Chapter 0:

Chapter 1

Not like you

The beeping of the machine was all he heard and than it turned into one long beep before it silenced. Just like that. He just kept wishing in his heart it would beep again didnt.

He still remembered his mother's hand grow cold in his. The sounds of the doctors rushing in and the numb feeling that overtook his senses.

Emptiness,fear and disbelief engulfed him whole and his emotions were in turmoil.

He still remembered seeing her lifeless face as clearly as he remembered her last words to him.

"Neale, please I'm asking you one last thing. Live your life to the fullest. Don't ever beat yourself up too much, whether you're rich,poor,strong or weak. Just accept yourself how you are. Be who you should be and remember, I'll always be proud of you." Was what she said,it all came out as a low painful whisper but he heard it all.

He still remembered it all.

He hadn't forgotten.

But that was all he wanted to do.

He just wanted to forget.

He just wanted believe it all wasn't true.


* * *

The chirping of the birds could be heard from every corner of the small town of Bethehelm. Rays of light spread out like a blanket as the sun peeked out from beyond the horizon.

It was dusk and Neale opened his eyes to a new day. It suddenly struck him that it was just the day before that when he opened his eyes and his mom had still been there.

Neale sat up on his bed. He had to go to his new school in a week but first he had to sort out his life.

He was moving out. He was going to a whole new town. The rent at his current house was a little too costly to be paid with just a part time job so he was going to rent out a single room apartment that was pretty near the school he was attending.

It would also save transport costs. His school fees were paid by a his mother's former boss so he probably didn't have to worry about that. Neale was fine with living off cheap food and he would be grateful as long as he never went to bed on an infected empty stomach.

He had to take responsibility for himself now. Neale silently chuckled to himself when he thought of that.

Responsibility,such a massive word. It felt heavy on his tongue and the word itself was a massive burden on his shoulders.

After cleaning himself up and eating. Neale began packing up everything. He packed all his clothes,utensils and other things into boxes.

The furniture was a bit old but it could still be used. When the time came to move, a kind man he knew as Uncle Jeff, would help him take his stuff to his new apartment.

Uncle Jeff was the landlord of the current place Neale resided in. He was a really good person and didn't hesitate helping Neale.

Uncle Jeff had offered Neale's mom the current apartment for free but his mother refused so he just reduced the price as much as possible. Even than it took quite a bit of persistence for his mother to pay the low amount.

It was quite underpriced considering what a good house it was. But Neale knew it was still too much for him,in addition the other place was closer to campus.

After Neale finished packing most of his things he decided to go for a walk. It was already about noon by than.

Neale walked outside as the cool breeze blew his messy black hair back. He ambled on,through the silent streets of the quiet town right until he reached the park.

The world just seemed so empty to Neale. There were plenty other people on the planet but to Neale,it felt like there was nobody. The world which was full of billions of people was empty to this man.

They say the world is a small place. But to Neale it seemed too big,much too big.

Neale sat on a bench and closed his eyes. The slow whistle of the breeze blewing through leaves in a set pattern was heard,and it blew in a slow gentle melody.

Nature truly whispered into the heart of man,or it at least whispered into Neale's heart. The words were sweet but they filled him with an insurmountable amount of sorrow. He opened his eyes and blinked away a tear.

Neale felt lonely. His mother was all he had but he lost her and now he felt like a pauper. He had nothing.

Neale could be compared to a beggar because at that very moment in his heart,all he did was beg for a little happiness,or something, anything, to soothe that piercing pain deep in his heart.

Neale pulled out a cigarette box from his pocket and removed a cigarette. He was about to light it when he remembered how much his mother hated it when he smoked.

She always scolded him when he did. He took the cigarette and placed it back into its box. He breathed in and than breathed out, slowly and carefully.

"Darn it." Neale muttered before he took out the cigarette and stuck it between his lips.

A few minutes later,Neale stood up and looked at his watch,it was getting late. He had planned to get to the library so he decided to rush so he made it in time.

Neale walked alone to the library and he borrowed a new book. Books was all he had left in this lonely world. It kept him occupied and made him forget his worries.

For a person like him,it was quite a weird habit. It seemed out of place for a delinquent like him,he thought to himself.

But Neale loved books ever since he was young. His mother had said to him that his father was the exact same. He had never met his father. His mother said Neale's father left a little before Neale was born,he had gone to explore the world and make a fortune.

Neale didn't appreciate his father's sense of adventure though.

Neale took the bus home later after visiting the libray. He reached home at dawn when the sun had just set. Neale entered his apartment and made himself something to eat.

He was feasting on some cheap noodles when he switched on the TV. On the news that day,was the famous business man, Lucas Blake. He was said to be the richest man in the country.

He had shares in multiple companies and he was the owner of one the biggest company in the entertainment industry, Crystal CV.

They were an entertainment company who had contracts with multiple big name celebrities. They sponsored athletes,models,actors,singers and other celebrities.

They were a well known movie company and they produced some of the most famous movies in the country. They were a really influential company.

The brains behind all of this was Lucas Blake.

"I wonder if he has any kids,they must be darn lucky." Neale grumbled to himself as he watched.

Lucas Blake had won the award for the most handsome business man of 2020.

"I never knew there was such an award." Neale commented, speaking to nobody. At that moment he stood up and went to wash his plate in the kitchen.

The TV continued playing and than they spoke about Lucas Blake's 16 year old daughter who was an aspiring actor.

Than the TV switched off.

Neale had come back from washing his dish and than used the remote to switch the TV off.

Neale than lay down on his mattress. He slept in the lounge since his house had only one room which his mother used.

"I wonder where my father is,hope he's poor as hell." Neale said to himself with a sigh. Very soon he slowly drifted off to sleep.

Neale woke up early the next morning. He'd decided to go to town again.

"I've got to get myself the Eagles bay secondary school uniform and I should get some groceries." Neale mumbled to himself as he stretched.

After bathing and changing into some decent clothing,Neale was ready to go. He left the house and when he reached outside,he quickly checked the time on his watch. It was exactly quarter past 7.

It was pretty early,Neale thought. Neale walked for a while towards town until he came to a café. He checked his wallet to see if he had enough money for some coffee. He had just enough.

Neale walked into the café and walked over to the nearest table and sat down. He was deep in thought as he did that and he soon realised that there was already someone seated across him.

The person was busy typing something into her phone but when he sat down she looked up at him. She was a young girl wearing a beanie. Ginger coloured hair reached her shoulders and her eyes which were a satisfying shade of light blue were covered by spectacles.

"Ah,sorry. Didn't see you sitting here..." Neale hurriedly said.

He was about to go to another table when she gazed at him curiously and plainly spoke to him.

"Nah, it's fine."

Neale raised his eyebrow in surprise.

"Oh,I don't want to disturb you." He said, letting out a nervous laugh.

"Nah,it's really fine. Don't worry about it." She said to him. She seemed to be watching him quite curiously from behind the spectacles.

"Okay than. Thank you, I guess." Neale said as he awkwardly smiled back,a little nervous from her intense staring.

Neale sat down and ordered a cup of coffee with a few cookies. He took his cookies one by one and munched into them carefully, making sure not to make too much of a mess. He than drank the coffee sip by sip until he soon finished everything.

Satisfied, Neale sat back in his chair and sighed heavily. More out of satisfaction than exhaustion. Than he stood up to leave.

He was about to turn around and go when than he heard a voice.

"Are you leaving?" The girl asked him.

"Welll Yeah,I am heading home now." Neale said to her, suddenly feeling like he desperately wanted to leave.

"Well,you just look a little bit familiar." The girl mumbled,more to herself as she scratched her cheek.

"Oh..." Neale replied not knowing what to reply to that statement.

"Haaa,Nevermind." The girl said sighing heavily. She than began engaging herself in her phone once again.

"Weird..." Was all Neale could say. Than he wasted no further time and simply turned around and walked towards the door.

After opening the door, Neale walked out onto the pavement. As he exited the café he felt someone bump into him. They were obviously much shorter than him as their head hit his chest.

"Ah,sorry..." Neale apologized and he looked down to see who he bumped into. He had been deep in thought when he walked out and didn't notice that person.

The person that he had bumped into was a female. She was much shorter than Neale and had black hair tied into a ponytail. She had a look of annoyance on her face and simply pushed passed him without replying to his apology.

"..." Neale didn't know what to say,he simply sighed and continued on his way so he could catch the bus. He needed to do something in town.

_ _ _

A short,slim female with dark hair entered an SUV parked outside a café. She donned an all black outfit, designed to make her look both neat and fierce, like some sort of a soldier.

"Here is your Cappuccino, Boss." The female said Handing the cup full of steaming liquid to the man seated next to her.

He had black hair which had signs of greying and a little bit of facial hair covered his lower jaw. The man had a dazzling appearance and there was no doubt it would stun many.

"Thank you." The man said to the woman accepting the Cappuccino.

"Eyo Rachelle, what's up? You look pissed. The driver of the car asked shooting an anused look at the female.

Rachelle, replied by mumbling,"Just focus on driving or I'll break your legs."

"Come on Rachelle, we'd like to know what happened. You seemed fine when you left the vehicle before." The man who was addressed as boss before asked as he sipped his Cappuccino.

"I just bumped into someone,that's all." Rachelle sighed before replying.

"Oh,that's quite unusual. You're always pretty aware of your surroundings, aeren't you?" The guy with the stunning appearance said as he paused from sipping his beverage.

"I was a bit unfocused, that's all, Boss." Rachelle said turning her head away as if embarrassed.

"I never thought I'd see the day you'd make an excuse, miss perfect." The driver chuckled as he started the vehicle.

He had dark ebony skin and his eyes were covered by his sunglasses. His hair was cut into a stylish crewcut and he had a youthful appearance.

"Shut up and focus on driving before I break your legs,Joshua." Rachel growled before pausing,as if to think. She than turned to the man sitting across her in the back of the van as she thoughtfully said."now that I think about it carefully. He kind of looked like you,Boss."


Neale bought himself the school uniform he needed with the little money he had before heading back home. He also got some cheap groceries while he was there.

"I could have bought groceries with the money I used buying Cappuccino. But,I don't regret it." Neale said to himself as he walked from the bus stop to his home.

Neale took out a box of cigarettes and looked into it. There were 8 cigarettes altogether in the box. The last time he had smoked was just before his mother's passing.

He smoked quite a lot during the time she was ill. He had been close to smoking just a day ago but he held himself back just as he was about to light the cigarette.

"Why?" Neale muttered. He really wanted to smoke,he did. And he had no intention of quitting but why,why couldn't he? He didn't know. It just felt wrong to do it. Not because it damaged your body like people said but it just felt wrong.

Neale sighed before pocketing the cigarette box and heading home. He was moving the next day. He had to get ready.

_ _ _

A week later,Neale was standing in front of a mirror, staring at his appearance. He looked good in it. The uniform consisted of a button up shirt,a black pair of trousers and a black blazer. That blazer had a crest on it,with an eagle and 3 stars above it. The crest was also found on the tie which Neale realised he'd forgotten to put on.

"Now,how do you do this," Neale said removing his blazer so he could put on the tie comfortably. He figured out how after a few tries.

"Mom used to tie them back than so I..." Neale muttered to himself before pausing as he recalled his mother.

No matter how many times he had tried to prevent thoughts of his mother from manifesting in his head,they always came.

Neale had been at the funeral but he had shed no tears there,his facial features stayed hard and cold the entire time. He also left early,making sure he disappeared as soon as he could. He didn't care what people thought about his actions.

Neale didn't know how to handle the grief. Or rather he was afraid of learning whether he could.

Neale pushed away all thoughts of his mother as he applied the final touches on himself. After making sure he at least looked presentable he left the house, walking to the bus stop.

He attended a school located in a massive town,it was a private school which he was lucky to get into. His mother's boss had gotten him into the prestigious school. The boss also said he'd pay the school fees so luckily Neale didn't have to worry about that.

As Neale boarded the bus he saw many faces of learners who wore similar uniforms to him.

Neale tore his gaze away from them and focused on staring at the road ahead after he had chosen his seat and had sat down.

"This is a chance for a new start. I can't mess this up. I have to abandon who I was,I need to change." Neale mumbled to himself in his mind. He was the worst type of person before,he couldn't stay that way. He had to change.

Soon the bus stopped outside a school and together with everyone else on the bus, Neale began to get off. After jumping off,he stood and looked at his new school.

From the outside it was easy to mistake it for a luxurious hotel but Neale knew that inside it was a school with maybe some of the best facilities in the entire district.

They catered for many sports and many of the students graduating from the school were famous celebrities, businessmen or athletes.

Neale was lucky to have gained an opportunity to learn at the school and he knew that as long as he tried his best he would become the manager of a store at the very least. A manager of a store earned at least 50 000 royales.

That was enough to ensure he had a good stable life.

But the journey to graduating would be very difficult. That was what Neale expected and what he was ready for.

Neale walked towards the massive building and entered through the front door. He entered a hallway filled with children loufly speaking to each other. It was loud and stuffy there and Neale took a few seconds to adjust to the atmosphere.

Neale than walked to the lockers and found his. He had gotten a message from the school a few nights before, giving him information about the school. Among the information was his locker number and password.

Students had personal lockers at this school but it wasn't for books,it was for sportswear and other personal belongings. Books would be kept in desks. Desks also had passwords.

After placing his single set of gym clothing into the locker together with his running shoes. Neale than walked to school office.

In the message from the school was a layout of the school with instructions to go straight to the office when he arrived.

After reaching a closed door which had a sign with the word office on them. Neale knocked on the door.

"Come in!" A voice said from inside the office. Neale walked into the office to find a secretary sitting at a desk in the room. Behind her was a door with the words principles' office on it.

"I'm a new student." Was all Neale could say.

A woman wearing spectacles which had dark lenses looked at him for a moment before typing on the computer in front of her while asking,"name?"

"Neal Blake." Neale said to her as he waited anxiously in the middle of the room.

After what seemed like an eternity of typing,the secretary looked up and regarded Neale with an almost curious expression.

"Go on to the classroom. Your class is room 27,on the 3rd floor." The secretary said to him before she continued typing.

Neale thanked the secretary and left the room. He was currently on the 1st floor so he would have to head two stories up to reach his classroom.

Neale would have long been lost if he didn't memorise the layout of the school before hand. It was still a little tricky figuring out where to go but Neale soon found his class.

The door was open but he still Knocked and greeted anyways. The teacher turned and regarded him with curious eyes. The teacher was a male,who seemed in his early 30s. He was dressed up neatly and his hair was gelled up and combed to the side. His hair was a chestnut colour while his eyes were black and held an intelligent spark in them.

"Oh,come in. You must be the new student." The teacher said flashing Neale a bright smile.

Neale walked in and spoke to the teacher politely saying,"good morning,sir."

The teacher scratched the back of his head as if embarrassed as he let out a laugh,"hahaha,you can call me Mister Jerome. I'm going to be your form educator so please introduce yourself to us."

"Neale Blake. I'm a transfer student. It's nice to meet you all." Neale said as he observed the dozens of eyes staring at him.

"It's nice to meet you too Neale. You shall be seated there." Mister Jerome said pointing to a place in the corner.

Neale walked there and sat down. All Thai while,he could feel the eyes of his new classmates drilling into him as they regarded him with curiosity.

Neale decided to focus on himself. His desk had a name tag with his name and surname on it. The desk was able to be opened and closed and it had space for books in it.

Neale slipped most of his books into his bag and only left the ones he needed on the desk. He had gotten the timetable already so he that the current subject was physics.

After ensuring he was ready for the lesson, Mr Jerome began teaching. He had been marking the register so Neale had arrived just in time for the lesson.

Despite missing a week of school, Neale soon caught on. Afterwards he completed the classwork assigned and noted down the homework.

The first period had gone by quite well and Neale could admit he even enjoyed it. But the next period was a real pain. It was math. Neale had never been too good at math and going to a new school hadn't changed that. In fact it was much more difficult than before.

Just like that,Neale went through the morning lessons and soon it was break time.*

Neale went to the cafeteria to get himself something to eat. He chose the cheapest thing he could find and bought it before finding a place to sit down.

Strangely enough, nobody had approached Neale up until now. Neale observed his surrounding and realised that almost all the pairs of eyes in the vicinity were observing him. It was almost like they were analysing,and learning,Like they were deciding and calculating something about him.

After he finished eat,Neale stood up to go back to the classroom. Soon he reached the classroom. As Neale entered the classroom he found an unsightly scene.

There was a boy on the floor and another stood over him. A few other students surrounded them.

It was clear that there had been some sort of fight; or a one sided beating. The boy on the floor had a few bruises on his face while the one standing had a smirk on his face.

Neale stopped in his tracks. He realised that in order to get to his place he had to get past the crowd.

"Haaa,just when my day was going well." Neale sighed as he began walking towards the group.

After seeing he was present,most of the people standing their shifted their attention to him.

"It's the new kid." One person could be heard whispering.

Neale approached the boy standing andnot knowing what to say,he directly asked the boy,"hey, what's going on?"

"Nothing you should be worried about. Trust me," Emphasis was placed on the last two words indicating that the boy didn't want him interfering."now keep silent and disappear or you'll regret it."

"He should just listen and go."

"Once Felix says something. He has to listen."

The mutters grew,amongst the crowd.

"Uhh, actually..." Neale was just about to point out that the boy was in his way when he felt a breeze pass close to his face.

Neale leaned to the side and the fist passed his face by a few inches.

"I clearly said you should disappear silently." The boy growled, surprised his surprise attack failing.

"I'm definitely not Houdini...but I can make you disappear." Neale said coldly, making eye contact with the boy; Felix,they called him. Neale didn't have a short temper but the surprise attack had annoyed him.

"Smart mouth,huh?" Felix said as he came a few steps closer to Neale. The crowd backed away.

"Get out of my way." Neale simply said silently,it was silent but loud enough for Felix and the crowd to hear.

"What? You scared? Bring your mom or something than. I know you're probably poor as f***. I've..." Felix didn't get to say the next few words.

As soon as the words mentioning Neale's mom had escaped Felix's mouth,a strange but dark expression clouded Neale's face. Before Felix could continue his rant,Neale had already punched Neale right in the side of the face.

Felix went down and fell straight onto his butt.

"Don't ever mention my mother and don't you ever speak a word of her in your filthy mouth. You worthless trash. " Neale spat,his words flat and dull but full of venom.

"How...what the heck? You actually dared,huh?" Felix shouted,he stood up and would have came straight at Neale if Mr Jerome hadn't come at that exact moment.

"What is the meaning of this!?" Mr Jerome nearly yelled as he separated Felix and Neale who were ready to go at each other. Despite his timid and friendly appearance, Neale had to admit that he was quite darn strong.

"Both of you,get to the office. Now!" Mr Jerome said reprimanding them,his voice clear and commanding. His attitude left no room for argument.

The two boys just silently listened but Felix didn't seem to be bothered.

In fact there was a bright smile on his face.


Ahhh,guys. Leave your thoughts and comments. Your suggestions?