Author: JuustSmile PM
Calvin has a fear of people. In order to avoid girls, he dates one he doesn't even know as a cover up. What happens if he falls in love?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Drama - Words: 2,312 - Reviews: 2 - Favs: 2 - Published: 09-19-10 - Status: Complete - id: 2848778
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
This was actually for English class. But I ended up liking it enough to put it on here. 3
(:I love you:)
The eyes are following me. I can feel it. As I walk down the hallway, their weight is heavy on my back. I try to distract myself by putting my hands in my pockets and looking down. I've always been like this, ever since I was little. I don't like crowds or being with people in general. People look at you, judge you. The fear of exposure gives me a reason to be anyone but myself.
"Heeey! Calvin!" Jared calls from behind me loudly, friendly laughter in his voice.
I pull a smile onto my face and turn around. "Hey man." I say, walking over to him. I lean against the lockers, looking up at my rowdy, sun tanned friend.
Jared leans closer, looking around before opening his mouth. "Your girlfriend was hanging out with weirdos again. That pale little guy with the glasses. You know. Marcus."
Girlfriend? Oh right. I've been dating a girl named Merle for the past few weeks. Truthfully, I have no interest in her, she just doesn't talk much and doesn't follow me around so I figured if I dated her, the girls would at least leave me alone. I shrug. "It's fine. She can do what she wants."
Jared shook his head. "You are too loose on her. It's been three weeks and you guys haven't even gone out on a first date."
The bell rings and I refrain from jumping. Instead, I turn and wave over my head to Jared as I walk away.
The morning classes pass without any problems but I can feel a particular pair of eyes on my back. Not like the eyes I normally feel. These ones are strong ones that aren't evaluating me, they are telling me they know the truth. When the bell for lunch rings, I turn slowly in my seat to try and inconspicuously find out who it is. Immediately, Merle's eyes meet mine. Her dark eyes are narrowed, her thin face unattractive in the warm classroom light. She stands up, her loose fitting clothing only making her awkward height worse. I find myself mentally cringing as she walks towards me, the silver ribbon pendant dangling in front of my face as she leans over, looking me dead on in the eyes.
"I need to talk to you." she says, her voice low and calm.
I force a weak smile. "Sure. Should we go somewhere else?" I ask, trying not to shake.
Merle straightens back up to her height of 5'9 and nods. She moves past my desk and into the hallway, obviously expecting me to follow her.
I can feel everyone watching me as I rise and follow her out of the room. I can see her head above the sea of people, her long black hair almost floating behind her. She turns, walking towards the hallway that is no longer used. I hurry after her, my eyes frantically searching for the dark clothing and pale skin. I look down the hallway just in time to see her make another turn. I feel myself break into a run as I race down the hallway and turn, stopping short when I see her standing there with her arms crossed, eyebrows raised.
"You're fast." I say, shaking my head, sliding around the corner to avoid the eyes of the people in the main hallway.
"People move for me." Merle said plainly, leaning against the wall.
We say nothing for a moment but she stares at me. Out of fear, I can't pull my eyes away.
"We need to break up."
I hear her as if she was talking through water.
"What?" I asked her, not sure if I heard correctly.
"I said we need to break up."
"Woah. Wait…why?" I ask, thoroughly confused. "I never caused you trouble or took up your time did I? You have no reason too!" I don't want people to bother me about dating.
"I have personal reasons." she said sharply, her thin lips forming the words heartlessly.
"No…no please…you can't…" I say, my eyes widening. Why was I being so annoying? Hearing myself expose my hidden side, I take a step back.
We stand there in silence, the shadow of the wall keeping me from reading her face. She raised her head, pursing her lips, looking at me. She taps a long finger on her pale arm in thought. After another awkward moment, her arms drop.
"Fine. I will stay with you as long as I can." Merle says, as if in defeat.
I feel like breaking down on my knees and thanking her. I just close my eyes. "Thank you." I say, my legs shaking. My eyes shoot open as I feel her hand on mine. She looks up at me with her dark eyes and then pulls me towards the emergency exit door.
"W-Wait! Merle, where are we going? We still have schoo-"
"We're skipping." Merle says, pushing the door open, the alarm almost immediately sounding. "Hurry." she says, breaking into a run, letting go of my hand.
I look around, realizing that I look like some dumb trouble maker pulling the alarm for no reason and take off after her.
Our footsteps pound on the ground as we run across the baseball field, the brown dust swirling in our wake, protecting me from the eyes of the school. I see Merle jump onto the fence, jamming the toe of her boot into the chain link before swinging herself over the top.
I try the same trick only less gracefully, landing on the other side on my feet before toppling onto my butt.
Merle snickers from above me and I look up. Her long pale arm is extended towards me, offering me help up. I don't feel judged or like she is evaluating me. She is telling me she knows the truth. Of who I am. I smile and take her hand, letting her pull me up to my feet.
"Quite the landing there." she says, keeping a hold of my hand a second longer than she needs to. Merle smiles and starts walking down the main road towards the center of our small town.
"So, where are we going?" I ask, falling in step beside her. Merle doesn't answer so I assume she is thinking and I don't press the question. "So why did you decide to start acting like a girlfriend?"
Merle looks over at me, her expression blank. "Who knows?" she states as we turn down a different street. Ahead I can see the arcade where I used to hang out in middle school.
"We are going to the arcade?" I ask, cocking my head to the side.
"Yep. Because I decided on something." she says, slyly letting me know for a second time that she has seen right through me.
I say nothing but follow her. We walk towards the small picture booth in the back. She sits down in it and holds the curtain open as if expecting me to come in with her.
"Come on." Merle said, her lips turning downwards into a slight frown.
Slowly I walk in and sit down. She let the curtain drop, sealing us from the outside world. I look over at her and she is staring at me, as if waiting. I pull out my wallet and put in five dollars like it asks. Merle laughs a little next to me but says nothing. She reaches forward and pressed the red button.
"Which frame should we pick?" Merle asks me, the glow of the screen shining on her face.
"Any is fine." I say, shrugging.
"If you don't pick, I'm picking the black one." Merle says, twisting to look at my face.
I reach forward and choose the pink one and crack a small smile. "Smile." I say.
"Smile? Why?" Merle asks, looking genuinely surprised, looking at me. The camera flashes for the first picture.
I realize then that I like surprising her. The look she gets on her face suits her. In fact, everything I'd thought about her was wrong. Although her black hair hung a bit limply, it had a nice shape when she tucked it behind her ear and the fact that her clothes fit loosely didn't really matter, her style was her own and helped set her apart from everyone else I'd ever met. I snaked my arm around her waist and pulled her close as the camera flashed again.
Merle squeaked a bit, unprepared for what I had just done.
Even though her skin was incredibly pale, the blush on her cheeks was dark. The embarrassed expression suited her as well. I smiled a little bit.
Merle looked up at me and through her blush, smiled. The camera flashed, taking the third and final picture. Merle tugged at the cuff of her hoodie and stood up, looking away.
"Let's go looks at them." I suggest, holding the curtain up.
Merle looks back at me, the blush gone and laughs a little. "Yeah."
We step back into the arcade and I look at the pictures that are printing in pairs. I pick them up from the slot and look through them.
Merle snatches them from my hands, flipping through them. "Calvin, we have to throw these away. It's embarrassing." she says, looking up at me.
I smile. "Nope. I paid for them." I say, gently taking them back from her.
Merle sighs and walks towards the claw machine and we spend the next few hours playing it until we get the stuffed animal she wanted.
"We should head home." I say, looking at her. I see the smile drop off her face and she nods after a moment.
"Yeah." she says, hugging the bunny to her chest. She starts to walk out of the arcade without me.
I hurry to catch up to her and I take her hand. As we walk down the road, she looks up at me while chewing her lip.
"I want half of those pictures." She says, looking away.
I smile and take three of them out and slip them into her pocket. At some point, we stop and she hugs her bunny tighter.
"I can walk the rest of the way from here." Merle says.
"Okay." I nod, taking out my cell phone. I hand it to her to put her number in and she pulls hers out of her pocket and gives it to me. After a moment, she passes it back to me with a small smile.
"Bye." she says, her phone in hand, she turns.
I lunge forward and grab her arm, pulling her back. I press my lips to hers quickly and then let go. "Sleep well." I say.
Merle covers her mouth and turns without answering. I watch her back as she hurries away from me, disappearing around the corner.
I felt embarrassed and happy…even glad that I was dating her. Around her, I felt safe. She knew who I was and accepted it. Just being with her was enough. I walked home and fell asleep content and feeling assured for the first time in years.
I woke up the next morning and picked up my phone as I got out of bed. It blinked that I had one new message. I opened it up and smiled when I saw it was from Merle. Below, she only wrote one word.
I got out of the car and walked slowly up the front stairs. Around me, people whispered and looked at me, but I didn't care anymore. Two girls by the doors were whispering loudly.
"Poor guy…I heard she just left him…" said the one with bright blue eye shadow.
"Where'd she go…? Leaving a guy like him…" said the second, frowning.
"I heard she moved…" the first one replied, shrugging.
I froze before pulling the front door open and running towards the principles office. I hurried in and stood at the secretary's desk. "A student named Merle she-" I began.
"Turned in her papers yesterday. Moved." The secretary said, shooing me away without looking up.
I stood there in the office, feeling broken. It made sense now, why Merle wanted to break up. She just wanted to leave with a clean slate but I pulled her back with selfishness. I hurt her in my own way but I really liked her. Maybe even loved her. I pull out my cell phone and press the call button on her number.
The phone you are trying to reach is now a closed account. Good bye.
"Oh. Wait. You're Calvin. This was left here for you." The secretary said, holding up something wrapped in a loose paper.
I took it and thanked her, heading out into the hallway. After a moment, I opened the paper and half of the silver ribbon pendant fell out into my hand. I bit my lip, not sure if I wanted to cry or yell. It was unfair of her to be like that.
I looked at the paper wrapping. On the inside, written in sharpie, was a phone number. My hands shook but I whipped out my phone, typing in the number. My finger hesitated over the green phone for a moment before I pressed it and held the phone to my ear. It rang. And rang. And then rang again.
I crouched down, my eyes covered by one of my hands. Thank god. The thin connection that held me to her was still there.
(:I still love you:)