Bravery

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
Erik has always been nervous and internal. Asking out one of the most popular males on campus is bound to kick up his anxiety. However, he knows he won't get anywhere if he doesn't go outside of his comfort box and dive headfirst.

Submitted: July 05, 2019

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Submitted: July 05, 2019

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Shoes shuffled across the sidewalk. A fallen stick shot away as Erick kicked it. The stick popped into the grass before nestling close to a few fallen leaves. This happened without Erick noticing, as his entire focus was directed to the group of males chatting together. He glanced to both sides and then shifted while he walked to look over his shoulder. There were kids about the campus as usual but this didn’t deter the anxiety he felt flooding his veins.

Fidgeting with the backpack straps hugging him tightly, Erick walked right up to the relaxing circle of students. He hadn’t realized a few females were sitting with them but it didn’t change his mind. Swallowing hard, he stopped and then glanced about at faces as most-and then all-turned to him. He blinked and cleared his throat, fingers tightening painfully on the straps.

It felt much like he couldn’t breathe. Erick swallowed hard and took a hesitant step forward, his voice within his head shouting encouraging words. His eyes locked on the student he sought and went right up to him. Whatever chatter the group had died to utter silence as Erick made solid eye contact, bodies a foot and a half apart.

Every single way this could go wrong suddenly rushed into Erick’s mind. Months of preparing himself mentally to this moment of his life did not compare to the utter terror he felt standing in this exact spot. Every hair follicle forced his hair up, his entire being screaming for the flight response. It would be so easy to turn and leave or walk past as if nothing had happened.

“Ryan?” Erick asked, voice threatening to crack. He could feel eyes on him, his anxiety telling him that everyone on campus was looking at him. The male in front of him raised an eyebrow, the dark color crunching a bit.

“Yeah? What’s up?” Ryan shifted off the picnic table on which he sat, standing on both feet. At full height, he was around four inches taller than Erick, and the shorter male could feel his entire face turn red as well as the tips of his ears. Ryan glanced over that face, confirming Erick’s fears.

“I… uh.” Heart slamming against ribs, Erick was sure that his ribcage would fracture, if not shatter. Slick fingers lost their solid hold on the backpack straps, forcing him to shift their grip. “I was wondering what… you were doing.” He cleared his throat awkwardly and glanced around at those staring at him. A few were snickering at him, some just smirking. He thought to himself how he should turn and run for the hills, never to return.

“Currently, I’m enjoying the fall weather,” Ryan commented. Erick made himself lock eyes with the male once more, face far more hot than before.

“Ahh… yeah. I meant like… uh. Saturday?” Why couldn’t he just get the words out? Erick had the full capacity to speak perfect English, but Ryan always seemed to turn his brain to utter mush.

“Are you asking me out on a date?” The sound of Ryan’s voice tugged all the fear back to its forefront. Erick’s eyes widened, images of everyone laughing, of Ryan shoving him away in disgust, flooded his mind. He didn’t want to face the way this group of students would respond to his advances. He had put himself quite literally in the middle and now he was realizing the horrific way this could go.

“I… might be.” The urge to curl his arms around his chest made them twitch but he fought it, lowering his gaze to glance about shyly before looking back up. Ryan was watching him, nearly staring, and Erick found himself unable to breathe.

“You know what?” There was nothing diabolical in the tone of that voice, confusing Erick’s need to run away. He watched closely as Ryan dug into his pocket and pulled out his phone. Fiddling with it briefly, he handed it over to Erick. “Add in your number. I’ll call you later. Yeah?”

Erick took the phone with a shaking hand, palm sweaty. He nodded, incapable of words, and entered his number. He saved it under his name, fingers tingling from disbelief. Ryan took the phone back, his warm, dark fingers grazed Erick’s light ones. Smiling, Ryan winked at the shorter male.

“Need something else?” The question from Ryan made Erick flinch, realizing he’d been staring at the taller male with a dumb smile on his face.

“Oh, no. No, I don’t.” His feet thrust into motion as he moved sideways. “I’ll talk to you later.” He awkwardly waved, Ryan offered one back, and then moved away from the group of students. No one tried to stop him, no one made any negative comments. One of the males he passed on the way actually happily smiled at him, not mocking.

Once Erick was away, he couldn’t help but smile, lips twitching. The absolute pleasure of managing to ask out his crush-especially given the way that situation could have gone-left him feeling higher than the clouds. His feet carried him far faster than before until he was inside the nearest building. Cheeks hurting from smiling so much, he thrust his fists up and spun around in a circle before thrusting his fingers into his hair. He could feel his cheeks twitching as he fought to control the large smile, failing to do so. Panting, he glanced about to the empty space around him and nodded to himself before he shook out and then headed to lunch.


© Copyright 2019 W.T. Hillson. All rights reserved.

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