The Boy That Hates Books

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Chapter 25: Blinded By The Skies

Tonight they will embark on an adventure,

that will turn their lives around.

“Tonight.”

He spoke the word like a promise.

More people were in the library today, and it was one of those rare occasions that the librarian was wide awake. The sound of her tapping away on a keyboard matched the rhythm of my heartbeat as The Boy That Hates Books looked at me hopefully.

I’d found him at the very back of the library, sitting on a bean bag behind a shelf. I laughed as I approached him. A lot happened before he spoke the promise.

“What are you doing behind here?” I asked.

“People aren’t my cup of tea.” He looked around cautiously.

His reply didn’t faze me, I was getting used to his oddly fascinating personality.

“I see.” I crouched down beside him, mind restless.

“Do you want to know something?” I remembered.

“Okay sure.” He nodded.

“You see that shelf there?” I pointed over to the shelf I knew well, the one just below the wooden beam that ran across the library.

“Mhm.” He murmured, looking in the direction I was pointing.

“I found a journal there.”

His body seemed to stiffen.

“You did?”

“Yeah. I started reading it and I wanted to finish it. So I placed it on that shelf and hid it between books so that no one could find it. But the next day I came back and it was gone.”

The boy sat in silence for a few minutes, thinking to himself.

“Are you sure it was a journal?” He spoke up, uncertainty coating his voice.

“Certain,” I nodded, “It was handwritten.”

“What was it about?”

The boy pushed for more, leaning forwards so that his shoulders were almost touching mine. Curiosity flickered in his eyes like the flame of a candle.

“It was about a boy who was watching a girl from afar. He was in love with her.”

“Love is a strong word, Kirsten.” His eyes grew suddenly serious.

The way he pronounced the word love made me wish I could replay the moment over just so I could hear him say it again.

“It was beautiful though. Unlike anything I’ve ever read.”

I protested against what he was saying, desperate to get through to him.

“Love is dangerous.”

My breathing faltered as I clenched my hands in my lap, fingers intertwined like vines.

“The game he’s playing is dangerous too.”

Now it was my turn to be serious. I knew how treacherous it was to risk everything for someone. Maybe I didn’t know personally, but I learned a lot in those nights when my sister was crying in my arms over the boy who ruined her life.

“What do you mean?”

“The boy, he’s risking everything for a girl who made him stop. What if she doesn’t want him back?”

“Then the risk was still worth taking. Maybe he has nothing left to lose.”

“I wish I knew.”

He wasn’t looking at me anymore. He seemed to be lost in thought, eyes wandering the ceiling that blinded us from the sky. I remembered the night just before this moment when we were stood beneath the stars together, moonshine lighting our path.

My hand itched to be held by his.

I was falling too hard, too fast. I still knew hardly anything about this boy who clouded my dreams. I had vowed to myself I would never let anyone have an effect on the way I lived my life.

I had broken my promise.

“The journal was old.” I continued, lost in thought like he was. Our eyes parted like two people saying goodbye.

“He probably traded it for a car like I did.”

“No, he didn’t seem like the kind of person to do that. He didn’t seem that stupid.”

He gave a throaty laugh.

“I wish I knew where the journal was, I wanna know what’s happened to him.”

“He might be living his dream.”

“I hope so.”

“I know so.” He smiled, but the smile was sad.

The air thickened with tension, a wave of unease settling over me. I jumped up from where I was sitting, in an attempt to change the mood.

“Let’s do something!” I gently kicked the bottom of his shoe with mine.

He looked up at me, blue eyes misty. Running a careful finger through his hair, he sighed before saying, “You are such a handful I swear.”

“Get used to it.”

My laugh was followed by his.

I reached my hand out towards him, and when he took it I pulled him up to stand beside me. He stumbled into me deliberately but I kept myself balanced, butterflies beginning to flock my stomach at the idea of spending another day with him.

My mind was too focused to mess around.

“What do you want to do?” I asked, deciding I had no ideas.

“How about that road trip?” he raised his eyebrows, a mischievous look shooting across his eyes like a star across an open sky.

My eyes widened, “Tonight?”

“Tonight.” And that was his promise.

“Okay. Tonight.”

I had never been so uncertain about anything I’d ever been so sure about in my life.

“Wait,” The Boy That Hates Books grabbed my hand, pulling me towards him, “What if I was like the boy in that journal? What if I was risking everything for a girl who made me stop?”

His voice was desperate, eyes unwavering. His grip on my hand only grew tighter as the seconds passed, and he only released my hand when I replied.

“Then I think you should put everything on the line for her. Because she’d be doing the same for you.

You can’t turn back now, not when you’ve already started running.”

And that was my promise.

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