when they met

By @cecilyrise
when they met

There was him, and there was her. Both with seemingly average lives. Together, that was when it all changed. When they met.

Chapter 16

Early mornings

Today is Monday. 

as the morning went by, I had to be the quietest of quiets. my goal for the morning was to sneak through the house at an hour I knew Megan wouldn’t be awake and get what I needed and leave.

I really dont care if I have to stand outside the school for an hour if it means Megan stays at home. 

she would prefer it anyway, there’s nothing to do at school but learn and she doesn’t even like school. maybe her friends would remember her but I still think should rather be out and about with my mom who is a much more eager participant than me.

it took me almost five minutes to get down the stairs because every time one would creek I would panic and freeze for twenty seconds before trying to go down another.

I tiptoed through the kitchen bumping into a few things on the way because I clearly dont have night vision. I can’t risk turning on the lights and waking everyone. 

I slowly open the cabinet and take the whole box of cornflakes and tuck it under my arm as I make my way to the pad of sticky notes we keep for notes. in a house of children, it’s good if someone knows you haven’t been kidnapped. 

I cross out another one of my failed notes not being about to give a valid reason for why I’m leaving early. 

I tap my pen on my chin as I stare at my mess of scribbles. 

my heart and stomach do an unpleasant gymnastics move as I hear creaking come from upstairs. someones walking. 

I panic and flail around as I force my now even more blank mind to put something on the sticky note 

I woke up early and I decided to go get some breakfast before school at the bakery downtown. ill see you guys when schools over. love, me

p.s we dont have any cornflakes

the pen tumbles out of my hand as I grab my bag and pull it behind me as I run towards the door. I open the door and run out accidentally slamming it behind me. that definitely woke everyone up.

it could have been a raccoon. they just need to use their imaginations

speed walking down my street, I open my box of cornflakes and start eating them by the handful

I will definitely be getting some weird looks today.

a shiver encases my body and I curse my sudden realization that I have no jacket. and the temperatures dropping.

wonderful.

well, there’s no going back. that’s a given. so I just push my arms closer to me as I continue to eat dry cornflakes.

I guess my note wasn’t that far off from a lot of people’s realities. there are a lot of people getting breakfast or coffee or tea.

I wish I could get some coffee. yet another drink of mine that I enjoy very much. 

unfortunately, I only have my slushie money. oh gosh. I still need to go there. Evan must be worried sick!

probably not. he’s probably sleeping 

 As the school comes into view, I also notice that I’m not the only person here. everyone looks crazy tired, I think my energy came from my panic this morning. really got the heart racing

I scan everyone looking for familiar faces. I see Val and Shawn talking together. I try and catch their eyes but they seem very in-depth in whatever they’re talking about. 

I then see an unlikely pair to be here this early. I wave at them and their eyes catch mine and they quickly wave me over.

I happily walk over and greet them with a slight laugh at their tired faces. “hey guys, what are you doing here? you dont seem like morning people” 

with Archer half asleep, Hunter is the one to answer “mom,” he yawns “she kicked us out early for arguing this morning” 

“what were you arguing about?” I ask 

Natasha and I argue sometimes. one time she asked to buy a cat. with my money. of course, I said no. she for sure didn’t like that answer, I tried to tell her all the reasons why we couldn’t, but she apparently had been studying all the reasons why we can and we continued to argue for an hour until mom came in and told Natasha no and told me to stop arguing. 

Archer then opens his eyes “this idiot” he points at Hunter “kicked me in the stomach” 

Hunter clicks his tongue “no, no, it was self-defense, you pushed me off the couch!”

his eyes narrow at Hunter while he calmly states “I was sleeping” 

He closes his eyes again “idiot”

“Hey, is that a cereal box?” Hunter points at my cereal and I just nod

He then shoves his hand in the box coming out with a huge handful before shoving it in his face 

“Hunter! my cereal! you dont just do that to someone, what if-” I stop suddenly and jump back when hunter spits it out, pieces flying all around. “wheres the sugar, sugar?”

A little speechless I hold up the box and say “cornflakes” 

He wipes his mouth and spits out the rest “ick”

Archer sighs looking at all the mushed flakes everywhere “if Alex we here, he would have a fit”

I laugh at that. He does seem like he would do that.

“Why were you on the couch? both of you?” I ask remembering the whole couch fiasco before Hunter’s little cereal problem

They both look at me and answer at the same time, Archer with the same tired tone while Hunter turns excited “f and f Hobbs and shaw” 

I stay still. maybe there’s a punchline?

Then a voice comes from behind me making me jump in surprise “fast and furious, its a movie”

I spin quickly and land my eyes on him. Blue hoodie, black jeans, untied shoes. 

He should tie those. 

“Hey Aaron! How you been?” I smile happily 

He glances at the cereal in my hand, then the cereal on the ground. raising an eyebrow he looks at me 

“Oh, ha, um, that was- I didn’t- you see-” I stumble on my words as I point between Archer, Hunter, the cereal and myself 

A tiny smile comes onto his face as he takes my hand and starts pulling me away from the brothers “ill see you later guys!” I say as I walk away from them. Hunter waves, looking between us. Archer briefly opens his eyes and gives me a nod before closing them again. 

I turn back around to face Aaron “so, what’s up?” 

He takes me to a tree by the side of the school and pulls me to sit. “I needed to find you. I realized after you left my house I forgot to give you something” 

I remember that day. The rainy day. that was so much fun. I still cannot believe that stunt he pulled with the lake. What if there had been sharks? ok, there probably weren’t sharks, but I still could’ve drowned.

Opening his bag, he takes out a white box and hands it to me. 

My mouth is parted in shock. He got me a gift? It’s not my birthday. I never got him a gift! “I can’t take this” 

“Why?” he asks suspiciously

“because I never got you a gift. You really need to let me know when we are getting each other gifts otherwise I feel bad. Now, you take this and give it to me tomorrow when I have a gift for you” I hold the box out to him

“just open the **** box. we can share if it makes you feel better” 

I sigh giving in. I open the box. Making weird little strangled noises I stare into the box

Pink mickey mouse macarons

I pick up the little cookie and examine it. It is absolutely just wonderful. when my strangled noises stop, I finally release a giant “thank you” and I smile like crazy “this is amazing! you are an absolutely amazing human being”

he bits his lip looking anywhere but me “mhm” 

I stand as the bell goes off holding my hand out to help him. He takes it still not looking at me

I know he’s embarrassed so I dont say anything else. I just hope he knows how grateful I am for this. Not just the cookies but the thought, he actually went out of his way to buy me something. My heart beats louder and a cant fight off the smile that comes to my face. 

Copying him, I just look at the ground and we walk inside the school.

**

In English class, Aaron and I actually did share looks. It wasn’t him ignoring me anymore, there were just the lingering feelings from the cookie sharing moment we shared leaving us to look at each other and then he would look away quickly while I smile continuing my work.

When that class is over, I’m packing up my things when Aaron pauses a little by my desk “ill see you later Rowan” 

I look back at him and smile “bye” he smiles, just a little, and then turns and walks away

In art, I meet up with Owen, Alex, and Oliver.

We sit in the same formation as last time and we catch up on each others weekends.

Alex said he went to the library and caught up on homework 

Owen called him a loser

Alex punched his arm

When I asked what Owen did over the weekend he told me he went to visit his cousin who lives a few hours away.

We all turned to Oliver expectantly and he just continued to look at the table before Owen prompted him “what did you do this weekend Oliver?” Owen says in a tone that suggests that he already knows 

This just piques my curiosity and I look back to Oliver.

He then smiles “well, I started off calling my butler to bring my helicopter to my secret base underground, then I flew to Cuba to train cheetahs and dance with those people who breathe fire, then I got a call from the mayor who said he was coming to Cuba to make a business deal with me and I ended up saving him from wild monkeys and now we’re like best friends, I’m basically a legend”

When he finishes his story we all just look at him. He coughs awkwardly and fiddles with his hands. “what?” Alex raises an eyebrow and he finally cracks “ok ok, I guess i didn’t do all the stuff” 

It remains silent 

“Only a little”

Again, nothing 

“Ok fine. I stayed at home watching Netflix and eating Cheetos”

Everyone laughs while Oliver glares at all of us “you guys suck” 

“Aww ollie, it’s ok, I’ve had those weekends too” I smile at him in hopes of making him feel better but Owen laughs harder 

Oliver turns to yell at Owen “shut up!”

**

As I walk up the stairs to my house, I hear quick footsteps coming to the door. 

When I’m about the put my key in the door, it swings open to reveal Natasha who looks like she just got back from school. 

She’s breathing heavily, so she either ran from the couch to the door, or she ran home from school

“Rowan, I needed to warn you, Meagan, she’s not happy, look out” she rushes out frantically and its times like these I’m very grateful that my sibling and I get along well and she’s not plotting against me all the time

“Rowan?!” I hear Megan’s voice call from the living room 

“Thanks Nat” I nod in Natasha’s directions as I carefully walk to the living room, clutching onto my backpack strap

When I come into her view her eyes narrow at me “Rowan, tomorrow, I’m coming with you to school. I absolutely do not ever get up earlier than seven so, no early morning breakfasts”

I just nod as I turn to run up the stairs 

” I’ll even buy you a muffin on the way so you dont need to carry around a box of cereal like you’re homeless”

I sigh and rush the rest of the way upstairs.

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