Tori rolled her eyes. She didn't care much for him, not in that way anyway. Contrary to everyone else's belief, he really wasn't her type at all. But with all of her friends insisting they go out, and with all of the student body watching her every move, how could she have said no? Besides, it couldn't have been THAT bad....right?
Tori mentally kicked herself for her stupidity.
She was spineless, a puppet on strings, always doing the will of those around her without thinking anything about herself. Now, Tori could barely recognize herself in the mirror. Why couldn't she break those strings? Cheerleading, ballet, boyfriends, even right down to her favorite colors and music. It was all picked out for her, but none of it was the real her. If everyone discovered the real Tori, they would leave and she would end up alone.
Tori leaned back against the window sill and stared at the scenery outside. Birds fluttered their wings against the pale blue backdrop of the sky. All was warm, open, and peaceful. A soft smile took form on her lips. How she loved days like these. They were the days when she felt like she was at her greatest creative potential. Suddenly, a verse began to form in her head:
With the most lonely sound
But no one seems to hear it.
It cries, " Oh who will help me now?"
Scribbling down the last verse, she began to recall the first day she took her journal to school. Tori also remembered the shock and horror that followed the moment she realized that she had lost it....and the strange encounter that happened because of it...
It was a regular school day, nothing special. The teachers had their assignments and the students had their normal status quo. Her friends were chatting away about the latest issue of 'TeenClique' Magazine, debating on who was the hottest guy on the celebrity page, as usual. Tori remembered bringing her journal to school, fearing that if she didn't, she might have a brilliant idea lost to her. And that fear was greater than any fear of being discovered. But it wasn't until she was in gym class, the last class of the day, that inspiration finally struck.
Sneaking over to her backpack, she searched for her notebook vigorously, hoping to get it out before the idea left her. Worry began to take form inside her when her hands only found her homework assignments. In panic, she dumped out everything that was inside and searched the heap of contents...none of which was her precious treasure. Silently, she stood there, unable to comprehend anything other than the fact that her journal was gone. Who could have taken it? Why would they take it? Did she leave it somewhere by mistake somehow? And more importantly, where was it now?
" Tori, you alright?" Veronica asked, interupting her thoughts. Her gum chewing was loud enough to be heard all the way to the noisy streets of Toyko. Veronica lifted her foot up on the bleacher's step to tighten a strap on one of her 4" high heels.
Tori sighed and shook her head, "No, I can't find my journal. It's gone."
Angel, the short redhead, gasped. " Oh, wo-o-o-ow! Do you think, like, someone stole it or something? Crazy!"
Another, Melissa, rolled her eyes, "Oh, shut up! Why would anyone steal a journal? I mean, it's not like it had anything important in it... right?"
Tori didn't answer. The three of them gasped.
"Wait," Angel thought a moment. Then an idea struck her. "It was important wasn't it?! OH! I knew it; I just knew it! I bet it was your dieting journal wasn't it? That's different, waaaaaaaaaaay different. Anybody could have taken that! Why I mean--"
"Shut up, Angel! Sheesh! OMG, you're so annoying!" Veronica tossed her chestnut hair over her shoulder, then turned back to Tori. "Look, we'll find it. And once we do, we'll beat the crap out of whoever took it, alright? And we won't read it, we promise." She glared at the others until they agreed.
Tori wasn't convinced. Now that the notebook had captured their attention, who knows what they'll do to read what's inside it? She didn't exactly trust them, but then again, what choice did she have?
"Now, anyone got any ideas?" Melissa asked. They all thought for a moment. In their brainstorming, they didn't hear the darkly dressed figure approach them.
"Looking for this?" the boy asked. All of them jumped in surprise. In his hand, was Tori's old journal. He held it out to her, showing no emotion.
Tori was about to reach for it when Veronica snatched it away.
"What gives you the right to take people's stuff?!" she yelled. Her blazing green eyes searched him up and down. "And why would a person like you take a dieting journal? You probably get enough exercise cutting yourself!" Angel and Melissa laughed. Tori stared at her in shock.
"Veronica, that's so mean! You don't know if he does that or not! How could you say such a thing?! You don't know--"
Veronica sneered, "Look, new kid, ok? You gotta keep these losers in line! If they get out of their little groups, who knows what will happen? I'll tell you what! Soon, everyone will start thinking that they can do whatever they want without listening to the people who know better! And if that happens, we'll never be on top again!" She handed the journal to Tori and then turned back to the boy. "Now, why'd you take it, Evan?"
Evan snarled, his icy blue eyes fierce behind his long black bangs, "I didn't! She left it in History class. I'd thought I'd be nice and show some kindness since she's the new girl. But you? Ha! I doubt you leeches even understand the meaning of 'kindness'. " And with that, he turned and walked away, leaving the girls in confusion.
Tori sighed. How he had acted still confused her, and that was several months ago. She later learned that he was the kind to keep to himself, and he was never really the type to help other people like that. Sometimes, he'd shout in the hallway about just how much he hated the "preps". He'd try to start fights with them, and glared whenever they came near. So why had he helped her? As far as she knew, he seemed like the kind to destroy other people's stuff just out of spite.
And there was the possibility that he could have read it. Why didn't he say anything? She knew it was considered weird for her "type" to just write anything for homework, let alone just for fun. But, despite her confusion and questions, she couldn't help but smile when she thought of him. There was just something...different about him. She couldn't place what exactly, but it was enough to make her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Sometimes she'd even daydreamed of having the courage to stand up to her friends and tell them off, and even if they'd reject her, maybe he'd notice and let her hang out with him...
Tori shook the ludicrous thoughts out of her head. Evan hated her type with an undying passion. There would be no way now to even talk to him without being yelled at. Even if she brought up the courage to do that, Tori knew that she'd never in her life have the guts to stand up to her friends. It just wasn't possible. Even being Evan's friend was a lost cause. The thought brought a pang of lonliness to her heart. Still, she could dream, right?
Sighing, she walked to the bathroom to take a shower, reluctantly getting ready to go on a date with her football-playing boyfriend, Jack.
Evan turned off the stereo in frustration. No matter what he did, his mind just wouldn't think up some new lyrics for his guitar. Already it had been two months, and he still couldn't seem to write anything.
As ridiculous as it sounded, he blamed everything on that new girl, Tori. She was driving him crazy! The moment he thought of her, there she would stay until he fell asleep at night. Even then, sometimes he would dream of her. It pushed him to the brink of insanity! And yet.... he didn't really seem to mind. There was just something different about her, something he couldn't quite explain. Even though she was a "prep"-- a label he detested the most-- she didn't seem like one at all. In a way, she was like him: artistic and observant, not really fitting in with the world. She was also more modest than the others in a way: she didn't wear as much make-up and she wore clothes that didn't look like they came straight out of a strip club. What baffled him most of all was what she wrote in her journal...
He didn't mean to read it-- not at first anyway-- but it had just been so astonishing and interesting, he couldn't put it down. Evan had seen her leave it behind in his History class, and only looked just to see what her name was, and if her schedule was in it so he knew where to go to give it back. Instead, on the first page, he found a picture of a rose, beautifully drawn and greatly detailed. It amazed him that a preppy girl like her could actually fathom the beauty of something as simple as a rose. Curious, he turned the page to see what else was stored in this little notebook.
Poetry and stories of all styles and rhythms were thrown across the page, all consisting of different subjects and plots. On one page, was a poem about the wind, another was a story about a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Page after page revealed more and more of what went on inside the new girl's mind. The way she viewed the world was unique, yet a lot of the things she wrote about, he understood. He understood every message and emotion interwoven inside the words. Evan understood the pain of feeling caged up;as he also understood the need to be accepted by people. By the time he got to the last page, he felt like he knew her. Not the masked person that she portrayed, but the person that lay underneath. For the first time in a long time, he felt like he wasn't alone.
He had to talk to her.
Evan remembered darting down the hallway, hoping that she was in his last class-- gym. He felt terrible knowing that he had kept it for most of the day, but couldn't help but wonder if she even knew it was gone. The thought amused him. Still, either way, she would get it back regardless.
He searched the gym for her, finding her surrounded by those vicious, backstabbing girls- Veronica, Angel, and Melissa. They were the top dogs in the high school realm, and they fought tooth and nail to keep it that way. What discusted him the most was the game they played-- pretending to be a new kid's friend, then spreading rumors and destroying their reputation the moment they discovered something different about them. He remembered that game well.... considering he was their most recent pawn. Ever since, he hated them, and anyone remotely like them for that matter. His grip tightened on the notebook in fury. As brilliant as the new girl appeared in the journal, in real life she was incredibly stupid--especially when it came to friends. Still, if they did that to her...
Evan froze. Why was he acting like this? It's not like he cared about her.....right? Besides, she was one of them! And because of that, he had to hate her. He needed to hate her! He wanted to hate her... So why didn't he?
Evan rubbed his temple in confusion. No, he supposed he didn't really hate her. She wasn't like the others, no matter how many times he tried to tell himself that. He couldn't. Not after what he read in her notebook...
Evan suddenly remembered the object he held in his hands. Oh yeah, he was supposed to be giving the thing back. Evan shook his head in his stupidity, took a deep breath, and headed over into enemy's territory.
"Looking for this?" he asked, holding it out to her. The others jumped, but he didn't notice them. He almost smiled at the shock and relief that appeared so vividly in her bold, light green eyes--only almost. She began to reach for it when Veronica's viper hand snatched it away.
"What gives you the right to take people's stuff?!" Veronica shouted. His anger and hate began to boil over as she studied him up and down. "And why would a person like you take a dieting journal? You probably get enough exercise cutting yourself!" He struggled to keep his compsure as the other two laughed devilishly. In his battle, he could only vaguely hear Tori's statement. Still, her standing up for him amused him, and even made him a little proud. She was willing to stand up for someone like him. Maybe there was hope for her yet. But all amusment and pride melted back into hatred when Veronica snapped back at her. And even more at her accusation...why would he steal it?! He was nothing like them! His anger burst, he had had enough.
He snarled at them, "I didn't! She left it in History class. I'd thought I'd be nice and show some kindness since she's the new girl. But you? Ha! I doubt you leeches even know the meaning of 'kindness'." In silence, he turned and walked away, leaving them in hopeless confusion.
Evan sat in his room in silence. Even after four months, he still found her intriguing. He was fasinated by her: the way she moved, her long black hair, her light green eyes, her voice...everything. It was completely ridiculous and cliche! And yet.... he didn't really care. She was like him, and he knew it. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn't seem to let her go. And what made it worse was that she wasn't even his! She was Jack's girlfriend, and with him, she seemed happy enough...but he wasn't entirely convinced. Still...
Evan walked over to the light switch and killed the lights in his room, and headed over to his bed. It was really late, and he had to sleep. The last thoughts, as always, were about Tori. As badly as he wanted to be with her-- even if it was just as a friend-- he knew he couldn't. The fates of high school wouldn't let them, and who knows? She probably didn't even want anything to do with him anyway. But maybe, in the distant future-- a few years from now, out of high school-- they would talk. A friendship would form...and maybe even grow from there...
He shook the ludicrous thoughts out of his head. It was ridiculous and stupid. Tori would never do such a thing, even outside of high school. Still...even if fate would never let them meet offically, at least for now, he could always dream, right?
And dream, he most certainly would.