• Chapter 1

    I stepped onto the freshly waxed floor. It felt a lot different than my old school, but Treehill was a different place. I wasn’t too sure about how this school was laid out, so I asked a tall brunette with deep green eyes, where Mr. Garcia’s class was.
    She pointed a tan, nail-polish finger down a long hallway. “About six or seven doors down, and then take a left at the water fountain, and I’m Elizabeth, by the way.”
    “I’m Maria.” I smiled faintly, hoping this school wasn’t full of preps like New Albany was. I turned from her and started down the hallway. A crash of metal against skin caught my eyes. I turned to see a slight tall kid, around maybe a year or two older than me, getting pummeled by two jocks. The kid had long black hair and tan skin. The jocks mumble something to the kid, but they spoke so low I couldn’t hear them. My instincts told me not to worry.
    If there’s one thing I I’ve ever learned, It’s never trust instincts.
    I saw one of the jocks punch the kid extremely hard that it knocked the kid to the ground. I couldn’t stand it much longer. I ran towards them, fist in the air, at full speed. I grabbed the taller of the two jocks by the collar of this shirt and thrust him against the wall of the lockers. I loosened my grip as a metallic chuckle echoed from behind me.
    “Hey Luis, looks like we’ve got us a new kid here.” I turned to see the other jock looming over me. He took me by the throat, freeing the one he called Luis. Breath shortened as his hand constricted tighter around my windpipe.
    Luis looked at the kid, looking slightly more menacing than he did before. “Are you seriously going to let a girl fight for you, L?”
    That did it. I twisted the jock by the shoulder, thrusting him to the ground. “I might be a girl, but I’m tougher than you.”
    The jock stood up and ran away. I looked over at the kid. I helped him stand up. “Are you ok?” I interrogated, “You took quite a beating.”
    “Yeah, I’m ok.” Great, I thought to myself, this school’s full of preps AND jocks. I looked into his deep brown eyes. Weird, he was blushing…
    Just then he smiled. “Hey, you want to come over to my house after school?”
    “Sure.” Anything to get away from my mom’s new boyfriend. He was the fourth one this year. “So, what do you have first class?”
    “Spanish with Mr. Garcia.”
    “Cool, we have the same class.” I grinned in amusement. At least one thing would be good this year.

    At the end of the day, I met up with L at his locker. “So, what bus do you ride?”
    “I don’t,” I corrected him, “I walk home, my house isn’t too far.” what was I saying? Yes, I did walk home, but my house was like halfway across town. And, even in a small town like Treehill, that’s still pretty far.
    I asked L what his real name was. “It’s Eleazar, but I like L better.” he replied. L and I strolled out of the prison like school.
    “Which direction to your house?” I inquired.
    “This way,” he nodded towards maple avenue, “about six minutes by bike.”
    “But I don’t have a bike.”
    L thought for a minute, flicking his eyes from me, to his bike, and back to me. “How ‘bout we ride together?” he asked blushing again as I got on the bike. Why was he just standing there? He looked down at me with his gorgeous brown eyes and his face pink as a rose. He covered his face with one hand. It startled me so much how cute he looked that I lost my balance. Luckily I regain it. I peered up again. His hair whisked in the wind as we rode down the street. I thought to myself how cute he looked that I blushed myself.
    He stopped, “Hey do you think we can hang at a friends house for a bit?”
    “Sure.” I replied.
    We turned a corner and there we stopped where there was a brown-haired kid. We walked up to the porch, wheeling the bike.
    L gestured to his friend, “Hey Julio, this is Maria,” He nodded towards me, and “Maria, meet Julio.”
    Julio and I exchanged greetings. L interrupted us, “ Hey Maria, is it cool if we play Battle of the Worlds 2 for a while?”
    “Sure.” I replied. I could suffer a few minutes of bloody gore. And besides, I had a mound of homework to do anyway.


    After about three and a half hours (or something like that, I kinda lost count), L laid his controller on the coffee table next to his coke.
    “That was the bloodiest, most brutal game I have ever seen.” I said sickly.
    “I know,” mused Julio “It’s awesome, right L?”
    “Yep, the goriest thing since Vietnam.”
    I shot them both a look of total disgust. I don’t understand how guys can handle that much vile game play. I can’t stand the sight of blood; even the very mention of it makes me queasy.
    “I’m gonna go grab me another soda, m’kay?”
    “Sokay.” responded L. I looked over at my own coke. I hadn’t opened it yet and I was a little thirsty, so I reached over and grabbed it. It was lukewarm by now, but I could manage.
    I slid my finger under the tab. When I tried to open the soda L moved the table. A small slit in my finger pulsed with my heartbeat as crimson liquid leaked onto my palm. I cursed under my breath as I looked up at L. He quickly grabbed my hand as I fell to the ground.
    What? Faint? Now?
    My mind went completely blank as he carried my to the bed. Lights faded around me as I looked into L’s sympathetic eyes. I didn’t see him part his lips to speak, but he seemed to whisper, “I’m sorry.”

    I awoke after what seemed like hours yet was probably only few short minutes. I looked down at my hand, still pulsating with pain. A strip of gauze concealed my cut. My eyes caught L, who was sitting guiltily on the edge of the bed. I tried to sit up, but my entire arm tinged with pain, forcing my back onto the pillow. L saw I was awake, and tried to explain.
    “I swear I didn’t mean to hurt you, I’m really so-”
    “You did this on purpose, didn’t you?” I interrupted. Both our eyes switched to my hand, which I had in a tight fist. Tears streamed down my face.
    “I want to say ‘I’m sorry’ but I’m not sure that sorry fits.”
    “You knew I couldn’t stand blood. What can you not be sorry for?” I looked back up at him. His face was stained with sorrow. He wrapped his arms around me. I did the same to him.
    “I’m… I’m sorry.” I cried into his shoulder.
    “Why are you sorry? I’m the one who should b-”
    I cut him off, “I’m sorry for thinking all your kind was heartless.”
    L pulled me closed to him. I felt his warm, soft and sweet lips on mine. I soften and we both fell on the bed… but got interrupted but a flash. A flash?!?! It was Julio laughing at he showed us the picture he took. I quickly stood up grabbing the picture from Julio. He frowned when I took it from his hand.
    “Hey give that back, that’s mine!” he said laughing. blaugh