4. Starting Line

They started to slap her. They tortured her. They kicked her head until it started to bleed. Her screams were agonizing. She was lying in a pool of blood. She was crying and begging them to stop. The volume of her cry decreased with every plead. She coughed up blood. She suddenly stopped crying and her eye lids fluttered closed. They didn't open again. I was too late.

My eyes shot open at the sound of loud buzzing, and I woke up sweating. I groaned and looked at my alarm clock.

6:00 a.m. School. Monday. Misery. 

I let my eyes rest for a few more seconds. Finally being annoyed by the buzzing, I slapped the off button and sat up in bed. 

Today is the big day, I thought sarcastically to myself. 

The only thing I was thinking about while I was shampooing was my dream. No. It wasn't a dream. It was a nightmare. It really could've happened if I wasn't there to save her. She should be in the hospital right now. 

I brushed my teeth in the shower and rinsed by catching the water from the shower head. 

When I got out, I decided to choose something casual to wear. Khaki shorts and a grey T-shirt. Nothing that'll stand out too much. I ruffled my wet hair, grabbed my back pack, and went downstairs to the kitchen.

"S'up Stephen. Where's Mom?" 

I could tell he had just barely woken up. He was still in his pajamas and had a bed head. His school started 30 minutes later than mine.

Stephen had a waffle in his hand and smiled. "She's getting something. I'm not 'spose to tell ya. It's a surprise!" He wiggled his fingers in the air. 

"Well how about I join breakfast with you?" I asked trying to sound indifferent. 

He gestured toward's the plate waffles on the table. "Help yourself, bro."

I started chewing on a waffle and stared at my little brother. He noticed me and started talking.

"So what school is this? Your 74th? 75th? I think you broke a record for the most amount of schools attended."

My fake happiness disappeared and I frowned. "Shut up, doofus."

He snorted.

"Good morning, boys!" I heard my mother shut the front door. "Oh John! Since it's a new year I thought I'd get you your own..." She dangled car keys in the air. 

"No way, Mom! Are you serious? This is so sick." I hopped up from my chair dropping my waffle on the floor. I ran across the kitchen and out the front door to see my new gift.

My jaw dropped.

It was gorgeous. Silver, shiny, sleek. A Mercedes. 

I was standing on the drive way awing at my new vehicle when I felt a hand on my shoulder. 

"You really like it, sweety?" Caroline sounded more excited that I liked it than I was excited I got it. 

"Yes. Thank you. A lot." I went to stroke the top of the car.

"You're very welcome, honey. She's a beauty, isn't she? I thought you'd like it." She beamed at me. 

"Heck yeah. May I?" I held my hand out with my other one on the car door. 

Caroline tossed the keys in my palm and waved at me as I got inside the car. I chucked my backpack in the passengers seat as I turned the key. The engine sounded beautiful. I couldn't stop laughing. It was unbelievable. 

Driving it was just as amazing. I liked the attention it had drawn. People turned their heads. Even at the stoplight, the guy in the car next to me was nearly drooling. I gave him a smirk and wink once the light turned green and drove off. Funny how this morning I dressed to avoid attention and now I'm driving in a freaking Mercedes.

On the intersection of the street was where the school was built in red bricks. The same deep red color as blood. I winced remembering the nightmare.

On the main building were white words that curved like a rainbow saying "Lincoln Park High School". I think I'm at the right place.

I drove into the lot of the school and tried to find a parking spot away from the crowd of cars to keep from stupid people from damaging my brand new Mercedes. There was one in the north side of the parking lot. The area seemed vacant enough. I drove into the parking spot and got out of the car with my backpack.

There was already plenty of other kids walking to their buildings. I decided to go to the office first to get my schedule.

As I opened the door, I heard jingling. There were bells strapped to the door. 

I stood patiently by the front desk. On the desk was a jar filled with pens, baskets, a clipboard, and a phone. My fingers were quietly drumming against the desk. It was a habit of mine.

Someone noticed the my drumming.

"May I help you?" A pudgy lady with short curly brown hair. It was like a mushroom of curly noodles. She looked at me over her square glasses. 

"Yes. My name is Johnathon Staffield. I came for my--"

"Your schedule! Yes, I have it riiiiight," the lady shuffled her fingers across a file organizer and pulled out a half sheet of paper. "here."

"Thank you," I said taking my schedule and walking out of the office. The bells jingled again when I opened the door. 

My first class was Calculus with Mrs. Winsley. Ugh. Math first thing in the morning was going to suck. 

After going to my locker and getting my supplies I headed to Calculus. 

Right when I walked through the door, the teacher slapped  her arm around my shoulders. It startled me that I almost dropped my stuff.

"Oh hello! You must be John Staffield!" She said it so loud that it was like she was talking to the entire class instead of me. Everybody stared turned their attention to me.

I nodded.

"Well, Lincoln Park is going to be awesome. Everybody say 'hi' to John!" She smiled encouragingly to the class.

There were a few murmured 'hi's and a few nodded to me.

A group of girls were looking at me and giggling. A group of jock guys glared at them. Haha, jealousy is funny. 

"Well we hope you have an amazing time here! You can sit down next to Sabrina." Mrs. Winsley pointed to one of the giggling girls.

She had straight brown hair. Once she heard where I was being seated, she and her friends nearly squealed. Sabrina took a deep breath and tried to calm down as I sat in the seat next to her. 

"Hi, John. I'm Sabrina," she said trying hard not to laugh. She positioned her body so that she was facing me.

I nodded once at her. She was the last type of person I'd want to become friends with. 

She asked me several meaningless questions like my favorite color, or favorite food. I answered all of them with 'I don't know', exchanging as little conversation as possible. 

"So what are your other classes?" Sabrina was now leaning towards me. Her hands were cupping her face and her elbows were on her knees. She started to flutter her eyelashes. 

This girl had a lot of other guys that were desiring her attention more than I did. In fact, they were just a few desks away watching her drool over me. Why doesn't she talk to them. She should. 

I didn't look at her.

"I don't know," I said sternly. Clearly, hopefully, she'd get the idea that I didn't want to talk to her. I mean, she was pretty. But her insistence was annoying me. It was easy to tell that she thought of herself as one of those girls that could get anything they wanted with her looks. 

Sabrina sat up straight and slightly pouted. Her face showed shock at my indecency. She turned back to her desk.

First hour went by. The whole class period Sabrina had her cheek in her hand. I don't even recall her repositioning herself at all. Maybe it'd be a good idea I apologize to her. Tomorrow. 

Mrs. Winsley was teaching the class stuff I already knew. Instead of listening to her and taking notes, I thought about how much I already hated Lincoln Park. The people here were complete morons.

Second and third hour went by fast. The teachers didn't introduce me or told the whole class to welcome me, which was good. I chose to sit in the back in both of those classes and the whole time the girls were turned in their chairs gawking at me. This was my entire 16 years of life. It took a while to get used to but then you don't notice them staring at you. 

It was forth hour. I had US history. The first thing I thought when I went into the class was that there wasn't nearly as many of those staring girls. The girls here were somewhat normal. There was only one seat open right in the middle of the classroom, so I reluctantly took it. 

The teacher, Mrs. Rowley, wasn't as talkative or open. I appreciated that. She passed out worksheets about the Magna Carta. Was this really what the people here learned? I remember studying this in 8th grade. I laughed silently to myself. 

My hands searched my desk for my pencil. Something clicked in my brain. One of Sabrina's friends stole it. 

I tapped my fingers on the shoulders of the girl next to me. She had  a red sweater on. Her mahogany hair was in a pony tail and her glasses were on the tip of her nose as was working on the worksheet. She turned to me and an unexpecting expression covered her face. She raised an eyebrow.

"May I borrow a pencil?" I said. I stared a little too intensely at her. 

"Uh, y-yeah sure. Here," she handed me a pencil as I noticed she was already done with her worksheet. We hardly even had a minute to start on it. 


I glanced at her from the corner of my eye. She was sitting cross legged. She had a bored expression. Well, of course she was bored. She already finished the assignment.

The pencil raced across the worksheet. I already knew every single answer. Some of the other students were referring to their text books. The worksheet was finished in less than a few minutes. 

I sat back in my chair and stretched. 

"Already done?" The girl was looking at me with a friendly smile. 

"Yeah. I already learned this." 

"Haha. I could tell. I'm Miranda, by the way," she nodded her head as she said this.

"Oh I'm John," 

"So I've heard. Everybody's talking about you. They're usually not this excited about new people." She chuckled. "Guess you're special."

I shook my head and laughed, "Sure."

"Yeah, too bad you had to go to the worst school in Chicago. Most of the people here are so... ugh," Her eyes rolled. She didn't finish her sentence, because she didn't really need to. I understood what she meant. 

"Well, you're not so ugh." I repeated the word the same tone of voice as hers.

A half smiled appeared on her face and she smirked. "Thanks."

It was time for lunch. Miranda invited me to eat with her and her friends. I accepted. At least I was eating with someone decent. 

As we were walking to the cafeteria, Miranda was chatting about herself and what she liked to do. She gathered a group of her friends. I thought that was it, but then another girl appeared. Her hair was too light for brown and too dark for blonde. Her curls bounced as she skipped towards us. Her body was small, almost like a middle schooler, but with gentle curves. 

I was standing behind Miranda when the girl came over. They were talking to each other about some cute guy the girl saw during the weekend. Her eyes double took at my face and her fingers let go of the grip on the books and onto the floor. Her jaw dropped and she stared at me in horror.  


The End

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