The cycle of Strangers

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Chapter 11

“Where are you going?” My eyebrows furrow.

“We have ten minutes to get back.”

“Ugh! I don’t want to walk. Let’s call a taxi.” I raise my hand, proud of my suggestion.

“Shut up.” He shakes his head with a stern face. “We’ll be late for work.”

That’s something I’ve come to realise about him. He cares about work. Don’t get me wrong, I care a lot, however, his efforts towards everything he does are huge. Instead of chuckling books into bags, he delicately places them in slowly, one by one. But what can I say... it’s only the first day!

“Fine. I’m getting up!” I raise my arms up in defeat whilst he walks around to my side of the bench.

I stand from the bench, putting all my rubbish in one hand, leaving the strawberries and sweets in the other within the carrier. Twisting my body, I turn to step over the wooden seat. Rather than actually raising my leg up enough, I stop at a point where I get my foot stuck just under the seat, causing my body to stumble down.

“Don’t catch me.” I call out, before I hit the ground and his hands move back to his side.

Suddenly Gio takes a step forward and bursts into a harsh, cackling laughter, surely bringing more attention to my splattered body amongst the floor. Not only did my face tingle, but I can feel sweat forming under my arms. I grab the frozen grass with both hands, heaving my face upwards to look at him. His hands quickly cover his mouth, as if he wasn’t the one who just stood there laughing at me.

“I said don’t catch me, not don’t help me up.” I speak through my gritted teeth.

He offers his hand, to which I clasp onto, pulling myself up. I brush off all the dirt from my leggings, especially around my ass. I would hate to get put onto one of those Instagram meme pages, because of grass.

A boy with dark brown hair, who looks older than my age walks up to me. I watch him take his hands out of his pocket.

“Are you alright? I saw what happened.”

“Yes?” I say more like a question. Looking back, I only now realise Gio’s at the bin with my rubbish.

“Oh, that’s good. I thought you might have hurt yourself.” He smiles.

“I’m sorry, but do I know you?” I question, searching his face for some sort of familiarity. Still, I don’t recognize him from anywhere. Maybe he’s one of my parents’ friend’s child?

“Nah, nah.” He shakes his head, digging into his coat pocket for something. Carefully, I step back a little, in case of him bringing out a knife. You see, in the UK that’s how they do it. Act as if they’re nice, then stab you when you don’t expect it. Sly bastards!

To my relief, instead of a knife, he pulls out his phone.

“Oh okay then. Thank you.” I smile, ready to leave this conversation.

“Actually, I was gonna ask if I could get your sn-”

The boy moves his eyes from me to someone behind. I turn, directly bumping into him. Gio. I gulp as I compare both their frames. Gio is definitely more built and taller in height. Despite the other guy, clearly being older, it’s not as if he could beat Gio up without him being knocked out first.

“Are you her boyfriend?” The guy asks, calmly.

“Yes.” He answers.

“No.” I turn, quickly replying for myself.

Both were at the same time, though. We keep silent for a bit, so I try to say something again.

“No-”

“Yes, I am her boy friend.”

“Oh my bad, I respect that man.” He nods at Gio, to which he does nothing back with a look of ice cold, demanding his place.

The boy laughs awkwardly then makes his leave. Once he’s out of hearing, I hit Gio’s chest, scowling up at him.

“What?” He whines, acting all innocent, in opposition to how he spoke to that poor guy.

“Don’t lie to people like that!” I fold my arms while turning around to become face to face, the distance between us minimal.

“I didn’t lie. I am your boy friend. I don’t think I’m your girl friend. Am I?” He questions.

“Shut up! You know the idea he got from it,” I pout my lips, ” and he was cute!”

“Looked average to me.” He removes eye contact, beginning to walk in direction of the store. I follow behind him, taking a glimpse at his face. His eyes look dark, his eyebrows furrow with wrinkles in between and his lips stay pursed. I notice his breathing is deeper and he storms away.

“You look average to me.” I skip forward, so that I’m further in front of him.

“Is that why you didn’t want me to catch you?” He whispers into my ear, clearly a faster walker than myself. His tone is dominating and strict and-

No! That sounds-

No!

I am no sub.

“No, friends don’t catch each other.” I lie, knowing damn right it’s because if he were to catch me we’d look like a movie scene. And 99% of the falls in romance films I’ve watched, end up with the pair falling for each other at ‘first sight’.

“Yes, they do.”

“No- but- I- nothing. Let’s just get to Molly’s.” I roll my eyes, walking ahead.

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