Free. The only word I could use to describe the feeling of being released from the white brick wall prison that was Finster Hill High School. The breeze felt amazing on my face and rejuvenated my entire being. I looked down towards the town from the nature trail. The sight could have been from a movie. The autumn leaves flooded the town with flame-like colors. If I hadn't been wearing my glasses, my hometown would appear to have been in flames. There was something about running in nature from the cage of humanity that made one feel in control and free. I listened as my pounding black combat boots crunched against the gravel path which was covered with the twisted twigs and dead leaves. My long brown hair, naturally curled and and frizzy, waved behind me with a lazy reach towards the way I had just come from. My almost knee length dark navy blue skirt decorated with red roses and beige leaves, flowed gently in the Wisconsin breeze. The breeze made October afternoons cooler but not uncomfortable.  My tan top was a short sleeved shirt but I wore a royal blue male letterman’s jacket. The number 13 was patched onto the right sleeve with the name Theodore Donovan stitched on the left chest. The jacket itself was warm designed to withstand the unpredictable weather. It smelt like sandalwood cologne, which to be honest, was my least favorite smell. However, when paired with the strong smell of the leather sleeves, the smell became more than bearable.

“‘Melia! Slow down! We wouldn't want Mr. Quarterback to pull a muscle, would we?”

“Shut it, Wade. I won’t pull a muscle!”

Theodore Donovan and Wade Lher, two of my best friends. In a small town like Finster Hill, one made friends at an early age and kept them for a life time. Wade’s parents had been friends with my parents in school. Naturally, it was no surprise that Wade and I would become good friends. Theo became my friends the first day of my year of kindergarten when an older girl picked on me for having glasses. Being older himself, he stood up for me. Ever since then, the three of us were inseparable; especially, since Theo and I started dating the beginning of my freshman year. Now as a senior, Theo had been captain of the varsity football team for three years in a row, and captain of the junior varsity team before that. He wasn’t built for tackling, but for throwing long passes and running the ball in to the endfield. He did other sports as well but football was his game; especially, since it was one of the very few sports he did with the school rather than the community center. His tan skin showed the time he’s spent training outside but his blond hair appeared awkward against his non-natural skin tone. He had those bright blue eyes that some people would kill for.

Wade was the polar opposite from Theo. He was more concerned about academics than sports, besides track and cross country. A nerd in almost every sense of the word, but he was my friend and I cared about him. He was pale and scrawnier than Theo, with lengthy arms and long legs. but he was fast. He reminded me of a wolf, timid but willing to protect the other members of the pack.

“Amelia, I swear if you trip and fall, I’m going to laugh at you for the rest of the year!”

My best friend for life, Lacey Polk also known as LMDQ or Little Miss Drama Queen. Perhaps the smartest person in our entire school, Lacey had taken almost every class in high school and was working on taking college level courses while still in high school. She always told me that she was just making good use of a free education.  Yet, she intended to follow her dream and become an actress with a law degree on the side. We met on the first day of middle school, and hit it off right away.She had incredibly long red hair that she wore up to keep out of the way. Her pale complexion made everyone think she was a vampire wanna-be, however, she loved going outside, unless it involved getting her hair wet.

“Whatever, let her trip onto her face, it’ll be an improvement.”

    Then there was Nina Varne. Nina was Wade’s girlfriend, who didn’t approve of any of his “female companions” and made sure to announce that fact almost every single day. She, especially, didn’t like me. For whatever reason, she hated my entire existence. However, she "puts up with me for Wadikin’s sake." She was thin with bleach blonde hair that was just as thin. She had these piercing hazel eyes that reminded me of a cat. Nina was very involved in school, both in activities and in academics. Lacrosse, debate, soccer, dance, if it can be named, she’s probably been in it.

   I kept running forward distracting myself with the sound of the leaves ruffling against the breeze. However, the peace was short lived when I screamed as a pair of arms wrapped around me from behind, and pull me off my feet and into the air. The arms spun me around back towards the way we came and despite the bear-hug grip, the delicate-like care that was put into holding me was as though I was a porcelain doll. Too fragile to drop, yet still deserving the love and care of another human being. I struggled like a stubborn child and pushed at the familiar arms that held me captive. 

 

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