This is just a short story that came to mind while listening to Black Balloon by Goo Goo Dolls. It is about a boy who doesn't think he's good enough for a girl but she doesn't care about that. It is a one shot, hope you enjoy.

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I stood in the pouring rain in a sea of black. Running a hand through my soaking hair remembering why I was standing here…

"Hey Neal." I looked up into clear blue eyes, my heart fluttering a bit but I mentally scolded myself. She probably wanted to burrow a dollar or something, there's no way she'd go for a guy like me. She smiled nervously when I didn't answer her back and twisted her fingers out in front of her. "Can I talk to you… privately?" She said in a low voice, glancing down at her shoes then back up. My friends snickered and pushed me lightly. I got up off the couch, beer in hand, and followed her out to the back porch. Surprisingly there was nobody else out.

She turned around, leaning against the rail behind her and looked at me. I knew what she was thinking; she was thinking what everyone else though. Disgusting, nasty, good-for-nothing, stupid, jerk-off Neal. I could go on forever but I wasn't in the mood for self-loathing right now.

So I just stood there, one hand shoved deeply into my jean pocket and the other holding my half empty beer. This party was stupid, I was going to leave when she pulled me away. I watched her under the glow of the moon and the flickering lights around.

"Is there a reason you pulled me out here or are you just going to-" She stood up straight then walked over to me quickly, then pressed her lips against mine. She pulled away too quickly and I was too shocked to even think about how the kiss felt. I looked down at her. Her nose was a bit red from the cold outdoors and her face was a nice shade of pink. She was breathtaking.

"Neal I-" I cut her off by leaning down and pressing my lips hard against hers. I felt her body stiff up, since we were so close but slowly it loosened up. My forgotten beer shattered to the ground as my hand went around her back, pushing her closer to myself. My other hand went her neck.

Stupid.

I shook myself mentally as my eyes shut tightly trying to block out the memories.

Idiot.

I pushed her away, both of us breathing hard. She looked up at me with… pain? No, it couldn't be pain. This was probably some bet or dare. Any second people would pop out and start pointing and laughing. I'd never be able to live it down.

"What the hell?!" I roared, pointing an accusing finger towards her. She who could make any guy turn into a puddle just by smiling at them. She who was friends with everyone and anyone who wanted a friend. She who was perfect in every single way imaginable.

"Neal let me explain it's just I-"

"You have a boyfriend! All American, jock boyfriend!" I yelled now really wishing I hadn't of dropped my beer. I needed that, I really needed that. She frowned at me and took a step closer but I just took a step back.

"Oh yeah, the perfect couple, that's what you think, right?" She said, her eyes glazing over with unleashed tears. I've never seen her cry, never. It made me sick thinking I had been the one that would make her cry.

"Well its what you are, isn't it?" I said, trying to defend myself. She looked down and didn't move for a long time. She then took in a deep breath and looked up at me again.

"I broke up with him… I don't want him… I want-"

"Stop right there! How drunk are you?" I asked. Her eyes narrowed and her arms crossed over her chest.

"I don't drink!" She yelled. "Please Neal, listen you're the only-"

"Don't you understand?" I said in an almost pleading voice. "We live in two completely different worlds. Yours is perfect, mine is… well mine is unknown to most. So let's just go back to our worlds and pretend like this never happened, ok?" She bit her lip but I didn't even wait for an answer. I walked back into the house, the music blaring and loads of people standing around or dancing.

I walked through the house and to my car, got in and drove off. I leaned back in the seat and looked out the window. I flicked on the radio and listened to the soothing music.

"Oh my god, what happened to your eye?!" I half listened and half ignored the squeaking girls next to me. I glanced over and saw her standing in the middle of a crowd, smiling and reaching up to touch her big black eye. She winced but it was hardly noticeable.

"I'm such a klutz sometimes!" She laughed and everyone laughed with her. She glanced over at me and I quickly looked back into my locker. I grabbed my stuff and shuffled off.

Was there some hidden message in her eyes I didn't notice? It was obvious her laugh was fake and that she never said what exactly happened. When I showed up with a black eye from my… father… nobody asked questions, they all thought I had been in a fight.

Baby's black balloon makes her fly

I almost fell into that hole in your life

And you're not thinking about tomorrow

Cause you were the same as me

But on your knees

I shook my head, trying just to forget everything. Everything and anything possible. I wanted to die but that was a coward's way out. I was not a coward. Or maybe I was… I never fought back against my father… I ran away from her… maybe I am a coward.

"Oh come on, go to the dance with me, please?" I watched as some random guy tried to get her to go to the dance with him. She smiled apologetically at him and shook her head. He took her hand into his. "Please go with me? You know you want too." Obviously she doesn't, I thought mentally.

"I'm sorry Sam… I'm already hoping to go with someone." She said with another smile. This one was different though. The guy sighed and walked away, I'm sure his ego was more then a bit bruised but she usually turned down every guy. She looked at me and gave me a small smile. I tossed my lunch in the trash and walked away.

Sam was ten times as popular as me, probably smarter too. He had girls chasing after him all over town. So why wouldn't she go with him? I heard she didn't have a date to the dance, heard she never got the guy she wanted. How was that possible?

A thousand other boys could never reach you

How could I have been the one?

I saw the world spin beneath you

And scatter like ice from the spoon

That was your womb

I groaned loudly. I was looking into things, it was making my head hurt. I was stupid. Stupid for trying to actually think about something and stupid for having a hint of hope that she would like a guy like me. There's no way.

"Did you hear?" My friend, if that's what you want to call him, plopped down next to me. I would never consider him a friend. I didn't have friends, they were useless. They would end up dying or you would or they could end up hurting you. Stupid to think of people as a friend.

"No." I said shortly, looking at the ending words in the text book. I didn't know what I was supposed to be doing. I really didn't care either.

"She's in the hospital." I knew who she was. If it was anybody else it wouldn't matter and he wouldn't be bothering to tell me. He was one of the many who were oppsessed with her. "Yeah, they said she's got a broken wrist, some broken rips and her ankle was twisted. She fell down the stairs or something."

I snickered at that memory. I remember when I had fallen down the stairs or something. More like I was shoved down the stairs but nobody cares about that. Nobody would push her down the stairs though… would they?

Coming down the world turned over

And angels fall without you there

And as I go on as you get colder

Or are you someone's prayer?

"How do you think she keeps her figure?" I tried to ignore the high pitched voices but it was kind of hard when you were in an empty hall and the people were talking loud enough to wake the dead. All I wanted to do was take a piss without running into some idiot.

"I bet she's bulimic." The other equally annoying voice answer.

"And anorexic. Nobody can be that perfect." I turned the corner and came face to face with her. Ok, more like face to side. She had paused with her hand in her locker, her eyes wide as she listened to the two girls talking about her. She looked at me, her big blue eyes wide.

"Hi Neal, how's your head?" She asked, concern lacing her voice. Considering my father slammed it against a wall a dozen times, pretty damn bad. I wanted to scream that but I just grunted and walked off.

They acted like they loved her to her face but said the worst things behind her back. She knew it too so why did she keep going on? Why did she care about me when she had problems of her own? Maybe her world wasn't so perfect after all…

You know the lies they always told you

And the love you never knew

What's the things they never showed you

That swallowed the light from the sun

Inside your room

Coming down the world turned over

And angels fall without you there

And I go on as you get colder

I got home and thankfully my father had the late shift so I had the house to myself. I went up to my room but heard the beeping of a recording on the answering machine. I listened to the stoic voice of my father with a grimace then the last voice I expected to hear came on.

"Um Neal… I… I…" Her voice cracked and she cleared her throat. "I'm sorry but I can't pretend that didn't happen… and I can't pretend anymore… I'm sick of it…" I walked out of my room and stared downstairs at the answering machine with wide eyes. "But… but if that's what-" Her voice cracked again and she let out a sob. "If that's what you want… I can… I can go on pretending…" Her voice went down a couple notches and I took a couple steps still staring at the answering machine. "I'm sorry… if I bothered you…I lo-" I heard a click as I raced down the stairs and picked up the phone.

"Hello?" I was met by a long beep. I let out a sigh and put the phone down, erasing the message and heading backup stairs.

Stupid.

Stupid.

Stupid.

And there's no time left for losing

When you stand they fall.

For the next two months I got little to no sleep and kicked out of school. I didn't care though, it's not like I was trying hard to stay in school. It was strange, I never saw her once during those two months but my dad came home today carrying the newspaper with him as usual. He slammed it down on the table I was sitting at then stormed off to his room.

I reached over, snatched it up and turned to the obituaries, I guess I was sadistic or something. I skimmed over the names who I would never remember but never forget.

My eyes went wide as I looked at one name in particular.

No…

I looked at all the people crying and sobbing. Pretending. None of these people actually knew her. They were crying because they were pretending, just like I was… just like she was… so if we had so much in common how come I'm not crying?

I looked over at her parents. Her mom was sobbing into her dad's chest, beating him lightly and he was just staring blankly ahead. His hand came up and rested on his back. I noticed his knuckles were red.

I had looked into her casket earlier. One single bruise on the side of her face. They had said the cause of death was suicide, her cutting her wrist open.

How come I found that so hard to believe? She had told me that she was sick of pretending but then again she had also said she would go on pretending. She wasn't a coward. Not like me.

I looked at the grave stone reading it over and over in my head.

Cassie Laurence

1984-2005

Beloved daughter.

I looked over at her parents. Cassie's parents. One word came to mind as I walked away.

Pretending.

Coming down the world turned over

And angels fall without you there

And I go on as you grow colder

All because I'm-

Coming down the years turned over

And angels fall without you there

And I'll go on to lead you home

All because I'm

All because I'm

And I'll become

What you became to me…

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So what did you guys thinking? Pretty bad, huh? And yes I purposely didn't mention her name until the very ending on propose.

Please R&R!!