By Avril123lover

Author's Note: I probably need to take these off from now on. I really don't have anything to say on here, besides "Hi!" Haha, anyways, enjoy! :D


"Jedrick, stop joking, I get it already," My voice was quivering; I'm not pleading… I'm not pleading.

Suddenly, Buzz Lightyear was no more. I was left to regret. Regret for the fact that I could've been playmates with this toy figurine. But no, I was too selfish to acknowledge that fact.

Stuck like glue. But burned by a flame.

"Mom, I don't want fucking band!"

I was astonished to find that not only was he a singer, but a piano player.

"The Sweet Will of the Heart: Violin,"

"You know, maybe you should listen to Mrs. Douay, Hodges,"

"I'm sorry… Dad,"

"Don't make fun of me!" He protested, nudging me gently with his elbow. I halted my laughter, biting onto my lip to contain it. "That dollar was important. I was going to go to the movies with it," I pursed my lips. "But, the fucking wind blew it out of my hands before I could catch it, and now it's straying out in the wild, being picked up by who knows what," He giggled to himself, wagging his head.

"Jail wasn't meant for you, Jedrick, but it's where you belong. Die alone,"

"No, you were reluctant at first, but… that song came from the heart, that much I know," I shrugged my shoulders at his analysis.

"I'm here," He repeated.

Devon Nevaeh Alia

Left string. Right string. My fingers were bouncing against the threads of horse hair on my instrument, as my breathing came in quick pants to keep up with the pace. I felt so exhilarated. So… relieved.

My depression had finally passed on to someone else, and though I was glad it was dealt with for me, it's now taking place in some other person. Though I felt awful about that knowledge, I'm just glad it's not me anymore.

I was currently performing in front of my classmates in band class, Mrs. Douay still amazed by how far my talent's length could go. After every performance, she'd exclaim, "Bravo! You will go far, honey!" Yeah, I felt all high-and-mighty whenever she'd praise me like that, but it took a lot of getting used to.

The crowd applauded with those calm claps- not too loud and not too soft- and had smiles lifting their frowns, or tears leaking from their eyes from the intensity of the piece. I just bowed, and strode over to my seat to listen to Mrs. Douay drone on and on about music. Sure, she was cool and all, but I still think her lessons are boring as hell.

Chapter 20

"Good job up there; once again." Nolee added, whispers against my ear making me chuckle lightly.

"Thanks; that means a lot." I turned my head to her direction, but my smile quickly swiped off my lips when my eyes landed on a certain empty chair. Nolee returned on listening to the teacher, but I focused my orbs on the closed door. Where the hell was he? It's been three days.

Gabriel hadn't been coming to school for a few days, and I was beginning to worry. It doesn't mean I love him or anything! I was just in debt to him is all. He was the one who comforted me through my crisis, and I have to thank him someday. But, I couldn't really do that if he's not coming to school.

Of course, I live a few steps away from the guy, but I didn't want him to get any ideas. The guy already had too much fantasies locked in his head about me. He just couldn't take a hint. Like last week, he tried to tango with my lips, as he'd put it, in gym class when he had accidentally toppled over me during basketball.

Man, it just got my blood boiling on how many excuses he came up with:

"My shoelace was untied." I pointed my finger to his feet, and tapped my foot impatiently when the knot was firmly sealed.

"The ball bonked me on the head."

"I was the one who had the fucking ball, dumbass!" He scratched behind his head, racking his brain for any explanation.

"I slipped."

"You have cross-country! How could you possibly fall if you're so good in running? And this floor is not slippery whatsoever!" I stomped my foot on the rubber covering of the gym, as I rolled my eyes.

"You are so beautiful that I lost my footing?"

"Try to woo me with those stupid pick-up lines again and I swear you won't live to regret it." I glared at him with my strongest murderous eyes, as he jutted his chin in thought, blowing air on his bangs.

"I was only trying to help you get better in kissing."


My fist clenched at the memory, but my actions were on rewind when Peyton tapped me on my shoulder. I whipped my head around, as he waved nonchalantly and I rewarded him with a suspicious gaze. Out of the blue, he points forward, and I rotate my eyes to stare at what he was hinting at, and my eyes widened when Gabriel trudged into the room, handing Mrs. Douay a slip.

Her lips moved along the letters on the note, and then she nodded. She spoke to him, but I couldn't make out what she said, but Gabriel just bobbed his head in understanding and spun on his heel towards his seat.

I gasped to find that the other side of his face was covered in gashes and bruises, mainly plotted on his eye, strapping it shut. He didn't even steer his eye (Yes, one eye) onto me, only sat on his seat, dusting his pants off.

I wheeled around on my chair to begin to interrogate Peyton on the incident, but was shocked to find that he had disappeared.

I plopped a scoop of ice-cream onto a cone, and slammed my palm against the counter top. The nine year old jolted from the sound, as the mother raised an eyebrow. "$2.56." I demanded with my fingers, as the ice cream was held in the other. The mother dug through her purse, mumbling as she did.

"I only have two dollars and forty cents." The mother sighed, as the son pouted. The little boy stilled himself on the counter's edge, as he raised himself on his tippy-toes.

"Miss, can you please accept my mom's money for now? She'll pay you back." He pleaded with those puppy-dog eyes. It would've worked on me, if I had not been so pissed this afternoon.

"Look, kid. If you don't have the money, no ice cream; now get outta here. Come back when you've got the total amount." I threw the icy treat into a trash can, as the kid sobbed thinly. The mother glared at me, as I mocked her son's crying with boo-hoo motions.

The two traipsed out of the store with heavy hearts, as I rolled my eyes. Fucking babies. I thought, tapping my fingers on the counter. If any person such as made a wrong move, I swear, I'd cut them down with my scissors. Okay, let me explain further on why I'm so fucking ready to kill.

Three reasons: One, when I asked Peyton on the subject, he only dodged the subject with compliments on my playing, and the whole conversation consisted of music, completely not what I was aiming for. Second, Nolee had to take leave today from Dairy Dailies (Yes, that's the jacked-up name I'm working at is called) to go to a family reunion and left me hanging to do the job. And third, Gabriel had completely avoided me like I was some kind of plague.

He could've at least looked or waved at me. It wasn't like I wasn't ever there for him. Well, maybe. And now that I thought about it, I didn't know anything about him. But, he knew exactly everything about me. From the everyday things to my deepest, darkest secrets.

The night that I was bawling my eyes out, and he was there to listen, I'd babbled everything that was on my mind. He took it all in stride, and nodded and hmmed at the right moments. Before I knew it, I was giving him parts of me I'd never given anyone else before.

Immediately, I back-tracked and said my goodbyes. I walked on home without another glance, and then apologized to my mother who had been worried sick. We reconciled, and everything was all dilly-dally. Gabriel and I had returned to our normal selves after that night, teasing and annoying the other to no end.

It seemed like the fun was endless. But, then, he'd just gone and vanished. I had no idea what had occurred with him, and I swore that I would find out even if it killed me. At least I should give him someone to confide in, in his time of need. He certainly was for me.

Abruptly, my brain scattered when the bell dinged on its handle above the door, welcoming a new batch of brats. I didn't bother to straighten my posture, only slouching and saying the motto with a bored tone of, "Welcome to Dairy Dailies, where you can eat treats, till the cows come home; what can I do for you?"

I shuddered at the thought of how many times I've said that this day. This week. This month. Every time a customer came in, I had to say it, no matter the situation. Like an avalanche, for example. But of course, the boss just loves to see his subordinates humiliate themselves.

God, how I hate him. "Yo, Devon!" I slit my eyes at the intruder, as he pushed two toddlers into the shop. "How's work?"

"Do you really want to ask that?" I snarled, as he put his arms up in surrender.

"Someone must've slept on the wrong side of bed this morning." He said in a sing-song-y voice, irritating me further.

"What do you want?" I murmured, as the children ambled over to the counter, staring at the selections.

"Pey! I want that strawberry ice-cream!" The blonde wailed with a lisp, which I found so adorable, but her tone of voice just made me bite the insides of my cheeks in disgust.

"Ooh, choco, Patty! Choco!" The younger of the two chided in, jumping on the balls of his feet. Peyton ruffled the brunet's strands, chortling to himself.

"All right, all right! I heard you the first time!" He unclasped the fragile fingers from his thigh, as the boy smiled with one missing front tooth.

"You heard him, Dev." He stuck a five-dollar bill into my hand, and uttered a, "Keep the change." I shuffled over to the machine, and stuck a small-sized cone underneath the orifice of the device. The machine whirred and beeped and did all those weird sounds whenever I pumped some flavors onto the cone.

"Here," I handed the two their ice-creams as they squealed with joy and ran to a booth to sit down and lick to their heart's content. "Don't tell me that those are your children?" I'd jokingly asked, but my voice came out monotonous.

"Hey! Whattaya take me for?" He feigned hurt, as he leaned on the counter. "I'm still a virgin, mind you." He whispered, eyeing the kids from the sides of his eyes. The children giggled at being caught staring.

"Pey! Is that your girlfriend?" The blonde asked with that lisp. The boy oohed, as I shook my head in disbelief.

"Nah, this is Gabriel's." Peyton informed, as I punched him in the arm. He screamed an, "Ow!" "Why are you so mean, Devon?" He moped, rubbing at the imprint my fist made on his shoulder.

"That's because you said it so calmly; and I'm not permitting you on saying it ever again!" I glowered at him, as his mouth opened for a retort, before he thought better of it, and canceled.

"So, who are those kids?" I wiped the countertop with an old, wet rag, as he supported his back against it.

"That's my niece and nephew; my sister's out on her anniversary, and I thought to take them here so that they won't have to think of their parents bailing out on them." Peyton shrugged, as I raised my eyebrows with a few nods in understanding.

"That must be fun." I said with sarcasm, as Peyton smiled.

"No, it actually is, to tell the truth!" Peyton disagreed, as the blonde skipped over to him and held his hand.

"Pey! I wanna go see toys!" She tugged on his shirt violently, as Peyton chuckled.

"Okay; I guess I'll see you later, Dev!" Peyton waved at me, as I waved lazily. The bell dinged yet again, as I sighed in contentment. When I brought my eyes up, I raised a quizzical brow.

"What are you still doing here, pipsqueak?" The muddy-haired child stood on his tippy-toes, grasping the edge of the counter like the customer before him did. He waved his arm in silent communication for me to lower down to his level, so I did just that. He cupped his palms in front of his mouth, covering my left ear.

"I think you're really pretty; but don't tell Gabby, okay?" He whispered, as I burst out with giggles. I bit my lip to stifle it, as he dashed to the door, and ran out of the store with a spring in his step.

"Okay?" I questioned to absolutely no one, as my eyes steered over to the wall clock up north. I almost hyperventilated when the arms flicked onto 8:47, and untied the apron titling me a Dairy Dailies worker. I hung it on a coat rack, and sped off out of the mall, breathing in fresh air.

I loved treats, but not when I couldn't eat it.

As I was begrudgingly walking home, yet still feeling giddy about the fact that tonight was a Friday and I was off from work and school, sirens blaring halted my happiness to seep even further in my system. Instead, it was replaced by panic.

I briskly thundered into the chaos, and found that my heart almost stopped when ambulances, fire trucks, and police were surrounding the premises. What shocked me out of everything else was that it was directly parked in front of my house.

The neighbors gawked at the mess, no doubt trying to find some kind of scoop of gossip to tell others. I pulled an employee aside, as she gasped from my tug. "What the hell is going on!" I basically screamed, as she shook with terror.

"Miss, please calm down!" She pleaded, as she shut her eyes in a tight zip. Suddenly, my attention wasn't on her anymore. My hands dropped to my sides, as a gurney was being pulled from a house. It wasn't my house, though.

It was Gabriel's.

I saw tufts of black hair, and my panic escalated to the stars, as I almost tripped on my own feet to reach the wheeled deathbed. "G-Gabriel." My voice broke, as my heart beat erratically in my chest. A white blanket covered the portion of the upper body, which I tried to pull off, but the nurse permitted me from it by whisking my wrist away. "Let go of my fucking hand, you asshole!"

I tried to wiggle my arm away, but the nurse's hold only tightened. "Miss, it's not allowed to look at the victim." He informed.

"Victim?" I asked incredulously.

"Let her go." I whipped my body around, and my eyes widened to find who was facing me. Lately, I've been doing that, and I'm getting tired of it. But, the man let go nonetheless, and returned to his duties, while I gawked at the individual.

"Gabriel." I worded in surprise. But, what got me scared was the fact that he wasn't the Gabriel I knew. Or, the Gabriel I knew looked. This Gabriel had even more bruises and cuts marring his face, stubble growing on his chin, and bedridden eyes. The flirty sparkle in his orbs was all but gone.

"Come on." That was all he uttered, cocking his head to the side. His footsteps were heavy, grass crunching underneath his boots. His pockets were stuffed into his jeans, faded and ripped. For some reason, I felt compelled to do as he asked. More like commanded. But, I knew he wouldn't be so appreciative of me giving him an irrelevant remark right now.

It was like I could feel the stress, anger, and hurt seeping from him. Like, I could read it from his aura.

A fountain's splashing whispers bounced against my eardrums, as I tried to guess where the hell we were. Benches were aligned in a circle, facing the source of the pounding liquids. "Gabriel, what's going on?" I questioned exasperatedly, the tension getting the best of me.

The raven-haired male seated himself on a bench, sitting in the way boys always sat: Slouched, with folded hands in between the legs. But, his head was bowed in a way you knew that there was something wrong. Not the kind where you were just too lazy to keep your head up.

He sighed, patting the seat beside him, in which I willingly took. He seemed to be contemplating whether to say something or not, staring up at the stars like that. "Go on," I prodded him. "I'm here." I blushed, the statement too mushy-gushy to form in my mouth.

A smile broke onto his lips, as a chuckle rippled right after. "Shut up; I thought it was right to say at the time." I shoved his shoulder, as his laughter only increased, until soon I was grinning along. Soon, the happiness had ended, and I knew we were back on the Era of Sadness.

He pursed his lips, rubbing his chin in thought. "My mom… she's passed on."

"Don't just assume that, Gabriel," A flash of black hair on a gurney flickered in my mind. "The paramedics ca-,"

"No, I know she is."

"How do you know?" His frown deepened even further, as he swiped at his forehead in a groggy motion.

"She was abused by her boyfriend," My eyes dilated, but soon took to small size when a question was evident in my head.

"Wait, how long has this gone on?" He fiddled with his fingers, gazing at the floor with absolutely no emotion to stomach.

"To tell the truth, I have no idea," He scratched at his hair in frustration. "I only found out a few days ago, and that was when Todd's beatings had taken its toll. I saw it right before my eyes. Seeing that, I just went out of control." I imagined myself in his position, and if it were my mom, I would've reacted in the same manner.

"I got a few bruises and probably scars later on, but… my mom begged me to stop beating him." He scoffed, running his fingers through his muss of hair. "Can you actually believe she wanted to save him when all he's done her was misery?"

A memory of Jedrick triggered in my brain, as his words echoed.

"I hope you feel bad about what you've caused my entire family,"


But the thought quickly dispersed, when a hiccup sounded beside me. I was shocked to find that Gabriel had tears streaming from his eyes, as he covered his face with his bleeding knuckles. "I stayed home to protect her; that asshole had taken off to god knows where, so mom insisted I go to school. Then I'm confronted with that fucker stabbing knives into her when she was already lifeless."

I gasped, pulling his head into my neck. I didn't know any other way to comfort him. Or rather myself. Just picturing that in your head, it was all so evil. So heartless. I smoothed through his hair, as he punched the bench from beside him. "Fuck! If I had been there at the right time… She-she would've been alive, damn it!"

Seeing Gabriel like this, it was all so new to me. I thought he was this guy who had it all under control. But, I guess misery couldn't be held inside that dam in our heads locking our tears in place. I guess it would just break if you held it in for so long.

"It's not your fault, Gabriel. Don't ever think that, do you hear me?" My voice was shaking, as my own tears mixed with his sobs. But, I cried silently, while he hiccupped under my chin.

"I wish I could've done something."

"You got his ass handed to him, right?" He nodded below me, as I lowered his head onto my lap. "Then you've done something. In my book, if that were to have happened to me, I'd want my murderer's ass to be whipped red. I bet your mom's happy."

"I hope so."

"I know so." I contradicted. I massaged his cheek with my lone thumb, watching the last visible clouds in the night sky float by. Silence swallowed us, but this time, I was willing to let it. We were like this for awhile, but a question bubbled in my mind, causing me to voice it out loud. "Where are you going to stay now? Relatives?"

"She was the only family I had left." I gulped from the tone of his baritone. So remorseful. So without hope.

"So, what do you have planned?" He seemed to think about it for awhile, but then he answered, and I was baffled.

"I guess I have to live on my own; raise some money from my job, and pay for a rent somewhere." I was confused. Couldn't he ask Peyton to lend him a room?

"Gabriel, you don't have to do that. You can ju-,"

"If you're going to suggest for me to live with Peyton, then don't finish it," I shut my mouth from the hostility of his projection. "Peyton has his own problems, ranging from cheating parents to a 19 year old sister pregnant with two kids, already." I gasped, thinking that his older sister must've been older from the way he spoke of her.

But, 19? Two kids? I just think that's taking it too fast. I would've asked if she was married already, but I knew that this wasn't about Peyton. This was about Gabriel. And before I could even analyze how the words poked out of my mouth, or why I even did in the first place, it just did. "Then, you can stay at my house."

Gabriel lifted his head from my thighs with raised eyebrows. "Devon, you do-,"

I raised my hand to stop his sentence, speaking matter-of-factly. "You can stay in one of the guest rooms. Mom and I haven't figured out what it could be for yet, so you might as well take the offer. You can stay for as long as you need. Well, until you've raised enough of your money to afford your own place."

A smile formed on his lips, but this time, I could tell that it wasn't the type to get in my pants. I knew he was incredibly happy. "B-but, no coming into my room, all right?" I immediately got out.

"Heh, if it can give me a place to stay, by all means." His smile widened all the way to his ears, showing his pearly teeth. I attempted to shield my eyes from the brightness, but his arms encircling me halted that thought.

"Thank you. I mean it." I blinked a few times for good measure, and finally smiled myself, wrapping my scrawny upper limbs around his figure.

"There's just one problem, though." I whispered.

"What?" We were still entangled in each other's arms, talking as if we were discussing a dog playing with its owner out in the park. This was basically happening a few feet off, for some reason.

"My mom."

I heard him smirk, and I got a very bad feeling on his next proposal. "Hmph, don't worry about it."

Oh, great.

Yay! And now, the two are going to live in the same house! I can just imagine what kind of trouble will ensue! *shudders* No, they're not going to do anything kinky. Normal, fluffy stuff. That's why it's rated T. Drr.

Haha, I'll see you guys next time! Oh, and I want to thank Confusion No Hime, and StarryNight359. And ThatWasWeird, please review something that is irrelevant to this story, not some kind of weird limbo about cheese and Oppas. I would really appreciate it. :D