Somewhere in Neverland


Monday August 26th - 8am

School is the one place where I can feel at ease, considering Jared was much older and wasn’t in highschool. I had covered up the bruise on my wrist by wearing a hoodie, but I had to use a lot of makeup for the black eye. I had gone back to my own house on Sunday morning, claiming I had homework to do. It was the first day, and the halls were overcrowded with familiar and unfamiliar faces of teenagers. I spotted Taylor right away, sitting at her locker reading a book.

“Hey Taylor can I talk to you?”

She merely shrugged and put her book down, bringing her knees to her chest. I sat beside her and did the same, biting my lip and pulling on the sleeves of my hoodie to make sure the bruise stayed hidden from her.

“Are you still mad at me?”

“I was never mad at you, I was mad at him for treating you like dirt..again.” If only she knew.

“So we’re okay?” She nodded and I gave her a small hug, thankful that she wasnt still mad.

“I’m sorry I slapped you.”

I shrugged and flashed her a small smile, letting her know it was alright. the bell rang, so we got up from the floor and headed to our first class, gym. Fantastic way to start the day, right? Wrong. It was a co-ed class, so when we got there, we found out Alex, along with half the football team, was in our class. Groaning, I went to the locker room to change into the shorts and shirt that the school gave us, using a long sleeved one underneath to help hide the bruise.

I spotted Alex leaning against a wall, talking to one of his friends from the coffee shop. He saw me staring, and gave a me a small smile. I smiled back and turned around to find a quizzical looking Taylor standing in front of me.

“I’m sorry, did Alex Gaskarth just smile at you?” I shrugged.

“I guess so.”

“How do you-Did you - explain.”

I laughed to myself at her inability to form a sentence.

“He came into the shop the other day, you were probably too absorbed in being pissed off at Jared to notice. I guess he remembers me.”

Taylor smiled as the teacher blew the whistle to start the lesson. Everyone gathered in a circle around him and waited eagerly to see what would be happening today.

“So, I’m Mr.Saporta, your gym teacher. Today we’re going to be playing doubles badminton. Pick your partner.” I clung to Taylor like wildfire to trees

“ two are going to play against….those two.”

Well, of course we would be paired up with Alex and Jack. Fantastic. We walked over to them while they were in the middle of doing some retarded dancing. They stopped when we got to them and I stifled a laugh and put my hair up in a ponytail.

“Hey we’re your opponents. This is my best friend Wendy.”

“Hey Wendy, I’m Alex, and this is MY psychotic best friend, Jack.” He has a really nice voice. I seem to have lost mine. “You’re that girl from the coffee shop, yeah?”

I meekly nodded and stared at my feet, wondering how much of that day he remembers. Jack ran off, excitedly to get us some rackets and birdies.

“And aren’t you the one who slapped her?”

My eyes went wide, not realizing he had seen that. Taylor nodded, looking ashamed and I continued to just stare at my feet.

“You were yelling too, why would you slap your best friend?” I gave her a pleading look, begging her not to tell him about Jared.

“Um I took out some anger on her by accident?”

I could tell he didn’t believe her, but he shrugged it off anyways, probably knowing it was a touchy subject. Jack returned with the rackets, handing one to each of us, and we made our way over to a net. I stayed in the front, closer to the net, while Taylor served. We did a few rallies until gym was over. I went to the locker room to change, and when I came out, someone grabbed my bruised wrist and pulled me aside, making me wince and cry out.


The hand immediately let go and I found Alex in front of me with his hands up in the air as if he was surrendering, with a look of horror on his face.

“SORRY, what did I do?”

“Grabbed my wrist a bit too hard, but its okay. Did you want something?” He lowered his hands and shoved them in his pockets.

“Just wondering if you wanted to have lunch with me, Jack and the rest of our friends. We had fun playing badminton with you guys.” I started rubbing my wrist, trying to make the pain go away, but I think I was just making it worse.
“Can Taylor come too? I know you guys have a history and it might be weird, but she’s my best friend.” He smiled lightly.

“Uh, Sure. And no, it’s not weird. We’re cool now.”

“Then count me in.” I gave him a small smile and turned around, walking out of the gym to go find Taylor and let her know.


When lunch rolled around, Taylor and I scanned the cafeteria for Alex and Jack, finding them somewhere in the middle, with a bunch of other guys and a couple of girls. We walked over to them and I tapped Alex on the back, holding my lunch in the other hand. He looked up, and smiled when he saw us.

“HEY! Guys this is Wendy, and you all remember Taylor right?”

The guys nodded, waved hello, and Jack jumped up to give us both a hug. I sat down next to Alex, and Taylor sat beside me.

“So you remember Jack. This is Rian, Zack, Cassadee, Kara and Vic.”

I waved to everyone, and opened my bag, taking out my salad, water bottle and fork. Taylor looked at me skeptically, and I gave her a look that told her not to say a word. It didn’t matter though, because Alex looked inside the now empty bag, and said something instead.

“That’s all you brought? A Salad?”

“Um...I’m not too hungry?” Taylor shook her head, and shoved a spoonful of noodles in her mouth, knowing full well I just lied.

“Are you on a diet or something?” He raised an eyebrow.

“Something like that I guess.”

“Drop it Lex, she never eats much.”

Alex shrugged, but I could tell it wouldn’t be the last time I would hear about my eating habits. Guess I’ll have to be more careful. I pushed the salad around, taking a small bite every now and then. The guys started talking about some band stuff so I took the moment to pull Taylor aside to talk to her.

“I never eat much? You make me sound anorexic.”

“You are.” She said it so bluntly, I was taken aback.

“No, I’m not.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

“Oh really? What do you weigh? If its over 90 pounds I’ll drop the subject. If it’s not, then you’re anorexic.”

I sighed and rolled my eyes at her.

“Whatever Tay, I’m not going to fight about this with you.”

“Because you know i’m right, and let me ask you one more thing. Is it because of him? It is, isn’t it? Just because he says you need to lose weight, doesn’t make it true.”

I sighed and went back to sit down with everyone else, not wanting to get into it with Taylor right now. I put my head in my hands and just thought about everything in silence; how it was true that I barely ate because of the diet Jared told me to go on, how much i’ve been going to the gym because of Jared saying the diet wasn’t working. And he was right, I was still disgustingly fat.

“Everything okay?” He sounded concerned, he probably noticed how frustrated me and Taylor were.

“Yeah..just girl stuff.” I gave him a reassuring smile.

“You’ve barely eaten your salad.”

“It tastes funny, I don’t want it.” He grabbed the fork and shoved some in his mouth.

“It tastes fine. There’s nothing wrong with it.” He tried giving me the fork back but I didn’t take it.

“I don’t want it.”

Jack suddenly grabbed the fork, along with the salad and started eating it, hungrily. He mumbled a ‘sorry’ and said he was starving. Alex threw his arms up, defeated and went back to eating his own lunch. Jack suggested we eat with them everyday from now on so he could some extra free food, and I wasn’t really opposed to it. Taylor was the only real friend I had so making some new ones would probably be a good idea since we were graduating next year. I agreed and the bell rang so we all gathered our things and went our seperate ways.


At the end of the day, I was at my locker, putting the books I needed inside my bag, when a hand tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and saw Jack, grinning.

“Hey Wendy, I know this is random but Alex has football practice. He wanted me to make sure you got this and said to text him, letting him know it’s you. He also wants to know the next time you work.”

He handed me a slip of paper, but it was all smudged from being wet.

“Uh Jack? It’s all wet. I can’t read it. And I work tonight in a few hours” He looked at it and frowned. Then, he dug in his bag for a pen and grabbed my bruised wrist (what is it with people and this wrist?) making me bite my lip in pain. My sleeve lifted up a bit too high, revealing a part of the bruise.

“Oh well here, I’ll just write it on your -” Jack’s eyes went wide when he saw the purple markings. “What...Is that a - um...sorry”

He stopped stammering and stayed silent while he wrote the number on my hand. Scratching the back of his head, he stood there awkwardly, wondering what the protocol for this was.

“Jack I -”

“I won’t tell anyone.” I breathed a sigh of relief, that’s all I wanted to hear.

“Thanks.” Both of us stood there, not really knowing what to do from here.

“Um, if you need to talk to anyone let me know okay? I’ve been through some stuff before too, and I’m a pretty good listener. Everyone thinks im the immature crazy one, but I can be serious when I need to be.”

I flashed him a genuine smile and thanked him again, before we started walking to the front doors. He offered to drive me home and I was about to accept the offer until I saw Jared’s car in the lot, and him standing next to it, smoking.

“Uh, as much as I would love a ride home from you Jack, I can’t. I have to go. I’ll see you around! Bye.”

I scurried off to meet Jared, who was giving me a dirty look.

“Who was that?” He was angry, I could tell. I looked back at Jack, who was still standing there, looking for something in his bag.

“Just a friend.”

“What’s on your hand?” He grabbed my hand, and started reading the number.

“Uh, his number. We have to do a project together.” Lie.

“Don’t lie to me.” I shook my head.

“I-I’m not, we really do have a project together. For...english.” Fuck, I tripped up on my words.

He smirked, knowing I was fully lying, and slapped me. I brought my hand to my face which was going to be red tomorrow. He grabbed my bad wrist - again - and brought me closer to him, making me smell the whiskey on his breath again.

“I said dont FUCKING lie to me.” I glanced over at Jack quickly, who was now watching us. Fantastic. He better keep his word.

“Okay, he really is JUST a friend. That’s the truth. I guess he gave me his number because he wants to talk.”

He let go and told me to get in the car, which I did. When I shut the door, I looked up and saw Jack giving me a sympathetic look. I looked at my feet as Jared got in beside me and he sped out of the parking lot to drive me home. Once there, he shut the door and faced me, scowling. My parents were still at work, and my shift started in an hour, from 5 - 10pm.

“Next time I ask you a question, answer me honestly or it’s going to be worse.”

“Worse? Worse than what?” I stared at him confused, having no idea what he was talking about.

“Worse than this.”

Once the words left his mouth, he shoved me to the ground and kicked my side a few times, hitting the ribs directly almost every time. I screamed out in pain for him to stop, but he just kept going at both sides. All I could do, was lay there defenseless and take the hits. Two minutes later he stopped, although it felt like longer.

“Your parents will be home soon so I’m leaving.”

I heard the door open and slam shut again, indicating he was gone. Looking at my watch, I noticed it was 4:15 and that I had to leave for work. I scrambled to my feet, pain shooting throughout my body. There was no way I would be able to walk to work in this much pain, so I got changed into my uniform, called a taxi and took some painkillers. While I was waiting for the taxi, I programmed Alex’s number into my phone. I spent the whole ride to work, debating if I should contact him or not. When I got to work, I stood outside and started smoking to relieve the stress of Jared’s abuse. Taylor was already there and it only took her one look at me to know something was up. She came outside, and noticed how distraught I looked.

“What’s wrong Wendy?” I shrugged, not ready to let her in on the secret.

“What did Jared do? You look like you’re about to cry.” It’s true, a tear was threatening to spill from being in so much pain.

“Nothing okay? Drop it.”

I didn’t mean to snap at her the way I did, I was just tired. Sick and tired, and in so much pain. We went back inside and started our shift. It was a slow day, not too many customers showed up. I tried making small talk with Taylor to get back on her good side.

"Alex sort of gave me his number"


"After school. Is that okay? I mean I know you guys -"

"Wendy, chill. Me and Alex...there was nothing there. We ended on good terms. It's okay to be friends with him or whatever." She laughed lightly, and crossed her arms over her chest.

"But you know, he doesn't give out his number to random girls. He probably has his eye on you or something." My back was to the door, and she was in front of me. The bell chimed but I ignored it. The pain in my ribs was returning, and giving me a headache.

"What the fuck would he want with me? I'm a nobody. I'm nobody important, I'm a loser, who has exactly one friend, you. And I don't even know why you put up with me. All we've done lately is argue about my diet, and Jared. You say he's bad for me, that he keeps putting me down, but you don't even know the half of it and there are so many things I want to tell you but I just can't and it kills me because you're my best friend!"

My hands flew to my mouth and my eyes went wide, in shock of what I just ranted to my best friend. She stared at me with her jaw open, iin disbelief.

"Shit, I should not have ranted all that to you. I'm sorry." Someone cleared their throat behind me, and I spun around to see the last two people I wanted to see right now.

Jack and Alex.