Kelsey's best friend is sick. Kelsey sits alone on the bus because Bea is the only friend she has. Kelsey sleeps through first bell because her teacher just talks about his relationship problems to see who was desperate enough to be with him. Second bell is easier since the teacher is pregnant, and her substitute hasn't quite figured out how to teach without handing out a packet and playing on her phone. Third bell requires her to talk, so she chats with the blue haired girl in the back of the room. Fourth bell drags on, and she gets a detention for sleeping. Bea would hit her for it, but she isn't here. Lunch is spent in the library with a few nerds from her fifth bell since she didn't do the homework. Luckily, she can hand it in by the beginning of fifth bell. By the time the sixth bell rings, she is bored, so she leaves through the hoard and drives to Bea's house.
Bea's mother left at five because she wanted to drink in peace. Her younger siblings went to school at seven like normal. None of them checked on Bea that morning. Since her father went back to jail, she hasn't been the same. New injuries appear on a daily. No one notices, not even her best friend. Bea has never told anyone about her self-harm. Her father found it out a little while ago, and pleaded with her to stop. For weeks, she has been good. Cuts began to become scabs. Bruises began to fade. Her voice slowly came back. Every visit, she would show him her progress. He'd smile and she'd feel on top of the planet. Her daddy was proud of her. But yesterday, the guards found him in his bed, unresponsive. They pulled the blanket off and found a shank in his cold limp hand.
Bea got her looks from her mom, and her tendencies from her dad. Freddie Paulson had come from a broken home. His father was a drug addict and his mother was abusive. Until he was eight, he watched his mother emasculate and demoralize his father. Then, a week before he turned nine, his father overdosed and his mother's temper turned to him. At fourteen, he had been removed and sent to an aunt in Philadelphia but the damage was already done. Freddie had gone from an adorable six year old who positively saw the world to a battered man. At sixteen, Beatrice was born and Freddie regained a bit of his humanity. He did whatever he could to care for her, but his life was already spiraling. He had been taking drugs since he was eleven and had charges a mile high. Any time he wasn't in jail, he would fight Bea's mother, Cindy Carraway, for custody and try to be there for his daughter. At fifteen, she couldn't have made him happier, but seeing her wrists all cut up drove a stake into his heart. He tried to convince himself to live for her since she was doing better, but couldn't. He was alone and couldn't take being alone again.
Kelsey pulls into the driveway of the Carraways and turns her car off. She can't see that anyone is home. She steps out, carrying a plastic bag filled with soup, crackers, ginger ale, and a compress. She knocks on the door and no one answers. She gets the spare key from the mailbox and unlocks the door.
"Bea?" she calls. "School was boring without you so I came over and brought you some stuff to help you feel better. Are you upstairs?"
No one answers. Kelsey locks the door back and puts the spare key on a shelf next to the door. She trudges upstairs to Bea's room and knocks. No answer. She opens the door and gasps. Bea is on the floor crying. Her wrists are bleeding and a blanket has been tied around her neck. Kelsey drops the bag and goes to work untying the blanket and wrapping it around Bea's wrists to try to stop the bleeding.
"What are you doing?" Kelsey shouts at her best friend. She's in tears
Bea lays her head on Kelsey's chest and sobs, "Please don't leave me. I don't want to be alone anymore."