Page 21 of Hate Like Ours

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If I engage with them, then it’ll probably be an all-out fight. I definitely don’t want that to happen and get suspended for any dumb shit. First, because Mom would kill me and second, they’re just not worth it.

I’m a straight-A student and I take all my classes seriously. It’s pretty much the only thing I have to keep me company. When I’m not doing schoolwork, I’m either reading or I’m drawing or painting. Those are the things that keep my soul alive when I have to deal with the words that find their way under my skin.

Cheerleaders can be mean as fuck and there’s only so much a person can ignore. No matter how hard I try, some of their words do find their way under my skin. They spew the same words over and over again. You can only ignore it so many times before you start to believe they’re true. I’ve always been a sensitive person, so that made their words get to me faster. I’m not built to handle direct insults.

People are standing and talking, waiting for the bell to ring as we pass them by. We get to our lockers a minute later and I’m in the middle of grabbing one of my books when the sound of multiple cell phones goes off.

It’s so loud because everyone’s phone is going off at the same time. I look over at Kinsley, wondering what the hell is going on. She has her phone in front of her face, most likely reading what was just sent to everyone.

I take my phone out to see if I got a message as well, but I got nothing. A second later, Kinsley’s face pales as all the blood drains from her face and I’m instantly concerned for her.

“Are you okay?” I ask.

Without saying a word, she grabs me by the hand and begins pulling me with her. She drags me all the way to the bathroom and locks the door behind us. Okay, this is weird as hell. I stand there waiting for her to speak but she just starts pacing the length of the bathroom, still not saying a thing. She still has that weird expression splayed across her face.

“Fuck! Fuck! This isn’t good…” she finally mutters, then trails off.

“Are you okay? Am I supposed to guess what’s not good? Because let me tell you, I’m not sure if you know but I’m definitely not a psychic,” I say, rolling my eyes at her in a joking tone. She spins around and pins me with a glare.

“How can you be joking at a time like this? Now is so not the time for jokes!” She practically yells out at me and I lift my hands up in a surrendering motion.

“Well, it’s because I have no clue what the hell has gotten your panties in a twist,” I say in response. When she looks at me again, I stop talking because she’s looking at me with unshed tears in her eyes.

“I’m so sorry,” she says and her tone alone has me on edge.

“Sorry for what?” I question, getting nervous now.

“I-I-I don’t know who put this up, but it’s not good…” she says, trailing off again.

“What the hell is going on that’s making you look scared?” I ask again, feeling myself getting impatient, waiting for her to spit out whatever it is she has on her mind.

Instead of answering, she grabs her phone and types something in before handing it to me. I look down at the screen to see what’s there. It’s a website. I’m confused until I start reading it and my face pales.

The website page readsRiverside Academy Undesirables. The first thing at the top of the page is a picture of a big fat cow with my head photoshopped on it.Under the picture is a caption that readsYou know the limits so do your worst to the cow.

I gasp at the information and then scroll through the whole page. I see it’s basically a gossip site for everything happening here at Riverside Academy. It contains shit like who you can buy drugs from, which student is fucking which teacher, and everything else in between that you can think of when it comes to the shady side of high school, only this is amplified by a thousand percent.

I’m the hot topic that everyone is discussing right now. I scroll back to the top and look at the stupid picture again. Suddenly, nothing but dread fills me and I begin to get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.

“Um, what does this mean?” I ask Kinsley in a shaky voice. Somehow, I know this isn’t going to be good.

“It’s basically a website dedicated to every dirty thing that happens here. No one is safe from it and everyone hopes like hell they never end up on there—”

“What happens if you do?” I question, cutting her off.

“It’s basically an open invitation for anyone to fuck with you,”

“Who runs the website?”

“No one knows. There has been speculation that it was the cheerleaders, but no one could prove it,” she says solemnly.

“And the teachers haven’t done anything about it?”

“I don’t think any of them know. This website is probably the best kept secret in this school. Plus, if anyone was to tattle then they’d risk getting on it themselves.”

“So what you’re saying is that anyone can just bully me now because some asshole said so?” I ask incredulously.