AN - Okay! I know I'm supposed to be working on Winter, but I found this and felt like posting it. This is similar to Winter because it was written waaay before Winter. After I wrote this I thought up Winter and MONTHS later I wrote Winter. Or started writing. Anywayz, I thought I'd just upload this. That was confusing.

"Cyr, you are emotionally dead." Ashley huffs, her brows furrowing in frustration as she tries to open her bottle of Gatorade.

My name is Cyr and I am emotionally dead.

"I mean really, why won't you just come to my party?" She gives in and hands the bottle to Bradley, her football star boyfriend, sitting next to her before turning back to me. "I know you could ask anyone to go with you and they'd say yes, so don't even worry. You're drop dead gorgeous."

I've never been to nor plan on ever attending one of Ashley's parties. I don't believe I could ask just anyone and they'd say yes. I'm also not drop dead gorgeous.

"Plus, you've got that whole mysterious, dark, emo thing going for you. Very sexy."

I digress.

"You know, I've never actually seen you with a girlfriend before… are you gay?" She almost whispers the last part, as if anyone at the table cared to listen in on our conversation.

I like to think that I'm asexual. People in general disturb me and I try very hard to avoid as much contact as possible. However, my chosen lifestyle generally leaves little time for me to be left alone.

"Have you and Arie ever done anything? I know you two are such close best friends."

No. Arie and I have been friends since sixth grade and thinking of her as anything more than my dearest little sister is just… fucked. She's been there for me through everything and she knows me. She might be the only person who does. I love her, but not as something imagined from the perverted mind of Ashley.

"Cyr, are you even listening to me?"

I look up from the crust I'm picking at on the lunchroom table. I think it's ketchup but I haven't ruled out the possibility of dried barbeque sauce.

"I'm sorry I can't come to your party, Ashley. I have to work." I say quietly, calmly.

"Cyr, you always have to work!" she explodes, though in a girly, dignified sort of way. "Don't you ever have any free time?" Her eyes bore into me almost angrily, but deep down I know she's concerned. After all no one passes up a legendary Ashley Baker party without good reason.

She's right though, I am constantly working. Approximately 45 hours a week to be exact. In fact, the only free time I have is spent either doing homework or sleeping or taking care of Mara. Every other second of my life is devoted fully to my various occupations.

Just as Ashley is about to confront me again the bell rings, signaling the end of our lunch period. Alarmed, I look down at my wristwatch and internally curse. It's 12:05 and I was supposed to leave at 12:03.

Jumping up from the table, I quickly gather the remnants of my lunch and stuff them into my brown paper bag. Forcing myself to not run, I hurriedly walk out of the cafeteria before anyone else has even gotten out of their seats and pitch my garbage in a nearby bin down the hall.

Another thing about me is that my life is completely planned out. I live and die by my schedules and if I'm even a minute late it has the potential to send me into a panic attack. Right now I'm on the verge, as it's 12:06 and I'm supposed to be there at 12:07.

Shit, shit, shit.

It takes me approximately four minutes to reach the men's restroom on the third floor of the other side of the building, farthest from the cafeteria. Given my current rate of speed and the travel distance left I come up with a new estimated time of arrival, 12:08. Unacceptable.

I break into a sprint up the three flights of stairs and take the steps two at a time. By the time I reach the top my legs are burning and I'm struggling for breath. I know, I'm out of shape. So fucking what?

When I get to the door of the bathroom I give a slight pause. I press my face against the cool metal frame and try to calm my racing heart, but it's really no use. My watch reads fifteen seconds till 12:10.

How long had I been standing there? And, fuck, I'm late.

Pushing through the door, Bryan's eyes meet mine and suddenly my soul stills. I'm completely empty and my body moves according to its own will.

"Excited to see me, Cyr?" he said, noting my still heavy breathing, his eyes bright. "You're shaking."

I ignore him and lock my eyes on his full lips, moving forward and gripping the collar of his Ralph Lauren polo shirt. Bryan is one of those good boy, preppy, rich kids. He's had a thing for me ever since the sixth grade. I wasn't into this shit then though.

I bring him down to my level and take his lips in a slow kiss.

"You're so damn sexy, Cyr. I missed you." Bryan's voice is starting to get husky.

I shut him up with another kiss before sinking to my knees.


When it's over I fall back on my butt and just sort of sit there. My head is cloudy and I can feel another dizzy spell coming on.

Bryan doesn't let me sit for long though, hauling me to my feet by my limp arm. If he hadn't pulled me up against his side I'd probably have drifted back to the ground, not unlike a balloon that had lost its helium. I need helium.

"What's wrong, Cyr? You seem more wacked out than normal these past few days." He whispers, leaning down to press his cheek against my head.

I'm trying to get the fog in my head to pass when the bell rings. Bryan pushes off from the wall and I remove my arms from around his waist. I'm pretty sure I can support my weight on my own, but I'm not entirely sure so I try to get Bryan out the door as soon as possible.

"See you later, Bryan. I'm fine, really." I say, moving to put my hands on the edge of a nearby sink.

"Well, if need anything just find me." He smiles and ruffles my hair. The bell over the intercom sounds its last ring so he gives a little wave and heads out the door.


Quickly, I push off from the sink and move into the closest stall and lock the door. I've only got a few minutes before the halls outside are again flooded with people who might potentially walk in, so I again drop to my knees and promptly shove my fingers down my throat in one harsh movement.

It all quickly comes up with only a few tries. By now my stomach is used to this routine, maybe a little too much. As a general rule it rejects just about everything I give it and it takes forever to eat anything. If I crammed it in too fast I'd puke all over the table and whoever was next to me. It's pretty nasty.

The squeak of the door knocks me out of my thoughts before I was done purging. Shit.

I couldn't –not– get rid of the shit in my stomach so I shoved my fingers down my throat again, at least hoping to be a little quieter.

"Hey… are you okay?" Someone's voice called out warily from the other side of the stall door accompanied by a soft knocking.

Luckily, I hadn't eaten much today because Ashley had been talking to me so I could tell when all of it was pretty much up. Satisfied that it was gone, I spit into the bowl and flushed.

The knocking stopped as I rose to my knees and I could hear the person move back as I turned to open the door. When I did manage to get it open I came face to face with the most inhumanly beautiful person I'd ever seen in my life.

Dark bangs fell into a face etched with worry; crystal blue eyes stared back at me. He was taller than me by about a full head, and very slender yet quietly muscular at the same time.

Again he asked, "Are you alright? Are you sick?" moving a step closer to me.

Deeply embarrassed by being caught blatantly staring –and– puking my guts out, I turned away towards the sink, coughing to clear my throat as I went. The boy moved a few steps closer but remained a comfortable distance away. Thank god.

"Umm, I'm fine, thanks." I murmured, turning on the faucets to wash my hands of saliva and food bits.

"Are you sure, I can get a nurse or something if you need it." He sounded sincerely worried which was sort of refreshing, but the last thing I wanted was a nurse to be within one hundred feet of me.

"Nah, everything's fine." I said trying to keep my voice steady and under control, "Just for future reference, stay away from the meat loaf surprise." I avoided eye contact with him as I dug through my backpack to retrieve the mouthwash kept inside at all times.

"You're shaking." He said pointedly, apparently missing the joke.

"I tend to do that." That said, I threw back some mouthwash and swished it through my teeth to get rid of the awful taste. When I was done I spit it out and wiped my mouth on the back of my sleeve before putting the bottle away. I could still see Blue Eyes staring at me in the mirror and even though he's gorgeous, it was starting to freak me out.

I could feel a fresh onslaught of dizziness coming when I turned to face him, hoisting my heavy backpack up onto my back, but I pushed through it.

"Uh, see you later." I said awkwardly, stepping around him and heading towards the door.

"Yeah, see you."

Leaving that awkwardness behind me, I started for my next class. Only two more to go and I'd be done for the day.

The class was already full as I walked in, the teacher almost ready to start. I took one of the only two seats left in the back and settled in for my usual sixth period nap. However, before I could slip into the blissful oblivion that is sleep, Blue Eyes peeked inside the door, his gorgeous face looking completely clueless.

'What the heck is he doing here?' I wondered blearily.

Mrs. Page apparently thought the same thing. "Excuse me? What are you doing?" she asked condescendingly, arching a prematurely gray eyebrow.

"Um, sorry." He murmured, stepping fully through the door and straightening up. "I'm sort of lost, this is my first day."

"Please do not make excuses. What is your name?" she asked flatly.

Blue Eyes was looking uncomfortable under her stare and ran a hand through his gorgeous, thick hair. "It's, um.. Nathaniel."

Did he seriously just forget his name?

"Well, please take a seat, Nathaniel. Do not be late again." She replied coldly, pulling a roster to check out of a folder on her desk.

It dully occurred to me when he started down my aisle that the only open seat left in the room was directly to my right. Wonderful.

He didn't notice me as he slid gracefully into his seat and laid his bag on the desk space in front of him. His fingers went to work neurotically checking all the zippers, opening and closing them again. I assumed that this was just a nervous habit sort of thing and that he was just embarrassed and maybe even a little scared of everything.

"Stop that." I said in a low voice, though authoritative.

He did immediately, and turned to look at me. I could tell as it dawned on him that I was that puking-kid-in-the-bathroom and he gave me a sort of odd look, but I ignored him.

Now that everything was quite, save Mrs. Page's monotone droning, I could finally take my much needed nap. I folded my arms and buried my head in them tiredly, sighing deeply. I was already ready to drop on my feet and half my day wasn't even over yet, even though school almost was.

Before I slipped into sleep, I cracked one eye open minutely to peak at Nathaniel. He was still staring at me. What a weirdo.


I slept my way through fifth and sixth and soon the last bell was ringing, jarring me awake. Feeling only slightly better, I gathered my books and headed out the door. I wanted to say goodbye to Arie before I left for the day and maybe ask if she had any Advil. The dizziness from earlier had subsided for the most part but had given way to a pounding headache. Still, I wanted nothing more than to drop where I was and go back to sleep. I didn't even care that I was in the middle of a busy hallway or if people stepped on me.

Turning the corner, I spotted Arie's tiny frame getting books out of her locker and smiled. She was dressed in bright colors as usual, her signature yellow shoes being her favorite. She really was a gorgeous girl, and I knew plenty of guys who wanted to be with her. But for some reason she wasn't interested in dating even though she could have had her pick. I guess it made my life easier though by not having to constantly keep an eye on some boy. I considered Arie my little sister and I'd protect her at all costs.

"Hey there, sunshine." I said, trying to mask the ache and exhaustion in my voice.

"Cyr, my gorgeous lover!" she squealed, wrapping her skinny arms around my waist. She was significantly shorter than me, the top of her head just reaching my shoulder. "How are you? You look terrible."

"Actually, I was wondering if you had any Advil. My head hurts so bad I can't even see straight." I explained, pressing my forehead against the cool metal of her locker door.

"You poor baby, hang on and let me get it." She cooed, letting go of me and squatting down to dig through her backpack. She came back with a bottle and I thanked her, downing four before handing it back.

"There's someone I want you to meet tomorrow." She smiled, devilishly. "I just met them today and I think you'll like them. Besides you both have the same lunch block and I think they could really use some company."

"Sure, Arie, if you want me to." I said, kissing the top of her head. I guess I could see how people thought we were together, though we weren't. We just understood each other.

"Are you sure you're alright? Something seems off with you today." She asked worriedly.

I smiled at her and replied, "Don't worry about it, Arie. I'm just tired and my head really is killing me. I have to work tonight too."

Arie's expression darkened significantly as she tucked the last book into her bag. "You don't have to work, you know, Cyr."

Technically I worked at Walmart and it wasn't so bad, however, Arie was the only person who knew what I did on the side. She hated it and I hated it but we both knew I'd never stop.

I gave her another quick kiss on the top of her head before taking a few steps back, "I'll see you tomorrow, Arie. Introduce me to your friend and I'll take care of them."

Her face lightened only slightly at the mention of her new friend and she gave a small wave. "Get some sleep tonight, Cyr. You really need it."

I nodded and headed out the main entrance doors. The sky was cloudy and a strong wind was blowing from the north causing me to shiver lightly. The temperature was rapidly dropping these past few days and I needed a new coat.

I need a lot of things these days.

Taking the familiar path home, I cut through the football field and across some backyards to end up a few streets over from my neighborhood. The walk home only took like fifteen minutes which I was entirely glad for because I was beginning to lose feeling in my hands.

I thought about what waited for me at home, even though I didn't want to. I wondered what state I'd find my mother in when I got there. Puking, drunk, high, raging, passed out, zoned out, or in her rarest form – sane. I hoped for the latter. I always hoped.

When I finally reached my street I started down, squinting my eyes to see if Kohl was waiting outside for me like he usually did. Sure enough a small huddled ball of emo angst and black eyeliner peered back at me from his porch.

Me and Kohl have been friends for ages, like since we were five I think. He doesn't go to my school though, he's homeschooled, which is sort of lame but I still see him every day.

"You look like shit today" he notes, pulling up from the porch to join me as I walk by on the way to my own house.

"So I've been told. Multiple times today as a matter of fact. I'm sort of sick of hearing it, okay?" I said, sounding harsher than I meant to.

"Hey, sorry." He said apologetically, tucking his hands into his pockets. I took a moment to wonder at how he did this as his jeans were practically painted onto his pale skin. "Having a bad day?"

"Not really, I'm just tired."

"Well, your eyes say that much already. Whats wrong?"

"Seriously, Kohl," I sighed, "nothing is wrong. I promise."

AN - this is not the end of the chapter. just where I stopped writing. if this gets a review or I feel like it, I'll update it.

thanks ;]