It was getting colder outside, and I started seeing more and more clothes being layered under that black leather jacket. I, frankly, liked the cold - especially when it hovered around 40 degrees for the whole week - but obviously the leather-jacked-boy didn't.
I'd never seen any sign whatsoever of weakness from him, he always kept his chin up and his eyes stone cold, but now I could see the boy shivering slightly, even from as far away as I am. I was only in a store across the street from Pap's Burgers and Fries, so it was fairly easy to keep taking glances at him.
I had a soft, stretchy fabric tangled in my fingers; a shirt I had been meaning to buy for about a week now sat in my hands as I waited in line inside the store. It wasn't a long line, but it was a small store, and only housed two employees per shift and a single register. Hence why I've been waiting here for about 7 minutes now.
I'd been occupying myself with looking around the store and searching through the windows for the boy across the street, which wasn't half bad since seeing him shiver almost warmed my own heart. It was as if before, he wasn't human. He was just a stone with a mind and a heart and blood pumping through his veins. After all, without a mind and without a weakness and without a soul - that's really all you are. But no, he was human, because only a human could feel the cold air and think to himself ,"Damn, it's cold," and hug his arms close to his body to make himself warmer.
"Ma'am?" The man at the counter said, as he tapped gently on the counter to get my attention. My head quickly turned to look at him from where I was staring at the leather-jacket boy and I blushed a bright scarlet in embarrassment. I scurried up to the counter and received an apologetic smile from the man, who looked to be about 2 years older than me, with shaggy brown hair that hung over his forehead and eyes.
I handed my shirt and a distressed hat to him, both of which I was obviously planning to buy, and laughed timidly.
"I'm sorry, I was a little distracted." I apologized, but the man just laughed and smiled softly as he rung up my items.
"No worries. Sometimes I catch myself watching that kid on the lamp pole. He's extremely peculiar." The man said. I scrunched up my nose as I swiped my card, actually surprised that the man actually acknowledged the leather jacket boy's existence.
"Yeah..quite." I muttered hurriedly as I typed in my pin number.
"I'm Liam, by the way. You work over at Pap's, right? I grab a chocolate milkshake with 3 cherries - specifically 3 cherries only - there sometimes," the man said. I looked up from the little tablet in which I had just left my signature and gave Liam a small smile.
"Yeah, I think I've seen you there before. I'm Harley." I said gently. He laughed for a second before handing me my bag over the counter, causing me to move aside for the next customer to be checked out. Much to my surprise, there wasn't a next customer. Only a few straggler's walking around the store as if in a trance, just looking for the next amazing deal they'd find.
"Nice to meet you, Harley." Liam said as he walked out from behind the counter, holding out his hand to mine. I looked at his for a second, mainly just studying how large and firm it was, and finally clasped his hand in my smaller one, shaking it politely.
"Likewise." I said, "I hope to see you around."
Liam raised his eyebrow and laughed to himself, shaking his head, and folding clothes back to their previous state. I smiled proudly to myself for successfully interacting with Liam, since he was fairly attractive, though I still had the leather jacket boy in the back of my mind.
Actually, kind of in the front. I shook my head and rolled my eyes to myself as I saw leather jacket boy standing directly in the doorway of the shop. A hallucination, when you overwork your mind to the point of mere psychoticness. The heightened vocabulary form of thinking too much.
I kept walking closer to the leather jacket boy, a dumb figure of my imagination. He looked only slightly angry - and I searched my mind to find out what for. He didn't usually look angry. I halted as I got about two feet away from him and peered through the door, glancing through to look and see if the leather jacket boy was leaning against the lamppost of the corner of Way and Ward.
My gaze turned back to the boy who was crossing his arms expectantly and watching me with a curious glare as he leaned in the doorway.
We just watched each other silently, as I came to terms that I was being forced to interact with the boy. He wasn't a hallucination. He was there, and even though i'd replayed this scene in my head time and time again, I didn't expect it to ever happen. I wasn't sure what to do, how to move.
He spoke first.
"I saw you from across the street." He just said. Then there was a long pause - I swallowed hard and just blinked at him.
"Why were you watching me?" He finally asked. His voice was smooth and rough at the same time. It was soft but firm.
"W-why was I..erm..I wasn't watching you." I stammered, desperately searching for an explanation.
"Yes, absolutely, so you were just staring in my general direction looking me up and down - with a really judgmental gaze, may I add - and weren't watching me whatsoever." The boy raised his eyebrows, hips long fingers drumming on the tough leather jacket.
"No..?" I said, and then shook my head, walking forward and trying to brush past him, though he just continued to block the doorway.
"I'd like to know why exactly I looked so interesting to you." He seemed irritated, I mean, I would be too if I caught someone staring at me across the street. And did he say I looked judgmental? Me? Never.
I swallowed down my nervousness and sighed agitatedly, "you happen to be, and look, quite odd. Now please let me get by, I really have to get somewhere."
"You didn't seem in much of a hurry earlier when you were watching me. Why's that different now?" He was being such a pain in the ass. "My name is Dakota. And if there's something you want to say, say it to my face, please." 551Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡbiF5TGDEMO
"I don't want to say anything, Dakota. Leave me be." I snapped, and he tensed up for a moment before letting me brush passed him and through the door.
I was a small distance down the street, my heart in my throat, before he spoke again. He was following me, that little pest.
"I see you at your job, you know. You watch me every day. I have a right to know why." He spoke, almost of the verge of sounding angry.
"Like I said," I exclaimed as I spun around, my eyebrows furrowed with annoyance and my teeth clenched, "You're odd. You stand there every day with the same expression on your face. Who wouldn't be curious? You're a mystery and maybe some people stare at you so they can try to figure it out. Now, if you'll excuse me.."
I gripped my bag tightly in my hand, my cheeks hot and rosy now from the anxiousness and the cold wind nipping at my pale skin. After a pause of him not knowing what to say, I added,
"I have places to go, and people to figure out. Good day." and walked away.
author's note: 551Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡFCbA1zty1s
Hey! I don't know if I deleted the draft that said this, or if I just included this in last chapter's authors note, but I'm gonna be making the chapters shorter so I can update far more often. That's really all I needed to get out there. Hope you enjoy!551Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡIIXIR6XLwF