Connelly sat on the couch, leaning on the arm under a lamp reading a book, his brow furrowed in concentration. He was trying to forget his stressing problem with Kota for the time being and try to relax. He was in the sitting room, his couch on the right side of the front door, against a wall that held the stairs leading to the floor above. He sat reading quietly until he heard the front door open and then close with a slam. He looked up to see Ivan walking in, looking at him in an utter rage. Alister slid in the room, in shadow by the bookcases.
“Why did you decide not to come today? Why did you do it, Connelly?” Ivan asked angrily, his eyes popping. Vincent was now in the room, but went unnoticed.
“What is that supposed to mean?” Connelly asked, a little annoyed at why he was getting in trouble. As far as he knew, he didn’t even do anything wrong.
“I mean, why did you skip school today? Do you have any idea what you put that girl through?” Ivan walked over to Connelly as he said this, acting like he was about to lean over and get in Connelly’s face, but turned at the last minute, thinking better of it.
“What?” asked Connelly, watching Ivan pace around angrily.
“You put that girl through hell today, you know that? I thought she was going to have a heart attack when she found out you weren’t there. She was so nervous and scared and upset that I had to follow her around all day just to make sure her heart didn’t give out.” Ivan said, so angry that his cheeks were pink again. Connelly watched Ivan as he spoke, hearing how much he felt for what he was saying. Aubrey was now also in the room, but just like Vincent and Alister, was unnoticed by Ivan or Connelly.
“And when she walked into that gym, well, you should have seen her when she saw that you weren’t there either.” Ivan said, looking down sadly like he was replaying it all in his mind. “That was her last hope; that you would at least be there, even if you weren’t going to ask her to dance. She was so sad that I could hear her heart hesitate! Do you know what that means!” Ivan said, suddenly growing louder and in Connelly’s face with his hand around his throat.
“What is going on here!” Amelia’s voice rang through the house as she walked into the room, accompanied by Mathias. Mira was on the stairs and looking down at them sharply.
“Release him, Ivan.” Mathias demanded in warning.
Connelly looked at Ivan with murder in his eyes. “Release me.” he growled.
Ivan looked at Connelly a second longer, searching in his eyes and his head to see if he felt bad at all for what he had done to Kota. He couldn’t see anything, mostly because he knew Connelly was hiding it, his anger stronger than his guilt. He then released Connelly’s throat roughly.
“You have no idea what I’ve been going through.” Connelly said as he stood up.
“You forget — I do know what you’re going through.” Ivan said, tapping his own head.
“Then what’s the problem? Why are you so mad at me?” Connelly was even angrier now that he was also confused.
“Because you should have gone to school anyway.” said Ivan.
“Why? You know the danger it causes. Why put her in danger? I would rather see her sad than in danger of being killed.” Connelly waved his hand out, a gesture to Kota even though she wasn’t there.
“Yes, I do know the danger, but you should have gone despite that. You don’t think I know how dangerous it is for me and Sue? It is so dangerous for me being around her, but I go because she only sees me in gym and that makes her happy. And that in its self is worth the danger.” Ivan took a step towards Connelly, pointing at him.
“Okay, that’s enough. Now, I want to know what’s going on right now. From the beginning.” said Mathias, sitting on another couch with its back facing the front door. Everyone else came and sat down too, Amelia beside Mathias, Mira and Vincent leaning on the back of their couch, and Alister and Aubrey in two armchairs side-by-side. Ivan stood for a minute, and then he and Connelly sat down on opposite sides of the same couch.
“Now, let’s start by telling me who Sue and Kota are.” said Mathias.
“They’re two girls at the school.” Ivan said.
“Those two pretty girls in your dance class?”Amelia asked and Connelly and Ivan nodded.
“And why were you two fighting about them?” asked Mathias.
“We weren’t fighting about them, just Kota.” said Ivan.
“You’ve been raging around here for days Connelly, tell us what’s wrong.” said Aubrey.
Connelly thought back to the first day he saw Kota. Those feelings were so intense when they exploded from her, that they had scared him to death. No wonder he had acted like he did when she was around him.
“Such pure emotions.” he said. “I’ve never seen such purity except between couples who truly loved each other… But she can’t. She doesn’t know what she’s getting into. She doesn’t know how dangerous the situation is she’s pushing at. She doesn’t know me.” Connelly looked down and put his head in his hands.
He was overcome with all sorts of feelings; anger because he didn’t understand why it was happening to him, sadness because he knew it couldn’t work, relief because this way he knew she’d be safe, and finally denial because he couldn’t believe she could love him. What he was was something that couldn’t be loved and didn’t deserve to be loved. But at the same time that he was feeling all of these things, he couldn’t bear the thought of Kota in Louis’s arms. He didn’t want anyone to have her but him. He wanted her so bad that he ached from the pull of it.
“I think I understand.” said Mathias and Connelly looked at him.
“You do?” he asked, happy that at least someone did.
“Yes, but this is serious.” he said.
“What is it? What’s going on?” asked Mira.
“Connelly and Ivan like Sue and Kota.” Alister answered for Mathias.
“I should have known!” Vincent said, smiling. “Only a girl could cause this much trouble within a few days of knowing her. Only a girl is capable of that.” he said and chuckled.