W A R N I N G
Reader discretion is advised.
*this story is dedicated to sexual abuse survivors*
O P A L
My eyes widen as a boy gets slammed on the table in front of me, knocking me off the stool and onto the floor. The boy gasps for air as Koa Whiley attaches his hands to his neck, his large body towering over the boy. The kids eyes beg me for help. I push myself off the floor as students gather around, cheering on the fight. As I reach for Koas' arm, someone else manages to beat me to it, Mr. Griffen, the school counselor. He yanks on his arm and drags him down the empty hall.
Koa Whiley used to be the nice boy everyone loved, but one day something broke inside him. I haven't seen him smile since that day, he's pushed everyone around him away.
I grab the boys arm and pull him off the ground. I smile cheerfully and dust his back off. "Are you okay?"
He gulps and nods his head, his brown eyes flickering between mine. "I-I think so."
"I'm Opal, can I walk you to the nurses office? You got a nasty bruise."
"Uh.. yeah sure."
I loop my arm around his, "What's your name?"
"Uh, Briar, Briar Bennett."
"Opal Clemens. It's nice to meet you!" I chirp.
He grins and stares at our intertwined arms. "Thanks for helping me."
"Glad to do so. Are you new? I haven't noticed you around."
He rakes his fingers through his light brown hair, a grin tugs on the corner of his lips, his light freckles crinkle around his eyes. "Actually this is my first day."
"Oof, I'm sorry. Your first day is off to a great start."
As we walk through the door way I see Mrs.Hope sitting in a chair. She hops up and smiles, "Hi Opal!"
"Hi Mrs.Hope. This is Briar, he's new here. Koa Whiley is at it again."
She grabs an ice pack out of the mini fridge and gestures for him to sit down in a chair beside her. "Hi Briar, I'm sorry this happened."
He waves his hand in front of him before taking the ice pack. "It's not your fault, besides these things happen... I guess."
I place my hand on his broad shoulder, "With Koa Whiley, anything's possible. He just needs some light in his life."
"Everyone could use some."
Mrs.Hope nods in agreeance, "You kids are right. We need more kindness in our world."
"That's for sure." I grab his arm and help pull him out of the chair. "I'll walk you to class. Have a good day Mrs.Hope." I tell her before exiting the room.
We wander down the semi-busy corridor, students coming and going from their lockers. "May I see your schedule?"
He bobs his head, pulling the crumpled piece of paper out of his pocket. "Here you go."
I scan the paper, noticing we only have two classes together, plus the same lunch. "We have third and fifth hour together, and the same lunch. Also, lunch for us is right after third period. Most of your classes are going to be downstairs. Your first hour is Mr.Doyle, which is right there." I gesture towards his room. "His class is fun, there's never a dull moment. But you gotta watch out for Mrs.Conaway, she can be a little harsh, even if you just breathe wrong she'll give you detention." I tuck my red hair behind my ear and gaze up at Briar. "Sorry," I grin, "I started rambling, I tend to do that, a lot actually. You know it's strange, I'm not sure why I do that."
He chuckles and adjusts his ice pack, "Hey don't worry about it. It's cute, the way you ramble. Also your being helpful."
"Thanks! I like to help as much as I can." He leans against the wall with his shoulder, moving his ice pack to his jaw. His brown eyes scan my body, his lips curve into a smile. I chew on the inside of my cheek and play with the hem of my purple cardigan.
"What made Koa hurt you like that?"
He shrugs his shoulders and glances around the hall. "I accidentally stepped on his shoe, and when I went to turn around and apologize, I was thrown onto the table."
"Ouch! How's your back?"
"It's okay right now, fingers crossed that I'll be able to try out for soccer still."
"Yeah I hope you'll be able to make it, it'd be a bummer if you couldn't." I check the clock on the wall, "The bells about to ring, I'll see you in third period. If you ever need help I'm usually upstairs. My locker is E12, if you need to find me."
I pull a peach out of my lunch bag, taking a tasty bite as I lean my back against a tree I usually sit at during lunch. I watch a few birds eat at leftover food by the trash-bin. As I finish my peach I toss the pit back into the bag while pulling out sunflower seeds, tossing a few towards the birds in the process.
"Isn't that fattening for animals?" A deep voice booms, causing me to jump.
I glance beside me and see Koa leaning against the brick wall. I smile up at him, "I'm not sure." I sip on the last bit of my capri sun.
He takes a humongous bite out of an apple, "You dress like an old lady." He wiggles his finger at me.
"Thanks!" I beam.
His dark blue eyes trail up my body before making eye contact. "That wasn't a compliment." He says coldly.
I shrug, "Well some grandmas dress really cute. So I'll take it as a compliment, plus granny's are just so adorable!" I pull my cardigan tighter around me, his gaze making me self-conscious. "You look nice today!"
He whispers something under his breath, pulling his eyes off of me. He pulls earbuds out of his pocket and pushes them into his ears. I push myself off the ground and dust my skirt off before sitting right next to him.
I hold a small bag of sunflower seeds in front of him, "Here, I know how much you love these. Remember? I used to bring you a bag everyday."
He completely ignores my presence, turning his head the other way. I pull my knees into my chest and tie my green convers.
"You still have those?" He gestures towards my sneakers, his brown hair falling into his eyes.
"Yeah!" I exclaim, "They're my favorite."
"You've had those since like seventh grade."
"Actually I've gotten a new pair since then. Greens my favorite color, no wait, yellow, it's a happy color. There's so many colors that make me happy." I giggle as I continue to ramble on about random things.
"Just shut up!" He grumbles.
"Sorry I always ramble on like that-you know, it's funny tha-"
He covers my mouth with his sweaty palm, "God, you're so annoying, I made a mistake by sitting here." He pulls his hand away as he pushes himself off the ground.
"Okay, bye Koa have a good rest of your day!" I shout so he can hear me.
I glance around and see my younger sister Polli texting and walking. She's so bad at multitasking that's shes ran into a pole multiple times while looking at her phone. I hop up and jog over to her, "Hi Polli!"
"Hey Opal." She says casually, her eyes glued to her phone.
"You shouldn't text when someone talking to you."
She grins and looks up at me. "Well I was texting first." She informs me.
"Okay, well I'll go. I just wanted to make sure you weren't going to walk into that pole again." I explain, turning away from her and walking back to my usual spot.
She pulls me back towards her, "Opal you can still hang with me."
"It's fine, your busy talking with your friends."
She shoves her phone into her jacket pocket and turns to look at me. "How come your all alone?" She inquires.
I loop my arm around hers, "I like sitting out here during lunch, it's peaceful."
She brushes her faded red hair with her fingers, "Did you see the fight this morning?"
"Yeah, I took Briar to the nurses office."
"Oh," She chuckles, "Is that the boys name that Koa was beating on?"
I bob my head up and down, "Yes."
Her pale cheeks turn pink, "He's so hot!" She exclaims softly.
I giggle, "Yeah he's a cutie! He's nice too."
"You should ask him out." She suggests.
Her brown eyes stare into mine, "Well why the heck not?"
I shrug as we take a seat on the bleachers. "I don't know, he's probably not into me."
She scoffs, "Yeah right. With those freckles and red hair, what boy wouldn't think your cute? I catch guys peaking at you all the time, your so oblivious." She chuckles. "I saw you talking to Koa, what did he want?"
"To get away from me." I chuckle.
She cackles and slaps her knee, "You're too much sunshine for that son of a gun. You two are complete opposites. Not all opposites attract."
"Well we used to be friends."
"Yeah that's ancient history now. He's long past that. He's changed, like a lot. I'd forget about being his friend if I were you."
"He just needs a friend. It would be hard to be alone like that all the time."
She squeezes my knee, "Good luck with that Opal."
"Thanks, I could use that."