Many people, intellectual and inspiring people, have told me ‘You shouldn’t fear death; you should fear the unlived life'.

This, I guess, makes sense…to them

! Sure, everyone has problems. Everyone faces pain and loss…but not everyone lives a life overwhelmed with it.

I am trying to live life, but it’s hard!

Not everyone can afford vacations or experience miracles. Not everyone has a life worth living...I sometimes wonder if mine even is...

* * *

My father pulled his truck up to the 'scene of the crime'.
Red and blue and white lights flashed incessantly, as the cop cars came into view. Through a mist of fog, I could vaguely make out my mother's car. It was a crappy, little, thing, coated with rust. It looked even worse now that it had massive dents on the driver's side, it almost looked like a crunched up piece of aluminum. The tires were bulging from under the car, as if the weight of the vehicle itself was too much for the itty-bitty worn down tires to handle. The hood of the car was bent, the head light on the driver’s side was completely shatter as well as the driver's window. Glass surrounded my mother's car and the other car, a green jeep, which had hit my mom.

One look at this and my body heated with anger. The jeep had a few scratches and a broken headlight. My mother's car was completely ruined, cracked, smashed, dented, bent--you name it!

'Katt!' my father called after me, but I ignored him.

I opened the passenger door to my father's truck and hopped out, stomping my way over to the first police officer I saw.

'Excuse me, miss, but can you stand back?"

'Fuck you!'

'Pardon me?'

'What happened? Where's my mom?'

'Miss, please stand back and let us do our jobs.'

'Just tell me where my mom is and you can go back to flashing your pretty little badge around in everyone's face! Where's my mom?'

'Miss, please remain calm! You're mother is probably be examined.'

'Examined? What the hell for?’

And that’s when I saw it…on my mother’s cracked windshield was a small but visible splatter of crimson red…blood.

‘Miss, please! Stay back, take a deep breath, and contain yourself.’

‘Mom! Mom, where are you? Mom?’ I yelled, suddenly wanting to—no! Needing to find her. I had to make sure she was okay and safe, but for some unknown reason there was a sour knot in my stomach that told me something bad was happening.

'MOVE! Out of the way!' A woman yelled, not angrily, just seeming worried and desperate and rushed.

Me and the police officer quickly stepped out of the way and turned to watch two paramedics, one male, one female, push a gurney toward the ambulance. On it was a very familiar looking woman.

Long locks of brown hair flowed over the woman's shoulders sticking to her sweaty neck and cheeks. Her skin was a little on the pale side, but didn't look sickly. Her cheeks were the slightest bit flushed, lips a faded pink. If it weren't for the huge gash coated with dried and fresh blood, on her forehead she'd seem like an innocent woman, sleeping,

‘Mom? MOM! Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!’

* * *

My life could be worse, I know that, but that doesn’t take away the fact that I was dealt a shitty hand. Knowing that while I’m complaining about my life other girls are being kidnapped and killed doesn’t take away the pain I feel every

morning I wake up. It doesn’t make me feel lucky or appreciative for what I still have, which is pretty much only my sanity and I’m not even sure I still have that anymore.

Every day I wake up and realize that I’m withering away, slowly but surely. Everyday a part of me, of my heart, disappears taking away my best qualities and the things I used to like about myself.

No longer am I giddy, outgoing, or even the slightest bit fun to hang out with. I’m sad, lonely…I’m fading into nothing…just waiting for the day, that'll probably never come, when I can feel like myself and not have to hold my own wounded heart in the palm of my own shaking, clammy, hands.

Chapter One: <3

Fulchiner County!

Population; 782.

Exciting Town Events; diddly-squat!

Fulchiner is one of those crappy, prehistoric, southern towns; the type of clichéd town, where everyone knows everything about everyone, and I mean everything

. Well, actually…no! Not everything! But once someone in town finds out something about you, something you didn't want anyone to know or something you weren’t proud of, you’re screwed! That one person tells someone, and that someone tells another person, and before you know it everywhere you go, around every corner, someone is watching you. Glaring at you, as if they know you…

Me and my father moved to Fulchiner, literally, less then forty-eight hours ago, and already am I experiencing all of this first hand.

For a whole day, I walked around clueless as to why my ‘peers’ where glaring and whispering as I walked down the halls. I knew there were rumors; I’m new, an outsider. I expected that! But what I didn’t expect was to be sitting on the toilet in the girl’s restroom and see in black sharpie on the bathroom stall: Katherine McNeil is a WHORE!

“Wonderful,” I mutter, rolling my eyes, and walking out of the bathroom.

I walk out of the bathroom stall, and over to the sink to wash my hands, when in walks in Marcella Marko, also known as Marcie, the gossip queen and most popular girl at Fulchiner High.

Marcie and her wanna-bees looked from me, to the lettering on the open bathroom stall, and then back to me.

“What’s up, slut!?” Marcie spat with a half smile. Her two blonde disciples suppressed a giggle, as if what Marcie had said was the funniest thing on earth.

Cocking my head to the side, I smile and say, “Your boyfriend’s dick.”

All three blondes jaw dropped, making my forged smile turn out to be genuine, “Tell him to keep up the good work!” I say, flashing Marcie a quick wink and then shouldering through the girls to get toward the exit.

Now before you start whispering to your friend sitting next to you about how whorish I am, let me say that I definitely am NOT

a whore. I’ve only ever slept with two different people in my life, and when I finally did

give away my virginity it was to my boyfriend of three years—now ex-boyfriend.

So, no, I’m not a whore and am not even really that experienced when it comes to that

…but that doesn’t mean I'm a goody-two-shows. It doesn't mean that I don't like to fool around or have fun.

* * *

I stumbled out of the van the moment the smell overwhelmed me. Everything seemed to be in slow-motion. Every light seemed brighter, every noise seemed louder. And that smell...the sweet but very peculiar aroma of the pot that was being passed around seemed stronger then when Reece first opened up the little plastic baggy.

I knew what I was doing was wrong, that I'd be in a hell whole of a lot of trouble if my father ever found out...but I didn't care at the moment. I was in an obliviously euphoric state. I couldn't stop smiling and my stomach felt extremely tight making me feel anxious and excited for no real reason in particular...but I hadn't even smoked anything.

Everyone else did, I just sat there in the car watching as they inhaled and then exhaled, the van quickly filling up with a grey mist.

But I was high, I could feel it, I knew it. It was almost like the smoke was a contagious disease or gas.

My mouth was dry, barely any spittle in the back of my throat.

I had been hungry just moments ago. Now, I just feel extremely giddy and carefree.

"What the hell is going on?" I asked, inside knowing that I was confused and somewhat annoyed, but my body fooled me into believing I was happy. I spoke, wanting to show my frustration, but all I could do was stare blankly at Reece with the biggest goofy smile on my face.

Reece jerked his head to the side, his dirty blonde bed head flipping out of the way of his brown eyes. His pupils were huge and darker then usual, the slightest bit of red on the whites of his eyes. On his lips was the same goofy grin I had flashed him, "Dude! You are so contact high!"

"What? But I didn't smoke anything," I said with a giggle, my cheeks actually stinging the slightest bit, tired of smiling but unable to stop.

"That's what contact high is, dumb-ass. You were clam-baked."

I giggled, running my hands through my own locks of black hair, pushing the strands out of my eyes. But deep, deep

, deep down, I knew I would be in deep shit if my father caught me...but the same was nice...

It was nice to no longer feel the hurt and loneliness I felt every day. It was nice to feel happy and joyful. In a weird way, being contact high even made me feel confident, like nothing could hold me back.

Keeley, the only girl in the group--besides me that is--stepped out of the van only moments later. She, out of all the guys, was the most messed up. She apparently had a lot of shit in her life and like me turned to all this--the alcohol and drugs--to relieve the pain. And right now, I'm pretty sure she couldn't feel anything

. She looked completely out of it!

Keeley's yellow-blonde hair was pulled back into a loose bun, some strands of dyed hair--hot pink and neon green--fell in the way of her blue eyes. But even her extremely colorful hair couldn't hide how completely bloodshot her big pretty eyes were.

She slowly slid out of the van and threw her arm over my shoulders, the stench of beer rolling off her tongue as she giggled.

"Hey, girly girl! Having fun?"

"Yeah...seems like you're having a blast?"

She exuberantly nodded, thrashing her head up and done, popping the 'p' in , "Yup!"

Carter and Carson, the red-headed twins, walked out of the van holding a portable radio. They turned up the volume, full blast, and set it on the ground!

"I do it for the druh-ugs! I do it just to feel uh-uh live! I do it for the love! That I get from the bottom of a bottle!" Keeley screamed along with the band 'Smile Empty Soul' to one of their famous singles Bottom of a Bottle

. She was jumping up and down, flailing her arms into the air as she screamed like some looked fun.

"Oh, what the hell," I muttered running over to her and screaming in her face, "I do it for the druh-ugs! I do it just to feel uh-uh live! I do it for the love! That I get from the bottom of a bottle!"

We were hopping up and down to the beat of the music, whipping our long locks of hair back and forth, hitting eachother unconsciously in the face. Thrusting our fists into the air, we began fist pumping at extreme speed till we were panting, but we didn't stop.

"I do it for the drugs!" Keeley yelled, the most determined look on her face.

I giggled and screamed back, "I do it just to feel alive!"

"I do it for the-"

"Shut up!"

Keeley and I froze, fists still held in the air.

I looked over at Reece, Carter, and Carson, but I knew their voices. The person that had screamed was new, unfamiliar.

Reece smiled, not a loopy 'high off my ass smile', but a genuine one. One that lit up his dark eyes, really surprising me.

"Dayton, my man! Where've you been?"

"Where've I been! I've been at my house...waiting...for you to call, like you said you would. What the fuck! What ever happened to 'bros before hoes'?"

I turned around and came face to face with a very attractive guy, complete with a fairly muscular build, soft chestnut brown eyes, and a full head of brown bed head. He reminded me way too much of Reece. Practically the only difference between them was the hair color and skin. Reece wasn't white, but on the paler side. This guy had the perfect skin, which looked flawlessly smooth and olive toned. He was smiling, revealing the cutest dimples ever, which Reece also had.

"Sorry, man! I thought you knew we were out!"

"Obviously not..hey guys!" the guy said, waving to Carter and Carson. They waved back, but then went back to fighting over the last beer. His brown eyes turned to me and Keeley, "What's up Keeley?"

"Nothing much, dick! How've you been?" Keeley asked, a flirty half-smile flashing in his direction. She batted her eyes and 'dick' huffed with understanding, "I've been just fine...and who the hell are you?" he said, now turning to me.

I laughed with an annoyed roll of the eyes. I nudged Keeley in the shoulder grabbing her attention, "Isn't he a charmer?"

"Yeah, that's Dayton for ya. As blunt a blunt object."

Reece walked up to the three of us, throwing his arms over the brunette's broad shoulders. Giving him a light squeeze, Reece looked at me, "Katherine? This is my man, Dayton. Dayton, this is Katherine."

"Hi," I said, holding out my hand to this Dayton kid, with a smile, trying to be polite and sweet.

The feelings weren't mutual!

Instead of enduring the agonizing pain of shaking some girl's hand, he stared at me as he licked the inside of his cheek and sighed noisily, not like he were angry but like he was overwhelmed, maybe even a little annoyed.

After an awkward moment of staring at me, he turned his head toward Reece, "Where's the shit?"

"In the van, like always, man!" Reece said, patting his friend in between the shoulder blades. Dayton nodded,and then without giving me so much as 'hey' or even one of those stupid head nods boys usually do, he jogged his way into the van. He slammed the side doors shut, locking himself inside, and us out.

Something told me 'Dick Dayton' wasn't a people person.

Chapter Two: <3

"Girl...I love you. I love you so much, do you get that?"

"Absolutely." I said back to the drunken Keeley simply for her own amusement.

"Good. Cause I want you to know that your...your fuggin amazing--"

"Fuggin?" I uttered to myself as I snickered, Keeley was oblivious of my laughter and just kept on rambling.

"--and you have a face like...your face is like sunshine.

"Oh, why thank you."

"No problem."

"And you smell like rainbows."

Keeley ran her pale and shaking hands through her dyed locks of hair and hiccuped. Brows furrowed, lips pulled into a tight frown, she began to squeal. I just watched her for a moment, and only realized, when I saw her mascara start to flood over her cheeks, that the noise--which sounded a lot like a dieing pig--was actually Keeley crying. "Girl...that is the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. That-that's just...that's boss."


Keeley's head slid out of her hands and slammed onto the table, like dead weight, her hot pink and neon green hair falling in a cascade around her head. Keeley had just passed out.

"Is she okay?"

I looked over my shoulder and yelped when I saw Dayton only inches away from my face. I immediatley jerked away, running my hands through my hair, "Jesus Christ!"

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare Keeley okay?"

"Yeah, I think she's fine. The alcohol just finally caught up to her, I guess."

Dayton nodded, then walked over to the sleeping Keeley. "Keeley? Keeley, you awake?"

She didn't speak, just moaned and groaned as she fidgeted. Her left arm abruptly slid off the table, only moments later followed by the rest of her. With ease and grace, Dayton managed to slide his arms around her before she hit the ground. In one swift motion, he flipped her onto her back and stood, carrying her 'bridal style'.

I followed behind him, through the crowd of drunken and/or intoxicated kids and wondered how Dayton could do apparently eveything with such grace. He managed to easily slide through the hoarde, never once bumping into another person. Me; I was tripping left and right over my own feet and other people. It was like a pinball machine; I'd accidentally bump into someone, I'd mumble an apology but the person who I hit would either be too pissed off or too deaf by the blasting music that echoed throughout the small house to care about my stupid "sorry". The person I'd bump into would give me a gentle nudge, not hard enough to make me fall onto the ground but rough enough for me to trip, bump into another person, and DEJA VU! The cycle repeats.

I was litteraly thanking god the moment I had found my way out of the house and was now on the porch where barely anyone was; just a couple who was making out on the lawn, and Reece who was passing a joint around with some fat kid and the Ginger twins, Carter and Carson. Dayton, while still holding the sleeping Keeley, was talking to Reece.

"Be safe," Dayton was saying.

"Don't worry man, I've got plenty of rubbers in my wallet."

"You know that's not what I meant. If you decide you dont want to spend the night here anymore make sure to--"

"I promise I'll call you, alright? Now go!"

Dayton nodded, said goodnight to Fat-Albert-Wannabe and the Ginger twins, and then began to walk down the driveway where his truck was parked, paying no attention to me.

"Where you think your going, sweet cheeks?" Reece yelled at me. Dayton finally looked over his shoulder at me. I ignored him, for the time being, to answer Reece, "I think it's time for me to head out."

Reece nodded, then turned to fatty, snatching the joint and shoving it in his mouth.

I turned back around to see Dayton, "You need a ride?"

"Yeah. I was trying to ask you earlier, but you walk really fast." the moment the sentence burst through my lips, I cursed myself. Really? You walk really fast? How retarded does that sound?

Dayton narrowed his eyes, most likely thinking the same thing I was, "Ummm, thanks...I guess."

Dayton opened the back door and gently slid Keeley into the backseat. It was sweet

, I thought, how he made sure to buckle her seat belt. He seemed cautious.

"You going to hop in or what? I won't bite, and I promise I haven't drank any alcohol."

"I trust you," I mumbled aloud. I thought it was kind of wierd though, since it was the truth. I barely knew this guy and I trusted him more then I did most people, including my own father.

Chapter Three: <3

Most of the ride was extremley awkward complete with utter silence and thick tension. I tried to stay occupied by looking out the window, but that's not exactly the most entertaining thing in the world. Three minutes of glaring at immobile trees quickly gave me a head ache, so I decided to atleast try to make everything a little less uncomfortable...maybe some music to break the silence?

I leaned forward, reaching for the nob to turn on the radio.

"Dont doesn't work." Dayton said flatly, never takin his eye off the road.

I mouthed 'Oh' before falling back into the passenger seat. Another few moments went by, even more awkward then before.

I sighed, lifting my feet to the dashboard trying to stretch and get comfortable.

"Don't," was all Dayton said before placing his right hand on my thigh, in a kind gesture to move...but I still jerked away from his touch, feeling so overwhelmingly stupid when my cheeks heated, mostlikely turning a bright shade of pink, maybe even red. Dayton slowly moved his hand back to wheel clutching it tightly, "Sorry."

"It's fine," I mumbled against my hand, eventhough I really wasn't.

Another long moment of silence; I watched Dayton from my peripheral vision. Every few moments he'd glance back, keeping an eye on Keeley as she snored away. His eyes would quickly snap back to the road and stay put, almost never blinking.

"Why are you so anal?" I asked abruptly.

Dayton narrowed his eyes at me with disbelief, "What?"

"I meant with your driving. You just seem so...careful. Shouldn't guys like you be, you know, speeding or something."

"Guys like me?"

"Yeah, pot-heads." it slipped out and made my chest immediatley tighten with guilt and embarrassment, "Sorry."

Dayton's lips twitched, as if wanting to smile but held it back anyway, "Would you preffer that I go twenty miles over the speed limit?"

"Well...right now? Yeah. Your doing ten on a twenty-five mile an hour road. Now stop trying to avoid the question."

Yet another moment of silence; I watched Dayton as he swallowed a thick knot in his throat, eyes big and watering. I couldn't help but notice his grip tighten significanly on the wheel, his knuckels were turning white, "My, best friend recently died...he was in a car crash."

Damn! I should have gone along with the speeding thing

, "Jeez, I'm sorry...I didn't know. "

Dayton didn't speak, just nodded...and while most people would have shut their mouths right then and there, I continued to ask questions. "I thought you and Reece were best friends?"

Dayton's soft gaze turned hard and angry, he was glaring at the open road. "I'm his. He never was or will be mine."

By now, going back to complete silence wouldn't make this car ride better, only worse. I had to keep talking, but his time I eagerly changed the topic, " and Keeley...?"

Dayton's brows furrowed, "What about me and Keeley?"

"How long have you two been dating?"

There was a moment of hesitation, then he smiled, a faint chuckle escapin his lips, "Ummm, no. Me and Keeley aren't dating."

"Oh...I just thought with how gentle you were being with her, and how flirty she was with you that--"

"We used to be a never was that serious but...yeah..."

"Oh, okay..." I looked over my shoulder at Keeley. Even drunk off her ass and snoring, she looked beautiful and unique, "It's really refreshing to still being all sweet on her and stuff." I thought aloud.

Dayton shrugged, "It's not that big a deal...what about you? S' there a guy in the picture?"

"Nope." I said with fake cheer, popping the 'p'.

"No...?" Dayton asked, sounding a bit like he was trying to entertain a toddler with disbelief, "No guy at all?"

I sighed, "I, apparently, turned my last boyfriend gay."

Dayton looked at me, eyes narrowed and mouth agape, yet turned up at the corners. A faint noise escaped him, as if wanting to speak but not knowin what to say. So instead of talking, he laughed.


Texte: All rights are reserved
Bildmaterialien: Cover was taken from Google and edited on
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 01.06.2012

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Dedication - to my favorite lil sis & my best friends both on BookRix and in "Real Life"! You know who you are, this is for you, for all the support you've all given me!

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