Absence of Thought

Thanks to all those who commented on my last story. Any further feedback would be greatly appreciated.

And, as always, all characters are over 18 and fictional. If that makes any sense…

*

I was sitting in the school library when she approached me. I was sitting near the back, where the obscure law books were kept. Not that I actually care about obscure law, but it was the quietest place. And quiet compared to the rest of a library is like sitting in a vacuum. It was the breaking of this much sought after silence that alerted me of her approach.

I looked up from my book briefly.

I looked back down. I wasn’t interested in her.

She walked with an intentionally seductive manner, the click of her heels emphasised by the surrounding quiet. Dressed as always in brightly coloured clothes, to draw attention to herself. A tight orange T-shirt and cream jacket parted just over her chest to draw eyes to her large yet perky breasts. A short skirt cut a little to far above the knee to be “proper”, designed to show off her smooth, tanned legs. Naturally tanned, I was somewhat surprised to see. Too many of the girls similar to her had decided to go for the ‘cheap orange paint’ style when it came to fake tanning recently. Girls similar to her, of course, meaning Bimbos. She was clearly a Bimbo, through and through, right to the wide eyed ignorance, the stark red lips and the radiant blond hair.

But I’m not one to judge a book solely on its cover. She was in a few of my classes. Suzie, she was called. She never knew the answer when asked, talked incessantly to her friends during lessons, and was always bottom or occasionally middle of the class when it came to test scores.

Like I said, I wasn’t interested.

I had assumed correctly that her target was me, and not the books surrounding me. Her entire outward appearance suggest that she couldn’t even read.

Yes, I was critical, but not rude. I wasn’t going outright to ignore her.

“Um, hi” she stated with a wide smile on her face.

I looked up again and placed my book face down on the table I was sitting at.

“Hello.” I said back

“You’re Toby right?” she asked, almost…nervously? Maybe it was because she wasn’t surrounded by her usual gaggle of “Gal Pals”.

“It’s Tobias actually, and you’re Suzie.” I said.

“Right, I’m in your Science classes ” she said firmly.

Interesting, referring to the class as “mine”, as opposed to me being in “her” class.

” Um…I was wondering if you could like…help me out? With like…a problem I’ve been having…?”

The raised tone at the end of each sentence could have been a mockery of herself, it was so cliché.

I leaned back and sighed.

“Well, why don’t you tell me about it and I’ll see what I can do.”

I gestured to the chair in front of me and she sat gingerly, folding her arms on the surface in front of her. My guess was her problem was something academic.

“I was wondering if you could like… tutor me? I’ve been having some problems….” she trailed off.

Hardly rocket science, figuring that one out. What else would it be?

I mimicked her stance and folded my arms.

“With what?” I asked bluntly.

“Uhh…Chemistry?” she…asked? Was it a question or just that annoying habit?

I didn’t say anything, just continued looking at her. She moved an imaginary lock of hair out from her face and sat back slightly. Definitely nervous…

“I mean, I could pay you! If that’s…what you want…” she trailed off when I didn’t react.

Hmm… I didn’t exactly need money, but a little extra couldn’t hurt. I considered it for a few seconds, then made an impulse decision. Something which, if you hadn’t already guessed from the tone of the narrative, was quite rare for me.

“I don’t need money. Come by my house tonight and we’ll go over what you’re having problems with.” I said.

I turned back to my book before I could see her reaction. I was still kind of thinking the offer through, almost not realising I’d already made the decision.

“Um.. sure. I’ll swing by tonight. Around seven-ish? ” she asked

“Sure” was all I replied.

It wasn’t until she left that I wondered if she actually knew where I lived. I then realised that I hadn’t looked up from my book as she left. That was unintentionally rude of me. But still, I was doing her a favour…

Which begs the question, why? I didn’t really know at the time, but something about her interested me. No-one could be that stereotypical, surely…

———————————

I was in the kitchen when I heard her knock the door. She even knocked like a Bimbo, although I’m not really sure what that means. Probably just bias…

My older sister Beth had already answered the door when I left the kitchen. Her back was to me, and she and the door were blocking my view Suzie, so I just stood and listened.

“Umm…Hello? I’m here to see Toby?” came Suzie’s soft voice.

“Tobias? Really? But…why?” answered Beth,

…thanks sis.

“He’s gonna like…tutor me?” Suzie trailed off

“Ah, that makes much more sense!” said Beth

Seriously, my head’s gonna swell…

She stepped back to let her past, while turning her head to shout for me.

“TOB…!” she started

“Thanks Sis, I got this.” I interrupted.

“Jeez, don’t sneak up on me like that!” she said hitting me lightly on the shoulder. She didn’t leave though.

I ignored her and moved in front of the door. Suzie was wearing different clothes, not just new, but… different. More subtle. In fact, her outfit on the whole hadn’t changed, just the colour of it. More subdued…

“Uh, hi Toby.”

“It’s Tobias,” I corrected. I stood back from the door. “Come in.”

“Uh, thanks…” she looked around nervously.

Without saying anything, I made towards the stairs. I heard her stammer something to my sister before following me. She ran up the first few steps, then slowed to match my pace. I opened the door to my bedroom and held it open for her. She walked in and I closed it behind her.

“Uh…your room’s…nice…” she trailed off.

I almost smiled at her vague attempt at social niceties. Blank. That’s what my room was. No posters, no little toys, just beige walls, a white bathroom door and a small bookshelf above my clean laptop desk. Aside from my bed, obviously.

I didn’t comment on her attempted compliment, just saying,

“Have a seat.”

I walked over to my desk to lift my backpack, then sat down myself. Out of the two places to sit, she’d chosen my bed, as opposed to the swivel chair opposite. A submissive act, not taking the higher seat, but expected as she was in someone else’s room.

She was still looking nervously around when I sat down.

“So, what was it you were having trouble with?” I asked.

Her eyes flicked to the left as she answered, “Uh…chemistry?”

“Well, what specifically?” I probed.

-Flick to the left-

“Um…just general uh…Atomic Theory?”

“But…that’s just facts, you don’t need tutoring for that.” I said. Something was up.

“Well, not just that, but like…,”

-Flick to the left –

“Uh…Math too…”

Math? She hadn’t even brought books with her…

Let me explain the seemingly pointless ocular commentary.

When a right handed person is using the creative part of the brain, rather than the memory based part, they look to the left. In other words, they’ll quickly look to the left when making something up. It’s the opposite for “lefties” but she was definitely right handed.

I stood up and walked over to the window. I sighed.

“Suzie, why are you lying?” I asked.

“I…I’m not-“

“What do you want?” I asked, cutting her off.

I turned around to face her. She had stood up and was blushing deeply.

“Look,” she said, “I don’t really need tutored. I came here to tell you something…”

“Well?” I asked sharply. This was annoying. I had never been fully sure that she hadn’t been lying, but it still pissed me off slightly to hear that she was basically wasting my time.

“I…it’s just that…” she trailed off and looked down, breaking eye contact.

“Could you just sit down please?” she asked

I shrugged slightly and sat down at the top of my bed.

“Well?” I asked

She inhaled deeply. “OK…recently… I’ve been…like…watching you.”

I didn’t react to this vague statement, so she continued.

“It’s more like…I’ve been noticing you. It was just…little things you did that kept catching my eye, like… but anyway, before long I couldn’t stop thinking about you. And it didn’t take me long to realise that I had feelings for you.”

There was a long pause.

” Strong feelings. In fact, I think I could go so far as to say that I… I love…you… That’s why I’m here, just to tell you…that…” she trailed off. She looked up at me with wide eyes.

I had let her finish uninterrupted because I was curious, but now I was just irritated again. I stood and walked across the room. Facing the window I let out a small sigh.

“You should probably just leave” I said.

“Wh…what?” she asked

“You heard me. Get out.” I said firmly

“But…I mean…” she was silent for a few seconds.

“No.” she said simply.

I turned to her locking eyes with her and stared her down. She almost physically flinched under the intensity of my gaze.

“Leave.” I repeated.

“No…” she said again. “No, you can’t just…I mean, you haven’t even considered…” she trailed off again. She seemed to think for a few seconds before standing up slowly, and moving slightly towards the door. I turned back to the window.

When she didn’t leave, I didn’t react. I just waited.

“Toby” she called in a sing song voice.

“It’s Tobi-“

I turned, not expecting the sight before me. Her t-shirt was lying on the floor and her hands were behind her back. Keeping the same intense expression on her face, she slowly removed her bra, revealing her smooth body to me. Her tanned breasts stood out proudly from her chest, untouched by gravity, full and round capped with large, light pink nipples. They moved gently with her steps as she walked towards me, to and fro. She splayed her hands against my chest, and slowly began to move her hands down.

By this point I was furious.

I grabbed her arms and pulled them away.

“Suzie, what the hell? I told you to-“

She cut in,

“I’m not going anywhere sweetie.” She grabbed the hem of my shirt and pulled it up.

“Suzie, stop! Get the hell off!” I said

I grabbed her by the shoulders and pushed her back from my slightly. She pushed back, pressing her body against mine and reaching around my shirt again. I pushed her back again, towards the bed, as she desperately clawed at my clothes. Her legs hit the bed and she fell back against it, and me with her. She struggled her arms against my weight, still trying to get at my top. I pulled her arms up above her head and moved upwards, so I was straddling her stomach, pinning her down with my body. Our faces were only inches apart and she quickly jumped her head forward and brushed her soft lips against mine.

She moved back as if to see my reaction. There wasn’t one.

Suddenly, I couldn’t think.

She moved forward again, and sucked my bottom lip in between hers while sliding her tongue gently into my mouth. I held the kiss for a few seconds before my thoughts returned and I pulled back sharply. I jumped quickly off her.

“Suzie g-, get the hell out of my room.” I chocked out, turning away.

She sat up. Without saying a word, she picked up her t-shirt and practically ran from the room.

About 40 seconds later my sister came tramping up the stairs.

“Tobias, what the hell?” she shouted, bursting in though the recently slammed door. “Why did your “student” just run out of here practically crying? What did you do to her?”

“Calm down Beth, she just got stuck on a problem and got a little emotional.” I said evenly.

“Well…maybe you should try to be a better tutor.” She said.

Not if I can help it, I thought. Who did she think she was? She can just walk in to my room, whip her top off and I’d be all over her? Stuck up bitch…

———————————

I was in the library again. Tuesdays were always even more empty, so I was annoyed as well as surprised to see Suzie’s second approach. And I did see her, this time, rather than hear her, as her heels had been replaced with a pair of purple Converse All Stars. The rest of her clothes were equally vibrant, and it was this flash of colour in my peripheral vision that caught my attention.

I put down my book and watched as she sat hesitantly in front of me.

“Um…hi Toby.” She said

“Tobias.” I corrected

“Right…um…” she trailed off.

“Did you want something? Or you just wasting my time again?” I interrupted

“Look, I’m sorry, but I can’t help the way I feel!” she blurted out, exasperated.

God, she sounded she was quoting some bad love song.

“Look,” I countered, “I don’t know exactly what this is, but I’m not buying it. Just leave me alone.”

I watched her. I couldn’t read her expression. She seemed…stunned.

“You’re not…buying it? You mean you don’t…believe me?” she asked slowly

“No, so you can just leave now, before you waste either of our times any more.” I said.

Either of our times, what was that bad grammar? I thought.

She laughed suddenly. One sharp chirp of laughter, then she was talking again.

“You don’t believe me? No, of course you don’t. I thought you didn’t like me, I had no idea why you wouldn’t even… but you don’t believe that I… I love you? That I haven’t spent every waking minute thinking about you? That I don’t watch you every chance I get?”

She pulled her fingers through her hair, subconsciously comforting herself. She took a deep breath and continued.

“Because I do! And I have! And I know what I did yesterday in your room was…stupid and…immature, but I was desperate. Do you know how hard it was for me to work up the courage to even approach you? And you didn’t even…”

“But that’s OK, because now I can prove it to you.” She looked very pleased with herself. Triumphant, even.

“Prove it to me?” I repeated, somewhat dumbly. I was a little taken aback by her sudden outburst.

“Yes. I’ll do anything you ask. Anything” she said smiling

“You’re serious about this? You want me to give you a…a task? A challenge? To prove that you really…love me?”

“Anything.” She repeated.

I sighed. The only way this was going to end was if I tested her. There were a hundred things I could think of asking her to do. But if this was somehow a…a bet or something…well, she seemed ambitious, especially after yesterday’s embarrassment…  

I mean, from my actions, I could have been gay for all she knew. Why was she so persistent?

Hmm…

“Hmm… you probably wouldn’t have any problem doing something sexual, as you proved yesterday…” I finally said.

This statement was meant to insult her, but she just reddened slightly, and continued smiling.

“OK. If you really “love” me, tell me something you’ve “noticed” about me. If you really have been “watching me”, prove it.” I sat back and waited.

Just to clarify, the “quotation marks” were in my head, I wasn’t acting them out.

She looked to the right. Memory side of the brain. She answered quickly.

“Well…the first thing I noticed about you was how you walked… it’s like, sort of…”

I waited.

“Submissive.” She finished

Wow. I never expected a word that intelligent sounding to come out of those cherry red lips.

“I mean, hunched over, albeit slightly, and hands in pockets? Classic for a guy your age, but not nearly as bad as some of the others around here. Nothing special. But it was what I saw next that intrigued me. When you came near Brad Carmichael…” she trailed off.

Huh. Brad Carmichael. Living proof that, not only did we evolve from apes, but some of us didn’t make it all the way.

“You changed.” She continued, lost in thought. “You straightened up, took your hands out of your pockets. You walked with that kind of…swagger. Completely filled with confidence. It keeps Them away from you.”

I knew what she meant when she emphasised “Them”. Ass-holes, bullies, mostly jocks. Brad’s “crew”.

“They’re a little afraid of you. You don’t talk to anyone much, and when they see you like that, they see your confidence, and they keep away from you.”

She looked into my eyes again.

“That was the first thing.” She said

I thought. I was trying to keep calm, but I was a little freaked out. She’d never sounded this smart before, and she’d had plenty of opportunity, what with every male teacher practically drooling over her, asking her questions just for an excuse to look at her. Although that was pretty common at my school… A lot of “hot” girls, and a lot of perverted teachers.

… and how had she figured out my defence?

“Ok, you noticed one thing. That means nothing.” I said.

A flash of irritation passed her face, before she smiled again.

“I can see you’re not going to make this easy for me” she said cheerily. “Good, that way you’ll really believe me when I convince you.” She finished

She stood up.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow, ok Toby?” she said walking away

“Tobias!” I called back.

———————————

I thought about her that night. How could I not? What she was saying…it didn’t make any sense. How could someone like that, like her, be in love, or even like, someone like me? We were…different.

And I don’t mean in terms of intelligence, which I was starting to doubt, or even looks, but…socially. I was…Lesser. That’s all.

She’d left her bra here, from before. I’d hidden it under my bed. To hard to explain if it was found, and I couldn’t exactly just hand it to her at school.

Yeah, that’s a good enough reason…

———————————

Wednesday. Library. Lunchtime. You get it. Her clothes were different again today, more like how she’d dressed on Monday evening. Subdued colours.

“Afternoon Toby.” She smiled

“Tobias.” I corrected, “If you’re gonna say you love a guy, you could at least get his name right.”

She just continued smiling, as if she knew something I didn’t.

“So you believe me then?” she asked

“I didn’t say that.” I replied

“Right.” She looked away for a second.

“So, I’ve got something else to tell you about.” She said

“Oh, do tell.” I mocked

She rolled her eyes.

“How you look at girls.” She said simply

I raised one eyebrow.

“Ah, that got your attention, didn’t it? Well, you never look at girls, plural. Always one. And she’s always different.” She continued, staring away from me.

“You just pick a girl, at random, I think, and stare at her. No, more like…analyse her. Sometimes it takes a few days, sometimes it takes a few minutes, but it always happens. Your “Judgement”. Just that look you get. You look and look for that one thing, that flaw. A stupid laugh, an annoying habit. Sometimes it obvious, sometimes it isn’t… but you always find it. That flash of…I don’t know, disgust? Revulsion? It’s that ultimate look, that means you’ve finished even considering the girl. She’s been completely separated from you, forever, and she’ll never even know…”

She stopped.

It was the longest speech I’d ever heard from her, and it was completely…right! How had she seen this? In the few extra minutes between lessons, she’d completely broken down my process. I’d never even really thought about it until now, it was just sort of natural…

What did this mean?

“So? I bet you didn’t see that one coming.” She smiled

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“No…that was…unexpected, to say the least…” I looked at her.

“So what’s your conclusion to this little test?” she asked, with challenge in her voice.

I sat back.

“I think that…I believe you… to a certain extent!” I added quickly, seeing her face light up.
“I believe that you have some…feelings…for me, and that this isn’t some obscure prank set up by you and your friends.”

I exhaled deeply.

“But I don’t know where to go from there…”

“Well, maybe you should think about…how you feel about…me?” she suggested, blushing.

“I don’t even know you.” I said.

“Well,” she smiled ,”It’s a good thing I’m willing to wait until you do.”

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said standing up.

“I won’t…” I started.

“I know, I know, Thursday’s in the cafeteria, right?” she asked

“Right.” I replied. “For some reason it’s always really crowded in here…”

“Yeah, most teachers set homework due for Friday, you know, for weekend marking?”

“Oh, right…yeah…”

That hadn’t even occurred to me before. Just how much more intelligence was this girl going to reveal? And why was the only thought that was going through my usually restless mind the soft curve of her ass wiggling back and forth as she walked away?

———————————

I thought about her more that night. I pulled her bra out from where I’d hidden it. I didn’t do anything creepy with it, I just…felt it. The inside was so soft, I couldn’t help but imagine how her breasts would feel…

I could picture them so clearly in my head, bare and perky, undulating just inches below my face. They were tanned, I remembered, and the words ‘nude sunbathing’ sprang into my head before I could stop them. All I could think about was touching them, rolling her pink nipples between my fingers…

But no, that wasn’t going to happen. Whatever feelings she had, they wouldn’t last. It was just a…temporary…infatuation. Not love.

” Because I’m Lesser,” I thought aloud.

Lesser…

The classification I invented for myself. It was a social class thing. There was a clearly defined social structure at my school, just like there is in almost every environment. Some people are at the top, like Suzie, Higher, and some people are at the bottom, like me, Lesser. That’s the way things are, that’s just how life works.

I’m not saying romance between the classes never happens, but the feeling is usually one-sided. Even if a pairing does happen, it would never be between such different sides. We were like opposites. She was at the top. Not the very top, but close enough to it. I was at the bottom. Beyond the bottom.

Because I chose to sink so low…

———————————

Thursday. Lunchtime, surprise surprise. The cafeteria was fairly crowded, as always, but I had managed to get a pretty good seat. At an 8 seated table, two tables of four pushed together, I sat alone at one side, surrounded by 3 empty chairs, while a group of four sat at the other side. Not completely alone, but not with anyone either.

I was staring at Marie-Claire from my Math class. She was chatting animatedly with her friends about nothing too important, by looks of things. Suddenly, I heard a voice beside me.

“Marie-Claire, eh? Hmm…”

I didn’t bother looking around, I just kept watching. Jimmy Prince, a small nerdy looking kid walked by her. He fell, spilling his lunch tray all over the floor. As he worked to pick everything up, Marie-Claire just looked on, snorting with laughter along with the rest of her crew.

Bitch…

“And there’s the look.” Said Suzie.

“Well, good choice, clearly not an acceptable attitude.” She continued.

I turned to her.

“Good afternoon Suzie” I greeted through my clenched teeth.

“And to you, Toby.” She replied.

I sighed.

“It’s…”

“I know, I know,” she cut in.

“Well, maybe you should say it.”

Just that infuriating smile. God, I hadn’t felt this strongly about anything in so long…

But what, exactly, was I feeling?

We ate our sandwiches in silence, for the most part. It was a strange enough lunch choice, with hot food so readily available, but I preferred to make my own food, and I like hot food to be hot, if you know what I mean. What was her excuse?

I kept turning to her, to find her staring at me. It was so strange, almost…embarrassing.

A little while later, when we we’re both almost finished, I noticed something. An annoying, high pitched giggling. I looked over to see Megan, the Queen Bee of Suzie’s crew. Suzie’s…former crew?

Anyway, they were laughing at her. Or at me. It didn’t matter. People like her didn’t even register to me, but then I thought of Suzie. I looked at her.

She looked so… vulnerable. She knew they were laughing, and it mattered to her. These people were her friends. They were supposed to be…

I was so pissed at them. It was strange, considering I’d barely even noticed them until now, but suddenly I wanted to hurt them. They were making her feel bad, and it was obviously my fault, or, at least, I was involved… All I wanted was to get Suzie out of there.

I stood up. After a moment of surprised stumbling, she stood up with me. I grabbed her hand and led her from the cafeteria. I didn’t notice whether or not people were looking at us, it didn’t matter.

Outside, I pulled her into an empty classroom. I felt so… invigorated. But also, a little annoyed with myself. I never let those kind of people get to me before.

The door closed behind us, and suddenly she was pushing me against it, pressing her body towards mine.

“Suzie…” I started.

“Thank you.” She said suddenly, looking up.

She had blue eyes. I’d never even noticed before. So blue. A kind of strange, almost supernatural colour that would never normally appear in nature. I could think of nothing but that fantastic colour.

She closed the few inches between our heads and kissed me softly. Without thinking, I reached up my hand and gently stroked her head, enjoying the feeling of her hair in between my fingers. She moaned softly into my mouth and pressed her lips harder, slipping her tongue against mine. This was so different from the kiss before, so unhurried and tender.

But it couldn’t continue.

I took hold of her shoulders and pushed her back from me. She reluctantly broke the kiss and stared at me with those too blue eyes.

I sighed.

“Suzie…” I began

“Don’t…don’t say anything…” she trailed off. “Just…I mean…will you go out with me? Please…?” she almost whispered.

I almost laughed at the absurdity of the situation. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t even know how I felt about her…

She looked so helpless. Wide eyed and blushing deeply, there was now no doubt about what she was really feeling. Could I really turn her away, no matter what I was feeling? I mean, I could obviously, but I’d regret it.

“Ah…fine…” I sighed.

“Yes? Yes!” she smiled widely and hugged me, pulling my body into hers. How was it that just the heat of her flesh could drive every thought from my head?

———————————

How could this be happening? It didn’t seem real…

At the start of this week, I’d barely even noticed Suzie, but now she was making feel things…

Things I shouldn’t be letting myself feel. I couldn’t get her face out of my head.

Her body, her voice, it was all so distracting.

I tried to think of something else, anything else, but there was nothing else. The image that kept returning was of the first day she’d spoken to me, when she’d exposed her body to me in my bedroom.

As I remembered, I felt myself growing hard beneath the sheets.

Without thinking, I reached down and gripped the base of my shaft, sliding my hand up, feeling my heat.

“No!” I groaned aloud.

I wasn’t going to do this, not while thinking about her.

But I couldn’t stop. I stroked and rubbed along my tip, spreading the pre-cum gathering there.

I just thought of her as I slid my hand up and down my length.

Her little smile, her incredible eyes, her soft sensual voice.

I imagined laying her down, slowly undressing her, making love to her with my mouth, my fingers, worshipping her body as she shivered and squirmed in pleasure.

I went faster, and faster, feeling the wonderful sensation growing from the base of my stomach.

I could almost hear her voice in my ears, whispering my name,

“Toby…”

Toby? No… That wasn’t me.

I felt a jolt of shock, I shouldn’t be doing this.

But it was too late. I released myself, feeling the heat spread out over me, on my hands, my still hard shaft falling back against my stomach, still jerking slightly in pleasure.

I slept soundly that night, without dreams.

———————————

Friday, in the library again. I couldn’t settle. Suzie hadn’t turned up yet, and I couldn’t focus on my book. It was only after a while that I realised I couldn’t even recall what I was reading. I closed it with a thump. I looked around at the few people close to me. Well, I say close, it was a big library and almost always mostly empty. I tried to “read” some people, but I couldn’t get interested. I couldn’t focus. I glanced at my watch. Jeez, lunch only started 7 minutes ago. It felt like hours…

Why was that? Because Suzie wasn’t here? Did I actually miss her? No, no…      That…couldn’t be it. She was a challenge. I couldn’t read her, tell what she was really thinking. She kept surprising me with this hidden intelligence. I couldn’t figure her out, but I would. I’d crack her.

Without really meaning to, I glanced at my watch again. 8 minutes.

“Damn it!” I breathed.

I stood up and walked quickly to the exit. I had just left the door when I saw her coming up the stairs towards me. I was suddenly, inexplicably nervous. I felt stupid, and…embarrassed for some reason. I had a sudden urge to check my reflection or straighten my pants or something…

Damn it, I hadn’t been this insecure in…ever!

She stopped when she saw me, a little “O” of surprise forming on her lips. I walked over to her and stood silently.

“Um…where are you headed?” she asked, a little confused.

“I…I was…” I fought to keep the word “bathroom” from passing my lips. It seemed wildly inappropriate.

“Aww,” she interrupted, “You wouldn’t have been looking for little ol’ me would ya?”

I just sighed and looked away.

“Wow, no rebuttal, eh?” she asked giggling a little.

“Look, I need to end this.” I said.

She’d clearly shaken me.

“How can we end what hasn’t started sweetie?” she asked. She was doing that little dance thing, hands behind the back, on the balls of her feet, moving side to side thing. This also revealed even more cleavage from her tight tank top.

I just grunted and turned, back towards the library.

She followed silently.

When we got to our regular seats she blurted out.

“Every day you have a different book.”

“W…what?” I asked, confused. I was busy internally preparing my speech.

“It takes you like, a day, to read a book. Like, a full novel.” She said.

It actually takes only a few hours, but I didn’t think it was necessary to point this out.

“You change your t-shirt every day, but your pants every two days.” She continued.

Not always a t-shirt, but I took the point.

“When you’re just sitting, like daydreaming or whatever, you tap with your pen on the table, a solid-“

Tap. Tap. Tap.

She demonstrated with her finger.

“But when you’re thinking, like in a test or whatever, you tap like-“

Tap-tap. Tap-tap. Tap-tap.

“And-” she started

“Stop!” I almost shouted.

This was just getting weird. She’d memorised my…my tapping…patterns?

“I’ll admit, you’re…observant, to say the least, but….I don’t…”

What was it I’d wanted to say?

Ah.

“What do you feel when you look at me?” I asked

She stared.

“Love.” She stated simply.

“Can you…expand that, a little bit?” I pressed.

“Um…” she stopped.

She looked away.

She gently bit down on her lower lip.

“Um…” she repeated.

Was this it?

“No.” she said.

“No?”

“No.” she confirmed.

Insert: awkward silence.

“Could you try?” I asked calmly.

“Ugh, it’s like…it’s like…” she stopped to compose herself.

“The first thing I feel, every time I look at you… is…relief.”

Relief?

“It’s like, relief that you’re…still there, that you’re real, and uninjured or un…dead…” she finished quite lamely.

“And then, happiness. That comes second, and stays until you leave, until I don’t see you. I don’t know how much more specific I can make that…”

She trailed off for a second.

“You know, just a general…contentment…But anyway, there’s the longing, you know to approach you, or talk to you, or just…be in your life, in some way. Become…real, to you, I mean, to exist in your world.”

This was getting weird.

“But…it’…it’s scary, you know?” she said looking up, suddenly making eye contact.

I didn’t interrupt.

“Like, you’re so…intimidating, you know? Because, when you look at people, and talk to them, you… you really interact with them, you’re not just, looking, or talking, all of your attention is on them, on how they act, what they say, how they move….”

“You…read people.” She finished.

“And that makes you scary.” She finished…again.

“So…relief? and…fear. That’s what love is?” I asked quietly.

“Don’t forget the, you know, happiness, longing, and contentment? I said that right…?” she trailed off speaking the last words almost as a whisper.

“Y…yeah…” I murmured back.

“So,” she continued in the same hushed tone, “What so you feel when you look at…me?”

She just stared at me.

I looked at her.

“Not…not that…” I admitted.

She sighed a little.

“Well!,” she practically shouted, “that’s what dates are for!” she finished, with this chipper little smile.

I sighed.

“Right.” Was all I could manage.

“I…I’ll be at your place tonight…at 7 maybe?” she asked reproachfully.

“Yeah, I’ll…be ready.”

“Later…Toby.”

“It’s Tobi…” I began to correct

“That’s just it.” She said, cutting in, “It’s Tobias, and it’s Suzie.” she said.

I didn’t react. Tobias and Suzie?

“Just think about it.” She said, turning to walk away.

———————————

I closed my front door behind me, leaning against it. I sighed. I’d felt so nervous, just walking home. I kept feeling like I was being watched. I wasn’t used to such irrational paranoia, except maybe for a few days after every time I watch “The Truman Show”.

Then I realised the “The Toby Show” would be incredibly boring. Crap, “Toby”. Now even I was saying it!

Thinking it…

Whatever.

I stood for a little while, in the hall. I’d discovered a behaviour in myself that I couldn’t explain, so naturally I had to figure it out. Why would I feel paranoid? It had to do with Suzie..

She’d been here, hadn’t she. I still had her lacy bra to prove it…

Ah!

How had she known where I lived? Did she follow me? Was she following me now? Did I really have some sort of ‘Suzie Sense’ I wasn’t aware of, alerting me to her presence. Of course not. Just simple paranoia. I still felt like locking the door though. I didn’t, because that would have been crazy, but you know what I’m saying.

I sighed again. A growing habit.

———————————

6:32.

Date was at 7.

I felt nervous, and for some reason I thought it would be a good idea to think about my life up until this point.

I hadn’t always been like this, so plain and analytical, my blank features hiding a calculating mind. I used to be like…normal. I used to play with other kids and watch cartoons and stuff.

I stopped when I was about 11. I used to get bullied. A lot. It didn’t seem to matter much. It wasn’t really that bad. A few names, a few bruises, I learned to deal with it.

I glanced at the clock.

6:37.

But then, without any real reason, the abuse escalated. A few individuals was suddenly a mob and I was sent to hospital with three broken ribs and my arm in a cast.

But why? Why were these kids picking on me? Because I was smarter? I wasn’t exactly the smartest… Because I was smaller? Bigger than some of them…

I already knew why, even then. Because they were better than me. At least, they thought so. and that’s all they needed. Some deluded sense of superiority they had, something that forced them to act like this, to prove it to each other. Or maybe they were trying to prove it to themselves…

Something about me made me easy to pick on. I had to find it, fix it. But how? What would make them leave me alone? I did the only thing I could think of . I had to disappear…

Luckily, we moved after that. My parents thought I had fallen down a flight of stairs at school, which is what I stuck to, ignoring the funny looks from the doctor, and comments about “break angles”. We had been planning the move for a while, and my ever efficient parents decided to take the opportunity while I was out of school anyway.

Needless to say, I didn’t really ‘fit in’ at my new school. I’d started isolating myself. I stopped talking to the few new friends that I’d made. I ignored everyone, girls and boys. The funny thing was, I’d never regretted it. I just saw it as necessary, to protect myself. My parents used to be worried, but they just learned to accept it. They just saw me as ‘socially inept’. I never really felt the need for friendship after that.

But she was starting to show me what I was missing.

Suzie…

“It’s Suzie”? I pondered aloud.

And Tobias…What the hell did that mean? Why did she always call me Toby? Was she just messing with my head?

What was she trying to tell me?

I lay there and let all my memories wash away from me. They weren’t important now. She was. I still had to figure her out.

It was around this point of my internal monologue that I fell asleep.

And awoke at 7:17 with my big brother looming over me.

“You sneaky bastard.” he said smiling.

I’m not the most of coherent of individuals right after waking up, so my response was along the lines of: “Hnugh?”

He sat down, still smirking,

“Don’t give me that, you know what I mean.”

“Wha…what?” I stuttered through a yawn.

“I’m talking about that hot piece of ass you’ve got downstairs. Just how many more like her have you got hidden away? Hm?” He asked raising an eyebrow.

I had a strange, sudden feeling of both understanding and panic, which I hid rather convincingly with a small cough.

“Ah, that would be Suzie then.” I stated calmly.

“Yes, she did say… How long have you two been…?” He raised that irritating eyebrow again.

“Shut up.”

I glanced at the clock.

7:18.

“How rude,” I stated, “I’m late for our…rendezvous…”

“Ah, is that what you kids are calling it these days?” he said, winking this time.

“God, you are such a child.” I said standing up.

Walking into the bathroom, I glanced at my reflection in the mirror. Apart from a minor case of bed-head, I looked pretty much the same. I walked back out, straightening my hair. My brother had a strangely serious look on his face.

“Seriously bro, is this a common thing? Are you actually just an incredible actor, and not…well -“

“Me?” I interrupted.

“Yeah…” he said, laughing a little.

“Look, I barely even know her, she’s just like…really clingy. She guilted me into a date.”

“You know, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you lie before. Not since the whole ‘stairs incident’ anyway. You’re really bad at it.” he said, still smiling a little.

He was worried. About me, and about her. She was concerned about her going out with a guy like me, i.e. “broken” in his own words, but mostly he was wondering what she was after, and if I was stupid enough to give it to her. What it was, however, I was unsure about. My heart, my sex, my hand in marriage? These are usually concerns about a younger sister, I was painfully aware. He saw me as fragile. Not physically fragile, as a few years of sparring will have shown him, but emotionally.
This may seem far too accurate for a few seconds of surface analysing, but my brother always let his emotions show. He wasn’t the only ‘bad liar’.

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“I’m not gonna do anything stupid, Jeb, all right? It’s just a date.” I said.

“I don’t know man, she seems…different…” he said uncertainly.

Oddly perceptive of him. He wasn’t exactly known for his intelligence.

“Right, different from all the other girls I’ve dated?”

“Right…” he chuckled

I was on my way out. I felt strangely panicked at the idea of her and my parents talking.

“Hey, why does she call you Toby?” he said as I was walking out.

“That’s…a very good question.”

I felt nervous walking downstairs. I was never nervous in front of my parents. Was I always like this with her, or was it just the situation that was bothering me?

———————————

“Ah! Tobias sweetheart, there you are! How funny, we were just talking about you…”

Hilarious.

I didn’t really know what I expected to see, but I was still a little surprised.

She was just sitting there, completely naturally. I had inadvertently forced her into “meeting the parents” on our first date, so I was expecting a little bit of nervousness, at least.

She looked so confident. She looked like…like she belonged there. In my living room with my family. It was eerie. I mentally shook myself. It was just confidence, that’s all.

She was sitting beside my mother on the sofa, her body positioned towards her, and me since I entered on that side. The TV was off.

They’d been talking.

Well, my mother would have been. Grilling her for information about her “intentions”, with thinly veiled threats and even more thinly covered insinuations that she was a common whore.

At least, that’s what it had been like with most of the girls my brother had been with until now. The ones she knew about anyway…

But she was actually smiling, not disguising any hostility. And Suzie was smiling too. They seemed very…comfortable. Very relaxed.

“Only good things I hope.” I eventually replied, rather lamely.

“Oh, well, all kinds of things,” interrupted Suzie, sharing a knowing look with my mother.

I glanced at the clock.

Is Suzie was exactly on time, they’d been talking for exactly 20 minutes. They were acting like old friends. I was more than a little weirded out.

“Still,” Suzie continued with a smile, “we really should get going.”

My mother returned the smile.

“It’s been a pleasure meeting you dear.”

I could tell, she was completely genuine.

———————————

I didn’t really look at her until we were out the door. She was wearing yet another short skirt, black this time, with a dark green sweater. She was just standing there and smiling.

“Hi, bye the way.” she said, smirking.

“Yeah hey, where are we going exactly?” I asked quickly.

“I dunno, I figured we would just…go for a walk. Maybe get something to eat…We’ll see!” she finished , still smiling.

God, she was always smiling.

Her face was designed for it, it just suited her perfectly. Like smiling was her ‘default’ expression.

I was thinking about this too much.

I started walking.

She followed.

I’d decided at some point that we were going to the park. It seemed typically date-ish.

———————————

We were walking in silence. Not a good sign, I was sure.

Well, what do I care anyway? I thought.

I didn’t want to go on this stupid thing in the first place. Why was I even here?

“Are you OK?” she asked.

I exhaled loudly. I was far too nervous.

“Yeah…”

“So, where are we going?”

“The park.”

“Oh…”

There was no one around. It was October, so it was already getting dark. Just the two of us…

Why had she talked to my mom? I mean, as if this wasn’t awkward enough…

And my brother new too, which meant soon everyone would know. Did I care? I’d gone years not caring, why suddenly now was I nervous about what people would think.

My thought process was interrupted when I felt a small, smooth hand reach into my jacket pocket.

“Whoa, ah…” I stuttered.

I jerked my hand out, reflexively. I looked at her. She didn’t say anything, she just looked embarrassed and let her hand drop.

No, hand holding was normal, expected. Especially since we’d already “made out” technically…

I tried to inconspicuously slip my hand into hers, but it was kind of hard for her not to notice. She immediately closed her fingers around mine, and squeezed slightly. I didn’t make eye contact.

Her hand was warm, and soft. Her nails were short, and as I had noticed before, not colored. I decided I liked that.

I couldn’t think of anything to say. We just walked hand-in-hand for a few minutes. When I finally got up the courage to glance at her, she was smiling. And staring at me.

“This is stupid.” she said.

Before I could infer anything, she continued.

“Tell me what you’re feeling. I’m happy that you held my hand. I’m very glad that your mom likes me. I’m ecstatic that you decided to come out here with me. What about you?”

“I…”

I couldn’t think of anything to say.

I looked down.

She sighed.

“Tell me about your family. Your brother seems nice.”

“Yeah, he’s…great.”

“And your sister, her too…”

“Yeah.”

Dammit, say something interesting! Why couldn’t I think!?

“So…is Jeb short for something?”

“Yeah…Jebediah. And Beth’s name is actually Bethesda.”

“Wow, your parents went all old testament on your asses, didn’t they.” she laughed.

“Yeah,” I laughed along.

“I’m really glad…” I started suddenly, “that you asked me out.”

She just watched me, her smile growing.

“I think you’re…pretty.”

“Pretty?” she asked mockingly.

“Pretty…hot?” I corrected.

“Better,” she said laughing again, “but there’s still room for improvement.

“Let’s go.” I said suddenly changing direction.

“To where?”

“Movies.” I started walking faster.

“Why?”

“I don’t know. I’m not really thinking. The movies is where you go on a date. Right?”

I started jogging.

She held tighter to my hand and ran to keep up.

“I…guess so. Any reason why we’re running?” she asked laughing slightly.

“Last good movie’s at 7:40. We have to run to make it.” I started sprinting.

——————————————-

We arrived out of breath and laughing, with 2 minutes to spare.

“This is the only good movie?” she asked giggling.

“Shut up, I love this movie.”

It was a PG 13 Rom/Com. And I did like it. I took up media studies for a while, a passing hobby, so I could appreciate all the little camera angle tricks and effects that went into it. It was also well written, and it was rare for both those things to happen in one movie.

I didn’t tell her this though, she just smirked a little at my choice.

She ordered a medium diet coke. I ordered a large, regular. If that isn’t too much of a contradiction.

She didn’t ask for candy, which was good. I was honestly too nervous to eat.

———————————–

After about 3 minutes of witty plot building, we were making out.

I barely remember how it started, I just remember the warm, wet feeling of her mouth, her tongue pushing into mine, and us both giggling when one of us stopped for a drink.

She was intoxicating. Her smell, her softness, her tiny little moans that only I could hear, each one like a little secret.

We missed 2 hours of quite exceptional film, and made our way to some random coffee place I’d never heard of.

We didn’t talk much. I wasn’t expecting that. She seemed very intelligent, I figured we would have a lot to talk about. But we just kissed, and held hands and laughed.

—————————————–

It was 11:45. We has finished our coffee, and we were just slowly walking back towards my house, holding hands.

We chatted. Nothing serious. Music, books, the movie she’d made me miss.

“So it was really that good, huh?” she asked a little sceptically.

“Yes! Well, definitely the only movie of that genre I’ve ever enjoyed.”

“You seem like you know a lot about it. I kind of wish I’d gotten to see it now…”

“I don’t.” I said simply.

There was a silence. Not exactly awkward, but heavy.

I found myself waiting impatiently for every next street light we would pass, so I’d be able to see her face properly, perfectly lit for even just a brief moment.

I thought hard. Something had been annoying me…

Oh yeah…

“Hey, how did you know where I lived?”

“Oh…”

She blushed and looked away.

“Oh? Something I shouldn’t know?” I joked.

“No, I just…I asked some friends where…your brother lived…” she said, laughing a little.

“Huh…weird.”

“Why is that weird?”

“I was expecting something much more disturbing.” I laughed.

It all felt so comfortable, so easy.

We were holding hands, swinging our arms lightly. I couldn’t think. I didn’t want to. I could only feel the heat from her hand, her body beside mine. I remembered the feel of her tongue on my lips. Every time I saw her smile, it shattered my thoughts. It was like a thoughtless, numbing, wonderful dream.

Then we were home. At my home, I mean. I hadn’t really realised that’s where we would end up. I wasn’t sure what to do next…

Did I ask her in? Say goodnight? I wanted to kiss her again…

I shook my head, trying to gather my thoughts, as we stood at the bottom of my garden.

She suddenly started forward, with a smirk, leading me inside…

——————————————

The house was silent. She led me into the kitchen, flicking on the light as we entered. I thought about warning her about the noise. Everyone would be asleep…

She pulled me close to her, bringing our lips together again.

Suddenly, I could barely remember where I was. I was entranced again, feeling nothing but the dancing of our tongues.

She pulled away slowly, gazing into my eyes.

“Toby…” she almost whispered, “I need to ask you something.”

“What?” I asked almost silently.

“When you…when you watched me…” she started.

I could hear the doubt in her voice.

“When you…rejected me… what were you thinking about?”

When I watched her? Rejected…

I thought for a second, trying to get my head to do what I told it…

Ah yes. My little ‘screening process’.

I smiled. Her eyebrows lifted in confusion.

“I watched you for…how long?”

“I… I think about a day…?”

“Yeah. You noticed?”. She hadn’t given any signs…

“Oh, I was way into you by then-” she stopped, a little embarrassed.

That was about 5 months ago…

I pulled my hands from their comfortable position on her hips and brought them up to her face, sliding my fingers behind her head.

“The reason I ‘rejected’ you…” I smiled again, “is that I thought you were just…”

I let the end wait, moving forward and whispering in her ear.

“…too shallow.”

She smiled, a tear sliding down her cheek. I wiped it with my thumb, and pulled her head in to a small, sweet kiss.

She pulled away from me, wiping her eyes.

“I’m sorry, I was just dreading that question…” she admitted, still smiling.

I can’t believe I actually once thought that.

“So…” she started, suddenly smirking again, “shall we…move this conversation upstairs?”

I froze.

“I…I don’t know…”

I honestly didn’t. What the hell was wrong with me?

“What? But…” she looked down.

“Look, I just… I don’t know, OK?”

“Don’t know what?” she whispered.

“I guess… whether or not I…”.

I couldn’t finish.

“Love me?” she choked out.

There were more tears.

“Look Suzie-“

“How can you not… Does it even matter? I mean-“

“Suzie listen to me-“

“No!” she was getting louder, “You know what? I’m sick of this! This…not knowing, this insecurity. What the hell is this to you? Just…just go to hell!” she shouted, fury in her voice.

“Suzie please!”

“AND STOP CALLING ME SUZIE!” she practically screamed.

“My name…” she whispered, “is Susanna.”

——————————–

Susanna.

Her name was Susanna.

Not Suzie.

Not…

But-

Suddenly my brain came back to life. I could feel the rushing of my thoughts as it all slid into place.

Everyone called her Suzie. Her friends, her teachers, probably her family.

Why did it suddenly piss her off?

Because she called me Toby.

Since the first time we spoke, it’s all she’d called me. My full name was awkward, yes, but so were my brother’s and sister’s. The difference was, they shortened theirs, they used nicknames to make things easier. I didn’t, because I didn’t want things to be easier, I didn’t want people to get familiar with me.

But ‘Suzie’ did. Because before this, at school, with her friends, she’d been pretending.

Maybe she was an outcast too, maybe she just didn’t want the jealousy of her intelligence to stop her getting friends. Maybe she didn’t even have a reason, but whatever the case, she been acting. Low test scores? Shallow, arrogant friends? That wasn’t her, not really.

That was Suzie.

And who she was, who she really was, was Susanna.

So who did that make me?

I looked in to her eyes, and I knew I was right. I could see the shame, the fear. We stood silently for a few seconds, her heavy breathing filling the room. She was blushing, and angry.

If I didn’t understand this now, could anyone?

I felt a rush of emotion. Of every emotion, and none in particular. Like fire it rushed through me, every repressed anger, every forgotten joy, it all spilled back into me, like new life.

I saw her again, like I should have always seen her. She was beautiful, and amazing, and just exactly what I needed.

And so I kissed her.

I forced my tongue through her lips, and pulled her close to me.

She responded, moaning into me, wrapping her arms around me and squeezing hard.

—————————————-

This time I led her. Up the stairs, into my room.

She closed the door behind her and kissed me again.

I slipped my hands beneath the hem of her green sweater and pulled it up. She stood back to let me undress her. I pulled up, over her heavy chest, up over her head and arms.

She was naked beneath her top, and her nipples were already hard with arousal.

I moaned deeply, so aroused by the knowledge that she had been wearing no bra this entire time.

Once I released her arms, she attacked me, clawing at my shirt like the first time she’d been in my room. She literally ripped it from me, buttons popping in random directions, and I let it slide down off me.

She ran her hands over my athletically toned torso and pushed me towards to bed. I fell back, and she straddled my waist. I pushed her off and rolled on top of her, pinning her arms above her head.

We kissed slowly, deeply, and she moaned my name as I pulled away…

“Toby…”

My real name, it seemed.

“Susanna…” I responded, vocalising my desire.

I reached down and slowly pulled down her short skirt and panties, the smell of her lust filling the room. For a long time, I just stared at her. Her nakedness, her vulnerability. I felt a small victory at finally uncovering her, the real her, which was quickly forgotten, driven away be the feel of her released hand sliding up my leg.

She felt my hardness through my jeans, slowly feeling along my length. I leaned back and she sat up slightly, both hands working at my button and fly. There was a franticness in her movements, and sense of rush, barely concealed behind a mask of calm.

She finally undid my pants, and hastily jerked them down to my knees with my boxers, freeing my manhood in one swift movement. She gasped as it sprang up, running her fingers lightly along its length, feeling its girth.

She crawled out from under me as I finished undressing, but she didn’t stop touching me. My face, my neck, my stomach, there was always contact between us, the heat of our bodies multiplying.

She lay down slowly, pulling me with her, wrapping her legs around me. I felt the bottom of my shaft push up against her moist heat, as we both shuddered at the feeling.

“Toby…”

What was first an annoying nickname now became the most sexual sound on earth, when moaned through her lips.

“Susanna…”

I identified her, showed her that I knew who she was, who I loved.

I slid my body down bringing my tip to her sweet, moist, lower lips. I looked into her eyes, those ocean blue eyes. She bit her lip as one more tear slid down her cheek.

I pushed myself in, thrusting my whole length slowly, but unceasingly, into her. She moaned and gasped as I buried myself within her, feeling the softness and warmth of her body.

She suddenly pulled me down, burying her face into the curve of my neck, and groaned her pleasure as her body shook and trembled.

Her heat spilled over on to the sheets, and the folds of her centre pulsed and spasmed.

I pulled away from her, backing my hips until just my head remained, then thrust into her again, quickly and roughly.

She groaned again, gasping, biting her lip to try and hold back her screams.

I couldn’t get enough of this, this feeling, this view. I thrust in again and again and again, growing in speed and ferocity.

Each need-filled lunge caused her beautiful tits to shake and bounce on her body, filling my mind with even more desire. I impulsively licked the base of her neck, travelling down to one erect nipple, sucking on it and nibbling lightly. Her moaning intensified, as her body was racked with tremors again. Her fingers pressed hard against my neck, allowing me to feel the strength of her pleasure.

This wasn’t the slow, tender love-making I’d imagined. This was passionate, and animalistic.

Now my groans echoed hers, and as her whole body pulsed and shook, I felt my limit approaching.

But she was still holding back. That wasn’t good enough. I wanted to hear her scream.

I suddenly stopped my almost violent thrusts, and slowly, achingly, filled her to the base. I put my mouth against her ear, and hers to mine. As I reached down to where we were joined, I pushed against her most sensitive spot and whispered,

“Scream for me, Susanna.”

And scream she did. In her orgasmic throws, she screamed nothing but my name, over and over. Her movements, and the sound of my new identity being screamed in such an erotic way, caused me to spill my seed into her, moaning her name in return.

The ecstasy I felt at my release made my head spin and my knees shake, and I couldn’t stop myself falling on to her, completely spent.

————————————–

We lay in silence, save for our exhausted panting, and her occasional moan of orgasmic aftershock, each time causing her to squeeze her body around my slowly deflating shaft.

After a time, I rolled off of her, and as I did, she pulled herself on to me, resting her head on my chest.

I ran my fingers slowly through her hair, and she reached up and did the same to me.

There was really no need to talk.

If she didn’t know that I loved her by now, then I doubt she ever would.

She knew it. We didn’t have to say it.

All she did was quietly whisper,

“Good night, Toby.”

Her voice sounded so small and cute, compared to her uninhibited display before. I couldn’t help but smile to myself, and wonder what life would be like from now on, as Toby.

But instead of thinking, I just reached over and turned out my lamp, whispering,

“Goodnight, Susanna.”

Updated: April 16, 2018 — 3:45 AM

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