"Nah, its cool," she said. "I just wish I could help myself." She paused and realized that was something they both had in common. ((Woooooow, I know I'm getting cheesy, just bear with me XD))
((Totally okay. :) ))
Daniel smiled a little faintly at her, then nervously looked around for his family's beat up van, or maybe more tormentors. He pulled out a notebook and a pencil, fingers drumming nervously on its surface.
"I'm sorry," she said suddenly, unable to bear the silence. "I'm not used to strangers. I normally talk as little as possible on a given day." She blushed. Well THAT was not helping the awkwardness.
"Oh...Well...I never really talk to anyone. Except to beg for mercy maybe." Daniel flushed as he admitted it. He ducked his head down lower, staring at his notebook instead of looking up at her.
"Come one," she said. "You're stronger than that." She hate that he barely looked at her. Was it shyness, or something else, like boredom? Was he bored with her company?
"It's not like I can fight back." He finally looked up, cheeks red. "And I'm okay with it, I guess. It happens all the time." He met her blue eyes with his pale gray eyes and instantly had to look away. His heart beat even faster in his chest.
"No... But then again, maybe you can." Tally smiled as an idea dawned on her. "Maybe you can..."
"No, I don't think I can. It's okay." Daniel ran his fingers over the faded cover his notebook. He wanted to open it up, but he didn't. He kept watching her, his head still lowered.
"No, that's not what I... I mean, we could get the whole school behind it. Stop bullying, not just for you, but for everyone who's... Different." She was talking about herself, too.
"Oh..." Daniel trailed off thoughtfully. He stopped drumming on his notebook to tug at the ends of his bangs, the way he did when he was thinking. "That...that might work..."
"It can be an anonymous thing," she continued, excited now. "And we can get creative. Make a statement, but not by speeches or anything...." A plan was formulating in her mind.
Daniel thought about it for another moment, nodding quietly. He started to reach for his notebook and pencil again, to write the idea down. He gingerly flipped open the front cover, careful to make sure the old photo taped on the inside stayed in place. He started to search for an empty space to write in, flicking past page after page filled with carefully scrawled writing.
Rally's curiosity peaked when Daniel opened his notebook, but she didn't pry. She looked over his shoulder to see better when he flipped to an empty page.
It was hard for Daniel to find an empty page. He was always writing in his notebook. Little poems, snatches of stories, ideas, his thoughts. But he finally found a fresh page and poised his pencil over it.
"So we're really doing this?" Tally held her breath. Finally she was about to make a difference in her life.... It felt good.
"It's a good idea...Worth a try..." He smiled shyly at her, cheeks going pink as he started to write, both quickly and carefully.
Just then, his family's beat up van pulled up.
"Sorry we're late, Danny." His mom called from the driver's seat. His father had silently stepped out of the passenger seat to open up the van.
"It's okay. Oh, and can we give Tally a ride?"
"Of course, Danny."
Daniel smiled at Tally and nodded, snapping his notebook shut as his dad moved toward him. He flushed silently as his dad scooped him up out of his wheelchair to set him carefully in the van before going back to fold up the wheelchair and put it in the back of the van.
Tally hesitated, then climbed inside the van. "Hello," she told Daniel's parents. "Thanks, I'm sorry this is so sudden. My car won't start!" She laughed self-consciously
"That's alright, hun." Daniel's mother smiled kindly, twisting around in her seat to look at Tally. "Where do you live, sweetie?"
"East 96th," she replied. She looked to Daniel for company, she felt uncomfortable among his family.
Daniel smiled at her, holding his notebook tightly as they started to drive. The van made a slight coughing sound in the engine as his mom turned it over, but the van still moved lurched forward steadfastly.