sign that quiff

Chapter 1.

Song for this chapter:

Breakeven (acoustic cover) by Boyce Avenue

“I’m still alive but I’m barley breathing.”


 ”Vivian?” A voice says. My head snaps up, and Luke Hemmings stands in front of me. I quickly wipe the tears from my cheeks, and scramble to my feet. 

“What?” I ask, sniffling,  looking anywhere but him.

“Are you okay?” The genuine sound in his voice makes me feel bad about lying.

“Yeah, I’m fine." 

He scoffs, “You’re clearly not fine if you’re crying, hidden in the library.” 

His rude tone makes me snap my head up at him. His face doesn’t match the snarky words he used. Concern fills his features, which confuses me a little. We know each other, we’ve gone to school together our whole lives. I wouldn’t exactly classify us as friends though.

"I’m fine.” I send him my best glare. I grab my purse and walk past him, my mood even worse than it was before. 

“Vivian wait!” His voice calls. 

I roll my was and walk even faster. He catches up to me quickly, due to his extremely long legs. He grabs my arm, stopping me from walking. I yank my arm out of his grasp, but look up at him, waiting for him to speak.

“That didn’t come out right. I meant that there’s obviously something wrong, you don’t just go to the furthest corner of the library, that no one goes to, to cry. Usually you’d go there to make out, so no one catches you, you know?” He stumbles on his words awkwardly. 

I look up at him incredulously, “You think I come here to make out?” 

“Yeah! Wait, n-no!” His eyes widen and he shake his head vigorously.

I roll my eyes, “Goodbye.” 

I quickly walk away, ignoring him calling my name. I make my way to Julian’s locker. He stands there making out with his new fling of the week. I repress the feeling of needing to vomit, and tug on his shirtsleeve. I look around to see if Luke followed me. I don’t see any sign of his blonde quiff or lip ring, thankfully.

“What, Viv?” Julian says in an annoyed tone. 

I turn my head to my older brother, “I want to go home.”

He looks at me confused, I never want to go home. “Why?” 

“I don’t want to be here, and I don’t feel like going to Kenzie’s.” I shrug. 

I love Kenzie, she’s my best friend. I’m just not in the mood to fake smiles and discuss her boyfriend for the rest of the evening. Julian sighs and tells the girl to go get her things from her locker, and she listens obediently.

“What about mom?” He questions quietly. He knows that us two haven’t been getting along recently. 

“I don’t care. She’s probably passed out, or on her way there.” I mumble bitterly.

“C’mon Viv, she’s going through more than you are.” He looks at me, with the disapproving look on his face.

“That doesn’t give her an excuse to be a crappy mother, and get wasted every day.” I glare at him, pissed that he taking her side.

“In a way, in kind of does.” He shrugs.

“You know what, screw you. I’ll just walk home.” I turn on my heel, and stomp away. 

We only live a few blocks from the school, so I usually walk home, when Julian has plans for after school. I enjoy walking home, it gives time to be think, and be alone. It also means that I don’t have to be home as soon, and I don’t have to deal with my mother.

A downside of walking home, is that you can’t feel your face when winter rolls around. You also tend to slip on ice if you’re wearing the fashionable boots that give no protection from the cold that your stylish mother bought you. When you slip, almost every time you fall on your butt, and now you are even colder than before. It’s quite embarrassing. 

“Worlds best brother.” I mutter under my breath as I pull my coat tighter against my body. 

I continue to walk swiftly, but safely down the sidewalk. When I get to near my house, I start to slow down, not wanting to be home quite yet. 

“Vivian!” A deep voice calls, and I glance back, to see Luke running towards me. 

I continue walking, not wanting to talk to Luke again. 

“Vivian, wait!” He calls again. I walk faster, almost to my house.

“Vivian.” He says right behind me, I jump and turn around at the same time. With the combination of my panicked movements and the slick ice on the ground, I end up with my pants soaking wet. 

“Oh my god I am so sorry.” Luke sputters and reaches out, pulling me to my feet.

“What do you want.” I grit my teeth, and blink back the tears coming on. 

“Are you okay?” He asks for the second time today. 

I’m not sure if he meant because I just embarrassed myself, or because he caught me crying earlier. 

“I’m fine.” It comes out harsher than I intended, but I don’t care at the moment. I shrug his hand off my arm.

He sighs, “Look Vivian, I’m so-“

“Viv dear, who is this?” My mothers fake voice calls from our front door.

I hold back my anger towards my mother, and try to sound civilized in front of Luke, “No one.” 

I look up at Luke, to see hurt in his eyes. He quickly masks it with indifference.

“I have to go.” I mutter and turn away from Luke, walking to my mansion of a house. 

“Who was that Viv?” My mother asks as I step across the threshold. 

I ignore her, and head up to my room. 

“Vivian.” My mothers warning tone sounds.

I swiftly turn around halfway up the stairs.

“Why are you even awake?” I snark at her.

She’s taken aback for a moment, “Excuse me?” 

I shrug, “When I get home you’re usually passed out with a bottle of jack in your hand.” 

Her eyes widen, and she gapes at me, “Vivian I-I..” 

“Frankly I don’t care.” I turn around and start walking to my room. 

“Your brother has a basketball game tonight. We’re going as a family.” My mother calls up to me.
I scoff at the word ‘family’ but mentally groan. I hate going out with my family. I have to be fake, and actually interact with my parents. If I don’t, someone might suspect that our family is falling apart, and that can’t happen. 

I continue to my room, and slam the door shut once I’m in my haven. Letting a huge sigh slip out of my mouth, I collapse on my bed. I muffle my frustrated screams into my pillow.

Before I know it the tears are flowing again. I curl up into a ball, wrapping my arms around my legs. Small sobs emit from my lips, and I completely break down. 

I think of how Luke saw me crying in the library, and I become even more frustrated. I’ve been going there to be alone for years now, and out of the blue he pops up, catching me at my weakest. 
He even followed me home! Who even does that? Then he saw me fall on my butt. How many times am going to embarrass myself in front of him? 

Luke Hemmings is someone I haven’t spoken to very much. Sure we’ve been partnered up for assignments, or he needed a pencil, but we’re not friends. We stick to our friend groups, his being the friends, and mine the “populars.”

No, I’m not the most popular girl in school, who all the girls either hate or want to be. I’m the one that’s popular because my family is rich. 

In all honesty I don’t have any true friends. Even Kenzie uses me for my money. I pretend not to notice, or care, but in reality it gets to me. None of the friends I have would be friends with me if I didn’t have rich parents. 

So why did Luke care? We’ve never had a real conversation. There’s no reason for him to follow me home, and ask if I was okay: Unless he was trying to earn himself my friendship so he can use me too.

“What a jerk!” I exclaim to no one in particular.

“That giraffe thinks he can weasel himself into my life just because he saw me crying. What an inconsiderate jerk!”

By now I’m out of my bed, pacing back and forth across my large room. I angrily wipe away the tears from my face and continue ranting about Luke. Someone knocks on my door, and it slowly opens.

“Miss Vivian, are you alright? Sonya, our maid, who also cooks, and does anything we need really, asks in a soft, worried tone. 

I jump, then send her a false smile, “Yeah, I’m fine! I was just talking to myself..” I wince at how stupid I sound.

She smiles at me, and I can tell she’s holding back laughter, “If you say so. Your mother told me to inform you that your father will be home in two hours.” 

My smile drops, and I clench my jaw. I nod, “Thank you Sonya.” 

I say as sweetly as I can. She nods with a small frown on her face. Once she shuts my door behind her, I collapse on my bed again. I squeeze my eyes shut, and let a groan slip out of my mouth. 

After laying there for a few minutes, I decide to do something productive. I change into my pajamas, and get comfortable on my bed. I take out all of my homework, then start my study playlist and get to work. After all of my math homework, and half of my history, I look at the clock, to see that it’s nearly time for Julian’s basketball game. 

I sigh, and begin to get ready for the game. I change out of the pajama, and put on what I wore to school. My pants aren’t wet anymore, thankfully. I fix my makeup and hair, then slowly put my shoes back on, not wanting to go anywhere with my parents.

"Viv, it’s time to go!” Julian yells through my door. 

I reluctantly throw on my coat, and grab my purse and phone. I open my door, and see Julian in his uniform, twirling his keys around his finger. 

“If you want to ride with me, now’s your chance.” He states, and points to the kitchen door, where I can hear my mother shouting at my father, and my father shouting back. 

I nod, and hurry down the stairs to the garage. Once the house is out if sight, I let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding. 

“Thanks.” I mutter quietly.

“Think of it as me saying sorry for earlier.” Julian shrugs, and turns on the radio.

No matter how horrible he is to me, he still protects me, even if it is from our parents. I’d like to say that we’re close siblings, but we’re not. Ever since I stopped talking to mom, Juilian has become distant. He is very defensive of our mother, and is always on her side. He hates our father just as much as I do, maybe even more. 

We pull up to the school, and Julian jumps out of the car, jogging to the gymnasium. I roll my eyes, this being typical of Juilian to leave me alone the second we get to the school. I slam the door shut once I’m out of the car, and make my way into the school. 

“Viv!" Kenzie’s screechy voice calls. 

I turn to where the sound came from, and see Kenzie walking arm in arm with Melissa Jones, another popular girl, who is extremely boy crazy, and extremely irritating.

I force a smile onto my lips, “Kenz, Melisssa, hi!” 

Neither of them notice my completely fake cheerful voice. Why would they, I’m completely mastered it. 

"Viv your brother looks so hot tonight!” Melissa jumps up and down. A shudder of disgust rolls down my spine, but don’t say anything.

"So does Ashton Irwin." Kenzie mumbles.

I grin at Kenzie, this time it being real. Ashton is a senior that Kenzie has been obsessed with for a while now. She constantly asks me about him, thinking that I’d know him because he’s on Julians team. I don’t know Ashton at all, other than now I remember seeing him hanging around with Luke, in that little friend group. 

"Come on, Becca’s saving us a spot.” Melissa drags Kenzie and I into the crowded gym. 

I quickly spot our friend group in the center of the student section. Once we’re all situated, I’m sitting next to Kenzie and Trent Walters. He’s a very attractive guy, but he’s way too handzy, and he’s tried to get with me one too many times. Even now, just past half time, he’s got his hand on my thigh. I don’t even bother to subtly move it, because I know that he won’t get the hint, and will eventually put it back there. 

 The score is tied by the fourth quarter. There’s only a few minutes left on the clock, and the boys are still giving it their all. The opposing team has the ball, and as a shorter player tries to pass it to another player, Ashton steals the ball. 

We all jump out of our seats screaming. Ashton swiftly dribbles down the court, and passes it to Julian. Julian shoots, and we all hold our breaths. As the ball goes through the net, the whole student section erupts in screams. We all run down to the court, forming a huge group around the team. 

Through the commotion, I lose Kenzie, and even Trent. Someone bumps into me, sending me flying forward. I grab onto the next person I can, to prevent myself from falling on my face. The person grabs my shoulders steadying me. 

“Thanks.” I say before looking up to see who caught me.

“You’re welcome.” his voice says, I snap my head up to see Luke Hemmings for the third time today.

I immediately loosen my grip on his t shirt, and take a step back. He’s arms fall from my shoulders, and to his sides. He opens his mouth to say something, but is interrupted.

“Viv!" Kenzie screams, and grabs onto me, "Come on, we’re going to get victory ice cream with the team." 

She drags me out of the crowd, and I let her. For some reason I turn around, and see Luke with a small frown on his face. I turn back around as our eyes meet, and take control of my own footsteps. Melissa, Kenzie, and I all load into Kenzie’s car, and drive to the local ice cream parlor. Once we walk into the door, we’re met with loud shouts of obnoxious teen boys who are cocky because they won their basketball game, and teen girls fawning over those boys. Kenzie and Melissa turn into those girls once they see an empty spot next to Ashton and Julian. 

They race over to sit down before anyone else can. The only seat that is open, happens to be right next to Trent, and right across from Luke. I mentally groan, but put on a huge, but fake smile as I sit down next to Trent.

"You guys did great!” I exclaim to Julian and Ashton. 

Julian notices that something is up, and eyes me, but says thank you, as does Ashton.

“Yeah Julian that last shot was so amazing.” She places her arm on Julians bicep.

"It wouldn’t have happened if Ashton didn’t steal the ball from the other team!" Kenzie grins at Ashton, scooting closer to him.

Both boys smile politely, but look extremely uncomfortable. I bite my lip to hold back laughter towards my brother and his teammate. I feel an arm wrap around my shoulder, and I bite my lip even harder to keep myself from smacking Trent.

We order our ice cream, and make quiet conversation as we wait for it to be made. We all make quiet conversation, and keep making awkward eye contact with Luke. I can tell that he wants to talk to me, but I don’t want to talk to him.  I just worry that he might say something about me crying in front of everyone.  I have no idea how I’d get myself out of that one.

Thankfully he doesn’t say anything. He talks, but not to me, mainly just to Ashton. Luke fidgets in his seat, and he looks out of place in our group. Not that he isn’t good enough to be around us or anything, he just looks uncomfortable in the large group of people.

By the time we’re all finished with our ice cream, I’m extremely tired. My eyes start to droop, and I’m too exhausted to care about Trent’s hand getting closer and closer to my boob. 

"Alright, I think it’s time to go home. I would stay longer, but Viv here looks like she’s about to fall asleep.” Julian announces. 

I blink my eyes a few times to wake myself up more, “No I’m fine.” I yawn in the middle of my sentence, and the whole table laughs. 

I even see Luke smile a little, it was cute. 

I must really be tired if I thought that about Luke. 

“Yeah, okay. C’mon, lets go.” He gets up, and flings Trent’s arm off my shoulder. 

He holds out his hand for me, and I take it, allowing him to pull me out of my seat. I wave at everyone at the table, and say goodbye, before yawning again. Julian wraps an arm around my waist, half carrying me to his car. 

During the drive, I make myself stay awake, by blinking a lot. Once we pull into the garage, I see our parents cars.

“So much for going as a family.” I murmur as I get out of the car. I walk a little, then my eyes droop again, and I run into the side of our fathers expensive Porsche. 

“Come here.” Julian whispers as he wraps his arm around me again. 

As we walk past the kitchen I see mom with a flask in her hand. The second she spots us she slips it into her shirt. 

“Julian dear you did wonderful at your game.” She compliments, her words slurring the slightest.

“Thanks mom, I’m going to take Viv to her room. She’s dead tired.” Julian replies, and helps me up the stairs, and to my room.  

I collapse on my bed, “You were really great tonight, thank you.” I whisper, not allowing myself to fall asleep quite yet.

“You’re welcome,” He places a kiss on my forehead, “goodnight sis.”


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