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 8

not all sunshine, rainbows and glitter

When I woke up this morning I was excited. So I put extra pep in my step while getting ready, eating breakfast, and walking to school. Upon arrival, I was met with Owen, Ollie, Alex, hunter, and archer who all came running up to me. 

“Hi guys! What’s got you all eager this morning?” I ask all of them as they walk with me up the steps and through the hall. 

Hunter is the one to answer “is it so wrong to want to see our little cheery?” 

I blink at the name “cheery? That’s new” 

Alex scoffs “that’s because it’s stupid”

“Well-” hunter starts to defend before Alex cuts in “no, it’s stupid” 

“Awe, you guys are so mean to poor little hunter” I pout at them and then turn to hunter, “don’t worry, I’m still here” 

Hunter smiles and moves to stand next to me “that’s right, how could you all be so mean to me, poor little h-” 

“Oh don’t you even start hunter” archer interjects with a scoff

I faintly tune out the little bickering as I catch sight of someone entering the school, We catch eyes and I give a little smile in his direction and he raises his eyebrows before looking away. oh Aaron. 

I sigh. I’ll have to talk to him later. Mental sticky note- talk to Aaron today. Do not forget 

Got it. Cool

I tune back into the conversation as my space out was seemingly unnoticed. 

“Oh my god, Owen you are such an idiot. Pick a ******* girl!” Oliver says 

“Oliver! Watch your language around the pretty lady” Owen gestures to me

Smack! 

“Ouch Alex!” 

“You stupid flirt” Alex mumbles 

“I think you’re just grumpy because You haven’t dated in what is it now, a year?” 

“Shut it Owen” Alex growls

“It’s true” he mumbles 

I’m not sure what I’m listening to anymore so I’m glad when the bell goes off and we all disperse to our classes

As soon as I enter English I see Aaron. I contemplate sitting with him. Would he be mad? Uncomfortable? Would he even talk to me? Just do it! Ooo nice Nike reference. Seriously. ok ok. I force my feet to move and when I get a few steps they move back to their regular bounce. 

I plop my things down, probably making a louder than necessary noise. But it does catch the attention of Aaron who lazily moves his eyes to me before starting to move them back to the other side. “Hello Aaron”

Again, he sighs “hello Rowan” 

“How have you been settling in? Have you explored the town much? I actually just recently learned the hard way not to fall for Wilmas tricks so just a heads up maybe don’t go in there unless you have good practice saying no to persistent old lady’s which I do not, I guess no matter how well you know the town some things are still to learn. Did you know about the skate park? It’s pretty cool, although dangerous, Brayden fell yesterday, it was my fault and I still feel pretty bad but luckily he’s ok, I tried to get a job at the cutest little bakery ever, I’m still awaiting that call. But really, it’s super nice, maybe I could drop by and get you something, do you like muffins? Cupcakes? Croissants? I could even get coffee or-“

“Rowan!” He stops me and my rambling. good thing 

“Oh my god was that ever going to stop? Just sit and listen to the class which hopefully will start soon” he says half to himself

“You know,” “that’s about the longest thing you’ve ever said to me, I call that improvement” 

Be quiet” he hisses at me 

I purse my lips and downcast my eyes. I turn back to my own work and tune into what the teacher is saying and away from Aaron and his harsh words 

Halfway through class and I’ve managed to not even glance in Aaron’s direction, if he doesn’t want to be friends then fine but being mean is not the way to go about that. 

Then a little ball of paper hits me. I ignore it. Then a second paper hits my face. I brush that one on the ground with the other. When another hits me. I raise my hand. No, it’s not to tattle. I just ask for the bathroom. 

I get up as I hear someone whisper my name “Rowan” but I just ignore it. I walk out of the class and let out a shaky breath. 

The rude words, the paper balls. What did I even do? Try and be friends? Wow, how rude of me. 

I enter the bathroom as memories come into my mind. All the time’s things would get thrown at me. All the harsh things that were said about me. Rumors. The cruel pranks. The laughing. 

I’m pacing the little space with my hands tangled in my hair letting out frustrated breaths. I place my hands on the edge of the sink and look in the mirror. Taunting words echo in my mind. I look down into the sink. I try and imagine all the memories getting washed down. Going away. 

I take one more deep breath before leaving because Any longer and people would have thought I had an issue 

I smile as I walk down the hall and enter the room as if nothing happened. I sit and listen to the remainder of the class. 

When I get to art, the three, Owen, Ollie, and Alex all wave at me and usher me into a seat in between them, with Owen and Alex sitting on my left and Ollie on my right. 

“Awe, sunshine, why so dim?”Owen asks as he watches me carefully as if he’s trying to figure it out for himself. 

I give a small laugh, just a bit forced “well, it’s just been a bit of a hard morning is all”

Ollie frowns “was someone mean to you? Mean to my sweet sunshine? Ooo just gimme the word and I hunt me down, don’t underestimate me, I’m vicious!” I sigh

“No no, well yes but it’s not a big deal, not everyone can be sunshine rainbows and glitter all the time. Well I guess in his case it’s more like ever” I grimace thinking of his spiky-ness 

The class starts. I’m very happy with all the people I’m meeting and becoming friends with and one person shouldn’t dampen my mood when I have so many lifting it up. Maybe Aaron was just having a bad time, maybe moving here was hard for him. He might just need to adjust to this environment… 

For the rest of the class, there wasn’t much doing and more listening so it was pretty boring although every now and then Ollie would make comments or whisper things to me, where I would then laugh quietly and not so sternly scold him for talking during class.

As the bell rings, I walk to my final class before lunch, history. I have this with hunter and Oliver so Oliver walks with me as we meet up with a very talkative hunter. 

“Guys, you would not believe how incredibly boring u.s history is. I swear Ms Cheryl drones on and on and she doesn’t even do Anything, no notes, nothing on the board, just talking in the same spot in the same voice! I have no clue how myself, or anyone, can keep awake in that **** class!” 

As we walk down the hall my and I catch eyes with someone at the end of the hallway and my stomach makes an uncomfortable turn and I swallow as my throat now feels dry. Aaron. 

When we get closer to each other I give a kind smile, I really can’t pull out my brightest smile right now with him but I refuse to be mean. There’s no need for that. So I just give the smile I do and turn back to my friends. 

I didn’t bother to look too far into what he was thinking because He keeps it so guarded but anyone can see he seemed angrier than usual and when he looked my way I couldn’t help but shrink a little. What did I do? 

Clearly Aaron and I had similar days. As he went around more angry, I went around more ‘down’ . I’m sure the boys noticed it. all the guys asked about it at lunch and I assured them I’m ok just not having a great day

I definitely do not feel myself. I’m hoping after I get home and wake up tomorrow. It’ll be a new day and I’ll be back. Everyone has bad days. 

When the final bell does ring I’m a bit surprised. I guess I haven’t really been mentally here either.

I quietly pack up my things and walk out. I’m quiet on the way to my locker and I’m quiet walking out of the building. 

I really hope I can snap out of this before tomorrow. 

As I’m walking down the steps I hear my name being called I turn thinking it’s Owen or someone but when I see Aaron standing there looking at me I freeze. I really want to turn away and walk home away from him, of course, me being the nice person I am, I stay. If he wants something he will come to me. I’ll give him ten seconds to make a move. 

Ten seconds later and he hasn’t moved. So I do. In the other direction. 

My chest tightens and I huff out breaths of air. I probably should just start ignoring him if he’s only going to bother me. 

When I feel a hand on my shoulder I turn around quickly coming face to face with Aaron. 

it’s going to be hard to ignore him If he’s not ignoring me. 

I hold my gaze firmly with his. I don’t feel the need to crack under this pressure because I’m not awkward or anxious, I’m not even really happy. I’m frustrated and upset. With him. So I don’t look away and I keep my lips pressed firmly together as I wait. Do we need to do the ten seconds thing again? Are we going to do this the whole way to my house? 

He then looks away, and back at me and away again, his gaze is everywhere, flicking all over the place. He looks at the ground and runs his hands through his hair. He looks like he’s having an internal battle. I get it. I have them all the time. Then his head moves to look at the sky before looking at me. 

He lets out a harsh breath “I’m sorry” 

My mouth opens a little in shock 

“I’m sorry Rowan, god I’m really sorry and I’ll say it for later, I’m so sorry, you don’t deserve how I acted and probably will act again. I just..” he sighs “I don’t like seeing you so.. down because of me. Or at all. I hate that I made you feel bad and, oh hell, I’m sorry” he looks lost, a little shocked and very tired. 

Me too Aaron. Me too 

I don’t really have words because I never would have expected this. So instead simply say “thank you” and I smile

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