Four years later
It was the worst day of my life.
I want to scream at the sky. At the fucking leaves on the ground. Why is everything and everyone so freaking happy?! It leaves me as the only unhappy sucker and I fucking hate it!
Everything is going wrong. Every. Single. Thing.
Why am I picked on by those stupid perfect cheerleaders? Why can’t Delilah go and fuck her boyfriend or something and leave me in peace?
Why do I have to have such an asshole kind of a friend who doesn’t even give a shit about whether or not I am alive during school hours as long as her pretty blue eyed beau gives her the time of the day?
Some part of me knows that I’m just being a jerk about everything, but it feels so good to vent and I don’t want to stop.
I duck my head when I see Louise across the parking lot, standing against her boyfriend’s car and listening attentively to the shit that spews from that jerk’s mouth. Ugh.
Talk about the devil.
“Hey there, fatass.”
My cheeks flame and I quicken my pace, hurrying over to where my old red truck is parked. But as much as I pray, Delilah always catches up.
“I heard you were thinking of trying out for the cheerleading squad. Don’t waste your time, moped.”
I roll my eyes, though my stomach feels a bit queasy at her words. My fragile ego has just been splattered and clobbered all over the floor and I can’t do a thing about it. “Go away, Delilah. Don’t you have a mouth to suck off or something?”
She snorts in my ear, keeping up with me.
“At least I have a mouth to suck off. You can’t even get yourself a guy if you pull out the biggest guns you have.”
Finally, I reach my ride and pull the door open, throwing my bag in.
“Fuck off, Delilah.”
She comes to stand right next to my window and smirks, her annoyingly perfect platinum blonde hair swishing in the wind. “Oh, Isabel, I pity you. You’re such a turn off, you could probably turn a guy gay without even trying.”
I turn the key in the ignition and put the gear in reverse.
Right before I peel out, I shout out at her, “Suck on Freddie’s balls, bitch.”
The stunned expression on her face gives me only a momentary burst of satisfaction. Then I tamp it down. There’ll be hell to pay for that tomorrow.
When I leave the garage, I see that my parents have arrived.
“Hi darling!“, mom exclaims, waving at me from her window, while dad gives me a grin, concentrating on getting the car inside the space next to my truck.
The latter was kind of a gift. Kind of, because my parents gave it to me since my dad had managed to fix it. It isn’t shitty, but it isn’t that great either. But I like it any way. It beats standing and waiting for long hours for the bus to get home.
“Look who’s here!”
My mom jumps out of the car, gesturing to the seat behind hers. And that’s when I see him.
He steps out of the car as soon as dad parks it and then he’s standing right before me.
And I’m about to lose my damn mind.
The guy has such terrible timing!
I’ve worn my rattiest tshirt and pants that look more like pajamas than something decent enough to be worn in public.
I look up at his face and see two spots of color appear on his cheeks. I’m pretty sure he’s blushing because of me.
“Hi.“, I try not to sound like I’m just about to swoon at his feet.
He’s wearing his forest green Linkin Park tshirt and denim. His geeky glasses that make him look like a really... really hot nerd, and he’s got his backpack slung over his shoulder.
We don’t really talk much. Or at all.
Not in real life.
But we do talk a lot.
In my head.
The way he says my name, rolling it over his tongue, makes me want to bat my eyelashes and giggle in a very girly manner. But of course, I could never do that. So I stand there, and stare at him. And the spots on his cheeks grow brighter.
My mom’s talking to dad about something that happened at work and I don’t even pretend to pay attention to what it is that they are saying. Roman smiles at me and my stomach does a flip flop.
“How was school?“, he asks me, pushing his glasses up his nose.
I wonder how he’d look without them. His blue eyes match the color of the sky today and for a second I forget to answer.
When his cheeks remain red, I clear my throat. “I-it was great.” If there was a level for sucking.
“What about you?”
He smiles again, one corner of his mouth pulled up. “It was alright.”
I have an urge to snort.
“Oh.“, I say.
“Isabel, baby, why don’t you take Roman into the house? We’ll be right there.”
Roman instantly refuses, “Thank you, Mrs. Grace but I think I should leave-”
My mom shakes her head, “Nonsense, Roman. Go on inside, I’ll be there in a second. Isabel, you know where the cookies are. ”
I try not to let my eagerness show too much. I’m rejoicing on the inside. Silently.
Ha! You’re stuck with me, baby!
I want to jump with happiness. Finally, the silver lining that I deserve has been granted to me.
I lead the way into the house and Roman follows. When we enter the living room, he takes care to leave his shoes beside mine near the shoe rack and then we go in. Without giving it a second thought, I throw my bag onto the floor, uncaring that some of the contents spill out and then jump onto the couch, face down.
I gesture toward the couch at the opposite side.
“Go on, you can do the same.“, my voice is muffled against the cushion.
I’m met with silence and I turn my head to the side.
Roman stands at the foot of the couch, his expression awkward. And the red spots are back. “I think I’ll pass.“, he says with a grin.
I feel a bit silly at his response, but I cover it up.
I scoot over to one end and he gingerly sits down as if I could attack him at any second. He looks around the place and his eyes brighten when he catches sight of something.
“Is that your sketch?”
I freeze and turn in the direction he’s looking at.
Sure enough, my sketch stands on display. I stand up so fast, I almost slip over my own feet. Sprinting across the room, I grab the sheet and glare at it.
Stupid, stupid me!
“That’s really amazing. I had no idea you could draw so well.”
“I sketch. I do not draw.“, I snap. And regret it immediately.
The color disappears from his cheeks and he looks hurt. But he covers it up quickly. “Oh. My bad.”
I start to apologize but he has already turned away.
“I- I should really get going. My mom’s probably wondering where I am. I’ll just thank your mom for the ride on my way.“, he picks his bag and walks out the door.
My stomach suddenly feels upset and a lump is present in my throat.
I turn back to the sheets.
The first one is a picture of a girl, standing with her back against a tree, looking up to the moon. I sigh and lift the paper and stare down at the next sketch.
Roman’s face stares back at me.