The Monsters Within

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Chapter 7

My next-door neighbor was a complete gentleman. He led me to my first class without hesitation, braving the heat and the ever-malevolent sun, and offered me his number without so much as batting an eye.

In case you need something, he was quick to add as we finished exchanging digits, and winked at me before turning and walking back down the road.

A part of me was unsure how to respond. On one hand, I was relieved—because without Brad’s guidance, I would’ve been completely lost. On another, though, I couldn’t help but wonder if he was just being friendly—

Or flirty.

I shook my head.

No, I’d thought. There was no way Brad was flirting with me. He couldn’t have been. I mean, why would he, a muscular jock type with the arms of an Olympian God, be interested in me? I was nothing special—at least, so far as I could tell—and even if I was, that wouldn’t explain the connection, or even the attraction.

I tried my hardest to ignore the possibilities as I entered and located a seat within the math lab, but found myself doing just that.

Maybe Brad really was interested in me that first day. Or maybe he was just being friendly. I mean, there was a thing as overly-friendly straight men. That was all this was. Right?

Right, I’d thought, content with that knowledge.

Besides—I was smarter than that even then. I knew that falling for a straight guy would only result in a broken heart.

Because of that, I’d merely opened my notebook, and waited for my professor to arrive.

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