"Oh—that's me," Tally said quickly. She lived by the school. She didn't want to part from Daniel so soon!
Hastily, panicked at having Tally leave so soon, Daniel reached for a scrap of paper in his pocket. Frantically, he scribbled on it, his phone number and his name. He silently pressed it into her hand, his heart beating faster still as he looked into her eyes.
Tally paused, halfway out the door. Before his parents could notice, she grabbed the paper and smiled goodbye. She didn't look back when walking into her house.
Daniel watched Tally out the van's window as they drove away.
As soon as she was out of sight, Daniel immediately flipped open the inside cover of his notebook where the photo was taped.
It was an old photo, worn at the edges and faded with age. Daniel smiled fondly at it, a faint, sad flickering at the corners of his mouth. It was a photo of him when he was little, maybe six or seven years old. He was sitting up in his wheelchair, beaming wide at the camera while his black hair flopped down in his wide gray eyes.
She was beside him, sitting up in a hospital bed. She was bald, sick, and thin. Monitors were hooked up to her and breathing tubes were shoved up her nose. But she was grinning wide, even wider than he was. Her bright blue eyes glimmered in her pale face.
Just like Tally's.
((Aww, that's so sweet!)).
Tally couldn't sleep that night. All she saw was his face. And when she DID close her eyes and dream, she dreamed of him, but SHE had changed....
(( :D ))
It was raining when Daniel woke up the next morning and he groaned inwardly. Rain always made it harder for him to wheel around outside.
He kept his eyes on the window as his dad helped him get out of bed and get ready for the day.
He watched the rain spatter on the car windows as his mom drove him to school and he wheeled into the building as fast as he could when she dropped him off. Or, he tried. He was slowed down by the slick rainwater under his wheels.
In her dream, Tally had blue eyes. She couldn't breathe very well, and couldn't figure out why. She was bald and felt horrible, except for her chest, which was warm sitting next to Daniel. He smiled at her, unashamed, unlike his waking self, and they spent hours talking.....
....... Tally woke up, bewildered. And she was late for school—again!
Daniel hung his head low, water dripping into his lap as he rolled himself to his first class. He got bumped and jostled around on his way, but he paid it no mind as he moved into the classroom and towards the back. So far, he hadn't run into any of his tormentors yet.
Tally struggled to get to school. He mom had left for work and her car was still at school. By the time she could walk there it was the end of first period. She texted Daniel on the way in, and signed into the office. MEET ME AFTE SKOOL? It said. She hit SEND and shamefully took her seat in chemistry.
Daniel jolted a little when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. At first, he was shocked. He didn't have any friends who would text him, and his parents never tried to contact him during school. And then he remembered. Tally! Eagerly, he pulled out his phone with a quick glance towards his English teacher. He quickly and silently read the text, his heart leaping in his chest. OK he responded quickly.
Tally was happy. She had a new friend. She trudged through classes, eager to talk to Daniel. She shut her locker as the final bell rang and waited outside the school for him, wondering if he'd remember.
Daniel fidgeted all through his classes. He rolled as fast as he could from class to class. He sat silently through Mike's teasing, and waited patiently for Kara to finish shoving his bag in the trash, all with only one thought on his mind. Tally. Tally. Tally. Finally, he made it outside. He saw Tally waiting and started to move towards her. It was slow going, even though it had stopped raining long ago, the sidewalk was still slick.
Tally rushed to meet Daniel. "My car's working today," she said. "If you want, you can come to my place, and we can talk about that plan...."
Daniel looked up at her an blinked in shock for a second. No one had ever invited him over anywhere before, much less to their house. For a moment, he couldn't answer. Just looking up into her blue eyes made him speechless.
"Um...Y-yeah, sure...Let me just...just talk to my parents..." He finally said, blushing deep red and looking away.
"Kay," she said, heading over to start her car. "Be right back."
Daniel nervously pulled out his cell phone and dialed his mom's number. After quietly talking to her for a moment, he hung up and slid it back into his pocket. He smiled the littlest bit to follow Tally with his eyes.
Tally pulled up to the curb and suddenly wondered how Daniel was going to get in. She didn't want to hurt his feelings and offer her help.... But didn't he need it?
Daniel looked up at her car, and his stomach twisted a little. He would need help getting in, and there was no getting around it. He was silent for a second, staring at the car. Finally, he took a deep breath.
"Um...Could you...could you help me?" He asked hesitantly.
Tally took his arm and draped it over her shoulders, helping him into the front. "Sorry," she murmured, trying to be gentle.
"I-It's okay..." Daniel forced a smile as she moved him to the car. He hated it when his dad had to carry him, and he hated it even when he had to ask Tally for help. He felt like a helpless baby that always needed to be taken care of. His face started to go red.