Monday, January 26 (Two Days Later)~~
School starts up today.
Winter break was over.
You were so busy with getting kidnapped and in motion to be adopted by Lin to remember that school was starting up again. You forgot about tests and homework that was due. You were just too busy escaping from abuse and moving in with someone who will treat you well and raise you correctly.
The last couple of days of your break were of you and Lin just lounging on the couch and watching Disney movies. This was your way of bonding with Lin, who was going to be your legal dad soon. You’d lay with your head on his chest while he held you protectively, stroking your hair soothingly. Lin would hum a Spanish tune into your ears. It was a soothing lullaby; a nice melody full of words that meant nothing to you but meant worlds to Lin.
“What song is that…?” You asked in a hushed voice, not taking your eyes from the movie that was playing, which was The Little Mermaid.
Lin mumbled another Spanish phrase into your ear in a lulling voice, one you had grown to know was comforting and safe.
Something about Lin made you truly feel wanted in this world. His acts of kindness always keep you going, it was like having a true parent, something you’ve longed for your entire life. You believed you’d get this feeling from your mother but you have now realized that this feeling wasn’t going to come from that woman. She shoved you away for so long that when she tried to keep you to herself, she wasn’t who you wanted to be raised by. She wasn’t the loving and laid back mom you loved years ago. That woman was too independent and lost the motherly aura so long ago. You didn’t want her anymore. Now, you had Lin. He was the parent you always wanted and you were certain he will love and support you the way you always needed to be.
And now, here you were.
On the subway with Lin on an early Monday morning.
He was taking you to school.
You didn’t know if you should be elated or very embarrassed. I mean, Lin wasn’t an embarrassment, but he had his moments where you wanted to crawl under a rock and die. Lin was very goofy and loving but that’s what made him embarrassing. He was like those TV generic fathers who loves to embarrass his kids to no end. He likes to make dad jokes and coo at you like you were a baby, which really pisses you off. But, he was trying to be fatherly, which you enjoyed and loved about him.
You were dressed in a loose black t-shirt, jeans, and your worn out black converse. You were also borrowing Lin’s gray sweater, which was a couple size too big for you. Your hair had been violated by Lin with a hairbrush and because he wanted to be like all the other dads, he tried to braid your hair was failed miserably. You decided on braiding it yourself as you walked with him to the subway. Your backpack was filled with all the notebooks, textbooks, and supplies you left in it months earlier. It seemed a little lighter now that you had meat on your bones and were being treated for Anorexia. Lin also bought you an insulated lunch bag (like the ones on TV) and made you a homemade lunch, keeping with the diet your doctor put you on.
The subway was somewhat packed but you and Lin managed to get seats. You were still a little shaken up from the incident with Scott but you were back in a normal mindset thanks to the therapy you insisted you needed. It was nice to be able to talk to someone who knew just what to say to make everything better. You just wanted everything to go back to normal. You used to resent school but now you were actually somewhat excited since you were going to see your friends again.
The train stopped at your destination about a half hour after the last stop. Lin grabbed your hand and led you out, along with all the other high schoolers you didn’t realize were on the train with you. You stepped out of the station and led Lin down the street and after a couple of blocks, you stopped in front of the large building that was your high school. You recognized the large oak trees and all the senior athletes throwing around a football on the front lawn.
“Well,” You smiled up at Lin, trying to inch your hand out of his grip. “This is my school. Thanks for tagging along, Lin. I’ll see you at three o’clock, okay?”
Lin smirked. “Woah there, chica.” He said with a chuckle. “I need to take care of your paperwork. You know, since your birth parents aren’t in the picture anymore?”
You groaned as Lin kept a grip on your hand and led you through the front lawn and up the steps into the school building. You felt the stares and heard the whispers of all the students watching you, a sixteen-year-old nobody, being pulled through the hallways by a man in his thirties, who most of them assume was your uncle or a cousin. Lin didn’t let go of your hand until you made it to the front office. The secretary gave Lin directions to the Dean of Student’s office and wrote you a pass to your Homeroom.
“I’m gonna get a Visitor’s Pass and hang out with you at Lunch, okay?” Lin said as he hugged you goodbye.
You chuckled and rolled your eyes. “Okay, Lin. See you later.”
“Have a good morning, mi Hijo!”
You stepped back into the main hallway, feeling the atmosphere of the high school setting come back to you like a nostalgic haze. You listened to student chatter and then thumping of footsteps on the tiled floor. You could smell the cookies baking in the Culinary class down the hall, the bleach used to clean the floors and the smell of perspiration of the teenagers walking in the school all day. It seemed the lack of deodorant was still there just like it was when you left for winter break. All you needed was your schedule rememorized and your friends back at your side.
You turned around just as a flash of red crashed into you. You stumbled back but regain your balance as a girl with long and curly red hair hugged you tightly. She was dressed in a cream-colored sweater dress, black tights, and high tops. A checkerboard backpack hung from a shoulder, a black shoulder bag hanging from the other. The smell of No.5 Chanel filled your nostrils.
The girl pulled back, letting you get a good look at her face.
You immediately felt tears stream down your face.
“A-Ally!” You cried, hugging your best friend as tightly as she did moments earlier.
You pulled away after a few moments. You wiped away your tears and smiled brightly at your friend. She, on the other hand, was a blubbering mess, murmuring apologies because she didn’t know Scott was insane or a kidnapper. You assured her it wasn’t her fault but the tears kept coming. You stood there for a while longer before Ally calmed down.
“I’m just happy you didn’t end up dead in a ditch somewhere.” Ally murmured. “The night you hung up, I called all our friends and updated them. I only learned the next morning that you were kidnapped.”
“Well, I’m here.” You said. “I’m okay. I’m going to therapy but I’m okay.”
Ally’s soft features hardened. “Did he…” She leaned in. “Deflower you?”
You froze up. You didn’t say anything, answering Ally’s question almost instantly. She started weeping again and you comforted her, telling her it wasn’t her fault.
“But,” Ally sobbed. “I’m the one who let you go with him. I let you go on a date with a psychopath!”
You shushed Ally as students walked by, watching her sob-fest and whispering to each other.
“You didn’t know.” You said. “I didn’t know. We both didn’t know what he wanted or what he was capable of. But right now, he’s in custody and won’t be getting out for a while.”
Just then, the bell rang. You wrapped an arm around Ally’s shoulders and walked with her to homeroom, which was one of the many classes you shared with the redhead.
“Don’t worry,” You murmured. “Everything is going to be okay.”
Ally assumed you were talking to her, but really, you were assuring yourself.
Noon (Four Hours Later)~~
Lunch finally came around. You were on the edge of your seat most of the morning, just wanting to get started on your homework you didn’t complete and the new work you have to do. Most people didn’t notice your new more upbeat attitude, only because they never noticed you in general. The people that did, however, were your friends and harassers.
God, you just wanted a nice relaxing lunch period without the cheerleaders or the jocks making fun of you. You have been through enough already. Why add on to that?
Just as you entered the main hall, you were shoved forward from behind.
The sounds of snickers and bellowing laughter made you growl in annoyance. You stood up and retrieved your bag just as you were spun around to face your tormentors for the day.
Michelle, the head cheerleader, along with two other cheerleaders and her boyfriend, the head quarterback, Ashton, were laughing and pointing at you like you were a circus freak. You had been tortured by this slut since eighth grade when she moved here from Ontario and became Queen Bee. You were just a quiet teacher’s pet who was trying to make it through school and did nothing to upset or offend Michelle. But, she had to have all the attention, so she started picking on you constantly. This is how it’s been ever since.
“Can I help you, Michelle?” You said in a flat tone with a ‘really, bitch?’ look on your face.
Michelle just giggled and smiled sickly at you. “I just wanted to say ‘hi’ to my favorite nerd.” She said innocently.
You just rolled your eyes. “Uh huh,” You answered flatly. “Well, I have plans so…”
As you turned to walk away, Ashton grabbed your arm. You immediately slugged him in the arm as hard as you could, making him let go of your arm and hold his punched arm in pain.
“Did I ask for you to touch me, asshole?” You snapped, glaring daggers into the quarterback.
“Hey!” Michelle retorted her smile now a pissed off look that didn’t go well with her features that were drenched in makeup. “Watch who you’re talking too! You’re lucky we aren’t bashing your face in this time. I heard what happened to you during the break. You finally left home and became someone else’s problem. And then that freak Wilson got his hands on you. You’re lucky he did. No one else would want to touch you.”
“Shut up, Michelle, you stupid slut!” You yelled out of nowhere. “At least someone wanted to touch me. You haven’t been laid since you were dressing like a skank in eighth grade! Go find some pathetic football player to give a second-hand blowjob to!”
You didn’t know what came over you but, the moment you heard Michelle’s voice, this feeling of confidence and invincibility filled your blood. You felt like you could finally silence the bullies that have been tormenting you for four years.
The look of shock and anger on that pretty cheerleader’s face was priceless. She was gripping her Versace purse so tightly, you were surprised her fingerprints weren’t burned into the fabric. Her face was slowly turning red with rage. The other cheerleaders and even Ashton were trying to hold back laughter.
“You’re dead, (L/N),” Michelle growled. “Don’t look forward leaving school alive today.”
You just rolled your eyes and walked away. After you retrieved your lunch from your locker, you strolled into the cafeteria. The sounds of kids yelling and screaming along with bad rap music hit you in the face as you opened the doors. You looked around the sea of teenagers and lunch food before spotting who you were looking for; your friends all sitting at a circular table in the farthest corner of the large room. You maneuvered through the crowd and was getting closer and closer to the table but stopped when you noticed a person that stood out for the group of four girls.
There, sitting in your usual spot between Burmese and Ally, was Lin.
Yeah, your Lin.
You never felt so embarrassed in your whole life.
Your face was probably very red but you didn’t care. You never experience seeing a parent talking to your friends but now you wish you didn’t. Lin could be telling your friends anything. Like how he’s nursed you back to health and basically bathed you because of your fatigue. Or how he’s been showering you with embarrassing coos and fatherly compliments and jokes. You knew he was being sweet but it wasn’t something your friends should know since they’d use this information to tease you.
Lin was the first to notice you standing at the table. His already wide smile seemed to grow at the sight of you. He still was dressed in his sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers with a messy man-bun, but now he had a ‘Visitor’s Pass’ sticker stuck to his sweatshirt. You saw a small stack of papers on the table in front of him, along with a tray of school food that had been almost completely untouched. He must not like the school lasagna either, it seems.
“Mija!” Lin cheered at your arrival. “I met your friends. This is a wonderful bunch of young ladies. They have schooled me in the arts of ‘Identifying (Y/N)’s Actions and Mentality’.”
You rolled your eyes and Burmese stood up, letting you sit next to Lin while she sat in between Grace and Tayah. You pulled Lin’s tray closer and dug the plastic spork into the macaroni and cheese, one of the only things you liked from the school menu. After eating a few spoonfuls, you sat back and opened your lunch bag just as Lin pulled out a napkin and started cleaning off some excess cheese from the corners of your mouth. You slowly inched away but Tayah held you in place, allowing Lin to clean your face.
“I’m not a child, Lin!” You whined, making Lin roll his eyes.
“Well, you sure are whining like one.” Grace murmured, making everyone but you laugh.
You flipped her off but Lin smacked your hand. You grumbled to yourself as Lin stopped wiping your face and you went back to discovering your lunch for the day.
You pulled out a couple Tupperware containers and a plastic bag. In one container was a simple salad drenched in ranch and sprinkled with croutons and bacon bits. In another was leftovers from last night’s dinner; a Spanish casserole Lin’s mom brought over. In the plastic bag was just some barbecue-flavored potato chips. There was also a can of Pepsi and a fruit punch Capri Sun.
You smiled as you opened the casserole and took a heaping forkful, eating it all with a happy hum. You didn’t know, but Lin was watching you. He couldn’t understand how lucky he was. When you first showed up, you were a damaged and sick girl. You had nowhere to go and no one to turn to. But then, Lin took you in and nursed you and took care of you as best as he could. He saved you from meeting a fate similar to your sister. If only he could save her too. But nonetheless, you were alive and getting better. And soon, you were going to be Lin’s daughter. He was sure this was all just a dream come true.
“Continuing with the earlier conversation,” Burmese spoke after chugging her Coke. “Lin, why don’t you tell us about how you plan on taking care of our beloved (Y/N).”
Lin furrowed his brows. “Excuse me?”
“Well, anyone can just pull (Y/N) from her bastard father and nurse her from a fever.” Ally commented. “If you do plan on adopting and raising her, we, as her friends and sisters, need to know some things.”
“What kind of things?” Lin asked nervously.
All four girls exchanged mischievous smirks before turning back to you and Lin, Cheshire Cat grins on their faces.
“Can you get us tickets to Hamilton?” Tayah asked simply.
Lin blinked before chuckling in relief. You merely face placed and went back to stabbing your salad.
Your friends were going to be the death of you.
2:30 pm (After School)~~
You took your required textbooks from your locker and stuffed them into your backpack. It had been a long day. Besides Michelle teasing and tormenting you during P.E., you also had to deal with her in Math and World History. She just wouldn’t leave you alone. You were close to punching her right in her face if it wasn’t for Lin observing the class. You knew Lin being there was making the teacher uncomfortable, but Lin was too busy texting or reading to even see what was happening to you. Now, Lin was in the gym, along with the volleyball team you finally rejoined. This was the first practice since school started again. You were pretty excited.
You just closed your locker when your backpack was pulled off your shoulder, your lunch bag smacked out of your hands, and your body being pinned painfully to the lockers. You groaned softly in pain before opening your eyes, seeing that it was Michelle, Ashton, and one of her posse that was tormenting you once again.
“Well, well, well.” Michelle sang with an evil smile. “I told you you weren’t leaving this school alive, (L/N).”
“Fuck off, Michelle.” You hissed, trying to pry Ashton’s hands off of you. “I didn’t do anything but put you back in your place.”
Michelle batted her fake lashes at you innocently. “Really? Because I remember you saying I was a slut, and if I remember correctly, that counts as harassment and you could be reported and possibly suspended for that.”
“Well, I can tell on your ass too.” You shot back weakly.
Michelle giggled. “Don’t worry, (Y/N). We won’t need to go to that option.”
Just then, Michelle’s friend’s fist connected with your mouth, busting your lip open. You cried out a curse as you slumped slightly. The trio of tormentors laughed at you.
Then, the hell began.
Ashton released you, your body sliding down the lockers. You tried to stand up, but Michelle’s designer flats shoe connected with your stomach, all the breath you had being gone and your body began to curl up in the fetal position. The next few minutes felt like hours as you were assaulted with kicks, scratches, punches, hair-pulling, and verbal assaults as well.
You clutched your ears as you sniffled and whimpered. You wanted it to stop. You wanted all of this to just end already. Haven’t you suffered enough? You didn’t need this. You wanted to go home. You wanted Lin or anyone to save you. You wanted the kicking and yelling and punching to end. You didn’t want to feel this pain and sorrow anymore.
You wanted to be dead.
Your bullies turned to the end of the hall and froze. You slowly moved your head and looked over your bruised shoulder and couldn’t believe your luck.
There, standing with their phones out pointing at Michelle and her lackeys, were your friends, all four of them dressed in their gym attire and wearing knee pads from volleyball practice. Along with them was Lin, who stood frozen in shock and anger.
At the speed of light, the trio of asshole ran down the hallway, their footsteps pounding on the tiles. Burmese and Grace went running after, their phones still recording them. Tayah and Ally said something about getting the principal and ran down the other end of the hall. Lin walked quickly to you, who was still folded up in the fetal position.
“(Y/N)?” Lin whispered, softly laying a hand on your arm, making you flinch but then relax once you realized it was him.
You slowly unfolded yourself, laying fully on your back, and met eyes with Lin. Your lip was still bloody and your teeth and tongue were slightly stained with blood. Your back, stomach, and arms ached. You rolled off the sweater you wore and revealed black and purple bruises on your arms and stomach. Your nose was bloody too, the red liquid smeared on your nostrils and upper lip.
“Li…” You coughed, your throat dry from crying. “Lin… I can’t do it…”
Lin’s eyes widened and you saw tears pool around the lower eyelid. He tucked an arm under your neck and the other wrapped around your torso, pulling you closer to his chest. He tucked your head under his chin and he rocked back and forth, softly murmuring that Spanish lullaby he always sang to you.
Your head laid sideways on Lin’s shoulder as your body shook and you let out sobs and whimpers but no tears came. You felt so weak and useless. Maybe they were right? Maybe you were a waste? Surely you weren’t made to do anything. You’re just alive for the sake of being a daughter. You served your purpose already and you don’t have any other reasons to be alive. Maybe it’ll be okay to just end it all?
For now, you’re just a shell.
An unwanted, empty shell.