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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12. 'Tori, wait!'

One month had passed since I'd started going out with Daniel; early December. Reuben stayed well away, well, that's what everyone thought. Reuben had turned sixteen, and I'd gotten him a new guitar. Sounds expensive, which it was, but it was worth it. 

I don't think it counts as cheating, does it? I mean, I was with Daniel, but I talked to Reuben. We weren't doing anything with our relationship. I just stayed up all night with him, had long, meaningful conversations... but we weren't together. No one saw us together anyway, so it wouldn't matter. It's not cheating. Although, if I was going to cheat, Daniel would not be the person to do it on.

At first, everything was great, and I wondered why I hadn't agreed to it before. He was sweet, not too clingy, gave me compliments, you know, typical boyfriend. But after two weeks he... changed. I don't know why. He was the same when we were with other people, but once we were alone, he was like a different person.

He became aggressive, extremely dominant and just plain horrible. He hurt me. Physically. Yes, Daniel actually beat me. I had no idea what I'd done, he just did it! After just two weeks of a relationship as well! Everything is just going far too fast! 

Every thing he did actually really hurt me. The slaps weren't so bad, but they left red hand marks on my face. I had bruises along my arms and legs. I tried to tell someone, but he threatened me. The worst part was, I knew he wouldn't hesitate to enforce his threats. The only person who knew was Reuben.

When I told him, the look of pure anger was shocking. He looked like he wanted to get up, find Daniel, and murder him. 

Oh yeah, another thing, I found out where Reuben was living. As a matter of fact, he was living in that horrible place. That's where we talked. Anywhere else, and I'd be caught.

The paint was peeling off the walls. The wooden floorboards creaked with slight pressure and the wood was slowly decaying. It didn't smell too bad, but there was definitely a hint of must. Some windows were smashed, giving the place a chill, but most were intact. I had asked him about the whole haunted thing, he laughed, shook his head, and told me he'd explain another time. What was that supposed to mean?

Still, I hadn't found out about his parents, I didn't want to push him too far. I knew he'd come around in the long run. Well, at the pace things were currently going, it wouldn't be long. 

I didn't care that Daniel hurt me. Just as long as he didn't hurt anyone else. I was being forced into still going out with him, though. Ollie knew nothing of it. If he did, Daniel would be long gone, yet there was still that threat. Maybe Cade would be able to do something about it. He'd be coming down in a few days.

Maybe he wasn't that bad.

Maybe it was all an act.

He was just so weak.

Ha, if only.

In school, I was a popular bitch. I hated it so much. I ditched occasionally too. It was genuinely horrible and I regretted everything.

It was twenty days until Christmas. That gave me twenty days to figure out how to dump Daniel. I don't know why it had to be done before Christmas, it just felt like a deadline for some reason. Well, I've got other things to do first.

I was spending the night with Reuben again. We'd just talk, you know, about life. He was teaching me to play guitar. Every time the subject of a guitar came up, he'd thank me for the one I'd bought him. It was cute, really. 

Whenever we were together, we never fell asleep. There was just so much to say, so much to do, so little time. He had converted one of the rooms in the house to make it decent. It was upstairs, the window wasn't broken, and there was a little bit of furniture. 

He had a camp bed, but nothing else except for a table kind of thing. It was tiny, though. He kept all of his clothes neatly folded in the corner, his school books and stuff all stacked tidily. His guitar was usually propped against the wall. It was actually okay. The paint wasn't too bad in that room either. 

I glanced at my phone for the time: 5:00 AM. My parents would wake up soon, and I had to get back before that. 

"Bye," I said to him.

We were downstairs, at the door, keeping it closed against the December weather.

"Bye," he enveloped me in a bear hug, and I buried my face into his chest.

We both pulled back, and our eyes met, "I love you," I whispered. It just literally slipped out of my mouth with no permission.

Quickly, I blushed, opened the door, and left.

"Tori! Wait!" he called after me.

I froze, dreading to hear what he'd say. I turned around, facing him.

"I love you, too," he smiled, and waved me off.

I smiled back, vaulted over the wall separating the gardens, suddenly even more awake.

Wow. That's just one month.

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