A loud bang on my room door forced me awake. I grabbed my pillow and brought it to my chest, silently hoping that he would go away. I shut my eyes when the banging continued then after two minutes, it stopped. I sighed and got out of bed, feeling too afraid to go back to sleep. I went to where my phone was charging and picked it up. I unlocked the device and stared at the cracked screen before shifting my attention to the time— 3:07 am.
"What am I going to do now? Mom isn't even back yet," I said and sat down on the floor, eyes fixed on the door.
And like always, I stayed awake throughout the night and later got up to prepare for school, with tired eyes and body. I dragged my feet to my wardrobe and picked out a black knee-length dress and a thick button-up sweater. I took my hygiene bag and robe and then hesitantly walked to the door with my heart beating so fast.
All I needed to do was run straight to the bathroom, brush my teeth, take a quick shower, rush back to my room then leave through the window. As long as he didn't see me, I would be fine. With a nod, I touched the key attached to the keyhole and twisted it slowly, not wanting to alert him that I was up. I was sure that he was drunk again so I had to be quick.
I poked my head out after opening the door and looked toward the hallway that led to the living room. I saw no sign of him when I glanced at the door a few feet away from mine. I exhaled in relief and took out my key before leaving the room. I closed the door and locked it back then rushed to the bathroom on the other end of the hallway. Once I was inside, I locked the door and leaned on it, breathing a sigh of relief.
I cannot wait until the day I leave this house. This is why I study hard to get a scholarship because right now, mom or that man did not care if I went to college or not. We were broke and nothing gave me the idea of a bright future if I depended on them.
"Alright, time for school. I can't be late today of all days. I have an important test to take."
I jogged into the school's compound and stopped at the entrance of the building where students were moving in and out. I held the straps of my backpack tighter when I got close to the crowded entrance. Once I was in, I ran to the flight of stairs which led me to the second floor of the building. As I climbed the steps, I stopped at the sight of the few people I despised seeing.At the top of the steps were the students from the swim team, laughing and talking to each other. I hoped that they didn't see me because they did everything possible to make my life a living hell after one accident that started everything.
Two years ago...
I hummed as I walked through the hallway of the school, reading one of my favorite novels. My ears perked when I heard laughter coming from the pool room up ahead. I closed my book and smiled at the idea of watching the swim team practice because they had a contest tomorrow.
I quickened my steps and reached the double doors of the room. I looked through the glass area on the doors and saw some of them in their trunks moving in the water and sitting on the bleachers. The sight of other students made me relieved to go in because there was no way I would walk in there if no one from the school was there, watching them. I pushed the door open and walked in. A few people glanced at me but looked away afterward.
I walked to the lower bleachers and sat down. I removed my backpack and placed it on the floor in front of my feet. I looked around the place before opening my novel to read. Five minutes later, I saw one of the swimmers run past me but he knocked into my backpack which sent him falling toward the pool. He fell into the pool and everyone screamed out in fear. I sat up, more bothered about my bag than him because I knew he could swim and survive but the books in my bag couldn't.
After two minutes, he was dragged out to the surface and laid on the wet floor. I started to panic when I saw him holding his ankle while groaning.
"What's wrong, Tony?"
"Did you get hurt?"
So many questions filled the echoing hall as I stood and watched, waiting for an answer from the groaning student.
"My ankle! My ankle hurts so bad. It hurts! I think I twisted it!"
Gasps and curses filled the hall and soon, everyone turned to look at me.
"It was your bag that made him fall! I swear to God if something happens to his leg and we lose this contest, you will suffer for it!...
Tony had a nasty sprain that made him not go for the contest and for our school to lose, he had not been able to swim well that day. Since then, they have been bullying me and making me suffer for what happened two years ago. Worst of all, Tony was the only qualified swimmer on our school team to represent us. So, their resentment toward me began that day.
"Would you look at that? It's the devil's incarnate."
I gulped when Tony spoke with a glare on his face. The other three around him looked down and spotted me. I stepped back and scowls occupied their faces. My eyes widened when Tony stepped forward then I ran back to where I was coming from. I knocked into a few students as I ran past the entrance of the school.
I looked over my shoulder to find them chasing after me. If they caught me, they would do crazy things to me. They've done the worst things that left me crying or having nightmares for days.I continued to run but bumped into someone who fell to the floor. I paused and apologized to the girl before running off to another part of the hallway where fewer students were in. I realized that I was in the hallway where the basketball team locker rooms were. I stopped running when I came to a dead-end, which was the doors that led outside to where the school field was. I cursed in my head and went running back only to stagger to a stop when Tony and his goons ran into the same hallway. I slowly took off my backpack and threw it on the other side of the wall.
"You can't run anymore, Jackie," Tony said and walked toward me.
"Please, I won't do anything. Just let me go for today. I have a test this morning, please don't hurt me," I pleaded, looking from one person to the other as they approached me.
"You should know better than this, Jackie. Begging and sounding like a wimp won't stop us from doing what we want," Tony said and I watched as his narrowed eyes shifted to a door on the side— The boy's locker room.
I didn't like where this was going.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" Alex, the tallest one asked, eyeing the same door.I furrowed my eyebrows in confusion, wondering what they meant.
Tony hummed. "Get her!"
I jumped at the command then Rachel, the other swimmer ran up to me and grab my arms. I struggled in her tight grip but she was stronger as she dragged me toward them. Alex opened the door and Tony grabbed my arm and then pulled me into his chest. He towered over me, glaring into my soul with angry hazel eyes.
"I wonder what the boys in there would say about a nerdy little girl like you in their locker room," Tony said.
"Yeah, especially since they're all in there taking their baths. I mean, they just came back from early morning practice, I heard," Rachel said and peeped into the room.
I glanced at the opened locker room, there were some towels, sports uniforms, and shoes around, which meant that they were truly inside. I swallowed at the thought of naked men seeing me and fear filled my body at what they might think of me or do.
I gasped when Tony shoved me into the locker room. I tumbled to the floor and hissed when I scraped my elbow on the wet and sandy floor. My eyes widened at the sound of the door closing then I looked over my shoulder. Alex waved at me then I heard the sounds of the door locking, followed by Rachel waving a key through the glass part of the door.
I instantly rose and slammed into the door. I hit my palm against it, panicking.
"Please, please, don't do this," I begged but watched in sadness as they walked away, laughing.
I sniffed and wiped the tears I didn't know had been rolling down my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my body only to drop them when I heard a door open, then a loud masculine exhale.
"Coach hates us so much that he had to punish all of us for what that bastard of a captain did." A deep voice echoed around the place.
Someone was here. Jesus, someone was here or people were here. What was I going to do?