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The Other You Part II

On the bus ride, I pull out my earphones and turn on my music player. Metal and rock pulse through my ears, but I hear nothing.

What if he asks me to the dance?

Snorting, I look at my reflection in the grimy window. Yeah right, girlie. Now, of all times, you choose to become a chick. Not going to happen.

My sister grabs my hand, and I suddenly realize that we are at my stop. I flush, knowing that the other students on the bus had called my name several times.


At home, my sisters (I had two, both older than me) tap away at their keyboards. Me, I scrunch up my face and try to concentrate on English. We are reading mythology, but I can’t soak it up.

“Forget it,” I say, getting up. “I’m going back and getting my notebook.”

They ignore me, but I know they hear.

I take my jacket and phone, walking out the door.


My locker is right next to the side entrance. One of the janitors let me inside, and I am in and out before anyone sees.

Sighing, I look at the long stretch of sidewalk. At the end of this road is my home—I wonder why my parents had bought such an ugly and inconvenient home here. Not that they care about that.

A shouts comes to my attention. Listening intently, I realize there are two voice, one male, one female.

Muttering to myself, I creep across and look at the yellers.

It was him—him and a lady whom I guessed was his mother.

He yells something in a different language, and then storms away. I recognize the walk—one that is vicious and alone. It was the mark of a runaway.

Damn, I think. I follow him, leaving the house behind. He has his head bent, and his hands in his pockets.

I come to a decision and run up to him.

“Go back,” I say.

He glares at me, willing me to go away. I don’t.

“Go back.”

The rain comes. Cliché much, I think, but I don’t move still.

Then he reaches up and touches my face gently. “Don’t tell anyone,” he whispers to me, his voice on the edge of breaking. He stares intently at me, and I look away.

“Why not?” I ask. “At least your friends should know.”

“What friends?” He says bitterly, grasping my hand tightly. “In case you haven’t noticed, I have none. All I have is my—“

“Fan club,” I say, the same time he does. I chuckle quietly.

“You noticed.”

His voice is one of surprise. I raise my eyebrows, looking at him now.

“Of course I noticed,” I say. “You’re always cocky for no reason.”

“I’m still sexy.” He looks at me and we dissolve in laughter.

The joke suddenly dies as a police car whizzes by. It doesn’t stop, though. With a jolt, I realize that anyone looking would see a boy and a girl on their date. Nothing particularly dangerous or out of place.

He seems to realize that as well. “I should…”

“…go back,” I finish for him. For some reason, I feel empty at those words. I want to do something for him—something, anything.

So I hug him, holding him tightly. His eyes widen, but after a moment, he hugs me back. His warmth feels strong in the cold rain.

I don’t want to forget this.



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