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My 30 Day Challenge

Chapter 7

I was sitting at a table with Jack and his friends, who seemed nice, but looked annoyed when I avoided their questions about my past. I wasn’t having a particularly good day.
Jack’s friends didn’t make much of an effort to include me, and Mike was glaring at me from across the cafeteria because I wasn’t sitting with him. To top it all off, the two teachers I’d had since English class were douches.

'Yo, Kellin, you play music?' one of the guys - Jesse?' asked me.

'Not really, I'm not very good with instruments. I listen to a lot of music, though,' I answered.

'That's cool, who do you listen to?'

'Um, The Used, Dance Gavin Dance…'

'That's awesome, dude, we love them!' broke in Jack. He smiled and I tried to smile back, but I have a feeling it came out like a grimace.

'You know who's great? I See Stars,' another guy whose name I couldn't remember added. This sparked off a whole debate about whether or not they deserved more recognition, and I quickly lost interest.

Scanning the room, my gaze fell on Mike, who was sitting with Tony from before, a spiky haired guy and a blonde girl. He caught me staring, and glared. I sent back my best apologetic look - I didn’t want to have my roommate pissed off with me - and he seemed to accept it. He motioned to the doors of the cafeteria, and walked out.

Sighing, I excused myself, saying I was going to the bathroom. I wound my way through the tables without hitting anyone or anything, which was always a bonus. I found Mike waiting outside the doors for me. He grabbed my arm and started dragging me along.

'What the hell? Where are we going?' I demanded.

'Out,' he said simply. 'Jaime and Tony will meet us in the parking lot in a few minutes.'

'I can't skip! This is my first day! I'll get in -'

'No one at school gives a shit whether or not you're there or not, literally one of the teachers checks. Besides, this is important.'

'What is?' I asked impatiently, still trying to get away.

'Vic's missing.'

'And? He's probably skipping,' I said. Much like Mike plans to.

'Vic doesn't skip. Ever. He gets really pissed with me when I do.'

That shut me up. I didn’t know how to respond to that, so I just went along with it. We were in the parking lot quickly, and were soon joined by Tony and the spiky haired dude called Hi-me or something.

'Guys, this is Kellin, he's moved in with us,' Mike introduced me. Tony nodded, as we'd met, and the other guy smiled.

'So, we know what's going on. Where first?' he said.

'I reckon try the beach, he loves the beach,' suggested Tony.

This was agreed on, and we piled into the car. I was in the front, with Hi-me driving.

'So, Kellin, are you ever going to tell us why you're here?' Mike asked.

'I'd rather not,' I answered quietly. 'It's personal.'

'It can't be that bad,' he said. 'Trust me, no hate or judgment in this car, guaranteed.'

'Uh, maybe later,' I muttered, with absolutely no intention of telling him. He frowned.

'Later, then.'

Fifteen minutes later, we were at the beach, and Mike ran off in search of Vic.

'Before you ask, my name is Jaime - J A I M E. Say it like Hi-me,' the boy in question told me. 'We can't really tell you why we're looking for Vic until he does, because it's not our place, but this is pretty serious, okay? Just keep that in mind.'

I nodded, gazing off towards to ocean. Within moments Mike reappeared.

'The cliff,' was all he said. Immediately they got into the car, and I followed. A couple minutes' drive put us in a bit of forest, where we could see a silhouette sitting at the edge of, as Mike had said, a cliff. We got out and stood around the car. Mike was the first to move.

'Vic, he said softly, taking a couple of steps forward.

'What do you want, Mikey? Can't you just leave me in peace? I told you I was busy today.'

'We're worried about you, Vic. How are you doing?' Mike asked cautiously.

'Shit. And who's we?' Vic replied.

'Me, Tone, Jaime and Kellin.'

'Kellin?' Vic said in surprise, turning around to face us. 'What are you doing here? We barely know each other.'

'Um, Mike told me you were missing, and I wanted to make sure you were okay,' I stammered. I could guess how he was feeling from the look on his face; I'd been there before, a lot. It was the look I saw when I looked in the mirror before I cut myself, one of self-loathing and sorrow.

'Thanks, I guess,' he said without trying to smile. He turned away again. Mike walked back to me, then motioned for Tony and Jaime to go over to Vic.

I didn’t feel entirely safe with Mike behind the wheel, but I didn’t have much of a choice, because I couldn’t drive. He said nothing, so I didn’t, and just stared out the window. Eventually, we got back to the Fuentes house at about four in the afternoon, and Mike stopped the car. I got out, thinking we would be going in.

'Key's under the mat,' Mike said through the window, then drove off, leaving me there.
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Oh no!