Jade had Gym for last period, but she went to the library instead. She wasn't allowed to go home before school ended so she was stuck there until it did. This was because Jade had asthma when she was younger, though it came back occasionally. All in all, her doctor suggested it was best for her to skip any type of vigorous exercise.

She pushed the door open with one hand, the other clasping a sketchpad and a pencil to her chest. She went straight to her usual spot at the far corner of the library. She sat down with her things and got to work. She was almost finished with the drawing when she heard someone call her name.


She raised her head at the sound of his voice. She panicked at scrambled to cover her drawing.

"Brendon," she said slowly, tensed.

"What's that?" he asked, pointing at the sketchpad.

"Nothing." she replied quickly. "It's nothing."

A look of puzzlement and confusion crossed his face, but quickly disappeared. "All right then. I won't force you." He grinned cheekily as he saw her relax. Before Jade even knew what was going on he'd snatched the pad from her. She closed her eyes and pursed her lips, defeated. He flipped to her latest drawing and gasped, his eyes wide in amazement.

"Jade…?" he managed to choke out, astonished. "You… Drew this…?"

She nodded, her eyes still closed.

"It's... Amazing! I-I've never seen such a beautifully sketched drawing, I-" he stopped. "Why me?"


"Why did you draw… Me?"

Jade opened her eyes. She took in his messy black hair, his light, gentle, blue-ish gray eyes, his smile…

"Because I love you," she spoke softly, barely audible.

"I'm sorry?" he said, he didn't catch it the first time.

"Because I love you, Brendon." Jade said, louder this time. Tears sprang to her eyes. "I have since the day I met you. I've loved you not knowing you returned my love. I've loved you unaware if you even knew I existed. I've loved you all this while. You never knew…" Her voice trailed off.

"Knew what, Jade?" Brendon asked quietly.

"You never knew that out of all those times I've cried, out of all those times I've cut myself, most of those times were because of you." Jade replied. The tears that had welled up in her eyes flowed freely down her cheeks. "I wanted you, Brendon. But I knew I could never have you."

He stared at her in shock.

"Jade," he started, taking her hand, a soft, gentle smile spreading over his face. He pulled her into a warm embrace, his muscular arms wrapped around her. She felt so safe. He leaned forward, close to her ear, and whispered, "I'm all yours."

Jade wore a grin that day as she went outside to Ella and Ashlee. A rare sight.

"Jade?" Ella and Ashlee gasped at the same time.

She shyly looked down at the pavement.

Ashlee practically jumped on her, literally trying to shake answers out of the poor girl, who just stared back in fear.

"Ash!" Ella cried, coming to her rescue. "You're gonna kill her!"

"Sorry!" Ashlee squealed. "I'm dying!"

"Let her speak, then!"

They began their journey home, Jade softly telling them the whole story, what happened in the library. Every few moments Ashlee's hand would fly to her mouth as she tried to suppress giggles. When Jade finished, Ashlee started jumping up and down gleefully, squealing in excitement. They'd reached Ash's house.

"I'll call you!" Ashlee cried.

"No." Jade said immediately. "Don't. I won't be able to talk to you."

Ashlee's face fell. "Aww… All right then… Tomorrow?"

Jade smiled. "Sure."

"Okay! Gotta go, guys. See ya!" she said over her shoulder as she walked up to her front door. She gave a dramatic wave and shut the door behind her.

Ella turned back and grinned at Jade. "I'm so happy for you, Jay…" she said, pulling her into a hug.

"Thank you…" Jade blushed.

"Good luck with Brendon." Ella breathed. She said goodbye and ran across the street and into the house opposite Ashlee's.

Jade watched her enter, then left. She dreaded the moment she stepped into her own house. She hated her life… She walked slowly, taking her time.

It was a long walk from Ash's house to hers. Her house was small, compared to her friends', located somewhere further away from the city. By the time she got there, it was already getting dark.

She went up to her front door and slid her key into the keyhole. She gingerly turned the key and unlocked the door. As quietly as she could, she pushed the door open. Jade winced as the hinges gave a horrifying squeak.

"JADE!" a voiced screamed.

That's it… I'm dead…

"What did I tell you about being quiet when you come home?!" her mother stormed into the hallway.

"It's the hinges, mom. It wasn't my fau-"

"It was!" her mother yelled at her, calling her names, swearing, anything to make poor Jade feel small. "You're useless! You stupid girl!" Jade closed her eyes and tried to think happy thoughts, tried to block out everything, tried to ignore the hole in her heart… She thought of Brendon and what happened that day. She thought of his face, his eyes, his hands-

Her thoughts were interrupted by a slap on her right cheek. She gripped her cheek in pain. Her mother, merciless and drunk, picked an empty beer bottle off the floor and brought it down on Jade's head. In the half-second before it hit her she managed to shield her head with her hands, but it was a bad idea; they started bleeding.

She stared at her bloody hands and sunk to the ground. She couldn't fight back, so all she could so was accept the blows… Accept her mother… Accept the pain…

She blacked out.

When Jade came to, she found herself covered in blood, lying on the floor in front of the front door. She tried to push herself up. A sharp, stabbing pain shot through her left arm. She crumpled to the ground again. This time she just lay there, waiting. For what, she didn't know. But there was nothing she could do.

She turned her head and saw that it was dark out. A full moon shone high in the sky, beautiful, radiant, intriguing, bringing little light to the dark house corridor. She continued staring, her hair soaked with blood. She felt faint.

Loss of blood… I'm going to die of a loss of blood…


Her eyes widened at that one word. The voice that pierced the darkness, that touched her soul, that brought her joy. That beautiful voice. She started to pass out again, her eyelids heavy. She tried to keep them open. She couldn't. The last thing she saw: a pair of mesmerizing blue-gray eyes.

Her eyes rolled upward and once again, blackness.