Acceptance

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Chapter 7

Atlas has been around Matt a lot since the day I saw them by my car. I’ve tried asking both Atlas and Caleb who he is but all they say is that he is Atlas’s chemistry partner.

I’d believe them if he wasn’t always around Atlas. I see them together before school, after school, in the halls, at Atlas’s locker, in the lunch line. Everywhere. What’s odd is the boy runs off every time I’m near them. I’m not scary, am I?

This shouldn’t even matter. Atlas has his own life and clearly he doesn’t want me to know anything about this Matt kid.

I decided that maybe I needed a change of scenery and am having my lunch outside. There were tables outside, but I decided to sit under a tree. I could feel people’s curious gazes, but I just ignored them. I needed to get Matt and Atlas out of my head.

There was a decent amount of people outside, so it wasn’t quiet, but it was better than seeing Atlas blush every time Matt looked at him.

I didn’t understand what Atlas saw in him. Was it the messy brown hair and the red beanie that he wears literally everyday? Is it how small and short Matt is? He couldn’t be over 5’5”. He also has kind of an emo style. You know, band t-shirts, skinny jeans, fringe that hangs over his eyes a lot. I admit that he’s an attractive guy. Is that it?

Fuck. I need to stop. This is just getting annoying.

There has to be something I can do to get them out of my head.

“There you are!,” I heard Caleb’s voice say as he approached me. I looked up at him and raised an eyebrow at him.

“Can I help you?,” I asked him calmly.

“Why are you out here?,” he asked and sat down beside me.

“Just wanted some fresh air. Why are you out here?”

“Looking for you, doofus. Atlas and Drew sent me to look for you,” he answered and watched as I pushed my uneaten food away from me. I nodded my head and took a drink out of my water bottle.

“Why?”

“You’ve been acting weird and we want to make sure you’re okay,” he answered and I chuckled.

“I’m fine,” I gave him a smile. He tried probing more but gave up once I began ignoring him.


Throughout the rest of my classes, I managed to focus on my lessons and the end of the day came quickly.

I was about to close my locker when I saw them. Atlas’s locker was down the hall from mine and he was leaning against it with Matt in front of him. Matt was saying something to Atlas that had him blushing like crazy and had his hands all over him. He slid his hands up his chest, over his shoulders, down his arms, squeezing his biceps, and down to his hands, holding onto them. They began leaning closer together and I couldn’t stop myself from closing my locker and approaching them.

I cleared my throat right before their lips touched and they both jumped in surprise. They looked at me and I could see that Matt was looking for a way to escape again.

“Uh, hey Elliot,” Atlas said calmly, “What’s up?”

“Are you going to introduce me to your friend, or are you still trying to hide him?,” I asked before I could stop myself.

“I was never trying to hide Matt from you,” he rolled his eyes.

“Yeah? Why does he run away every time I’m near? You can stop with the whole ‘chemistry partner’ crap, it’s clear you’re more than that,” I asked and grabbed Matt by the arm before he could run off again. He sighed and leaned against the lockers beside Axel. Luckily the hallways were emptying and we didn’t have a crowd.

Why was I even making such a big deal about this? It’s not like I have any claim on Atlas. We’re just friends.

“Alright, fine. You really want to know who Matt is to me?,” Atlas snapped at me and I nodded. “Matt is my boyfriend. We didn’t tell you because of how weird you’ve been acting lately and I didn’t want Matt’s first relationship with a guy to start off on a sour note. You can be an asshole sometimes and Matt doesn’t deserve to deal with your bullshit.”

I didn’t know what to say about that.

He thinks I’m an asshole?

Boyfriend?

I could feel a mixture of hurt, anger, and sadness welling inside me and decided to just leave before I made this any worse.

I walked to my car, got inside, started it, and drove away from the school.

I didn’t want to go home though. I didn’t really have a lot of friends and Drew was at football practice, so I went to the only other person I could think of.

I parked in front of a two story baby blue house and walked to the front door. I knocked on the door and waited for someone to answer.

A confused looking Caleb answered the door and let me inside.

“Um, what’s up? You never come here,” he questioned.

“I didn’t want to go home and Drew is at football practice. Can I come in?,” I answered and he nodded. He led me upstairs to his bedroom and I sat down on his bed.

He sat down at his desk and started his homework. I figured I should do mine too and got mine out of my backpack. I sat down on the floor and started.

Halfway through my math homework, Caleb jumped from his chair and snapped his head towards me. He was holding his phone in his hand and pinched the bridge of his nose in frustration.

“Your jealousy is getting out of control. You left Atlas at school? You’re supposed to drive him home. Instead you yelled at him then left? What the fuck, Elliot!,” he snapped and I rolled my eyes and stood up.

“Of course that’s all he told you,” I sighed, “I think he forgot to mention that he’s the one who yelled at me. He called me an asshole and...,” I didn’t finish the sentence because I was starting to get a little sad for some reason.

“And? Spit it out,” he glared at me.

“I didn’t yell at him then just leave. I left because what he said made me feel like I’m just a piece of shit that only causes problems. I know I can be a pain in the ass, but I don’t think I’m a bother. ... Am I?,” I could feel tears welling up in my eyes and quickly wiped them away before they could fall.

Unfortunately, Caleb noticed and practically jumped on top of me. I ended up laying on the bed with him on top of me because he had knocked me off my feet when he jumped on me. His arms were wrapped around me and he was hugging me tightly.

“You aren’t a bother. Don’t ever question or say that again. Yeah, you can be an ass, but you aren’t a piece of shit and you don’t only cause problems. We haven’t been friends for a long time like I have been with Atlas, but I can see that you are a good person,” he muttered with his face pressed against my neck. I smiled and hugged him back.

“Thanks, Caleb. You really are a great friend,” I responded and chuckled when he snuggled closer to me. “What are you doing?,” I asked, amused.

“You’re comfortable,” he stated and I laughed.

We ended up staying like that for awhile and eventually fell asleep. We slept for a couple hours and woke up to someone yelling.

I cracked my eyes open and immediately felt fully awake when I noticed who was yelling. I shook Caleb awake and he did the same as I did.

“What the fuck!” Atlas yelled with anger filled eyes and his arms crossed. “Just because we got in a fight, it doesn’t mean you have any right to come here and try fucking my best friend! I’m sure you have tons of booty calls in your phone. How about you go call one of them instead and keep it in your pants for one god damn minute! Caleb is off limits!”

I was speechless.

He seriously thought...

I released Caleb from my arms and got off the bed. I packed up my things and wordlessly left the room.

Before going down the stairs to leave, I turned to them and said, “Caleb, thanks for being here for me,” I looked at Atlas, “I’m sorry for being such a bother.”

I could hear yelling as I left the house but ignored it as I walked out the door and got into my car.

The first thing I did when I got home was lock myself in my room.

I didn’t leave the room until the next morning.


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