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The Question of Love

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Anxiety affects every aspect of Tommy Smith's life but he doesn't know the first thing about dealing with it. Believing that romantic love isn't in his cards, he doesn't bother looking for it but what happens when someone is interested in him? Will Tommy accept the unexpected and let himself be courted or will he decide that even love is bound to fail at some point?

Romance / Drama
Age Rating:

Chapter One

The bright blue light was like sandpaper to my eyes, I was sitting at my desk desperately trying to make progress on my english assignment, that Mr. Jones had given the class, it was supposed to be our stance on the fragility and intensity of human emotion in reference to Romeo and Juliette. Writer's block got to me after typing out three sentences in total, a regular occurrence on the night before we have to turn our papers in. The never ending cycle of putting my schoolwork on the back burner until I have a couple hours to get to it before my mind inevitably starts producing only static instead of words, leaves me anxious like I'd just downed a dozen espressos. My eyelids flutter from the gradual heaviness so I close my laptop and decide that I'm no good in my trembling state to write anything worth reading out loud in front of my class tomorrow. My bed, tucked in the corner of my small room with only one window that is situated above it, is calling my name but I force myself to get up and make a beeline to the bathroom on the other side of the corridor to do the bare minimum of my nightly routine which is to wash my teeth.
Spitting out the remaining toothpaste i glance in the mirror, the first thing you'd notice about me are the fading purple shadows underneath my blue-ish, gray eyes, which are surprisingly going away ever since I've tried to get more than four hours of sleep a day. My shaggy auburn hair reaches down to my chin in wavy nonsense. My face has always been a mirror image of my mom's, a heart shaped face with big cheeks, a short nose and large eyes made Daisy Elizabeth Smith a heartbreaker. I have my dad's dark eyes and untamed hair but other than that I am all mom. My two older brothers got the Samuel Smith gene which made you six feet tall at fourteen, have a permanent scowl and have people refer to you as a difficult character, but that was a surface level impression. Jake and Drew were sweethearts when you got to know them, unless you got on their bad side, there wasn't a thing they wouldn't do or help you with. Shutting off the tap, I headed to my room for a night of peaceful rest.

"Tommy!" I hear someone shouting through the thick fog of sleep.
I turn over and pull the covers over my face. The clang of pots and pans coming from the kitchen is making it impossible to float back to that peaceful place where no one gives a care in the world. Heavy footfalls and the creak of the oak staircase can be heard through the house, when someone opens the door to my room impatiently.
"Tommy, we're leaving for school in fifteen minutes. I'll drag you out of bed again if i have to." The deep baritone of my dad's voice reverberates around the room.
I sullenly peek out of my covers to find my dad standing directly over my bed waiting.
"I didn't finish my paper for today, do I really have to go? Mr. Jones won't let that slide this time." I croak.
"And how much time did you have to write it? I heard you rustling around last night, couldn't you at least have written something?" My dad asks.
My eyes start to burn because I know he's right, I could have done something but instead i gave up like i always do.
"I had a week" I start but my voice wavers. "but I don't know dad. I'm sorry for fucking up again, it's like try to try my best but always end up empty-handed or making it worse." Unwanted tears escape my eyes and i try to wipe them with shaky hands.
He sits down on the bed next to me, wraps his arm around my shoulders and pulls me to him to hold me for a minute before saying anything.
"I'm sorry you feel that way and it breaks my heart to see you like this Tommy. I'm not saying it's your fault that you can't find the power to do your tasks but your mother and I are starting to worry about your future." He hugs me tighter as my tears soak his shirt. "I know school can sometimes be overwhelming but ignoring your problems won't make them go away Cowboy." I smile at the ridiculous nickname I got when I was five and got obsessed with old westerns after watching one with my grandpa. "Maybe it's time you should talk to someone."
"Probably." I whisper.
"Wash your teeth and go downstairs to eat some breakfast, we have to leave soon. We'll talk more in the car." Dad says getting up and pulling the covers from me, cold morning air invading my skin like the intruder it is. "I better see you buckled up in ten minutes."
Ten minutes later I'm sitting alone in my dad's truck that's still in the garage. My hair slightly less disheveled but eyes still puffy from the heart to heart I had a few minutes ago. I sip my earl grey tea with milk from my thermos and relax in the comfort of my sweater that is so large it could double as a tent. That is until the tornado in the form of my twin brothers enters the garage and cuts my serene moment short.
"What are you doing here?" Drew asks as he yanks open the front passenger door.
"Got to be quicker than that Andy, this is the first time in months that i got to the car first and I'm not letting my spot go." I wink at him as he furrows his brows and gets into the backseat with Jake. I sat in the front for no other reason than to mess with him since he hates sitting in the back. Despite the fact that Jack and Drew were twins and older by exactly one year, the three of us were equally close and we loved each other to death. As dad got in the car, he backed out and hit the road momentarily. For the first couple of minutes it was awfully quiet in the car, the only sounds present were the hum of the engine and the wind whooshing around the car.
"I'll speak to Mr. Jones and the school counselor today." Dad finally said with a sigh. "Hopefully the counselor will give me some names and we can schedule you an appointment." He looked at me briefly before turning his gaze back onto the road.
"What's going on?" Jake asked perplexed.
I could feel two pairs of grey eyes burning holes into my back.
"Nothing." I say quietly.
"Nothing is making you schedule a shrink appointment?!" Drew boomed.
"Don't raise your voice at him, Drew." Dad said sternly.
"What's going on?" Jake asked again. "Why are we just getting to know about it? What happened to talking to us Tommy?" The sadness in his tone was unmistakable.
"I don't know Jake." I replied.
"What do you mean you don't know? What's eating at you Tommy?"
"Nothing of consequence."
"Don't start with me Tom." Jake said with a tick in his jaw.
"I don't want to be a burden okay? It's bad enough that I fail myself and I don't want to fail you guys, Jake." I tried to swallow the lump in my throat.
It suddenly got quiet in the car again before dad spoke.
"You're not failing anyone, this is a just bump in the road. If you shut us out Tommy, then we become helpless and believe me, there is nothing i wouldn't do to help you get over with whatever's eating at you."
That got a grunt from the backseat crowd.
"I-okay. Thanks dad." That got a smile from him.
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