Opposites Attract

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Operator, Jan 11, 2014.

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  1. Mm. Another cloudy day.

    Elliot couldn't say that he particularly minded that the sky was overcast. He enjoyed colder weather far more than extremely sunny weather, after all. Despite his neutral outlook on the weather, it seemed that everybody else in Oakson High School were bogged down by it. There was still a tinge of cheerfulness in the air, since it was a Thursday and the weekend was so close to the students' grasps, but the gloominess that the dark clouds that hung in the sky cast had also noticeably settled onto each freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior in the school. Beside all this, it was as it always was - a chatty setting, with each student bustling around in their designated groups, some straying on their own through the halls, some hurrying at a jog or run to get somewhere with a note of urgency. There were also a few students who held darkened moods on their personages, some held notes of intimidation, some depression, some irritability. The school was a mix of different auras, people, minds, and it all forged a jumbled mess of ever-changing styles and easily shiftable opinions.

    Among all the confusion and chatter, Elliot strode calmly through the halls, occasionally getting held up by a student or two who'd greet him in which he'd smoothly greet back with a staged smile. Some students took second glances in envy, some in spite, and some in admiration. It was normal to constantly feel stares drilling into him, and he simply kept his path clear, walking through the halls and heading to the cafeteria. The bell had already rung for the students to be let out to lunch hour - the first two classes of the students' block schedules were always quick to pass, luckily, and lunch, for Elliot, always came sooner than first expected.

    The school was rather large, with a central outside area within the square formation of buildings. There was an outside field and quad area in the large, open center of the buildings, with concrete paths leading to the main center in the shape of a plus sign from above, and that general area was where Elliot was headed towards. A lot more took place outside than anything ever did inside of the school buildings, including all of the bad events and drama.

    He made his way towards the glass double doors leading out to the outside area, and pushed through them, being greeting with a cool gust of air. It was fantastic to be out of the crowded stuffiness that the inside of the school buildings had to offer. He naturally enjoyed being outside rather than being inside, excepting on the much sunnier days. With a deep, refreshing inhale and exhale, he started a slow walk towards one of the tables along the grassy sections of the quad. It was sort of his lunch spot, and students of the popular type would also gather there once he was situated in his place on the table.

    He continued his walk, feeling the stares start training on him again, each holding different intentions both personal and public.
  2. Anya was quite enjoying the weather today, which of course was weird to most people. But she was a pluviophile and as much of an oxymoron as it was, rain brightens her day. She walked into the school mostly unnoticed, wearing her black hoodie and dark wash jeans. She didn't look like a rich girl and she never really felt like one so to most, she was a just a little nuisance. Anya didn't quite know why they despised her so, but she supposed it's just human nature to dislike the things that are too...different. And Anya Cahill was no exception. She held a few books to her chest and sighed deeply, enjoying the scent of imminent rain that seemed to bog down the shallow minds of Oakson High.

    Anya's locker was very plain, but the students made sure to bring it some 'decoration' in the form of derogatory notes slipped through the thin holes at the top. She used to read them, but now she just throws them away when no one's looking. By now she knows what each will say. Crybaby Cahill...Stupid cutter. Go to a mental hospital already...Shouldn't you have cut yourself to death by now?

    Kids can get creative these days. Sometimes they had a point. Why is she even here anymore? It's not like anyone would care if she cut a little too deep one day. But Anya knows she's too much of a coward to ever actually kill herself. It would soil her family's reputation. She wouldn't want to hurt them.
    First period was boring as it is most days. The teens in Ms. Ruth's room usually ignore her rather than harass her like those in her second period. It seems when there's nothing better to talk about, words like cutter, ugly and stupid are whispered around the room or thrown at her desk in little notes as dares from the other students. Sometimes she had no choice but to open them because if she didn't, they'd find an excuse to bruise her again outside of class. Teachers are oblivious. Always. Actually, scratch that. Adults are oblivious.

    Today seemed to be going pretty well for Anya compared to most days. She considered it a plus that she's only been tripped twice and been thrown notes at 5 times today. By the time lunch came, Anya hadn't acquired any new injuries to cover with her perpetually long sleeves. Now, she normally eats her apple at a grubby table in the cafeteria. All the nice spots in the grassy courtyard are usually taken by the vapid cheerleaders and athletic stars. Today though, Anya decided she would stay outside. Since most weren't enjoying the weather, she was sure most people would be inside anyway. So she avoided those and walked toward the glass doors leading out to the overcast atmosphere. She pulled her hood up and braved the trek past the table of popular students with a determined grimace and a quick pace. But as much as she'd like to think it was her lucky day, her luck ran out when she got a little too close to their territory. Matt Denome is one of the best football players on Oakson's team. He's also one of the strongest. He was the one with the short temper who made her kill Tigger. And today he'd make her pay for it again.
    "Hey...look who decided to drop by. What's up Cahill?" He sneered. Her breathing picked up and she looked away, scurrying through the grass before he could--his strong grip wrapped around her wrist swiftly making her stop in her tracks and nearly stumble backwards. His thick fingers were coiled around one of her healing scabs and she let out a sharp gasp by accident. Wrong move. Matt tugged her towards him easily and she whimpered as the other kids snickered behind him. "Please let go..." She whispered keeping her eyes averted as his grip tightened. The scab reopened and warm blood stained her sleeve. "What's that, cutter? Can't hear ya. Could you hear her Elliot? Cuz I can't. Speak up Cahill." He smirked, pulling down her hood and a few chestnut hairs with it. Anya teared up a little, her emerald eyes misty like the dreary rain bound to fall sometime today. A small trail of blood inched its way down her palm.
    "Aw are you gonna cry?" He teased, to the delighted, superior smiles of the other popular tormentors at the table...except him. Elliot. Why?
    #2 Ravenbelle, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  3. Elliot strode through the grass and reached the table, pulling his bag from over his shoulder and letting it drop onto the ground haphazardly. Soon after he placed himself down on the bench seat, he heard the gruff voices and friendly, yet horribly nasally voices of the jocks, prep girls, and sports stars of the popular group call out to him in amiable manners. He'd raise his hand and do a small wave towards each person that came by, greeting them casually by name with the staged smile of his. Staged, because in all honesty, he didn't feel right being around these people. The good majority of them were shallow and rather greedy, not caring about whoever they were acquainted with's feelings and carelessly casting off the truly good people of the school because they weren't 'in the same group'. It was harder for him to put up a smile to these people that now surrounded him at the table, but he managed to pull it off. The chatter of gossip and horrible jokes began to circulate around, while Elliot remained quiet, occasionally fitting in a small agreement or response whenever necessary, keeping his cool air.

    After a few minutes, Elliot watched as the students' gazes all moved past him, and in confusion, he turned himself around to find the Cahill girl making her way past their table. Oh no. She was asking for trouble doing that. He had a very, painfully clear idea of the reputation the poor girl had in this school, and it made him want to rip his tongue out whenever he was forced into saying the nickname she had been given - Cutter Cahill. It sent a shiver down his spine just thinking of that name. Despite him being popular and pretty high 'above' her social status, he had a perfect knowledge that she was human, too. She had emotions and a heart and a mind, and the way these people treated her was disgusting to him. He had never taken part in any type of bullying. He was always the one stuck watching on the sidelines with all the other sneering students of popularity watching on. But every single time he looked at Cahill, he knew that she had a knowledge beyond her age and had been through more than could be even imagined by any of these shallow kids surrounding him.

    He heard a familiarly gruff voice do a snicker and watched as Matt Denome, the head quarterback for the Oakson's school football team, stood and followed after the Cahill girl, calling out to her in a sneering tone. Before she could pass by, he grabbed her by the wrist and made her do a very sharp, sudden intake of breath, as if she had just been sliced by an acidic knife. Elliot froze at the noise, watching the difference in size and strength between the two. She looked very fragile compared to the quarterback, and the quarterback looked taller as well. Taller by a good bit. He had never witnessed the Cahill girl be bullied, nor had he ever really witnessed any female be bullied by a boy. Watching the scene start taking place made something odd boil in his heart, made a dripping, scorching, yet very subtle feeling that made him want to confront Matt. Being classified as a 'player' of the females of the school, Elliot did have certain rules of etiquette in place when in the presence of women, and one of them was to never, under any circumstances, cause them unwanted trouble. This included bullying and causing any type of pain or irritation without consent.

    He listened to the girl whisper brokenly to Matt to let her go, pleadingly almost, and he felt his body seem to go numb in shock. The tone of her voice sounded as though she feared Matt would kill her rather than just push her around, and that was something that really dug down and struck Elliot's heart like a bolt of lightening. Matt suddenly mentioned Elliot, asking derisively, "Could you hear her, Elliot?".
    Elliot couldn't bring up his voice to respond as he felt the numb shock wash over his body. Matt suddenly rose his other hand and practically ripped off her hood, and her expression - her expression sent another bolt of an odd sense of . . . of horror through him. That's what he was feeling - horror. He had never, not once, witnessed a beefy guy like Matt bullying any type of girl, and Elliot's mind started to chant something as he onlooked to this scene of bullying.
    Help her, help her, help her, Elliot. Don't just sit here. Look at her sleeve, look at her arm.
    Elliot heeded the words of his mind and let his gaze flicker to the girl's arm. What he saw was a thin trail of crimson blood dripping from her wrist.
    You cannot just sit here and let this happen. You need to get up. Help the girl, dammit!
    But why? I'm popular, she isn't! Isn't this the way things wo-
    No. It isn't. It never should. Don't defy your own rules, Elliot, get your cowardly ass up and help this Cahill girl. Go.

    He was surprised at the force of his mind's voice that urged him to get up. His expression was melting from horrified into anxious. Should he? What would happen? What would happen to him? How would reactions to the most popular and feared guy in the school protecting Cutter Cahill work? He could have slapped himself for even letting that thought conjure in his mind. What type of selfish person are you, asshole? Go! It's a girl, you do not let guys bully girls for anything, remember?!
    Hearing Matt announce that the Cahill girl was going to cry pretty much made the chivalry in his mind strengthen, and push aside his selfishness and self-preservation. It took control. He felt the anxiety bubbling down into subtle anger, disgusted with the treatment that was happening before his eyes. Under no circumstances. What did Matt think he was doing? What type of empowerment did this offer him? The thoughts that had shifted from inquisitive to angered made him rise to his feet slowly. Elliot was known for being the tallest young man in the school, and he planned to use that to his advantage. He was taller than Matt, at least, and with what status level Elliot was, he'd have to back away if Elliot told him to, and Elliot'd make sure to silently threaten him if he didn't.

    Elliot strode forward, feeling the confused stares of the popular students on his back, yet not allowing them to stop him. He melted from his noticeably angered mood back down into a cooler mood, one of intimidation - seriousness, you could call it. Elliot wasn't playing around, and he sure as hell wouldn't watch some poor girl be harassed to the point of bleeding by a guy she didn't have a single chance to defend herself from.
    Matt smirked as he came closer. "Joining in, ey, Elliot? Haha, hey, you can hold her arms back while I-"
    Matt's smirk immediately disappeared upon hearing the tone of his voice. Elliot reached out, quickly unlatched Matt's hand from around the Cahill girls' wrist, and practically threw Matt's arm aside, making him stumble in surprise at such a forceful grip and movement he had made. Elliot's hands balled into fists. As Matt recovered, his expression shifted into something confused as his eyes narrowed and he spoke in a bewildered, slightly frustrated tone, "What d'you think you're do-"
    Elliot cut Matt off, turning towards him and letting his balled hands flex their fingers out into claw-like shapes. His tone was as dangerous as his chocolate brown eyes, glinting with an inner vexation, as he spoke in a deep tone of warning, "I don't care what the Cahill girl does. If I ever catch you making her bleed the way you were again, you're gonna get some trouble from me. You do not hurt girls, under any circumstance or under any reasoning, you got that? Not when I'm around."

    . . .

    The entire table had fallen silent in complete shock. Matt wasn't even retaliating in an angry manner, something Elliot found surprising, yet not surprising at the same time. Elliot had knowledge of things that nobody else knew about nearly every popular student in the school, which was why he was respectfully feared by a lot of students - because he could make or break any of them with one little secret. Matt swallowed nervously, his gaze flickering from the Cahill girl and back to Elliot. He stood himself upright and narrowed his eyes at Elliot, as if wishing he could punch him, yet not being able to for a good reason. One of Elliot's eyebrows rose in expectation.
    Matt suddenly waved him off, saying irritably, "Yeah, yeah, whatever." Despite his dismissive mood, he still seemed surprised and slightly scared, as the other popular students of the table seemed to be. As Elliot watched their dumbfounded expressions, he realized how truly cruel people of his status really were. He had never recognized it before, not quite as much as he did now. With a deep exhale, Elliot took a few steps forward, leaned to the table to snatch his backpack {while the kids surrounding it flinched away like he was going to hit them}, and slung it's strap over his shoulder, glancing at the Cahill girl and locking into a stare with her momentarily.
    She seemed to be recovering, and he silently urged her to go before he did as to make sure Matt wouldn't follow after, hoping she would take the hint in his chocolate brown gaze. He had probably just done something that would surely change some opinions and shock a good amount of people, but honestly didn't care. He was glad to have stood up for someone once in his life.

    With another sigh, he ripped his eyes away from hers and started a stiff walk towards the school building he had just exited from a little while ago, allowing his sense of accomplishment to drown out the remorse he'd surely be feeling soon for the moment.
    • Love Love x 1
  4. Her green eyes flicked to Elliot's for a moment as her wrist stung. She was afraid of how Matt would harm her, but she didn't expect anyone, much less Elliot Hendricks, the school golden boy to stand and defend her.

    At first she was flinching way from him because Matt thought he was going to help him, but his tone, his No, dislodged that theory immediately. Elliot forced Matt's hand off her and she instantly brought the fist to her chest, cradling it even as the scent of coppery blood hit her nostrils. It didn't matter. She was thoroughly used to it by now. What she wasn't used to was anyone caring at all about what happens to her. And the fact that Elliot, of all people, was defending her against one of his friends. It was unheard of in all the social history of Oakson High.

    Everything inside Anya was telling her to run. Fight or flight and there was no way she would win any fight, but something kept her frozen on her feet. Someone. Elliot. "I don't care what the Cahill girl does. If I ever catch you making her bleed the way you were again, you're gonna get some trouble from me. You do not hurt girls, under any circumstance or under any reasoning, you got that? Not when I'm around."

    He doesn't even know her name and he'd threaten a friend of his over her worthless soul? The insanity of it all kept her feet rooted to their spot on the grass. The loudest silence reigned as Matt tensed, wanting so badly to hurt Elliot. His sadistic nature warred against his reputation and his reputation won as he walked off, pretending he didn't care at all. Anya's wide eyes stayed glued to Elliot's which were blazing with fury she didn't understand. Until he let out his breath and walked back to the table to collect his things. Anya had been trembling without noticing it and nearly ran for her life when he looked at her doe in the headlights expression. He gave her an escape route. She took it gladly, scurrying away like a freed mouse from the claws of a cruel feline.

    Anya slid between the mobs of teenagers, swiftly making her way to the nearest bathroom with only a few shoves to the floor inbetween. Thankfully, the bathroom was empty and she was safe locked in a stall to breathe deeply as images flashed in her mind. Elliot's eyes had never witnessed her being bullied. Those beautiful chocolate eyes had met hers and she saw things that had hardly ever been introduced to her. Things like compassion. Like concern. She shook her head, forcefully ignoring the very notion that her opposite could ever care about her in the slightest. There must have been some other reason than real moral value that he'd defend her like that.

    Anya pulled off her backpack and dug through the front pocket. Maybe she could melt all this confusion away with her music. But no...she's left it at home. Of course..

    She walked to the sink, avoiding her reflection as she pulled up her sleeve, revealing the bit of bleeding flesh that had been so easily torn among the old scars of razors past. The water flowed crimson for barely a second before washing her blood down the drain. If she could have followed it, just disappeared, she wondered if she would. After lighting that minuscule spark of hope in her soul, that someone could truly think she matters, it was hard to stamp out.
    #4 Ravenbelle, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014
  5. As Elliot stalked off, he slowly began to realize just how stupid of a move that was to make. This'd stick with him for a while. Though he did know that nobody would dare insult him or say a word of this to his face, they'd definitely chatter on behind his back. And in all honesty, he began to calm down as he realized he really did not care. He'd still be sitting at the same table, and he'd still be in his spot on the social ladder, most likely. Underneath the staff, he had pretty much the most power in the school with what secrets he knew and rumors he could spread. He had high doubts that anybody would try and push him around or tease him about that little moment. Plus, if these normal students weren't quite as cruel as the popular students, he'd most likely gain more respect than ridicule, seeing that he stuck up for a girl being bullied and hurt. That is, if the event spread around the school quickly enough, which it most likely would. And if the kids weren't as stuck-up as the popular group.

    His mind was rambling on as he finally made it to the double doors, the students around shuffling out of the way and the stares starting to fall on him again. As he made his way forward and back into the warm mugginess of the school halls, he realized just how odd it was having people stare at him. Why he didn't notice this odd feeling before, he had no idea. It was normal for him, but it was only now that he felt the real impacts of gazes falling onto him. It sent a weird shiver down his spine.

    The reputation was warring with the true traits of Elliot constantly, always trying to convince his mind of what was right and what wasn't. That event back there would have been at a stalemate if his chivalry hadn't sided over with his true traits. It was only common sense to help a woman who is being harassed, but from what he had seen - those shocked expressions that the popular kids wore - it felt like this damned school didn't even follow common sense, or common chivalry, or common anything. He was picking up all of these new realizations, all after encountering and saving the Cahill girl.

    The Cahill girl.

    He didn't even know the girl's name. The Cutter Cahill nickname was all he heard whenever she was mentioned. He wondered what it could be. His mind suddenly became occupied with yet another sudden realization. It was as if a thousand veils covering a thousand different truths were being lifted with each passing moment. His status had blinded him more than he had thought before. His popular self was appalled that he would be pondering about some low-status girl, but his common sense and better mind was slowly ripping bits and bits away from that popular side of him. He needed something to occupy himself, anyways. His head lifted and his gaze scanned the people around him. He wondered if they ever wondered about her name. He wondered if that popular group he had always so willingly joined ever wondered of her name. He guessed they didn't, being the shallow pricks he realized them to be.

    His brow furrowed thoughtfully as he walked. He knew the bell was going to ring pretty soon, so his mind shifted on his muscle memory and he began to make his way towards his last class of the block-schedule day. He let his mind wander and his legs carry him on by themselves. He knew this school like the back of his hand, so he had a general idea of where he was headed.
    • Love Love x 1
  6. Anya was still a bit frazzled after that encounter with Elliot. The consequences of his actions seemed endless in her mind. Anything anyone did for or against her always ended up negative. She was better off ignored and invisible, like in her home. If the student body buzzed about how Elliot had stuck up for her at lunch time, which it surely would, there would be students who blamed her. Students who wanted Elliot's attention so badly that they'd hurt her for it. Or worse, grow jealous of her. It seemed crazy because she couldn't fathom anyone in their right minds ever being jealous of her for anything.

    But if there was anything Anya was sure of in Oakson high, people would do anything for popularity, or even attention from popular people. And Elliot was surely the one most girls wanted attention from. The cheerleaders, the sluts, they'd all punish Anya for getting in the way of that. For being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Like always. Maybe there's something seriously wrong with her. Why else would everything in her life go so wrong so easily? She might just be a curse on humanity. Or some sort of...helpful punching bag, only existing to relieve others of stress by bruising and ridiculing her. It gave her just a little bit of comfort to think she might be helping people after all of the things she's done wrong. But should helping others really hurt so bad?

    Anya hadn't eaten her little apple, but she had toast for breakfast. So she figured she was alright as she pulled her sleeves down to exit the bathroom, pondering her seemingly pointless existence. Looking down as she was, Anya hadn't noticed Elliot walking past the bathrooms for a slightly early start on the next class. They shared that period, but Anya was pretty sure he never noticed her in there. She bumped into his side gently by accident she swears!
    Anya gasped, looking up at him fearfully as she scurried backwards, nearly tripping on her own two feet. She caught herself on the wall beside the door to the girls bathroom mumbling desperately, "I'm sorry. I'm really sorry. I shouldn't have--and you helped me and now I--I'm so sorry..." She whispered, cowering against the wall like the pathetic little girl she thought she was.
    Technically, he hadn't helped her because surely there would be consequences tomorrow, but his intentions seemed good earlier so she wouldn't let him know that. She just hoped he wouldn't suddenly change his mind about her and take Matt up on his offer of violence.
    #6 Ravenbelle, Jan 13, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  7. Lost in swimming realizations, irritated grudges, and conflicting feelings, Elliot didn't seem to notice where he was walking. Muscle memory had taken over at that point, an instinctual sense of direction and familiarity to the crowded hallways of the building. When he felt something softly nudge his side, it was as if he was being pulled through thick layers of mud back to air - he could practically hear a snap in his mind as his attention clicked back into reality. The stares seemed to have ceased. Or, at least, there wasn't anything he could feel jabbing into him and making his nerves prickle with awareness. He blinked, his gaze seeming to have filmed over a tad, deep brown irises coming back into focus with a blink and a slight perk upwards of his head.
    When he returned to reality, his first reaction was to glance at what he had bumped into. When he heard a loud, frightened gasp, his gaze turned towards the spot even more quickly, expression surprised to a subtle degree.

    His expression suddenly sunk into an even further surprised state at seeing that it was the Cahill girl. She seemed to have been exiting the bathrooms, and now, she looked absolutely terrified to see him. She was cowering, actually, as if she a mouse being cornered by a cat. Seeing this triggered confusion in him, with his new, unselfish self bewildered as to why she was reacting in such a way - but her words were what made him realize. His popular reputation gnawed at him. He had nearly forgotten that he was revered around the school as a king, with sure reasons to be treated with caution and fear around. Especially to a person who had a reputation like this girl did. When the confusion melted into realization, a wave of horrid guilt accompanied it. Was this how kids like this always felt about him? Did every kid of the 'unpopular' groupings really feel this way when he walked past, or was near?

    Now that felt horrible to him. Though sometimes, having a feared reputation was a good thing, like in the case of helping out the very girl before him, it seemed to have more cons to it than it ever could have morally correct pros.

    His gaze swept around the two. The hallway seemed empty. No kids really hung around the classroom hallways, in fear of teachers coming out and capturing whatever shenanigans they were up to. His gaze then turned back towards the Cahill girl, conflicted on how he should be reacting. His popularity was pushing for him to just glare at her and continue on, but his new-found sense of morality immediately rejected this. His gaze went down to the ground, his side facing her, him standing still. He now realized how tall he was in comparison - she must have been only an inch or two above five feet, now that he noticed.
    He felt like he couldn't look at her as he gathered up his voice to ask her something. It was in a slight mumble; his tone was soft and held no traces of superficiality or anger in it. He had no idea of what else to say, and instead decided to ask her about what he felt was most important at that moment.

    " . . . Your arm."

    There was a long moment of silence after that. His gaze turned up slightly, meeting with her own. His expression seemed tired, weary, and that's exactly what he was - he was tired of having all of these realizations and feeling like shit about himself. He wanted to wait until he got home to deal with these new emotions he was having, not during school where everybody was always watching, and where privacy was the rarest thing to come across. But, all the same, there was genuine concern hidden somewhere in those faintly glimmering eyes of his.
    His gaze flickered from her arm to her eyes again expectantly, asking again in a slightly more audible tone, "I saw blood. Is your arm alright?" His fingers flexed in his pockets, hoping to get a response, but anticipating to just get some amazed stare. He noticed how brilliantly colored the girls' eyes were. They were a green, like an emerald green, which was really interesting to see in a girl. They could have been brighter, he noticed - hers seemed dim, almost watered-down, but they looked like they held something behind them. Struggling to enter through. It gave him a slight sense of intrigue that he didn't quite notice in the moment, but probably would once the moment was over, or even during, if it continued for longer.
    • Love Love x 1
  8. Anya was very tempted to close her eyes and wait for a blow or derisive comment about how she should 'watch where she's going'. But the moment did not arrive as instantly as she would have expected. Her quick breaths were nearly audible in the silent hallway as her green eyes fluttered open to find that Elliot hadn't moved at all. In fact, he seemed surprised to see her. Notice her. Which made sense since there are days when the populars don't even bother with her puny existence. She's a shadow only in this instant coming into the light by accident.

    Her wide eyes stared, more anxious with every second that went by without reaction from the highest person on the social ladder at Oakson High. Elliot went through a range of emotions before actually speaking to her. One of which was confusion. Over what? She wondered. Wasn't it a well known fact that Cutter Cahill is a clumsy, good-for-nothing, shell of a girl that only ends up annoying other people she encounters? Why isn't he looking at her like the other students do? They see her as a mosquito, annoying and idiotic as it flutters around unnoticed until someone swats it away or kills it. But Elliot, Tall, Intimidating Elliot, just looked at her with a sort of exhaustion in his eyes that she had never seen revealed to her. Of course, many students feel tired after a long night of homework, but this was a different sort of tired. Ambivalence swirled in his chocolate eyes until finally he spoke in a tone softer than she expected.

    "...Your arm." He mumbled, just observing her. Not glaring or mocking. She froze, heart beating like a bunny's in a trap.
    Her first reaction was to glance down at her arms wondering what he meant. Why isn't he hurting her yet? She met his gaze to try and find an answer. Did he look...concerned? What is that she saw in his shining eyes? No...it couldn't be. She must be mistaken...but hadn't he Just defended her out in the courtyard? Why had he even done that? She was way too shy to ask, so better to be safe than sorry and assume it was a fluke.
    "I saw blood. Is your arm alright?" He spoke again, a genuine worry in his voice. She hardly even recognized the tone for no one ever ever used it around her. The foreign nature with which he spoke amazed and confused Anya. What ever could he be trying to do? Is this some sort of weird trick he's trying to pull? Of course there was blood on her arm! Doesn't he know what her nickname means?! Maybe the origin of it was lost on him, but surely he would have guessed by now. It was hardly even a secret anymore, so why is he even asking? Does he actually expect her to respond? Well...sometimes if she ignores people, they get mad that she doesn't react so since he asked her a direct question, maybe she should say something.

    "I...It's---" Anya's small voice quivered until it cut off by the wail of the school bell as if alerting the pair to get back to reality where everyone hated her, most of all, Elliot....Right?
    In the tiny moment of time between the students flooding in through the doors at the end of the hallway, Anya felt she had to excuse herself before disappearing into the crowd. "S-sorry. I have to get to class." She mumbled, putting he head down and pushing her hands into the pocket of her hoodie so he couldn't look at her arms anymore. She set a quick pace to the end of the hallway, letting herself blend in with the other teenagers bumping her along. Elliot shared her next class, but she normally sat in the back with no one in the seats beside her.
    • Love Love x 1
  9. Wow. On a normal basis, under what's considered 'normal' circumstances, Elliot didn't get depressed by seeing other people easily. Feelings like that were automatically repressed in order to stay in line with the crowd. It had become so frequent to see other kids being mistreated, the instinct had become automatic to just shove the sadness aside to bite him on the ass some other day. But now, he watched this girl, and the weariness sank lower. One word came to his mind, watching the expression of disbelief flicker across her features, as if what he said was in a completely different language - brainwashed. The harshness of the social expectations their school set, the cliquishness and strict pyramid of reputations, had just branded so thoroughly onto her mind that even the smallest acts of kindness were seen as unbelievable. Realizing this led to the thought that maybe he had been just as brainwashed as she, in his own form, on the opposite direction . . .

    His thoughts interrupted themselves to yank him back into the exchange of words being held, and the exchange of emotions. Get your head into the moment, Elliot, think about this shit during class.

    She looked shocked now. As she began to speak, he noticed her voice held a trembling note to it. Frustration came to him. It made his stomach twist uncomfortably, feeling upset within. God, he couldn't get a normal reaction? From anyone?! He wasn't a dictator who'd chop her head off, for Pete's sake, he was just a guy! Now that he was beginning to notice these abnormal reactions, he was sure he'd grow irritated of them fast. Before she could even utter a proper response, the shrill school bell rang, causing his gaze to sweep around the room automatically. Students were beginning to make their way towards their classrooms now, and that would mean that the flood of students from outside would be spilling into the building as well. His gaze returned to the Cahill girl, now feeling his heartbeat quickening in a rush, under the impression that she might finish her response before leaving.
    She never did. Quietly, timidly, she excused herself, pulled her hood up, slipped her hands into her hoodie's pockets, and slipped into the crowds, leaving him standing there staring after her. She was so small, it was rather easy for him to lose track of where she was. Elliot, in a wave of personal annoyance at himself, huffed loudly. Yep, it was gonna get really annoying, far too quickly.

    His expression now set into something more aggressive with his inner vexation, he slipped his entire hands out of his pockets and let his thumbs hook onto their sides instead, starting a walk forward towards his next class. He barely had to weave his path, since most kids would step out of the way for him. And the prickling of stares had began again, multiples of them, stinging at his nerves. He now severely wished he could just yell for them all to keep their eyes off of him, but kept the urge down. He had already fucked up once that day - it was probably better for him to keep his nastiness to himself for the time being. He could let off steam after school, maybe drop his bag at home and take a walk.
    With a deep sigh in and out through his nose, he continued his way through the halls, finally landing on the door he was searching for. English. He couldn't say he hated English, not nearly as much as he hated History, at least. It was mediocre to him. He took his hands from his pockets and pushed open the door, avoiding eye contact with any of the students within, despite the fact that a few were staring at him in a completely obvious manner, as if vying for his stare back. He refused it, attempting to brush off the tingling feelings.

    Grabbing his chair near one of the wide side windows of the classroom, he let his bag drop with a flop onto the ground, nearly falling into his chair and letting his feet slide forward until he was in a relaxed position in his seat. He pinched the bridge of his nose, eyes shutting and head bowing. He could feel a small headache coming on. From what, he wasn't entirely sure He guessed randomly that it was all of the brain activity these new thoughts and emotions were causing, but there was probably a more logical answer to it. Whatever it was, it didn't feel good at all. His fingers let go of the bridge of his nose and both hands came up to press his fingers to both his temples, rubbing lightly, eyes remaining closed, attempting to remain oblivious to the stares of other people and resisting the overwhelming drive to snap and stare back.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Despite having started walking earlier in order to avoid further interaction, Anya still made it to class later than Elliot did. Caught in the hustle and bustle of the crowd, she was too small to make her own way through like Elliot did. So when she turned the knob and entered the class with her head down and hands in fists, her green eyes flickered to Elliot easily. That brief glance showed her that he seemed very angry or annoyed about something. Had she caused that?
    Anya walked toward her seat in the back of the classroom, eye downcast again. One girl edges her foot out in an attempt to trip her, but she knew the drill. If she walked over it, they'd shove her anyway and hit one of her healing bruises. Anya simply tapped her toe against the girl's sandal and pretended to stumble forward earning herself a few snickers before 'catching' herself on the edge of a nearby desk. Her desk. Someone had taped a Beware of PsychoFreak sign on it. Well that's new. And a bit boring. These guys just don't want to put much effort into it anymore, huh? She wasn't sure if that was a good thing or not...
    The duration of her entrance was pretty standard for the most part, so Anya didn't look or feel too torn up about it. She was used to this sort of thing. Once the teacher walked in, she could remove the sign on her desk. Easy.

    Anya chanced another glance at Elliot. He didn't look any happier, especially beside that gloomy weather displayed outside the window. Why not? Surely some of his friends would be arriving soon, most likely just as the bell began to ring. She frowned and dug her nails into her palms. Her stomach was twisting into knots and painfully complaining about the lack of sustenance she'd received today. She'd just have to deal with it. What's one more torture among the rest? Apparently one too many, because she was starting to get that itch again. The inside of her mind buzzed with thoughts of the razor blade at home calling her name, almost begging her to pick it up and slice her wrist again. Ugh. No wonder they call be PsychoFreak. She thought, pushing away the urge to cut. If they keep coming up in school like this, she might have to bring a spare blade to school with her. You know, for days like this.
    It didn't concern her that the school would consider the tool a weapon. The faculty and staff noticed her even less than the students around here.

    No one sat beside her on either side before class. Just as she knew no one would. Sure she wouldn't disagree that she's a lonely soul, but if anyone tried to befriend her, she wouldn't be a good friend. She'd inadvertently drag he/she to the pits beneath the the social ladder comparable to Hell and she didn't want anyone down here with her. Because they wouldn't deserve it. Only she does.
  11. Elliot felt something odd poke at him. When he felt it at first, his closed eyes opened. It was similar to the feeling of a stare, but . . . different, in some strange way. It wasn't an annoying sting on his skin, but a beckon, a prod. His head tilted up. It turned to the side and began to scan the room, catching a few girls' eyes who were the perpetrators of the other annoying stares and seeing them look away quickly when he did. Typical. They just wanted a glance, but his, at the moment, was not looking for theirs. He was looking for whatever weird feeling had been nudging him.
    He stopped. He had to do a retake. He was sure. There she was again, sitting at her desk alone. He had, sadly, expected something like that to be a part of her surroundings. But all the same, he was surprised - and slightly bewildered. What was fate doing to him? Just deciding to place him in all the places she's in? He had had no idea that she was even in this class. He had never -


    He felt nearly beside himself now with this guilt. He had a problem that he'd seriously need to sort out. But why now? On a Thursday? Nothing happened on a Thursday, man, it could have happened on a Friday, when he'd get to go home and think about everything. But no, it was today, when he'd need to get his school responsibilities for the next day out of the way, that everything was rushing at him all willy-nilly like this. He sighed.
    While she didn't look, he watched her. It sounds weird, but that was what his mind pushed him to do. When the shrill bell rang again to signal the end of transport period to classes, he realized why he felt it - in came a few of the bigger kids, laughing about their own stupid jokes that he once laughed at so ignorantly. His eyes narrowed, and his gaze darted from Cahill to them. She was . . . kind of defenseless where she was, and nobody else in the classroom would go and sit near, or next, to her. He felt his shoulders tense as he tried to make a decision. Should he sit next to her? His gaze flickered around the room. Was it worth it to do that? He could already see those kids eyeing her, like a piece of meat. Now that he looked back, in fact, it made him angry. What was wrong with these people? He didn't understand what gave people who were, by chance, stronger than someone else, the right to push around said kid. Was it because of the fact that she cut herself?-
    He stopped dead. And he realized something else.
    Yes. That was exactly the reason as to why they felt they could.

    Uh-huh, that's what shoved him. He decided to himself to sit behind her, diagonal from her, in case some self-entitled ass decided to try showing whatever power they thought they had. In a frustrated half-growl under his breath, he snatched up his bag and walked over, seeing kids turning their heads as he went near Cahill. There was a row between her and him, and he walked until he was a seat behind, letting his bag flop back down onto the ground as he sat down in the very row that was separating the two. There. One seat beside, one seat back. He was closer now, diagonal from her. Maybe that little incident had spread quickly enough for these god-awful people to realize that she wasn't open for being pushed around on that day.
    He knew that the Cahill girl probably thought he was creepy or something, which frustrated him. Even though it was just an assumption, he felt like it was an accurate one. His elbows rested on the table and he began rubbing his temples softly again, eyes averted to the desk surface and expression a mix of tired, angry, and conflicted. There was a real turmoil going on in him - you could tell if you looked at his expression closely enough.
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  12. Anya stopped looking at Elliot until the bell rang and some of the popular kids arrived. Hopefully his mood would brighten now. She didn't want to be the reason he wasn't feeling happy today. Occasionally, she would feel this strange feeling beneath her skin...like a..prickling. What could it be? Humans have a sense that tells them when another is looking at them...but Anya never knew that feeling. People don't look at her all that often, so how could she know to identify it that way? She shook it away, disregarding the disconcerting instinct and paying attention to their English teacher, who was sorting out some papers before starting class. This is her chance. Before he notices, she'll just--

    An irritated half growl caught Anya's attention. Beneath all the vapid chatter ahead of her, Elliot's voice prompted her to look in his direction for a moment. He switched seats. He moved himself closer to her. Nobody sits back there. If it were anyone else, social status would have been lower by a rung or two without a good rumor to make up for it. Why is he sitting there? She wasn't the only one wondering. Other teens turned their heads like she did, whispering about what his motives could possibly be. She turned her head back to face the front and while the other students chattered and whispered, she tore the sign odd her desk. When it fluttered to the ground, she caught it with her sneaker and ripped it into pieces with her feet. The action was quick; nervous, but by anyone who noticed, it cold be misinterpreted as an act of defiance against those high on the social ladder. She didn't count on it. They were too caught up in Elliot's seat change to see the torn notebook paper at her feet.
    She risked another little look over her shoulder and found that the tall boy was again, conflicted, caught between multiple emotions and turmoil she couldn't know the reason for, but could it be likely that it's her fault? Or is it just the headache he seems to have developed?
    Either way, no one asked why he moved and no one messed with Anya for the duration of the class period. She chewed on her lip.

    What does he want?
  13. He could hear the hushed chatter of other students in the classroom. He knew what it was about. He could hear tidbits and pieces, but already had an idea of what it was for. He pulled in a deep breath, releasing it and getting out some of his current stress along with it. He just had to get through the rest of this last period. He definitely felt like taking a walk that day, getting out and going to a nearby nature trail, or just mulling around the town to find something to do. Thinking about the sweet freedom was calming, comforting to him. He'd have time to think. Clear his head, get through to himself, figure out what he needs to do with himself. Running his hands through his hair, he let them rest on the back of his neck momentarily, eyes closed and expression significantly more serene than it had been before. His eyes opened slowly, and he saw movement nearby, at Cahill's desk.

    He glanced discreetly over to see her ripping up something underneath her desk. It was fast, and from what he could feel, she was anxious while doing it. Extremely anxious. He let whatever the paper said on it remain a mystery, feeling no desire to wonder over it. His gaze averted towards the kids that had been eyeing her before, but they had moved on. They seemed to be avoiding her intentionally, for whatever reason. Good. He seriously didn't feel top enough to have to defend someone at that point. He'd probably get a lot angrier than he'd mean to, also, considering that his irritability had shot up since this influx of epiphanies.
    Class passed on without any interruptions and without any harmful visitors to the Cahill girls' desk. Each time a gaze on him became unbearably obvious, he'd glance in the direction and see a face quickly turning away. It was like they thought he was numb to all signs of attention they practically chucked at him. He found this assumption oddly amusing, in a cynical type of way; he simply rolled his eyes and looked back forward when that came up. He didn't have a very clear idea of what the teacher was lecturing about, which was pretty rare; he usually did pretty well at listening in classes, and had average grades. Oh well. It was one day - it couldn't hurt that badly.

    Seconds ticked towards the end of class. Not a single student had come to mess with Cahill. He had lost track of time, hadn't glanced at the clock all through the class. In fact, he barely seemed to recognize the tremble of excitement in the air, of eagerness to get out of the classroom. The shrill, final call of the ending bell seemed to surprise him out of a self-induced, glassy trance, and he blinked in shock when kids suddenly bolted up and shot towards the door, crowding it easily and quickly. Since Elliot was usually among that crowd, when he was actually paying attention to what was around him, he found the sight of the huddle of bodies as funny. Once that moment of entertainment passed, he sighed, realizing he hadn't gotten up yet to leave. He picked up his writing utensils and threw them into one of the bags' pockets carelessly, doing the same to his English notebook that had been opened, but unused. He grabbed the strap, stood, and slung it over his shoulder, finding himself glancing towards Cahill once more for a short second. He didn't know why, since the classroom was empty of some threat of an idiot. Instinct? Urge? He didn't know, and didn't feel like figuring it out. With a small huff, the young man turned back towards the now dispersing crowd of kids and walked towards the door, the thoughts of getting home to drop his stuff off and go back out for fresh, lovely air quite appealing to him at that moment in time.
  14. Anya took notes as well as she could without giving into her tendency to pay attention to Elliot behind her. He is acting so strange today... Well, it's not like she knows him so well anyway...he's at the top and she's at the bottom. That's just the way it is and just the way it should stay as far as Cutter Cahill was concerned. Most people don't even know her first name.
    When class ended, Elliot for some reason, had separated himself from the crowd of students who rushed to the door. Anya was the last one out, though only because she was very curious as to why the King of Oakson High was so different today. She watched him discreetly with dull green eyes as he walked out and then she followed and walked her usual route home with only one last glance at the dark eyed boy who was supposed to despise her.
    It was still gray outside, but the breeze was nice even if that was not Anya's main focus.
    One foot in front of the other. You'll get there eventually...
    Oh she was very anxious to get home, or more specifically, to her favorite razor. So she kept her eyes down and paced herself all the way to the pretty neighborhood of mansions, one of which held a dark secret and the echoes of a screaming little girl who only ever wanted attention from someone, anyone. Not anymore. She was used to going unnoticed. It's how she's supposed to be. Invisible. Once the key turned the lock open to the pristine place she lives in, she wandered to the kitchen and grabbed a granola bar and an apple to make up for lost lunch. She would eat them after she got cleaned up. But when she made her way past the granite counter to the stairs, a piece of paper caught her eye. It was a handwritten note from her mother.
    Your father and I will be on a business trip for the next two weeks. Call the number at the bottom of the note to inform Nancy that we won't be there to pay her until the Thursday we return. Enclosed is some cash for food and other necessities you may require.
    Sincerely, Your Mom.

    Anya sighed, having noticed the lack of any sort of indication that her mother cared for her at all. She pocketed the cash, made the call that was requested of her in her bashful way, and headed upstairs, wanting very badly the sweet release of the blade now. She went up the stairs very quickly, dropped off her stuff on her bed and when she reached her bathroom, she immediately turned on the shower and stripped, trying her best to ignore the imperfections in the wretched mirror while she opened the cabinet and pulled out her razor.
    The water was too hot, but Anya didn't care. She let everything else get to her then.

    The death of all her best friends, the cruelty of the students around her every day, the ignorance of every adult in her life, the fact that she couldn't name one person in the entire world who cared one bit about Cutter Cahill.
    So Red..

    Well they certainly gave her a good nickname. Her tears were not obvious in the shower, but they came without her consent anyway. The first slice did not make her hesitate like it used to. The silver knife spilled her blood beautifully...
    It was like the crimson river that dripped to the tile below her was every pain or care she ever had and those agonies were leaving her now, slowly and perfectly. Then the scalding water let it all escape down the drain. Anya let out a sigh of relief, feeling much less caged and much more free. She was floating high now without a care in the world. Who cares about whether her secret is known throughout a whole high school? It doesn't matter. Everyone has a way to cope with misery and this is hers. And it works.

    When she finally crawled into bed after dropping her music player and her razor into her backpack with a wan smile, dull green eyes fluttered closed with a little wish: Hopefully the nightmares would leave her alone tonight.


    They hadn't left her alone, but they weren't as bad as they could have been. She counted it as a plus that she hadn't woken up screaming at least.


    It was windier today and less likely to rain, so she wore a ponytail. Anya walked into school with her usual meek attitude and let herself go through the motions. She really hoped no one would bother her over the events of yesterday. But her hope would again be futile.
    #14 Ravenbelle, Mar 29, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014
  15. The freedom from the claustrophobic atmosphere of the school was one of the most wonderful things Elliot had felt all that day. Well, technically, that feeling was the best feeling he could feel on any day. The cool air was refreshing to his senses and his thoughts of the day were washed away with the breeze. Though they'd surely return much too soon for his liking, he felt he ought to take in the feeling while it was there. As he pushed open the doors back to freedom, he took in a deep breath, revitalizing his senses from the dull, gloomy, and most recently, disgusting environment that he called school. It was almost as if a pressure had been lifted from his chest - he could breath properly again and relish the absence of pin-pricking stares on him at all times of the day.
    Without a second glance, he began a stride down the sidewalk, away from the building he'd be confined to for only one more day until another two days of independence came on the weekend. This was, by far, the best point in time for a student to confide in - knowing that escaping classes and social expectations was so close to their reach. The little stretch of work they'd require themselves to do to reach the end of school and the start of a brief, but refreshing period of whatever satisfaction every person uniquely enjoyed was approaching, and determination was always strong to get there. For a high school student, these thoughts would seem bizarre if laid down and expressed to their fullest potential on paper, truly prove the pressure public schooling could press onto children in this time.

    But, for now, he paid no mind to it all, bringing himself into the present as he strode home in the golden sunlight of the approaching dusk.

    His steps were relaxed; he was in no hurry. Personally, he enjoyed the walks home that he took. It offered him solitude and fresh air both in one before he was in the company of his mother again. He would never complain about his mother - he loved her very much, of course - but sometimes, a little bit of alone time is what a person needs to get a grip onto their sanity again. As he walked, his thoughts began drifting from the euphoria of escape to the events of that day, and in his head, the voices began to bicker back and forth at each other with their reasoning to his actions, all in complete silence on the outside.
    Why had he helped her? The impulse was pretty obvious - any person with a heart would help out a girl being hurt in some way by someone bigger than them. But . . . still, he wondered why he did something considered so shocking among his so-called 'peers'. The girl seemed so looked down upon, as if she was something nasty that couldn't understand everyone else, when he didn't see anything like that come from his first impression of her. She honestly, to him, just seemed like a . . . like a sad, lonely girl, really. Someone who looked as if they really needed a friend to confide in, but who was far too closed-in to make one. He, of course, couldn't imagine what the girl had been through to start intentionally cutting herself, and didn't want to imagine what could have led to such a horrible self-infliction.
    Cutter Cahill.
    The name sounded so revoltingly rude. He never really realized how flawed in logic and sense the nickname made. Why would anybody in their right mind call someone something like that? How could he have done that at one point? The inner thought of the nickname compelled him to do something - to find out her real name. It sounded strange and ridiculous if said out loud, but he just had the strongest urge to discover it.

    He blinked. Why did these thoughts, and this sudden interest, so quickly spring up to smack him in the face? He had never really seen the girl up close, much less came into physical contact the way he had done today. Maybe seeing her victimization in action did something drastic to him. Well, hell, of course it was something drastic - his perspectives and thoughts were flipped upside-down completely at this point. But why now?
    The question would go unanswered for most likely for a very long time. He let it rest at seeing her being bullied in person. That could strike up a flare in anybody to see a big guy hurt a smaller girl so cruelly. At that moment, he felt a tinge of acid burn in him at Matt. His eyes flashed in a personal moment of disgust. He couldn't even believe that he had been 'friends' with a person as thoughtless as that. He'd be in far more bitter company with Matt from this point on, no matter how popular he made himself out to be to the rest of the school.
    The acid left his mind, and left him with the determination of his task - to find out Cahills' actual name. His reputation was gawking at the fact that he'd become enthralled enough in such an 'insignificant person' to want to do something like that, but at that moment, his reputation was the last thing he wanted to take advice from. The whole way to his house, he was trying to think up ways to approach her and ask without . . . well, either frightening her or embarrassing her. Probably both, seeing the way she had reacted to him just a little while ago.

    When he found himself on the doorstep of his house, he shook himself from his thoughts quickly. Thinking on it, it was probably considered creepy to be thinking so intently about anybody. He pushed the thoughts to the side of his mind, not wanting to make himself appear in such a way to himself. He took out his door key and slipped it into the lock, clicking it open, entering in, and letting the door shut behind him, locking it again before he started into the house. A voice called from the kitchen, "Had a good day, hon?" His mother was usually home when he returned home, and he rolled his eyes at the very question. No, he definitely did not have the most pleasant of days - but nevertheless, he was glad that the day had finally come for him to realize how much of a prick he was being before, and still partially was being.
    "Not really," he called back in response, artfully swinging the strap of his pack from his shoulder to his hand as he began an ascension up the flight of stairs to the second story, "but it was just a little bad day, no biggie." He heard his mother pause before calling back, "Well, if you need to talk, I'm down here, okay?"
    Elliot smiled slightly. "Thanks, mom," he responded. He had a deep amount of respect for his mother - she could have just dumped him on his dad and ran off, but she chose to stay and take care of him. It was always a warm feeling for him.

    He went into his room, throwing his school bag haphazardly into his closet and changing out of his school clothes. He took a shower, freshened back up a little, got on some comfy lay-around clothes, and returned back into his room. Little did the people at school know that Elliot didn't just hang out with the other preps and do nothing else - he had his own hobbies that would often help him take his mind of of things. This usually ranged from day-dreaming, hopping onto YouTube, listening to music, or napping, but it varied quite jaggedly. There was also homework to do, which he swiftly filled out while he watched videos as something to help keep him occupied along with the boring questions on the paper. He wasn't any jockey sports kid who had sports to practice after school every day, as some might have predicted; in fact, he would honestly rather lie around and be idle than have anything to do with sports.
    When dinner was finished up and he had finished cleaning the kitchen, he bid his mom goodnight and went into his bedroom, collapsing onto the mattress and shifting around the pillows and blankets to his comfort. Of course, he didn't fall asleep quite yet. Night time was the main time to unwind and sift through his thoughts, ponder whatever ailed him that day. The arguments of social pressures drifted through as he became drowsier and drowsier with the warmth of his bed, and moved to Cahill and the strange predicament that had come to pass. His perspective of her wasn't clear yet - the confusion of it all made it difficult to sort out his opinions. He would wait for Saturday to start getting himself laid out and organized, hopefully make himself better than the asshole he saw his other self to be.

    He drifted off on that thought.

    - - -

    A dreamless sleep led to a gloomy morning, as it always did. He enjoyed dreams, as long as they weren't nightmares. He didn't think anybody really liked nightmares. He dragged himself out of bed when his alarm beat on his head like a tom-tom, and sat on the edge of his bed in his plaid sleep pants and loose black T-shirt. A couple of minutes of his head clearing to become cognitive and aware again from the drowsy trance of sleep ensued before he took in a deep sigh and stood up, wobbling slightly and having to take another few seconds to steady himself.
    The usual morning routine went on - his mother always left for work earlier than when he usually woke up, and that hadn't changed that day. He grabbed something small for breakfast and went on with his pattern, brushing his teeth, getting something to wear, making himself look decent enough to satisfy. He didn't really know who he would be satisfying - mostly himself, he believed. He used to dress solely to impress the people at school, but at this point, couldn't care less about impressing them. He technically had everyone on his good side, anyways.

    With his things packed and his appearance presentable, he grabbed his house key and went out into the crisp morning air, locking the door behind him and instinctively brushing off his navy blue jacket and black jeans. His walk to school set a knot of dread in his stomach, at the very thought of being grasped by the compact, uncomfortable air of the school grounds. But, the reminder that the weekend was just around the corner was comforting, and helped settle it slightly. Minutes ticked by until he pushed open the doors of the school's main entrance - and, almost immediately after, began feeling the subtle pinches of stares tingling all over him. Great. With this new mindset of his, he was sure that this would get pretty frustrating pretty quickly.

    He sighed. All a part of being the king of the social ladder, he thought distastefully. Doing his best to shrug it off, he kept his usual cool composure, responding in a practiced manner to people who greeted him and with a smooth attitude to show for the crowds.
    • Love Love x 1
  16. Going through her normal morning routine, Anya's first minutes in school were spent at her locker to grab her books and clear out the horrible notes the other students left her. Today she wore her favorite pair of jeans, light wash and pretty comfy, but recently, she's noticed they feel looser than normal and her hip bones stick out a little more than they used to. Maybe she should stop skipping meals. She hadn't eaten since yesterday's lunch so today she resolved to eat at lunch and dinner. Feeling dizzy so often is no fun. Especially after losing blood last night. Her wrists still stung a bit when she moved her hands much, but the delicate scabs and scars were safely covered with a gray sweater that used to cling to her skin, but now felt very slightly roomy. Not good. Anya sighed. She's a waste of space and so why should she breathe everyone else's air or eat their food? Oh right. Because she's too cowardly to get rid of herself already..

    Upon opening her locker at the end of the hallway, Anya picked up the pile of little notes scribbled on lined paper and tried to stay unnoticed on her way to the trash can. One of the notes stuck out from the pile when she dropped it in the trash because it was perfectly square and written on pink stationery. Anya shook her head and ignored it like the others, walking back to her locker with her gaze on the floor. A sudden loud noise immediately ahead of her made Anya's green eyes snap up to find that Selena had slammed her locker door shut in front of her. The cheerleader was tall and wore skimpy clothes. What really stood out to Anya though was her icy blue eyes glaring down at her. The shorter girl bit her lip. School hasn't even started yet and she was already getting punished? Today probably won't go the way she planned. But then again, when does anything go Anya's way?

    "So Cahill, ignoring my note? That's okay. I figured you wouldn't understand the message anyway. Dumb slut." Selena slammed Anya against the lockers by her shoulders, digging perfectly manicured nails into her skin beneath her sweater. "Listen close, cutter. I don't want to waste anymore time on you, so I'll get straight to the point. That stunt you pulled to get attention from my Elliot is never going to get you anywhere. And to make sure, you'll stay away from him, kay?" Selena gave her a sickly sweet smirk and a yank to her shoulder length locks, effectively ruining her sideponytail as Anya whimpered and shook. "He'll be my boyfriend soon enough, so hands off bitch. Got that?" She snarked and with a final shove into the lockers, the cheerleader was gone, rejoining her clique that giggled and began chattering about their friend's abuse of Cutter Cahill.

    Meanwhile, Anya's lower lip trembled and she stayed frozen against the cold lockers as her tormentor walked away. Her dull green eyes grew misty as the bell rung and she rushed to reopen her locker and grab her notebooks before first period. When she got there, she couldn't focus. So she pulled out her ponytail and let her hair obscure her expression like a curtain, cutting her off from her cruel peers. Her throat was tight and her chest constricted as her thoughts spiraled in a vicious cycle of insults and tear-building notions. She had known as soon as Elliot had stood up for her that it would have negative consequences and she was right. The forethought didn't make the result any less painful though. Elliot had actually been...something other than mean to Anya yesterday for the first time in what felt like forever. And now she'd have to avoid him because anyone who knew Selena would make sure she knew of any further interaction between the lowest and highest members of Oakson High's social hierarchy. She suspected it wouldn't be too hard. He wouldn't seek her out on purpose and he'd probably hear of Selena's abusive treatment from someone in his social circle by the end of the day. That didn't stop it from causing Anya pain though.


    Her second class of the day flew by and she effectively avoided Elliot throughout all of lunch, but afterward, in Engish, the teacher was out because of a family emergency, so the class was moved to the computer lab to type out their papers. Again Anya sat alone continuing to avoid the tall and handsome king of the school. Anya kept her head down and pretended she was busy with the analysis paper on her screen.
    #16 Ravenbelle, Apr 26, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  17. Class drifted by in the strangest of manners. Though he was there, and sitting in his desk, it felt like he wasn't at the same time. He was deeply embedded into aimless thoughts and daydreams sourcing from God knows what, but Elliot couldn't say that he minded all too much. It wasn't exactly . . . well, abnormal for this to happen, but it was very rare. Only at times where either pressure was hitting him too hard or where the daily responsibility of schooling just didn't sit on his shoulders correctly. Thinking on that, he assumed it could have been both for different reasons - the Cahill ordeal, new-found hatred for his social status and those on it, the thought of having to sit with them to keep his image up at lunch. He had to be poked by his neighbor classmate when the teacher called on him for an answer at one point, but with a small 'um' and a quick skim of the material, he managed to whip out the correct answer. Though he was quick-minded to qualify as intelligent, he wasn't into it so much as to be labeled as a nerd or something other than what he was then.
    The thought of his label crossed through his mind during his self-delusions. He heard 'Golden Boy' be passed around every once in a while. That felt so odd to him, because outside of class, he was anything but perfect or 'golden'.

    Trains of conscious thought such as this ran across the tracks of his brain throughout the first rather quick two periods of the day. The bell rang and yanked him from his mind that dismissed them from second period to press them on to lunch, and with a deep breath, he grabbed the strap of his bag and stood to go out the door. Walking through the halls, stares seemed to gain on him through his unclear mental direction, the almost dreamy quality to his usually warm brown eyes appearing a bit odd. Upon realizing this, he shook himself from the zoning and straightened his walk, tugging at the strap on his shoulder and flexing his fingers to readjust to his surroundings. He had to get himself together. Daydreaming so obviously was not often to see on a popular person, who from the stereotype was usually perfectly aware and chatting it up with 'friends' of theirs. He had to stop himself from doing a disgusted noise at the thought, but otherwise, he shifted himself back to his usual composure under the watch of the other students.

    - - -

    Lunch (open)
    He traversed outside and sat down at the table, like usual. The preps and jocks came and greeted him in their nasally tones and gruff voices, and he greeted them back - even though it wasn't quite as welcoming as it was before. Lunch began to tick by as he responded to whoever decided to talk to him.
    But something during the time caught his attention. His gaze flickered to Selena, head cheerleader. She was chattering at her little posse of girls, and the words she heard them giggle on and sneer about caused him to freeze in his place. The words were hard to miss in her obnoxious voice as he listened in:

    ". . . showed Cutter who's whose . . ."
    ". . . trying to steal him, that bitch! . . . "
    ". . . God, what a freak . . ."

    His eye twitched slightly, but he continued listening with growing discomfort and impatience:

    ". . . fucking attention whore . . ."
    ". . . really should quit going after people out of her league . . ."
    ". . . Cutter Cahill, ugh . . ."
    "She'd better read my note next time, or she'll get worse than that . . ."

    He heard a chorus of giggles come from the little crowd of girls.
    But suddenly, their talk was cut into by Elliot's voice, twisted into a slight notion of disbelief.

    "Why would you do that?"

    Everybody went quiet, gazes falling right onto him. This included the group of girls, whose expressions became ones of inquisitiveness at his question. Selena looked at him with the most confusion of the bunch.
    Unfortunately, the question was blurted out by an overwhelming urge that he couldn't get a hold on in time. His gaze flickered around, realizing his mistake, and he paused for a moment, attempting to think of what to do to fix it. There really weren't many options, but as he briefly thought, the little sensible voice in his mind convinced him to continue his question, that some realization may come of it from the girls. With his expression strengthening back into the mode of his question, he looked back up at the girl group. He didn't receive any reply, so with an equally as disbelieving voice, he asked again more clearly, "Why did you do that to her?"
    The baffled auras became slightly shocked. Selena seemed at a loss for words. With a blink, she flipped her hair to the side and said, "Because, well, because she was doing what she did yesterday for attention!"
    Elliot felt his expression grow completely skeptical at the measly reply. She seemed to realize, and her self-righteous composure suddenly faltered a bit in his stare. He felt a small tinge of triumph at seeing it. With an unwavering tone, he said, "Was it because she was stepping out of her place? As Cutter Cahill?"
    The entire thought of the action Selena did being said out loud, and very clearly, seemed to send her into a moment of shock. There was complete silence from the other students and from all of the girls, and Selena suddenly blinked, as if getting out of that train of thought and getting back into one defending a fruitless cause. She said in another tone of distinct self-righteousness, "N-no, she was trying to just get your attention away from us!"
    Elliot shot up out of his seat to stand, bag on his shoulder. This seemed to surprise her, jumping a tad at the sudden reaction. He said in a voice that was cooler and smoother than anything he had ever managed, "Yep, Cahill being attacked without saying a word was sure an act for attention, Selena." He began a stride off towards the school's doors, while Selena whined, "Where're you going?"
    He turned, continuing his stride away backwards as he said in a tone struggling to remain cool, "Having a bad day, just want to be alone for a while, sorry." And let me tell you, he was absolutely not sorry as he turned back around and strode to the doors, pushing them open and returning back through to the stuffy hallways graciously.

    - - -

    The rest of lunch passed, and as he began walking to his last period of the day, he could hear streams of whispers and a larger number of stares land on him. Things spread so quickly around the school, it was ridiculous. They seemed to be chatting about Elliot's sudden abandoning of the popular clique. Huh, no wonder - the way he left was strange behavior from his usual. He had to take deep breaths every few minutes to calm himself down, feeling crashing waves of emotion hitting one another with force enough to count as a full-blown war of perspectives. Should he have continued his questioning? Probably not, now with this talk spreading to and fro in the halls. But at the same time, he felt the oddest sense of accomplishment at stumping a bully in their actions.
    It was obvious that Selena liked him, and was going after him - nothing could stay hidden from Elliot, honestly. But despite her having the 'best chance' with him on the social aspect, she had absolutely no chance with him everywhere else. Personality, appearance, actions - hell, he'd prefer a lot of girls over her. Soon, he'd have to tell her that, or hopefully, she would just realize it on her own during the time that he didn't ask her out when she expected him to.
    He shook his head, going to his English room door and attempting to open it - only to find it locked. The autopilot of his routine was shaken as he glanced up at the door, finding a note that read that the class was to head to the schools' computer room. With a groan, he turned back in the direction of said room and huffed, starting his way to it in a slightly quicker pace to not be completely late.

    He entered right on time - the bell rang shortly after he stepped into the room. Kids were already fooling around in there, but were quickly being silenced by the director of the computer room, Ms. Ozerov. She was a very cool-looking Russian lady - pixie cut black hair, a piercing shade of blue in her eyes, rather short for a woman her age - who had a bad attitude towards trouble-makers, so not many chose to defy her. The class had already claimed most of the computers,excepting several near the Cahill gir-

    Oh my God, he had completely forgotten about the fact that this was his period with her.

    He felt a lot more pressure be put onto him at that point; his chest got tighter and he felt his shoulders tense slightly. Oh, what was he gonna do now? He tried to come up with options on the spot, as quickly as he could conjure, but couldn't organize his options in a functional way. In desperation, he attempted to find the good things about this -
    And remembered that he actually had no moral reason to mind sitting next to or near to Cahill.
    This came to him rather suddenly and hit him hard. Forgetting that all of this ridiculousness of social ladders and such didn't really matter satisfied his mind as an excuse to sit near to her, and to not feel weird about doing it. There were three seats to her left that were empty, while the other seats empty in the row in front of her were almost right next to some jocks he felt himself get sick at the thought of sitting near. All they really did was act like either buffoons or children, now that he thought about it. With a quiet, discreet sigh to himself, he came to the computers timidly, sitting himself down with one computer in between himself and Cahill. He usually didn't like having people surrounding him, anyways, even though he often would do that just for image, but he promptly set his bag down on the seat to his left and let the empty seat separating Cahill and himself to his right empty.
    The class was too preoccupied in their computer antics to notice him and Cahill sitting near to each other near the back of the classroom, and though he knew that Cahill would probably think he was a weirdo for this, he just couldn't find enough energy to care all that much. He was already working on the paper they were supposed to be doing at home, and he didn't feel like starting more on here just to have to e-mail it to himself and all that bullshit. So, he got out his ear-bud headphones, plugged them into the computer, and began to hop onto the Internet scrolling through music he thought he'd like to occupy himself with. He tried to get into the whole mainstream music that the preps seemed to enjoy, but could never bring himself to like it. He was more of a 'less lyrics, more musical dynamics' {like tempo, beat, melody, etcetera} type of person. He had a liking for the abstract stuff, which included many forms of music considered relatively odd to other people - old-school music, some indie things, even electronic dance music/techno music was very enjoyable for him.
    He hoped the class would pass by soon as he began listening to a rather light-hearted song, unsure of how Cahill would react to this strange move of his.
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  18. Anya didn't watch the golden boy walk in. She knew when he arrived and yet she was still taken aback by the fact that he chose to sit so close to her. Anya bit her lip and leaned away from him for a moment to spy between the computers on the rest of the class. After having made sure the rest of the class was sufficiently occupied to pay any attention to the crime she committed against the hierarchy, she closed her eyes and breathed. Tried to concentrate. Failed. Of course, by choosing to sit two seats away from her, technically Elliot was the one who was breaking the rule but she did not want to pay for it again. Whatever they did, however they interacted, Cutter Cahill would get the repercussions. Sometimes it made her want to scream until her throat bled, until she destroyed her vocal cords with the sheer feeling of isolation, the crushing pressure of hate that they all pressed on her shoulders.

    There was a bomb in between the two pieces of her rib cage, maybe attached somewhere near her weary broken heart. It threatened to destroy her if she didn't cut off it's boiling fuel source. Her blood. A part of her was angry. So incredibly white hot furious. At everyone. At herself. She must let her blood flow to release any dangerous emotions. Otherwise they'll kill her, which might not be so bad either... one week. She just has to get through one more week and the anniversary will pass And she'll breathe again.

    Anya let her breath out slowly and read the prompt again. She had written the introduction, but having been riding a little wave of peace yesterday, she hadn't been working on the assignment. Yet there was still a part of it she didn't understand. Usually, she wouldn't have cared and written it to the best of her ability, she didn't want to disappoint this time. It probably wouldn't do much, but writing the paper with all her effort might distract her long enough to keep from cutting until she got home. That or loud music, but she didn't want to play hers in the computer lab. It usually blasted loud enough for others to hear past her ears. Unless it was her classical playlist. But she only plays that when she's done cutting so.
    Her green eyes slid across the words again...it didn't make sense. She winced, shook her head, refocused, reread. Nothing. It didn't click. How could she write a good paper if she didn't know what to write about? She couldn't ask Ms. Ozerov--

    Ask him. Look left. Ask Elliot.
    No I'll disturb him. Annoy him.
    Why do you think he sat next to you? just do it. Then you can shut up and write. Not so hard right?
    Don't think so much just do it!

    Anya's left hand reached across the chair between them and her index finger tentatively poked Elliot's arm. She pulled it back immediately, pulled down her sleeve around her skinny wrist on reflex and kept her dull gaze to the ground when he looked up at her.
    Oh gosh...what to say? How to word it? Oh why did she get his attention? Anya hesitated, bit her lip then released it. "Sorry I- I just...I'm wondering if maybe you could...I mean, do you understand the prompt? There's this one bit I just... don't get. Our teacher isn't here so I couldn't ask anyone else so...sorry if I bothered you.." She stammered, pursed her lips shut and winced. What was she thinking? She was told expressly not to interact with him! Maybe she is really stupid. More idiotic than she ever thought. Her green eyes flickered up from the ground and back anxiously and her fingers tightened and rubbed on each other restlessly.
    #18 Ravenbelle, Apr 27, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  19. Elliot was, to put in simpler terms, surprised when he felt the very soft prod on his arm. He blinked once, being pulled out of his music by the call to attention. His hand moved up to pull an ear-bud out, and he glanced to Cahill's direction to find her recoiling from poking him, her eyes struggling to keep on him. He ruled it to be her to have poked him - nobody else seemed to be in short proximity enough to bump him or poke him themselves or anything. Despite the fact that he knew he shouldn't think that way, his surprise heightened at the gesture. From what he had seen yesterday, she seemed completely scared of him, like she'd be punished for speaking to him at all. Well, actually, hearing what Selena did, that was more than likely true, which is just plain ridiculous. There was no privilege in talking with him, or there wasn't supposed to be, not for anyone. He was just a normal guy in a school system pressing past what was morally right to do.
    She started to talk once she captured his attention, and her tone was . . . whoa. The sudden urge to comfort her poked up. She sounded . . . er, what was the word for it. Meekly, yes. She was very timid in her tone, as if one slip up would earn her thirty lashes from a cat-o'-nines whip. He blinked once, his expression - which had previously held the subtle undertone of surprise - softening as he listened to her question.

    He could sympathize with her not understanding the prompt for the essay at first. The same thing happened to him when he first read it over - the way their teacher worded things was like figuring out a riddle. She finished with an apology, one that could have made him laugh if he had not restrained himself. For some reason, he didn't really feel bothered speaking to this girl. Most other people, like his so-called 'friends' from the popular clique, he'd probably feel exasperated speaking to. But with the way Cahill got his attention and the way she asked, how could anyone feel bothered? It was too humble of a question for that. Maybe somebody like Selena or Matt might, but no. Elliot was different than that, better than that. He felt an urge to prove this to her, that whatever was gnawing on her and causing her this fear of him, was not ever needed.
    And so, with that thought and determination in place, Elliot grinned at her. It was a rather tired grin, but it was genuine, you could tell. He responded to her, saying in a bit of a quieter tone, "It's okay, I didn't really understand it when I first read it over either." He paused for a moment, thinking back to his essay at home, and continued, "I'm pretty sure we're supposed to be arguing a controversial point of our choice, but the prompt was terribly unclear about that. Like, gay marriage or legalizing marijuana," the thought of half the boys in the class doing that one came to him and amused him momentarily before he continued, "or something like that."
    He paused again, thinking, before continuing once more, "And we have some requirements on how much we write, and the things that we're required to add into the essay, but that's all on the analysis paper to see."

    He finished his explanation, glancing back up at her from his thoughtful state. He was quiet now, but something else to say suddenly pushed at him. A reassurance of sorts. He decided to let it out and said, "You weren't bothering me, honestly. I was just listening to music, since I have that paper already started at home, so I wasn't doing anything special." He shrugged, feeling satisfied with his last comment.
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  20. He didn't say anything right away. So maybe she'd be lucky and ignore her or better yet, maybe he didn't feel her finger at all! Yeah that'd be perfect because then she'd have less of a chance of getting caught or punished!

    But no. Elliot blinked at her, but she returned her gaze to the ground so she didn't see his expression soften. She must have annoyed him after all. Who wants disruption when they're listening to music?! Anya felt a tightening in her chest and bit her lip again. Surely she had mumbled too much or stuttered too often. She should have been straight to the point instead of drawing it all out! She's such a bubble brain!
    On one of her shy glances at his face, Anya caught him grinning at her. A smile? Directed at her? Sure he seemed weary, but he was honest and it was so friendly that she stared at him, blinking with a little shock as he replied, helping her out nicely. Gosh how long had it been since someone really smiled at her? It brought her a little...warmth. She never realized how much she had missed human company..

    His explanation cleared things up for her. Anya looked back at the screen and it was much easier to understand now that she could see what was between the lines. She nodded to herself and turning back to Elliot shyly, she took a shaky breath. He clarified to her sweetly that she hadn't been annoying him like she had feared. A little weight came off her shoulders at that and it became easier for Anya to meet his warm, dark eyes. "Oh okay. Then Thank you. It's- I got it now." She nodded and awkwardly turned back to her computer screen, deleting her useless introduction. Maybe she'd work on it at home so the pull of the razor wouldn't be as strong. Cutting two days in a row, especially after last night, tended to cause more pain the next day than she needed. Her skin would be too fragile so she has to keep herself otherwise occupied.
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