AN: Collaboration story with katie4dragons (Fanfiction), written for Andie and Annemarie.

Numb – Chapter 1

She walks as if in a blur, eyes never focusing on anything or anyone. It's clear she doesn't want to be here. She's constantly chanting in her head, anywhere but here, anywhere but here. But there's no leaving this place. She can't; she's trapped here in this hellhole of torment and pain. These high school hallways are her own personal torture on Earth. Filled with demons and bullying peers, the sounds and sights poking and prodding at all of her insecurities that are driving her to the edge surround her daily.

She tilts her head and lets her long, chestnut hair falls in front of her face, obscuring her eyes from her classmates. She scurries to her locker, attempting to avoid the other rushing and hurrying students.

She fumbles with the lock, trying desperately to open it before they came looking for her. They always came around this time, pushing other kids out of their way to get to her.

She didn't get what it was that made them pick her out of all the other students, but for some reason she had become their personal punching bag. It's not that they had ever actually touched her, but with the amount of hate behind their words they might as well have.

She grabs her books in a rush and shuts the locker quickly, sparing a quick glance around to see if they were coming yet. It is inevitable that they would, but she hopes she could at least try to stay out of their sight today. She really didn't need their snide remarks and hurtful nicknames, especially today of all days. The Anniversary. It still left her with nightmares, and an ache in her heart.

She practically sprints for the door, almost sighing in relief, when she suddenly catches a glint of red and yellow out of the corner of her eye. She cringes and braces herself against what's to come.
A light push to the back nearly sends her sprawling on the tile, but she manages to catch herself in time. She gasps and cringes, making herself as small as possible.
She stands in the same spot, right in front of the door, hugging her books and praying to someone standing by watching to stick up for her. No one does. No one ever does.
She pulls into herself then, trying to ignore what's going on around her. One of the girls, Rosa yells something to the others - they all laugh.

They call her a mean name, mock her clothing. She tries to block it out, she tries so hard, but it still gets to her. By the time the girls are bored with her, tears are silently rolling down her face.

A kid sticks out his foot and she trips over it, falling to the floor. They burst into raucous laughter. The high pitched shouts of amusement echo through the clearing halls. When will this end?

She rushes out of the doors, not caring what the kids laughing made of it. She squeezes her books to her chest, blinking back the falling tears.

She walks past the main office, out the door and blindly opens her car door. She fumbles with the handle, struggling inwardly to keep from whimpering.

She tosses the books into the passenger seat and sniffles loudly. Starting the old Cadillac, she wipes away the streaming tears and takes a few deep breaths.

Numbly throwing it into reverse she drives off school campus with one destination in mind, the cemetery.