A kind soul! A kind soul! Was this girl taking drugs? Did she belong in a lunatic asylum? Another thought struck me.

"Are you trying to drive me insane?"

Emily looked a little hurt. "No; why would I want to do that? I care about you."

"I don't want you to care about me. You're a stupid little girl and I hate you with every fibre of my being."

Emily looked sympathetic. "You must have had a really bad day."

If she'd been a guy, I would have punched her. And taken joy in doing so. But part of me still had the honour and deceny to refrain from hurting a girl. Honour and decency? How trivial in a situation like this.

"Will you please just go away?" I asked quietly.

"But you're sad... I can't just let you be sad."

"Don't you have somewhere else to be?"

"I'm staying on to do homework in the library. But I don't have to go there for a while."

"Do your homework, Emily. It'll be a far more productive pursuit than following a teenage guy around everywhere."

I pulled out my phone and sent a text to my mum, telling her to pick me up as soon as she could. The response showed she was annoyed about me missing the bus and I considered the unfairness of this as I began walking to the school playing field.

I heard footsteps behind me.

I turned.

Emily stood there, looking at me longingly. I'd be flattered if she weren't so damn annoying.

"Shoo," I said, making waving motions with my hand.

She looked offended but held her ground. "You're sad," she said simply. "I'm going to cheer you up."

Have you ever seen Toy Story? When Buzz is really depressedand then starts thinking he's a doll, participating in a tea party with the evil kid's sister's toys? Well, that's a little like how I felt at the moment. Insane. I wanted to strangle her but at the same time, I wanted to walk up to her and kiss her.

Give her what she wanted so that she would leave me alone.

Like Britain appeased Hitler by giving him the Sudetenland.

Did hurting a girl by deceiving her count as violence towards her?

I turned and walked away. I didn't want to risk her falling more in love with me.

Or did I? Wouldn't it just be so satisfying to break her completely?

I wasn't cruel, though. I may not have been a kind soul but I wasn't a horrible person.

But if that's what it would take, would I do it?

I sat down beneath a sycamore tree.

Emily came and sat in front of me. She started playing with the grass in front of her. I wondered what she could possibly see in me. She didn't appear to be very shallow. She was definitely misguided. Someone should look after her. But that someone wasn't going to be me.

Maybe I should try to approach the matter gently.

Trying to sound soothing, I murmured "I think you should move on from me, Emily."

Emily looked up, startled. "Why would I want to do that?"

Maintaining the calm in my voice, I said "Because I'm not interested in you."

"That's not true," she whispered, and I could see something in her eyes that said I needed to be lying otherwise her whole world would fall apart.

I sighed. "Emily, it's not safe for you to risk your heart in this way."

"But you're worth it. I'm not going to give up on you, Carter. I'm not that type of person."

"Then you'll just end up hurting yourself."

"I won't, though. You'll see. One day, you're going to come up to me and say 'Please go out with me'. And I'll be ready for that day, and I'll say 'Yes'."

And you know what? For a second, I believed her. For one short instant, I saw the world through her eyes. Rainbows and good intentions. She was almost endearing.

But then I snapped back to my senses. 'Get a grip,' I thought.

I averted my eyes from her vulnerable gaze. I wish she'd just go away and stop making my life so difficult.

She reached out and touched my shoulder.

And then I was overwhelmed by insanity. Hysterical inside I leant forwards and kissed her.

"Oh," she cried in surprise.

I leant back, breathing heavily.


Damn damn damn damn damn.

Emily was staring at me like I was an angel.

I stood up and fled. This time, she didn't follow.

A half hour later, my mum arrived. I was silent as she drove me back home. I didn't dare let my thoughts switch back on.

The End

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