|The Feeling Was Mutual
Author: WhenAllSeemsDark PM
I claimed to hate him, he claimed to hate me. Everyone else thinks we're in love. Cliché? You have no idea.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 6 - Words: 16,725 - Reviews: 81 - Favs: 41 - Follows: 67 - Updated: 09-05-12 - Published: 03-24-12 - id: 3007731
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Somewhere we know that without silence, words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.
- Henri Nouwen
I fumbled with my crutches as I walked down the hall. It was seriously going to be a pain to walk home. Something caught my attention as I passed by a classroom:
"I really don't think that this is the best idea." Drew's voice drifted into the deserted hallway. I stepped closer, willing my crutches to be quiet. I had gone to the hospital when my mom had gotten home. Turns out, my ankle really was sprained.
I leaned against the wall for more support as I caught more of his conversation.
"I'm sorry, Mr. Lavanson, but I had already said no exceptions." My mouth formed a small 'oh' when I realized he was speaking to Ms. Owens about the project. Without thinking, I stepped into the room and voiced my agreement with Drew:
"Ms. Owens, Drew and I really don't get along. If you put us together for this project, we won't get anything done. All we would end up doing is argue." I fought the urge to laugh as both of them jumped slightly. Surprised by my unexpected arrival.
"Hello Miss Brooks." the teacher said, "Unfortunately, as everyone has already been paired up and many have undoubtedly already begun their projects, I cannot change your partners."
"But-but, I can't work with him!" I exclaimed.
Drew nodded, "I don't know if you've noticed, but Lex and I sort of hate each other."
She studied us for a moment, "May I asked why, you two don't get along?" she asked.
I glanced at Drew who's brow was furrowed in thought, "I suppose neither of us really know why we despise each other. We just... do." I said.
"I think we're just not compatible." Drew said.
"Well, I'm sorry, but I can't change your project partners. Perhaps it will help the both of you on the long run." Ms. Owens said optimistically.
"I seriously doubt that, but thank you for your time anyway." Drew said. I nodded and turned to head out of the room.
I walked relatively slow because of the unfamiliar way of using crutches. He accidentally bumped my shoulder and I yelped, losing my grip on one of the crutches. My eyes were trained on him as he wordlessly bent down to retrieve the crutch. He handed it to me and helped me adjust it.
"Thanks." I said, voice sounding slightly strangled.
He nodded and stared at the ankle brace that surrounded my foot, "So is it sprained?" he asked.
"Yeah." I replied, trying to erase the awkwardness of the situation. "I, uh, went to the hospital after you left yesterday." I shifted my weight from one crutch to the other.
He nodded again and turned away, obviously noticing the tense atmosphere. It was strange. We weren't yelling at each other or picking at each other. I had no urge whatsoever to fight with him. Maybe it was because of what he did yesterday, but what happened to being back to square one?
We both stood there, silently and I wished that I was anywhere but there.
"So..." I said, breaking the silence.
"If we have to do this project together, then might as well plan a day." he said gruffly.
I nodded, "Okay. When are you free?" I asked.
He shrugged, "I don't have solid plans, so whenever you're free." he replied easily.
"Your house or mine?"
He shot me a look like I should know the answer already, "Well, your house, I guess, since you don't drive. My house is a lot farther than yours."
"Right." I said, "Um, Saturday?"
He nodded and once again, we both fell silent.
I glanced at him while he seemed to be looking at anything but me. Why did he seem so uncomfortable?
"Hey, Lavanson?" I said, grabbing his attention.
"Why did you help me yesterday?"
I asked, wanting to hear a full explanation.
He let out a laugh, but it was anything but humorous, "Look, Brooks, I may not like you, but that doesn't mean I'm heartless." he said, "If I see anyone, including you, on the floor, unable to walk, obviously I would help."
"Did you think you had to help me because of my panic attack?" I asked hesitantly.
He shrugged, "I guess that was part of it." he said, looking at the floor. He almost looked guilty.
"Oh." I said quietly, for some reason, feeling a bit disappointed. I sat down on the tiled floor when I became tired of leaning on the crutches for support. To my surprise, Drew sat down next to me.
"Have you ever noticed that we act like kids when it comes to each other?" he asked suddenly.
I looked at him curiously, "What?"
"We argue so much for... no reason at all." he said, eyes turned away from me, "Look around, Brooks, it's practically scheduled for us to fight everyday."
"But..." I said, "Well, I guess."
"I made you pass out." he said quietly, turning to look at me. I was surprised by the intensity of his gaze. It was oddly captivating. I had to force myself to tear my eyes away from his and stared at my hands. What was wrong with me?
I quirked a shoulder up when I couldn't think of anything to say in reply.
"I made you-" he began to repeat. He abruptly stood up, causing me to jump slightly. "I made you pass out!" he said louder, angrily, "I made you get a panic attack!" I watched in shock as he rested his forehead on the wall, pounding his fist on the wall as if he was greatly distressed.
I stood up slowly, balancing on my good foot and touched his shoulder, "Are you-" I started as he ran his hands through his hair agitatedly, "Are you okay?"
He shook my hand off of his shoulder and sat down on the floor again. I hesitantly slid down beside him. Never in the four years I had known him had he ever seem to even come close to shattering his calm facade. He looked down, studying the tiles on the floor.
"No offense, Lavanson, but why do you care?" I asked.
"I have a heart, Brooks." he said, repeating his earlier statement, "I feel guilty." he admitted.
"You do?" I asked, hardly able to keep the astonishment out of my voice.
He laughed humorlessly, "Is it that hard to believe?"
"You never seemed to show any deep feelings before." I pointed out, "But you know, it wasn't really your fault."
"What are you talking about?" he exclaimed, "I was the one who was talking to you, I was the one who brought up the- car thing."
"See? Who else's fault would it have been?" he asked, frustrated with both me and himself.
"It's no one's fault." I said.
He exhaled heavily and seemed to calm down, "Why- why did you get so scared?" he asked.
"I-I-" I couldn't tell him. I'm supposed to hate him, right?
"I think that's the worst thing I've ever done." he said, sounding uncharacteristically vulnerable.
"Making someone pass out. Actually putting someone in danger."
"I wasn't in much danger... I think." I said, almost laughing at myself.
"Still..." he said, "So can you tell me why?"
"No." I said.
"So it is my fault isn't it?" he said dejectedly.
I shook my head, "No."
"Then why?" he asked, sounding on the verge of desperate.
"Memories." I said simply.
He shook his head and stood up. He surprised me by holding out his hand to help me up. I gladly accepted it and adjusted my crutches. "Thanks." I said.
He nodded and stuffed his hands in his pockets.
"So, Saturday?" I said.
"Yeah." he nodded in confirmation.
"Okay." I said.
He looked as if he wanted to say something, opening his mouth, but closing it again. He shook his head slightly to himself and turned, walking down the hall. It made me think of all the times I had seen him walk away.
"Hey, Drew!" I called.
He turned around and paused his steps, "Yeah?"
"Thank you, for what you did." I said sincerely.
He stared for a moment, then nodded and it seemed as if a silent truce was forming.
I turned around and walked in the direction of Marcy and Gavin.
"Hey guys." I greeted, raising an eyebrow when they huddled closer to each other.
"Hi, Lex." Gavin murmured.
I laughed, "You know Gavin, I could've sworn you told everyone you were gay yesterday. Get any closer to Marcy and I might begin to question it."
Marcy burst into laughter and Gavin scowled. "It's fucking cold. How are you standing it?" he asked, tugging at the material of my jacket, "Your jacket's too thin to keep you warm."
I motioned to my crutches, "These are giving me a workout. I hardly noticed the cold." I said with a laugh.
They both glanced at the crutches as if just noticing them, "What happened?" Marcy asked, eyebrows furrowing in concern.
I wiggled my slightly sore ankle, "Just a sprain. I'm very clumsy." I said, flushing a bit.
Gavin laughed, "The first day I met you, some random guy was glaring at me, looking like he wanted to claw my eyes out," he shot me a pointed look and I giggled, "The second day," he continued, "and you already have a sprained ankle. Good first impressions."
I laughed, "It's not my fault." I said at the same time Marcy said:
"Who looked like he wanted to claw your eyes out?"
"Drew Lavanson." Gavin said, a small smirk on his face, "He's hot."
"Oh my gosh, Gavin." I said, shaking my head.
Marcy looked confused, "What did you do to make him mad?" she asked.
Gavin shrugged, "I have no idea. I was talking to Lex and then-" he imitated Drew's scowl which caused Marcy and me to laugh,"- yeah."
"I don't know what was wrong with him." I said, "Oh, maybe he was trying to glare at me, but you were... blocking his way?"
Gavin chuckled, "The art of glaring isn't exactly rocket science, Lex." he said.
Marcy nodded, "Something's up with Drew. I would know, I've known him for years." she said.
"I don't know. He's always... weird." I said, settling for a less-than-harsh word.
Gavin's eyes suddenly lit up and he clapped his hands, "Oh, I know! What if Drew likes Lex!"
I choked, laughing and coughing at the same time, "You're hilarious." I said sarcastically.
But Marcy was already nodding, "I told you that before. I told you!" she exclaimed, "I mean, I would know if he likes someone. Wow, I was pretty blind to this whole thing, you know-"
I cut her off quickly as she began to ramble, "Whoa, there, Marce. If you haven't noticed Drew and I still technically hate each other."
"What do you mean still technically hate each other?" Gavin piped.
"Well, I mean, I fell and sprained my ankle right?" I said, gesturing to my ankle. They nodded to show that they were following, "And um, I didn't have anyone to call-"
"You have my number! You could've called me!" Gavin and Marcy both exclaimed in unison.
I grinned, touched by their enthusiasm to help me, "Thanks guys, but Gavin, I met you like... yesterday. And Marcy, I knew you but we didn't really become friends until about three days ago. I thought it'd be too awkward." I admitted.
"But we are friends. You're not very hard to like." Marcy said.
Gavin nodded, "Yeah, and friends help each other out, right?"
I smiled, "Thanks guys, really."
"You're welcome." they chimed.
"Anyway, I didn't have anyone to call because they were either all busy, or too far away so I just sat there." I said, blushing a little at how stupid that sounded, "And then, out of nowhere, Drew comes and helps me get back home and out ice on it and all that."
Gavin whistled, "Talk about a knight in shining armor!" he said excitedly.
"Guys, no." I said, "He just helped me and I don't know... it's just I'm not exactly getting the urge to bite his head off when he gets near me anymore."
"Sounds like your hate is fading away." Marcy commented.
I shrugged, "I don't think so. Maybe a temporary tolerance or maybe I'm just going crazy."
I was surprised by Gavin's next words:
"Or maybe, you're falling for him."
The doorbell rang and I jumped as the high pitched noise cut through the silence in the house. It was Saturday, which meant Drew was here for the project.
I rushed to the door, glancing at my reflection one more time before I made my way down the stairs. I caught myself at the last moment. Why did I care if I looked good or not? It was only Drew.
I yanked the door open and saw him standing with his back to me on the porch. He didn't seem to notice the now opened door. I stared for a moment, his dark blue shirt showed off his muscles nicely and his jeans, though normal and inexpensive, looked like they were made for him.
"Hey." I said, catching his attention as he turned around.
He nodded and I wordlessly led him inside.
"So, I have the stuff on the table right there." I said, pointing to the coffee table in the living room, "Do you want anything to drink?"
He nodded, "Sure, just water." he said, walking over to sit by the table.
"Okay." I made my way to the kitchen and grabbed a bottle of water for him and a soda for me. I set the drinks on the table next to the papers.
"Thanks." he said.
Hm, what was this? Me and Drew Lavanson getting along? Well that's something.
"So the assignment is to..." I trailed off as I searched for the paper.
Drew cleared his throat and I looked up to see him holding the paper in his hand, "A memorable moment in your life." he read aloud, "You and your project partner must describe a memorable moment in your lives to each other. Your partner will write an essay on your memorable moment and you the same with him/her."
He set the paper down and rested his chin in his palms, "Hm."
"A memorable moment." I said.
He nodded. It seemed that both of us were deep in thought, or at least I was. The only thing that came to my mind was Hailey.
"What are you thinking about?" I asked.
"A memorable moment." he said simply. "Memories." He shot me a look and I knew exactly what he meant. Memories. He wanted me to tell him why I was afraid of driving.
"What was your most memorable moment?" I asked.
"Probably something before my dad went AWOL." he said nonchalantly.
I gaped, "Your dad left?"
"You know, it's kind of personal. You don't have to tell me." I said.
He shrugged. Then again, he did always seem as if he didn't have a care in the world. Maybe I was wrong.
"We're doing this project, right? Might as well get it off my back anyway. Who better to tell than someone who doesn't care?" he said.
I widened my eyes. Well now he made me seem like I was heartless. "It's not that I don't care. We just don't know each other."
He shrugged again and we once again fell into silence.
"Who's that?" he suddenly asked, standing up and walking over to the mantel place.
"What do you mean?" I asked, confused. I followed him and found him staring at a family photo.
"Her." he said, pointing to Hailey.
I felt flustered, "No one." I said, knocking the picture frame over so the picture wasn't displayed. I made my way back to the couch and sat down, nervously twiddling my thumbs.
He gave me a strange glance and returned to his previous seat. "No one." he repeated.
I nodded, "No one." I said in confirmation.
"That's not no one." he said, seemingly not noticing my discomfort.
"Yes it was." I said, clenching my hands into fists under the table.
"She looks exactly like you." he said.
"I know." I replied quietly. I wanted to cry.
"So that means she's someone."
"I thought we were somewhat okay now. I thought we were kind of done with all the arguing," he said.
"That has nothing to do with it." I said, "She's no one."
"Why won't you tell me?"
"Drew, please leave." I said, standing up.
"What? We have to do the project." he said.
"Leave." I said, pointing to the door.
"Get out." I said, as calmly as possible. I was going to cry, and I couldn't let him see it.
"Fine." he said, standing up. He walked to the door and I don't know why I told him, but I did.
"That girl is Hailey." I said.
"Hailey." he repeated, already standing on the porch.
I nodded, "Yeah." I whispered, "My sister, but she's gone."
He looked bewildered, "What? Like my dad? Did she leave?"
I shook my head, "Dead." I whispered, as the first tear leaked out of my eyes. "Dead." I said again.
I only caught one glance at his shocked expression before I slammed the door in his face.
A/N: Has it been a little too long since I updated? Sorry about that, guys! So, I hope you guys liked this chapter! Reviews would be great! (:
So I've recently read over this story and truthfully, I didn't like it very much. I feel like my writing is overly cheesy and I can't really get myself to continue this story when I feel this way about it. I feel like this story is WAY too dramatic and the direction the characters in the story are headed is way too predictable, as in, it doesn't seem creative at all. I think that if I ever do finish this story, I might take down the chapters and do a rewrite. I know you guys probably won't be happy about me stopping the story right in the middle, but if I don't do that, I doubt I will ever complete it.
I know half of you probably want to strangle me at the moment since the last chapter was kind of like a cliff hanger.
I'm not exactly sure if I'll rewrite this or not, but you'll know if I do. There is a chance that I will finish this story (as in, continuing it the way it is now), but school has been making me very busy so even if I do, the updates will probably be relatively slow. You guys can check my profile and/or twitter account for updates! Feel free to PM me or anything with questions or comments! (:
I really appreciate all the support I've been getting for this story. Your faves, alerts, and especially your reviews have made me a VERY happy person! (: