2

My alarm blared out The Cab's Angel With A Shotgun to start off my day. I allowed myself to hum along as I lazily pulled myself up out of bed and to my makeup bag and closet. I began brushing out my hair that tied in knots as I rolled around in bed through the night. At least I had a good night's sleep. I felt better than yesterday. I had so much energy and I felt like today would be a good day.

For school I decided to pick out a maroon sweater with a matching silk scarf and jeans. I'd have the chance to try out my new leather brown boots I'd gotten over the weekend. I adjusted the scarf loosely around my neck, and let my waves of black hair tumble over my shoulders. After smearing on some eye shadow and liner, I turned off the stereo.

I was two steps away from my door when I halted. The window on the far side of my bedroom was unlocked and open a crack. I walked closely up to it and examined it. It was the only window in my room that had no screen. The only window that someone could easily get in, just by climbing up the tree right outside the house, right by the window.

My breath hitched in my throat as I shut it and closed it tightly. Maybe Mom opened it in the middle of the night because it'd gotten hot. That had to be it. I didn't need this to add on to my hallucinating issue that I already was starting to remember all over again. I was supposed to forget that and move on like nothing happened.

My breath shortened and became choppy as I closed my eyes, trying to relax myself. I had a bad past with panic attacks, and they had always come to haunt me. I was on medicine that I took each morning, but failed to keep up with it over the last weekend. They didn't come that often, and not every time I was terrified or scared. I was stronger than them-most of the time-because when I'm faced with anger I confront it instead of hide it and let it get the best of me.

I shivered as more fear packed on and I reached for the pills in my nightstand drawer, popping the case off and shaking uncontrollably. Terrorizing thoughts like seeing this man in my room again and do something more than just stare me down or pull energy from inside me filled my brain and I couldn't hold back a

I hurried out of my room after making sure every window was shut and locked, feet stomping loudly down the stairs. It didn't help that I had a slight heel on them, and the sound rippled through our whole front room. I walked into the kitchen area where Mom was finishing up lunches. I grabbed my bag and unzipped my backpack.

"Morning, Elena." She said, pausing from fixing up Matt's lunch to grab my car keys and hand them to me. Mom had black hair like me, with a small and petit nose. Her lips were in the shape of a heart. She worked evenings, which made me feel like I barely got to see her. She was the director of a credit card company, and was always busy in her office when not at work.

"Morning, Mom." I mumbled, still shaken by the window and last night. She placed her hands on her hips and stared down at me as I zipped away my lunch.

"What's with the tone? Are you okay?" Even though she had been a lot more busy than I liked, she was still my mom. She knew me practically better than anyone else. And she knew if I was feeling unsettled.

"Yeah." My tone didn't reassure her. "Mick and I got in a little argument last night." I added finally, pulling my backpack up over my shoulders. "Everything's better now, but I just feel kind of bitter over it." When I took the time to think about him instead of hallucinating and finding my bedroom window open, my statement was correct. But my mind had bigger things to worry about than my boyfriend wanting to take things to another level. He understood now, and things were patched up fine with him.

Mom's face was distraught. I knew she really liked Mick-practically everyone did. "Do you want to talk about it?" She asked quietly. I smiled at her reassuringly and pecked her cheek.

"I have school. Maybe later." I rested a hand on her shoulder and watched her nod slowly at me, holding promises for later. I gave Mom a quick hug before I left for school.

I spent the morning dishing out to Amanda what'd happened last night and this morning, with the window. We sat across from each other at lunch, alone at our table. I nibbled on an apple while she dug into her yogurt.

"Babe, I don't know what to tell ya." She was saying, stirring around her peach flavored Yoplait. "There's no way that's humanly possible. A hand vacuum that sucks energy just isn't exactly what a friend would like to hear to not be convinced she's crazy." I sighed and dropped my head in my hands. Amanda's dark brown curls were slung together in a hair tie, exposing her high and mighty cheekbones, and her nice, tan skin that reminded me of honey.

"I know, I know. I'm not crazy. I just- I haven't figured out a way to rationalize it." I squeezed my eyes shut, as if that could somehow spark an idea on how this all made sense. "Do you think Mr. Violator could have snuck in my house overnight?" I asked abruptly, lifting my head to meet Amanda's brown eyes. She tilted her head in thought.

"Could be. I dunno. Your mom could have come in to open your window." I nodded in agreement. I was completely overthinking everything. I could have just imagined things at the party. And I was so exhausted after the party that maybe I just imagined that, too.

"You're definitely right." I breathed out. We finished eating our lunch-Amanda venting out about how upset she was over being grounded-until her words slowly faded out. He gaze rose above mine to something behind me. I gave her a puzzled look and watched her nastiest glare slip into her expression.

"Well, look what the dog dragged in." I instantly knew that bitchy tone and wanted to kill myself. Kimara Steezer. She was the most popular and sluttiest girl in school. Her cherry red hair and perky too-skinny figure and rich family made her the biggest bitch. Yet, she got all the boys drooling on her. I didn't understand what it was with guys liking the bitches. I understood the looks on Kimara-though I hated admitting it, she was really pretty-but she was a total snob. Amanda was beautiful and nice and everything perfect, and she should deserve the guy she liked; Aaron.

I set down my food and sighed, shaking my head slowly. She was a bully to all of the girls who weren't her friends. Maybe she wanted to look superior, honestly, I had no idea. Hate bubbled in my gut and I swallowed my food. Before I could get a word out, it was Amanda who spoke. "Oh Elena, look who it is. The Wicked Bitch of the West." I snorted and looked up at Kimara.

"Sorry I couldn't pay attention to what you were saying, your big chubby cheeks jiggled with every word, and I found it so amusing to watch!" She had a designer hand bag slung on her arm with a jean jacket on over a very exposing white v neck shirt. She had on heels that were much longer than the distance from the tip of my middle finger to my wrist, and black leggings that were purposely tight to make the shape of her ass more noticeable.

"What do you want, Kimara?" Amanda snapped, growing rosy in her cheeks slightly. I knew she hated to be called fat; any girl did. But Amanda had been really self-conscious about her weight. She'd almost been 175 pounds two years ago, back in freshman year. She'd been teased about it so much and set herself to a very strict diet. I was so proud of her, not only for staying strong, but losing the weight by working out instead of becoming bulimic and I only ever wished I could be determined as she was then. She got through it, and now she's toned beautifully-so much better than me. "Do you need to pick on others because you have no life and nothing better to do?" Amanda hated Kimara with such a passion, it shook me. When Amanda had been heavier, the one single bully who stood out more than anyone was Kimara.

"You're a bitch." She said with the cross of her arms.

"You're a skank." Amanda retorted.

"At least I can get a guy." She snapped, cheeks burning red.

"Who's only purpose for being with you is to get in your panties." Amanda chimed, standing up and throwing away her lunch bag. I stood up with her and turned back around, only to realize something.

Something big.

How could it be I didn't see him before? Mr. Violator was standing right beside Kimara, smirking and watching the show. When his eyes landed on me, I melted. He knew I recognized him, too. His smirk only widened.

"I'm waiting for the perfect guy to come along. Unlike you. You don't deserve a guy as good as the one Elena has." Amanda hit Kimara right on the target on that one. Kimara had dated Mick long before I did. Based on what Mick told me, he ended it and Kimara never stopped feeling for him.

"Elena doesn't have a real man." Kimara averted her gaze directly on me. "He kisses sloppily, doesn't he?" Despite the fact that I was not in the conversation at all, Kimara found a way to drag me in it. She wanted to hurt everybody around her. "Not like my new boyfriend Scott." My jaw dropped at that, and I watched with wide and furious eyes as she turned and slid her hand up Mr. Violator's neck, turning it to hers and giving him a very explicit kiss that neither me nor Amanda desired to see. We both scowled and turned away. I gave one last glance over my shoulder to Scott and Kimara and she was talking to him-probably making up rumors about Amanda and I. But something I noticed was that his gaze wasn't on her at all. It was as if he wasn't even paying attention to her. It was..as if he were paying attention to…me.

"I swear to God, the next time she talks to me I'm going to punch her in the face." Amanda growled as she stomped through the hallways. I nearly had to jog just to keep up with her. "That bitch can eat my fist."

"And she can watch you soak up in a three day in-school suspension." I reminded her. We walked into biology, taking a seat in the chairs at the back of the room-our usual spot. Mrs. Ghour-or as students nicknamed her, Mrs. Whore-was in the front, with her short, two-sizes-too-small red skirt and a white blouse showing so much cleavage I thought it'd be illegal.

"I don't care about that," Amanda was saying. "I would love to have the satisfaction of pounding my fists in her face." I grinned at Amanda and nudged her with my elbow. I wanted as much as her to give Kimara a taste of her own medicine, but there was no way I'd do it and get a detention. Mom would kill me, and Dad would lecture me the whole night. It was something that I'd just pass up on. I could just compare our lives when we're older and point out how much greater mine was. For all I cared, she could spread rumors about me and I wouldn't even care-

Oh hell no. This girl had got to be kidding me. She had her arms occupied around a guy whose hands were resting over her ass. Kimara kissed the guy passionately like she did to Scott in the cafeteria. Except this time there was a difference. It wasn't Scott anymore. Scott was sitting in my biology class too, apparently more interested in some sort of manila folder and cellular device than his girlfriend smooching someone else. When the guy leaned in to kiss her goodbye finally, my blood went cold.

It was Mick.

Hurt and anger hit me, causing a wave of nausea to pass. My eyes instantly filled with tears as the anger grew like wildfire. I couldn't even hear what Amanda was telling me. It was like all of my senses had lost their power and I was glued to my spot, unable to move. I winced as I felt my heart shatter into about a thousand pieces and my stomach spun and twisted and dropped. A fiery sensation burned where my heart was and I suddenly got way too hot to sit in the room. The palms of my hands began to sweat profusely as a heat of hatred spread to them. I made fists with them under the table, swallowing down bile and trying to take calm and even breaths. But I couldn't take one.

Mick cheated on me. Mick. My boyfriend of two years. Making out with a girl I absolutely hate. Rage began to build up and it was all I could do but keep my cool as Kimara returned to her seat. I didn't need to give her the satisfaction of knowing what I just saw. I didn't want trouble-even though I wanted to rip her head off.

My hands started to really burn and that was when I flipped my palms over and stared. They were glowing. Glowing orange…like a big bright flashlight was shining through my flesh and skin from the back. My eyes widened past the point of normal and I placed my palms on my lab table. Tssss ,I nearly heard them burning the table. I pushed away from my seat without a word, somehow finding the strength to bring myself up to the teacher.

"I need to go to the bathroom." I said. I heard my voice and barely recognized it. It was gruff and husky with pain and anger, and I needed to take deep breaths.

"Are you alright?" Mrs. Whore asked, concern edging her tone.

"Fine." I said shortly before disappearing out the door with a quick glance. The last pair of eyes I saw on me were Scott's, with concern written all over his face. That was the last I saw of the classroom before I disappeared into the girl's bathroom, my stomach twisting in so many knots that I vomited.