Secrets, Chapter One

Author's Note: This is a re-do of a story I did 8 years ago. The original story is in my profile. I still get questions regarding my Kristin stories every once in awhile, and I can't really think of any way to do a story solely on her so I decided to do this instead. The original version is pretty bad/unrealistic so a LOT has changed, but the same basic plot and details are the same. I also changed some names because I was pretty dumb in 7th grade and used a lot of names of people I knew IRL.

Summary: Twelve-year-old Kristin Maddox is given a spot at Horizon after a call from her band teacher to his best friend, Peter Scarbrow. He doesn't know what her secrets are, but he knows something is horribly wrong, and Peter may be the only one who can save her.

Kristin Maddox sat up slowly, trying to prevent her mattress from creaking. She never knew what kind of mood her dad would be in when she woke up, and she wanted to give him no excuse to blow up.

Last night hadn't been a good night. After her band concert, they had gotten home and her brother, Steven, had left dishes out. Even though her dad knew it was Steven and that Kristin hadn't been home yet that day, he still flipped out and had punished her.

Kristin walked towards the kitchen and stopped in the shadows to observe her dad, who was sitting at the bar eating cereal. He wasn't hung over, he had his work clothes on, and he wasn't looking around to find something to fault her for. She decided it was safe and walked into the kitchen, careful to not act scared but not cocky at the same time. Anything would set her dad off, and she didn't want to be the direct cause of it.

"Hey, sweetie," he greeted her with a big smile.

"Hey, dad," she smiled back. "Do you need me to get you anything?"

"Nah. I'm about to leave for work. Please have a good day today. Stay out of trouble," he added sharply. He stood up and gave her a tight hug good-bye. She resisted the urge to wince and hugged him back. She watched him leave, and then breathed a huge sigh of relief.

After eating breakfast, she went back to her bedroom to get dressed. First she made sure there were no visible bruises—dad use to not be careful about that, until one of his police friends informed him that there had been a complaint made at her school. Now dad was usually careful about where he punished her at, though sometimes he got out of control and would hit her face or something. She just stayed home those days.

She dressed quickly and ran to the bus stop. Her best friend, Jake, was already there. "I'm so tired. We had so much homework last night after that stupid, useless concert," he complained.

"Ah, crap. I forgot about any homework," Kristin said.

"You never do homework anymore," Jake pointed out. "You're going to get kicked out of band if you do really bad this quarter."

"I don't care," she snapped. "I hate band. Mr. Davis is annoying."

Jake rolled his eyes. "You're dumb."

"Thanks. I don't hear that enough," she mumbled.

Kristin went through the day in a haze, careful not to sit against the chairs too hard. She resisted the urge to take off her jacket—arms weren't off limits for dad—and sweated instead. Finally, band rolled around. Though it was true that she really didn't like the actual class of band, because she never really practiced and therefore was nearly in constant trouble with Mr. Davis, she felt safe there. He was annoyingly nosy and constantly asking questions. But he never threatened her with phone calls and teacher-parent meetings like her other teachers.

She walked into the band room and got her trombone, then sat next to the other trombone players. She realized that Jake was trying to meet her eyes but she ignored him and stared ahead. She was so busy trying to ignore Jake that she didn't realize that the back of her shirt had rode up, giving him and Mr. Davis a perfect view of her bruised back.

"Kristin, come to my office," Mr. Davis demanded as soon as he saw it.

"Why? I didn't do anything!" She cried out.

"I just want to ask you something about next year," he said more calmly. More and more students were filing into the class and the last thing he wanted to was draw attention to her.

She glared at him before slamming her instrument down and stalking to his office. After a few moments, he walked in there, too.

"We need to talk," he said. "About a lot of things."

She simply stared at him, waiting for him to continue.

"I saw your back. This isn't the first time I've seen bruises on you." He looked at her expectantly. "Since you're not going to talk to me, maybe I should just ask you point-blank? Does your dad abuse you?"

"No!" She exclaimed. "You're crazy. Kids get bruises. I got mine from playing around. Ask Jake, we always play football and hockey and stuff in our neighborhood."

"Football doesn't cause huge bruising like that. Look, you can tell me anything."

She smirked. "I can tell you anything, huh? Is that what you want to hear? That my dad beats me up, so you can run and tell the school social worker? Fuck off. My dad doesn't touch me. You need to stay out of my business. Oh, and I quit band!" She yelled and ran out of his office and out of the room.

She ran past the assistant principal on her way out of the school. She ran nearly all the way home, until she had to stop and take a breath. She held her side and looked around. "Shit," she muttered. She knew that she was near where her dad and his friends usually patrolled. She twirled around, about to go back and take the longer way home when she felt a hand clamp down on her shoulder.

She slowly turned to see who it was.

"Hey, kiddo. What are you doing out of school?" It was the same guy who had tipped her dad off about the social worker.

"I felt sick. I'm on my way home," she told him.

"Oh, well I'll just take you to your dad's. He wouldn't want you out here wondering by yourself."

Kristin couldn't think of anything to say as he lead her to a police car that was parked on the next street. She met her dad's eyes as they bore into her. He quickly played the concerned father as he jumped out of the car and ran towards them. "Are you okay? What happened?" He asked, putting his hand on her head.

"She said she got really sick at school so she decided to go home."

"Oh, thank God. I thought you were hurt, Kristin. Let's go home, if you're that sick you don't need to be alone."