Chapter One:

It all started with a crash and a bang. My books dropped on the floor and my back pack ripped. I don't really remember much, because this jackass hit me so damn hard, but what I do remember is coming home. My mother saw my face and dropped the clean dishes on the new linoleum floor. She rushed to my aid.

My father, on the other hand, screamed at me, and then at my mother. His face was redder than the stop sign at the end of our street.

"Goddammit, Sarah. If you didn't baby the young boy, this wouldn't've happened."

He was talking about my face. I had come home with a bloody nose and a black eye today. Why? I don't even know myself, the jackass went up to me and beat me. The goddam school didn't do anything about it, either. It's okay, I guess, the blood on my face made me look tough, in a way. It felt cool on my face.

My mother started to cry and hugged me. Her grip was really tight. My father took a sip of his coffee and then asked, "Who did this to you, Dylan?"

"Some jackass." I replied.

Dad shook his head and folded his newspaper. "This is the third time this has happened this year, son. I don't understand why you can't stop being a little pansy and stick up for yourself. Jesus H. Christ, maybe public school isn't for you."

I put my head down. I was embarrassed. My father was right… I'm a girl when it comes to fights. I mean, I'm tall, but I'm skinny with no muscles at all. I'd get broken in half. I'm bit of a pacifist, too, if you want to know the truth. I'm really quite sensitive.

My mother looked at him, anger was dancing in her eyes. "He's not a pansy, goddammit. Just because he isn't anything like you when you were his age doesn't mean you gotta treat him like shit." She said. Her voice usually was so sweet, but not when someone says something about her children. Then she goes angry mother bear on them. Then she turned to me, "Dylan, go upstairs and wash your face off. I'll be up to bring you something to heal that black eye of yours in a minute."

"Okay…" I replied. I walked up the stairs slowly… My parents were arguing. They've never argued like this before. It kind of depressed me. What depressed me even more is that it's my fault.

When I finally made my way upstairs and went into my bathroom, my sister had walked out of her room. She wanted to go downstairs, but she didn't want to do so when my mother and father were arguing. I filled my sink up with water and took a rag off of the hanger. I put my rag in water and wiped the blood off from my face. While doing this, my sister just sat outside of the bathroom and watched me like she was mesmerized or something.

It was until I put my head in the water when she finally said something.

"So… You got beat up again?" She asked.

"No, I decided to hit my head against a goddam wall. Of course I got beat up." I replied, sarcastically. I can be such a sarcastic asshole at times.

She frowned a little, and then said, "Lemme see." She walked toward me.

"You can see it pretty damn well from your distance."

She frowned a little more.

I didn't have a choice but to show her my stupid black eye. "They really put a number on you."


"Is it safe to go downstairs?"

"Damn, I don't know. Do you hear mom and dad arguing anymore?"

She shot a look at me and then I looked at my feet. We were silent for a while, but she went downstairs to get the item she desired most. I went into my room and lit a cigarette. My smoking habit was so bloody awful, to be honest. My parents tried to get me to quit, so I can join a sport or some damn thing, but I refused. For one, I'm not a very athletic person, and two, sports require a lot of lung power of which that I do not have.

I laid in my bed and started thinking. My brain was filled with some depressing thoughts tonight. Then again, my brain is always filled with depressing thoughts. I was so lost in my thoughts, I damn near fell asleep.

I didn't though, I mean, how could I? My damn sister thought it was a brilliant decision to slam my bedroom door and scream, "Dylan! Mom and dad want to talk to you!"

I jumped and my damn cigarette fell out of my mouth and fell onto my chest. It burnt me a bad one. Today's not my lucky day, I take it.

"Goddammit! That hurt like hell!" I yelled. "Why don't you knock sometime, Alison?"

She looked down and said, "I'm sorry, Dylan," then left my room.

God, I hate my name. It's so damn plain. 'Dylan Thomas Flak.' What kind of name is that? What the hell is a Dylan anyway? It sounds like something you could herd cattle on and what not. When I was walking downstairs, that's all I could think about.

When I had finally gotten downstairs and into the kitchen area, I noticed my father rubbing my mother's hand. They were so gloomy looking. It seems as if someone had died.

Me, being the little bastard I can be sometimes, got the guts to asked, "So… Who died?"

My parents didn't like that very much, especially my mom.

Her eyes darted at me and she looked sore as hell. "Dylan, this isn't a joking matter." She said.

I may have just hit a tough spot. My eyes widened. "Did someone really die?"

Dad looked at me, "No. Sit down, son. Your mother and I need to talk to you."

I did as I was told and pulled a chair out. "What's the deal?"

My mom looked down. She didn't want to talk, I could tell, but she finally managed to get courage to say, "Your father and I talked and we think that maybe… We should send you to a boarding school in New York."

My eyes narrowed, "Boarding school? Why the hell do you want to send me to boarding school?"

"Your mother and I are sick and tired of you coming home with black eyes and bloody noses all of the time, so we feel as if it'll be safer." Dad said.

"Are you mad? That's not going to be safer at all. If you care about my safety, then you'd just pull me out of school." I couldn't believe them.

My mother began to say, "Dylan, I understand what you may be feeling but, we feel that this may be fa-"

But then I interrupted her with, "How the hell is this fair? It's not fucking fair at all." And then I ran up to my room and slammed the door.

My parents just sighed.

When I got to my room, I jumped onto my bed and started crying, like a little girl. Sure, this may not be a very big deal to some people, but I actually like living at my house. I love living in New Jersey, I don't want to trade it out for some crummy boarding school in New York. I don't have a lot of friends here, besides Ross, but there are some people who I get a long with and a girl who I've had my eye on since the first day. This just wasn't fair.

Somehow, I ended up falling asleep. I'm not exactly sure how, but I did. I woke up to my mother knocking on my door.