Chapter Five

The boy — 12 years ago, 14 years old.

Looking in the mirror the boy adjusted his tie and dusted off his jacket. With anxiety and his heart beating fast, he studied himself and made sure his name was on the back of his tie. Once certain everything was straight, he nodded and took a deep breath.

“Charlie! Rosaleen is here! Come down, you’re going to be late!”

Charlie hurried up to his window and saw Rosaleen waiting for him with her bike. He smiled and ran down the stairs. His mother sighed.

“Don’t run down the stairs.”

Charlie nodded and waved goodbye, running outside to meet with his friend. She looked up at him and smiled.

“Come on, we’re going to be late.”

Charlie got on his bike, and they rode to their school. Arriving at the building they parked their bikes and walked to their classroom. On their way some of their schoolmates would purposely bump into Charlie and laugh while some would whisper behind his back. Rosaleen looked at Charlie and frowned. She stopped in front of him, forcing him to stop too, but he didn’t look at her. She gently cupped his face, forcing him to look at her.

“Always walk with your head up, Charlie.”

He nodded once, Rosaleen smiled, and they resumed walking.

Arriving at their classroom they sat next to each other. A girl behind Charlie looked at her friends and smiled. She slowly took her pair of scissors out, leaning towards Rosaleen she grabbed a good handful of Rosaleen’s hair and cut it off. The other girl spun around.

“What did you do?!”

The girls laughed at Rosaleen’s horrified face as she realized the fallen strands were her’s. Charlie looked at her with his eyes wide open.

“Class! Calm down!”

Rosaleen stood up and ran to the bathroom, crying under the stares and laughs of her classmates. Charlie grabbed her still unpacked bag and ran after her.

Rosaleen was looking at herself in the mirror, still crying. She touched her hair, feeling where the girl had cut a good chunk of it. She slid down to the floor and buried her face in her arms, hard sobs leaving her.

Outside the bathroom, Charlie was sitting on a bench, hearing his friend crying. Taking his phone out, he sent a message to Aiden.

“You need to come to the girl’s bathroom. A girl cut Rosie’s hair…”

After a minute or so, Aid