Chapter Eighty – The Boycott

Thursday 12th November 2009
Beverly Hills
SM Beverly High – 11.15

Ever heard of Karma? They say if you do good the universe will reward you, but if you do bad then it will bring you bad luck! But what about those people who always do good and bad things happen to them and then there are some of those people who always get away with doing the bad deeds, because luck is on their side. But then again, everyone's heard of the saying, 'Karma will find a way…"

"Morning!"

I blinked at Robyn and Zoe waving their arms out crazily in the middle of my dining room. My daddy sat at the table laughing at their excitement. Heidi stood in the corner sipping her morning strong black coffee quietly and Gina smiled greeting me. One person was missing … Brad.

"Come!" Zoe grabbed onto my arm, she pulled me to the dining table and sat me down on a chair that Robyn pulled out. "Robyn and me made you breakfast,"

I looked down at the plate of eggs and bacon. I smiled, chuckling at the set up of my plate, which was in the shape of a smiley face. I glanced over at the coffee that had a creamy smiley face too.

"This – thanks you guys!" I grinned at my breakfast.

"Alright I'm off to work," Daddy announced standing up. He leaned down to me and kissed my forehead, waved at Heidi then exited room. Shortly after I heard the front door close but I wasn't paying so much attention to my daddy, I was staring at Zoe, her expecting expression and the way she gazed at the doorway. It was weird and causing a new stir in my mind.

"Girls, I'll be in the living room if you need me," Heidi nodded curtly which suggested she didn't want to be needed. "Oh and Gina – will you call Brad again. He didn't come home last night, if he doesn't pick up, call Sophia; he's probably over there,"

Heidi left the room and Gina disappeared into the kitchen.

"Hey!" Robyn grabbed the seat next to me and Zoe sat on the other side. "I'm sorry Suze – I was upset last night, I didn't mean to be mean. It was only after Zoe found me that I realized my mistake – I came early to apologize and thought we could go school together,"

"That's a great idea," I said nodding my head.

"Me too," Zoe pouted mischievously. She grinned, leant forward and laid a huge kiss on my cheek making me chuckle.

"It's good you're both here," I smiled

We had our breakfast then got into Robyn's' convertible. At first Zoe was nervous to go back to school after the events of Tuesday – She was anxious that everybody would still remember her explicit video and mock her, but I encouraged her to go. I told her I will be with her every step of the way. Zoe finally agreed.

Robyn drove us to school and the strangest thing ever happened. I mean I'm used to getting odd looks from people but this time it was different – they avoided me. I felt more hidden than ever before, it was like I didn't exist at all – like my identity had just been erased out of the bloom.

Even the few who knew me unnoticed me. I was surprised when Kelly did her morning fashion police rounds, had a go at Robyn but it was like even though I was standing right there she didn't see me. I pinched myself to see if I was dreaming but I clearly wasn't.

I grabbed hold of Zoe's mirror and stared at my reflection – I wasn't invisible either.

As I neared my locker I spotted Hunter across the hallway, I tried my best to make eye contact with him but even when he saw me, he unnoticed me.

"I feel strange," I whispered to Zoe who gasped staring at my locker. "What is it Zoe,"

"You've been blacklisted!" Robyn said in shock.

I got to my locker and everyone around me disappeared. I glanced around the fading students in the hallway and narrowed my eyes looking at the red dot on my locker door. It was a strange sticker, I tried peeling it off but it wouldn't come off.

"What's happening?" I asked Zoe.

Zoe watched me for a brief moment then shook her head sighing. "Once someone is blacklisted, they get a red dot on their locker and then after everyone boycotts them until they leave SM Bev."

"What?" I squealed touching my locker. I stared at the dot, I was sinking into it. "Why is this happening to me?"

"I don't understand," Robyn looked puzzled.

The bell rang for first period.

"Robyn, go ahead we'll meet you in the changing rooms," Zoe said

"Don't worry," Robyn gave my shoulder a little squeeze. "I'm still here for you, me and Zoe,"

Robyn disappeared down the hallway and I turned to look at the red dot again.

"Right!" Zoe suddenly grabbed onto my shoulders, slamming me back against my locker. "This is what you do, you call up Jesse get all hot and heavy with him over the phone and all this will be over in less than a minute!"

"Zoe – what are you saying!" I blushed. "I can't do that,"

"Suze…" Her voice hissed into my ears. "You don't have the slightest bit of idea, how much trouble you're in. I bet this is Adam's doing, I swear I will ki –

'No Zoe!" I shook my head, releasing my hurting shoulders from her tight seize. "It's not Adam – He's not to blame, it's not his fault, he wants to get out of this mess himself,"

"What are you talking about?" Zoe asked looking baffled.

"Well … this is what happened yesterday," I told Zoe about how I and Carter went to Adams house and found Vanessa Gomez, I told her about Trevor taking my picture and Kylie being a detective, I told her what Hunter told me about the affair, the drugs and Vincent and his institution.

Zoe didn't say anything, she stood leaning against my locker and I lowered my head in silence. The hallway was empty, not another soul in sight.

I looked at Zoe, reached out and grabbed hold of her hand. "Zoe –

"I should've been there with you, even if Carter was there," She chewed at her bottom lip, gazing over at me apologetically. "You could have been seriously injured and I don't want to say the worst,"

"I know," I nodded guiltily. "I regret it myself. I feel like I'm in the wrong and ashamed for troubling Adam for so long,"

"But you can't forgive him," Zoe scoffed. "You clap with two hands not one,"

"Deep down it's like I always knew he was innocent," I sulked. "I saw it in his eyes, I just didn't believe it. I was in a state of confusion but now that most things are clear I can't even go to him and apologize,"

"What about Brad?" She asked

"I haven't seen him since our little confrontation last night," I shrugged back my shoulders. "I don't want to see him,"

"You can't forget he tried to kill you," Zoe rolled her eyes. "He'll pay for that,"

"No Zoe – I don't want anything now. I just want to be left alone." I sighed heavily.

"Suze – you've just barked at the wrong tree!" Zoe stood straight and stared at me. "I don't think you'll ever be left alone. Look at this! You've been blacklisted – if you don't leave SM Beverly you'll be tormented. Suze it's not a pretty sight, I've seen it happen before, and I don't want you to suffer in the same way, and you're totally innocent … It is Adam who got you blacklisted, who else would do something like that? It's the Elite,"

The second bell for first period rang and I took in a deep breath, and then exhaled loudly.

"Zoe, what should I do?" I asked hopelessly. "Shall I talk to Adam?"

"Don't you dare go anywhere near that druggie!" Zoe warned me. "Jesse's the only one that can help you,"

"I can't," I shook my head.

"You're right," Zoe shrugged tiredly. "Why would Jesse help you? Hmm – Let's get to P.E, we'll talk about it later, okay?"

"Umm…Go ahead, I'm coming,"

"Alright, hurry!"

I watched Zoe vanish down the hallway. I turned in the opposite direction and quickly made my way over to Jesse's locker. I touched the locker and sighed miserably.

"Two day's Jesse, you've be gone for two days and everything has changed for the worse" I pressed my forehead against the locker. "When are you going to come back to me? My story is incomplete without your touch,"

My hands reached into my bag and I pulled out an envelope. I slid it halfway into the locker, pausing briefly to rethink my actions.

Wherever I come, wherever I go, whomever I meet looks like Jesse; I will turn crazy waiting for Jesse's return. Ask me how it feels to stay.

Your Admirer…x

Quickly, I posted it then turning my back on the locker. I hurriedly made my way over to the girls changing rooms. I gasped seeing Zoe standing there crying with Robyn next to her, and all the rest of the girls tittering and laughing about her and her video.

"Zoe!" I swiftly rushed over to her.

"She – she kicked me out of the team!" Zoe wept pointing to Kelly.

"Kelly," I turned to Kelly but she turned away from me, pretending that she didn't see or hear me. Kelly got into a deep conversation with Debbie and a few other cheerleaders. My presence caused an end to the laughing and in less than ten seconds everyone left the room, leaving Zoe, Robyn and me behind.

"Zoe," I placed my hand on her shoulder and she cried grabbing onto it.

"It's my high school dream to be on the squad," Zoe rubbed the tears out of her eyes. "And in a second everything just crashed. My dreams – it's like they have no meaning."

"I – Is it my fault?" I whispered as my eyes started tearing up.

Zoe's stinging eyes gaped up at me; she dropped my hand out of her clutch.

I sat down besides her digging my hand in between my thighs, and bowed my head staring at the tiled ground. I felt awful, why are my friends getting punished with me? It's not fair!

"I don't understand what's going on?" Robyn looked puzzled, "Why did Suze get blacklisted and Zoe why did you get kicked of the cheerleading squad? What did you two do?"

I had no answer for her question. I couldn't tell her anything about the events going on in our lives, it's meant to be confidential and can only stay between Zoe, Carter, Hunter, Rae and I.

I turned my head to see Zoe tying her sneakers laces whilst sniffling. It pained me seeing her cry. If only Jesse was here, everything would be okay – with him around it always is.

I got up to my feet. "I'm sorry, maybe I should just stay away from you, it'll do you good," I said then turned away from my two friends.

"Wait," Zoe said in almost a whisper.

I looked back at her and she gave me a weak smile. "Zoe –

"Best friends remember," She stood up and tugged at my arm. "We're in this together Suze; I won't leave your side,"

"Really?"

"Not even if Taylor Lautner promised to make me his wife," Zoe chuckled

She was upset one moment and then okay just like that. Yet I was happy I had a true friend like her by my side. I got changed into my P.E clothes and went out into the field, ready for double period of P.E. I couldn't help but notice uneasiness in Zoe; she was hyper even though I know for sure she hardly managed to get any sleep last night.

We were stretching and it was disturbing how I, Zoe and Robyn were made to stand in the corner with everybody else distant from us. Zoe laughed telling me to ignore it however I couldn't help but notice even Coach being distant and treating me indifferently.

The basketball players were training in the small court near the field. I spotted Hunter in the court; he was sidelined and was drinking an energy drink. Brads eyes met with mine, he dropped the ball in hesitation and I promptly looked the other way.

I noticed Jesse – I mean Carter hadn't made it in for P.E.

I stretched my hamstrings gazing around, I was looking for Kylie but she was nowhere to be seen. I wondered where she could be but soon I found my mind being distracted in the windy field.

It's amusing to me how no matter where I am, what I'm doing, in pain or joy my thoughts travel around the world and stop with Jesse's name. I breathed in the strong, cold air and stretched my arms. In my sleep, in my eyes, in my longing dream, it's Jesse. It's only Jesse in the scent of my breath, each of my longing continually tell me that in each heartbeat dwells my desire for Jesse. Without Jesse it seems impossible to pass this life, the length of my life rests only in Jesse's hands.

Life is changing every minute; sometimes it feels like a shadow and sometimes sunny. All I want if Jesse to be happy wherever he is because there is someone that loves him whole heartedly, someone that is waiting for his return so she can hold him.

"Ouch!" I let out a short scream.

I was hit by a hardball on my back, I looked around no one looked guilty of hitting me and no one heard me scream but Zoe and Robyn.

"You okay?" Robyn asked

"Umm…Sure," I mumbled straightening my back.

Coach Geller went over to the court and basketball team came out and joined the rest of the class. We were put into two teams for dodge ball and surprisingly Coach missed out my name. I put my hand up to catch his attention yet he still ignored me.

"Come here!" Zoe pulled me into her team.

At first I thought thank god Brad and the Elite and the rest of the mean popular lot are in the other team but I was wrong…very wrong.

Coach blew the whistle and everyone ran for the 10 balls that were neatly lined up in the centre of the court. I lagged behind feeling sluggish; every ounce of energy inside me had been drained.

"Oh my god!" I screamed.

I was being pelted with the balls. I protected my face using my arms but my unguarded body had hardballs hurled at it. I groaned in pain but the balls wouldn't stop hitting me, ten balls turned into a hundred. I edged backwards against the fences. And suddenly, it all stopped.

My body ached. I pulled down my hands to uncover my eyes and saw that everyone was engaged in the game, it was as though I hadn't been attacked at all. I looked over at Coach Geller who avoided any sort of contact with me.

"Suze!" Zoe waved to me from across the court.

"Zoe…"I managed to let out a squeaky reply.

I struggled to move, my body ached as I limped towards Zoe. I fixed my glasses, she seemed too far away. Slowly I held in the pain and limped in her direction. I flinched when somebody pushed me from behind, swiftly I turned on my heel but there was no one there, I carried on walking and again I was pushed this time my weak body couldn't handle the push.

I fell down to my knees and grazed them. I groaned in pain as Zoe ran over to me. She helped me up to my feet but Coach Geller didn't think my wounds needed the nurse's assistant. He walked away from us and I struggled to stand still.

"Stay close to me," Zoe ushered me to move behind her.

"No Zoe," I shook my head. "This is my battle,"

"You're hurt enough!" She insisted.

"But if you stay close, you'll get hurt, I don't want that. Please stay far away from me," I pushed my body away from her and limped across the court bumping into Paul. Our eyes met for brief moment and I saw that he wanted to say something to me but quickly he turned his head away and as pathetic as I was, my frail body carried me away back into the game and again I was pelted with balls.

"No more," I whispered to myself, my tears rolled out of my ears but they were ignored by all but Zoe and Robyn and Paul too who kept looking my way secretly. "I can't do this no more; my body won't help me,"

P.E was cut short because the courts were needed for practice for Friday's game. I felt relieved but then Coach gave me the responsibility of clearing up the balls and taking the towels to the lockers. Almost, everyone threw their towels at my face, scratching my eyes.

I breathed heavily in pain falling to the ground as I could no longer carry my weight. I was alone and the towels scattered across the floor. I sighed touching my grazed knees that had whitened. I groaned inwardly as the touch of my fingers stung the abrasive skin.

I hugged myself but that didn't help either, I guessed I had many bruises all over my body. I wiped the tears out of my eyes and slowly got up to my feet again. I took my time picking up the dirty, sweaty towels; put them folded in the basket. Then I picked all the balls and put them into their places.

"Great day," I mumbled stretching the strain out of my arms. "If only Jesse was here, he would never have let this happen to me…I think."

Slowly I lifted the towel basket and took it to its rightful place. I limped back towards the girl's locker room and everybody was already gone. I sat down on the bench and winced inwardly glancing at my wrist watch, homeroom had already begun, and I was late.

I needed a warm shower to rid the stiffness in my body. I peeled of my top uncomfortably and sighed at the purple skin around my stomach, my arms and my back. It didn't look appealing at all, but it's okay as long as it's out of Daddy's sight.

I removed the rest of my clothing and turned on the shower brushing my hair backwards. I smiled at the touch of the warm water; it was soothing my stinging skin. But I suppose those who don't know pain can never really hope, and those who never hope can never know true pain and feel peace.

One day even I will be at peace.

"Hey!" I screamed.

Instantly I turned but slammed into the door, the shower had suddenly become boiling hot, it was burning my skin. Hastily, I pushed at the door but it was jammed.

"Help!" I screamed under the flaming heat, I banged on the doors.

"Suze?"

"Open the door!" I cried helplessly.

The door swung open, I grabbed the towel wrapping it tightly around me as I stumbled out of the shower cubicle. The water 'miraculously' turned off and I dropped onto a bench, breathing hard, my breath was out of control and body stinging more than ever.

"Suze?"

I looked up at Ceecee then lowered my eyes staring at my boiled feet.

"What the hell?" She said sitting down next to me. She touched my bruise behind my neck and I winced moving away. "What happened to you? – I came homeroom and you weren't there, Zoe told me about the blacklisting and the boycott."

"They hit me with balls," I stared hard at the ground.

"Oh, I know," She hugged me from the side. "You're not injured seriously are you?"

"No – I guess I'm alright," I said with a small shrug. "But I don't understand anything,"

"Me too, why are you blacklisted? It doesn't make sense,"

I bit my quivering bottom lip and wiped my teary eyes. Avoiding eye contact with Ceecee I walked over to where I left my stuff, picked up my clothes then stepped into a changing cubicle. I wore my clothes and stepped out again.

"Here," Ceecee handed me a brush.

I thanked her and brushed my hair, I could still feel the heat on my body stinging but tried ignoring it. I didn't want to look or feel as weak as my heart.

"Maybe I should talk to Adam he might –

"NO!" I said loudly. Ceecee blinked at my outburst and I softened my tone shaking my head. "It's okay – a few balls aren't going to drive me out of school,"

I tried to laugh a little but I couldn't, the stern look on Ceecee's face wasn't helping either.

"You don't realize how serious this is," Ceecee stare bore into me. "Suze you are in trouble?"

"I guess –

"Any who, I don't care about the others, I'm with you," She reached out and held my hand. "You've always been there for me,"

Unlike Zoe, my blacklisting isn't going to affect Ceecee is it? I mean she's Adam's girlfriend after all, he'd never in a million years let anything happen to the woman carrying his child that he loves wholeheartedly, I should admit at least that much to myself.

"Thank you, Ceecee,"

Everything in high school seems like the most important thing that's ever happened in life. But it's … not. One day I'll be out of this school and I'll probably never see these people again ever in my life. All these people who will torment me won't make a difference in my life in the long run. On that note, I should just pray for time to fly by.

Thursday 12th November 2009
Beverly Hills

Ladies Room – 3.10

I've just suffered from a major death threat that literally felt like I was falling into the depth of hell. And it's always the ladies room. I think me and the ladies rooms have a connection, it's like we are meant to be. I sighed scribbling into my diary.

First Mrs. McGinnis wouldn't allow me to enter homeroom because I was 'late' and so I had to stand outside of the class, in the lonely corridor lost in my thoughts of surviving this boycott and of course my secret feelings about my beloved whose gone far away from me, leaving me stranded at such a unwelcoming place.

Then I was made to sit in a corner in photography, whilst everybody learned cool stuff at the front of the class with Mr. Wesley. My favorite teacher did however seemed guilty and at every given opportunity shot me apologetic looks; at the end of class when everybody had left he gave me printed copy of notes that I could use to catch up on the lesson. He didn't say much but he tried to help and I appreciated it.

I didn't want to engage in converse with him and get him into trouble so I left the classroom in silent and made my way over to chemistry where I wasn't even allowed in. Mr. Aidan was away and the supply made me stand outside the class for the period. It felt strange and lonesome.

Then the bell rang for lunch and wherever I seemed to step at least 5 meters around me nobody dared to come close, apart from Ceecee and Zoe who stood either side of me and proudly grabbed hold of my arms, Robyn followed closely behind.

Walking through the halls of high school felt quite similar to walking through a battlefield, never quite sure what you'll find creeping round the corners. But I kept my head held up high trying to look strong but I was struggling to walk, my grazed knees ached and I limped staying in line with my few friends. Carter still wasn't anywhere to be seen and I hadn't the energy to get out my cell and call or text him, my arms were drained of energy.

I excused myself from my friends to go to the bathroom, they wanted to come with me despite Ceecee's roaring stomach but I told them not to worry. Zoe didn't think it'll be a good idea but I assured her I'll be fine on my own but they were adamant so I let them escort me.

As soon as we got in everybody else left. Ceecee told me to ignore them and I did exactly that. I went to the toilet, came out, washed my hands then splashed cold water on my face. I smiled at Ceecee posing with her tummy in the mirror.

She chuckled. "With this baby the teen chapter of my life is definitely going to end,"

"But a beautiful, new chapter of being a mother will begin," I smiled giving her an encouraging squeeze on her shoulder.

"Age is only a number," Zoe shrugged with a soft smile. "It's about how much love you give that child, right Suze, you should know?"

"Huh?" Ceecee said. "What's that supposed to mean?"

I was also confused for a moment there until I realized what Zoe was talking about. "My daddy had me when he was 15," I said with a proud smile.

"Really?" Ceecee gasped. "You've never told me that,"

"I haven't really told anyone," I said smiling.

"No wonder he looks so young," Robyn laughed

"He's amazing," Zoe said looking lost and I looked at her confused but Ceecee pulled my attention away.

"Me and him need to talk that means," Ceecee chuckled then frowned at her stomach. "My baby needs food, are we all done?"

"Let's go!" Zoe marched to the door.

We got to the cafeteria and then everything just happened too fast that it was impossible to pause and take a breather. Somebody had pushed Ceecee. I ran over to her just in time to catch her. The atmosphere in the cafeteria changed and in an instant turned dramatically violent. All I could do was stand there and watch Adams fist collide with the jaw of the sophomore who had pushed Ceecee.

Accidently or on purpose? An enigma!

The short brawl ended with Father Dominic taking Ceecee and Adam away with another senior staff taking the sophomore boy to the nurse, Adam was immovable, he was unwilling to let go of the sophomore but Father Dominic with the help of Ceecee managed to pull him away. I gulped staring at the doorway, the look, the vengeance I had witnessed in Adams eyes was brutal, and it made my heart shudder and body weaken.

I no longer felt the need to eat. My stomach cringed and turned and I felt sick. I escaped to the drama studio and thankfully Ste was talking to me, even though a little on the low, he was still talking to me. Rae hadn't come in today because of a photo shoot and I felt disappointed.

I spent my lunch at the studio, then when the bell rang for 5th period I made my way to the class but the door had shut before I could get in so instead of wasting time standing in the hallway I made my way back to the drama studio and that's when it all happened.

I was sitting sewing sequences onto a dress as Ste had instructed me to do so when the lights kept flickering on and off. A play was going to take place tonight but the lights were acting up, frustrating many of the drama students.

I went over to them but they ignored me, I turned to go when Ste approached me asking for a favor. I didn't mind at all. He told me to get into a harness and I was pulled up into the air to the lights where I had to press a couple of buttons. Normally, the janitor or the technicians are supposed to do these kinds of things but I didn't question Ste when he had asked.

Everything seemed to be going well; I pressed the buttons that Ste instructed me to do. Another senior was informing him and he was telling me because the senior didn't want to directly communicate with me. And that's when it happened, I pressed the last button and suddenly the harness snapped, I screamed falling, quickly I grabbed some ropes that were hanging around.

I looked everywhere but down, the drop was long and scary. I didn't want to look down, and I didn't want to fall either. I climbed many ropes in my life, but never was I in such a panicked state.

"Suze!" I heard Ste call out to me but I wouldn't look down.

I could hear roaring laughing but it wasn't funny at all. I felt my grip on the rope loosen and instinctively I hugged the rope, tugging it tightly. "No!" I screamed.

The rope snapped and I hit the stage smacking my cheek hard against a wooden box lying on the ground beneath me, I tumbled over onto my back and with another panicked gasp I felt the blood drain to the surface of my skin.

"Suze!" Ste ran over.

I lay there stunned and still, unable to move a single limb. The laughter had stopped, it was silent, I could hear nothing but the echo of Ste's worried voice and my own heavy painful breathing. My eyes timidly flickered around the room and everyone had disappeared.

And if that wasn't enough, when I managed to carry my swollen body out of the drama studio running away from a reluctant Ste, unwilling to let me go, I found myself being the victim of having a chocolate cake smashing into my face.

I winced in pain as the cake came in contact with my swollen face.

Life is so strange isn't it, one day you're nobody and it doesn't seem to matter, and the next you're still nobody yet it makes all the difference. Anybody who is everybody is treating me indifferently, whether they are popular or not, whether they know me or not, whether they might feel in the same way as me or not, everybody is acting as though they hate me.

But I know this isn't real and it's not the end of the world because life isn't about living on the expectations of others.

I can hear weird noises coming outside. I should stop writing and go see what's going on. For all I know people are probably burning dummies of me.

..

Thursday 12th November 2009
Beverly Hills
Home – 6.00 pm

I put a hand over my bruised cheek and exited the ladies room. The hallway was packed; everybody looked confused and was whispering. Father Dominic came into view instructing students to get back to their classes.

I shrugged back my shoulders turning to go when I heard a scream.

"Kylie?" I gasped as she stumbled into view; dropping to her knees she screamed loudly revealing her bald head.