Then You Look At Me

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~And I guess the bad can get better. Gotta be wrong before it’s right. Every happy phrase engraved in my mind. And I’ve always been a go-getter, there’s truth in every word I write. But still, the growing pains, they’re keeping me up at night.~ Alessia Cara.

Chapter Theme Song: 'Growing Pains' by Alessia Cara & Cyrus DeShield.



“You know I just think it’s crazy how your mom hasn’t started complaining yet…you know, about me being here.” Riley attempts to knot the plaid tie around her neck, screwing her face up when it comes out looking like a tangled rope.

“I’ll do it for you.” I smile softly, quickly slipping my boots on before joining her by the mirror.

“My dad already spoke to her, and it’s the least she can do after not telling me about your hospitalization.” I bring the thick end of her tie across the narrow end while she watches the steps from my mirror.

“Honestly though, do you think that’s why? Maybe she’s starting to like me.”

I scoff. Quite unlikely.

I adjust the tie firmly beneath her collar, straightening the perfectly formed knot while she crinkles her nose with a frown.

“This is literally a piece of fabric hanging on my neck. I look like a rottweiler for shit’s sake.”

I laugh. “It doesn’t look that bad.” Stepping back, I scrutinize her attire. “Mm. Your skirt looks a tad short though.”

“Yeah, I had to tell the lady to take some of the inches off, I initially looked like a nun, Rainey.”

I giggle. “Alright, pray Cameron doesn’t notice it. Are they all this short though?” I slip my wrist band between my lips, pulling my hair up before tying it into a messy bun.

Crosshill’s number one rule for the girls is no short skirts. Somehow Olivia manages to wear hers at thigh-length with zero chastisements. But what do I expect? Having a mom as a headmistress has its perks.

“Nah, the rest looks like a wedding dress.”

I chuckle as I plop on my bed, crouching down to tie my laces.

“By the way, I meant to ask.”


“Why were you and Ansel coming from that bathroom yesterday?”

My hands still on my laces while my mind goes into a state of reminiscence. Ansel’s nude figure that I saw by accident vividly appears in my thoughts and I flash my head. Admittedly, I had great difficulty focusing on anything else since the incident. Even when Riley and I were at the mall yesterday, I was noticeably distracted. I felt like my soul was still present in that bathroom where Ansel had embraced me from behind.

My cheeks take on a bright shade of red and Riley whirls around with a grin on her face, bending her head to catch sight of my expression. I try to keep a straight face as I proceed to tie my laces, but I seem to have failed miserably since she begins snickering.

“You are blushing, oh my God.” She perches against my dresser, grinning excitedly. “What did you guys do?”

“We didn’t do anything. I--I just kind of walked in on him naked.” My breathing has become uneven just by uttering the words. I suddenly feel hot as I sit upright, popping my blouse to create some breeze.

Riley’s mouth is wide open. “Woah, wait-what?”

“It was an accident.”

“Oh my God.” She gasps as she hurries over to crash infront of me. I think she has forgotten that we have school this morning.

“Okay, okay-oh gosh, I am so excited-tell me, what did it look like?”

My eyes almost pop out of my head. “What on earth are you asking me, Ry?”

“You know, his...size.” She whispers the last part and my entire face becomes a giant strawberry. I can’t understand how Riley can speak so sexually bold when it comes to others but she’s really shy when she’s the subject.


I am forced to think back to his naked figure. Though I didn’t spend time observing his body, what I saw was quite hard to miss. More frankly, his nature was quite hard to miss. It is literally the first thing anyone would see.

I pop my shirt again, blowing my cheeks out. “Do I have to say?”

“Yes, or you know I won’t stop bothering you about it all day!” She clasps her hands together and I am certain that she will not be letting this go anytime soon, if ever at all. “Big, small, medium?”

I am ignorant when it comes to differentiating sizes in that area, but I think I have good judgment to know which of the categories Ansel fits in.

I nervously fiddle with my tie. “First option…”

Riley gasps dramatically, pressing a palm to her mouth. “Oh my God. No way. Really?”

I nod my head.

“Wow.” Her eyes are the size of melons. “Damn. So, he has a 5.0 GPA, good-looking, and to top it off he’s blessed with that. He is quite surreal; I can’t seem to wrap my head around it. Just imagine it. Imagine if you guys were to have sex—”

“This conversation ends here.” I laugh as I begin to get up while Riley grins in amusement.

“Where are you going? We aren’t done talking!”

“Yeah, we are. Come on, get up. Do you want to be tardy on your first day?”

She whines in disappointment, throwing herself against the bed. I titter at her immaturity as my phone dings from my nightstand. Retrieving it, I sweep some abandoned hair from my eyes with my smile stuck to my face.

Good Morning, we are almost there. Are you guys ready?


“Is that the big guy?” Riley’s props up onto her elbows, waggling her brows cheekily.

“God, no Ry don’t use that term. And you seriously can’t tell him that I told you that.”

“I wouldn’t.” She giggles, pretending to pull a zipper across her lips. I cannot help chuckling as I tap a response.

Good morning. Yeah, we are. 😊


“Are they here?” She reaches for her knapsack from the bed and I do the same, tucking my phone in the pocket of my skirt.

“Almost, let’s wait on the porch.”


We leave my room and begin our journey down the stairs as I laugh at the fact that Riley keeps fondling with her necktie. It will take her some time to get used to this; I was equally as uncomfortable on my first day.

“Could you stop fiddling with it, Ry? You’re going to ruin it.”

“I feel like I’m choking.”

I laugh, almost doubling over against the railway.

“No, honestly, Rain. My air-flow is cut off.”

“If it was you wouldn’t be talking.”

My giggles come to an abrupt halt when I notice my mom at the kitchen island. She has her phone in hand, shaking her head with a worried expression. Normally I would stroll on past her without even an exchange of greetings, but her countenance appears quite horrified which makes me wonder if something is devastatingly wrong.

“Are you okay?” I suddenly stop in my tracks and Riley almost bumps into me from behind but holds her ground as she regards my mother with equal curiosity.

My mom sighs, pushing her hair back. “No. I have not heard from Jeff. He left yesterday for the gym and I haven’t seen him since.”

Riley and I exchange glances and a short period of silence flows among us. I honestly have no idea what to say. I genuinely do not care.

“Uhm…then did you try calling his friend or—”

“Obviously, Rainey.” She rolls her eyes in sheer annoyance. “That’s a stupid question. Of course, I would try to call Greg, would I be here and not do that? God, please do not ask silly questions, I am not in the mood for it.”

I raise my palms. “Okay, fine. I was just trying to help.”

She shuts her eyes, waving dismissively. “Just go to school, please.”


My mom is determined to maintain the rift between us. No matter how much I try to cease our prolonging discord, she always finds a way to remind me of why I keep my distance.

“Let’s go, Ry.”

Riley nods in agreement but she has a strange expression on her face as she slowly follows me through the door, glancing back at my mom with a crinkled forehead. We stand on the porch, waiting for the brothers to arrive. The morning is bright and sunny, pacified by a cool surge of breeze that moderates the atmosphere.

My mom’s bantering of frustration can be heard from where we are, and I shake my head, reaching into my pocket for a packet of chewing gum.

I wish I cared. But I genuinely don’t. Not after what that man and his friend did to me.

I get rid of the wrapper and put one into my mouth before extending the box to Riley. She shakes her head and grips the straps of her bag, the peculiar look still on her features.

I sigh. “What-why do you look like that?”

She shrugs, kicking her boot against the floor. “What do you think happened to Jeff?”

I bite my lip as I put the gum away, shrugging my shoulders. “I don’t know; I don’t care. If he dies, I wouldn’t care either…”

She stares at the ground after my response, twisting her lips in thought, and I exhale heavily, tilting my head to the side.

“What, you feel sorry for him?”

“No, it’s not that.”

“Then what?”

She turns to me and I sight the culpable gleam in her emerald eyes.

“Rain…actually, I told Al—”

Beep Beep!

We snap our gazes to the gates where Alex’s car is now parked. He waves to us from the driver’s seat and we immediately scamper down to the vehicle, our previous concerns pushed to the back of our minds at the sight of our boyfriends. I spot Ansel’s mop of dark hair over Alex’s shoulder and my cheeks immediately become rosy.

We slide into the backseat, and the clean, fresh scents of the boys greet my nostrils. I am not sure if it is cologne or body wash, but the scent is heavenly and masculine. The windows are drawn up and the air conditions are cool, a trail of goosebumps appearing on my exposed thighs.

Alex kisses Riley’s lips and Ansel shifts his face to smile at me. Unable to hide my elation, I slide to the edge of my seat, perching my arms upon his seat. “Good morning.”

“Good morning.” He pecks me on the mouth, and warmth immediately builds up in the pit of my stomach.

My heart can never get used to his way of greetings.

Salivating his cherry lips, his eyes slumps to mine and a flicker of desire shines in them.

“Your lips taste nice.” He nips his bottom lip and I blush uncontrollably. Not only because of the intensity in his gaze but additionally how attractive he appears right now.

He is wearing his glasses today and as usual, is impeccably dressed in his uniform. I am not sure who ironed his clothes but the sharp seams in his trousers call for great commending. His wrist is adorned with a wooden bracelet and a Rolex watch. My eyes go further to notice the promise ring on his finger and a tide of satisfaction springs within me. I ensured to wear mine as well, along with the necklace he got me. Though Crosshill is set in their no-necklaces rule, I find it hard to leave it behind. It offers a sense of warmth and assurance. Just as how being close to him makes me feel.

“It’s probably the chewing gum.” I smile, and he offers one back, his dimples adding to the stomach-rippling effect of his beam.

“You okay?” Care glistens in his orbs as he gently strokes my cheek, and for some strange reason, I catch a tint of sadness in them.

I nod my head, leaning further into his touch. It is so comforting whenever I am in his presence. “I am fine. You?”

He lays his head against the headrest, keeping our gazes locked. “Just tired.”

I can tell. He seems to have had quite a hectic Sunday. Although his body language shows his fatigue, his orbs still manage to make my heart melt. They hold such assertion and passion.

“Al, you look really tired too. How’d you two spend your Sunday?” Riley fiddles with Alex’s black earring as he glances at Ansel, the two now wearing a strange expression.

“Went around town…dealt with some business.” Alex taps his fingers against the steering wheel, bobbing his head to the music playing softly on the radio. “Did I tell you how sexy your uniform looks on you, Ry? I couldn’t stop staring at your thighs while you approached the car.”

Her cheeks flush to a bright pink and I chuckle softly. She was so sexually bold earlier but now Alex’s words are enough to have her face on fire.


“I don’t want those guys at Crosshill checking you out; I wouldn’t want to have to pay one of them a visit. Ansel, keep a watch on her for me, yeah?”

Ansel smiles at his brother’s request. “Sure.”

“I’ll come to pick you guys up later,” Alex turns onto Crosshill’s street and Ansel takes my hand in his, interlacing our fingers. He plants a kiss on my knuckles. “Do you want to come to my house after school?”

I smile as he traces his thumb on my hand. “Yeah, okay.”


~And I can’t hide ’cause growing pains are keeping me up at night. If these scars could talk, they’d tell you things you don’t wanna know.~ Cyrus DeShield❤️

✨Thank you so much for your support and for sticking with me from Chapter One (Locker Guy) until now🧡It means a lot and I really appreciate it!! Stay tuned for more and if you like my story, don’t forget to hit that heart/like at the bottom and follow me (if you want to lol) so you can get instant notifications of when I post updates and everything concerning Ansel and Rainey💙

The theme song can be found on audiomack. It is originally sung by Alessia Cara but Cyrus Deshield did quite a good justice to it as well.

Alsooooo, if you want you can check out my short dialogue story: ‘Friendzoned’. It is a quick and light read, nothing too serious.

✨Much luv and stay tuned for more!💛


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