Categories > Original > Romance > Older Than Me, Younger Than You

Cheaters

by sesshyfanchick 1 Reviews

Rey looks through Katie's diary and discovers some things. Then, Rey witnesses some drama in front of Real's house.

Category: Romance - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Angst,Drama,Romance - Characters:  - Published: 2008/11/17 - Updated: 2008/11/18 - 8223 words

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CHAPTER 13: CHEATERS

My head was starting to pound. Well, who's wouldn't after their whole line of vision suddenly began to swirl and spin?

Real backed away from me, flipping himself to the side of my body and plopping his head back against the pillow.

I was stunned. I didn't know what to do, more or less what to say.

Talking was utterly useless, since my vocal chords had been rendered broken, and I couldn't move any of my arms or legs, since they all together felt like mush at the moment. I sighed inwardly.

How lovely.

I turned my head towards him, a sense of rage bubbling at the pit of my stomach. I didn't know why he had done it. Was it just to mess with me, like he had done with those three victims of his? I nodded to myself, my fingers clutching the soft material of the bed spread. There was no doubt about it that the kiss was an unworthy act to him, an action he could care less about. But why did he do it in the first place?

I seethed inside, grinding my teeth together in hopes that I wouldn't open my mouth in utter outrage.

With that final thought, I sat up, staring up at the ceiling. Perhaps there would be something of more interest up there, something that would soothe my rage and simmer my bewilderment. Of course, there was nothing up there on that plastered ceiling worth of humoring me; just a bunch of jagged points drenched in white paint.

I felt Real shift his body next to me- I shot a glimpse at him. He was staring up at me, arms thrown lazily amidst his sides. His expression was hard to point out, for his eyes were void of emotion and his lips were slightly parted, but nonetheless set in a straight line.

I stared at him hard for a long time, giving him my most ferocious glare that even he would be proud of, yet his face remained impervious.

Why was he staring at me like that, as if he hadn't just kissed me a few moments ago? It made me want to slap that dull expression off his face, to shake him senseless until he whimpered out for mercy. I gasped at myself, bringing my hand up to clutch at my chest.

My thoughts were starting to become just as twisted as Real's behavior. I hadn't even noticed it before! Could his actions have rubbed off on me? I shook my head ferociously, trying to ebb away the gallant thought. There was no way that I'd follow after him, no way in heck. Unlike Real, I didn't like torturing people until their mental barriers suddenly crashed and died.

I'd only do it to them if they had done it to me first.

I suddenly felt a wry smirk sneak itself upon my lips. I bent my head down, trying to hide the playful grin with some strands of my hair. I didn't want him to see me scheming.

I'd just have to beat him at his own game. If he had done this to other innocent people, then I sure as heck wouldn't allow him to do it again.

It'd all stop with me.

I suddenly sprang off of the bed and ran over to his dresser drawer. I bent down, hastily scooped up the pink diary, and slapped it to my chest. With one final glance at Real, I unlocked the door, sprinted down the hallway, zoomed down the stairs, and shot out the front door.

The wind hit me with such a good natured breeze that I couldn't help but smile in true delight.

There was a lot of scheming to do.

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I kicked it with my toe, my fingers tapping nervously along the blankets.

I grimaced and quirked an eyebrow at the pink notebook sitting innocently at the edge of my bed.

I wasn't afraid of it or anything like that, it was more like I was...anxious to open it but afraid of the consequences that would follow after knowing such personal information.

"Too pink," I muttered under my breath. Instead of just sitting there and mulling over the stupid pink thing, I got off the bed and sauntered over to my closet. I pulled out some pajamas for me to wear (which only consisted of an over sized shirt) and stripped, while pulling the garment over my head.

I kicked my school clothes away and out of sight, and once again, debated on whether or not I should pry open the pink notebook. Was it safe?

"Monkey, what'cha want for dinner?!"

I nearly fell to the ground at the sudden outburst of Mom's voice, but I managed to support myself by bracing my weight against a nearby wall.

I went over to the door and opened it, walking down the hallway and clambering down the stairs. Mom was on the couch with the T.V. blaring in her face. A smile crept itself upon her face as I undoubtedly heard the familiar voice of Peter Griffin from Family Guy making yet another crude joke.

"You called?" I asked her, draping myself over the sofa. She rubbed my arm and pointed over to her purse, which was teetering over the edge of the table in the kitchen.

"Take some money out so we can order pizza, oh, and could you get the phone for me?" she said dazedly, her eyes still fixed to the T.V. screen.

I nodded at her command and went over to the kitchen, grabbing her purse and digging inside for her cell phone. We didn't actually own a real house phone, we owned a cell phone. We couldn't afford to pay for both at once, so she decided that it would be better to get a cell, since I'd be able to reach her if she wasn't at home. I would have to say that it was a wise decision on her behalf.

"Here," I said quickly and threw her the purse and the cell phone. She grasped them within her lap and flipped open the cell, punching in a few numbers until she placed the phone to her ear.

"Um, yes, is this Pizza Hut? Oh good, uh, what are your specials for tonight," I heard her say. Nodding to the person speaking on the other line, she called me over with a flick of her hand.

"What topping?"

"Pepperoni," I answered.

"Large?"

"Yup."

"Pepsi?"

I nodded vigorously, my stomach starting to growl. After a few moments, Mom had hung up the phone and threw the rectangular thing into the inside pocket of her purse.

"Should be here in about 30 minutes," she said lazily, while digging around inside her money bag. She pulled out a twenty dollar bill and handed it to me. "It's gonna' be 19.25, so just tell him to keep the change." I nodded at her and leaped over the couch, taking a comfy seat next to her.

I patted my stomach in hunger and fixed my eyes on the T.V. and smiled.

Stewie and his ways of world domination.

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Mom smacked me on the thigh, pointing her index finger towards the front door. I sighed wearily and flipped myself over the couch.

The door bell had rung-- no doubt that it was our delectable pepperoni pizza. My mouth watered in mere thought of all that cheesy goodness.

I gripped the door knob and twisted and pulled, a gust of wind sending my hair sprawling behind me...and what I met standing at the front door nearly made me jump back in defense.

"Zine!" I exclaimed. Zine nearly dropped the pizza he was carrying, setting the bottle of cold Pepsi on the ground next to him.

"Oh crap! This is your house huh?" he said quickly, looking up and down the streets. "Kinda' forgot." He flashed me a smile while extracting the pizza from the carry on heater. He handed it to me, while I handed him the twenty dollar bill.

"Keep the change," I added brightly. He stared down at his palm, where the crisp bill lay flat, and stuck his tongue out at me.

"Not a lot of change at that," he muttered good heartedly, and stuffed the money in his jean pocket. For once, he didn't look as radiant as all those other times that I had seen him. He had on a baseball cap that read "Pizza Hut" on the front, his hair tied up in a high ponytail that jutted out of the opening at the back. His clothes were all black, not an appealing black might I add, but still, I bet he had girls crooning soon as they opened their doors and found him standing there with a bright smile on, holding their pizza and buffalo wings. I would have fainted if I hadn't known him.

"Why are you the pizza man?" I asked him, taking the Pepsi inside. I placed the pizza and soda on the table in the kitchen, then quickly scrambled back to the door way.

"So, how ya' doing?" he asked, ruffling my hair. I nodded at him and laughed, trying to fix the strands of hair into their proper place. "Love your outfit by the way."

"Answer the question," I demanded again, blushing and rolling my eyes. He looked up and down the street one more time, his eyes shifting from side to side. He then leaned forward, his lips almost brushing against my ear.

"I'm still underage," he breathed. "One more year, and I'll be able to work part-time!" He retracted from me, a smile taking hold of his lips.

"Then why are you working then?" I asked him suspiciously, my eyebrow arching in curiosity. He started to imitate a model, where he flipped his long, white hair over his shoulder in a provocative pose.

"I have connections," he said proudly. He then looked at his watch (the company probably gave it to him, since it was a rather ugly watch) and packed up his carry on heater.

"Well, gotta' go for now," he said, giving me a salute. "I'll come and visit ya' sometime!" And with that, he darted down the pathway and got himself into a tiny black car parked at the curb in front of our house. I watched him drive away, when a thought hit me.

If he was underage to work, then wouldn't he be underage to drive?

I shook my head and slapped my forehead. Wow, Zine must have a lot of connections then.

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After scarfing down my pizza and gulping a few glasses of cold soda, I told Mom thank you and clambered up the stairs to my bedroom.

Once in, I closed the door and locked it, my eyes immediately averting over towards the pink furry thing that was sitting upon my bed.

Should I read it? I mean, I hated Katie in a sense that sometimes I thought of going over and spitting at her, but then, after hearing Real's cold hearted rejection towards her...I was starting to get second thoughts.

In that pink notebook held all her heart's desires. All of her most deepest secrets and unruly emotions were written down on those pages and I was already starting to shake with anticipation. It wouldn't be right to look through it, it was her property and she only intended for Real to read it.

Then why had I stolen it? Was I just going to stare at it while it sat at the foot of my bed?

My mind was racing, my fingers aching to pry open the pink thing. I wanted to read it so badly that I thought if I didn't read it soon, I'd go crazy.

After a few long minutes worth of pondering, I gulped and decided that it'd be a waste not to read it, after I had taken the effort to steal it.

I wandered over to my bed, giving the notebook a weary gaze. I sat upon the mattress, crossing my legs and setting my hands atop my lap.

I had to be fully prepared on what I was about to read. I probably wasn't going to get half of it, but it wouldn't be hard to figure out what Katie had written in that pink thing she called a diary.

With a final weary glance and a distraught gulp, I reached over and plucked the little notebook from off the bed. I brought it over to myself, so that I was looking down at it, and traced my eyes over her name emblazed on the cover.

I was surprised that there hadn't been any locks to keep the diary secure. I thought that Katie would have been the type to keep her diary under a protective eye, resulting in the "lock theory", but I guess she really didn't care if her diary would be accidentally looked at. Either that or she lugged it around everywhere she went.

Returning to the diary, I gently lifted the cover up, placing the flattened thing on the bed. With that, I rested upon my stomach and sank my elbows down into the mattress.

The first page was blank-- just a wordless piece of pink paper. I then turned to the next page, where my eyes hungrily scanned over the words etched onto it.

This was the start of it. I was about to pry into someone's deepest feelings and find all that I could about their desires. It was wrong, a great part of me was screaming over how wrong it was, but as I began to read, the temptation embedded within my skin, and I was hooked.

February 6th

Dear Diary,

Long time no see!! I know I haven't written in a long time, but I had a bit of...excavating to do. Don't worry, I'm gonna' write all about it :

Where should I start? There's so much crap to write. Oh, fuck it, I'll just start wherever. :D

Remember Real? Of course you remember him, I've written loads about him. I really like him, ya' know. He can be weird and mean at times, but I guess...I just can't...turn away from him. It's hard to explain.


I squirmed, ruffling my bare toes against the bed sheet. It was sort of odd that she was treating the diary like it was an actual person, but I guess I could understand that it'd be more easier to write in it that way. It was just like telling a personal dilemma to your mother. Anyways...

Well, I met these two girls the other day. I was just sitting at Starbucks, eating a sandwich when they came strolling in. The tall one went to go order something, while the short one (she was weird lookin') went to go sit at a table next to me. Oh god, she was WEIRD. She kept on staring at me, like if she hated me or something. I nearly choked on my sandwich! But seriously, I felt like going over and slapping her.

And then, she stood up and went over to me! I was kinda' scared, but I just stared at her. She was still staring at me, like she didn't like me, and just stood there. And that's when her tall friend came over. She took the short one by the arm, but she didn't budge. And then, she said something like "You're her, you're that Katie-girl he keeps talking about." And then I was like, oh shit o-o Well after that, we started talking and blah blah blah. They were actually sisters...and they were both weird. The tall one kept twitching and fidgeting like a retard and the short one just stared at me like I had just exploded or something. Anyway, I found out that they knew Real! How could those retards know Real! I mean...hell. It was too hard to believe that he'd know people like them. Ugh D: Here's a piccy of them--

I looked around for the picture, but was disappointed when I didn't find anything. I shook the diary a couple of times, and before I knew it, a square piece of paper fell out of one of the pages and landed on the bed. It was turned over, so I reached down and flipped it. The picture was printed off from a printer, obviously gotten from the internet somewhere, since their was a URL tag at the bottom of it.

There were indeed two girls standing there. One was really tall, while the other one was short. The tall one, with limp red hair was staring off into the distance, as if she couldn't care less on whether her picture was taken or not. The other one...I shivered at. She was staring right at the camera, her reddish-brown hair covering her face, while her eyes seemingly pierced whomever happened to look upon her. I turned the paper over and tucked it back somewhere inside the diary. On with the story...

And diary, don't get too weirded out on me, but they scared me. They told me that they were "past" friends of Real. The short one, Anne, was the one to tell me everything. And when I mean everything, I mean EVERYTHING. I found out a bunch of old shit on Real...I mean, it was quite disturbing. But I still love him though! Nothing anyone would say would stop me from liking him...I mean...I think I'm obsessed or something. Anyways, off topic...They told me lots of things. They asked how I was doing, and when I said "fine", they looked at each other and smiled.

They told me...that Real had tortured both of them. And I don't mean like chains and whips and all that crap, but "mentally". I found myself growing nervous when talking to them, because...that was exactly how he was treating me. They said, that it was all a game to him. That he had met them sometime near the middle of 6th grade. They said, he was already starting that "game", to manipulate as many people as he could. Fuck, I didn't believe them at first, but then...I know Real...he's the type to do something like that. God, he must have screwed them up real bad, Anne and Becca. But I can't think bad about--

I looked away from the diary, my eyes landing upon my vacated shoe. So I was right then. He was torturing people. He enjoyed it. And Anne and Becca where the other two he had told me about! They were his past victims!

I turned the page, scanning through all the words. Throughout every single piece of paper, Real's name was bound to show up. She really was obsessed about him like she had said. It was sort of odd, to read how much she liked him and all that, since Real wasn't the type to love back. He only liked to mess with people, he wasn't capable of being serious. Was he?

As I neared towards the end, my eyes stopped abruptly over a passage with my description within it.

August 14th

Fuck. God. Shit. Bitch. UGH. OMG!! That little brat is soooo getting on my nerves. It's like...UGH. I can't stand her. I know I shouldn't be getting worked up over an elementary school student, but seriously...I can't stand the little retard. And you know what I REALLY can't stand?!


It seems that SHE is Real's next little toy. OMFG. A little girl like her? I don't even know why he bothers to hang around with her, it sickens me. He hardly pays attention to me anymore. And remember when I said that I was going to the fair with him? Yeah, it went all nice in the beginning. I was having such a great time with him. We went on all the rides together! I felt soooo happy, just me and him. Even though he barely said anything, I was still glad. Anyways, OMG. Near the end, he suddenly ran off on me. Did I mention that the brat came along? YEAH, she did. When he left, I just KNEW that he was goin' off to her. I almost cried, I almost did. But then, I rode with him on the way home and even got to spend the night at his house! I was so glad that his mom said that I could stay!

I had always wondered what he had done with Katie at the fair. I guess all they did was go on rides. At least she didn't mention anything about kissing or stuff like that, although I can't imagine why that would bother me.

I closed the diary shut, tucking it under my pillow, while I sat up and pondered over my roaming thoughts. I had learned a great detail of information by reading Katie's diary. Not only did I learn that her love for him was deeply rooted beneath her veins, but I also learned about Real's other victims. I sneaked my hand underneath the pillow and pulled out the diary, shaking the book loose.

Out fell the picture of Anne and Becca. I shut the diary again and shoved it under my pillow. I needed to save the picture. If by any chance that I happened to come across them, then I would be able to ask them a few questions regarding Real. I knew that the chance of that happening was a million to zero, since he had longed since moved from his victims and probably lived faraway from them now, but there was still a small fraction of hope, no matter how microscopic it was.

I rubbed my eyes, a small yawn escaping my lips. It was getting late and there was school tomorrow. Mom wouldn't like it if I was too tired to get up. Besides, the thought of seeing Chin-Mae again seemed to brighten my spirits, knowing that there was a friend waiting for me at a place where I could feel safe.

School, safe? I hated doing homework like any other normal kid would, but for now, it was a haven. A place where I could forget about all the problems that were way too complicated and stressful for me. I didn't need to deal with any of it at this age. I didn't need to deal with Katie, with mind games, with complicated emotions and most of all...I didn't need to deal with Real.

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I could feel the stares prickle along my back. It was amazing that I could still feel them, even though I had my backpack on.

Of course, I was talking about all the kids at school. As soon as I rounded the corner (since I had walked to school this time), all their tiny little eyes reared to me.

I scoffed at them, holding my chin up high. Robin would never let his demeanor falter, so why should I? I had to be smart like him. I had to be cunning as him. But most importantly, I had to be tough...like him. I sighed to myself and drooped my eyes. I seriously needed to stop watching the Teen Titans.

My eyes scanned through the horde of playful elementary students, girls prancing around and talking about their future plans on playing house at recess, while the boys rounded off into yet another game of tag.

Finally, far off into the distance, I saw a boy with jet black hair and glasses with squinted eyes underneath them. Chin-Mae was sitting on the top step near the main entrance, his hands folded across his lap as he stared up into the sky.

Feeling the beast in me, I sneakily crept towards him, making sure that I walked with the utmost of ease. I gracefully clambered up the steps, rounding about him so that I was in back of him and then...

"Titans Go!" I yelled and ruffled his hair with such a ferocity that my fingers were practically entangled within his black locks.

Chin-Mae's shoulder's stiffened, his head instantly turning round to look at the rude person who had jolted him out of his thoughts. He glared at me for a short moment, in which I smiled back playfully. He snorted and let a small smile take hold of his lips. I was glad he wasn't angry with me for doing that to him.

We both looked up as the bell rung throughout the courtyard. I helped him up as he dusted himself off, and with that, we took off side by side down the main hallway to Mr. Woody's classroom.

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"Okay class, today we're gonna' be doing a little project."

The entire class instantly perked up, little eyes averting towards the tall man with sandy blond hair standing in front of the room.

Mr. Woody smiled at us, flashing us a brilliant smile. It was amazing how he could get his teeth to look that straight...and white.

Hopefully we were going to do a fun project, such as art or something like that. As long as it wasn't assigned as homework, then I was more than willing to participate.

A girl with short curly blond hair raised her hand, her fingers jittering playfully.

"Yes, umm, let me see...Amelia right?" Mr. Woody guessed, placing a finger to his chin. Amelia, since it was her name, nodded in affirmative. "What's your question?"

"What kind of project are we gonna' do teacher?" she asked, her voice annoyingly high pitched.

"I was just about to explain!" he exclaimed, throwing his hands in the air. "We're gonna' do something fun today. Well, at least I hope you guys think it's fun. Anyways, in a minute, I'll be handing you guys some paper, crayons, and markers and you're going to be drawing a picture of what you like and what you don't like."

Mr. Woody turned around and leaned over his desk, his hands shoveling through a stack of brightly colored paper. He grabbed a green paper and held it up to the class.

"Here's an example," he said, his fingers tapping against it. "You can draw it however you like. On this one, a girl drew a line down the middle and separated the paper so that she could put what she liked on one side, and what she didn't like on the other."

I squinted up at the paper, since I was sitting with Chin-Mae towards the back of the room. If I could see right, on the left side of the paper, there was a picture of a sketchily drawn plate of cookies, and on the right, a drawing of a giant spider attacking a stick figure. I giggled to myself, nudging Chin-Mae in the arm and gesturing for him to look up (for he was staring at his hands for some reason). He looked up and smiled once his eyes hit the paper. We both laughed silently.

"So we can draw anything we like?" a boy sitting near me asked.

Mr. Woody nodded and said, "Anything you like, as long as there are two drawings representing what you like and what you don't like."

"Alright, any more questions?" Mr. Woody continued, his eyes searching around the room for any left over hands. "Okay then, we'll begin. Any volunteers to help me pass out the stuff?"

A few hands shot up in the air and in the end, Mr. Woody had picked out a rather short boy and a girl with very long hair. They went up to the teacher and followed him as he went over to some cupboards and pulled out a tray filled with packs of markers and crayons and some stacks of colored paper. He handed the stack of papers to the girl and the tray to the boy and motioned for them to start passing them out.

I patiently waited for the supplies to be brought, staring at Chin-Mae while he looked down at his hands. Finally, the girl with the stack of papers stopped buy our shared desk and asked what color paper we would like. I chose white while Chin-Mae chose orange. After the girl had left, the short boy placed a pack of markers and crayons at the center of our desk and walked away, placing the empty tray on Mr. Woody's desk.

"What'cha gonna' draw?" I turned to Chin-Mae, who was already opening a pack of markers. He looked at me, then down at his paper before responding,

"I know what I will draw for the "no" liking, but I don't know what to draw for the "yes" liking."

I stared at him for a bit before I scrunched my face and laughed out loud. A couple of kids turned to my direction, but I merely brushed them off.

"What're you gonna' draw for the "no" liking then?" I asked.

"You'll see."

I shrugged and rummaged through the box of markers. I pulled out a black marker and positioned my paper in front of me.

'What did I like?' I asked myself. There were many things, like pizza for instance. Then again, I liked Mom very much too, or Zine, he was someone that I liked. I smacked myself as realization hit me. This was supposed to be a no brainer! I already knew who I liked, it wasn't that difficult to figure out. He was an impenetrable person. He could get pretty crazy at times if he set his mind on something, but yet, he was still a guy who you couldn't turn away from.

"Robin," I smirked to myself. Yes, the raven haired leader of the Teen Titans. He was certainly a guy whom I liked, even though he was just some made up fictional cartoon character.

I began to outline the drawing of a disfigured face with a mask on it. I then colored in the black hair and the mask, and reached for a peach colored crayon to color in the face. I set down the crayon and admired my work.

It wasn't the best, but hey, it worked. I then set my mind upon my dislikes. What didn't I like? There were MANY things that I didn't like. Like smoking for instance, or popcorn. There was also my fear of elevators (I was always afraid that I'd get stuck in one), and not to mention the fact that I absolutely detested corn. What would Mr. Woody say when he saw a picture of a bright yellow corn drawn on my paper. Would he laugh?

Before I knew it, I had taken a black colored marker and began drawing in my "dislike" column. After a few ferocious strokes of scribbling and coloring with red and black (and a little yellow), I dropped the marker and took a few seconds to view my completed work. Not bad.

I looked over towards Chin-Mae, my eyes resting upon his orange sheet of paper. In the Dislike section, he had drawn...a cigarette.

"You hate smoking huh," I stated. He looked at me and nodded vigorously.

"In Korea, a lot of people smoke. I hate it," he answered softly.

"I don't like it either, it smells bad," I said. I raised my eyebrow at his empty "Like" side of the paper. "You don't know what you like?"

He shook his head, padding the tips of his fingers upon the desk.

"I do not know," he replied. "I like many things."

"You have five minutes kids, so keep that in mind while you finish your work," Mr. Woody bellowed over the class, resuming his seat at his desk.

I slumped back in my chair, thoroughly proud of myself for completing an assignment before everyone else. After a few more minutes of staring up at the ceiling and counting all the tiny black dots on the tiles, Mr. Woody had gotten up from his desk and had taken his position at the front of the class.

"Alright, everyone, stop what you're doing and clean up."

After a few moments of shuffling and scurrying, everyone had returned the markers and crayons back into the tray and had sat down, waiting for Mr. Woody to give them new directions.

"Everything's put away?" he asked, searching around the room. He smiled and continued. "Okay then, each and every one of you is gonna' come up here and present your drawing. You're going to say your name (again) and explain what you drew. Is that clear?"

Everyone in the room nodded, some kids fidgeting in their seats, eager to present their masterpieces.

"Does anyone wanna' go first?"

A few hands shot up in the air, but the remainder of the class stayed silent. I was one of them.

"Alright, David, looks like you're the first one," Mr. Woody said brightly and went over to his desk.

A kid with chestnut colored hair got out of his seat and walked towards the front of the room. He held his paper deftly in one hand, and folded it in front of him as he halted at the center of the room. He looked up, his eyes scanning the class, and looked back down at his open paper.

After he was done, a few other kids also took their turn. Sleeping on my desk, I jolted up when Chin-Mae's name had been called out.

I gave Chin-Mae a quick pat on the back and smiled at him, which he in turn grinned back. He was nervous, since his fingers were trembling, but he didn't back down and clambered towards the front of the class room.

He stood there, black bangs shrouding his face and brushing over his eyes. He raised a finger and pushed up his glasses, then presented his paper to the class room.

"I am Chin-Mae," he started, his voice low and soft. "I hate smoking, but I do like Rey." He then folded up his paper, and put on a pile atop Mr. Woody's desk.

Chin-Mae quickly made his way down the row and took his seat, catching a glance at me before he resumed his gaze towards the front of the class. I merely stared at him dumbly, my lips slightly parted. I smiled. It was nice to know that I'd have a good friend like him.

"Rachel, ready to go up?"

I looked over at Mr. Woody, who was looking directly at me. I blushed and nodded, grabbing my paper as I stood up. Chin-Mae gave me a thumbs up and grinned at me. I smiled back and took a deep breath.

As I stood before the class room, I could feel all the stares of the kids poking at my skin. I wasn't scared or nervous, but I did feel a bit...I don't know, uneasy?

"My name's Rey," I began, making sure to add extra stress on my shortened name. I didn't want to be known as "Rachel". "I like the Teen Titans very much. Robin is my hero, because he's strong and he never gives up."

I looked back at Mr. Woody and showed him my drawing of Robin. He nodded and smiled, but something must have happened, for when he moved his eyes over to the "Dislike" column, he immediately frowned.

"Um, Rachel, what did you draw in the "Dislike" section?" he asked hesitantly, his brown eyebrow arching. I looked down at my paper.

Of course, I had drawn Real as the one I hated most. I had merely drawn a simple (disfigured) portrait of his face, making emphasis on his jagged hair and bleached bangs. Then, I had drawn black and red scribbles around him, adding a pair of red devil horns at the top of his head with blood dripping down his mouth.

"This is the person I hate the most," I explained, showing the paper to the class, then back at Mr. Woody. "I hate him very much. He's mean and weird and I always feel like kicking him or something. Maybe slapping too. Anyways, I hate him."

Everyone stared at me, their eyes wide. I shrugged and threw the paper on the pile where Chin-Mae had thrown his. I ignored Mr. Woody's shocked expression as I shot down the rows of desks and took my seat.

I looked over at Chin-Mae and he grinned at me. He then said in a whisper,

"That was cool."

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXD

I jumped when the bell rang. Everyone quickly gathered their backpacks and things and shot out the door as Mr. Woody happily waved after them.

"Rachel," he called, his voice distant and commanding. I stopped in my tracks, Chin-Mae by my side.

I glanced over at Chin-Mae and smiled.

"You can go," I whispered to him. "I'll see you tomorrow." He merely nodded and patted my shoulder, then he walked through the door and wandered down the hallway until he was out of sight.

I swerved around and walked over towards Mr. Woody's desk, halting right at the front. I looked down at him and cocked an eyebrow.

"Yeah?" I asked.

I watched as he shuffled through the stack of project papers, until he landed upon my drawing. He pulled it out of the stack and laid it down before me.

"Why did you draw this?" he asked, his voice smooth and low. I looked down at the paper and shrugged.

"I like Robin, he's cool," I responded.

Mr. Woody shook his head and pointed his finger at the other drawing, the drawing of Real.

"I'm not talking about Robin, I'm talking about...the guy you drew in your "Dislike" column," he said, tapping the paper with his finger.

I glared down at the sloppy portrait of Real, then looked back up at Mr. Woody.

"You told us to draw what we hated, so I drew him," I replied casually.

"Who is he?"

"He's someone."

"Rachel, please answer my question."

I looked over towards the window, watching as the clouds overhead shuffled in front of the sun. I didn't feel like answering him. He was the teacher and all, but I only came here to learn, not to answer pointless questions that had nothing to do with him. Real was my problem.

"He's just...a friend," I said. I knew that Real was nothing close to a friend, but if I told Mr. Woody that he wasn't, then he'd get suspicious. I wanted to be the one to bring Real down, no one else.

"Rachel, if you don't answer me, I'm afraid I'm gonna' have to call your mom," Mr. Woody urged, taking my drawing away and placing it on top of the stack of project papers.

"He's my imaginary friend, that's all," I said. "He's a sucky imaginary friend, he isn't even nice."

Mr. Woody sighed to himself and smiled a lazy smile.

"Ah, so he's your imaginary friend then," he laughed. "Well then, I think you can go now Rachel."

"Rey."

"Excuse me?" he asked.

"It's Rey," I repeated, turning towards the door. "I hate Rachel." And with that, I lumbered out into the hallway and ran past the double doors.

I flew down the steps, but stopped immediately as I found Chin-Mae sitting on the stone stairs. He looked up at me and smiled.

"I thought you'd be home already," I said to him. He stood up and walked over to me.

"I was waiting for you, my mom said that she will not pick me up until 15 minutes," he explained, trying his best to get his words right. I grinned at him.

We walked down the remaining steps and I looked up. I froze. Right across the street was Real, his back turned. It seemed that he was talking with his friends, the ones that I had seen yesterday.

I quickly gripped Chin-Mae's hand, lacing my fingers with his. I dragged him across the courtyard, ducking behind benches and tall shrubs. I didn't want Real to see me. Everything would go wrong if he were to see me.

"Where are we going?" Chin-Mae asked in a whisper, noticing that I was trying to be as swift and silent as I possibly could.

"Um, can you walk me to the corner?" I asked him quickly. "Just to the corner, then you can go." Chin-Mae nodded and gripped my hand tighter.

We walked stealthily across the grass, then skidded against the pavement. I walked stiffly, hoping that Real wouldn't suddenly turn around and spot us.

We walked down the length of the street, in which I had assumed that we had made it without difficulty, until I heard footsteps. I halted, bringing Chin-Mae to a stop as well.

Someone was in back of us. I slowly turned around and scowled. He just had to catch us.

Real was standing a good ten feet away from us, his thumbs pressed into the pockets of his black jeans. His hair was pulled back into a pony tail, but you could hardly tell because of his messy jagged hair. It flew about his face like a spray of rigid water.

I gripped Chin-Mae's hand, shooting a glimpse at him. He was staring at Real with such an intensity that I thought he'd sink into the ground. He then leaned into me, pressing his lips against my ear.

"Is that who you hate?" he whispered, still looking over at Real. I simply nodded and resumed a straight posture.

I watched as Real's black eyes drifted lower, finally resting on the image of our joined hands. For a moment, just for a brief second, I saw his black eyes glint with fire, before they dulled and blew out like a candle.

"Oh, you have a boyfriend?" he asked, his voice dripping with an air of mischief. "Aren't you a bit young?"

I tightened my hold around Chin-Mae's hand, dragging him in back of me. I needed to shield him from Real. There was no way that I'd let my new friend be tortured by a freak such as Real.

"He's my friend, leave him alone," I retorted. I leaned back and pressed my mouth to Chin-Mae's ear.

"Run okay," I whispered quickly. Chin-Mae shook his head, gripping my hand even more tightly.

"No," he said. I glared at him and pursed my mouth. I didn't know that he'd be so stubborn.

"Run," I repeated, more forcefully this time. I saw his eyes dart from Real to me, his movements hesitant. After a few moments of me glaring at him, he nodded and untangled his fingers from mine. With that, he ran past Real, who glared at him suspiciously, and shot out of sight.

I exhaled, closing my eyes in relief. I didn't want to drag Chin-Mae into my little problems. He didn't need to become Real's fifth victim. I wouldn't be able to forgive myself if something like that were to happen.

I opened my eyes and looked back over at Real. He was staring at me, his hands thrown lazily against his hips. He then grinned, his lips twisting into a cunning smile.

"You have a foreigner as your boyfriend," he stated, his voice lazy and dull. "Are you going to take advantage of him?" He let out a tiny scoff and laughed.

My fingers clenched themselves to my palm and I gritted my teeth. I had to stay collected. If I was going to stop him from advancing to any more victims, I had to play along in his little game.

I had to be cold. I had to be distant. I had to pretend that his insults and mental awareness effected me in the least. I couldn't let him get to me.

I sighed to myself. I didn't want to end up like Anne and Becca.

I pressed my fingernails into the flesh of my palms. It was decided then. I had to remain impassive. I glared at him for a moment, then turned around. I began walking, my strides long and slow. I heard the shuffling of feet behind me and in seconds Real was walking alongside me.

We walked on in silence, stepping up onto curbs, turning corners, and walking across neatly trimmed lawns. We still had not spoken to each other even when the heads of our houses rounded up, each step drawing us closer.

As I neared my house, I could hear yelling. I turned to Real, and his eyes were slitted, his face expressionless.

The yelling was coming from his house.

It was as if he had forgotten me, Real. He slowly crept towards the side of his house, hiding behind the porch wall. My body moved of it's own accord. I crouched next to him, my ears perked and my eyes wide.

"How could you do this to me?!" a woman's voice screamed out, her tone harsh and coarse. It was his mom's voice, Sheryl.

"How could you do this to us?! After all this time you were--UGH--what the fuck were you thinking?!" she hollered, her voice clear and sharp. I didn't know that Real's mom could curse.

"Shut up Sheryl, I don't need to hear your shit."

My mouth dropped at the unfamiliar voice. It belonged to a man. Never had I heard the voice of man coming from Real's house, except for Real of course. It seemed that only he and his mother lived there.

And then a thought hit me. Real had a dad, I was sure of that, for Sheryl had mentioned him before.

Perhaps the voice belonged to Real's father?

"I can't believe this," Sheryl said gravely. "I can't believe you would do this to our family, I can't--have you forgotten? We have a son! How could you do this to him..?!"

"Shut up Sheryl."

"NO, you SHUT UP!," she screamed, her voice echoing over the streets. "How dare you tell me to shut up!! You have no right to tell me to do anything, after you've gone and done stuff with that slut you call a--"

"Sheryl, don't bring her into this!" The mans voice sounded harsh and rough.

"I AM YOUR WIFE!! How could you do this?!," she cried, her voice cracking. She was about to cry. "How could you, I thought we loved each other, I thought--. HOW COULD YOU?!"

"SHUT THE FUCK UP."

Sheryl had been rendered silent. My fingers were shaking, my hand gripping onto the edge of the porch wall.

At that moment, the screen door to Real's house crashed open and the figure of a rather tall man shuffled down the steps in a hurry. He was angry, since his fingers were clenched, and he was making his way over towards a white car parked in front of the house.

I heard footsteps pounding against the floor and I could see Sheryl standing in front of the screen door.

"YOU FUCKER!" she yelled, her voice horse. "YOU BASTARD! DON'T YOU EVER COME BACK HERE AGAIN!!" I listened to her cries, her heart wrenching sobs, before I heard her body slump against the door frame. I stood up on my tip-toes and looked over the porch wall.

She had slid to the ground, her head tilted downward and her body limp and frail. She was still crying.

For the first time, I looked at Real, wondering desperately at what he was thinking. What did he make of this? How did he feel? I didn't really understand why Sheryl was crying exactly, but I knew that her husband must have done something terribly wrong to make her scream like that.

If the man was her husband of course, I was just assuming.

Real was pressed against the porch wall, his hair fluttering in the breeze over his eyes. I couldn't exactly read his expression, but I shivered as I looked at his face.

His eyes were wide open, like a zombie. He was so far-gone that I wanted to slap him and shake him out of his "zombie-like" state. He looked distant, like it would take a century to finally reach him.

"Go home," he whispered quickly. I just stood there like a deaf person, peeking over at Sheryl and brushing my eyes over Real.

"Leave," he said louder. And still, I remained where I was.

"Go the fuck home!" he hissed and pushed me so hard that for a split second, I couldn't breath. I tumbled over my feet, my back thumping hard against the grass. I stared up at him, but he didn't seem to notice me. He was making his way over to his mom.

I scrambled up, running over toward my house. I was safe, for now.

I watched as both Real and his mother shuffled inside, the door slamming shut. A gust of wind ruffled by, gushing my hair out about me.

For a brief second, I forgot all about his little game. I forgot about my pledge to being indifferent, to being cold and distant. I forgot all about my plan to stop him from moving on to his next victim.

All I could see were his distant eyes, eyes so hollow and dull, that it made me want to tear at my insides.

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