An Obnoxious Artsy Boy


Author's Note: I really am a romance junkie now. Haha, I guess a proud one at that though. Several readers of the list have started to wonder if I can indeed do any other styles. So I decided to try this style.

For those of you who have been following my journey on the list, you know I went to Connecticut for about a week or so. On the way back to my home, I started scrawling out this story on the plane ride inside my sketchbook away from the prying eyes of creepy people sitting all around. Ah, I know what you're thinking but those plane people are scary.

Anyways, I have OCD. Not too major of a case but bad enough, but I wanted to write a story about it with some of my personal experience. Plus, the author Da Vinci At Work has an incredible romance story about a girl with OCD you should all check out!

Hmm, what else to ramble on about to make you guys hate me? Oh, I'm going away for three weeks. I leave very soon, actually, so I won't be able to update any of my stories. I'm planning to hand-write (sigh) on the plane and other places though, so I will hopefully have a few updates prepared for all of you when I get back.

That is... if anybody reads :)

Warnings: Language, Self Abuse, Drug Abuse, Domestic Abuse, Graphic Scenes, etc.

Summary: Suffering from an undiagnosed case of OCD and tormented by six siblings, Anja Hyde has enough to deal with on a daily basis at her new school. And now an uninvited, incredibly obnoxious artsy boy named Keck August has decided to push himself into her life.


I bite my lip softly, imagining what it would feel like if I drew blood. Right after I think, I wish I hadn't. The coppery taste of blood fills my mind even though there is no red liquid pooling onto my tongue. Thought and regret. It's a daily pattern in my life. I'm pretty used to it now but it still always scares me.

Knowing that I won't be able to shake that image from my head, I try to focus my thoughts on something else. My binders are really nice. Really. Very. I run my fingers over the tops of my folders and count them over and over in my head. Six of them. A perfect, nice, even number. I really like even numbers—I have ever since I was a kid.

There's one folder for each subject. Math (AP Calculus), English (III), Spanish (III), Science (Chemistry), Art (III), and History (AP US History). All of the classes for my junior year. I study the tags on each of my folders—all of them are labeled accordingly as well. Such clean cut, white little labels. All of the labels are identical. I printed them out with the label-making machine that was in my dad's study after I wrestled it away from Elan, of course.

Speaking of Elan, I glance around and see him flirting. I know he's flirting because he's talking to a girl and Elan doesn't know how to just "talk" to girls. I mean this in all seriousness. (I saw him flirting with a woman ten years older than him once. She didn't seem to mind but I think her husband did). Also, Elan has a hand pressed against the lockers behind him and the other hand casually buried in the pocket of his straight-legged jeans. His flirting stance.

The girl is a blonde who went a bit overboard with the smoky-eye makeup look. But she's still absolutely gorgeous and Elan looks pretty content. He runs a calloused hand through his dark black hair and grins his easy, suave smile that disgusts me but seems to grab the attention and adoration of all girls. The girl presses her glittery, shiny lips together (I imagine the taste of artificial strawberry) and her blue eyes laugh. I think about warning her that my younger brother is a sleazy man whore, but after she casts me a dirty look, I get over it. She'll learn.

Alright, I admit it's a bit embarrassing that my brother has already started making friends (though their morals may be questioned) at our new school and I'm standing here looking at my binders. With a reluctant sigh, I pull out my red math binder, making the number of binders in my locker five. Odd. No. I hate odd numbers because I always feel like someone gets left out. Ugh.

I take out my Calculus book as well, and I feel a bit better with two books in my hands. I glance furtively back at Elan, who now has his arm snaked around the girl's waist, his hand dangerously close to her ass. The blonde has a smug, confident look plastered on her face and it makes me want to cry.

I know it's not really my problem if she enjoys being the property of my brother like a farm animal in a show, but I feel bad anyways. It's kind of similar to the way like when I see airplane crashes on the news, I wonder if I somehow caused them. I wonder about the girl's name, her family, her interests, her house, her friends. And Elan. I wonder what he's thinking too, but the problem is all I get are perverted thoughts.

I also think about germs. Germs. Looking at Elan's grungy hand on the girl, I try to figure out how the blonde isn't running to scrub herself vigorously in the bathroom to get rid of the insane amount of bacteria my brother has transferred onto her body. How she can stand the touch. How she even allows him to pull her closer to him. Gross. She slides her hand into Elan's back pocket. Elan smiles widely, obviously liking his new trophy.

A hiccupy sob bubbles up in my throat and I slam my locker shut, wincing as my hand grazes the metal door. I imagine how many times someone has touched it (images of grungy looking kids filling my mind), feel bacteria bubble over my hand, and decide that I need to make a quick stop at the restroom.

Clutching my math supplies close to my chest, I avoid all eye contact and run into several people. I stutter apologies to a pissed-off dirty football player, a stony-faced girl with mousy hair, and a good Samaritan-type upperclassman who tries to offer me advice on "how to fit in at Winslow High" until I push him out of the way to sprint to the bathroom. Great. It's my first day at Winslow and I've already screwed up my reputation. Now that I care right now. I didn't even have a reputation to begin with, to be honest. I just need to wash my hands, which are brimming with all kinds of strange monsters.

This is how I picture germs: little vomit-colored beasts that have incredibly sharp teeth. The longer you leave them to infect your body, the more bites they will take out of your hands or whatever segment of your body they are living in. Yes, I know that germs don't look like these round, vomit-colored rice cake monsters because I've seen bacteria underneath a microscope, but there is always a chance that the microscope is some crazy scam just to make people happy and I am not willing to have my hands disintegrate due to monster bites. I think I developed this theory at age thirteen, but it doesn't really matter when I thought of it because it has stayed with me and haunts my every moment regarding human contact.

Breathing heavily, I kick the bathroom door open with my shoe. (I don't need more vomit monsters on my hands, thank you very much). Running to the sink, I turn on the water, which is dismally cold. I need it to be hot so I can scorch these little buggers. I bite my lip again (and try to block out the picture of overflowing blood), and squeeze as much soap as I can onto my hands. A choked, desperate cry is trapped in my neck and I lather the pale pink soap viciously onto my hands.

I hate this.

I want to stop.

I can't stop.

I can't stop.

You probably are screaming at me just to drop the soap, rinse my hands off, and get the hell out of the bathroom. I am screaming at myself. My mind tells me this is all wrong and there are no such things as puke-stained gremlins, but my body won't listen to me. I scrub and scratch at my hands, knowing I'll rub soap into my skin, knowing I'll keep washing until my fingers are raw and bleeding and incapable of holding a pencil or fork or paintbrush. I do it every time. And I don't know how to stop.

Suppressing a whimper, I finally shut off the water and grab some dry, scratchy paper towels, wincing as the rough surface hits my (now) raw skin. I hiss in pain and try not to rub against my fingertips too harshly because they are white and dry and bleeding.

Great. By the time I'm done, there's only two minutes until my class starts. And I have no idea where my math class is, except that it's in Room 203 and it's taught by a Mr. Knowles.

I don't want to be late for class on my first day!

A worried noise catches in my throat and I start off on a run, searching frantically for the classroom. My eyes scan over the numbers 200, 202, 204… where is 203? Exasperated, I go back and look at the numbers again. Maybe the odd numbers are on the other side of the building?

I scramble across the corridor, my heart slamming in my chest as I notice the hallways are cleared up except for some kids who look like they're getting ready to ditch school. One of them has a cigarette clutched in his hand. I grimace and step away backwards, keeping a trained eye on him. I'm a bit worried that lint from his rat poison filled piece of paper will fly off and infect my hands again, making me go on a washing rampage. And seeing that I have only one minute left to get to class on the first day of school—which will ultimatelydecide my future with my math teacher, I can't afford more vomit-colored monster troubles.

I place one foot after another as I back away from the messy-haired cigarette boy and as I start turning around to run away I crash into a body, dropping all of my math materials in the process. My calculator falls to the floor with a clatter.

The body is skinny and lanky. My hand is buried in a cotton shirt and I cringe as I turn and face the victim of my clumsiness.

Because I am so wonderfully lucky (be sure to notice the wavering sarcasm), it's a tall, skinny boy who looks absolutely germ infested! My eyes run quickly over his long lightly tanned and freckled arms, his ripped and faded jeans, his stunningly blue ocean/turquoise eyes. I glance quickly (and shudder) at his wavy and messy dark blonde/light brown hair. But what makes me wince in discomfort is the fact that my hand is stuck in his wet, painted, rumpled shirt.

Streaked all over the boy's shirt is paint—mainly red, yellow, white, green, and light blue—though there is also purple and pink. There's so much paint on the boy's shirt you can barely even see the original v-neck shirt is grey. Judging by the paint's texture, it's probably tempera paint—which is good because that means it will be easy to wash off, unlike oil or acrylic.

There are also words scrawled all over his arms. Words that look like they've been written by a black ballpoint pen. To-do lists (1. Feed Fredrik, 2. Pick up Julian, 3. Talk to Ms. Fuji, 4. Buy bananas and Cheerios for Mom, 5. Buy History TXB from Matt, 6. FALL IN LOVE), small quick quotes ("An eye for an eye will make the world blind," –Gandhi), and pictures. Lots of little drawings of happy, sad, confused, angry, emotional (to sum it all up) people. Sketches of little sparrows and other animals.

Anyways, enough about what the thin boy with bright eyes and full lips looks like. The fact is, my hand is stuck in his paint-covered shirt and the boy is staring at me with a slightly amused look on his face. My face burns with humiliation and I can feel myself reddening under his stare. To make matters worse, Cigarette Boy is laughing in a way comparable to a hyena as he stares at me struggling to pull my hand out of the clumps of paint.

With a final tug (complete with a grunt), I get my hand out of the paint and try not to quake at how irregular the rises and bumps of the wet paint are. I like things smooth—not rough and jagged. They look like little mountains on the boy's shirt.

I catch myself.

"Uh, I'm sorry…" I stammer nervously. I notice Cigarette Boy walk away—he probably thinks all the fun is over. "I'm uh… late for math?"

I look at the floor—this boy's disheveled appearance makes me feel like spiders are crawling over every inch of my body. I hate spiders to begin with, so you can tell how nasty this sensation is.

"Do you love me?" A voice rumbles from over me and I can't help but look up. What?

The boy stares at me, his eyes full and penetrating. I have the weirdest feeling that he's looking inside of me, like he has X-Ray vision and he's studying my organs. In defense, I cross my arms over my chest.

"Do you love me?" he repeats again, as if the answer is so simple.

A thousand of answers explode in my mind (well, I'll list five): (a) What are you, some kind of sick pervert?, (b) Hey, you're attractive, but not that attractive, (c) If this is some cry for help, I have a therapist I could hook you up with even though she's a major bitch, (d) If you're asking me to believe in love at first sight, you may want to walk by again, (e) Go change your clothes, brush your hair, and fix your jeans and then we'll talk.

Having six brothers and sisters has made me quite witty. (I think I'll talk about them later; they overwhelm me. You saw how long I ranted about Elan alone).

Anyways, I open my mouth to spew out one of those so nicely listed answer choices (I make lists a lot—they keep things organized), but my lips betray me.

"Yes."

I'm speechless now and gaping like a fish. How… what…. Why the hell did I say that? Yes? Now I have created some kind of parasite out of a teenage boy who will latch himself onto me and suck my blood! He'll probably badger me and make the rest of my high school experience at Winslow the most miserable time of my life! And he'll keep staring at me with his amused expression and I'll keep getting covered in paint with his stupid art-supply covered body! And I'll have to put up with his insane mass of hair that looks like he just rolled out of bed and his cancer-causing habit of scrawling on his body with black pen!

It all tumbles down to one question: Now what?

The boy smiles, a full smile. His teeth are surprisingly white for such a messy teenager, and they spread evenly in his mouth. His grin is a bit hitched and lopsided which drives me even crazier because I like things straight.

He pulls out a ballpoint pen from his pocket, and with that same unbelievable smile, takes off the cap. Holding the pen steadily in his left hand (yes, he's left handed too), and crosses out Number Six on his to-do list.

6. FALL IN LOVE (1)

Then he just walks away, leaving me staring at him in the hallway.

Okay… what just happened? He didn't ask me out (thank God, or else my stupid mouth would have probably malfunctioned again), he didn't ask me for my number… or anything?

I realize I'm closing my mouth extremely tightly so that no sound can even get out of it. The traitor.

I open it cautiously—only a little so in case it spews out more nonsense I can shut it again—and try a simple hello.

"Hello."

Okay, I've regained control of my body again. Good.

I reach to pick up my books and see how my hands are completely covered in smears of sticky paint. Great.

And as I turn around, I spot Room 203.

My mind battles between the choices of running into Room 203 to explain to Mr. Knowles that I'm really sorry and will try not to be late again vs. running to the bathroom to wash my hands (again).

The bathroom wins.

Guess Mr. Knowles is just going to hate me.


(1) This is supposed to be crossed out, but fictionpress doesn't have the slash symbol.

Author's Note: Well that's the first chapter. It took me pretty long to write actually, and I'm not quite sure how much I like it.

I'd appreciate it if you guys could let me know!

Much love!

-Sunshine Doll