Rubber Band

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Oliver: Reunited

Oliver was not pleased.

No, now he was angry.

Now, he wanted to slam William Levi against a wall and shout in his face; just shout and shout and shout.

Tell him he was sorry, okay?
Tell him he was only a child back then, a stupid, ignorant child.
Tell him he was just scared, tell him he missed him like crazy, tell him he wanted him to be his best friend again.
For God’s sake, Oliver just wanted William to be his best friend again.

So bad.

So bad.

With outraged strides forward, his body weaving swiftly past students meandering towards their last class of the day, Oliver swept through the hallway, in search of William’s locker. He was far from the location of his French class, but he couldn’t find it within himself to care.

He would spend the seven minutes they were allowed between periods hunting down Will, and he would spend as many minutes as it took explaining himself to the boy.

Growling as he continued to dodge mindless teens, Oliver approached the correct hall, and dashed towards the locker he’d already seen up close and personal two times now.
Within an instant, he set his sights on William, standing there, outside the row of blue rectangles, expression somewhat pained and heavily guarded, and suddenly all of Oliver’s resolve crumbled.

He wasn’t angry anymore. He was merely remorseful.
Guilt snatched hold of his heart again, and Oliver was cringing as he approaching the solemn, dark haired boy, each stride more painful than the other, each noticed detail on William’s person becoming infinitely clearer to Oliver as he grew closer to his used-to-be best friend, of which was all the more devastating.

Within moments, he was standing in his usual spot, staring blankly at William Levi, eyes narrowed in concentration, brow furrowed and wavering.

William had glanced up from the ground he had been so intricately gazing at and glared directly through Oliver’s soul, as though he could plainly see the unsteady beating of his grief-stricken heart.

“Will,” Oliver managed, his voice hoarse and shaky, barely audible to the boy standing across from him.

William merely shook his head in spite, and slammed the door of his locker shut, just as he had the first time they’d reunited, but, now, with a more forceful swipe of his hand, stronger, heavier, and more powerful, not unlike his swelling anger.
“What now?” He snapped, glowering daggers at Oliver Emerson, watching his old friend’s expression battle between emotions, fury fighting with remorse and regret, whilst he continued to gawk at Will’s beautifully constructed features, as they twisted in malice.

Oliver, seemingly composing himself with an enormous amount of effort, took a deep breath and then exhaled, exasperatedly, shakily, “Look, can we just talk?”

William arched a brow, “About what?”

Oliver groaned in enragement and scowled at his friend, “Everything, I don’t know!” As his voice rose in volume, Oliver glanced to his side, swallowing as passerby’s gazed suspiciously his way.

William, however, seemed to take no notice.
“How very specific.”

Oliver scoffed and shrugged his shoulders, eyes burning uncontrollably as he glared forwards, taking in the whole of William’s seemingly careless expression, “Don’t you think you’re being a bit ridiculous?”

William’s entire face blanched, “Ridiculous?”

The bell rang for eighth period, but neither one of the boys took notice.

“I was six years old! I didn’t know any better?” Oliver argued, despairingly.

William sneered, “That’s your excuse? Really?”

“It’s a pretty good one!”

“Okay, what about this then? Why didn’t you call me?”

The entirety of their surroundings was silent now. Not a single body roaming the corridors. Simply, Oliver and William, glowering at one another in the dull, muted calm of the school’s empty halls.

With a sigh, Oliver glanced down at the ground, unsure how to answer the other’s question. Because why hadn’t he? He had been weak. Afraid. Terrified, really.

William frowned painfully, and pressed on, “Huh? Why didn’t you call me, keep in touch? We were best fucking friends!

Oliver winced, far more affected by the ‘were’ rather than the curse.

Gulping, he shook his head and pushed forward, eager to defend himself, to express what he had felt all those years, “I know that! You don’t think I know that? God, Will. I hated myself. I hated the fact that I was too much of a coward to say goodbye to you, that I was too stupid,” Oliver gasped, inhaling deeply, solemnly, “But it just got harder and harder to pick up the phone. To face you.”

William stared in silence, his eyes, far more blue now than grey, shining and burning with a still visible rage, of which, however, had softened with Oliver’s heartfelt confession. Blinking unsteadily, and sucking in a deep, shaky breath, Will swallowed and looked down, away from that guilt marred expression.

With all his courage, he sighed and barely managed to voice his next words. “I needed you.”

Oliver grimaced and nodded, his heart aching, “I know.”

A lot.

“I’m sorry,” Oliver whispered, and William was suddenly looking up at him again, those eyes as bright and colorful as a supernova, shimmering in contrast with the dark shades of his hair. Suddenly, Oliver could see his William, the old Will with the blonde curls and bright, shy smiles, a boy of whom had always been so ambitious, so inspiring to Oliver. Just within the sadness, the loneliness, and the hurt of William eyes, Oliver could make out that same little boy, calling to him, eager to escape, to be free, to embrace himself.

And then, it was gone, as William ducked his head down and turned away, cowering into himself once more, shying away from any possible connection to the old, to the useless past.

“I’m late for class,” Will muttered, and Oliver scoffed, nodding his head at his friend’s simplistic statement, a statement so very obvious, so very out of character.

“Right, me too,” Oliver cleared his throat and sighed, “French.”

William bobbed his head in a sort of finality, and turned to begin striding away, his black backpack shifting against his shoulders.

Oliver gulped, minding the knot in his throat and hurried to regain William’s attention, panicking as he watched his old friend shuffle away, “Will.”

The boy stopped.
He didn’t turn around, but he froze in his steps, which Oliver saw as a success.

Swallowing, he inched forward, “Look, my mom wants to invite you and your family over for dinner on Friday,” Oliver lied awkwardly, shrugging his shoulders in faux nonchalance, “Will you come?”

William slowly turned back to face Oliver, eyes narrowed and frown locked tightly in place across his expression, “Do you want me to?”

Oliver very nearly choked. That’s all he wanted. He’d used his mother as an excuse to simply conceal that little fact.
“Yes, of course.”

Nodding, William grunted a subtle, “Okay.”

Oliver brightened, the entirety of his expression softening into one of pure joy, a smile breaking out amongst his features, gratefully relieved, “Great! Good, cool. Yeah, okay. See you Friday then.”

William dropped his chin in recognition and then sauntered off, hurrying to Pre-Calc, slightly dazed, and wholly bemused with himself.

Oliver merely grinned, sent himself a mental high-five and began to jog towards his foreign language class.


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