Tally looked away. "I didn't mean anything by it. I guess... I guess I'll see you later? Maybe. B-bye." She turned, flustered, in the other direction, even though her class was the other way. She turned the corner before he could say another world. The look on his face! She felt bad, and even though she liked him, she didn't need to be anywhere near him. She always destroyed things, always hurt people. Even when she was trying to be kind.
Daniel could barely think straight when she left. He felt so confused and twisted up inside. He almost wheeled into a set of lockers and had to force himself to look up before wheeling forward again, headed to his last class of the day.
Tally spent all day distracted by thoughts of Daniel. She bet she'd never see him again. And why did that bother her? She didn't know him. It just felt like she did. She sighed and headed outside to her car. Her boyfriend, Ryan, waved to her but she pretended not to see. He was a jerk anyways. She fiddled with her keys, glancing around the parking lot, not knowing what exactly she was expecting to see.
Daniel waited alone in the parking lot for his parents to pick him up and take him home. He clutched his book bag tightly to his chest and kept watching for Jake, Mike, or even Kara. He was vulnerable out here in the open, at the mercy of any one of his bullies.
Tally sighed and finally decided to head home. She ducked into her car and stuck her keys in the ignition. Her car made a weird sound, and wouldn't turn on. "Ugh," she moaned. "Of course!" She got back out and waved to Ryan. "A little help?" But he was too busy talking to Sarah, a freshman. She had blond hair and was very pretty. She watched as he put an arm around Sarah and leaned in to whisper something in her ear, making the girl giggle. Heat flooded through Tally, and she slammed the car door. She looked around for someone else to help her.
Daniel stayed where he was, his head bent low over his lap. He tensed as he heard Kara's high heeled step approach him. He silently prayed that she would silently move past, but she stopped right in front of him.
"Well well. Danny boy himself." She bent down low to meet his eyes, and he could smell her perfume. "Poor boy. This bag looks heavy. Let me help you with it." She snatched his book bag away with a manicured hand before he could stop her. She slowly unzipped it while he watched and dumped everything out of it, just out of his reach before tossing the empty bag back at him and walking off with a cold laugh.
Just at the moment before Kara came, Tally locked eyes with Daniel. She watched helplessly this time as Kara dumped all his things on the ground and walked off, unpunished. Immediately she ran over and started scooping books and papers back inside, taking the bapckpack from Daniel's limp fingers. "Oh my goodness," Tally said. "Does this happen every day?"
"Um...I-I...No...Not every day...Sometimes she shoves it in the trash..." Daniel said helplessly. His face reddened a little as he sat in his chair, completely unable to help her scoop her things up into his bag. "Um...Thank you...again..."
Tally smiled, even though she hated smiling. It comforted some people. "No problem." Shed learned her lesson from before, so she simply handed Daniel his bag and turned to go. "Wait," she said, grimacing. "Do you know anything about cars?"
Daniel shook his head, his heart beating faster in his chest. He tried to shake away the intense feeling. It was her. But it couldn't be. But it was.
"I'm afraid not. I'm pretty useless." He mumbled, gesturing down at his wheelchair.
Tally sighed. "Great. I have no way to get home now, besides calling my mom. Shell be so mad." Tally started to walk away. "Well, I guess I'll see you around..."
Daniel was silent for a second, just watching her walk away for a moment. He was going to let her walk away, just sitting and waiting for his parents to come and pick him up. He would go home, do homework, be alone, and probably never see her again. He would go on living his normal life.
"Wait!" He called out, holding tightly to his bag. "My...my parents are coming to get me. Maybe...Maybe we could give you a ride?"
Tally smiled to herself before turning around. "That'd be great!" She said. "Thanks." Her heart beat faster when she was near him. His eyes drew her in. The strength in them--strength he didn't know he had--made her weak.
Daniel's heart skipped a few beats in his chest and he managed a weak smile, pushing his hair back from his face in a nervous gesture. He nervously wheeled forward a little.
Tally kept quiet, unsure of what to say. He didn't act like he liked her... and she was too insecure to put herself out there and find out.
Daniel was quiet as well, uncertain of what to say. He picked at imaginary lint on his slacks, adjusting his legs ever so slightly. His heart was still hammering in his chest being so close to her. He felt confused and afraid and excited and...and...He didn't even know any more as he sat there.
"Um..." He started, to try and break the silence. "So..." He panicked a little. He didn't know what to say, how to talk to people. "Class?" He squeaked. "Wh-what classes do you take?"
Tally was used to only talking to her boyfirend and Kat, her best friend. A lot of people were wary of her. "Painting, chem, U.S. gov, .... calculus. Stuff like that. What about you?" She asked. She smoothed her dress, wishing she was more covered up. She scolded herself for being so insecure.
"M-music...creative writing...English...Math...Stuff like that." Daniel mumbled quietly. He nervously brushed at his pants, trying to avoid looking at her. He scolded himself for being so stupid, so dumb. What a stupid question!
Tally relaxed a little, realizing he was just as nervous as she was. "So..." she said, twirling a piece of hair. "When do your parents usually get here?" The parking lot was emptying out. She glanced over at her pathetic, dead car and sighed. "Stuff like this always happens to me. It's a disease or something." She smiled faintly.
"Well...That depends." As Daniel answered her question, he looked up to follow her gaze to her car. "I wish I could be able to help you with that." He said softly.