Hey guys.

Giving the current events in America I wanted to share this story.

I wrote it, without knowing about the events these past days, but now knowing what happened I feel like it's a 'good' time to post this, if there even is a right time to post a story like this.

I know it can be a sensitive topic for some of you guys, so be careful while reading this and I hope you're all alright.

My deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all the victims in Texas, California and Ohio.

I'm so sorry for your losses.

This story wasn't proof read and I still don't have a beta so it might have some mistakes in it, so I just wanted to say I'm sorry for any mistakes.

Note: My other stories are on hold for some time, I want to have them finished before updating again, because I want to be able to update regularly and with everything going on in my life right now I can't assure regular updates at this point.

Now continue on, enjoy and please read and review

~ xo-RozaBelikova-ox ~

When I woke up this morning I surely never expected this day to turn out the way it did.

In the beginning everything was normal. I got up, had Breakfast alone, since my parents were already at work or somewhere else.

The drive to school with the school bus was uneventful as the day before.

I was sitting next to my best friend Lissa, who was talking about her plans for the weekend with her boyfriend Christian.

I was half listening to her ramblings, half daydreaming about this new guy in class. Dimitri Belikov. He was hot, but kind of kept to himself.

As per usual I couldn't wait for my English class to start, because that was the class where he was sitting almost next to me, so clearly that was the best part of my day.

I would be sitting two seats beside him and writing down his name and mine, DIMITR + ROSE all over the whole page. It would be so embarrassing if he would find one of these pages, but I did it anyway.

However this day turned out to be very different.

The atmosphere was a little strange. There had been a shooting at another school in our city some days ago.

Since this school was just some miles away from ours, it was effecting us as well. It just makes you realize that this shooting could have been at your school, unlike when it happens somewhere else, in another city or another country.

Of course you always imagine it to be happening at your school, but the distance between these schools makes you feel safer than you really are.

So our teachers thought it necessary to talk to us about school shootings and what events are leading students to get a gun and kill their friends and then most of the times themselves.

So this is where we are now.

Sitting in our classroom, waiting for our teacher Ms. Karp to start her lesson. She was trying to get the TV ready. Apparently we would be watching a movie. Most likely some Hollywood drama about a school shooting.

I couldn't have been more wrong and right at the same time.

"So guys, as you all now the local high school some miles west from us had to go through a tragedy last week. There had been a shooting and our school thinks it's the perfect opportunity to make you more aware of how these things can happen and how you can prevent it to happen here. Some of you might have already experienced a shooting or something like that at your previous school."

At these words I had to restrain myself from letting my mind keep wandering back to painful memories from my old school.

"Anyway, I want to show you these interview clips and pictures of students who either committed suicide in form of a school shooting or kids who survived one. I want you to write down what their motives and feelings are before and after the shooting. And if at any point one of you feels like it's too much or you need a break, don't hesitate and step out for some minutes. I don't want you to feel uncomfortable during these clips, but I want you to open up your minds. Maybe you find some things that you are doing yourself that others would feel offended or hurt by and that these things might lead them to look for this way out of their lives."

Without much more introduction she started the film.

It was just so surreal to hear them talk about these past events in their lives, but the lessons went by without anyone leaving the class.

Besides the interviews, all you could hear were the pencils on our papers, writing everything important down.

It was half way through when I froze. This voice. My head shot up, my eyes landing on the familiar picture of a boy with freckles and red hair. Instantly my heart was heavy and I felt tears sting in my eyes. My throat felt like it was closing, like I couldn't breathe.

I gulped and my pencil fell out of my hand, but I couldn't move. All I could do was staring at the photo of this boy, hearing his voice from an emergency call he made during a shooting.

In my peripheral vision I was vaguely aware of Lissa staring at me and I could swear I even saw Dimitri sitting up straighter, leaning forward to look at me.

"You need to help us" the boy in the audio was frantically telling the police officer. "There's this guy…. and… and he has a gun. M-my friend was shot in the right arm….We're hiding in the library…"

By now this boy was crying and my hand found the spot where the boy said that his friend was shot.

Images of students running around frantically, screaming and this boy holding his shot friend in his arms, crying, came back into my head.

"You have to wake up, be strong… She's not going to die… She can't die..." He was more talking to himself than to the officer on the phone.

"What's your name, son?" it was the police officer's voice, obviously trying to get this boy's mind off of his hurt friend in his arms.

"M-ma..." he took a deep breath and started again "Mason. My name is Mason Ashford."

That's when you could hear a door open in the background, then a peng, a shot and the phone call disconnected.

In the exact same moment I rose from my chair and ran out of the classroom.

I couldn't breathe. Even after all those years these memories are still hunting me.

I felt like I could feel the bullet in my right arm.

"Rose?" A voice behind me called.

I turned around to the voice. Behind me was Dimitri. Apparently he followed me after I panicked and ran away.

Standing there, unsure, some feet away from me was my crush and all I could do was stare for some seconds.

When I turned around completely and he saw my tears strained face he stepped closer without hesitation and I threw myself into his arms and cried into his chest. He closed his arms around me and the both of us stood like this for some moments.

"Are you alright? I mean you obviously aren't alright, since you are standing here outside, crying." Dimitri took a step away from me. His arms resting on my shoulders he held me away, looking at me questioningly. "Do you want to talk about it?"

I slightly shook my head. "Not here, but thank you." I let my eyes fall onto his upper body. "I'm sorry for ruining your shirt."

I pointed at his chest where he had wet spots from my tears and some mascara smeared on his grey shirt.

He chuckled lightly. "No problem, it's nothing. Don't worry about it. I'll just clean it up later or change into my spare shirt I keep in my locker."

Even though what just happened, I couldn't help but realize how sweet he looked in this moment.

He lifted his hand to caress my cheek.

Before one of us could say something else, the classroom door opened again, the other students left and Ms. Karp called us to come back. We apparently had been standing out here longer than I thought because the class was already over.

Lissa told me she would wait outside and then left as well.

With just Ms. Karp and Dimitri left I cleared my voice.

"I'm sorry I ran out of class like that, it was just that-"

"No Rose, you don't have to apologize or explain yourself. Like I said in the beginning, just step out when you need a break. I know that things like that can be a sensitive topic. But I hope you're alright now?" she tilted her head slightly and smiled.

I nodded yes. "Hm, yes, thank you and I'm sorry again. It won't happen another time."

She just shook her head, still smiling and took her stuff to leave as well.

The incident in our English class was some days ago, but I still heard the others talking about it.

Even though they don't know anything about it, they say that I'm just on my period, because clearly, this reaction was so exaggerated.

I really had to restrain myself from going to them, slapping them and screaming into their faces to shut up because they don't know shit about me or what had happened back then.

But there is a good site to this event.

Dimitri and I now spent the breaks together and my crush starts to develop into something more.

I wouldn't say that I'm in love with him, because that takes time, but I develop a serious crush on him, more than the previous one which was basically just based on his looks. I now get to know his personality which is as amazing as his outer appearance.

But after the last lesson I dreaded to go back into English class.

Unfortunately I don't have another choice. The good part is that I switched seats with Lissa so now I was sitting directly next to Dimitri.

Since we were in class earlier we were already sitting in our chairs when the rest of the students filled the room.

Luckily no one seems to be stupid enough to mention my break down from last lesson. Or so I thought…

Ms. Karp asked us about the video, what we wrote down, what our thoughts are after some days have passed.

Jesse was talking about how he thought that most students overreacted and that one should have just gone up to that guy and unarmed him, then everything would have turned out better when he looked back at me and continued speaking.

"But when there are students who are flipping out just when they are hearing about something like a gun than it's no wonder no one got the gut to speak up and defend themselves. So I would say it's their fault. I mean Rose can't even hear about it without breaking down, so she would probably be the first one to be sh-"

"Enough, Mr. Zeklos! You better not be finishing this sentence or I have to remove you from this class and send you to Headmistress Kirova." Ms. Karp was interrupting him.

I pulled my hand into fists, tears threatening to fall from my eyes.

It was enough, after all the past days and all of these rude comments about what happened. It just was enough.

"I'm Sorry, Ms. Karp." He turned around and even without this smirk on his face you could hear in his voice that he wasn't sorry at all. "Sorry I made you cry again, Rose. But you should really stop being such a pussy, I mean you don't have to be afraid. There is no one here with a gun."

He finished, Avery and Meredith laughed like hyenas.

That's when I snapped. I jumped out of my seat and attacked Jesse. Dimitri was quick though and tried to get me off of him, holding me away from Jesse.

"You bastard have no idea what you are talking about. You don't fucking know what it is like to be in a shooting." My tears start spilling and I screamed at him, at all of them who had talked behind my back about this.

"You don't know how this fear feels like, to have to find a place to hide, hearing all these people, your friends, die, while you're praying that the shooter won't find you. You have no fucking idea how much it hurts to be shot, to be thinking you're dying in your best friend's arms, only to see him being shot in the head while you're lying in his arms. Do you know how guilty you feel for surviving something like this, just because the shooter thought you were already dying painfully?! How much it still hurts years after it, and how much it pains to then see the face of your dead best friend unexpected in some school video and hearing his call to the police station at that day. It's like seeing a ghost. Do you know that? Do you? So don't you fucking dare to say anything about me or anything about something like this, because you know nothing!"

When I was finished the whole class was silent and I sacked back, all the energy leaving my body. Dimitri was the only think holding me upright in this moment.

I felt like blacking out any moment, but I never did.

It was silent until Ms. Karp ended class earlier, asking me to stay behind. Jesse was send to the headmistress and I asked Dimitri to stay behind with me.

I would have asked Lissa as well but I couldn't see her sympathetic looks right now and for some reason Dimitris look wasn't full of pity but understanding and support.

We both stayed behind again, just like last time.

And just like last time I started to apologize, but Ms. Karp interrupted me.

"No, it's my time to apologize, Rose. I should have asked if someone had been in a shooting and where it was to make sure that this shooting wasn't included in this video."

Silence again.

This conversation was really weird, but after I assured her that I'm fine and she doesn't have to feel bad, we all left the class room.

Since Dimitri and I had already planned to spend the afternoon at his house we both started walking towards his place.

After some moments of comfortable silence Dimitri spoke up for the first time after leaving the classroom.

"So you were the girl this boy, Mason, talked about? The girl that had been shot?" Dimitri asked hesitantly.

I looked straight ahead, avoiding his eyes.

"Yes…. And I survived while he died. All of it just because he stayed behind to look after me. If he would have just ran away like the rest, he might have survived. This guy wouldn't have found him with me, he wouldn't have shot him into the head, while Mase talked to this officer. It's all my fault that he died, I should have dies inst-" I rambled on, but Dimitri pulled me to a halt.

"Rose, stop!" Surprisingly I could see anger in his eyes. "Don't you ever say something like this again. It's not your fault. I know you feel guilty and everything, but you really have to stop that. You couldn't have done anything. It's a tragedy, but not your fault, do you understand me?"

Even though he was trying to make me see reason, I couldn't stop myself from saying the next sentences. "No, I don't! And you don't understand that either. Just like I told everyone in class today. You guys know nothing about it. You don't know what it's like to think you're dying in your friends arms just to see them die instead!" I could see tears form in his eyes and regretted getting so worked up about it. I mean deep down I know he's right, but my heart don't want to accept this.

"I do." His hoarse voice sounded so vulnerable I just blinked, a little confused at this confession.

"Rose, I do. I had been in a shooting at school as well. And just like Mason, my best friend Ivan died, but I was the one holding him in my arms." His shoulders slumped down and he took my hand, drawing soothing circles on my hand.

"And this girl would have shot me as well, hadn't the police unarmed her in this moment. I always thought it was my fault, that if I had been quicker, that if I would have found him just moments earlier that I could have been the one to protect him, or die while trying to protect him. So yes, I know very well what you are going through. I know what it's like to wish for being the one who had died instead."

Without saying anything I hugged him and felt some tears on my shoulders where he laid his head.

"But you couldn't have done anything, Dimitri."

With that he laughed, although the laugh was still a little sad.

"You see, now you are telling me exactly what I told you before. Do you now understand what I was trying to make you realize. It's neither of us who has the fault for what happened to our best friends. We're just lucky that we are still alive and that we have the chance to live our lives for them. Through us they can still live on."

I smiled at that and we removed our arms from around each other. While walking the rest of the way we talked about happy memories with our best friends and held each other's hands.

When we arrived at his house it was empty. His family wasn't home yet, since we were home earlier after Ms. Karp had let us go, even though class wasn't finished, because of what happened with Jesse.

So now we were sitting in front Dimitri's bed in his room.

Our homework was already done and we sat with our backs leant against his bed, listening to some music.

"Can I see it?" Dimitri asked after some more moments of silence.

I looked at him confused.

He saw my look and started speaking again. "Oh, I mean… your scar. You do have one right? After the shoo…" his voice trailed off, unsure whether he had said something wrong.

Quickly I shook my head yes. "I do have a scar. I can show you." I smiled at him shyly. I was a little nervous. No one had ever seen my scar. I always wore sleeves long enough to cover it up. Even Lissa didn't knew about the shooting before and therefor hadn't seen the scar.

With slightly trembling fingers I removed my jacket from the right shoulder, down so he could see my scar, where the bullet had hit my arm.

He held up his fingers, hesitantly caressing my scar. I didn't flinched and Dimitri brought his lips to my scar to slightly kiss it.

I blushed as he looked up at me again.

"You are even more beautiful when you blush, do you know that?"

And then we both leaned closer and our lips touched.

I couldn't believe he was kissing me, but soon we were both lost in this kiss.

All the memories and everything that had happened these last few days was forgotten as I felt his lips on mine.