Tracing his fingers on his new snake tattoo on his arm, he smiled to himself. He looked over at the front desk where she was sitting attentively. She turned her head to look, but not at him but at her boyfriend, Nate. She gave a smile which brought a pain in his heart.

“Ashton” called out Mr. Shaw, the history professor. His eyes quickly turned to him. He asked, “Yes, Mr. Shaw?”

“Can you tell the reasons that lead to rise of Hitler?” he asked pushing back his spectacles from the edge of his nose. Ashton shrugged, “He wanted power, just that”

Mr. Shaw shook his head, “There is no hope for you”

Ashton smiled and went back to scribbling in his notebook. He saw her disappointed face as she turned her attention back to Mr. Shaw. Her hazel brown hair were shining in the sunlight. Ashton glanced at Nate who was still staring at her. His fingers curled in a fist. Why she chose him over me, he thought.

As the class ended, she hurried out of the class with her boyfriend. He was holding her hand. Ashton pushed him aside intentionally. He ignored him and went back to talking to her.


“Akira” he murmured as she entered her room. She was getting ready for her best friend’s party. He blew out a smoke ring leaning against his bike and watched her through the window of the house. His phone rang.

“Dude, where are you? This party is amazing”

“I think I am going to skip it. I have some work”

“Look Ray brought some cool stuff. It is really amazing and…fun part is…it is illegal”

Ashton chuckled, “Well, then I’ll be there in a half-hour”

He hung up. As he was putting his helmet on, he saw Nate stepping down from his car. He checked his hair in the rear view mirror. His phone rang, he answered, “Hey dude… Yeah, I am just picking her up…yes, it is right. Tonight is the night…Of course she will agree, I am her boyfriend…Well, if she refuses, then also it will happen (laughing)…she is just naïve. She’ll do whatever I say”

He hung up. Ashton always knew something was wrong with him. Being a rich brat, made him a suitable match for her but deep down he had some secrets. He knew he was into drugs too but in front of her, he was a good guy. She walked out of the house. When she saw Nate, she ran to hug him. His hands travelled down her, down her hips. She pulled back asking, “What are you doing?”

She jerked back his hand. He laughed, “Okay, sorry about that”

She went to sit in the car. He put on his shades and slipped into driver’s seat. Ashton didn’t feel right about the way he looked at her. He drove after them and reached her best friend’s house.

His eyes were fixed on her. She entered the house which had neon lights on and loud music playing.

He waited for hours. When he sat back on his bike, he saw her running out of the house. He noticed that she was limping. He called out, “Hey, you need ride?”

She turned to see him. He could see the mascara down her cheek. She turned away and resumed walking. He drove his bike next her, surprising her for a moment. She yelled with tears building in her eyes, “I don’t need your help.”

He squinted his eyes to get a better look at her. He saw a bite on her neck. Realizing that he was staring at her neck, she asked, “What the hell are you looking at?”

“Did something happen?” he asked worried about the way she hugged herself. She shook her head, “That is none of your business”

He snorted, “Yeah, but it is not safe for you to walk alone in this condition”

He pointed to the tear of her skirt. She burst in tears. He wanted to hug her close but something inside him stopped him. He said, “Oh please, stop crying like a kid. The moment you ignored his first gesture of this sort.”

She sniffed and wiped off her tears. He asked, “So, you want the ride?”

Her innocent eyes met his, “And how can I be sure that you can be trusted?”

He put on his helmet saying, “I don’t think you have any choice”

She was standing there but crossing over the back seat, she said, “Well, I know your name but I know you are the bad guy in the school”

He laughed, “Yeah, your good guy turned out really well”

He started the bike. After a while, the bike ran out of petrol. He tried to start it again but failed. She asked, “What happened?”

“It ran out of petrol. We have to walk now”

She got off the bike and started walking ahead. He followed her to which she asked, “Why are you following me? I can handle myself”

His eyes observed her from top to bottom, “Yeah, you can handle yourself pretty well”

She bit her lower lip to control her tears. He noticed that and said, “Why do you pretend that you are strong? You are not strong. You are a weak girl who always needs someone to rescue her. But you should keep one thing in mind, not every time, someone will come for you. You have be your own hero”

She squinted her eyes, “Who are you to lecture me about all this?”

He shrugged, “No one actually. But you needed to know that”

“Well, I am not weak”

He gave a laugh, “Huh, yeah right”

She stomped her feet on ground, “I can be”

He leaned in saying, “Well, then punish him for what he did”

She was quiet. He nodded, “Knew that. You don’t have guts to do that”

Suddenly, she started walking to the direction they came from. He shook his head, “You don’t have that much courage to face him again”

Half-turned, she said, “Challenge accepted”


Akira was wearing the coat that Ashton bought her on the way. It covered her tattered clothes and her fresh scars. Running her fingers on the bite mark, she entered the house again. The music has gone down and most of the people have dozed off to sleep. Walking to the kitchen, she found her best friend kissing some random guy who was holding a cup in his one hand and holding her close with other. Ashton whispered to Akira, “Let’s check upstairs”

She climbed the stairs and found all the bedrooms occupied. Ashton knocked on every door making an excuse that he wants to use the bathroom. At last they found the room in which Nate answered, “Dude, it is occupied”

Chill ran through her spine. She didn’t know what she is going to do. Curling her fingers in a fist, she knocked on the door. Nate yelled, “Did you not get what I said?”

She continued knocking. Finally, irritated by the constant knocking, he unlocked the door. She noticed he was standing there in his underpants. On seeing her, he smirked, “I knew you would come back to your senses”

She walked in the room and saw a random girl wrapped in the bed sheet. Turning to Nate, Akira asked, “Did you also forced her or she did it willingly?”

Nate rubbed his chin, “She was easy. But I don’t easy things. I like things hard to get like you”

Stepping closer, he held her hand. Ashton was watching all this from the entrance. He could see the fire burning inside Akira. She walked to the girl and picking up her clothes from the floor, she told her, “You should better get out of here before I call your parents”

The girl took her clothes and ran out of the room. Then, Akira strode across the room and punched him straight in face. He lost his balance for a second. Checking his face, he said, “You are in big trouble, girl”

He grabbed her arm tightly but she kicked him in his leg which made him lose his balance. While he was on the floor, she started kicking him in the stomach saying, “That is for every other girl out there who gets forced by the guy like you”

He started crying in pain. People were crowding in the hallway to see him get beaten by her. Lastly kicking him in his private area, she said, “Never ever call a girl a thing”

She stormed out of the room. People made way for her to walk out of the house. Ashton followed her with a big smile on his face.


“I thought you were going to kill him” Ashton exclaimed while she walked beside him hugging herself tightly. She replied wiping her tears, “I trusted him. I can’t believe that he would turn out to be like this”

He chuckled, “Well, it is because you are naïve.”

She glared at him. He put his hands in air saying, “Before you beat me up, let me complete. I meant it in a good way. I mean you want to see anyone can be good. For example, just look at me”

She was confused, “What?”

“You are here with me. Why? You could have easily gone home with anyone else”

Shrugging, she turned her gaze back to the road. He continued, “I am wondering that too. Are you not scared of me?”

“Why would I be scared of you? Because you are the bad guy of school? I don’t think that can be the reason for being scared of you. Plus good guys didn’t turn out to the ones that I imagined, so why not trust bad guy for once”

She smiled a little. He nodded, “See, exactly my point. You try to see good in people”

Looking at him again, she asked, “How do you know so much about me? I didn’t knew you even knew my name”

“I knew your name the moment I walked in the school. And I say that name everyday”

“Really, why?”

He didn’t respond. She thought for moment, “Oh”

He put him hands in his pocket and shook his head, “It is okay. You don’t have to love me. I am happy like this”

She nodded. He was walking ahead of her now. She stopped for a moment and asked, “Were you the one who sent me the letter a year ago?”

He stopped but didn’t look back. He didn’t knew she got the letter. The letter which had all his feelings poured in words. The letter which he forgot about. The letter which had all the beautiful lyrics of her favorite songs.

She asked again, “Just say yes or no, Ashton”

He smirked, “It feels weird to hear my name in voice”

“Did you…?”

He shook his head, “No, I don’t know what letter you are talking about. Maybe you have got more admirers than you thought. What was this letter about?”

“Nothing, just some really beautiful things”

She sighed and walked to him. As they resumed walking, she said, “You know, my mum used to tell me all those fairy-tales. A princess meets a prince and falls in love with him. Then, she is captured by a dragon and prince comes to rescue her. After the dragon is killed, they both live happily ever after. Now, I wonder what will happen if prince became the one capturing the princess?”

He replied with a smirk, “Then she becomes a hero for herself. What will happen if dragon fell for princess? Will she accept him?”

She shrugged, “That depends on the dragon. If he promises to rescue her the next time prince came for her”

He laughed, “I don’t think after what princess did, prince would be able to face any girl again”

She laughed too, entwining her fingers with his. She replied, “Maybe, princess will give dragon a chance”

He smiled as he hugged her tightly.