Hold On Tight

I'll be honest, I have absolutely no idea where this story is going and that's also why the title may or may not change. I think I'm just gonna go with it. If you have ideas, feel free to let me know.

Chapter One: Fat Lip

Smirking to myself when a Sum 41 song plays from my ear buds, I stuff my notebook in my backpack and threw in my pencil. The bell rings a few seconds later, so I sling my backpack over one shoulder and walk out of my geometry class.

Showing my school ID that we have to wear on a lanyard around our necks to one of the assistant principals, he gives me a simple nod and I walk out the doors to the main entrance of my high school, heading to the football field. I take my ID off once I get outside and shove it in my back pocket, letting the lanyard hang out.

I guess I can take this time to tell you about myself, considering the walk to the field is about a half mile.

Well, hey, there. I'm Autumn Rae Williams. I'm a junior, live in a small suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, and currently at lunch. But you knew that.

I have bright orange Hayley Williams hair with black underneath that, at the moment, is in a ponytail. I dress like an "emo" kid, but have friends in every clique at school. I'm easily impressed and amused and simple things make me happy. I'm still in middle school at heart.

So I have the left side of my nose pierced, angle bites, and the right side of my bottom lip pierced. Let's not forget my belly button and tongue piercing. And my ear lobes three times and the side of my ears four times as well. Don't ask why so many, I'm a weird kid.

My parents aren't the best parents, but I love them. My dad owns a tattoo parlor, (Coincidence since I have all these piercings? Perhaps.) and my mom works at Hooters. Great combination, right?

I'm not exactly the best kid, but I'm not exactly the worst either. I'm a straight A student and don't get in trouble, but that's only because I learned how to hide things.

I have almost no good luck, I always get pulled into drama, I can't stand liars, I hate secrets, I hate people who hold me back, and I'm not a poser. Don't be fake, it's not worth your time.

I doubt I could tell you how many bands and artists I actually listen to. My favorite band is probably Fall Out Boy or Green Day (it changes daily). I have over three thousand songs on my iPod in counting and CDs are scattered all over my house and car. You can't go anywhere near me without finding at least one.

Speaking of my car, (yeah, a long time ago) it got tagged this morning by the seniors graduating this year. All it says is, 'Class of 2005!' Yeah, because we don't know what year you graduate. I don't even know why I have CDs in my car. I drive a 1970 Chevy Chevelle, that's not in the best condition, and I'm lucky if I get to listen to the radio.

Looking down at my black converse with white stars, I make sure they are tied (because that's a very Autumn thing to do) before slinging my backpack over the fence and climbing over it. I land on my feet, but crouched down, so I pick up my back pack and walk over the track and across the field to the metal bleachers on the south side of the field.

No one is here at lunch, usually, so I like to come out here, but considering it's early March, I'm surprised it was warm enough to not wear a jacket. But I forgot the track team has practice out here at lunch today. Shit, I'm gonna get caught by the coach!

I ran down the steps of the bleachers, jumping over the railing once I got to the end, then running to the side and crouching down behind the bleachers. I peeked around the corner, waiting for a chance to run across and out of the stadium.


I scream, which echos, which means more of a chance they'll find me, and fall so I'm on my back, but sit up. "Fuck, Jack. Don't scare me like that."

He laughs and sits next to me. "Sorry."

"Who's there?" I hear the track coach call out. Jack and I share a look before I grab his wrist and run under the bleachers to the other side of them. We peek around the edge and I see the coach looking under the bleachers on the other side, Jack lacing our fingers together as we wait, something he and I do a lot even though we aren't dating and we've already established we don't like each other, but that's another story.

The coach is looking under the bleachers on the other side, so me and Jack make a break for it and run to the other side. We both throw our backpacks over the fence, knowing the gate is locked even though the track team is in here, and then climb it.

Once we were on the other side, we were home free, so I just picked up my backpack, along with Jack's and started walking back to the school. "Come on, Barakitty."

Hmmm, Jack Barakat. He's so freaking tall and skinny, it's crazy. One of the most touchy feely guys I know, but in a good way. He's more immature than I am. I met the kid back in ninth grade.

"Give me my backpack!" he says as he falls into step next me, then grabs his backpack from my hand and slings it over his shoulder. "Ah, it's starting to rain."

"No it's-" I started, but cut off when I felt a sprinkle on my cheek. "Oh, it is."

"We could go to your car and wait it out."

"My car sucks, Jack." I switched my backpack to my other shoulder. "It would be cool if it worked half the time."

"Eh, it's not so bad." The rain starts coming down harder now. Thankfully, we were back at the school. Jack and I both slid our IDs on before walking inside. "Wanna go to J hall?"

J hall is where I'm usually at during lunch. It's usually a good spot, except it's right by the gym. Actually, it's the hallway that has the pool and locker rooms in it and the gym is in G hall, which is the hall that leads to every other hallway in the school.

"Sure," I said and Jack and I walked to J hall. There, we saw Rian, one of our friends, sitting up against the lockers. I sat next to Rian and Jack sat next to me.

And then we have Rian Dawson. He's got perfect teeth, literally, and is dating on of my closest friends, Kara.

"Hey, Blaze. Hey, Skunky," Rian said. I raised an eyebrow and looked at Jack, who shrugged, then looked back at Rian. "You have orange hair that looks like fire, Jack has a blonde streak in his hair that makes it look like a skunk," Rian explained. "Therefore, Blaze and Skunky."

"Oh," I said.

"Where's Alex?" Jack asked.

Rian shrugged. "He's around here somewhere."

Jack and Rian both looked at me at the same time. "What?" I said.

Rian looked over at Jack. "We forgot she doesn't like Alex."

"I don't-huh? I don't really even know him," I said.

Ah, Alex Gaskarth. Where to be begin? He's kind of an attention whore, kind of a man-whore. At least that's his reputation. Jack says he's the boy version of me, but Rian says I'm the girl version of Jack. I got so confused when we had that conversation.

"I haven't even met him personally," I said.

"We can fix that," Jack said, smirking.

I raised an eyebrow, then shook my head. "Don't try to hook me up with him."

"But please!"


"And why not?" Rian asked.

"Because the last time you guys did that, the guy turned out to be a total creeper."

"That kid gave off that creepy child molester vibe. We didn't know him well enough."

"What about that guy that cheated on me?"

"He was an ass anyways," Jack said.

Kara, Rian's girlfriend, came up and sat next to Rian. She kissed his cheek and gave a small wave to me and Jack, which we returned. "What's up?" she said.

"They're trying to hook me up with Alex," I told her.

"Gaskarth?" she asks, eyes wide. I nod.

"We never said we were gonna hook you up with him," Jack defended.

"But you implied it. And that's enough for me."

"I'm not so sure about that, guys," Kara said. "I mean, maybe as a friend, but Autumn doesn't seem like she would be a good girlfriend for Alex."

"Thank you," I said.

"Fine. We won't do it," Rian said, but something about it made me not so sure.

Speak of the Devil himself. A few seconds later Alex came up and stood in front of Rian. "Hey," he said and waved.

"Wanna sit?" Kara asked. Alex nodded and sat down in front of Rian. He looked down the hall for a second, then shifted his gaze, making sure it landed on me.

His eyes...damn those brown eyes. I don't think his hair could look anymore messed up, but it was somehow styled right. Does that make sense?

"Autumn, right?" he asked. I smiled slightly and nodded. Alex looked at me then at Jack then down at our hands, which were now laced together. Damn, he's going to think we're dating. Wait, why do I care?

I let go of Jack's hand and wrapped my arms around my legs that were pulled to my chest. Kara and Rian had started their own conversation, so that left me, Jack, and Alex. It was so awkward.

"Did those hurt?" Alex asked.

I cock my head to the side, confused. "Did what hurt?"

"He's talking about your piercings, smart one," Jack said.

I rolled my eyes and then looked at Alex. "Yeah, they did. Not as bad as you'd think, though."

He nods and mumbles a, "That's cool." And then the bell rang. This was also when I remembered I had the next class with Alex.

No one moved when the bell rang, except the people coming from the other halls. I grabbed my backpack and stood up. "See you guys later," I said before walking off.

"Hey, Autumn! Wait up!" I stopped walking and looked over my shoulder to see Alex walking after me. I smiled at him when he came up to my side and we started walking together. "You're kind of quiet," he said once we turned a corner and started walking down G hall.

I shrugged. "I just don't know what to say."

Alex cocks his head to the side a little. "Is your tongue pierced?"

I nod. "Why? Did I have a lisp?" Damn, now I feel self conscious. What is going on with me?

He shook his head. "No. I saw it when you talked." I felt a little relieved and mouth an O. Alex snickers out of nowhere and that makes me curious.

"What?" I asked, a smile on my face.

He smiles and shakes his head. "Nothing."

"Bull shit."

He fake gasped. "She cusses!"

I playfully pushed him and rolled my eyes. "So do almost all high school kids. Don't change the subject."

"I didn't."


"I'm sorry!" He smiles, but holds his hands up in surrender. "I was just thinking about how weird, but cool, it would be to make out with someone with a tongue piercing."

"Hey, don't look at me." I hold my hands up in surrender, then shove them in the pockets of my red and black plaid skinnys.

"I barely know you, Autumn. Don't try to come on to me," he says, but has a playful glint in his tone and eyes.

My jaw drops in fake shock. "I was not."

"Mmhmm. Sure."

"Shut up." I smile and roll my eyes.

"No." He smiles at me.

"Fine." I stick my tongue out at him before walking into our class in C hall. Alex sits next to me in the back of the class, which surprises me. He's never done that before.

The bell rings and our teacher, Mrs. Mariani, walks into the room. "Good afternoon," she says. The class replies and she gives us an assignment. "I want you to do a project on the Civil War. It's due next Thursday and you will be working with the person sitting next to you." Since I was sitting at the end of the desks and Alex was next to me, that meant we were working together. We shared quick glances and then looked back at the teacher.

"We'll be working on it in class, but I suggest you work on it after school as well. It's worth one hundred and fifty points of your final grade." She pauses to scold a student who was talking. "Be sure to choose between the Union and the Confederate soldiers..." Her talking kind of faded out because I was being talked to by Alex.

"Wanna hang out after school? Get the project done ahead of time?" he said.

I shrugged and nodded. "Sure."

"So...uh, can I have your number?"

"Um, yeah. Here." I ripped a piece of paper out of my notebook and wrote my phone number down on it, then handed it to him. He ripped the paper in half before writing down something and handing it back to me. I looked down and saw his number. "Cool."

There were three things I knew about Alex. I had to work on a history project with him, Jack and Rian were trying to hook me up with him, and there was something about him that I couldn't quite place, but it was making me want to know more about him...