All about you (love hat.., p.18
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       All About You (Love & Hate series #1), p.18

         Part #1 of Love & Hate series by Joanna Mazurkiewicz

  As December arrives, I realise that I'll be going back to Gargle in a few weeks when this term ends. Dora has invited Jacob to meet her mother. She’s never done that before. She doesn't want to admit, but she is in love with him.

  My relationship with Oliver is still nonexistent. Russell has been trying to flirt, but I keep pushing him away. No one is for me, not yet.

  Since I arrived to Braxton I haven't had a chance to speak to Oliver's mother. We became close and I know that she is doing much better now. She started seeing a specialist regularly. Oliver hasn't spoken to her since he vanished from Gargle, but she told me once that she would like to rebuild what she lost with him.

  No one knows about my involvement in her struggle and new life. She knows that I wanted it that way, and she promised to keep it as our little secret. In some ways I understand Oliver. Mrs. Morgan never showed him love and affection. She didn't want him, so he abandoned her. It will be hard to get back what we both had, but I’m willing to show him that I’m not the same heartless bitch from two years ago.

  In the past few weeks I have been training extensively. The competition is coming up and I want to qualify to represent Braxton on a national level. I haven't spoken to Mackenzie since Dora punched her at the party. Mackenzie doesn't show up for practise, but other girls have been saying that they’ve seen her on the gym. Dora humiliated her because of me, and Mackenzie isn't the kind of girl who would just let it go.

  When I saw her face a few days after Dora’s birthday, I felt a little guilty. She has been a real bitch, but Dora went too far. After the incident in the changing room, Oliver broke up with her. Other students were talking about this in the library, and when I came home later on Dora confirmed it. We didn't have to wait long to see Oliver with someone else. He found Mackenzie’s replacement pretty quickly.

  People have been less interested in me, but I still get odd looks when I pass through the corridors. People talk about me, but they look at me with more respect now, like they are scared to cross me.

  Russell has been a real nuisance lately. I have been trying to ignore him, but today this seems to be impossible. Even when I find a quiet spot in the back of the canteen to eat lunch, he still manages to stalk me.

  “Hey, India, how you doing? I've been looking everywhere for you.”

  I stop eating my pasta and scan the room searching for Oliver. He must be here. Otherwise Russell wouldn't just show up. When I caught them talking about me outside the library, it was clear that those two were planning something. Oliver has always been determined, and he will end what he started.

  “Oh yeah, and why is that?” I ask, sounding bored. Normally if I ignore people they go away, but Russell seems stubborn.

  “Because I want to take you out. You can't say no. You know you want me.” He smirks, sitting back.

  I might be stronger and transformed, but that nightmare from two years ago sticks to me like a fly in a trap. I can't let anyone in. “I don't date and I never will date anyone from here. You are nice guy, but nothing is going to happen between you and me,” I say quietly.

  “Is this something to do with that prick Morgan? Is he your psycho ex-boyfriend?” he asks, and I can’t help but laugh. I ought to tell him that he is close, but it was the first brother who was the psycho.

  “Maybe he is, but you’ll never know. I have a class to go to.”

  “Let me walk with you.”

  “You don't have to do that.”

  “I want to show you that I can be your friend. I can deal with that for now," he adds “Soon you’ll realise that you can't resist me and you’ll want more.”

  “Dream on.”

  Russell is funny, but I don't think he knows what he wants.

  People stare as we leave the canteen and I start to wonder if I'm really that interesting.

  Dora has been trying to convince me that I should try to talk to Oliver. She doesn't understand why he’s playing those games with me. According to her, we are meant for each other. Christian died, so we shouldn't feel guilty. I know that I have to tell her the truth sooner rather than later. As I walk back to the apartment, that memory of the night from the party races in front of my eyes.

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