Chapter 1

I throw the ice cold water onto my scorching face from where my abusive mother had hit me once again. I should be used to this by now, but every time this happens I still find myself tearing up at the fact that my life will never be any better than it is now. No fifteen year old or any aged adolescent should have to deal with the death of one parent and have the other turn into a monster straight out of hell. Sometimes I imagine my life different from the way it is; a happy family, a father coming home from a long day of work to a loving mother cooking for her three children, sitting at a table as we say grace and eat a nice home cooked meal. I imagine that we are all happy and love each other the way we were supposed to. I wish that my life was like that, but I learned a long time ago that wishes don't come true. My life is a living hell. I have an alcoholic abusive mother who feeds off of my pain and suffering. My father is no longer in the picture; before he died I was actually pretty happy, but now that he is gone everything has turned to shit for me. But at least I have one person in my life that can still make me smile, my older brother Danny. The only person in my life that I know truly cares about me. He is the only person that I would do anything for. I would give anything if it meant that Danny would be happy. He has done so much for me and I will never be able to repay him.

Then there is my eleven year old kid sister Katrina or as I like to call her the bitch. She is the sole reason my life is so screwed up, I blame her for everything that has happened to me, and I will never forgive her. Not even if my life depended on it. I despise Katrina, she spends her days finding excuses to get me in trouble with my mom . I don't know what I did to deserve all of this pain and emotional abuse. Katrina actually caused my beating today. Sometimes I sneak out of the house in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. I don't know why but I feel better once I get out of the house. Last night I climbed out of the window and up on the roof like I usually do. Since my house is two stories high I had to lower myself down by the gutter and hang on it until I jump down. I decided to take a walk around the park and sit at the old bench by the basketball court. I can sit at that bench for hours doing nothing but stare at the sandy ground. That bench is like a second home to me; if only I had a first home.

Unfortunately for me Katrina saw me sneak out from her bedroom window. That bitch woke up my mom and told her that I snuck out. When I got home my mom was waiting for me with a belt in one hand.

As I walk out of my bathroom I can't help dreading another long and miserable day at my piece of shit high school. Although it's a thousand times better than being at home I still have to deal with the stuck up bitch Brittany Scarlet and all of the rumors that follow about my screwed up life. I think I am meant to be unhappy. Every time I think my life is getting better it suddenly gets worse. I hate myself, if there is a god out there he hates me to. The only reason I am still breathing is because of Danny. At this point I don't know why I get out of bed every day. Why is my life like this? Why am I here only to be in pain? I'm now in my dull purple room brushing through my thick jet black hair that flows down to the middle of my back. Although I really don't know why I even bother it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone I could care less what I wear or how I look. I think the only thing I really like about myself is my blue eyes that have sprinkles of green in them, except you can't really notice them with the black circles under my eyes. For some reason I am unable to sleep for more than an hour every night. I always end up waking up and staring at the ceiling until morning. Or I sneak out and walk around my small town. Most girls would probably kill to have a body like mine. To be skinny and have a good body shape. To not be too tall or too short. But I usually hide my body with plain t-shirts and pairs of baggy jeans. Today I have a red long sleeve shirt that's two sizes too big and I have black jeans on with a black belt. I can't even stand looking at myself in the mirror, all I see is bruises, scars, and someone who isn't worth anything. So I'm left to start at my tiny bare feet. My attention draws to my small birthmark on my left ankle, it is in the shape of a crescent moon with a six sided star beside it. Why do I have this birthmark? I wonder to myself but always coming to the conclusion that it doesn't matter and that I already have enough to think about without adding a birthmark to the list. All of the sudden my attention goes to a familiar brown haired devious figure saying. "Juniper mom says to get you're you know what downstairs before she kicks it to school". Katrina says with a smile that burns me with hatred, Katrina's dark brown eyes staring at me with innocence, oh how I would love to walk over and slap that smile off of her angel like face. "Well you can tell mom to blow it out her ass!" I yell in response. "Fine I will MOM! Katrina runs out of the room and continues to scream down the hallway. In the same moment I grabbed my dark blue backpack and my black flip flops and run out of my room as fast as I can. My mom is already pissed at me for last night and I don't want to add another bruise to my collection. But it is too late my mom is already blocking the front door her face dangerously red with hatred. "Where do you think you're going you little bitch"? My mom says. I can almost taste the vodka and cigarettes in her breath. "Going to school where else would I go mother." I say annoyed. I try to walk away but she grabs my arm. "Don't ever speak to me like that, you're lucky I don't put you into the hospital for last night". I push the big woman out of my way eager to get out the door, I know what was going to happen if I stay there for one more second. As I walk out the door I expect to see my mom running behind me, eager to give me a punch for pushing her out of the way. But she doesn't follow; I doubt she has enough energy to chase me anyway. When I get outside I expect to see Danny at the edge of our driveway waiting for our bus to pick us up. But instead I see the big yellow bus driving off in the distance, however I am able to catch a glimpse of my brother's dark brown hair arguing with the bus driver probably telling him to turn around and come back for me. But I know he won't turn back, if it were Danny instead of me then he would turn around, but me being as unlucky as I am; I am positive that the bus won't come back for me. Now I am left to walk all the way to my school which happens to be five miles away. I decide to take the longer way to get to school, I might as well I'm already going to be late, maybe I'll get to skip all the way through 3rd period so I don't have to see Brittany. It's beginning to become chilly here in Cadwell Georgia, I pull out my gray hoodie from my backpack and pull in over my shirt as I walk down the road. It seems very cold for the end of October. I look back at my house which is a total piece of shit, and I wonder if I should just go back inside the small dull house or if I should just walk to the park and skip school. But I know if I turn around my mother will just hit me like she always does and I really don't feel like my mom getting a call from the school saying I never showed up.

Just looking at the house gives me painful memories, it used to be a beautiful small house but now it looks like the slightest touch could break it with its cracked windows and with the mold growing around the house. I remember when the house was clean and beautiful. But now the house may as well be made out of sticks, it looks like it might collapse. Their use to be a garden at the corner, me and my dad would pick the fully grown vegetables and eat them together when I was younger, it seems like that was someone else's life. As I walk further down the next few roads I wonder what Brittany will do to ruin my day. Well my day is already ruined but she will somehow make it worse. That slutty bitch always seems to get to me, spreading rumors about me and Danny. Something about her makes me lose my temper. I always end up getting in trouble for getting into fights with her. She thinks she is so perfect and better than everyone else, she has it easy in life. she actually has a mom and dad that give a shit about her, I would love to see how she would handle being in my shoes for a couple of hours I'm definitely not what you may call the most popular girl at school; I don't have any friends unless you count Danny. I am that kid in every school that sits by themselves at lunch and blasts music in my ears to block everyone and everything out. Sometimes Danny will offer me a seat at his lunch table. I never accept his offer. I would sit with Danny, but he has his friends and I'm not the type to sit next to my brother awkwardly, while I watch him have conversations with his friends. I know he doesn't want me there and that he just wants to be nice. But he would never admit it to me. All I have ever wanted was a normal life; I never wanted to be the outcast at school. Sometimes I want to be that one person everyone likes. I want to have normal teenager problems like not having a date for homecoming or failing my classes. I want to have friends that invite me to sleep overs and go to parties and get into some trouble. I want to be able to go home and not worrying about whether or not I will eat. I just want one moment of pure happiness. Every time I tell someone that my mother abuses me they think I'm lying. They say that the best thing to do is to tell someone but what's the point when no one believes you? I have had to of tried at least twenty different times. Danny even tells them that we are being abused but apparently there is not enough god damn evidence. It's the same routine every time. Someone from the agency comes to my house and my mom puts on an act identifying that she is a loving mother to us, and then I end up getting a lecture about how wrong it is to lie about something as serious as being abused. Even when Danny tells them that I am telling the truth they don't believe us. Society is a real bitch sometimes. Most of the time I think it would be better if I just died, just to end all of my pain and suffering, too just one day fall asleep and never wake up.

When I finally enter school grounds it's in the middle of 3rd period, Mrs. Chatman's Chemistry class, which is of course my least favorite class. It's not just because of Mrs. Chatman's constant bitching which believe me makes you want to pull your hair out. It's because Brittany Scarlet and her group of wannabes are in that class to. I enter the main building to get to the attendance office, the attendance lady Mrs. Burns looks at me and rolls her eyes. She knows the drill I come to school late all the time she barely looks at me as she hands me the permission slip. Mrs. Burns was always a bitch to me so I'm always a bitch towards her. As I walk away from her office I flick her off, I know she saw it but I guess she doesn't really care since she lets me continue out of the building.

As I enter the class room all eyes fall upon me. Uncomfortably I walk to my desk, I settle myself in my seat and take out my chemistry text book. After I get my book out my eyes instantaneously draw to Riley Evan's gorgeous blue eyes at the desk next to mine. He is the only guy I have ever had a crush on, but what would a guy like Riley ever want with a girl like me? It seems to me that since the moment I was born I was destined to be a loser. Most of the time I'm alone in my room counting the days until Danny turns 18 and we get as far away as possible from my ass of a mother. I'm a loser and I will always be one. I have no future and no purpose in life. Someone as hot and as sweet as Riley Evans would never be with anyone like me. Even if he did I wouldn't want to bring him down with my screwed up life. It's not fair for anyone who has to deal with the type of problems I have. Suddenly I lose my train of thought when warm breath brushes my ear. "Well look who finally decided to show up, late again Juniper," Brittany giggles. I automatically clench my fists and I try to ignore her. "Staring at Riley again wow you are so desperate, do you really believe you out of all people would ever have a chance with Riley Evans? You are such a pathetic disgrace to the human race." I flick her off and roll my eyes and I try to listen to Mrs. Chatman's lecture. "That's your comeback really? You really are a loser aren't you? I see you have another bruise did mommy hit you again?" I can feel my heart racing I know I'm about to break. "Too bad daddy isn't alive to help you but then again he was always too high to even care about you or your pathetic brother." Brittany says with a chuckle. And that was it, no one ever speaks about my father like that. I lost my short temper in an instant. I jump out of my chair and begin punching the living hell out of her, and this time I know that I am not going to stop. Brittany went too far this time; she has never said anything about my dad until now. The other kids form a circle around us, some cheering the fight on, others wanting it to end. After just one punch to the face her nose begins to bleed. I can see it in her eyes that she knows I'm not planning on stopping until she draws her last breath. She's on the floor now and I'm on top of her kicking, punching, scratching, and biting her unable to stop myself. But I don't want to stop. Then she starts screaming "STOP, PLEASE, and GET THIS PYSCHO OFF OF ME. "SHUT UP BITCH!" I respond. Then Mrs. Chatman and a couple other students including Riley drag me off of Brittany, but I push my way through and grab Brittany's curly blonde hair. Everyone stares in horror as I throw Brittany on her stomach and put all of my weight on her so she can't get up. Then I grab her arm and start to twist; I hear the snap I was waiting for. Riley then grabs one of my arms and begins to pull me off of her, but not before I rip a huge chunk of her hair off of that pretty little head of hers. While Riley is holding me back I calm down enough to stop fighting his grip. I start realizing what I had done. Little puddles of blood are scattered across the tile floor along with Brittany holding her clearly broken arm struggling to get up. No one moves in to help her. The inside of her mouth is bleeding and I don't know why I guess she bit her tongue while I was holding her down she spits some of the blood on the floor. Bruises are already starting to appear all over her. And I'm not feeling bad for her in fact I am enjoying her pain. So this is what I am, a monster; I think to myself what type of a person enjoys watching someone else suffer? My mom does and I refuse to end up like her. Riley is still holding me back as everyone looks at me in complete horror. I turn my gaze at Riley expecting him with the same look on his face but I am surprised when it's not there. He's looking at me with pity not horror. It's as if he's looking at me the way he should be looking at Brittany. Now it feels like we are the only two people in the room, everything else just vanished, and there is no sound. We don't speak we just stare at each other. I study his perfect features as he stares back at me. I wonder if he can hear my heart beat flutter a thousand miles per hour. Riley Evans is truly perfect in every way, perfect short brown hair and blue eyes that remind me of a crystal clear ocean. He is tall and has muscles that make me want to faint. He is so beautiful that I couldn't imagine a better looking guy then him. Then the moment was over as several teachers come in the room and drag me away. This was my second fight this week. The other was with Haven Walton one of Brittany's best friends who tripped me in the hall as I exited the lunch line. The food on my tray went all over my clothes. When I got up I pounced on Haven, gave her one good punch in the face, got up, and walked away. But legally the school can't do a thing about it. I have Anger Management problems and they have known this since I enrolled in the school that I am a ticking time bomb ready to explode, which makes me untouchable. I can tell that this time is going to be different by the looks of everyone's face. Every single student in the school was in the hall way watching me being dragged off into the principal's office and they are scared. No one looks directly in my eyes. I manage to locate Danny which is not very difficult considering there is only 253 students at Cadwell High school. He looks at me with worried eyes as a brother should, he also looks disappointed as well. I don't struggle; I let them drag me by my arms. They literally throw me into the principal's office and lock the door; no one said a thing to me as they dragged me in the office. I sit down in the wooden chair and prop my feet up on the principle's desk. I look at my fists and I see that they are covered with dry blood; blonde hair is tangled between my fingers. I pick off the strands of hair as I sit in the office for what feels like hours. Until two police officers barged in the room with a note pad in one hand and a pen in the other. The bald man is Sheriff Rodgers and the other is Deputy Saunders. Everyone knows each other in my small town of Cadwell population 924. It's a peaceful town in the middle of Georgia where nothing bad ever happens. So you could probably imagine the shock when they got a call from the school saying a student almost killed another student. If I could I would leave this shitty place and never look back. The only thing that stops me from leaving is Danny. He is unwilling to leave, I could never bring myself to leave him alone with my mom. No matter how much I want to. "Miss Taylor do you know why you are here?" Sheriff Rodgers says. "No I have no idea why I am here am I getting an award for my good behavior?" I respond sarcastically and annoyed. "No you are here because you almost killed Miss Scarlet; you are in a heap of trouble young lady." "No shit, what do you think I am a dumbass you don't have to ask stupid questions that will get you absolutely nowhere, that bitch deserved it anyway." I say with a smile. Sheriff Rodgers knows me pretty well every time I have an issue at home I talk to him about it. I guess he is sort of like my therapist, but he always tells me that there is not enough evidence to put my mom away for good, which I absolutely do not understand. I don't think he believes me either; I think that he believes I am just a troubled teenager who just wants attention, but at least he will actually listen to me. "Juniper you can't keep getting yourself into trouble, I can't continue to bail you out every time you get into a fight. One day everything you do will catch up to you and no one will be able to help you. Please try to control your anger; next time you might not be so lucky." Rodgers says as he sits down in the seat next to me. I bite the sleeve of my sweat shirt like I usually do when I want to say something but I know I shouldn't say it. I choose my next words carefully. "Are Brittany's parents bringing this to court?" I ask. "No. They decided not to press charges they didn't want to go through the entire judicial process. You're very lucky Juniper this could have gone a completely different path but it didn't. You should be thankful." I laugh at this "I should be thankful? Are you kidding me? What do I have to be thankful for? My life is a complete living hell and no one is doing anything about it. No one cares about me or Danny or even Katrina and you think I should be thankful? What the hell is wrong with you?" I ask. "I know Juniper I know you don't have an easy life. But things will get better I promise you. We will find evidence to put her away one day. But until then you need to lay low you're not making it any easier for me fighting with students and exploding over the slightest things." He puts is hand on my shoulder. "Juniper all I ask is for you to calm down ok? In fact starting tomorrow you won't even have to worry about school, you can start over." "What do you mean?" "We have decided that it would be better for your safety and the safety of the other students if we were to put you in the virtual school program." Sheriff Rodgers says. I cover my face with my hands and put my head down. "No no no I can't go to virtual school I just can't. I can barely handle my mom after school. Can you imagine what she is going to do to me when we are alone in the house together for seven hours before my brother and my sister come home? This isn't happening!" I yell. At that same moment my mother barges in the room her face burning with anger. "What the hell did you do now you little piece of shit." She screamed as she walks heavily towards me and slaps me across my face. "You are nothing you have singled handedly ruined this family" she screams. All I can do is sit there with a big smile on my face, nothing brings me more joy then to make my mother so angry. Both police officers grab my mother back, but she isn't finished with me yet. The big women was too much for the two police men she easily struggled her way out of their clutches, which I expected. But what I don't expect is for her to grab the gun out of Sheriff Rodger's belt and point it at me. I watch her as she carefully aims the gun directly at me, there's no time for me to move or for the police officers to stop her. Then she pulls the trigger. I don't hear the gun shot, all of my senses shut down in an instant. I can't feel myself breathe. I try to speak but I can't the only thing I am able to do is watch, time is moving in slow motion. I see my mother still holding the gun in her hand. Then Deputy Saunders pulls his gun out and is yelling at my mother. She is about to pull the trigger again to finish me off but Deputy Saunders is quicker than her. I manage to hear this gunshot and my mother hits the floor as the bullet strikes her neck. Then Rodgers runs out of the room to probably get help. I don't feel any pain but I automatically hold my gushing wound. Saunders is telling me something but I can't understand him. I know he is speaking but no words come out. I try to listen but I can't hear anything. I look down and realize that I'm on my knees; blood is dripping through my gray sweat shirt. Then I'm falling backwards unable to keep myself up any longer. Saunders catches me in his arms before I hit the ground. I can feel myself becoming weaker and weaker by the second. The light around me is starting to fade. Saunders is checking my pulse on my neck while Rodgers runs back in the room and is on his walkie talkie. I know I am slipping away I can feel death cradling me in its arms. Darkness begins to surround me. I wish I could see Danny one last time, what will happen to him when I am gone. I slowly close my eyes unable to keep them up any longer. And I'm not afraid. I am ready to die.