Disclaimer: I do not own any of the HSM characters.

Right. The story:

Gabriella Montez lay in her bed, staring blankly up at the ceiling. Yelling came from the room down the hall. There were thuds and then a cry of pain. Gabriella restrained herself from running down to comfort her mum. Something held her back, and she just laid there, tears running down her cheeks, scorching her cheeks.

Mrs Montez sat on the ground in her room, whimpering softly and clutching her hand. She had slammed it against the wall in pure anger and sadness, and it was now aching. Mrs Montez sobbed quietly, leaning against her bed.

Blocks away, Troy Bolton was sitting at his desk, his fingers tracing around a picture taken around three weeks ago of him and Gabriella. They were standing on a ladder, painting a set at school. They'd just had a paint fight, and Gabriella had a splodge of lime-green paint on her cheek and a swipe across her forehead. He had a splatter of blue paint on his forehead and edging into his sandy hair. Both were grinning happily into the camera. Troy sighed, and put the picture face--down on hid desk and walked out of his room.


The next day at school, Gabriella walked listlessly through the hallways to her classes. She was amidst the usual buzz of activity, but she didn't join in the chatter as she used to. Taylor McKessie, her once best--friend, was eyeing her from the other side of the hall. Gabriella glanced up once, but Taylor gave her a belittling look and strutted off with two other members of the decathlon team.

Gabriella didn't feel up to the next class and skipped, spending the period in the toilets, just staring at the door, tears occasionally springing to her eyes, but then she blinked away the tears. After a while, she rummaged through her bag and pulled out one of her exercise books. The back of the book were signatures and messages from all her friends. Gabriella looked over at the messages, and let her eyes linger on the different names.

The bell rang for the next period to end and lunch to begin. Gabriella waited in the toilets until she was sure everyone would've filed out of the hallways and into the cafeteria or gym or field. Then she walked out of the cubicle, examined her face in the mirror, washed it with water, and then treaded carefully out of the toilet.

The hallways were silent, aside from the chatter from children coming in from the open windows. Gabriella walked slowly to her locker and quickly twirled in the combination. She stuffed the books she already had in and then pulled out the books she would need for the afternoon.

Just as she was closing the locker and zipping her bag shut, loud laughter exploded from just around the corner. Gabriella heard the unmistakable voice of Chad Danforth and then Troy. Gabriella froze, and then quickly zipped up her bag, but by then the basketball team and turned around the corner.

Gabriella felt her breath catch in her throat as her eyes caught Troy's.

My chapters aren't very long--so get used to it!! LOL.

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