For a moment, maybe just for a moment, I felt...hesitation and uncertainty. But even in that state, I spoke. "Fine, afterschool, the day after in the library," I caved; it was pathetic in its own sense.  "Till four. Alright?"

Splashing the cold, but comforting water onto my face, I sighed for the umpteenth time today. I had remembered every single detail of our brief meeting. Why in the world did I cave the way I did? I'm Ethan K. Marks! I don't...Oh, what's the use?

Leaving the men's room, I had made the quick decision of leaving school before the final bell. So, I would miss my last class. So what? I already aced economics and needed to...leave.

Jogging down the stairs, I slowed to a walk when I entered the car park. I was walking calmly, paying little to no attention to anyone or anything around me. I was too busy trying to rap my head around that...what was her name again? Was it Brick? No, defiantly not it.  Maybe Brice? No, wait...Brooks! Yes, Brooks, Lyn-something Brooks. What a strange girl....

Unknown, to even myself, I had muttered her, um, name out loud. Which explained someone's reply, "Talking to yourself, again Kenneth? Or just messing about?"

I turned around to find, Jason Crowe looking at me with gleaming eyes of mischief.

He stood there, unaffected by my obvious distaste of him in my glare. "Now, now Ken-darling, no need to be unpleasant," Oh, I'll show him ‘unpleasant', that sneaking no good, cocky little-Then it came to me mid-insult: Why was he here? At the car park of my school? With his nice posh black Benz, no less! At my school!

"Jason, what are you doing here?" I'm not sure I wanted to know.

The Crowe grinned now, his impish attitude seeping through. "Ah, just came here with business," If only that sentence was unadulterated, I wouldn't have arched my eyebrow, "Oh, Ethan, that's not what I meant. You're not my type."


Did he just...?! Was he implying that I...?! That I would ever...?!

"The only thing I was assuming is that you wanted a repeat of 8th grade. Or did you come here to lick some more boots?" Score one for the home team!

His grin disappeared in seconds and scoffed, trying to doge that "wondrous" memory. Good times, good times...

"Whatever, Kenneth, I'm not here for you or anyone else. I'm here for entirely different reasons."


Slightly amused and unconvinced I said, "Good for you, Crowe. I'll be going then..." As if on cue, the end of the day bells rang, signally for the kids to start going home.

With a farewell, my feet turned, around and I began walking away, unnoticed by Jason. His full attention was on the students beginning to pour out of the soon-to-be empty building. And that, strangely enough, gave me a suspicious feeling.


Laying my heavy and tired body onto the couch, I groaned in relaxation at the comfort of the snug cushions.

 "You look like how I feel," An almost expected comment from Riley. He, as well, slouched down on the couch.

I grunted my reply, my mouth too tired to form any words. Why was I so tired? I only had myself to blame for that...

"Tough day, Ethan? I can relate to that..." Riley breathed out as his heavy lids covered his eyes. He had no idea about that day I had.

My muscles were sore and fatigued along with the rest of my body. I sometimes wondered why I even bothered working when I could easily ask for the money I wanted. Oh, but that would defeat the purpose of independence?

I plunged my head deeper into the pillow, trying to bring on sleep faster. Working for several hours straight definitely tires me out, though there is no one to blame for that.

Almost falling into slumber, I felt a harsh pull on my foot. "Stop it, Riley..." I grumbled out, but he continued to tug harder.

"Ethan..." he whispered warningly, but I ignored it with going deeper into the pillow.

 Painfully, Riley dug his nails into my leg. Snapping my head, I howled unkindly, "Damn it, Riley! What is it?!" 

Without a word slipping from his thin lips, he pointed straight ahead.

 Facing in the direction of where he was pointing. There stood father in a suit, frowning and arms crossed against the door frame. He looked a tad cliché.

"Lazing about?" his words had a strange, serious and threatening tone. My father did not look the slightest amused or happy to see me.

I kept my eyes on him, not showing any emotion, when in truth I felt nothing at all. "I'm fatigued."  It was simple, stupid statement which he took as an insult.

He must have been standing there for quite some time, waiting to be acknowledged. That's the way he is. My father does not say a word when entering, he doesn't need to-everyone (well, almost everyone) saw him. Maybe it was the aura he emitted that caused people to stop and turn. Whatever it was, I lacked it and was oblivious to it. And that was an insult to him.

"Ethan..." I know that tone...and I didn't like it. It was his "I'm-about-to-force-you-into-something" voice. It was completely different when I ever wanted something. Actually, my father was different from me in a number of ways.

His ebony hair was slicked back, neatly. His eyes were a chestnut brown, but his gaze was cruel and unforgiving. The same went for is stature; my father was the same height as me, but always held himself tall, higher than others. It was his superiority and ego that I lacked.

"It seems your grades have...improved." He said it so...fatherly? No, calmly and quietly. I was unsure he said it all...

"Yes, they have." Bumping my A in biology to an A+ was considered ‘improving' then I've ‘improved' in every class since 8th grade. I deserve a damn medal.

"But, it seems your lacking in history," Somehow, I should have seen that coming, "Instead of studying, you'll be attending the Savory's Ball on Friday." Yup, defiantly should have seen that coming...

Of course, he wouldn't give me choice whether to go or not. It was "you'll be doing" or "you'll be visiting" Possible options and my father, don't mix.

Again he frowned, "And you better keep your mouth shut and your eyes and ears open. Donald Savory is an old friend."  

 "I'll try not to...disappoint you, father."

The End

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