Hey readers! I just want you all to know that this is my first fanfiction EVER. Even though I have had this account for almost a year. Yeah, I'm kind of a loser =p. Well anyway, I just want to let you all know that this story will not be one of those where Clare falls into Eli's arms and he makes everything better. This story is very realistic and Clare and Eli's relationship will begin slowly and continue on gradually. For all you people who are like me and are sick and tired of those "love at first sight" stories (although many of them are quite good), this is the story for you. The beating is also very realistic. Her dad will not come off as some crazy psychopath. In fact, there may be times where you might actually like him! Shocking, but true. I want this story to feel real and something that could really happen. Okay, I'll shut up now.

I'm not a victim.

I'm not a fighter.

I'm not at fault.

I'm just me.

They're no words to describe how it feels. And it's not because the searing pain is so unconditional that an adjective or two can't live up to my expectations. It really is because there are no words. A word represents one thing, one emotion, one place, one time, one anything, and until they create a word that's swallows up a million everything's into itself, I'm left with a wordless case on my hands.

"Get up, Clare." He says, grabbing the corner of my blanket and shrugging it off of me. A wave of cool air overlaps the places where the warm fabric used to cover, and I quickly fix my shirt to cover up the skin plucking out from underneath it.

I open one eye; opening up both would take too much energy. The light hurts and makes the world turn into a blur of sharp yellow and little black dots.

"What time is it?" I ask.

My dad releases my arm and claps his hands together. The noise carves through my ears and I'd rather be listening to nails on a chalkboard. "Time for you to get up," he replies, his voice low and dull. "Come on, school starts in an hour."

School. I forgot about that place. Hallways. Lots of students. Pissed off adults just waiting for the right moment to attack me with lectures. Annoying girls in short little skirts and drugged up bad asses hung over from too much vodka last night, or was it meth? The image of high school rapidly reenters my mind, and I quickly throw my blanket over my face at what I see.

My dad sighs in frustration and shoves my shoulder, although it doesn't have much of an affect through the thick comforter. "Get up now," he orders, "I'm not kidding."

His voice is that way again. Venomous. Straight forward. It cuts through my skin and into my veins and the second he uses it my entire body lurches, knowing I better listen to him, and I better listen to him now. I spring up from my bed and wobble around for a moment. My eyes are almost adjusted the room, but I guess my brain is a couple of steps behind.

I think about speaking, but my throat is so dry I know I won't be able to say much. So I just look at him, blonde hair, fair skin, broad shoulders, dimple right next to his left eye, and mentally plead for mercy. Go away. Go away. He's not getting the message. Why isn't he getting the message? I thought family was supposed to have some freaky telepathy thing where they can send messages to each other through thoughts. Or is that just twins?

He scrunches his eyebrows at me, the Switch Gear turning on again. And in the blink of an eye, its purpose is over, and I'm now looking at my hard working, humble, secretly hopeless romantic dad again.

"Good girl," he announces, walking towards my doorway and turning around. He gives me a soft, lopsided smile that means today is going to be a good day. I sigh in relief, rubbing my eyes and opening my mouth to express an over exaggerated yawn.

"I've got too go to work, honey. I'll be home later tonight." He presses his side against the doorway harder and tilts his head to get a better view of me. "I love you so much."

I close my eyes and count to ten. Breathe. Just do it. It's so easy. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat these two steps every second of your life and your guaranteed not to die by suffocating on thin air.

"I love you too."

Love it? Hate it? Am I talented? Am I way over my head? Let me know through REVIEWS! Isn't that little review button sexy? Well be naughty and tap it!

P.S.- If I do not update quickly, please feel free to send me a PM cursing me off and telling me where I need to go. Please do so. I am horrible at updating and keeping a time pattern, so I do need to be pushed. Don't be afraid to be cruel. It lets me know you care! And sorry if the chapters are short, writing 5,000 words kinda scares me and I back off, but only having to write about 700 seems much more relaxing and I'm willing to do it. And if anyone has any suggestions, please either review them or PM me. I promise you, even if I don't use them, I will look at them.

-Jenna 3