Love my Neighbor

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Chapter 3 - Reagan

“Hey, Rea... rea… gaa... ah ah ah”, my bully gave a mocking cough and flicked my hair.

I squeezed my eyes and took shallow puffs of breath. My hands wrapped around my chest and my feet increased their pace.

My senses shifted their focus on the grey of the school’s tiles. Before panic could overwhelm my being, I unconsciously directed my feet towards my safe zone. A pair of comforting hands grounded my urgent escape.

“Hey, Justin!” Andre gave a hearty squeal and protectively engulfed my trembling frame.

“Hey, Andy”, Justin replied dryly. My tormentor of the day glared holes at the back of my head. Andre tightened his hold on me in a futile attempt to calm my worsening tremors.

“Haven’t I told you? Pick on someone your size” Andre tsked at him, “Or at least the size of your dick.” The people near us drew unintentional sniggers. The retreating feet calmed my quivering body.

Another day. Another person. Same me. Same old story.

Isn’t it weird that people hate you for who you are? Even if they do not know you? It is a twisted, tragic, comical part of my life.

Maybe one day, I won’t feel their hate. Maybe one day, I’ll love myself a little more.

But, today is not that day. Today, I wish the earth swallows my misery just so I have a fleeting chance at smiling for the way I was created.

Andre pulls me into a corner away from curious eyes to cocoon me in his homely warmth. He pets my hair and rubs my cold-ridden hands.

“I trii...ed. I... I... t-old hhh...him to to to not booolly me”, my voice thickened with emotion strained my vocal cords.

“I know honey, I know. You don’t have to explain yourself to me”, Andre’s calming aura was enough to inundate my haunting melancholia. I took deep breaths and mentally repeated my daily mantra – You are perfect just the way you are.

“Justin and his friends are a bunch of arseholes. Their hole needs a dick my size to shut their trap”, the obscenity of his language took me by surprise, and I bubbled into giggles.

“Now that’s the smile I like”, he cooed wiping away my tears, snort and grief.

“Who wants some coke? I brought chips. I think skipping one class a day is healthy to keep the boredom away” Juliet sang from behind Andre. My eyes filled once again.

Andre groaned, “Why? Just why? Why would you make her cry again? She was delighted with my amazing personality, Juliet!”

“Amazing personality? Are you kidding me? You cried when the mart was out of butterscotch ice-cream! That’s not an amazing personality. That’s a cranky personality”, Juliet scoffed at Andre.

My eyes juggled between Juliet and Andre, making me snort laughter instead of tears. Their constant stream of insults filled me with newfound positivity. My troubles didn’t feel insurmountable anymore.

Before I knew it, we inhaled Juliet’s emergency snacks and began our daily gossip session. The ringing sound of bells made us wrap up our mini-party for our next class.

“So, I heard there’s a new hot senior boy enrolled today. While issuing books in the library, I saw his hair! OH MY GOD! It looked so smooth, I was tempted to ask him which shampoo he uses, but I figured…”, I interrupted Juliet’s update of the day.

“Why were you issuing bo-books in the li-library?”, my voice hiked with panic. Do we have a surprise quiz? Did I miss something?

“Reagan!”, Andre exclaimed.

“Wh-what?”

“The focus is the new guy, not the library. Compartmentalize, will you?”, Andre effectively shut me up and turned towards Juliet.

“I swear to God I need some action, please tell me you found out he’s gay!”, Andre whispered the last part to Juliet. Let’s just agree that if people have an issue with a stammering girl, a gay boy is far from appreciated.

“What? Are you crazy? And FYI, the focus is not the guy, it’s his hair! Have you seen how frizzy mine are? The changing weather is screwing with its texture” Juliet picked up a lock of her hair for demonstration. I nodded my head in agreement. Her hair did need a nourishing hair mask.

Andre groaned and exclaimed with raised hands, “Argh! I thought puberty hit the two of you! What are these freaking priorities?”

“The th-thing is…”, my thoughts stopped midway when I saw a familiar face with brown hair and tanned skin. My sexy new neighbor, Joshua, was surrounded by a group of girls. No wait, I mean a group of popular girls. He looked like he needed tools to dig an escape tunnel that would magically disappear his almost six-foot build.

An amused smile adorned my face.

“Hot, definitely hot”, Andre fanned himself with an expression that said he was an orgasm away. My attention was glued at my hot neighbor’s facial bone structure.

“Stop staring both of you!”, Juliet hissed our way. No can do. I supported my back on the nearest wall and mentally recorded this classic moment.

Apart from ogling him, I felt abysmal at his evident discomfort. I wanted to rescue him, but what are the chances he even remembers me? Moreover, those girls would snatch my eyes and make my school year even more miserable to take out any challengers.

After all, he is the school’s new boy now. Who likes stale burgers? And that’s what Joshua is – the fresh meat to their burger. I sighed and turned to walk towards our next class.

“REAGAN!”, that unforgettable husky honey-like voice yelled through the hallways.

I froze.

My friends gasped at me with accusing eyes.

I gulped.

My body robotically turned towards him. He smiled so wide, I could see his entire teeth set.

Joshua used his arms to squeeze himself through the herd of girls. He practically ran like his life depended on it and stood in front of me.

“Hi! Thank God! Finally, someone I know. I didn’t know you go to school here. That’s great!” he smiled and adjusted his bag on his shoulders.

Is he really elated seeing me? Or this some practical joke? I hate practical jokes. Infatuation or not, I will kill him if this is a joke.

Joshua looked at my friends and waved, “Hey, I am Joshua. Joshua Chadwick”, he forwarded his hand towards Andre. Andre made a funny noise while I kept gaping.

“Hi! I am Juliet. That’s Andre, and you seem to know Reagan?”, Juliet saved us from further embarrassment by shaking Joshua’s hand.

“Yes, well, we are Neighbors. I guess she couldn’t tell you because she is muu...err...I mean”, Joshua snapped his mouth shut. His face and ears turned red. Is he blushing?

My Greek God neighbor is blushing and looking at me? At me? I repeat me?

“Could you teach me some quick stuff in sign language? Like a greeting or something?”, Joshua abruptly asked Juliet. Her face twisted in confusion.

“Sign language?”, Juliet unsurely enquired with a nervous glance in my direction.

“Yeah well, I don’t know any, maybe later? Shoot! I’m late. Could you tell me where this next class is?” Joshua pushed his schedule into Juliet’s face. She gave him quick directions.

“You know the senior hot guy?” Juliet accused with narrowing eyes once Joshua was out of hearing range.

“He’s your neighbor?” Andre shook both my arms for emphasis.

“What’s this sign language rubbish?” Juliet mercilessly bombarded.

“Oh, god. I could see his abs through that white shirt!” Andre looked like he was going to pass out. Either that or cover me with his drool.

Juliet groaned and rushed us to our next class.

My friends seemed to have recovered faster than me from this very very, very strange event.

As my feet were dragged to endure Algebra, I turned, and my eyes skimmed towards the group of now abandoned girls.

Even though I still have a hard time grasping this strange event, I am sure about three things:

1. Joshua definitely remembers me.

2. My new neighbor, who’s in the same school as me, still believes I am mute.

3. My eyes are going snatched from my sockets. Either by the end of this academic year if not by the end of today.

I gulped my trepidation in horror.


Author’s Note:
The storyline is gradual. I wish to capture their sentiments through their ages. The smut is far far away. ಠ‿↼

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