The Past

Landon is shy, lonely, mysterious. But he was popular, once.
The years since his father was murdered he's been an outsider. No one really matters to him, no one seems to care. But then, for the first time in years, someone attempts to become his friend - Attalia, a timid young girl, friendly as ever.
Suddenly, he feels like he has someone to talk to. Suddenly, none of this is a nightmare.
But when he finds out the truth of Attalia's past, he realises that maybe their friendship can't be what it seems.
After all, he's been open with her, whilst she's been hiding the darkest secrets...

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10. Attalia - 'You alright there?'

When I walk into school this morning, I'm feeling confident that I'm going to have a better day than yesterday. Dumping myself in my seat in form, I notice the boy beside me, Landon, head in hands. I lean over cautiously.

"Hey, you alright there?"

He looks up, teary eyed. Digging around in my bag I find a tissue and hand it to him.

"Thanks." He doesn't look me in the eye.

"What's up?" I persist, wanting to know what's wrong, just in case I can help.

He looks up, eyes blazing. "Family problems. That's all. Nothing you could help with."

I turn back to the front as he finishes to say this. I still wonder what could have made him so upset, but I decide to give him a rest. When I look over my timetable, I notice that I have English next, but I'm not sure where the room is.

"Do you know where room 11 is?" I turn to face Landon again.

There's a slight silence before he replies.

"I'll take you there. I'm only next door."

I smile, zipping my mouth as the teacher walks in. Landon half-smiles back.

 

It's half way through English when I start to feel terribly bored. My eyes drift out the window in the door, placing on the eyes of someone else behind the door opposite. Chocolate brown hair and bright blue eyes. It's Landon. And for some reason I don't notice the way he dresses or the way his hair sits so scruffy on the top of his head. Instead, I think I rather like him. Just as a friend.

I wave, not really thinking, and the teacher is soon onto me.

"What do you think you're doing?" She questions, approaching my desk.

"Sorry, I just knew him, so..."

"No excuse." She states, "You need to be listening to me not examining someone you have a crush on."

The class sniggers and my face turns as red as a tomato.

"I don't like him in that way," I mutter.

"Don't worry. She made fun of me and this other guy last year." Suddenly the person beside me is comforting me.

"Oh. That's harsh." I comment, taking in her green eyes and the way her ponytail just dangles from her head.

"That's Mrs Green."

It's funny how you can be so friendly with someone for a few minutes, and then it just seems like awkward silence. I don't speak to Claire, the person beside me, for the rest of the lesson, and I don't really intend to.

That is, until, she asks me something.

"So, do you actually like that guy?" She nods her head to him.

"No. I said that before."

"You could have been lying." She raises her eyebrows at me.

*Bring*

I jump at the bell and she laughs.

"Just friends." I say, packing my stuff away in my bag.

"But not yet, right?"

"Right." I repeat, telling her that I want to be his friend but I haven't exactly expressed that yet.

It's only when everyone starts to leave that she calls out "Good luck!" and I thank her, disappearing into the crowd. I'm almost to the bottom of the stairs when I feel a hand on my shoulder. I turn around expecting it to be Claire, but I'm pleasantly surprised.

"Landon! Hey!" I only realise afterwards how enthusiastic I sound, as if I've known him for years.

"Um, well, I just wondered if..."

His voice is barely audible above the crowd. I grab his arm, in which he slightly flinches, and lead him outside into the peace and quiet.

"Sorry, it was a little too claustrophobic in there. Plus extremely loud!"

"True. I just wanted to ask if you wanted to come to the canteen with me."

I stare at him.

"Well, just coz you haven't been before so I thought that if I'm going I might as well show you around there, sort of thing." he continues to explain.

I smile, knowing that really he wants to be my friend too.

"Sure." I say, and then we're off, side by side, walking through the dew-dropped grass to the food-filled cafeteria.

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