Copyright © dontneedyou 2010 All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced or distributed without written consent from the author.


Chapter One




"Why can't you do something right for once?"

Addison's father addressed the wall with a violent kick. He turned to her, his eyes showing mere hostility, then spun on his heels and stormed upstairs. Suddenly, she didn't know what the real definition of right was, anymore.

Addison Oakes was a regular girl, attempting to dodge the hardships that life seemed to enjoy showering upon her. Generally, she thought of herself as a pretty decent, civilized person. She hardly, on any account, did anything to intentionally harm anyone. She didn't cause a raucous on the streets, didn't do drugs or was a heavy drinker. She didn't have some sort of violent record or past. Nor was she an obsessive liar or callous person at all. She aimed to follow the rules, as long as she thought it to be fair.

But regardless of those solid facts, she continuously found herself sobbing and wandering aimlessly through the barren woods near the house that she couldn't quite seem to call home.

She found her own mouth moving absently to the words "what now?", as if that sole question could actually help find the meaning of things that she really ached to know.

She knew, deep, deep down that it really couldn't.

Beyond the jagged smell of pine, the scent of after-rain, and the sound of twigs and leaves rhythmically crunching below her footsteps, Addison's mind began to clog up by sudden thoughts of her mother and how dearly she missed her best moral support.

Addison couldn't seem to fathom the reason why she was left so cold and unbearably alone; left to fend entirely for herself. Her father didn't care for her, he never had. Yet, it seemed as if he thought were his duty to be at least civil to Addison. Though, there was never a real bond or any fatherly actions toward her. In his case, there was only the state of him being there. But he figured that was enough, and that he had done his part.

But Addison wanted, she needed and ached for more than that.

She wanted a parent that would love her and ask how she was doing and actually care to hear the answer like her mother once had. And it had been three dreadful years since those days were over. The near mindless, nerve-wrecked woman had packed her bags and left without an explanation; without Addison understanding the whole reason for it.

And she'd never forgive her.

Today had been no different. She had the strong desire to scream and cry until all energy was drained out of her small frame. She wanted to throw something made of glass simply to hear it break and shatter into tiny shards. But Addison had a lot more self-control than that, so she opted for something different; running out of the house and wandering into the words to cry her heart out without anyone seeing her.

And she hated herself for crying. She hated that it made her seem vulnerable; feel weak. She wished that she could simply ignore her old man and forget about it and feel no pain. But no matter how much she tried to shut out her feelings, they just blew up because she knew that she really did care about the way her father was treating her.

Her father had dropped his cool exterior a teensy bit, just to let Addison know that he wished it were her that had gone instead of her mother. Things would have been way better that way. He wished she could do something right for once. Addison already knew that he didn't care for her much, but hearing it being said out loud just brought a whole new level of pain into her. It wasn't shocking, but it was hurtful; so painfully real.

Deciding to resolve her pointless wander, Addison dropped her weight onto the flat surface of a large rock, and brought her knees to hug closer to her body. It made her feel more secure and protected; on her own. The rock was soiled and quite damp, but she couldn't lead herself to be concerned, then. All she needed right at that moment was a place to feel comfortable. She needed somewhere to feel at ease, because she wouldn't dare think about going back to her house tonight. Anywhere but there would be a near heaven for her.

Hesitantly, she reached into the pocket of her jeans to feel the cool surface of her phone. She finally pulled it out and stared at the bright screen for a few seconds before regaining her senses and searching her contact list for her best friend.

Chloe was safe; Chloe was there for her through thick and thin. She was her best friend and the only one who knew absolutely everything about Addison, and was the only one she could confide to about absolutely everything since her mother had left.

She really couldn't seem to remember a time when Chloe wasn't there, and that brought a huge wave of comfort.

"Hey Addie!" As soon as her friend's naturally soothing and chipper voice filled the speaker, Addison could already feel her lips tighten into a small smile.

"Hey…uh, Chloe, could you come and pick me up?"

Even while letting out the words, Addison could hear the fragility in her voice and she didn't like it one bit.

There was a pause, then, slowly - "Addie, what's wrong? Where are you?"

"The woods near my house. I'll try and walk to the end of it…can you pick me up from there?"

Instantly, no hesitation at all, Chloe said, "I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

A true friend, Addison found her mind repeating. She listened to the dial tone for a second, as if the comforting voice would come back.

Addison slipped her phone back into her pocket and began walking.

Her father probably wouldn't even bother to notice or care that she was gone. He would probably say that she'd be fine, and that she was just being childish and she would get over it soon and come back home. When in truth, he couldn't care less if she came back or not. In fact, he almost certainly would like it if she never did come back. Not that he really noticed when she was or wasn't in the house, even.

When she reached the dusty sidewalk that was the end of the vast trees, Chloe was already sitting in her car, light fingers tapping away which told Addison that she was waiting anxiously. As she spotted Addison, her expression morphed from anxiousness to complete worry, then suddenly to relief as she waved her over. Addison breathed a sigh and ran to her friend's car, hopping into the front seat.

As soon as Addison was in and she had closed the door, Chloe spotted her bloodshot eyes and brought her closer in a warming hug; the kind of hug that sometimes made Addison feel like there was still hope in humanity. Still hope for her.

Chloe didn't hesitate to ask questions, and Addison didn't mind. She would have minded, had it been anyone else, but it wasn't anyone else. It was Chloe.

"What did he do, Addie?"

She shrugged and bit her lip so she wouldn't start crying again. "Just...told me how much he really dislikes me, you know?"

Chloe's voice widened a fraction of an inch."…what happened?"

"It's nothing really." She felt the tears stubbornly begin forming in her eyes again and she hated it.

"Tell me."

"It's so stupid, I…" Addison began with a sigh. "There were just some of his papers scattered everywhere on the floor, right? So, thinking that I'd be helping, I threw them out. It turns out he needs them. Yeah, so he blew up on me."

Chloe sat there, hugging Addison close and nodding for her to go on.

"Then he just turned to me and said that he wished that I would've left instead of my mother, and that things would have been way better, and basically that he hates me."

Chloe shook her head, feeling ultimate rage towards her friend's father. Sometimes he really went too damn far. "You know that's not true. That's complete bullshit. He's lucky to have you. And I feel really sorry for him because he can't see how wonderful you are."

Addison gave her friend a small smile.

Chloe looked up at the sky – or rather, the roof of her car for a moment before declaring, "You're staying at my house tonight."

Addison gave her a thankful grin and nodded because that was exactly what she needed. Chloe was like her knight in shining armor – except in the female version. Addison buckled her seat belt as they began to swerve back on the road for the short drive.

Before she knew it, Chloe was parked effortlessly in her driveway, motioning Addison to follow her inside the house as she pressed the doorbell and waited.

Without even asking, Addison knew that her dear blonde friend had forgotten her keys at home like always. Though that didn't really matter much, because a middle aged woman with honey gold hair, very much like her own daughter's, was at the door within seconds.

"Addison!" she exclaimed, oblivious to said girl's puffy eyes and almost as naturally gleeful as her daughter. "Come in, it's all mucky out there from the rain."

"Hey, Mrs. Kenner," Addison addressed, a smile leisurely adorning her face.

"After all those years," she mumbled, shaking her head. Her loud sigh was covered by the smile beginning to touch her lips. "How many times do I have to tell you? Call me Kate. You're making me feel old."

Addison laughed despite her foul mood. "Sorry, I forgot."

Addison just couldn't help but feel more at home at Chloe's house than she had ever been lately at her own. Chloe was definitely like the sister she never had, and Kate was like the mother she once had. Just being there immediately put Addison in a better mood.

They proceeded to go upstairs to Chloe's room to watch movies and talk like they usually did when either of them were feeling down or bored. It brought back many good memories, and made Addison temporarily forget her dad.

Chloe widened her eyes through spoonfuls of strawberry ice cream. "So, you know the new guy in our English class?"

Addison shook her head as she was uninterested in the guy Chloe was probably going to brag about.

"You haven't seen him?" Chloe said, like Addison had committed a huge crime.

"No. I was way too busy learning," Addison sarcastically jested. She wasn't really that engrossed in the topics of her cranky teacher, but she didn't really concentrate too intently on boys, either. Not after previous occurrences with them.

"Wow. He's really hot," Chloe commented like the boy fanatic she was. "Really quiet, though."

Addison chuckled. "I bet he is, Chloe. Did you eye rape him for the whole period?"

Chloe almost choked on her ice cream in attempts to stop laughing so hard. She gave her friend a shove in the process.

When she finally sobered, she peered disbelievingly at Addison again.

"How come you haven't seen him?" Chloe pondered, and then decided, "I'll point him out tomorrow!"

"No thanks."

"Ads, even you'll think he's hot!" she chirped happily.

Addison snorted, lips tipped slightly up in amusement. "What's that supposed to mean?"

"Nothing bad." Her gold hair flew around her face as she shook her head and prattled on, "It's just…you don't really date anymore."

"I do!" Addison protested, bottom lip jutted out.

"You date once in a blue moon, despite all the guys who ask you out." Chloe placed her hands on her hips and softened her look. "You haven't really gone out with anyone since Tyler."

Addison cringed slightly at the name. Chloe knew better than to bring him up.

"Sorry," Chloe murmured. "But, seriously, you should give some guys a chance. There are better ones out there."

"Well I don't like any guys I know enough to go out with them."

"Exactly," Chloe crooned. "That's why I think this guy's perfect for you. He's gorgeous, and I was even rating you guys as a couple. It was an eleven out of ten!"

"But you don't even know him!" Addison furrowed her eyebrows and laughed. "And I don't need to get set up with anyone."

"Well, you'll see him tomorrow at school," Chloe finalized and finished the last spoon of her ice cream. "Which reminds me, how are you going to get your books?"

"What books?"

Chloe rolled her eyes playfully. "For school!"

"It's okay, I'll get through. Just for like probably a day."

"Yeah." Chloe gave her a thoughtful look. "Oh, and you can use my clothes for tomorrow."

Addison smiled in anticipation while Chloe clapped her hands. "Yes!"

"I love it when you sleep over," Chloe sang while her eyes brightened up abruptly. "And I didn't have a chance to ask you earlier, but, when did you get a freaking haircut?"

"Yesterday, after school. Is it horrible?" Addison subconsciously tugged at her bob of curly, red hair.

She had gotten it trimmed so that it was barely a few inches past her shoulder, but it was a big change from her waist length curls from before. Addison desperately felt like she needed a change.

"It looks a-ma-zing!" Chloe gushed. "I loved your long hair, but it suits you way better when it's shorter like this. God I wish my hair was like yours." She reached over and inspected Addison's red mess of waves.

Addison gave her a skeptic look. "Are you sure?"


"You can't be."

And this ensued in a round of fun, light bickering. She couldn't believe that Chloe would ever trade her long golden locks for her fiery, hard to deal with curls.

By the time it was close to two in the morning, they had managed to stop laughing and talking so they could get some sleep; they had school tomorrow. So, Addison helped Chloe to bring in an extra mattress, and they exhaustedly dropped it on the ground for Addison to sleep on.

It was tough, but they managed to stop joking around and finally got some shut eye.

And before Addison knew it, the sunlight was once again, streaming blindingly through the window.

She couldn't comprehend how Chloe was so damn chirpy again and enthusiastic, even when she just opened her eyes minutes before. Addison still felt like she needed a good few more hours of sleep and a cup of coffee to go with that.

But, nevertheless, Chloe's frantic nudges kept coming. "Wake up!"

Addison rubbed her eyes groggily and sat up. "Jeez, what time is it?"

"It's past seven," she answered. "School starts in like, forty minutes."

"There's lots of time," Addison grumbled in response sleepily, and hit her head back to the pillow.

"Addison!" Chloe complained and shook her again. "Get up! We have to get ready."

"Fine, I'm up, I'm up," she moaned and reluctantly lifted herself from the soft mattress on the floor.

It was about seven-forty when they had completed their process of getting ready and finished eating the delicious home cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs and orange juice that Kate had prepared for them. They said their goodbyes to Kate and hurried to the car in hopes of not being late for school.

Chloe zoomed to their large high school and when they were parked on the side of the aged building, they simultaneously got out of the car and ambled to their lockers. Addison got the few books that she had left in there the previous day, greeting a few of their friends in the hallway momentarily before saying farewell to Chloe due to the fact that they had different classes.

The day passed as she skimmed through her first two classes, merely telling her teachers that she had forgotten her books at home. This not being regular for her, they simply nodded and told her to be sure to remember tomorrow.

At lunch, she sat as usual with Chloe and a couple of their other friends at a table, eating and talking. A certain one with short black hair and gray eyes was Addison and Chloe's close friend, Monica. She was outgoing and blunt, but Addison loved her for it. Though Addison had a special bond with Chloe – mostly because she had known her for forever – that she just couldn't find in anyone else, Monica was doubtlessly an amazing friend and there for her also. Chloe and Monica were the sole people that possibly got Addison through the day.

"Addie." Monica hit Addison playfully. "You're spacing out on us."

She snapped out of her thoughts and laughed. "Just thinking."

"I can see that," Monica teased and took a large bite of her sandwich. The girl could really eat without gaining any weight at all. It was really a wonder.

The bell rang shortly after, and Addison, with Chloe in tow, said their goodbyes to Monica before heading to the one class they shared together.

"Time for hell," Addison sighed to Chloe, referring to English class.

"It's not that bad."

"I know. I just hate Mrs. Henson," Addison pursed her lips. "The only reason it's bearable is because it's the only class I share with you."

"God, I know, she's such a pain," Chloe agreed as they reached the class, taking their seats in the middle of the room.

As students piled in, Mrs. Henson ushered the class to settle down and take their seats, even though most of them had already. She was quite assertive like that. She was the kind of teacher that assigned homework each and every night, no matter the circumstance. Most of the class didn't bother to do it though; she didn't check it half the time she assigned it.

"Okay," she began, "I'm writing notes on the board. They will help you with your independent novel study."

A male voice yelled from the back, "Do we need to copy this down?"

Mrs. Henson just gave the boy a weary look and said, "It's your choice. It depends on how badly you want to pass this class."

Addison groaned silently in her head and shared a look with Chloe. Taking notes didn't sound too appealing to her. Addison tapped her foot up and down rhythmically on the tiles of the floor as silence engulfed and swallowed the room whole. It was an unbearable sort of silence, the kind that made Addison want to rip her hair out of her head.

But before she could get to touching her curls, the door squeaked open. But Addison didn't really take notice of the figure that leisurely walked in, until she became well aware of the fact that everyone's gazes snapped up, anticipating the interruption.

The first thing Addison noticed about the boy was his immense height. He towered over the petite teacher by far and just by glancing at him, it was very noticeable that he oozed with confidence.

Addison shook her head. She wanted to get the thoughts out of her mind about how ridiculously good looking he was. She really wasn't one to fawn over guys. Addison didn't like to stereotype people, but with his black hair that swept flatteringly around his face, his defined jaw line and broad build, he was so attractive that he seemed like a regular asshole.

Oh, god. He was the clear definition of tall, dark and handsome.

What an ass.

"You're late," Mrs. Henson chastised bluntly.

The boy gave her an uncaring snort and walked down the aisle of tables coolly before eyeing the empty one next to Addison. Addison prayed and prayed in her mind that he wouldn't choose the seat next to her, but due to her bad luck, no avail. He dropped his bag lazily on top of the oak table and plopped himself down to the chair.

Addison kept her eyes forward because she didn't want to associate with him, but Chloe nudged her from her right. "Addie, that's him!"

She nodded because she figured as much. Addison had never seen the boy before and he was ridiculously good looking. In order to keep her pride, she would never admit that to him or anyone.

"Nathan," Mrs. Henson countered, "I'll let you off with a warning this time, since it's only your second day, but don't make a habit of this."

The boy who apparently went by the name of Nathan didn't reply and Mrs. Henson just sighed before informing him what the class was doing and continuing to write down notes on the board for them to copy.

Addison pulled out a spare notebook that she had found earlier in her locker and began to write down the notes in complete dread. From the corner of her eye, she noted that Nathan opted to sit there in all his glory and not do anything for the whole class.

Deciding to secretively take a quick glance at him, Addison flicked her head to her left furtively, only to notice in horror that he was looking straight at her.

She jumped in her seat when she observed that his eyes were an intense, almost-black, and that they were dipping mischievously from her face, down to her body and back up, resting briefly on obvious places.

Addison crossed her arms over her chest self-consciously and her surprised look turned into a death glare, but then he made it worse by doing the inevitable.

He looked right back into her green orbs and smirked at her.

She fumed with anger, seeing red, but unfortunately he didn't stop at that.

He still had the nerve to lean over and whisper deviously in her ear, "I love redheads."