The dreaded day for all children, young and old. It wasn't that I hated Mondays, I just hated school. The teenage hell.
I opened my eyes, not prepared - as usual - for the bright stream of light that hit my face. My eyes screwed shut at their own accord, and I lazily threw off my covers and sat up. I was not ready to start a new year. I needed more rest, much more. I finally opened my eyes and sighed as I caught sight of the clock hanging on my wall. Great, first day at a new school and I'm going to be late. Perfect first impression Winnie.
I guess you're wondering who I am, exactly.
I'm Winnie Gallagher. I'm not a very interesting person, but I'll try to tell you a little about me. I have dark blonde hair with bright natural highlights, blue or green eyes - I can never tell. I'm 5'8, not too short, and not too tall, just where I like it.
I'm not skinny, I'm told I am, but I know that I'm nowhere near. I have a baby face, I guess you could say. Heart-shaped, with long black eyelashes, rosy lips where the top lip almost disappears when I smile. That's about it. Like I said, not very interesting.
My father and I just moved here around a month ago, and I already had to go to school. It was hard moving away from all my friends, it'll be weird not seeing them every day. You see, I'm not the most confident person; it's hard to make friends sometimes, so moving somewhere I've never heard of, let alone been to, is kind of hard.
I heard my dad's footsteps coming up the stairs and raced towards my closet. Just as I opened the door my dad walked in.
I glared at him in annoyance.
"I could've been getting dressed you know," I said as I burrowed through my mass of clothes for something suitable to wear. My father didn't answer, simply gave me a disapproving look and walked out. He worried about my first impression more than I did.
My father had always been a very quiet but powerful man. I've been told he used to be a bit of a rule breaker, very carefree and happy. I've never seen that side of him though - if it even exists - so I wouldn't know. I just know my dad as the guy who pays for my food, shelter, clothes and only talks to me when I get bad grades. I love him though, don't get me wrong. He's my dad after all, and he has his moments.
I think I know what made him how he is. My mother died giving birth to my stillborn brother, so I only knew her for a short eight years, but I always hear my relatives say how much I look and act like her. But from what I remember, I don't think I match her unearthly beauty. She was gorgeous, my mother, and kind, forgiving, selfless and stubborn. She would do anything for the people she loved. I wasn't anything like her.
Finally deciding on a pair of light blue jeans and a long sleeved laced shirt, - I would have worn a hoodie, but my dad would have killed me - I quickly got dressed and grabbed my bag, skipping down the stairs to the kitchen.
I didn't have time for a big meal, so I grabbed an apple and walked out the door. I used to walk to school, since I enjoyed the morning air but I didn't know the area and I was already late so I grabbed my keys out of my bag and hopped into my Toyota.
Once I had parked the car, I ran inside, hoping that I could find my way to the main office without too much trouble. Of course, being me, luck wasn't on my side this morning, and I was forced to walk around the abandoned school halls for ten whole minutes, trying to find the office.
You might be asking, what happened after ten minutes? Did she finally find the office? Did she get into trouble? Nope. Neither of those things happened, but I'll tell you what did. I ran into - quite literally - one of the most godly, tall, and unemotional people in the world. I love my life.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
I'll break down my morning for you so far:
1. Wakes up late.
2. Father was unresponsive, as usual.
3. No time for a proper breakfast.
4. Crappy park.
5. Got lost in the school.
6. Literally crashed into a brown eyed guy who looks just about ready to kill me.
It's not my fault I fell on him. It was a sharp corner and he wasn't watching where he was going. Well, neither was I but at least I had a good reason for it. He on the other hand, uttered not a single word. No excuse, no apology. You'd think he at least look a little sorry, but NOPE!
There was not one ounce of regret in those dark eyes of his. He simply stood there. Just flipping stood there, staring at me like I took the last oreo. If I had taken it, I would understand his anger towards me. Oreos were an important part of everyday life, but I hadn't taken it so he had no logical reason to shun me.
Of course, I would never tell him any of the things, instead I chose the practical thing to do. Run away.
I turned on my heel, and bolted back down the long corridor I had come up.
Awkward first impression: Tick.
I didn't dare look behind me, I was too much of a wimp to do that. At first I thought he would follow me. You know how they do in movies, where they run after you and trap you against the wall and threaten to kill you and your loved ones if you come near them again? No? Okay.
Somehow in my panic, I managed to catch a glimpse of the office doors and I turned abruptly and tried to calmly walk in. Obviously I failed, but give me some credit for effort.
I walked up to the front desk where a black haired lady was sitting, speaking into her phone while she rapidly typed into her computer. I awkwardly tapped the desk to get her attention and her gaze snapped to me for a split second until they traveled back to her computer. She lifted a hand, signaling for me to wait.
I stood there, not knowing what to do while she focused on her current task, when the doors suddenly flew open. I flinched at the harsh noise but made no comment at the newcomer. I did quickly steal a glance to the doors to see who was there, however. Lo and behold, in walked Mr. You Stole My Oreos. How unfortunate for me.
For a split second, my heart skipped a beat at the thought of him really following me to come and teach me a lesson. I quickly realised that was stupid, because as I said before, that was only in movies.
I heard an impatient cough from beside me, and realised I had been staring at the stranger for a little too long. Luckily he didn't notice, I think. I looked back to the desk lady and smiled politely at her.
"H-hi, I'm new," I said. She didn't say anything, simply nodded and went back to her computer while I waited.
Call me a scaredy-cat, but it was so nerve racking to speak to people I had never seen in my life. I didn't like meeting new people, I was awkward enough around my closest friends, with new people I swear some of them think I'm mute.
Finally, the lady got up and retrieved my timetable from the printer. I thanked her and made a move to leave the room, when my way was suddenly blocked by a large hard chest. I had moved quickly so my nose had managed to have a hard impact so I rubbed it while wincing. I looked up and my eyes widened a little.
There, was the dark eyed boy. His eyes started to narrow at me and he took a step forward, bringing his hand up and pulling it back before he...
He didn't nearly punch me, he simply stood there, staring. Again. What was it with this guy and staring? I started feeling a little self-conscious under his steely gaze, so I squirmed uncomfortably before muttering a sorry and hauling my little ass out of there.
I let out a breath once I was safely on the other side of the wall. I took a quick look at where my locker was and realised I was standing right next to it. That was easy, now for the hard part. The lock. I hated locks with a passion. They annoyed me to no end and it wasn't a surprise when it didn't open on the first try.
After a few failed attempts, the locker mercifully opened. By this time there was about five more minutes until first class ended. I crammed my small backpack into the thin space, grabbing my books and timetable before slamming the door shut and walking off in a random direction. Once I had quickly glanced at my second class for the day, though, I turned around and headed in the other direction.
The bell rung as I was still making my way through the hallway and suddenly I couldn't breathe. People crowded the small space within seconds and I suddenly felt much too large for the amount of space provided. I begged myself to just reach my class, but no such luck.
I looked around frantically for the closest door to me which just so happened to be the girl's restroom, which I couldn't have been more happy about. Surely there weren't too many people in here. I was lucky that this time there were no people whatsoever in the bathroom and I quickly locked myself into a cubicle and sat down on the closed toilet seat.
I focused on my breathing, trying to regain my regular breath. I couldn't do it. My breathing came out shallower as the time went by, and my eyesight suddenly started clouding with tears. My body was shaking with panic and I couldn't do anything.
I relentlessly tried to remember the breathing method I had been taught, but my mind came up blank and I continued to panic. I was gasping for air now, I slapped my hands onto my mouth to quieten the mix of sobs and pants that were erupting from my throat without permission.
Tears streamed down my face as I tried to calm the raging storm that was my stomach. I hated panic attacks, hated them more than anything in the world. After what seemed like forever, my breathing became less haggard and the tears slowed to a small sting in my eyes.
I hung my head in my hands, knowing there was no point in going to the end of my current class. I was sure I'd get into trouble for skipping class, but there was nothing I could have done. You can't just turn of a panic attack because it was inconvenient timing. It was something that would come whether it was convenient or not.
Once I was back to normal, I walked out of the cubicle and trudged over to the sink. My eyes were red and puffy for crying for a half hour and some strands of hair were now loose from the messy bun I had carefully placed them in this morning.
I splashed my face with water and decided to leave my hair as it was, I wasn't going to spend more time than necessary on my appearance. It was only so my dad wasn't disappointed in the morning anyway, so it didn't really matter to me at all what I looked like.
I closed my eyes for a moment, just trying to get my head straight. I hated crowds, I honestly could not stand them. Every time I'm around too many people I feel so cramped and I feel like everyone is staring at me and judging my clothes and face and hair and just everything about me. I hated it and I hated them.
Walking out of the bathroom was harder than I thought it was going to be. It was class time, so I wasn't expecting anybody to be around, but it seemed like the classes that were currently running weren't very popular among the students.
People littered the hallways, hanging with friends by their lockers, heading outside to do god knows what. I didn't feel very comfortable with people around, but at least there were less than before. I took my time walking towards my locker, I didn't want any attention from passing students. I simply wanted to grab my bag and try and find a nice quiet place to spend the day.
Going to class today was the last thing I wanted to do. If my dad was notified that I had skipped, then I would just tell him the truth. I had a panic attack and I was too afraid to be around people after that. As much as my dad didn't talk to me, he knew how it felt to panic like I do, so he would understand. He always does, whenever I tell him I had a panic attack, his eyes soften and he simply nods and lets me off. He's kinda great like that.
I reached my locker and prayed that I could just quickly get my bag and keep moving. I opened my locker, on the first go, and stuffed my folders back into the bag before slinging it over my shoulder and gently closing the door. I had no idea where the library was, but I wasn't about to go up and ask someone either. I would just have to walk around till I found it.
Some time later, after going up three sets of stairs, I finally found the library. It was quiet when I entered, no one was around except for the librarian, who sat at her desk reading a book. She was young, I realised, not the kind of woman you expected to work in a library. She had soft features, making her look like she hardly ever frowned. I took that as a sign that it was safe for me to be here.
I walked up to her desk. I wasn't going to just sit down somewhere then be told off for being here during class. I cleared my throat, playing with the simple silver ring on my middle finger. It was my mother's and I never took it off. Ever.
The young librarian looked up at me and smiled. I suddenly felt very at ease, she had a sort of calming aura around her. I gave her a small smile back.
"W-would I be able to stay here for a while?" I asked. My voice sounded small in the large room, the echoes bouncing off the wall.
The lady's expression softened even more, if that was possible and she nodded before speaking.
"Of course, stay as long as you need to," She said. She had some sort of understanding in her eyes, like she didn't need me to tell her what had happened to me, she simply knew.
I smiled again, gratefully and walked to the very back of the library. There was a small chair, sitting in the very corner. The perfect place if you had no wish to be seen or found. Perfect for me. I sat my bag down on the floor before falling gracefully into the plush cushions of the large chair.
I pulled out the book I was currently reading. It was called 'Perfected'. The main character was a girl who was genetically engineered to be perfect. But she was different to the others like her, she was anxious about everything, she worried about things unlike the others. That's what made me like her, she was different, but no one except herself can see that.
I was so wrapped up in my book, that I didn't hear the footsteps that were growing closer. A shadow was cast over my book, making me look up. There, once again, was the brown eyed boy. He wasn't looking at me though, maybe he didn't even know I was here. He was stacking books from a cart.
He didn't look like the kind of person who liked reading, he was probably in here because he got in trouble and this was his punishment, to help out in the library. I guess to him, that would be bad, to me it would be a blessing.
I turned back to my book, not bothering to say anything. It's not like I could even if I wanted to, I was too afraid to do anything of the sort. He intimidated me, more that I thought was possible, but he also made me curious. He always wore the same expression. Blank.
He didn't look bored, nor did he look stoic. He simply looked like there was so much going on inside his head that he couldn't do anything but shut everything out. I wish I could shut my thoughts out like that. It would be a blessing, to be able to just focus on my life instead of trying to quieten the noise in my mind.
I wasn't paying any attention to my book, instead, I was silently watching him out of the corner of my eye. It was the first time I really got a good look at him. Before this, he just stared at me and I couldn't drag my eyes away from his face.
He had a strong build, very tall, but somehow he managed to walk with an unearthly grace. Like he was almost floating on air. I immediately envied his walk. When I walk, I look more like I waddling duck. It really sucked, being me. I wish, just for one day, I could be someone else, just to see what their life was like.
He suddenly turned around to face me and my eyes snapped back to the words in front of my face. While I couldn't see him, I was listening for any movement that would warn me if he was coming closer, or leaving. Nothing happened for a moment. I was almost afraid to breathe, the small short breathes seemed to cut through the deathly silence easily.
I didn't like this sort of silence. It unnerved me and me unnerved was not good. It would most likely end like it did in the hallway. I could tell he was staring at me, I could feel his gaze taking in my small form. The bony wrists, the skinny torso. I don't know what he thought about what he saw. I don't know why I even cared. I did though.
I could feel my breathes becoming shallow and I put all my focus into calming myself. I really hated new schools. My anxiety was through the roof already from the hallway, and now I have someone else staring at me and not doing a damn thing about hiding it.
My grip on my book suddenly got tighter and I could see the faint shaking that started from my fingers and traveled up my arms till my body started to give way to the panic spreading through me like wildfire. I really, really, really hated new schools.
I closed my book and dropped it to the floor. I hugged my knees to my chest trying to calm the now violent shudders. It wasn't as bad as before, at least now I wasn't crying. I heard him take a step forward, towards me. I buried my head into my knees. I didn't want people to see me like this, when I was vulnerable, they'd make fun of me non-stop and there would be nothing I could do about it.
My breathing came in hiccups until I was gasping for breath. The guy, who was standing a fair way away from me before was suddenly right next to me, kneeling down trying to get me to look at him. I wouldn't though, I couldn't let someone see me.
I tried to move further back into the chair, but there was nowhere I could go. I was trapped. Trapped. The word brought memories I wish I didn't have, to the very surface of my mind and the shudders grew stronger. I thought I would get through this without tears, but I could feel the familiar stinging behind my eyes. Two panic attacks in the last half hour, must be a record.
I saw the guys hand reach out to me, from behind the blurring tears. He placed a hand on my knee, trying to bring my legs down. I tightened my grip around my legs. I was not going to let him see me like this. I wish I could have just gotten through the day without any trouble, but like I said before, luck was never on my side.
I don't quite know what happened after that. I just remember that everything went dark and then I was moving. I wasn't walking but I was definitely moving. Something was carrying me. I was laid down on a bed where a cold hand touched my forehead. I wanted to move away from the cold, but I was stuck.
I heard faint talking and suddenly I was in the air again. After that everything is fuzzy. I just remember waking up again and seeing something, oh-so-familiar.