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She pounded her fist against the wall.
'Stupid'. Stupid' stupid!' she beat. She rested her forehead against the cold wall and closed her eyes. Her hand started to ache as she felt her warm blood ooze out. She cradled it to her chest and slowly let herself slide to the floor. Her heavy heart thudded against her chest, every nervous beat echoing through her ears. She opened her eyes and saw the crimson liquid running down her hands, like a thin avalanche sliding down between her knuckles.
Walking to the bathroom, she ran over the day in her mind like a movie. Fast forward through the dull moments, pause and rewind through her favorite parts of the day, the parts with the hero of course, and stop the movie before the sick, ironic ending comes onto the screen.
She ran her hands under the cool water, slowly looking up at the stranger in the mirror staring back at her. She was an absolute mess. Her hair hung in messy, tawny knots behind her ears. Her eyes were bloodshot and puffy, lips bitten and quivering still. She looked at her hand. The blood had started to clot, that was good. Her attention turned back to the mirror. The only thought that ran through her mind while seeing herself like this, was 'Johanna, what have you gotten yourself into?'
She hated waiting for the bus in the morning. By the time it came, her hair was windswept and she was even more tired than before. But, once it eventually came, that was the last thing she would be thinking about. She straightened herself up as the head lights grew closer, and stopped.
When she boarded, she searched the sea of faces for his. He, as always, awaited her with sleepy eyes and a heart-warming grin. The sight of him made her heart begin to race. He wasn't her image of perfect, but then again, she wasn't looking for the impossible.
As she walked down the narrow aisle to him, she only hoped that someday he would look back at her with the same hopeless look she gave to him. When she sat down, he was already plugged into his music. She took this opportunity to straighten herself up once again. While she fiddled with her backpack straps, her nervous habit, she felt a small nudge in her side.
She smiled and thought, Issac. She looked over and he smiled back at her, poking her in the side with his elbow again. She laughed and pushed away from him, only for him to pull her back and join in the laughing. This was his typically hello, she soaked up every moment of it.
For a second, she looked deep into his eyes. Traffic lights, star light, everything reflected back to her. She momentarily melted in her seat. But, reality flooded back to her. He has a girlfriend.
She constantly had to remind herself this. He's a flirt, she thought, he treats every girl like this. She was awakened from her thoughts by a tickle sensation running up her leg. She leaned forward by instinct, laughing as Issac removed his hand from her leg. Johanna looked up at him, and just studied his features; milky pale, with downy soft, midnight black hair to contrast his skin. Like feathers, she thought. He was tall and lean, a bit too skinny though if you ask her.
But his voice, his amazing voice. If she had to choose to be blind or deaf, she would choose blind every time. His voice, where could she begin? It was a velvety rough almost; deep, yet calming, soothing. The kind of voice that sends chills up your spine like a current if too close. She smiled in her daydream, only to be attacked again.
'What was that for?' she laughed, hugging herself to try to avoid being tickled again. He shrugged and stared out the bus window. Issac turned to face her. She noticed he was staring at her differently, more cautious, serious.
'What's wrong?' she asked, leaning in closer so he wouldn't be able to mumble. He leaned in close too. His lips were barely inches from hers; she shivered as she breathed him in. A smirk spread over his lips like wild fire. He put his wide hand on her bony shoulder, and turned to her ear. She remained motionless, hopelessly anxious about his next move.
'What's wrong Johanna, are you nervous?' he purred. She had to grit her teeth to hold onto the shred of composure that remained.
'M-me? Nervous? Ha, why would I be nervous?' she stammered. He defiantly wasn't convinced. She lightly pushed him away and he took the hint. Lights grew less scattered outside the window as they drew nearer to the school.
Issac nudged her again. She laughed; what else could she do? He wrapped an arm around her and pulled her close.
'I like you, you're pretty cool.' He said softly, almost whispering, in her ear. She could have died inside; she swore she was flying high when he said that. Curiosity got the best of her at that moment, and a spark of courage went off inside her. She yawned and then laid her head on his shoulder. The moment contact was made, a chill of panic stormed inside her. What do I think I'm doing?? Oh no, she thought, bad, bad, this is really, re-
She felt him pull her even closer, as he slowly stroked the top of her head. So light, so delicate, so' loving? This confused her to pieces. She tiredly lifted up her head from his shoulder and looked at him, straight in the eyes. He looked at her so softly, his icy eyes warmed. He wore a tiny grin on his thin lips, lips that she so bad wanted to reach out and touch, trace every last detail with her rough fingertips.
Oh god, she thought as she mentally prepped herself. A whirlwind of emotions thrashed her mind; loneliness and anxiety flooding her overthrown head.
She awoke from her daydream by herself this time. The bus lights flashed on as people began standing. Issac stood among them, and she soon joined them. As her eyes adjusted, she slid into the aisle. Issac soon followed, gently pushing his way in front of her. Her eyes ran down his long, lean body quickly, just like every morning before. He turned his head around and smirked at her. Ohmigod! She mentally panicked, there's no freaking way he could have seen that! She sheepishly smiled back, and he turned back around, following the slow train of people filing off the idle bus.
She saw Issac waiting outside the bus. For her. The simple thought of that made her smile. She nervously played with her sleeves, walking right next to him. They held a simple conversation, just like every day. He pretends to push her into the road; she flips out and walks on the other side of him, making bluffs about attacking him in the near future. She felt such a strong connection to him, but he could never know.
They came to the point where their days split. She saw him open his arms and pull her close. She hugged tightly, breathing him in like oxygen. Almost as if it was the very last time they would see each other. Even in the freezing weather, she felt warm and alive.
They slowly let go, and she looked up at him and smiled. He gently stroked her shoulders and smiled back down at her.
'Have a good day.' She said, just soft enough for him to hear her.
'You too Johanna.' And he left.
Her heart was ablaze all that morning. She constantly daydreamed about the bus ride home with him. Maybe, just maybe, she actually did have a chance with him.
The day seemed to drag on. All too slowly, the bell to go to 3rd period rang, and she scurried out of the classroom. She knew this was one of the places their paths crossed. She looked around excitedly. But, he wasn't there.
Or she thought he wasn't. She saw a familiar head of feathers and her heart dropped. No, no, not today, she begged, just go away! Issac stood in front of her, his hand in a stunning girl's hand, him leaning down to brush his lips against hers softly, so softly. Johanna would never have known it was him either, if it wasn't for the neon green gauge in his ear.
She bit back the tears trying to escape her eyes as she sped passed them. Neither of them noticed, they were living in their own world, a perfect world in a moment. For the rest of the day, Johanna walked alone.
She wandered into an open seat on the empty bus. She worried for when Issac was to get on, because she knew he would slowly make his way slowly to her. He didn't know how much it hurt to see him with another girl.
People slowly drifted onto the bus, but she held the open seat to her side. She knew she wouldn't be able to look him in the eyes without tearing up. She would see his girl's eyes staring straight back at her
The bus door swung shut, and she breathed out in relief. She lounged on the uncomfortable seat, her back against the bus' cold, tinny wall, feet projecting over the side. She pulled out her current novel, and began to dig in.
A minute, two pass by, but the bus still stood idly, the gentle hum letting its riders know it is alive. The front busses must be having issues, she thought. She heard the bus door creak open, but she kept to her book. Light footsteps walked down the aisle, growing slower, soon to stop. Johanna looked up over her book, and saw her worst fears grinning down at her. She moved her feet to let him sit down, which he did. She dog-eared her page, and slid the worn, thick book back into her backpack.
'How was your day?' he asked, a tiny smile passing his lips.
'Peachy, just marvelous, fantastic.' She said, refusing to look into his eyes.
That caught her off guard. She had to quickly look into his eyes, but the smile was gone.
'What do you mean?' she asked nervously, 'I'm not lying.'
'You're an awful liar and you know it.'
She had to grin a little at this, but she managed to hide it. He always called her out on her lies, but not when it was about her feelings. That couldn't help but worry her.
'So, are you going to tell me what's wrong?' he asked gently. She shook her head no, and he frowned.
'Why?' he asked playfully, bumping her shoulder with his.
'Well, because I just don't want to talk about it.' She replied, getting closer to the window hoping he wouldn't press on. But, of course, her hopes went unanswered. He placed his head on her shoulder, and she sharply breathed in.
'Come on JoJo, tell me what's wrong.'
She bit her lip. He lifted up him head and looked at her with mixed expressions.
'You know what,' she said, forcing a smile, 'I'll tell you what's wrong.'
He smiled and she continued.
'There is this boy; he's pretty much the closest thing to amazing. I mean, he's like nobody I've ever met. And you know what; I thought I had a pretty decent chance with him! He treated me like he liked me, maybe even cared a little bit about me! But boy was I ever wrong. He has this beautiful, stunning girlfriend and there's no chance in the world I can compete with her! And here's the kicker. What really is the sucker punch to the gut,' she paused to breathe, 'What really kills me, every single day, is seeing the way he looks at her. The hopelessly in love look that he gives to her, he'll never look at me like that. Never.'
She choked on the tears that had begun to slowly stream down her face. She couldn't bear to look at him, not after that. The entire bus was silent, and she noticed she had raised her voice. The door was open, and they were at her stop. He placed his hand on her back, and she pushed past him as she got off of the bus.
'Johanna! Wait!' she heard from the familiar velvet voice as she stepped off the bus. She kept walking.
'Johanna!! Just hold on!!'
She didn't take any notice, she just wiped her eyes. She felt a cold hand on her shoulder and she whipped around.
'What do you want?!' she yelled, pushing him hard in the chest.
He looked down at her with sad, cold eyes.
'What could you possibly want? Just Issac, please go, you're already hurting me enough.' She cried, breaking down inside. He wrapped his arms around her and she gave in, crying on his chest. She didn't know how long they stood there, him holding her, but it didn't matter.
'Come on Johanna, let's take you home.' He whispered softly in her ear. He wrapped an arm around her, and they slowly started making their way home. Her tears started to slow as she whispered her apologies. He said nothing, but remained a support, as if without him she would crash to the ground. In her condition, she probably would crumble downwards anyway. She shakily unlocked the front door and pushed her way inside. He followed her, making sure she didn't hurt herself.
'I have to go...' He said quietly soon after. She nodded and walked him to the door silently. He held out his arms, and she stepped in and hugged him, breathing him in for the last time. He kissed the top of her head and they broke apart. She looked up into his big, breathtaking eyes and it took all she had to not say 'I love you'. He studied her for a moment, and then nodded. She opened the door, and he walked through it. Neither one said a word, but what could be said? He gazed deep into her eyes, and then turned and began to walk away.
'Issac, wait'' she said quickly. He turned around and looked at her expressionless. She didn't know what to say to make things any better. She knew what she wanted to say, but something was holding her back. Just do it Johanna, she urged herself, Might as well, you'll never get another chance.
'Yes?' he asked, standing motionless on her walkway.
'See' see you tomorrow, Issac.' She said, dying on the inside.
He looked at her with his sad, icy eyes and nodded.
'You too Johanna.' And he walked away.