I Know You're There

At every single school, there's always an emo that gets bullied. The one at Tori's school is different. He still gets bullied, and he never speaks, and no one ever sees him outside of school. There are rumours. Many of them. The main one, his parents have abandoned him. Tori starts suspecting that he lives in the abandoned house next to hers. As she starts getting close to him, and unveiling the horrific truth, she realised his pure beauty. If only everyone else could too...

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9. 'I think we should...'

I thought he would anyway. Instead, he did the complete opposite.

Outside of my science class, he leant against the wall, staring at his phone screen. A frown stole his usual smile. This wasn't good.

"Hey, have you seen it?" I asked, flicking my fringe out of my eyes.

"Yeah..." he didn't look up, just continued staring. An empty shine was in his eyes and he looked almost lost.

An awkward silence fell, and neither of us started walking. This was not going to be good. This was going to be bad. Very bad. Had he been bullied about it? If he did, then it was all my fault.

"I think we should... break up..." he finally looked up, and that empty look was still there.

It felt like he'd punched me in the stomach with a simple six words. Six bloody words just knocked me into reality. Happy Ever After doesn't exist, some idiot always has to mess it up. In this case, the idiot was Daniel. My brothers best friend. That's just not right.

"What... why?" I whispered, taking one tender step forward.

"People have just been saying... stuff... about you behind your back, and it's my fault..." he looked back down, scuffing his shoe on the gravel.

Some people walked past us, insulting us, as if to prove Reuben's point.

"But..." I started, but stopped, really not knowing what to say. Hundred of ideas popped into my head, but I couldn't actually say any of them. They all got lost on the way to my mouth from my brain.

"Sorry, but it's for you," Reuben met my eyes with his and turned away, beginning to walk away from me.

"But..." I said it louder, he paused for a second. When I didn't continue my protest, he left me, standing there; lost.

It was lke half of my life was ripped away from me. I'd only known him for, what, a week or two? That didn't matter to me. It felt like I'd known him for years. I didn't know how he saw me. I started seeing myself as an overly attached girlfriend... I knew what I would do.

Step one: Harden my heart.

Step two: Forget Reuben even exists.

Step three: Go out with Daniel.

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