I sit on my bed, looking around my new room. It wasn't big, but it was me. It had black walls, a single bed with black sheets, some posters on the wall, a mirror, a wardrobe, and some other small stuff here and there. I've already unpacked all of my stuff, which weren't much, and I was listening to music right now. It was sunny outside, obviously because it's summertime. Our new house wasn't huge, but it wasn't too small either. It had three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and a basement. I wasn't going to talk with my dad and sister so I didn't see the point of going out of my room.

I look at the small box that's been hiding in the corner of the room.

I avoid it.

And after another 2 hours, I look at it again.

I can't avoid it forever.

I walk towards it with a pounding heart and teary eyes.

I pick it up with shaking hands and put it on my bed.

It's time.

I slowly open it, taking enough time to calm myself down.

The first thing that I find in the box is John's picture.

I cry for a while.

But I hold myself back together and keep looking through the pictures in the box.

I reminisce about each and every picture I find.

By sunset, I was done with looking through the pictures and hanging them around my room.

It's been hard, I'll admit it.

But it was worth it.

I hear my name being called by my dad. I sigh, and wipe my face, making sure it doesn't look like I've been crying. When I see that there isn't anything that could give me away, I start making my way towards the dining room, which is connected to the living room and kitchen.

The silence is deafening.

Not that I expected it not to be.

My dad obviously tried to make it seem as if nothing's changed, but we all knew it was far away from it. My sister was annoying me as always, and my dad was eating and acting like there's nothing wrong at all. I try to finish eating as quickly as I can, leaving half of my plate untouched. I decided to take a walk around my new neighborhood so that's what I did. I notice that there's a park on the end of the street, so I walk in that direction. When I finally reach the park, I look around me to see if there is anyone my age.

It wouldn't make a difference anyway.

But when I sit on one of the swings, listening to my favorite song on my iPod, a girl who looks about 7 years old runs over to me.

"Hi! I never saw you before, you must be new! I'm Olive!" She says excitedly. A little too excitedly, but I honestly couldn't be annoyed, she was just a small kid. I give her a small, almost invisible smile, and shake her hand.

"Hey Olive. I'm Jo, and yes, I'm new here. I just moved into the neighborhood today." I told her in a friendly voice. Olive looks behind her and I look over too, a guy with black hair, must be dyed, and a notepad in his hand is walking our way.

"Dwayne, look who I just met! This is Jo, she just moved here today. Jo, this is my older brother, his name is Dwayne." Olive introduces us to each other. Dwayne nods at me politely then holds up his notepad for Olive to read. She nods after she's done reading and turns to me again.

"Well, we gotta go now. Bye Jo!" She waves her hand as she walks away with her brother.

"Bye."


The week passed by fairly slow, with the same routine everyday. I wake up, sit in my room all day until my dad calls me for dinner, I finish eating quickly, and go for a walk or skateboard around the neighborhood. But school was starting on Monday, which is 3 days from now, so I used this time to relax and prepare myself for it. This would be my second year in school without my best friend. I didn't set my hopes too high; I knew that I wouldn't make any friends. Good thing I didn't want any. I was sitting on my front porch with the scrapbook I made with John. The last few pictures were of him and I at his house, just days before he got too sick to even move from his bed. I was smiling at the pictures of the kid-version of me and him when Olive ran over to my house with a big smile on her face.

"Hey Jo! How are you!" She said in her usual happy voice. I smiled at her and closed my scrapbook.

"I'm good, Olive. How are you? Excited for school?" I started a small conversation with her.

"Yes, I am! But Dwayne isn't. He's too nervous because he might get in trouble." She continued when she saw the confused look on my face. "You see, he made this vow that he won't talk until he gets into the air force academy. Mom and dad didn't allow him to go. He's scared that his teachers would give him detention for not talking when they tell him to." Now the notepad made sense.

"I'm sure everything's gonna be okay." I said uncertainly.

If only that was true…


I leave my house on Monday after taking a pop tart from the kitchen. I still had 20 minutes to reach my new school, which wasn't that far, so I take my skateboard and start on my way.

Surprise, surprise.

Heads turn my way as soon as I enter the school. I thought that only happened in movies. Some people whisper and make jokes about me, mostly because I was wearing black from head to toe. Apparently that wasn't normal, because every girl was wearing colorful clothes with some kind of flowers or any other girly pattern on them.

At least they'll leave me alone.

After I reach my locker I put my bag in it and check my schedule to see what books I'll have to take. I took my three books and some notebooks and a pen then closed my locker and began my search for the classroom. Some jerks found it funny to drop my books.

"Watch it freshman." A guy sneered at me. I glared at him then picked up my books and went on my own way again.

"Aww, did we make the emo cry?" The guy's friend mocked me, making his friends all laugh.

Just hold on and be strong.

I sat on my desk in the back of the classroom, copying notes about the stuff the teacher was saying. The same guy who called me an emo leaned forward his desk and told me in a quiet voice "Looks like you and that Dwayne will be best friends." Then he sat back in his place when he saw that the teacher was looking at him. Did they also do the same thing for Dwayne?


I held my lunch tray and looked around for an empty table, I wasn't going to try and sit at a table with people on them, I already knew they'd either walk away from the table, or kicking me out from it. I didn't need any more humiliation. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I saw Dwayne sitting on an empty table, eating his lunch and reading a book, completely ignoring the people who were making fun of him.

There goes nothing.

I made my way to his table and sat down, half expectantly that he will make me leave the table. He looked at me blankly then returned to his book. I took that as a good sign and started eating my lunch in silence. Maybe I should start a vow of silence too. It was way more comfortable than having to act happy when people are talking to you.

"Hey guys, look! The freak and the emo are sitting together! It's a match made in heaven!" One of the guys from the jerk's group said in a loud voice, making sure that everyone in the cafeteria heard him. Dwayne simply ignored them and went on reading as if nothing happened, while I decided to give a death glare to whoever looked our way.

This is gonna be fun.