Chapter 2:

Time Will Tell

All Thanks to You

I sat up immediately upon hearing that, staring at him as my brows pushed together in confusion.

“What?” My voice nearly cracked, “...What?”

He raised his hands up, showing that he didn’t want any issues. “Sorry. My bad. I should’ve kept my mouth shut.”

“Okay…” This guy was seriously weird, “Did you maybe fall and hit your head on the way up here or something?”

Will chuckled as he shook his head no, I wish. The most fun you'll get around here is probably taking the bus down to the city. But even then there's not much down there."

"So this place is like hell?” I raised an eyebrow, “Or like prison?”

He thought for a moment, “I would say prison. You can’t really go outside in hell.”

“How do you know? Have you been there?”

“Yeah, actually! You’ll get to go too assuming you have Professor Daniels as your math teacher.”

“Oh god…” I groaned as I tucked some stray hair out of my face, “I do.”

“Lucky you.” He smiled, “Are you gonna come down for lunch?”

"Nope! Thought I would just starve." I teased as I nodded, looking around. "Do I have to put like... the uniform-- or...?"

"I would. You get changed and come find me in the dining hall, okay?"

"Okay. See you then." I gave him a small wave as he grabbed what looked like his phone from the bag and left the room. I headed to the dresser to find the uniforms they had set in there. I took a breath and got changed, glancing at myself in the mirror.

It wasn't anything special.

Pushing open the door, I stepped out into the hall to see a bunch of others heading down. It was crowded, but just going with the flow led me down to where I needed to be. Tables were scattered all over the room, most of them full. A line was formed where the food was, so I quickly joined it.


"Ah... Will! Hi." I nodded with a smile, taking in the other boys that were with him. One was taller and a bit plump, disheveled black hair with thick stubble growing. The other was shorter with light brown hair and green eyes.

"This is Jamison." Will spoke to them, smiling. "He's new here."

"I'm Peter." The bigger one offered me his hand, giving me a gentle handshake.

"It's nice to meet you." I smiled at him, while the shorter man took my other arm with a smile. He shook it up and down quickly.

"I'm Robbie."

"It's nice to meet you too." I laughed a bit as Peter dropped my one hand and Robbie quickly reached for it.

"We're part of the football team," Will pushed Robbie aside. "Ignore him. He has no sense of personal space."

"I do too!" Robbie protested, making a face.

The dirty blonde chuckled as the darker haired boy smirked. "Trust me, he doesn't."

The short boy clicked his tongue as I smiled. "The football team at my old school... sucked. You guys seem really cool."

"That's a compliment?" Will playfully grabbed his own chin as he pretended to think about something.

"Yeah. It is." I said with a cheeky grin, sticking my tongue out.

Will nodded as he smiled at me, his eyes meeting mine. "Interesting. Is that how you compliment people?"

I shook my head in response as the line moved forward.

"So why are you here?" It was Peter's turn to speak up as he eyed me with curiosity, his green eyes sparkling a bit as his brown hair seemed lighter in the direct sunlight.

"Um... It's kind of a lot. Kind of personal." I cleared my throat awkwardly, sighing. "The short version is... bad attitude? I guess."

"Bad attitude, huh?" Robbie leaned in, "You don't seem all that bad at all."

"Well-- Do you want me to punch you in the face or something?" I chuckled, earning a smile from the three of them.

"Okay-- okay. We get it. You're super tough and not to be messed with." Will rolled his eyes with a smirk plastered on his face.

"Whatever..." I felt my face get hot as I giggled, looking down at my feet.

The line continued moving until eventually we got up, got our food, and made our way to a table with all the other football players. Everyone was so much... bigger than me. It was scary, and for a second it made me worry about fitting in.

But they were all so kind. It was such a nice shift from what I had known all my life. Maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.

"You've gotta come to our practice sometime," A larger boy named Wyatt said as he nudged my shoulder. "It'll be fun."

"Is that like... okay? Can I just sit there like a loser while you guys practice?"

"You won't be a loser. You'll be a fan!" Will looked across the table, "Trust me, we need those."

"What do you mean by that?"

"Let's just say our win record is... not that great." Peter chimed in, sighing. "We try... But..."

"But nothing." Another boy chimed in, "We just suck."

"Aiden--" The blonde shot him a glare as he shook his head. "Don't talk like that."

"It's true!" He defended himself, only to hear a smack on the arm from Robbie.

The table erupted into laughter as I looked around, smiling as I felt the kindness from everyone radiate over me. It was like a warm hug that didn't go away. In that moment, I felt... hope. Which wasn't something I had felt in a long time.

After lunch, we went our separate ways. I found myself heading to the back of the building for my first class. It went by okay, and the second class was pretty much the same. But all throughout the day I couldn't stop thinking about the happiness I had felt at lunch. But I also had other thoughts swirling around in the back of my mind.

How this happiness was only temporary, and how it would all go away soon. Maybe I wasn't deserving of it, or maybe it was just meant to be like this. But I knew that it would all vanish soon. Even if I didn't truly know how or why, I just knew how things would end.

For the first time in my life, I had really wanted to be wrong. Just once, I wanted to be wrong.

But I wasn't.