Chapter 1Don’t interact. Keep your head low and keep them from noticing you.’ I heard my mom’s voice echoing in my ears as I entered my new school.
She said it as if it was something easy to do. It wasn’t. How can someone joining mid-semester go unnoticed? But if I wanted to protect myself from unwanted attention, I needed to follow her advice.
Pulling my hoodie up, I made my way to the reception. A middle-aged woman sat there, staring intently at the computer screen in front of her. She didn’t look up when I reached the reception.
I cleared my throat and she looked up, annoyed.
‘What?’ she asked, rudely.
I slid my admission form across the table. Without taking a single glance at it she handed it back to me along with my time-table for the year, her gaze fixed on the computer screen.
‘Have a nice day, Willow Aurora.’ she said . I peeked at the computer screen before leaving. There was this weird video of many girls running after a shirtless guy going on. What a creep.
Turning around I decided to find my way to my first class: Literature. Or at least I tried to. I dashed into a bunch of seniors as soon as I turned at the first corner.
The group comprised of two girls, a blonde and a brunette, and three guys, all of them taller than me and huger as well. Together they looked like Power Rangers in disguise.
‘Excuse me, please.’ I requested, my head low and the hoodie hiding my face. I seriously didn’t want a scene at the beginning of the day.
On hearing my request, the girls laughed as if I had made a hilarious joke while the guys just smiled evilly at each other. Whatever they had in their minds was not good. Not for me. It was not at all good for them if they messed with me.
I clenched my hands into fists.I cannot do anything stupid. My mom can’t afford to change towns again.
But you have to protect yourself if they do something, said my subconscious. Sometimes, I think I give it a lot of freedom.
‘So tell me,’ said the hugest of the three guys, ‘What’s under the hoodie?’
Shrek, shrieked my subconscious. It took all of my will-power to not yell that answer at the giant’s face.
‘I am Willow Aurora.’ I answered, ‘ Tenth grade.’
‘I am Willow Aurora,’ the least huge one repeated, in a bad imitation of my voice, ‘ What are you, a plant?’
All of them laughed this time. I didn’t know what was funny. I looked at my hands. The patterns had started to appear. They were red, which meant I was losing control.
Come on, said my subconscious , just give them a little taste.
‘No,’ I protested, loudly.
They stopped laughing and looked at me as if I had committed a crime.
‘What did you say?’ asked the brunette girl.
‘I…um….I….’ I stuttered, but got the shock of my life when my hoodie was pulled off my head.
I turned around to see another senior standing there, smiling triumphantly. He was different from the three giants. He seemed to be fit without having any kind of muscles popping out of strange places. And his jet, black hair fell over his forehead which was a strange contrast to his pale skin.
‘Are you a guy or a girl?’ the blonde asked, questioning my short hair. Really short hair. Like a guy’s.
The patterns on my hand turned a violent shade of red, forcing me to put my hands in my pocket. I can’t hurt them.
Just a bruise, reasoned my subconscious. I shut her up.
‘Of course she isn’t,’ said the guy who had asked what was under the hoodie, ‘Can’t you see the bulging flesh under her sweatshirt?’
I felt my cheeks heating up. And probably the pale guy noticed that too, because he said ‘Come on, guys. Now you know what’s under the hoodie. A transvestite. Let’s go.’
He passed by me, shoving me against the wall and joining his group of monsters. Inside my pockets my hands were burning like crazy.
As they walked away, the pale guy turned to look at me, his eyes searching for something in my face. I didn’t give out anything. And neither did my face.
The guy turned back, smirking, and didn’t look at me again.