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Chapter Twelve

[TRAVIS]

My mind was in a confused haze as I walked through the hallways during lunch. I didn’t see Alex on his table, and neither Sky nor that other kid was willing to cooperate. That’s why I was searching the halls like a madman now.

I turned hearing a small gasp. Alex was just a few steps behind me. My heart did a little flip in my chest as the sight of him. His brown hair was as disorderly ordered as ever, if that makes sense.

“Don’t move,” I said as I watched him take a step back. He stopped, biting his lower lip in seeming frustration. I licked my lips unconsciously as I watched his eyes look around in panic.

“What’s wrong with you?” I asked shaking my head.

“If I hurt you or something I’m sorry!” I said, stepping forward, and he just responded with stepping backward. I groaned moving to grab him but he just took a couple of steps back.

“What did I do?!” I screamed out of desperation. My voice echoed through the empty hallways. Alex was looking at me head on, but I could sense his fear, even if it was a little.

“We can talk this out...” I trailed, leaning on the lockers, Alex didn’t say anything, just stared on. I fumbled with the sleeves of my long sleeved shirt, looking for what to say. How in the world am I supposed to apologize when I didn’t even know what for?

“If you don’t mind I’ll be leaving,” Alex said, moving to walk past me. I got away from the lockers to block him, making him sigh before stepping back.

“You can’t leave until we talk,” I said, staring at him head on.

“Talk about what? There’s nothing to talk about!” Alex insisted, throwing his hands in the air in frustration.

“Of course there is! Ho-how did it make you feel?” I asked, feeling my cheeks get hot with embarrassment.

“How did what make me feel?” he asked, giving me an annoyed look.

“The kiss, how did the kiss make you feel?” I asked looking away from him and down to the floor. The question sounded silly but it was a start, to know if he felt the same.

I looked up at the sound of Alex laughing. He had his head thrown back as his chest heaved with every laugh. He raised his head to look me in the eye as his laughter turned into silent chuckles.

“Really, you want to know how it made me feel?” he asked shaking his head. I felt my cheeks redden with both embarrassment and frustration.

“I made that clear,” I muttered, grinding my teeth. I needed an answer. I didn’t have time to play his games.

“Okay, let’s see...” he trailed, moving his head back and forth as if searching for an answer.

“Oh, I know! Disgusted, scared, horrid, confused,” he was saying as he suddenly stopped wrinkling his brows as if realizing something didn’t come out right. My lips twitched into a smile of hope at his last word. Confused.

“Can I kiss you?” I asked as I unconsciously ran my tongue across my lips. I confess that’s basically what’s been on my mind for the past three days. The last kiss wasn’t enough. I wanted to kiss him senseless...

“No.”

I blinked realizing what he’d said. No?

“What do you mean no!” I screamed, half whimpering. I finally thought I’d had him, was going to kiss him again.

“I mean no. Is that so hard to process?” he said as he turned and started to walk away.

“You can’t do this!” I groaned, reaching out to turn him by the shoulder.

“Let go of me!”

“No!” I yelled, shaking him by the shoulders. I stopped as my anger subsided, looking down at him. I blinked in horror as I realized Alex was crying, sobbing silently in my arms.

“Let go of me!” he yelled, slapping my hands away from his shoulders before stumbling back and landing on the floor.

“Alex—”

“Leave me alone!” He cried, curling up to himself as he viciously cleaned his eyes with the back of his hands. I didn’t know what to do, so I just stood there and watched him. I’d never realized Alex could break down too.

“Are you happy now? Sam sent you, didn’t she?!” Alex yelled before coughing violently. The whites of his eyes were a nasty shade of red, and he was biting his lip violently. I opened my mouth not knowing what to say, what did he mean by Sam sent me?

“No,” I finally managed to mutter, going over to sit on the floor next to him. He scooted away immediately, but I followed suit stubbornly. He cried even harder when he noticed I had him cornered by the lockers, trapped.

I moved my hand to touch his shoulders and he visibly stiffened. I felt hurt by it, I almost started crying myself, but I didn’t let it get to me. I turned him, hugging him to myself, sniffing his distinct wood-like scent. It was like a perfumed acorn.

“Let go of me...” he trailed before his crying made him inaudible. I ignored him, brushing his hair as I continued to sniff him.

“Go out with me,” I said. It was practically an order, not a request. I sighed at the feeling of him shaking his head below me. Why does he have to be so difficult? I tried to cup his face but he hit me so hard in the forehead he had time to scramble away.

“Don’t touch me ever again!” he screamed, picking up his scattered books on the floor before running far down into the hallway.

“What’s up with you? You kiss me and just expect me to forget about it?!” I asked, getting up myself. He took one step back, clear fear in his eyes.

“Yes! Yes, of course, I do! You kiss people and expect them to forget about it, don’t you?!” Alex groaned from the other end. I tried to protest but I actually stopped to think about it, he wasn’t exactly wrong.

“What’s up with you? Why does it seem...” he trailed before cussing at the end.

“Why does it seem like you want to rape me! I don’t have the backbone for that! Stop staring at me as if I’m lunch!” He yelled turning away from me. I blushed lightly at the accusation. Did it actually seem like that?

“I’m asking for one date,” I said biting my lip. He didn’t turn, didn’t move.

“I have a boyfriend, and he’s already said hell no to any more of this game,” he said, turning to face me. My eyes widened at the realization, I’d almost forgotten Alex had a boyfriend.

“I’ll tell him,” I said licking my lips. I know I venturing into a dangerous zone, but I’ll take the risk.

“Tell him what?” Alex asked, giving me a confused look.

“That you kissed me,” I said.

Am I trying to blackmail him?

Yes.

“Damn you, he already knows idiot! Do you think I’m a cheater?!” Alex asked, giving me a sour look. I felt like a lost puppy at the revelation. I don’t want Alex to leave me.

“You’re coming for the tutoring session today, right? You said you had something to do on Thursday. Well, it’s Friday now...” I trailed, biting my bottom lip in anticipation.

“No, no I am not,” he said, turning away.

“You can’t do that, I’ll tell your aunt!” I yelled in desperation. Alex isn’t really going to end it like this, is he? He can’t just... he can’t just do it!

“I already told her I wasn’t going to take you ever again this morning, look for another tutor to take you. I can’t be alone with you in the same room- ever,” he said as he began to walk away.

“The library! We can stay in the library, people are there, I won’t hit on you I promise!” I shouted at him as he walked away. I moved to run after him but the bell for the end of lunch just had to pick that time to ring and I couldn’t be late for P.E.

*

After school, I searched the parking lot furiously for any sign of Alexander. Damn, he was good at hiding.

“Dude, aren’t you coming to practice?” Jonah said, his blue eyes meeting mine as I turned to face him.

“I am. I just-just have to talk to Tony before she leaves, you know?” I said, shrugging as if everything was normal. He bought it, leaving me behind. I continued my search for Alex. I got disappointed, finding that twat that followed him around instead by Sky’s car.

If he was avoiding me as suspected, he wasn’t going to make his presence known anytime soon. I sighed, the junior will just have to do.

“Where’s Alex?” I asked as I walked up to the junior. He looked up before gasping, clearly surprised that I was talking to him.

“You heard me, where’s Alex?” I said pulling that voice Jonah usually used on other kids outside our circle.

“I-I don’t know,” he said, looking everywhere, but my face.

“When I talk to you look at me,” I said, watching him slowly lift his face.

“Good,” I said, looking straight at him.

“Do you know where he’ll be, or where he can be?” I asked him. He shook his head violently making me roll my eyes at how ridiculous and weak he looked.

“You have a mouth, use it,” I instructed. He flushed, running his hand through his hair.

“I-No, I don’t have a clue,” he said, trying to look me in the eye like I’d instructed. He failed woefully.

“Pathetic,” I muttered, shaking my head.

“You hide under his shadow every day, and you don’t know shit about him.” I continued. I know what I was saying was harsh, but I was irritated, and I needed a mental punching bag.

“That’s not true!” Paul said as I felt his voice shaking. That caught my interest, making me look up at him with disbelief. Is he hitting on Alex now? He better not.

“You have a crush on him or something?” I asked seriously. This was no joke. I didn’t need any more obstacles, and especially not some dorky junior.

“No!” he said sharply, shaking his hands over his head in blunt refusal. So what is he now trying to say, Alex’s too good for him?

“I hope so for your sake, guys like you shouldn’t even bother with those kinds of things...” I trailed watching him. His face got redder before he looked down at the grass. I could see the first set of tears flow as he bit his lip.

So pathetic.

“You know you’ll only get rejected, no one wants a loser like you,” I continued as I watched him bawl his eyes out. I just needed to erase it. Erase and replace the image of Alex crying, crying because of me.

“I’m sorry for whoever it is you’re into, just sorry for the unlucky fella.” I finished, laughing before turning and walking away. I didn’t find Alex, but I’d vented my anger.

I started to feel bad as People I passed by turned to the weeping boy, even more so when Sky rushed past me her curly hair all over the place as she called his name continually.

Paul.

Now I remember the sucker’s name.

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