Fake Smiles & Real Love (A short story)

He was never popular or noticed, and he was okay with that. But what happens when he falls in love?

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1. New School

 I was never popular. I never had friends. I walked everywhere alone, and that was how I liked it. I didn't have to worry about getting hurt or lied to. It was only me, and that was fine. My father left, and ever since that I figured, why get attached to someone who will just walk out? That used to be my motto, the sentence I always said to myself when I wanted to say hello to anybody, and I always stopped myself.

  Just a few weeks ago, me and my mom moved to a new city. I was okay with it, because I left nobody behind. I had nobody to leave behind. 

  The wind blew as I walked to the front doors of my new school. I walked inside and walked to my locker. I looked at the slip of paper the office gave me and I put in the combo. I was alone in the hall while everybody else was in the cafeteria eating breakfast or socializing.

 I heard footsteps behind me.

 "Are you lost?" A girl asked.

 I turned around and shook my head.

 "Do you want me to show you around? I know you're new here."

 I shook my head once again, closed my locker, and went to the cafeteria.

 A sat at an empty table and took a notebook out of my book bag.

 I drew the ocean and added a quote at the top.

 As soon as I put my pen down, the bell rang. 

I got up after everybody else did, and followed behind.

 The first class I had was Science with Mrs. Reynolds. I stared at my schedule and went to the room.

 I sat at an empty desk as everyone around me talked about random things.

 Suddenly a loud voice boomed.

  "SUP MY HOMIES? I HEARD THERE'S A NEW KID! WHERE'S THAT BITCH?" A guy yelled as he walked through the door.

 I hid my face and looked away.

 I felt a hand on the desk.

 "Hey kid, what's your name?" a guy said.

 I lifted my head and looked at him.

 He was the guy that shouted as he entered the room.

 I gave a little wave and looked away.

 "I asked you a question."

"Tobias." I said softly.

 "Excuse me? Did you say 'Tobias'? That's a weird name."

 He walked away and I gave a sigh of relief.

 The classroom door shut and I woman stood in front of the class.

 "Hello, everyone. Today, we have a new student. Would you like to introduce yourself?" The teacher asked and looked at me. 

 I shook my head quickly and put my head on my desk.

 "Well, okay. Today, we will learn about DNA."

 After class, I opened my locker and I felt a tap on my shoulder.

 I turned around and saw a guy.

 "New school? Must be tough." He said and I shook my head.

 "It's not tough?" He asked and I shook my head again.

 "Do you speak English?"

 I nodded and closed my locker door.

 "You know, you can talk. I know you must be nervous on some level, but you can talk to me."

 "It's not a good idea." I said softly and walked away.

 He jumped in front of me.

 "What happened? Why won't it be a good idea to trust someone?"

 "Because then it'll hurt much more when they leave." I said and walked around him.

 I went to the bathroom and locked myself in a stall. I put my feet up so nobody would know I was in there.

 The bell rang and I sighed. I stayed in the stall and started crying softly.

 A few minutes later, I heard a teacher's voice.

 "Who's in here?"

 I stayed quiet.

 "A student heard crying. I know you're in here."

 I closed my mouth and stayed silent.

 The teacher started opening doors and when they opened the door to the stall I was in, I ran past them and down the hall.

 "Stop!" The teacher yelled.

 He grabbed my arm.

 "What are you doing out of class?" He growled.

 I kept my mouth shut.

 "Let's see how you like detention." He said and dragged me to the office.

 When I walked through the front door, mom was in the kitchen cooking.

 "Hey, honey, how was your day?"

 "Well, on the first day, I cried in a stall and got detention. Can't wait to see what the rest of the year has." I said.

 "You just need friends." Mom said.

 "You know I can't do that." I sighed and went upstairs.

 I laid on my bed and stared at the ceiling.

 My bedroom door opened.

"Tobias, you need friends."

 "I can't have friends." I said and left the room. I ran down the stairs and put my coat on.

 "I'm going for a walk!" I said and walked out of the door.

I walked around the house and sighed. I sat on the ground and stared at the ice.

 "It sucks being frozen, doesn't it? You can't feel anything until someone hits you so hard you break."

 I sighed, "And I'm talking to ice."

"You just need someone to melt you." A girl's voice said.

 I looked around.

 "Who said that?"

 I stood up and looked behind me. I didn't see anybody.

 There were no tracks in the snow except mine.

 I quickly walked home and kept looking behind me.

 I went inside and took off my boots.
I kept staring out of my window at the frozen pond.

 "Who was that?" I whispered to myself.

 "Who was who?" A voice asked and I jumped.

 I turned around to see my mom.

 "Oh, uh, nobody. Just thinking about that actor on that show." I said.

 "What show?"

 "The show on TV... you know the one." I said.

 "Okay..." She said with a smear of concern in her voice and backed up to the door and went out.

 That night, when my mom was asleep, I put my boots on, grabbed a flashlight, and went back to the frozen pond.

 "Are you still here?" I asked.

 "This is where I'm happiest." The voice said.

 "Where are you? Who are you?"

 I heard a tree rustling.

 I pointed the flashlight in the direction of the sound.

 Nothing came into view.

 "Up here."

 I pointed the flashlight higher in the tree.

 A girl was sitting on a branch.

 "How are you up there without getting cold or slipping off?" I asked, with a puzzled look on my face.

 "A lot of practice and free time."

 "Why are you up there?"

 "I can imagine myself as a bird." She said.

 "How old are you?" 

 "Sixteen, what about you?"

 "Seventeen."

 "Want me to teach you how to get up here?" She asked.

 "No thanks, I'm going to try to give life another try."

 "Have faith in yourself. I'll help you."

 I stared up at her, thoughts ramming the wall of my skull.

 "Not everyone is going to let you slip." She said, with a hint of sadness in her voice.

 "What?"

 "I can tell that you're damaged; afraid to let someone in again, afraid to trust." She said.

 "Who are you?" I squinted.

 "My name is Isabelle. What's your's?"

 "Tobias."

 "Well, Tobias, you can trust me."

 "Why are you even wasting time on me?"

 "It's not wasting. You're not a waste of time. You never will be. I've been abandoned too, left, forgotten... it's not fun. I don't want anybody else to feel that."

 I walked over to the tree.

 "So, is there like, a trick to this? Or...?"

 When I finally got to the branch, I sat next to her.

 "Everything looks much more peaceful up here."

 "I can't get enough of it."

  "Is this where you come every night?"

 "Yes." She smiled.

 "So where do you live?" I asked.

 "Down the street. I'm guessing you live in that house right there?" She laughed.

 "How'd you know?"

 "I saw you looking out the window."

 "Oh." I laughed nervously.

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