I want to be together when it's her birthday."

"Can I dump you?"

"No…it can be mutual." Oh how nice of him. "I just, I want to have a girlfriend for her birthday, I had something special planned for her."

"You actually liked her didn't you?"

He blushed. Actually blushed. "I did yeah."

"Past tense?"

"Yeah."

"Good man. I know she screwed you over but that's because she's a whore. Just find someone who isn't and you'll be fine without blackmail." He stared at me for as long as the red light allowed him too. When I got out the car I thanked him without sarcasm, and he knew I wasn't thanking him for the ride.

I made a bee-line for my room when I was hit with an idea, a probably stupid, bout of courage.

"Dad…" Grunt. "I've been looking for jobs like you said, and I was wondering that since you'll have to do it anyway when I get one, can you let me come home later than eight? I'll get more done."

"Ten."

"But – wait, what?"

"You getting a job is important, you can stay out until ten. Stay out all the time, I don't care just pay your board and don't bother me."

Love you too dad.

In bed I couldn't stop thinking and switch off even though I was knackered. I know things are going to be hard, but tonight, with Jaynee and Liam's support I know that I'll get through it – that they'll get me through it. I just felt so awful about how much effort they put into me and about how all I ever seem to do is lie to them back even though I love them. I really don't deserve them.

On top of feeling like a dick, I was more confused about the pretend boyfriend than ever. He was kind and had showed that a couple of times recently, he was insecure and still burned over being dumped by someone he liked. But he was also a colossal asshat.

Every singe time I started to forget that I hate him, something happens to remind me.

I don't know what to do about anything.

All I know is that I now promise to stop hurting myself. It was too close a call today and it will kill Jaynee and Liam to find out. I know I am going to pass my exams, get into university and get the hell away from here. I am going to get shot of Jacob and put this mess behind me.

I'm going to enjoy life.

The next morning I woke up still in Jacobs hoody, and feeling more optimistic than I have in a long time.

Bring it the fuck on.