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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2. 'I'm not a bully, I'm just Tori.'

 

I let myself into my house, and immediately went up to my room. I shouted a 'I'm home' to my parents, and pulled out my laptop. I sat at my desk, placed my Samsung laptop on top of it, and logged in. My brother was playing guitar next door to my room. And it was not gentle acoustic. It was painfully bad heavy metal on a state of the arts electric guitar. Sure, Ollie was good at singing and playing guitar, he just never really put it to use. 

I knocked on the wall separating our rooms in a warning way. He knocked back, a lot harder, telling me he wasn't going to shut up. 

"Ollie! Shut up!" I shouted. 

"No! Tori, you shut up!" he shouted back.

He was sixteen, my twin, older by ten minutes, and extremely immature. We were identical, which was weird considering he was a guy, and I was a girl. We both inherited dirty blond hair from our Mum, green eyes from my Dad, shortness from my Mum, and our facial structure from a bit of both. Our personalities were complete opposites though. Well, actually, we were alike that way too, but I convinced myself that we had some differences. 

I tutted, and opened up some tabs, just browsing the internet. About half an hour into my boringness of nothing, something caught my eye out of the window. 

Reuben was leaving his 'house', carrying something green. It looked like an apron, but I didn't know. He was also carrying a guitar case, obviously with a guitar in it. I didn't know he played...

"Tori! Come downstairs!" my Mum shouted up the stairs.

I quickly locked my laptop, knowing that Ollie would try and hack into it. Almost tripping, I managed to get into the kitchen.

"Can you go to Starbucks and get these," she handed me a yellow sticky note, some orders jotted down.

"Who are they for?" I asked, taking note that there were seven orders.

"I've got some friends coming over later, there's one for Ollie, and you can get something if you want," she handed me some notes of money, which I shoved into my pocket. 

"'Kay," I went back up to my room.

I had already changed into a pair of indigo skinny jeans and a white and black stripy tee, so I grabbed my black leather jacket, in case it was cold. I pulled on a pair of black Converse baseball boots, and left the house.

As soon as I stepped outside, I pulled the jacket on, due to the frosty air. It was early November, and we'd recently returned to school from the one week holiday you get in October. I double checked the money was in my pocket, and closed the front garden gate behind me, shoving my hands in my pockets.

It was freezing and more like winter rather than autumn. I pondered over how I was going to manage carrying eight cups of coffee back, but I could probably use those cardboard trays, one for each hand. 

The warmth of Starbucks made me shiver. The walk wasn't too long, only ten minutes or so, but I was numb against that weather. The bitter smell of coffee made me wrinkle my nose, but I loved the taste of it. The smell gave me headaches if I stayed for too long, however, I'd just put up with it.

"Reuben, you can leave after you serve that customer," a girl shouted from the other side of the café. 

For only 4:30, the place was pretty dead.

"Okay, thanks," a boy shouted back.

Wait- Reuben?

"Hi, what can I get for you?" a boy with dark hair asked me, leaning on the edges of the cash register.

He had his hair pushed back underneath a khaki coloured slouch beanie, revealing his eyes. They were bright blue. Like, really bright. There wasn't any green or any dark blue in them, just pure, bright blue. His jawline and cheek structure were even more prominent with his hair pushed back. Damn it, Reuben was hot. 

"Hi, those eight please," I handed him the sticky note, saving my embarrassment of not being able to pronounce half of the drinks. 

"Okay, hang on a sec," he tapped some numbers into the register, quite quickly, pulled out a receipt  and gave it to me, after I'd paid, "Name please?" he asked, picking up eight cups.

"Tori," I told him.

His voice was extremely husky, and it was a shame I couldn't hear more of it in school. 

"'Kay. I'll get those for you," he jotted my name down on all eight cups, before moving over to blend the many drinks I'd ordered. 

About fifteen minutes passed, and he'd finished all of the drinks, slipping them into the cardboard trays.

"Thanks," I said, and managed to pick both trays up without spilling anything. 

He smiled, flashing his white teeth. It was the first time I'd seen him smile properly.

Awkwardly, I pushed the door open with my shoulder. So, the green apron he was carrying earlier was his work uniform. He worked in Starbucks. A minimum wage job. 

There were two occasions where I almost dropped both trays. On the third time, someone caught the tray I was dropping before it fell. 

"Need some help?" a pair of blue eyes were looking down at me. 

"Yeah, thanks," I blushed, and held the tray I had left with two hands.

"So, it's Tori, right?" he smiled again, starting to walk.

He had the guitar case on his back.

"Yep, Reuben, right?" I replied.

"Yeah... You don't go to Penrice... do you?" he cringed slightly, and I could tell that he already knew the answer. Penrice was our secondary school.

"Yes, I do. But I'm not a bully, I'm just Tori," I laughed, and he relaxed.

"Thanks," once again, he smiled.

His smile was actually perfect. And extremely rare. Except for today, today he was smiling a lot. 

"So, you play guitar?" I half-asked half-stated, gesturing to the guitar on his back.

"Yeah, I usually busk after work, but my boss let me off an hour early, and you were kind of struggling, so, yeah," he laughed slightly after everything he said. That was kind of cute...

"Cool. My brother plays. He's good, he just doesn't really... use that talent well," I glanced up at the sky, trying to find a word that would describe Ollie.

He laughed again, shrugging his shoulders so that the guitar case stayed in place. I don't know why Reuben even got bullied. Well, other than the fact he was kind of Gothic, but he wasn't. He just looked Gothic. Emo's don't laugh and smile as much as what Reuben was. The only thing about Reuben that was Gothic, was his style, his shyness and his reluctancy.

We got to my house all too quickly. He was such a nice guy, and you don't get many of them any more.

"Hey, do you wanna come in for dinner? I'd love to hear you play, too," I tried asking him subtly, but it was pretty difficult.

"Of course, as long as it's not a problem," he was so polite, too.

"Not at all."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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