Page 119 of Hate Like Ours

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“You’re fucking dead, bitch!” she screams in the hallway filled with students as she storms off. Yep, that definitely won’t end well.

My anxiety is through the roof now. I don’t know what people are going to say or do now that Knox kind of just made us an official thing? I don’t know if that’s what it was.

I rush into the bathroom and hurry into one of the empty stalls. I sit down on the toilet and try to calm my racing heart. I stop myself from having a panic attack since that definitely won’t be a good thing for me. I’m sure they’ll think I’m an even bigger whore now. Fuck my life. Can nothing ever go right?

I’ve just finally calmed myself when I hear crying from another stall. I don’t want to see who it is but I want to help. Without thinking, I walk out of the stall I was in and knock on the door that the crying was coming from.

“Are you okay in there?” I ask in a calm voice so as not to spook the person on the other side. I thought about not helping but I’ve been where that person is right now, which is crying alone in the bathroom. In all that time, I wish someone would’ve just asked if I was okay.

Camryn doesn’t come to this school and neither does Aiden, so I don’t have any friends to help me through the school day. The only time I really get to see any of them is during the weekends when we’re all off and even then we’re not alone. Knox makes sure that he’s with me then as well.

“I’m fine. Just go away!” the voice snaps at me.

“Sorry, I was just seeing if you were okay,” I say.

“Well, I’m fine!” she snaps and I recognize the voice.

“Kinsley?” I question. A second later, the stall door opens and she walks out. Her eyes are puffy and swollen. She’s been crying. “Are you okay?” I ask again, trying to be nice even though she dropped me like I wasn’t anything to her.

“Mind your own fucking business!” she snaps irritably, and I raise my hands in a surrendering motion and begin walking backward. I’m not going to try with someone who clearly doesn’t want help or anything to do with me.

Now that I think about it, she’s barely been at school since I came back. I guess she doesn’t know what’s going on, but that’s her problem and not mine.

Once I’m out of the bathroom, I see that the hall is now empty. I look at the time and see that the bell rang ten minutes ago. Instead of going to class late, I decide to head to the library because I have one last chance to finish this paper. I walk in and head straight for the back of the library where I plan to spend the rest of the day. I keep my head buried in my laptop for the next hour or so until I get interrupted. I look up to see Knox standing in front of my desk.

“Hey, baby. I just came by to tell you that I’m leaving now for the game,” he tells me. “I want you to come with me,”

“I can’t,” I snap at him.

“Why not?” he questions.

“Because you’ve had me so fucked up this semester that I’m failing. I failed Smith’s last test. He’s surprisingly giving me until tomorrow morning to write a paper and hand it in so I won’t fail. So tell me again why I should come to your fucking game!” I snap at him. The emotional exhaustion hits me full force again.

“Fuck!” he grumbles and then runs his hand through his hair.

Oh right, I completely forgot that tonight is their Halloween away game. Him mentioning leaving for the game just now reminded me. Everyone is excited about it. Most of the school is going since it’s just a few hours away. No wonder the lady behind the desk didn’t ask me why I was skipping class. Now I remember it’s because we didn’t really have class today since everyone is excited about the game.

“I would stay with you but Coach will kill me if I miss this game,” he says, like he’s actually contemplating not going.

“Well I don’t fucking want you to stay. I want you to just go away like I’ve been telling you for the past three days!”

“Not going to happen! But I have to go. Make sure you text me as soon as you get home, okay?” he demands and I roll my eyes.

“Yes. I will. Now go!” I tell him just to get him to leave. He bends his head down and gives me a kiss on the forehead before walking away.

I get lost in my work again and don’t even realize that the time has gotten away from me. It’s already eight p.m. when I look at my phone. I pack my stuff up and get ready to leave. It’s dark outside when I make it to the parking lot and get into my car.

I start to drive in the direction of home and make it a few miles away from school when I hear a loud popping sound coming from my car and it swerves a bit. I grip the wheel tight to stay in control and then pull over on the side of the road. Thankfully, there’s no traffic where I am right now.

I’m shaken up a bit because that could’ve gone wrong in so many ways. I get out of my car when my breathing is back to normal and walk around the car to see what’s going on. I see that the two tires on the right side are flat.

Fucking hell! Of all the times for this to happen to me. I pull open the passenger’s side door and take my bag out to get my phone to get an Uber home. Before I can even look into it for my phone, something hits me hard behind the head.

I let out a scream as I fall to my knees. The pain is instantly inside my head from the hit. I’m dazed for a second but when I manage to look up, I see two figures clad in oversized football uniforms and they’re both wearing masks. My head is pounding and it’s starting to feel like I’m going to lose consciousness. I try to keep my eyes open because I know this isn’t going to end well.

“Well, well, well… if it isn’t the little whore of Riverside Academy!” one of them spits at me. The voice is muffled because of the mask so I can’t identify it. It sounds like a woman’s and it’s full of venom and hatred.

“I’ve been waiting for a long time for this,” the other one says as they both advance on me. I try to crawl away from them but the first one that spoke grabs me by the hair and yanks me back so that my movements stop.

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