The first thing he heard was the aggravatingly high-pitched tone of the kid's merciless voice, as he sat hunched over, glasses pushed up against the bridge of his nose, coffee mug in hand.
The second thing he heard, of which was far more significant, was his name.
Between a discussion about the new Pumpkin Spice Latte accommodating the autumn weather, and the stupidity of Laketown High's moronic 12th grade marine science teacher, his name had arisen.
It was a name he had hoped he would have forgotten, years ago, having ignored all concept of the very person belonging to such a name for just over a decade. However, as soon as the title was spoken, his entire being shook to its very core; his fingers had trembled, his eyes had welled up quite suddenly with the bitter fear of tears, and his knee had began to bounce, a nervous tick he had spontaneously been rewarded with. The pencil of which had been scribbling hurriedly in his sketchbook had froze, and, for some reason, the overwhelming smell of freshly brewed coffee, without warning, made him nauseous.
Within an instant, his ears had readied themselves for further inquisition, listening intently to the loud, obnoxious conversing going on at the booth just in front of him.
"Really?" The teenager sitting across from his squeaky-voiced friend, holding a steaming cup of what looked like some kind of Chai tea, marveled disbelievingly.
"Yeah," Glasses snapped back, "I hear he's coming back into town this week."
Chai shook his head, scoffing aloud, "Holy shit. I haven't seen that kid since second grade."
Glasses nodded, adjusting his hold on the handle of his blue, complimentary mug, "Yeah. Apparently his dad's some hotshot doctor. Got offered some high position in Lakeland City."
"Why would they move into Laketown then?"
"Dunno. Accommodation? I don't think they ever sold their house."
Chai let out a sharp laugh, rattling his head back and forth as though utterly disapproving, "This'll be interesting."
And then Glasses delved deeper into his history with him, somehow believing it was a grand idea to bring up kindergarten years, only to get far too carried away. He, instead, complained further about how teachers were getting paid too much for doing nothing, how he never got nap time in his class, and how some brainless lard peed his pants twice in one school day.
Having long tuned out the prospering conversation, William merely sat alone in his booth, letting his black coffee go cold, staring at his faded sketch of a human being, noting the slope of the nose, the curve of the lips, the fringe of the hair. And, purposely, in an action so very unforgiving, each and every feature simply morphed into an image of him.
He who's ridiculously comedic or "perfect smile" photos appeared on Instagram and Facebook, taunting him; who's expression was always one of sublime bliss, and who's very nature sent William falling into the dark abyss of attraction; weightless and helplessly limp.
Remember what he did to you.
He was dreading it. Absolutely dreading it. Dreading the day he would walk into his classroom and lock eyes with the one person that had somehow broken his heart and stolen it at the same time.
Because Oliver Emerson was moving back into Laketown. And William Levi was undoubtedly fucked.