'Good day at school?' Eli commented as soon as I crossed the threshold.
'It was fine,' I lied, heading straight for my room. Eli saw straight through me however and blocked my pathway.
'What. Happened.' His voice was like steel and his eyes were even colder. When he got like this, although I would never actually admit it, he genuinely scared me. Eli could sometimes be quite temperamental. One minute he'd be fine, but if you did something to severely piss him off, you would know about it.
'Nothing,' I looked in straight in the eyes, keeping my voice steady.
'Don't lie to me Rose. What happened?'
I sighed. He'd probably hear it from Chester later on anyway.
'One of Harriet's friends got on the wrong side of me. I got a little angry and might have defended myself.'
'How?' his voice was wary.
'It's not important.'
'Yes! It is!' he shouted. 'Do you not understand?! You cannot go around flaunting your strength and drawing as much attention to yourself as possible. What did I tell you? It's best to keep out of arguments and if you are provoked, do not retaliate! It's not that hard to remember Rose!'
Anger began bubbling up inside me. How dare he talk to me like this. He had no idea what I'd been through and now he was telling me to sit back and take yet more crap?
'Go to hell,' I spat, shoving past him and storming up the stairs.
'Rose has been a bad girl,' Chester tutted. He was leaning against the door frame and staring at me with obnoxiously smug blue eyes. God I was so sick of him.
'Do you want a fight?' I offered. 'Cos I will quite gladly give you one.'
The one advantage I had over Chester was that I was older, thus stronger and he knew this. He knew he'd never win in a fight over me, but he was just too stubborn and had far too much pride to actually admit this.
'No thanks. I don't want to hurt you.' He turned round and headed into his room. I needed to get out of here but I didn't want to pass Eli on the way.
I dumped my bag on my bed and headed for the window, lifting it open with complete ease. My room was on the top floor of the three storey house, overlooking the vast green forest that took up the majority of this small town. I crouched on the windowsill and glanced down before springing off the edge, sailing through the air and hitting the ground with a small thud.
And then I was running.
I didn't allow myself to think of anything else, just the feel of the fresh wind hitting my skin, whipping my hair behind me, invigorating and revitalising me. I wasn't too sure where I was headed and stopped a few minutes later, on the very edge of town. I was in a desolate area, with boarded up windows and broken glass scattering the pavement from a recent burglary. What a lovely town I lived in.
I decided to explore a bit, seeing as I rarely came here. I strolled up the pathway, glancing around trying to notice anything remarkable. There was nothing though; just a few nondescript buildings, blocked off with graffitied bits of cardboard. Wired fences and high brick walls loomed ahead, casting daunting shadows across the grey concrete.
I suddenly heard a deep cry to my right. It was quite far off but I could easily detect the fear in it and my head cocked to the side, curious.
'Get off!' the voice shouted. I recognised it. Where from?
Merely out of curiosity, not because I intended to help them, I found myself walking in the general direction of the distress, down a dark, dank alleyway. I saw four figures caught up in what looked like a mugging.
One of them, clearly the victim was male and was desperately trying to struggle free of the hold the other two had on him. They had his arms pinned behind his back while the other one produced something from his pocket. The faint moonlight glinted off the object and I realised it was a knife.
'Please! Get off!'
My attention shifted to the figure and my breath caught in my throat. It was Conner, the boy from my class.
Without realising what I was doing, I had stepped forward, kicking a can as I went. All the attention shifted to me and shock and horror became an obvious emotion on Conner's face.
'Get out of here lady,' one of the men holding Conner snarled at me.
'Are you boys having a fight?' I tutted.
'Rose!' Conner gasped. 'Get out of here, they're going to hurt you! Run and get help.'
Something unrecognisable surged through me at hearing Conner say that, leaving me astounded. Someone actually cared about me... That was, surprising...
'No,' the man holding the knife laughed, a horrible throaty sound. 'She wants to stay and have fun. I say we let her.' He began strolling towards me, hunger in his eyes.
'If you value your life, you won't take another step,' I chuckled humourlessly.
The men laughed at me, obviously not intimidated by some small, skinny girl who had wandered in the wrong place at the wrong time. Knife man took another arrogant step, knife poised in the air and I frowned at him.
'Don't say I didn't warn you.'
Within a flash, I was behind him.
It was rather amusing to watch him look around, baffled but it was even funnier to watch the reaction of the other men.
They were staring at me with wide eyes and an open mouth. One of them stuttered: 'S-She's behind you!'
He whirled round, but I was faster. I grabbed him by the throat and without effort, flung him into the wall where he collided with the hard surface before falling to the ground, all the breath knocked out of him.
The other two let go of Conner and ran, actually yelling down the alley. I stared after them, mystified. I thought they'd wanted a fight. I was actually a little disappointed. The guy with the knife was unconscious and I noticed a pool of red beginning to form around his head. Maybe I'd thrown him a little too hard.
'Oops,' I muttered.
'Rose,' Conner breathed. 'How on earth did you do that?'
I turned to look at him.
'Piece of cake. Try and stay out of trouble.'
With that, I sprinted off back down the alley after the other guys. I didn't need any witnesses and disposed of them quickly and efficiently.
Now I could finally go home and relax.