January 6th, 2016

I woke up feeling like crap. I felt mad, sad, and confused all at the same time. I'm not sure how you're supposed to handle these emotions. Telling people doesn't always work. Not everyone really wants to listen. So I took the easy way, which is dealing with them myself.

When I looked at my clock, I had only ten minutes left. Normally I'd hurry, but this morning I didn't care. Does it matter if I miss the bus? Besides, I didn't want to accidentally encounter Jacob.

I left on time but walked slowly. I could skip school, but I'd get an earful from Mr. Peterson the next time I came. There was no point. I flipped my black hood over my head. It's the ultimate way for people to understand that you want silence. I just needed time to think about what to do next.

That's when the accident happened, diary! I ran into something and, when I looked up, saw Jacob standing there. My mind went into utter chaos. "J-J-Jacob…" I put my head down again to hide blush. "Sorry… I totally didn't mean to run into you..."

"Hey you're good." Ugh, he was being so nice as usual! It's hard being indifferent to someone who pours on kindness! "So why didn't you respond last night? Did something happen?" Oh. That's right. I had forgotten about not replying. I still don't feel that terrible about it.

"Sorry, I fell asleep." Another lie I've told him. This time, though, he believed me. He laughed and patted my shoulder.

"It's okay; everyone's done that before. Oh, do you want to sit next to me on the bus?" Sit with him?! Oh, diary, it was so hard to decide! On one hand I wanted to resist. There's a great possibility that he's just a fake. On the other hand he's been so sweet… and it was a few weeks ago…

So I accepted his invitation. He beamed at me, and, when the bus came, he led me to two seats in front. It felt weird sitting there. I was used to getting far in the back. I guess when you're popular you get these extra perks.

I was watching people come into the bus when I saw Sandra and Jamie. They got inside and, seeing me with Jacob, gave me an odd look. They seemed unsettled. It was strange. I wanted to ask them what was up, but they disappeared into the back. "What's wrong?" Jacob pestered with his typical questioning gaze. I got slightly irritated. Come on, Jacob; just let me figure this out!

"Nothing… don't worry about it…" I sat down defeated. There was no point in going all the way back just to ask. I'm smart enough to know that doing so would attract the wrong attention.

"You sure?" Jacob, now is the time to shut up. That's what I wanted to say. It took all I had in me to keep it from slipping.

"Yup," I said shortly. Time to think. That's what I needed and the bus was my last-ditch attempt at it.

Thankfully I got the peace to really ponder what was happening. Were the girls jealous? Oh wait… what happened on the field yesterday… I remembered it all, diary, and it hit me. They were probably angry that I'd said those things to them! Well I was still feeling guilty about it. I needed to be vocal now. My problems with Jacob could wait until later today.

As soon as Jacob and I left the bus I made my escape. "Hey, I need to talk to my friends about something important."

"You're fine. Want to meet here after school?" He'd still be around? "Oh, wait… I have soccer today." I had forgotten about his sports duties. Jacob is fully involved in soccer and even on a cold January day it was still on.

"No, you're good; I have tutoring. I'm sure we'll be done around the same time. Let's meet here." He nodded and left. Now my next mission was in full swing.

The moment Sandra and Jamie put their feet on the ground I was after them. "Sandra, Jamie!" They looked at me and froze. "I want to talk to you guys!" They exchanged glances. In my opinion they seemed skittish. Something was definitely going on.

When they came over I began. "Look guys I'm really sorry about yesterday. I didn't really mean what I said. You guys are my best friends and I really want to make it up to you. Will you forgive me?" They were quiet. I knew they were just thinking, but I really wished they didn't have to think so hard.

"Of course we do," Sandra said slowly. "Jamie…"

"It's just…" Jamie played with her hair nervously.

"What? You know you can tell me anything!" I was being earnest. I trusted them, so why was it so hard for them to trust me? Sure, I lie on the occasion, but I never have to my best friends. They're the greatest people I could have!

"We saw you sitting with Jacob Atwood today," Sandra said. I nodded. Why was that such a problem? "We'd appreciate it if you'd avoid him from now on." Avoid him? Why the heck should I have to avoid him? A touch of anger was coming through.

"Why?" I said, keeping my voice down. If it went too high my emotion would show.

"He's not good for you and... well," Jamie said. I could tell she was struggling. "I've been trying to get his attention for a while now. All of the sudden you have him wrapped around your finger."

"What? We've only been hanging out for the past two days. Don't worry so much." What kind of person did Jamie take me for? Wrapped around my finger? I'm not trying to use him at all diary. He was the one who talked to me first!

"Still… keep him at a distance, please? Just for me?" I thought it was ridiculous, but Jamie's pleading tone was something I couldn't ignore.

"I'll try my best." They are my closest friends. I have to help them out with these things and I certainly don't want to get in the way of their relationships. Especially since I have such weird feelings about Jacob. Not to mention I just met him!

"Thanks so much, Alexis!" Jamie said gleefully. I grinned, but on the inside I felt wrapped up in knots. "We'll see you at lunch, okay?" They left and I stared at the ground. Where were all these mixed up emotions coming from? I needed to get rid of them! Diary, I wonder how you trash emotions…

A few hours later we had P.E. Our school strives in keeping students healthy so physical education is a must. This basically makes every Wednesday and Friday hell. P.E. is where girls rag on you in the changing rooms and make fun of things you can't really control. They don't do it every time, but today was one of the bad ones.

I got to the girls changing room early. It's been a tradition for me to get there before everyone else so that no one watches me change. Since my mother can leave bruises on me, this is my best bet. Unfortunately someone must have caught on to my habit. When I got inside several girls were already in there, including Amy. "Hey there, Alex. We were just getting ready for P.E. Here to join us?" Her whiny voice reached my precious ears. I clenched my fists, a common trait for me when I'm under pressure. I couldn't leave, or I'd have to deal with twice as many girls. Better dealing with four than fifteen.

My heart was pounding when I took the clothes out of my bag. I just needed to get to the bathroom stall and change in there. Those girls were going to make a laughing stock out of me. It's not like I'm not used to it diary, but it hurts each time. These days it's just a matter of figuring out which route makes less pain.

I went into a bathroom stall and heard the girls laughing. "Oh, Alex, are you too scared to dress out here?"

Diary, I know what they say isn't true. It's just that sometimes things are too hard to ignore.

"It's because you're a board huh? Just a board!"

My physical appearance is hard for me to laugh off. None of my features are particularly flattering, certainly nothing attractive. I'm constantly reminded of it by these people. Everyone says your body image doesn't matter, but they obviously never went to high school.

"Come on out and show us! We just want to help you!" I tried to drain out the lies so hard. "We won't judge you for your ugly body!" I'm not ugly, diary. I know I'm not, and yet I can remember every word they said so clearly. I put my gym clothes on and exited. My face like my head was blank. The only thing I was thinking about, diary, was getting revenge.

"Hey, were you listening?" one of the stupid girls asked.

The rest has some fuzzy moments. The girl who said that must have grabbed my arm, and, without thinking, I punched her in the face. I remember hearing a shrill scream. That's when I left the changing room. My brain was in complete disarray, and at some point I think I was crying. I went outside which isn't where we have our P.E. I remember it was pouring rain. I sat down on the steps to the school, hugging my knees and throwing my hood over my face.

I don't know how much time passed by. Eventually I felt someone take me by the arm. I let the person take me through the school until I landed on a cushion. I recognized it. They'd taken me to the principal's office.

"Ms. King, could you look at me please?" I looked up. Now, diary, things become clear. My eyes were adjusting. It was the principal. Her name is Mrs. Stevenson. She has short layered brown hair and blue eyes. She has glasses, which gives her the perfect teacher look. Her height, probably about six feet, gives her an air of authority. One thing's for sure, diary: The woman always means business. "Would you like to talk to me about what happened with Ms. Fox today?" Ms. Fox? What about Ms. Mouse? Okay, bad joke, but it was worth it.

"You mean the chick I hit?" Looking back, I probably could have used a much nice term. "She had it coming, ma'am. They were making fun of me in the changing room. I got mad."

"You shouldn't take your anger out on other students, Ms. King. You've done this before. I don't want to suspend you or, worse, have you expelled." Dangerous words but overall an empty threat. After being part of as many schools as I have you get a feel for when teachers really mean what they say and when they don't.

"I don't want those things to happen to me." In truth I really do care. I have dreams for what I want to do. Something within the world of writing. It's why I bother to write all this down diary. I need to have a future and writing is the best place to get such a thing.

"This is my last warning. I want you to have a future, Ms. King. So, please, control your urges." I nodded. I know I need to shape up. "Good. Well, P.E. is just about over, so you can go to lunch." I was surprised they let me sit there that long. Guess no one really wanted to report me. "Also, you will be serving detention after lunch. Furthermore I will be planning some things for you to do in the future." Great, some service project to make me a better person. "All right, you may leave."

After serving detention, going through more classes, and getting tutoring I headed home. I was exhausted to say the least! The whole day had wiped me out although more mentally than physically.

Getting through the school I was going down the last hallway when I saw Amy at the exit. This was the moment where I wanted to die. She stood there with a scowl on her face. Her friends were blocking the rest of the door. There was no way to get around them. I backed away so they couldn't see me and thought hard. Most of everyone had gone home. Only the teachers were left. The teachers! At that point they were my last resort. Diary, teachers are good shields. My plan was to use one to get through the door. They wouldn't hurt me with a teacher around.

So I waited. And waited. And waited some more. About a half an hour went by when I realized that teachers weren't coming. They probably had extra work. My only other option was to use the emergency doors, but I knew better. You're not supposed to use those, or you get in trouble. My last option was to be brave and face them. Knowing it was the only way, I took a deep breath and showed myself. I started walking down the hallway. Stupid Amy was smiling at my arrival. "Hey there friend!" The girls with her copied her smile. That's when I saw Freckles in the bunch. Guess she decided to join the bandwagon.

"Hey guys, what's up?"

"We want to talk." When I reached the group I halted. I would go nonchalantly and then break out into a run. I'm a pretty fast runner and could outsmart these girls easily.

I followed them outside. We went down the steps and out to the sidewalk. I walked faster to get to the front. "So where we going?"

"Oh, we can stop here." They wanted a fight, I could tell. The thing about girls is that they play dirty. At that moment, diary, I was at a disadvantage of nine to one. I broke out a grin to try to tease them. I eyed Amy who was blocking my passage. In my mind I was begging her to move.

Seconds later she moved. I ran passed her and down the sidewalk. It wasn't hard to tell that they were following me. I heard Amy screaming orders. I went around the corner and kept going. I wasn't going to stop till I was safe.

It was when I went around another corner that things went wrong, diary. Very wrong. A person stood in my blind spot and, when I got there, we collided. I fell to the ground and gasped. The person left without saying a single word. I rushed to get up so that I'd still have a head start, but I was struck down. I fell back. My face was smashed against the concrete. "There you are," Amy said. Diary, the horror connected to me. I was in deep, deep trouble. All the girls were starting to surround. "Who wants to start?"

"Me!" Some random idiot squealed. I squeezed my eyes shut. This was going to hurt.

It hurt. Really bad diary. Someone kicked me in the chest and I felt the air get knocked out of me. I wheezed for air. Then another girl, and other, and other. Each one leaving another mark on top of the marks from my mother's previous punishment. I cried out for help. I couldn't hold in my pain anymore. "Hear that ladies? She feels it. This is what you did to my best friend, Alex." I could feel tears. No, I really didn't want to cry in front of these girls. They don't deserve the satisfaction. I couldn't hold it back though. Soon I was sobbing. "Oh look at her, poor girl." I felt a stinging pain to my shoulders. "Not too high!" I heard Amy hiss. "Now, Alex, what do you say to us?"

"I…" I swallowed and I tasted something salty. Blood. "Go… go to hell." Amy squatted and leaned into my face. Raising her hand she slapped me across the face. I bit my lip to hold in any reaction.

"Amy, someone is coming down the street. We need to go."

"Yeah, I think she gets the point. Let's get out of here, ladies." They ran off, giggling and squealing along the way.

My head hurt so badly. I lay on the ground just staring at the sky. I was still crying which turned into coughing. I couldn't get up from the pain. My eyes were filled with little spots dancing around. "Alexandria…?" I heard a male voice. Jacob was kneeling by my side. He was white from shock and for very good reason. He swore repeatedly and ran his hands through his hair. "Amy, did this to you didn't she?"

"Yeah…" I said as softly as I could.

"Can you stand?" He took my hand. I grasped his shoulder and slowly raised myself. Pain consistently beat through the process. "I'm gonna kill her…" He helped me stand. My legs were wobbly, so I wrapped my arms around his neck for support. Giving him the okay we started moving. "Okay, tell me exactly what happened."

I won't spare the details, diary, but it took quite a while to get to my house. When we did, I gave him the key and we went inside. I am still surprised by how gentlemanly he had been. Maybe he isn't as bad as I've been thinking. Boys don't do this for someone they hate after all.

He brought me medicine and an ice pack. There really wasn't a need for anything else since there's not much you can do. I didn't want to take off my shirt for him to see the real damage. "Hopefully the medicine will hold the pain off. Your mother will probably have a better idea." No. She knows nothing of how to treat pain like this, plus she wouldn't care. Of course I couldn't say that out loud. I'm fully aware of what happens when you tell someone about your past…

"Yeah I'm sure she will." He sat down on the couch, and I got red. We were close once more. "I think I'll stay until she comes." In that moment I completely and utterly panicked. I couldn't tell him my mother's job or how late she'd really get home.

"No, you don't need to wait." I was trying my best to calculate a good escape. "She's not going to come for a while. Besides I can take care of myself. I'm sixteen after all." Jacob, being as sharp as usual, got right through it. That little punk sometimes…

"I'm not convinced. Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm very sure!" I came up with anything I could to win him over. It seemed like over an hour, but I got him to leave.

"Send me some messages tonight. I want to make sure you're going to be okay."

"I will I promise." He left, and I hobbled to my bed. He was so sweet today. Was this really the same boy that told Amy to get revenge?

My eyes were peeled from the diary when Jerry poked my shoulder. I peeked up at him. "What have you found?" Jerry looked agitated.

"We have some more people to look into. I want Jacob Atwood. Along with that I want you to find a girl named Amy. Go to the Springfield Public High School for her information."

"I've got you covered. Anything else before I head out?"

"Yes. See if you can get anything about the father. Most likely we'll need to get him here." My detective mode was being switched on. There was so much to find to connect this case.

"Alright, see you in a little while." He left, and I scowled at my desk.

Suicides always have a criminal behind them. They can't always be prosecuted, but they can't get away with what they did. Somewhere in their twisted minds there's a conscience. In this specific case I expected much of this to happen.

Jacob Atwood… he was my primary suspect. He was so nice to the girl, but there was malicious intent behind him, or not? Was he really just as innocent as he seemed? This was only a two day period so far. There were still many things to discover about the boy, not to mention what he'd think when he heard about the murder. A person's reaction to death can be helpful to the case.

Amy, now there was someone I needed to dig deeper into. She was Alexandria's enemy no doubt. However she'd dealt with Amy's abuse for a while. Would Amy do something to push her over the edge? What would it take to push Alexandria off anyway? Was Jacob the wrong way to go?

Either way there was still much to scrutinize. I picked up my spot in the diary. It was time to figure out what went on with after Jacob's departure…

He's smart, sweet, gentle. Is it all an act? Can people be that nice without ulterior motives? I'm not sure, diary. My best friends will sometimes use me for their own personal gain. In a world of cat and mouse, I'm always the mouse. Is Jacob just using me for his benefit? But what is there to gain if that's what he's doing? I don't have much. I'm not popular or rich and there's not a whole lot going for me. So what is he up to?

Ugh, why are people so confusing, diary?

I should get back to what happened next. After studying my thoughts for the right answer and getting nothing, I went to the computer. It was little past six, and Jacob had gone home about a half an hour ago. Was it too early to send a message? Who knows, diary, but I did it! I wrote this message. "Hey so I'm still alive! Maybe it's a little early to send a message." I logged out of my Facebook and went to grab something for dinner.

When I came back there were messages. "Good, I was pretty worried! Haha you're fine don't worry about it. Hey so about Amy. I have an idea." I typed back fast.

"Okay, what is it?"

"Let's set up a prank. Get at her for what she did to you." The idea of payback was pretty sweet to me.

"How and when?"

"At school…" I interrupted him.

"I can't do it at school. The principal already warned me about getting suspended or expelled. It has to be outside of school and something Amy won't rat about."

"That's fine. I can change it up easy."

"What is this prank?"

"You'll find out tomorrow." What? Why tomorrow! "Just be patient. You'll love the idea when you hear it." I was a bit disappointed and not fully liking this. What will this prank entail? I don't want to get into trouble. He knows my situation though so maybe his plans are safe. I should trust him, but trusting people is so hard. "Trust me Alexandria. I know better than to do something that will hurt you or your education."

"Yeah." Too short? I'm pretty sure it was.

"Just trust me. You won't be disappointed. If you are then you can beat me up and throw me in jail." I laughed a little bit at that one.

"I'm holding you to that."

"Good. Just makes the whole thing that much better." Cocky little thing he is!

We talked for a little while longer. Honestly I had a good time with the conversation. All the anger I've been holding is starting to fade. Now I'm back to where I started with him. Hopefully we can get closer.

Oh… diary, I just remembered… Jamie and Sandra! I wasn't supposed to be talking to him! Oh dang it, what am I going to do? I want to be close to him and yet I have things to uphold. I need to stop associating with him. Tomorrow and then that's it! No more hanging out with him after the prank, or I could lose my best friends. I never want that to happen, ever.