n. - A deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves. Moreover, it often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return. Once described as "the love that remains" after someone is gone.
A/N: Tags aren't working for me for some odd reason...

From my desk, I glance up at everyone who walks into the room. Really, I don't feel like being in class today, but if I'm paying to be here, I might as well make something of it. Next time, I'll just forgo the college sessions and stay in my apartment until I have to get to work or something. I can survive on a night job and simply live on the necessities.

A group of girls shuffle loudly into their seats, one of them catching my sight and winking at me. I glare back at her--I can't stand flirts. Vaguely, I remember that she introduced herself to me once, but it's lost in a haze at the back of my mind. All I can remember clearly is that she wouldn't shut up once she learned my name.

"Hey, Dante." She bats her lashes at me, as if my glowering has no effect on her. Damn woman. "Show up to the party this Friday. You won't regret it." As if to lure me into saying yes, she leans towards me, the movement causing the sleeves of her pink shirt to slip off her shoulders as she puts a slip of paper in my pocket.
Ignoring her, I turn away, staring out the window. The Professor is running late today.


"I know you're a wild party animal, Dante," Her voice purrs in my ear. I rein in the instinct to recoil, not wanting to seem shy. I am anything but shy. "I heard about Brighe. You know, you and me, we could wreck shit."

The name makes me stiffen in surprise. Brighe...I whip around, looking up at her clear blue eyes glittering with mischief. She has one hand planted on the center of my desk, the other curled around my chair. I can't even get up and walk away without making skin contact. I loathe skin contact.

"Admit it, you would love to."

Funny how she thinks she knows the truth about that particular party. If she did, she'd be following everyone else's example and keeping the fuck away from me. I allow myself a tiny smirk, lifting me chin at her.

"You don't know the half of it." The way she straightens in surprise, I know she has no idea what I mean, but I continue grinning. "But no way in hell am I going to this party of yours. I'll let your idiocy slide this time. Get the fuck off my desk."

"Haylie, get over here! What are you doing?" One of her friends calls out as she reels back into the chairs behind her.

She glares at me, then huffs, walking back to her little posse.

Good riddance.

I'm normally not an asshole. Really. But when you talk about things you don't understand and pretend it's what makes you and someone else alike... I shake my head, cradling my chin in my palm. Outside, my gaze is drawn to a scuffle down below in the courtyard. Two boys are ganging up on a short nerd, yanking his notebooks from his hand and shoving him into the fountain. Poor wanker. I can remember those days, back in high school. Hard to believe (read: I'm not surprised) that this is still happening in college.

At the door, Professor York swings into the class, carrying multiple canvas, his face obscured by the paintings. He must have visited that uncanny art teacher and forgot about the class he has to teach...again. Someone from the front row dashes forward to help him. I don't bother to listen to his speech as he addresses the student, then the whole class. I'm still watching the bullying going on down in the courtyard. By now, the two boys have wrestled the nerd's head into the fountain, dunking him in repeatedly, dodging his flailing hands. He might as well be trying to defend himself with pillows.

It's not long before the boys get bored and leave, dumping the nerd to the floor and thrusting his soaking messenger bag at him.

I keep watching. Whether it's because this is more interesting than the remedial history I'm forced to take, or because of the unnamed emotion in my gut, I don't know.

The nerd picks up his glasses from where they fell by the fountain's edge, shaking his wet hair out of his face. He delicately puts all his scattered papers into his notebooks, even though he must be dripping water all over them. He's wilted, tiny shoulders trembling.

My gut clenches.

He struggles to his feet, clutching his bag in one hand. After a moment of making a puddle in the courtyard, he runs from the scene.

I'm left staring, a strange sensation in my throat, at the spot where he was standing. A monster like me isn't allowed to feel. I can't tell what it is that has me wondering who the little nerd is. It's not as if I wanted to help him. I don't know him, either. That much is true, because I moved to this particular college so I wouldn't run into anyone I used to know from high school years.

"Dante, if you would be so kind as to tell us what is so important out the window?" Professor York's voice cuts through my thoughts.

I scowl at him, shifting forward. "Nothing, teach. Just get on with it."

Putting the nerd out of my mind, I pull out a pen and a journal, jotting down the notes from the board.

The End

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