Hating Arlo #1 ✔️

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Chapter 9

For the next few days, I ignore Arlo. It’s a hard task since I am not partnered up with him for art but I manage to keep myself away from him. So far, I have been very successful. If Arlo has noticed anything, he hasn’t mentioned it. I doubt he has though since he hates me.

It’s only when my art teacher decides to announce something, that things begin to go downhill for me.

The day was going well. Lunch had just finished and I was ready to pretend that Arlo didn’t exist and that I didn’t have to sit next to him.

It was when my art teacher approached us with a concerned expression on her face, that I knew things were not going to go my way.

Ms. Farris is a very kind old lady. Wrinkles cover her face and grey hair falls past her shoulders. She may appear frail, weak and old but that doesn’t stop her from doing things she loves. If you look her in the eyes, you can see the fire still burning in them. Talia told me she is one tough cookie.

She smiled at the of us, dragging her sweet green eyes between the two of us. Everyone else is working on their art pieces so none of them notice Ms. Farris talking to us.

“Do you mind if I look at what you’ve done so far?” She asks both of us, glancing at our artwork. Nodding my head, I wordlessly give her my work. Arlo does the same. For a few moments, she stares at both artworks, making ′hmm’ noises every now and then. When she’s finished observing them she places them both down. “It appears I was right.”

I frown at her but don’t question her. This time, Arlo is the one to speak up.

“What do you mean, Ms?”

She shakes her head sadly, “I thought you two would have chemistry as soon as you met but I was wrong. I can see there’s something there but I think you need to discover it yourself.”

My frown deepens at her cryptic words. What on earth could she mean?

“Ms. Farris, what are you suggesting?” I ask, sharing a worried look with Arlo.

She gives us both a small smile. “I want you two to get to know each other more. I’d like you to spend three hours outside of lessons getting to know each other.”

My eyebrows shoot up at her answer. That was not what I was expecting.

“What? Why?” Arlo all but yells, attracting the attention of our fellow classmates. He doesn’t apologise for his abrupt behaviour.

Ms. Farris sighs tiredly and places her glasses back on her face. When she does this, I am reminded of my deceased grandmother who looked very similar to her. The thought of my poor grandmother brings sadness to my heart.

“Dear child, you cannot draw and paint someone if you don’t see them.” She explains. “You look but you don’t see her. She doesn’t either. Every artwork captures something about the object or person—you two aren’t doing that. Getting to know each other might help.”

I exchange a look with Arlo in dread. It’s as clear as day we don’t want anything to do with each other and now Ms. Farris is forcing us to get to know each other. It’s like she wants to set us up or something...


Ms. Farris cuts me off by raising a dismissive hand. She then decides to waltz off, leaving me stuck with Arlo who refuses to look at me.

Blowing out a breath, I comb a hand through my unruly hair. Since I woke up later than usual, I didn’t have time to brush my hair properly. Thus, it’s pretty messy and knotty.

“Well, I guess we have to do what she says.” I eventually say, taking a peek at him.

His face is expressionless. He seems stuck in his own world, unbothered by what I just said. When he escapes his trail of thoughts, he sends me a scowl and gazes down at the picture of me he started drawing. This is the first time I’ve been allowed to see it.

The way he’s portrayed me is what I show everyone on the outside—a quiet, normal person. There’s nothing unique about the picture which, I’m not going to lie, hurts a lot. He doesn’t depict the real me—not that I want him to or anything—but if we want to get a good grade, he has to draw me.

I take a glance at my own paper and notice how...normal Arlo looks. I’ve drawn a simple yet handsome man who has no story. I don’t show the real emotions in his eyes, the desire, hate, and love.

“This is stupid,” He growls, chucking a pencil that he was holding on the table. “I’m not doing this sh*t.”

He’s angry. That’s the first thing I know—he’s angry that he has to spend time with me. God, that makes me feel even worse now. If he didn’t hate me before, he definitely does now.

“Arlo,” I say, in a calm and soft voice. “Please don’t get mad.”

Something in him snaps at my words.

He turns to me with an ugly sneer on his face. It’s the first time I’ve seen him look so ugly. He’s not a vile person, he’s just reserved. “Don’t tell me what to do, Lily.”

Shivers run down my spine but not because I’m scared. They’re shivers of pleasure.

I raise my hands defensively, “I’m sorry. I just...” I trail off, clueless. I don’t know what I was trying to do. Perhaps I was trying to calm him down? I don’t know why I thought it would work since he’s angry at me. I’m the culprit of his anger.

“You just thought being friendly would make me like you. Well, you’re wrong. Wanna know why?” He spits, rage brewing his eyes. “Because I hate you. Not only are you ruining my mind but now you’re going to be ruining my time. You are poision—bile.”

This time, I’m scared. There is no compassion in his eyes, no remorse as he says the most crushing words ever. There’s a glint in his eyes. Satisfaction. That’s what he feels as he demeans me, reduces me to nothing.

I feel the burning sensation of tears in my eyes. All I want to do is run away and cry. Nobody has ever spoken to me like this before, not even Joe. This is the cruelest thing someone can do.

“You don’t deserve anything—you’re worthless. Every breath you take is a burden on me and I bet your family. The sooner you’re gone, the better.”

I leap to my feet, causing the stool to fall over. The loud noise causes heads to turn but I pay no attention to them. All I can focus on is getting out of here.

Why did I think staying away from Arlo would solve all of my problems? I can’t. Fate is being so cruel.

I want to hate him. But every time I will myself to hate him, it hurts. My heart won’t allow it.

After the horrible fiasco in my art lesson, I went to the girl’s toilets. Like the sad, pathetic girl I am, I cried on the toilet for what felt like hours. Arlo’s words kept repeating in my head on a loop. Each time I hear what he said, the feeling of loneliness and worthlessness increases. I don’t usually let people get to me but there’s something about Arlo that reduces me to nothing but dirt.

His words cut deep.

I start to believe they are true. From his mouth, I can’t help but believe they are true. He holds something over me, that has me feeling everything he says is honest.

The bell for lunch rings, distracting my train of thoughts for a moment. A group of girls stomps in, giggling. Holding my breath, I remain completely still.

“Did you hear what happened in Ms. Farris’ art lesson?” One of them asks.

“Yeah, I heard Arlo was bullying the new girl.” Another one of them replies, nonchalantly. Like it didn’t matter that the poor girl was terrorized.

The same girl continues. “She ran out of the class, on the verge of tears. I wonder what made Arlo so riled up.”

“The girl must have said something.” A third girl pipes in. “Then again, I’ve seen her around the group and Arlo never pays attention to her. He makes it clear of his distaste.”

“Do you know what I think?” The first girl says, excitement laced in her voice. The other two say ’what?’, whilst I eagerly wait for her answer. “I think she’s his mate. Nobody has ever got a reaction out of Arlo before. It’s the only plausible answer.”

The other two don’t seem convinced. “I think you’re wrong. Arlo would forget all about Talia if that was true.”

The first girl sighs, admitting she was probably wrong. They talk a bit more, not about me though, and take their leave. When they’re gone, I exhale and lean down so my head is in between my knees. Their conversation was intriguing.

What stuck out was the word ′mates’. Did they think I was friends with Arlo? That’s what a mate is. Then again, that wouldn’t make any sense. The way they spoke about it, suggests it means something more than that. Something more...intimate.

I have a feeling this is related to the secret they are hiding. Everyone always seems hesitant and cautious when talking to me. A few times people have made slip-ups, such as Kacey. I must find out what they are hiding. It might explain why Arlo hates me so much. Finding out why he hates me so much can help the pain I’m feeling in my heart.

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