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Chapter 8 everything

Tyler opened the door for me to get in and started the engine. The car purred to life.

"You know, when I was small, some seniors used to bully me. When I first joined the gang, I had beaten the shit out of them. But I didn't feel as contended as I feel now, after helping those animals. Why is it so? ", he asked, glancing at my direction. But he had to avert his eyes, soon enough, to the road to prevent an accident.

"Because for the first time in your life, you did something for someone else, rather than yourself. Darkness can't eliminate darkness, only light can. Hate can't eliminate hate, only love can. Unless we share someone's pain, pain is not separated from us and we are not separated from pain.", I said, looking at him.

But his eyes were fixed on the road. And for a moment it felt like he didn't even listen to me. However, I saw him clenching his jaw, Which he seemed to do quite often, whenever trying to control something from bursting out. As I have noticed, it was generally his anger but in this case, it seemed to be something else, regret. Was he lamenting for the destruction he had caused in the lives of so many people! If he was then it would be my greatest success, at least I could make him realise his mistake, if not accept it.

Since he seemed to be in no mood for small talk- or even to look at me for that matter-I decided to break the silence. "How did you meet Rachel?", I asked looking at his side profile. I wondered what a guy like him would do in a flower shop, if not to buy anything for his girlfriend. But since he didn't have any girlfriend, that thought seemed highly inappropriate as well.

"I used to buy flowers for my mom from her shop, on Sundays. I still visit her every Sunday. I was very close to her, she passed away when I was ten.", he said.

"You must really miss her ",I said as he parked the car in the school's parking lot. "yes, sometimes very much and sometimes a bit less but she's always there on my mind. ",he said. I have no idea what took over my senses, but this overwhelming feeling of comforting him was so much that I couldn't control myself.

Suddenly, taking him by surprise, I hugged him. He didn't respond at first, but I soon felt his arms around my waist. "I'm sure, she's still close to you, you just can't see her", I whispered near his ear. "I know, I just feel so lonely sometimes.",he said releasing me from the hug.

"Well, you have me now. You'll never feel lonely again. I promise", I said holding his hands. " Don't make promises you can't keep ",he said, with an unreadable expression on his face.

"I won't leave you ", I said giving his hands a tight squeeze.

"Trust me, you will one day", he said. His eyes were fixed at something far and distant, as if he was seeing the future.

"Nope", I said popping the p. "Not even if the wirld turns upside down", I said.

"Not even if I do something that might make you hate me? ",he said tugging a strand of hair behind my ear. But he never moved away, instead, he moved closer towards me, completely closing the distance between us until our foreheads touched.

"I don't think it's in my power to ever hate you"

His eyes were fixed on mine, but then they slowly drifted off to my lips. He cupped my face, before closing his eyes and leaning in slowly, as if giving me time to move away. But how should I have explained it to him that I was fixed at my spot. Honestly, I wanted to feel his lips against mine.

After what felt like eternity, his lips finally met mine, in a soft, and passionate kiss. My heart was beating at a thousand miles per second. My mind has gone completely blank. I was so unconditionally and irrevocably attracted to him, that I couldn't judge between right and wrong. So, I kissed him back, our lips seemed to moved in perfect sync.

I wanted that kiss to last forever, but unfortunately I had to break away the kiss, grasping for air. He placed his forehead against mine, his eyes still closed. At that moment, I realised just how desperately I wanted him, his touch, his soothing voice, his heart warming smile. Everything about him, it inevitably attracted me more to him, than I already was. But was it only attraction, I highly doubt so.

He slowly opened his eyes, his blue orbs piercing into my purple ones. This little heartfelt moment of ours, was interrupted by the ringing of his phone. He picked it up. "hey Mandy",he said casually, like nothing happened before. The person on the other line said something which I couldn't hear. "yeah, I'll see what I can do. ",Tyler said before ending the call.

I wonder if it really meant anything to him or was it just another one of his regular things. But where does it take us from here? Certainly to not being friends anymore, after that kiss, we definitely were more than just friends. But what if it didn't mean the same to Tyler, what would I do then? And the main topic here was how should I react after this. Should I ask for explanations, should I get out of the car and never turn back again, or should I just let things roll like they were supposed to.

Should I act casual as well, like whatever happened didn't bother me at all, even though it did a great deal. I can't say I didn't want it to happen, I don't even regret whatever happened. He seemed rather frustrated by the phone call. So I thought of using it as my benefit and decided to change the topic before it could lead to something else.

Call me a coward, yes, I was afraid of rejection, so I never brought up the topic before. I don't think I have gained that courage to bring it up now. I was afraid to accept my own feelings! Because I didn't want to get hurt if he didn't felt the same way for me. However, I don't think I can ever forget my first kiss, which I shared with the official bad boy of Redwood High, Tyler Evans.

"Is everything all right? ",I asked about the previous phone call, although I was also referring to whatever happened between us before, but he didn't seem to catch it or may be he was just ignoring it. "Yeah, nothing much. It's just that my friend, Danny has broken somebody's nose, again! ",he said with a sigh.

"Then what will you do about it? Threaten that person to say that he slipped and not report it to anyone, ever.",I said, raising one eyebrow. "Yeah, something like that",he said with a smirk, before adding, "come on , we don't want you to be late for class. ",he said getting out of the car and opening the passenger side door for me to get out as well.

"You don't want me to be late for class? Don't tell me, you will go threatening or murdering someone again! ",I said, raising one eyebrow. "I may have to fix somethings between Danny and that guy. ",he said placing his hand around my waist.

I was about to complain, but as I got out of the car, my eyes landed on a familiar blond haired, green eyed figure, leaning on a black SUV. Seeing Elliott here, it immediately made me stop in my tracks. Tyler followed my gaze and his hold on me immediately tightened. "maybe, it's finally time i teach that creep a lesson",Tyler said clenching his jaw. He turned around to face Elliott.

"No, you'll not do anything of that kind",I said grabbing his hand, before he could take another step towards Elliot. Elliot on the other hand, didn't seem bothered by any of it. I wonder if he even noticed us, he was actually busy, talking to someone in the phone.

"But he's stalking you! ",Tyler said angrily. "Or maybe he just goes to the same school as us",I tried to reason. "Come on, stop over reacting. ",I said, pulling him inside, since he was reluctant on moving.

The corridors were crowded with people, but everyone immediately moved to the side as Tyler entered. Everyone's eyes were on us. Our interlinked fingers waren't helping either with the new profound, rumours, TYLER EVANS, THE OFFICIAL BAD BOY OF REDWOOD HIGH HAS STARTED DATING THE NEW GIRL, ARIEL HASTINGS! But Tyler didn't seem to be bothered by their whisperings -rather loud enough for us to hear. He must be habituated with such things. I wouldn't say he was popular, everyone was just afraid of him.

By the time we reached my locker, the news must have been circulated, to almost all the parts of the school. "What do you have for the first period ?"Tyler asked as I opened my locker. "biology. And you? ",I said grabbing the books necessary for the first period. "Nothing really, I told you I've to settle some things with that boy. Anyways, let me carry them for you. ",he said indicating to my books. "Okay, sure",I said handing them to him. I didn't see any point in denying his generous offer, and infact, the biology book was quite heavy.

We walked to the class, side by side. I wanted to ask him why he was wasting his precious time, carrying my books to class. Did I mean something to him then? Many a times, these little things he did-unknowingly perhaps-just showed that he cared.

By the time we reached our class, Mr Collins had already started with his lectures. I have to admit this, I was an A grade student, but his boring lectures, even made me dislike one of my favourite subjects. As I about to take the books from his hand, he pulled me to the side instead.

He held the books in one of his hands, and his other hand held mine. "Ari, I wanted to say this to you, from the first moment I'd laid my eyes on you, your face is all I see, whether my eyes are closed or open.", he said heaving a sigh. "Okay, I will simply cut to the chase. So here it goes. Ari, I like you! ",he said in one breath.

I wasn't expecting to ever hear something like this, coming from his mouth. At the most, I thought he would say 'I'll meet you after class. ' but 'like you 'is like talking everything to a whole new different level, I wasn't prepared for.

"I.....I ",I didn't know what to say, his confession has just left me spell bound. What was supposed to reply, anyway. I undeniably have strong feelings for him, but could I trust him with my heart. In my mind, I'm playing two different scenarios, one if I confessed my true feelings for him, or the other, if I just denied my own heart.

And I didn't get the chance to say anything as well, we were interrupted by Mr Collins angry voice,"Miss Hastings, will you get inside the class." "Tyler I......I don't know what to say, it's just that "I was interrupted by Mr Collins again, "Miss Hastings, you are disturbing the whole class ".

"Calm down, Mr Collins, she is getting inside the class. Anyways, you are not getting any older. So continue with your stupid lessons, she will be joining soon.",Tyler said looking deadpan, in his eyes. It was clear in his tone, that he was extremely irritated by Mr Collins frequent interruptions.

It was a sickeningly comic aspect of an unfunny situation, Mr Collins actually obeyed him and didn't dare look at our discretion again. I wonder how much he had terrorised the people here. I would have laughed if the whole class wasn't staring at me, waiting for my reply. Some have even got up from their seats and creeped to the corner, to have a better access to listen to our conversation.

"Yes Ari, so you were saying? ",he said diverting my attention to him. "You may not have the same feelings for me, I get that. I don't want to force you into anything. Take your time, I'll respect whatever your answer might be. I know I'm not the kind of guy any girl would like to date, but please give me one chance. I promise I'll do anything for you. ",he said looking into my eyes.

There was so much truth in his eyes, I couldn't stop my emotions from overflowing. Disregarding all my senses-telling me to think about it carefully before making any commitment-I heard myself saying nothing but a meek and happy, "okay Tyler, I'll give this a chance.",I confessed honestly. "But on one condition ",I added quickly. "We'll not rush into anything, and take everything slowly. It's all too sudden for me Tyler, I'm not fully ready for commitment. ".

"That's enough for me, sweetheart ",he said with a smile. I couldn't help but smile back, the word 'sweetheart' seemed so sweet coming from his mouth.

The goofy smile just never left my lips. It felt like I've just won the Nobel prize. I never thought a guy like him would ever take any interest in me, I just dreamed of it. Although I would have to agree I had a huge crush on him, since the moment I first saw him.

Maybe it had something to do with the fact that he reminded me so much of my first, unrequited love. Maybe that's why it came so easy, liking him, developing feelings for him, even though it was the most stupid thing to do. But I didn't care anymore. Tyler......he was everything that mattered. His confession that he liked me just as much as I liked him, was everything I needed to hear. He was everything - everything that there ever would be for me.

I was actually scared to get inside the class now, Tyler would leave, but I'll have to face Mr Collins wrath. Tyler seemed to understand my discomfort, so he followed me inside the class. So obviously, Mr Collins didn't dare say anything when both of us entered the class together. Tyler placed the books on an empty desk on the left side of the room. All the seats were almost taken since we're late.

"I'll see you later then",he said giving a peck on my cheek. "Okay", I said with a smile. He then left the class. During all of this the whole class was silent, carefully observing our every movement.

I buried my head in my book, for the rest of the period. I dare didn't look up, because I was damn sure, everyone's eyes were still on me. The covert glances and quiet murmurs I had evoked before in the hallway, are nothing compared to the attention brought on by the sight of Tyler pecking on my cheek.

The confession has taken time to sink in and though it's just been a few days since we've met, it felt like a lifetime of happiness. The time we spent together was really precious to me as we've lived here. It felt like something special was blossoming between us, slowly but surely.

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