Page 86 of Hate Like Ours

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I check the time and see that it’s only five thirty, which means I have a lot of time before dinner. I also have enough time to let the pill’s magic spread through my system, so I’ll be mellow by the time I have to face my new family.

In no time, I feel like I’m floating. The high I was craving is finally taking over and nothing will ever feel better than this. Everything seems more colorful and vivid and I’m loving it.

From my spot here, it looks like the ceiling is moving. I watch as the two figures at the opposite ends of the square where the design is, look like they’re reaching for each other. I giggle at the thought. In my mind, it’s a representation of Knox and me. I’m always reaching for the one thing that’ll never be mine.

I wish someone would reach out for me like that and love me and tell me that everything will be okay. Even the people who act strong everyday need to be told that they’re loved and that everything will be okay.

I don’t know if I’ve been strong or not these past few weeks but I’m trying. Trying so fucking hard but it’s useless. Every time I get high, I feel weightless and it helps me not think about how much my life really sucks, and I’d prefer that compared to dealing with my problems.

When I don’t take the pills, it makes me remember all the things that are weighing me down. I don’t want to have to feel that constantly. Though this high isn’t much and it doesn’t last long, I think I need something else.

Vaguely the word addiction comes to mind but I’m too far gone to think much about it. I don’t think I have a problem though. I just love feeling good. When you’re accustomed to feeling shitty and horrible and filled with self-hate, then you’ll do just about anything to make those feeling go away, or rather get them out of your mind for a while. Because let’s face it, the heavy shit like that never goes away no matter how much you want them to.

My mind goes back to needing something else and I grab my phone from next to me. I text the Venom Brothers and tell them that I need more of the good stuff and to also get me some weed. I don’t have any and I know they can get anything you need.

I get a text back which lets me know that I’m to meet them tomorrow at the same place as last time. I agree.

Time passes and before I know it, the alarm I set earlier goes off at six thirty. With a groan, I get up and take a quick shower and get changed before heading downstairs. It’s time to face the new family.

I get lost twice on my way and I’m glad one of the maids gives me directions to the small dining room. Well thank fuck for that. I would’ve hated to be in one of those super large dining rooms when it was just four of us… three if I’m lucky.

But of course I’m not. By the time I find the dining room, I’m the last one to get there. Knox is already seated at the table. I can’t believe the asshole beat me here and a sour expression crosses my face as I look over at him. I thought for sure he’d be a no-show.

He doesn’t even notice my expression though because he’s not looking at me. His jaw is set in a tight line. It might as well be carved from stone with the lack of expression on his face. My mother and Jonathan are whispering quietly to each other while Knox looks like he wants to be anywhere but here. I hurry in and take my seat opposite him.

Before I even get a chance to say anything the asshole speaks. “Oh, her majesty finally decided to grace us with her presence,” he drawls in what sounds like a bored tone but I see him clench his jaw. I’m guessing he doesn’t want to be here anymore than I do.

“I’m so sorry for being late. I got lost twice and had to get some help,” I say, turning to my mom and Jonathan to give my apology. My cheeks are red with embarrassment for already messing up on our first night here. I don’t apologize to Knox because he can suck it for being an asshole.

“It’s quite alright, dear. I know this house will take some getting used to, and it’s only your first night here,” Jonathan says, giving me a warm smile that makes me feel a little at ease, knowing that I’m not completely messing things up too badly.

“Thank you,” I say as emotion suddenly clogs my throat. I didn’t realize how bad I wanted to make a good first impression until now for my mom’s sake. Seeing that Jonathan is being nice instead of mean goes a long way into making some of the worry go away.

“So tell me, Raine, how are you liking Riverside so far?” Jonathan asks as we wait for the servers to bring our food out. I chance a glance at Knox and see that he’s already staring at me with a smirk on his face.

I look away, stammering out a response to Jonathan. “Oh um, it’s been nice so far. Though it’s super hot here,” I say and he chuckles.

“Yeah, Texas does get pretty hot. But it should start cooling down soon. Maybe you’ll like it more,” he says, giving me a wink.

“I hope so,” I say drily. Our food comes out and the servers place a plate in front of each of us. Everyone has steaks on their plates along with some kind of rice and some vegetables on the side.

Just looking at the food causes my stomach to revolt, especially when the smell finally gets to me. It smells amazing but I’ve hardly eaten properly in a while. I go on these insane binges and then I eat nothing. It’s messing with how I function.

I think that’s why I take the pills religiously. They don’t make me hungry when I have them in my system.

“So how’s school been?” Mom asks a second later and I look up from my plate to look in her direction.

“It’s been fine. Same old, same old,” I lie, and then I feel shitty a second later for lying to my mother.

“That’s great. I’m so glad you’re still doing well in school and fitting in,” she tells me and then turns to Knox. “How has school been for you?” she asks him. I see his jaw clench again as though it’s taking a huge effort to even answer her. Almost like he doesn’t even want to speak to her.

“It’s been great actually! Football is great and I even have a girl who can’t get enough of my dick,” he tells her. His eyes are on mine as he smirks at me. His school experience is amazing because he’s making mine a living hell, though I’m not about to tell them that.

“Knock it off, Knox,” Jonathan says but Knox doesn’t reply. In fact, he doesn’t even look at him. It’s now that I’m studying them that I realize there’s a tension between them. Maybe his life isn’t as perfect as it seems.

“Oh, come on, it’s fine,” my mom says giggling. “You probably had your days when you were a playboy too,”

Ugh! I can’t believe she’s defending this asshole. I know he was talking about me, even though she doesn’t and I’ll take that to my grave. The asshole left the part out where he throws a fit every time he even thinks I’m with someone other than him.

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