Chapter One


"Please Winnie?" Pulling my books out of my locker I shot my best friend an annoyed glare. She had been begging since fourth period. I don't get her fascination with parties, or the boys that attend them. "Please, please, please, please, please!"
"Begging is not attractive, Alice." I informed her, wrapping my fingers around my Spanish book. Last class of the day, then it was home to cook and finish the homework I haven't done yet. I hated school, but it was a good way to get my mind off of things. "And for the last time, I don't want to go to the stupid party!"
"Come on, Win," she pouted, widening her already big green eyes. "It's the last party before graduation, which means the last party before we're high school graduates!"
"You know I hate parties, and you know why." I rolled my eyes as she gripped my arm, pulling me away from my locker. I quickly slammed the metal door shut before she could drag me too far away. I love her to death, but she can be a pain in my *** sometimes. "They're just an excuse to get drunk out of your mind and have sex with anybody you want. And you get away with it because people believe you when you say you were too drunk to know any better. It's disgusting really."
Alice linked her arm through mine, a smirk on her face as we walked through the school corridors. Any time she brought up a party, I gave her the same lecture. I knew she had done exactly what I said, but she didn't care and I never judged her.
"I know, I know," she giggled as we pushed through the students in the hall. "But I need a wingman."
"A wingman?" I raised an eyebrow at her in amusement. "You want me to be your wingman? You do realize you're talking to me, the girl who has never been able to get a date? Can you even spell wingman?"
"W-I-N-G-M-A-N." she punched my arm with each letter. "I'm not an idiot, Winifred. Now will you please come with me?"
"For one, ouch, that hurt," I whined as I rubbed my arm. "And two, why don't you get Kaylee to go with you?"
Kaylee was the other girl in our group and she was even more of a party girl than Alice. I was constantly getting drunken phone calls from her, begging me to come pick her up from someone's house.
"She's going with Jake," she scrunched up her nose as she mentioned them. The two had just started dating recently, after being best friends for ten years. There was definitely a bit too much PDA at our lunch table now-a-days. "Please? I really need someone to come with me. You don't even have to drink. And we can leave early!"
"Fine, if it makes you stop begging," she let out a squeal, jumping up and down in excitement.
"Do you promise?" she fluttered her long eyelashes at me, flicking her red locks out of her face. I nodded, rolling my eyes at her childishness.
"Yes, Ali, I promise," I chuckled as we enter our Spanish classroom. "Whose party is it anyways?"
"Ryder Knix," she chuckled nervously, backing away from me and towards her seat. "I'll talk to you after, kay? Bye!"
With that she scurried to her seat, on the opposite side of the room. Stupid seating arrangements. I sent her a glare to which she responded with an apologetic smile. How was I going to get out of this? I couldn't really, unless I broke my promise and she knew I would never do that. Stupid promise. I dropped into my seat, setting my book on the desk in front of me. I grumbled to myself, already regretting my weekend. Someone slid into the seat in front of me. I assumed it was Charlie Harris-the boy who always sat in front of me-until heard him speak.
"You coming to my party, Hart?" mint floated into my senses, making me bite my bottom lip. I adore mint. My father always smelled like mint and cigars. But the voice that accompanied the mint now made me want to disappear. I focused my gaze on the blank desk in front of me, trying to ignore him. "It's going to be epic."
I sighed out a slow breath, calming my racing heart. He was the devil-the spawn of Satan. But I couldn't help myself. I glanced up, meeting the mischievous grey eyes of the one and only, Ryder Knix. He sat backwards in the seat, his arms crossed and resting on the back of the chair. I let my eyes wander over his face, taking in the slight stubble on his strong jaw, the cute dimple in his right cheek as he smirked at me and his seemingly tired, yet gorgeous grey eyes. His hair was in a mess, falling over his forehead and the tips of his ears. He truly was an attractive guy, if only his personality matched.
"Shoo fly, don't bother me." I said in a bored tone, hoping he would take the hint and leave me alone. He didn't.
"Aw is little Winifred afraid of the big bad Ryder?" he laughed at his own joke. I huffed out a breath, shaking my head in frustration. He loved poking fun at me.
"You're giving me a headache, Knix," I groaned out, rubbing my temples to prove my point."Plus that's not your seat."
"I can sit wherever I want, Hart." His signature smirk played on his full lips, drawing my attention to his mouth. His lips looked so inviting, so soft. His tongue flicked out, slowly running across his lips and getting them damp. Why am I looking at his lips?
I shook my head, turning my gaze from him and meeting the eyes of his companion. He was almost as attractive as Ryder, though his green eyes could never compare to Ryder's soulful gaze. His light brown-almost auburn hair was pushed up off his forehead, sticking out in every-which-way and his green eyes sparkled in amusement. His full pink lips had a silver hoop looped through the left corner, his smirk pulling it up. He was cute, but I couldn't remember his name.
"Hi," I smiled at him, earning an eyebrow lift.
"Uh, hey," his smirk stayed in place, but his eyes flickered to his friend.
"So, your name is..." I trailed off for a second wracking my brain for his name. I met him years ago; it had to be logged in somewhere. I rewound my memories, going to when I first met these two. The adorable brunette from my memories held little in common with the boy sitting in front of me now, but it had to be him. "Gavin, right?"
"Correct," he smirked, giving me his full attention. We both ignored the obviously frustrated boy next to us and continued our banter. "I've seen you around campus, but I never learned your name."
"Ha! Sure," I shook my head, a slight smile on my face. I had told him my name when we met, freshman year. "I've personally told you at least three times."
"Oh," he blushed at that, coughing into his sleeve. "It's...Winnie, right?"
"Bingo," I giggled at the face he made trying to remember. "That was a good guess."
"You know," he said suddenly. I tilted my head in question. "You're beautiful."
And he winked at me. He winked at me. Egotistic jerk. I rolled my eyes, letting out a un-lady like snort. What was it with guys and lame pick-up lines? "I wish I could say the same to you."
In truth, I was lying. He was way too attractive for his own good-and he knew it. I giggled softly as I watched his reaction. His mouth hung open, his green eyes open in shock. He didn't look too happy, but I heard muffled laughter coming from in front of me. I glanced up to see Ryder laughing his head off into his sleeve.
"Dude, burn!" his grey eyes danced with amusement as he clapped his friend on the back.
"Whatever man," Gavin replied giving me a dirty look. "Icy *****."
I rolled my eyes again, ignoring the name calling and turning to the front of the room. Yeah it hurt, but I was used to it. Ever since...ever since it happened two years ago, I had folded in on myself, becoming the icy ***** everyone claimed me to be. I was used to the names, the wary glances.
Our teacher seemed to be running late today. I could feel Ryder's eyes on me, but I ignored him. I don't want to deal with his jerkish personality. Instead, I opened my notebook and began doodling. I was half-way through drawing a bunny when I felt someone leaning over me.
"What are you doing?" I mumbled, not glancing up at Ryder. I could feel his breath on my ear, the hot air pulling goose bumps to the surface. What the hell?
"Annoying you," he replied, a smirk obvious in his voice. "Isn't it obvious?"
"Go away, Knix." I groaned, finally looking up to meet his eyes. That was probably my first mistake. I was captivated by the swirling colors, the silvers and blues. I could see the sleepless nights, the slight purple half-circles under his eyes and I admired his long eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks when he blinked.
"So are you coming tonight?" he asked, knocking me out of my daydreams and ignoring my dismissal.
"Screw you, Ryder." I said, pushing him away from me. He chuckled at my lame attempt, but backed away from me, giving me my much needed space.
"I know you want to, Winifred." He shot back with a smirk and a wink, his perverted side showing up. I just ignored him, glaring down at my paper. I hated it when he used my full name.
"Why don't you go screw yourself, you pervert." I growled out, crossing my arms on my desk and laying my head on them, blocking everything from my vision. I knew I shouldn't push back, but I couldn't help it. He made me so mad, all the time.
"I have people for that, Hart," his mocking voice whispered as the laughter and conversations died down. I lifted my head to glare at him, but he had already turned around to face the front.
The classroom silenced as a tall man entered the room. His grey hair was wispy and barely there. His brown eyes scanned the room as he reached the whiteboard. He looked to be in his eighties. He was wearing slacks and a blue button up shirt under his yellowish sports jacket. He reached for a marker, lifting it and writing his name out in shaky handwriting.
"My name is Mr. Carlos." He spoke, his voice shaking with age. "Your usual teacher, Mrs. Fuentz, is having her baby soon and I have been asked to fill in. As there are only a few more weeks of school, I hope you will all work with me to get you through the end of the year."
A few murmurs fluttered through the room, but it soon fell silent again. Not even Ryder made a noise.
"Finals are coming up next in two weeks," Mr. Carlos continued as he eyed each of us. "I expect all of you to be ready for them."
He continued to explain how things would go for the next three weeks, telling us his rules and what he expected from us. I zoned out, knowing I could count on Alice to fill me in later. My mind wandered, lingering on what I would do this weekend. I had agreed to the party, but I didn't have to stay the whole time, right? I sure hope not. I couldn't stand Ryder Knix. Ever since freshman year when he embarrassed me in front of the whole school, I had hated his guts. I was sure he didn't like me either, not that I cared. I hated the guy.
I felt something hit my arm, breaking me out of my thoughts. I glanced down and caught sight of a wadded up paper. Peeking around the room, I tried to figure out who it was from. Nobody was paying me any attention. I sighed softly before picking up the paper and opening it.
It was blank, except for a small drawing of a bunny, similar to my own. It was cute and definitely drawn by someone who knew what they were doing. But who was it?
I glanced around the room again, catching Alice's eye. She shot me a curious look, her sea-green eyes narrowed in boredom. I shrugged and glanced at the clock on the wall. Ten minutes until class was out. I breathed out a sigh, turning back to my friend.
'My locker,' I mouthed to her. She nodded, her eyes flickering to the clock then to the two boys next to me.
'Details,' she mouthed back, her eyes lighting up in excitement. I scrunched my nose in a disgusted look, before turning back to my paper. Ten minutes and I could get out of this hellhole we called a school. Ten minutes and I could properly grieve over today. Ten minutes and I could let the tears fall.
Two years ago today, he had left. He was gone and he wasn't coming back.
2255 words
deleted deleted
Aug 16, 2014