-Michael's Point Of View-
I roll my eyes, hating this dick of a teacher more and more every day. "Michael, your grade is failing, you barely show up, and you don't pay attention when you do decide to show up, you're going to need more credits because I don't want to fail you." He says and I let out a sigh. "I get that you don't want to, but, Michael, this is easy" he says, and I hardly believe that. "Just a four page paper on something you're passionate about okay, due tomorrow morning." He says and I can't help my jaw drop. "Tomorrow?" I ask, trying to keep my voice cool but on the inside I'm in a panic. "Yes tomorrow. Just spend the rest of today at the library and you should be fine." He says and walks away. Fucking teachers and their fucking bullshit.
I've been failing this class and now to fix this shit he wants me to do some stupid fucking paper, that's four fucking pages. Bitch.
School rushes by and i skip my last class so I can walk home and grab my laptop and a few things I'll need at the library. I grab my iPod and earbuds, hoping maybe my time at the library won't be a complete waste of time. I text my mate Calum to meet me there so I don't look like a loner and roll my eyes at myself because this is just bullshit. I quickly run down the stairs with my laptop and avoid any small talk my mum will want to make. The walk to the library is short which is nice, the autumn weather slightly making me want to study outdoors. When I get to the library and head upstairs where the books and shit are for my age I get distracted by the comic books and end up grabbing a small pile to read because fuck it, I'm here, why not. I settle in the lounge part of the upstairs and enjoy the fact that there aren't any other people here. I put my iPod in and try to listen to music but I am sort of sick of the playlists that I have because I listen to them so often. I get up and grab a few CDs that I haven't listened to in awhile and a few that I've never listened to before and use my laptop to play them whilst I work on my paper.
"Something I Am Passionate About."
I start at the top of my new document. Naturally I get distracted and sit for an hour reading the comic books. "Shit" I mutter to myself when I see that I've wasted a whole hour. I think for awhile, I could do music, video games, comics, or I could do something really clever like pizza and piss my teacher off by handing in a four page paper on pizza. I smirk to myself about the idea but brush it off because I don't really want to type anything right now. I stare at my clock, waiting for Calum still.
The mandatory silence of the library gets interrupted as a bloke around my age drops a shitton of books at the entrance of the lounge. Without a second thought I go over and help him pick up the books, and fuck when I get a good look at him I'm blown away. Curly blondish brown hair slightly sweeps over his right eye and rests on his glasses, a bright smile on his face when he sees that he's being helped, and I swear to god he's the fittest bloke I've ever seen. "Hi. Sorry I was all loud and dropped all this shit" he says as I hand him a thick as hell grey book with black lettering that says "Famous stage plays" and that makes him fifteen times more attractive already. "Nah mate it's fine, it happens" I say and he smiles as I pass him the last of his books. I get up and he walks with his stack to a table a few away from mine and begins opening all of them and laying them out to see them better.
After about ten minutes of him shifting he gives up and places all his books on the floor and sits Indian style, more comfortably being able to overlook all his books. I smile when he takes his shoes off because that's really fucking weird but I like weird. He slips in earbuds and I notice that I've been staring at him since he sat down and I still haven't got anything but the title on my four pages due in around 17 hours. I notice him look over at me and his cheeks go red and i find it adorable. I go back to pondering what I'll do my paper on, frustrated with how fucking stupid this shit is. Cute nerdy kid gets up and walks over to the snack machines, passing me as he walks by and neither of us look at each other but I can tell he's smiling and so am I. He buys whatever it is and comes back but as he passes me he stops and says "wait woah fuck you listen to Green Day, Coldplay and My Chemical Romance?" I nod slowly in response. "Sick mate me too and you've got comic books too, wow" he says and I can't tell if he's making fun of me or being serious. "I'm Ashton" he says and gives me a slightly embarrassed wave. "Michael" I say and he nods. "Homework?" He asks and motions to my computer. "Yeah, fuckin four page I have to get done by tomorrow and I don't even have an idea of what it's gonna be about" I say and he nods slowly. "What are you suppose to write about?" He asks. "Something I Am Passionate About" I say and point to the screen. He nods and quickly replies "well comics or music could be cool" and I nod like it's a brand new idea. "Gotta get back to that" he points to his stuff and starts walking away slowly. "Hey are you just chillin by yourself today?" I ask. "Nah I'm meeting someone here, you?" He replies and I nod. "Yeah one of my mates"
I say and he sits back down on the floor by all his books. I begin to type, being encouraged by the cute nerd in the library was not exactly how I planned this homework session to go but i still enjoy it.
A blonde bloke that's all legs, blonde quiff and lip piercing comes in and as I assume sits next to Ashton and messes about but remains mostly quiet. I keep typing my paper but more than once I can feel eyes on me and by the way their voices get seemingly quiet I know they're talking about me.
"Music is my breath of life, my statement of defiance against conformity and my lifestyle fleshed out through a series of tunes and powerful lyrics." I type into my paper.
Finally Calum comes in, rushing, and collapsing in the chair next to me. "You just come out of a triathlon?" I ask and he laughs. "No dumbass I ran here" he says and pulls me into a hug. He looks over my paper and nods. "I like it so far" he says. "Four fuckin pages of this shit I gotta write though" I say and his eyes grow wide. "Fuck sorry mate" he says. "Holy shit who are they?" He abruptly asks. "Ashton, and I think I heard him say Luke" I whisper. "Wow the nerdy one looks right up your alley" he says and I blush. "Well I could say the same thing to you with Luke's 'King Cobian' shirt and lip loop" I say back and he smiles wide. "Do you think they're dating?" He asks and wow I totally did not think of that. "Do you think they think we're dating?" I add and he laughs. "Ew no fucking get away from me" he says loudly and playfully shoves my shoulder. "Oh nice" he says and points to the small stack of CDs I pulled out. "Yeah Ashton complimented me on them when he walked past" I whisper and he nods.
"Music is my form of expression, my creed that comes through lyrics that have meaning and instruments that strike me on the inside." I type, and turn the screen to Cal can see. He reads is and nods, and I know he feels the same way.
Later Calum gets up to explore the library to get a few things of his own and I'm left again by myself. I find myself back in the comic books I pulled out, reading the Batman chronicles all in order. Luke awkwardly gets up and walks over to me and says "your friend is cute" and nods out the door Calum exited minutes ago. "Your friend is cute" I reply back and flick my head over to where Ashton is on the floor. "Wait, you don't think he's a nerd or a freak?" He asks, in a serious state of confusion and that makes me feel bad for him. "Nah mate I do but that's why I find him cute" I say and he nods slowly. "Yeah well he says if you want to come by us and study you can" Luke offers and walks back to Ashton. Study, really? I mean coming from a nerd it's cute but apparently he doesn't take too many guys or girls out because studying is the last thing normal teenagers want to do. I roll my eyes but get up and carry all my things to their spot on the floor and I ask "why the floor?" As I sit, but I find it more comfortable when I spread all my books and CDs out on the carpet like Ashton and it makes it easier to be able to see all my things even though they're just comics and CDs. "So in case someone more important comes I don't get booted to the floor" he admits and i feel sorry for him cause I know that from school nerds get picked on, but I also don't understand because why would anyone want to ever pick on this cutie. "Oh okay. What are you studying?" I ask. "Lit, gotta do a paper on famous play writers." He says nonchalantly and I envy his lack of stress. Calum comes back in the room and has the funniest confused look when he doesn't see me at the table and I laugh as I call out to him from the floor "over here you god damn idiot" and when he sees me he smiles wide. "Hi I'm Calum" he says as he sits down with all his books and a few CDs. "Hi I'm Luke" Luke introduces himself hastily and it amuses me how they are acting around each other. "I'm Ashton" Ashton says and does a small wave. "Jeesh you both have a good taste" Ashton says as he picks up the CDs from Calum's pile. "Thanks" we both say. "Are you here to study?" I ask Luke. "Nah just sort of keeping him company" he says and motions to Ashton. I nod and go back to my paper which is almost a page long. "How far have you gotten?" Ashton asks and points at my laptop. "Almost a page" I say and he rolls his eyes. "What?" I ask. "It's not that hard, you're just dragging your heels because you don't want to do it" he says and he couldn't be more right. "Pretty much" I agree. It gets quiet for awhile, my keyboard clicks and the other three boys pages turning the only other sounds, and when a librarian comes to restock shelves by the lounge area she quickly turns away after smiling at what looks like four good boys doing homework in a library.
A small paper airplane falls over my screen and directly onto my keyboard and I look up to see who threw it but they all have a similar look on their faces as they read. I open the plane and a little message inside has a mobile number and I roll my eyes before taking my mobile out and sending a message to the mobile. It's obviously not Calum, and it's definitely not Luke so I watch as Ashton types a response, mobile inside the book so it looks like he's still reading and I smirk and shake my head, what a clever dork. A response comes back, a sweet compliment I can't help but return. For four teenage guys the word cute sure has been used a lot today. I find out that he's a first year in college and that Luke is in year 12 at a different school then me and Cal's. A pink tints his cheeks when I ask him if he'd like to go out and the response of disbelief shows me that he probably gets pushed around or stood up a lot. I tell him that I would genuinely want that and it seems to mean something to him because he agrees and then hands his phone to Luke to read the conversation. I find it odd but ignore it as I continue typing. "Music has always been an escape, freedom from stupidity, stress, hurt, anger and feelings I don't want to feel" I type and go to the next page.
Loud voices come from the shelves and when a group of college age guys come into the lounge Ashton quickly puts a black hoodie on and looks down to try and hide his face as much as possible and I realise then that that's why he is so timid. Luke scoots closer to him and his face has a stony expression, and I know then that Luke isn't there just to keep him company. I pause my typing to scan the loud college kids. Three stereotypical jock kids that make me roll my eyes and a blonde girl that looks miserable for having to spend time in a library. The three guys are being immature and obnoxiously loud but I don't say anything because I can tell Ashton and Luke really don't want them to know they're here. Calum closes his book in frustration and starts to get off the floor but I pull his wrist and he gives me a skeptical look. "They're being loud" he says and tries to get up again. "Yeah but look at Ash, I'm pretty sure he doesn't want them to know he's here, he's in his first year in college" I whisper and he nods slowly. He sits back down with a frustrated look on his face as he tries to read with blockheads talking loudly in the same room. I hand him my pair of earbuds and he puts them in with the CDs he got in my laptop and I give my paper a rest for a little while. Me and Luke both watch the loud students from the floor and Ashton stays in his position with his hoodie stills covering his face. It makes me feel bad for him because college kids are harsh as fuck so it's probably hard for him and it probably was in the last four years too.
Four more college students come in, three girls this time and another guy. They get louder and I text Ashton to ask if he and Luke want to come to my house to study where it's quiet and he shoves the phone over to Luke and Luke quickly nods and begins collecting all of Ashton's things. What a good friend. I pick up all my things and put them in my computer bag and when Calum sees us all cleaning up he does the same. Luke hands Ashton a pair of sunglasses and now I really feel bad because if it has to come to the point where he's trying as best he can to hide who he is then it's probably really bad for him. We all get up at the same time and Luke keeps Ashton as far away from the college kids as he can, them all going silent as we get up, surprised to see us there and not noticing us before.
"Irwin, sunglasses indoors isn't going to make you less noticeable" one of the guys calls and all the others laugh. I realise that on their table there is no books so they literally just came here to be social. "Always quiet huh bitch?" The jock spits. I get really fucking angry and so does Luke but Ashton keeps walking so we follow him. "Always gotta have your skinny ass body guard right?" He mocks and that flips Ashton. "Don't. fucking. talk. to. him. like. that" Ashton says. "I can talk to him however the fuck I want, nerd" the jock says and rises to his feet. Me, Calum and Luke all surround Ashton, still trying to get out of here as fast as possible. "Trying to run, little scared ass students protecting you" he shoots again and Luke boils. "Think about it mate, it's pathetic on your end for picking on someone who won't fight back, it makes you look weak because you're picking someone that doesn't put up a fight against you, maybe try picking on someone that can fight back" I say and point to his group of friends at the table "pick on someone who doesn't make you look weak" I finish and he turns red. "I don't look weak and this son of a bitch deserves it, have you seen what he's done to everyone around him? Not to mention himself, all those fucking baby cries for help that cover his skin, they make me sick" the jock says and my stomach drops. He's a self injurer. He quickly examines his sleeves and tears well up in his eyes and it breaks my heart. I give the middle finger to the bloke before wrapping my arm around his shoulder and walking out with him once we've reached the door. "Ashton none of that stuff they said is true you haven't done anything wrong, don't listen to those fuck heads, you haven't don't anything" Luke says and reaches out to Ashton. "My house is a block away we can walk" I say and Luke nods.
When we get to my house Luke has Ashton sit on my bed and Luke comforts him. Ashton itches his arms through his hoodie sleeves and I know that's a literal sign for him itching to cut again. I scoot close to him and pull up my own sleeve. "Hey mate look, you're not alone" I say and point to all my self inflicted burns. He sees them and nods but doesn't move. "Thank you guys for protecting me in there, they would have best the shit out of me" he says and frowns. "Can we go take care of those guys?" Calum asks. "Yeah let's go, Ash we'll be right back, and I promise they won't mess with you anymore after this" Luke says and gets up with Calum.
"Music is the cure for a broken heart, it's melodies giving you a feeling that only meaningful music can provide and it's lyrics coming right from the situation you're in" I type, and as I finish the paragraph I grab Ashton's hand and slide this hoodie sleeve up and kiss his wrist.