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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4. 'I was wondering... Is this a joke?'

I didn't sleep that night. He was constantly flicking through my thoughts. Some of it was over how much I liked him, some of it was over the mysteries he still held. Did he have parents? Did he like me back? Did he live in that house? I still needed to know. I would find each one out over a longer period of time, otherwise it could be a bit much for him. The main question was, was I willing to be seen publicly with him?

"Tori! Get up!" Ollie shouted from just outside my room.

I groaned and dragged myself out of bed. This was insane. 

With a mind full of questions, I showered and got dressed into my school uniform. It consisted of a black skirt with black tights, a white shirt, a purple blazer and a purple tie with white stripes. It was a decent uniform, better than the other secondary school in our town. Skipping breakfast, I brushed my teeth.

Since I had P.E. that day, I braided my hair into a side plait, the fringe hanging out, and found my school bag. All of the text and exercise books I needed were inside of it, along with my pencil case. I shoved my lunch into the bag, and ran downstairs. I never wore make up for two reasons. One; I couldn't actually apply it. Two; I didn't want to be fake. Okay, on special occasions, I wore a bit, but other than that, I avoided it.

I slipped my black ballet pumps on, and left, shouting a goodbye to my family. Ollie usually left about ten minutes after me. I liked to be early.

About a hundred yards ahead of me, Reuben was walking along the pavement, carrying his guitar again.

I ran to catch up with him. In the split second it took me to start running, I decided I'd risk being publicly seen with him. I didn't care any more.

"Hey," I said, slowing down and catching my breath.

"Hey," he smiled at me. 

His hair wasn't pushed back, but he'd flicked it further, so I could see most of his eyes. It covered his top eyelashes, but I could still see that prominent blue. I smiled back, and walked next to him, really not caring what everyone would think. Maybe it was a bit drastic to say I loved him, but it was just... The way he smiled made me feel warm inside. His cute habits made my heart skip a beat. His personality fitted perfectly to what I was looking for. It was insane. Absolutely insane. 

"You okay?" he asked when I didn't say anything.

"Yeah, sorry. Bit distracted," I answered, clenching and unclenching my fists against this damn cold weather.

"So... I was wondering... Is this a joke?" he looked away from me, trying not to change the pitch in his voice. I heard it anyway.

"What? What do you mean?" I frowned, and scuffed one shoe along the concrete pavement. 

He blushed, "I mean, like... well, I don't really have any friends... and you are being nice to me... is it a joke?" he chewed on the inside of his cheek, kind of afraid to hear my answer.

"Seriously?... No! Of course it's not a joke!" I threw my arms to the sides in an exasperated way, almost offended that he'd think that. To be honest, it was fair enough that he thought that, but still.

"Thanks," he smiled, but didn't flash his teeth.

I relaxed again. Good, he believed me. 

"So, why are you being nice to me?" he swung his arms by his sides, and I was tempted to hold one of his hands...

Why was I being nice to him? 

"Well, why not?" I couldn't come up with an answer, so that was close enough.

"Fair enough," he chuckled, and flicked his hair to the side with a sharp turn of his head. 

A comfortable silence fell over us. I used the time to think about why I was actually doing this. I came up with no conclusion. Was it because I felt sorry for him? Was it because I'd fell for him? 

"Tori? Why are you with... him..." my 'best' friend, Emily-Rose came up to me, sizing Reuben up with a death glare.

"Because I-"

"She was just telling me to go away," Reuben interrupted me.

I turned on him, searching for an answer. He just shook his head slightly, in a way of telling me just to go with it.

"Then why are you still here?" Emily hissed.

Reuben drooped his head, facing the floor, and just walked away. What!? Emily turned her back on him, and he turned around again, facing me. He gave me a crooked smile, dropped a slip of paper on the floor, and held his hand up to his ear in a phone symbol. Call me he mouthed. I nodded my head slightly, before casually walking over to the piece of paper.

When Emily wasn't looking, I picked it up and shoved it in my pocket. I would probably text him as soon as I got the chance. He flashed a full smile as he turned at the end of the corridor, and I gave him one of my own.

Emily blabbed on about something, but I really couldn't give a damn. After all, I had Reuben's number.

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