How dare he? How dare he?
How dare he bring up the last time they had seen one another, how dare he ask if William remembered him, how dare he even open his fucking mouth.
How could he simply flaunt gracefully before William, not a care in the world, and smile and grin and sigh and laugh? How could he act as though nothing had happened between the two of them besides a mere copious amount of awkwardness? How could he possibly remain so very stoic, so blind-sighted, so unaffected, when William was cringing and wincing and dying inside, heart pinned at the stake, burning alive, each vein and every drop of blood on fire, red hot with both rage and, to his own frustration, affection.
How could he simply trudge backwards, smiling to himself as he bid William farewell, promising him they'd speak again, leaving him behind in a wave of self-loathing, anger, and confusion. How could he? How could he? And how had William even managed to open his mouth, how had he been able to breathe while the bastard had spoken to him?
Perhaps he had simply remembered what Oliver had done, how he'd abandoned him without a word. How he'd gone at least a decade without a care in the world for his best friend he had once shared so much with.
How he'd managed to miss so many important things in William's life, how much tragedy William had to go through alone. William had needed Oliver, yet Oliver had declared himself the epitome of ignorance.
"Will!" A voice screeched through his ears like a train whistle, unforgiving and troublesome, eager to grasp his attention. When he opened his eyes, though he wasn't aware he had closed them, he realized he hadn't moved an inch. He was still standing beside his locker, still frozen in place, stoic, giving nothing away, body motionless, backpack forgotten on the floor by his feet. When the persistent voice came again, William turned to his left, coming eye-to-eye with Emmy, her expression concerned, obvious by the crease between her brows, and her lips, curved downward in spite.
"Finally," She spat, reaching out to clasp roughly onto his arm with her pale, bony fingers, whilst her body bent and her arm extended for a good grip on his backpack, before dragging him down the hall, quickly and rather rushed. "We're going to be late for French!"
Taking the corner at lightning speed, William merely following, his figure numb, Emmy eventually turned to him in imminent worry, brows furrowed and the entirety of her expression frowning.
"Are you okay?" She asked, pity crawling sneakily into her tone of voice, shaking William awake, jostling him uneasily as if to silently shout 'get a grip!'.
"Fine," He snapped, adjusting his backpack on his shoulder where Emmy had roughly tossed it before they took off, "Just thoroughly pissed off."
Emmy scoffed and nodded, continuing in her efforts to drag him to their dull foreign language class, "Understandable."
They finally made it through the open classroom door, past the preoccupied teacher, and the rambling crowds of students, and into their desks before Emmy leaned forwards, her fist tucking itself beneath her chin, her elbow resting against the wooden surface beneath her, "I still want the details. S'il vous plait?"
William blinked dazedly, deciding to simply stare off and around the classroom whilst Emmy simply batted her eyelashes his way, silently pleading with inaudible whimpers.
"He was so fucking nonchalant," William spat, yanking his backpack off and shoving it harshly onto the floor, carelessly and without concern. "He just made dull conversation. As if everything was normal. Ordinary. Like nothing ever happened."
Emmy growled to herself, crossing her arms as she sat facing him in her seat, "What a basket-cockle."
William smirked, amused by his closest friend. Emmy didn't cuss; she was a good girl, a scholar, a straight A student. So, when she was mad at someone, her insults steadily grew stranger and stranger.
"Should I dare ask what that means?" William laughed, relief washing over his tense position at his desk, his stress level already dissipating after venting off to his one and only friend.
"I don't even know what it means. Read it in a book. I think it's supposed to be some brutal insult from medieval times," She shrugged, grinning to herself, glad she could bring some joy to her emotionally monotonous companion.
With a chuckle and a somewhat bitter sigh, William shook his head, slouching backwards in his uncomfortably hard chair and resting his arms on the surface of his desk, "In that case, I hope that basket-cockle never speaks to me again."
"That bad?" Emmy pushed, expression solemn and twisted into regret.
"He asked about my parents."
William grunted in response, the instant fury swarming back once more, just slightly more dulled than its previous intensity.
"Does he know?" Emmy pondered aloud, her eyes darting to the teacher slowly rising from her seat, the old woman wobbling over to close the classroom door and prepare herself to teach the current lesson.
"No. Of course not. Only closest family were ever told. And the funeral wasn't big." William swallowed, somewhat surprised with how well he managed to comment on the subject, having usually feigned ignorance in the past.
"But if he wouldn't have left, or at least told me, he..." William paused and trailed off, unwilling to fall deeper into the desperate years that had become of him after his supposed-to-be best friend had abandoned his very being.
"He's an even bigger basket-cockle than I thought." Emmy clipped, sneering rudely at the very idea of Oliver Emerson.
Laughing once more at the ridiculously horrid insult, William turned to face the stammering teacher, her old age slowly catching up with her as she struggled to pronounce her French pronouns, just as Emmy smiled and whirled around to do the same.