Aganist the Unknown
“Laylin come on! We need to leave now!” Juliana Sacores yelled up to her daughter. Laylin Julian Sacores locked herself in her room. No way was she going to some strange man’s house. Sure this strange man was Laylin’s father, but Laylin hadn’t seen him in ten years, so it might as well just be a strange man.
“Laylin we need to leave!!” her mom desperately called again. Laylin’s door flung open, and she stomped down the stairs.
“Fine!! But I hate you, and I hate this stupid house and I hate your stupid job!! Why couldn’t you just work better!?” Laylin yelled. Her mom looked shocked at her words, a hand flying to her mouth. Laylin stood definitely, crossing her arms over her chest, and glaring.
Laylin felt bad. Just a little bit. But barely. She wouldn’t even let anyone know how she truly felt. Not anymore anyway.
“Laylin…” her mom’s voice trailed off softly. Laylin’s stance softened, and she bit her lip.
“Fine. Sorry. Love you. But I’m still not happy, and I’m still mad, and no way am I enjoying one second at his house,” Laylin snapped and pushed past her mom. She stepped down their porch, the fall leaves swirling in the wind. The day was cloudy, just like Laylin.
Before she hopped in the car she turned. Laylin looked at the little blue house she’d been in her whole life. With the broken railing going to the porch. With the big crack going down her bedroom wall, and the bump in the corner of her floor.
She blinked the house away, so she could forget all about it, and climbed into the car. For some odd reason, Laylin’s mom was surprised when Laylin climbed into the back.
But what could you expect? Laylin was pissed and didn’t want to breathe the same air as her mother right now.
Why couldn’t Laylin just go with her mom to Chicago? It’d only be a year.
Laylin’s mom lost her job, six months ago. Laylin still remembered her mom telling her she’d be moving in with her dad.
“Hey baby,” Laylin’s mom had called. Laylin got up from her book, and into the kitchen. Her face dropped when she saw her mom’s head in her hands.
“Is something wrong mom?” Laylin asked taking off her signature black headphones she decorated herself. One of the few things Laylin could be proud of.
Her mom smiled sadly up at her.
“Laylin… Lay… you know that money’s been tight lately…” her mom said slowly. Laylin’s heart had sunk to the floor, but she didn’t falter her stance.
“Yeah… so? I’m applying for jobs, and you’re finding some too! Right?” Laylin asked. Laylin’s mom hesitated.
“Lay… I’m sending you to live with… your father.” The words hit Laylin like a rushing train.
“Live with… dad!! He’s a total stranger!! You’re throwing me away to the wolves!!!!” Laylin cried, heat rising up in her. Her hands were clutched into fists at her sides.
“Laylin!! It’s only for a year! Your da-”
“A year!? Only for a year!? No way!! I’m staying with you!!”
“Laylin!! I can not take care of you well enough, your dad can!”
“Take care of me?! You have been doing perfectly fine, he’s the one who walked out, he’s the one who didn’t want us, he’s the one who left! You stayed!! You’re perfectly capable!”
“Laylin. I’m not budding.”
“You can’t make me leave. I’m not leaving!”
“Layin Julian…” her mother’s tone was threatening but she persisted.
“I am not leaving to live with some no good, irresponsible stranger, living in some no-good town millions of miles away-”
“LAYLIN JULIAN SACORES!! YOU ARE GOING TO YOUR FATHER’S HOUSE! I am not budging!!!” her mom bellowed. Laylin took a step back. Her mom had never yelled at her like that. Never been so angry. For a split second, she wanted to apologize.
But Laylin hadn’t said sorry in so long for anything. The words didn’t come.
“FINE!! Try me! Make me leave!! You’re not getting my butt out this door, not now, not ever!” Laylin screamed back and stomped up the stairs.
But here Laylin was, head against the cold window, the raindrops trickling down like little race cars.
“Laylin, there’s coffee up ahead,” Juliana smiled in the rearview mirror. Laylin didn’t even twitch.
“It’s Staaarbucks!” Laylin’s mom teased, dragging out the word. Laylin didn't even blink, kept her eyes trained on the fast-moving road.
“Don’t call me that.”
“Laylin, come on. You love your coffee! It’ll be just like old times!” Juliana tried again. Laylin scoffed,
“Yeah sure. Except you’re shipping me off to some scumbags house and leaving me there to go have an affair with some lover you meet at your new job. You’ll just leave me there.”
“Laylin. I do not appreciate you talking to me like that!” her mother snapped.
Silence entered the car, as the two hesitated and thought about their next move on the chessboard.
“I’m not leaving you Laylin. I’m having you go somewhere better… just for now. It’ll be great you’ll see. Chance to make new friends, new memories, maybe a boyfriend?” Laylin’s mom tried again to make her daughter smile. Laylin snorted.
“Ah yes cause the boys to fall over my oversized sweatshirts, sneakers, and baggy jeans, and greasy hair!” Laylin replied sarcastically.
Laylin was actually quite pretty, she just couldn’t see it. Her mousy brown hair hung in a loose ponytail, strands falling into her stormy gray eyes. Freckles dotted her nose, hiding in her light skin. A gray hood hid her headphones and ripped jeans ran from her belly button to her ankles. And her sneakers. Ah yes. The white sneakers-practically the only shoe she’d worn since… well forever. The beat-up, sneakers added a nice touch to her unique style.
“Okay, well I’m pulling into Starbucks, and you’re getting something. You need some pep in your step. What would you like?” her mom asked.
“Iced caramel mocha… please,” she mumbled. Her mom ordered both of them their drinks and handed Laylin’s back to her.
“Will this make you happy? Or at least a smile?” her mom begged. Laylin took a thoughtful sip of the cold drink.
“It can make me smile, but I’m still not happy about going to some stranger’s house,” Laylin smirked. Her mom’s eyes twinkled with happiness. It was just a little smirk, but it was still a start.
There drive was filled with small conversations here and there. Laylin finally drifted off to sleep but was awaken by her mom’s voice.
“Lay, we’re ten minutes away.” Laylin stretched up in her seat, releasing a long yawn, and looking out the window. They passed a square green sign that read ‘Welcome to Greendale where family is from everywhere.’ The cheesy slogan made her sick. They drove past a few tired houses, then into town. Brick buildings lined the streets. Kids her age rode their bikes, laughing, sharing ice cream cones, or just talking at outdoor tables. The sun was peeking out from behind the clouds, warming the air. Adult walked in and out of colorful stores. They kept driving and turned down a street. Her mom’s braked to a stop in front of a house.
They were there.
Laylin looked up at the two-story house. Just like any other house. No special blue doors, or cracks on the porch. A swing sat silently on the porch, and lights were on both floors.
“Okay, let’s go!” Laylin’s mom smiled cheerfully. Just like Laylin thought. Her om was giddy with excitement to get rid of her. To abandon her in no good, sleepy town. Laylin’s hood was pulled up and over her head as she stepped out of the car. A sidewalk was in front of this plain old house, with its rose bushes in the front and trimmed grass. Two trees stood on the sidewalk on either side of the house, just like the rest of the houses.
“Walter!” Laylin’s mom’s voice broke her out of her observing, and took her attention to ‘Walter.’ A man came down the steps. He had curly brown hair and wore flannel and jeans.
“Juliana! How are you?” Laylin’s so-called ‘father’ asked. They stood apart from each other like the other one had a contagious disease.
“Pretty good. Oh, Laylin, come to say hi,” Juliana ordered, shooting Laylin a warning glare. Laylin rolled her arms and slouched over to this mand.
“Laylin,” Walter breathed. He took a few steps forward and Laylin stepped back.
“How… how are you? Look how much you’ve grown! Are you still doing ballet?” he asked. Laylin snorted.
“Like you would know,” she scoffed. Juliana shot her a glare, and Walter’s happy posture slouched.
“Can I just unpack, get this whole ‘introducing-me-to-a-man-who-is- supposedly-my-father’ thing over with? Mom, you can abandon me here, Walter go trim your stupid rose bushes. Get on with our lives, shall we?” Laylin smiled sarcastically. Her parent’s eyes bugged out of their heads.
“Laylin Julian!” her mother seethed. Laylin rolled her eyes and headed to the car to take out her stuff. She grabbed her suitcase and her duffel bag, shoved past her mom, and stomped into the house.
“Do you want to know where your room-” Walter began.
“I’ll find it!! Gosh, I’m not helpless!” Laylin snapped back and slammed the door shut.
No way was she having a good attitude about this.
Laylin just gave a quick hug to her mom goodbye, before stomping back into the house.
Now she unpacked in this pale, white, empty room. A bed was pushed up against the wall, and a dresser on the opposing side. The only thing she could even just barely like about the room as the bay window.
That’s where she started. She threw her throw pillows onto the window’s cushion and emptied her books onto the window’s shelves. That’s the only thing that made sense to Laylin.
How could they not? The author thinks of an idea and writes it down. And every time you read a book it’s always the same. The book doesn't change. The beginning the middle the end, it doesn’t change. You can read it 3,000 times and it still doesn’t change.
Unpacking should’ve only taken Laylin an hour, maybe an hour and a half if she was trying to be neat-which usually she isn’t-but she took her sweet old time, just so she didn't have to look at this new guy in her life.
So, three hours later, lights were strung in her room, a wall covered in her posters, radio blasting music, a hodgepodge of blankets on her bed, and clothes stuffed in the closet. Her shelves were covered in figurines, seashells, and little trinkets, her and her mom collected over the years. Laylin looked around her new room she was forced to call home. Not that she ever would. This place would never be home no matter how much ‘Laylin’ she painted all over it.
She clomped down the stairs into the kitchen where Walter cooked something on the stove.
“Get your room set up?” he asked.
“No I spent three hours up there making out with the neighbor's son,” she sneered. Walter’s eyes shot up.
“You did what with who!!?” he cried. Laylin groaned.
“Take a joke, gosh!” she snapped, flopping into a chair. Silence enclosed the room, but the smell was enticing to Laylin.
“What are you making?” she asked. Walter smiled.
“You like the smell?” he teased. Laylin rolled her eyes.
“No, just was wondering what barf you’re cooking up there. Is it fish sticks or chicken nugget flavored?” she scoffed.
“Mope, just my famous chili. The whole town loves it!” Walter smiled, setting a bowl in front of her. The chili did look good. Laylin tried not to seem intrigued as she took a bite, and flavor exploded across her mouth. Wow was this good!
But no way was she letting Walter know that.
“Then people must think dumpster trash is appetizing,” she commented. Walter’s happy face faltered a bit as he sat down.
Laylin stirred the beans around her bowl.
“Can I eat in my room?” she asked. She would’ve just went upstairs no questions asked, but somewhere, deep down, she felt a little guilty for being mean to Walter.
“Sure,” he nodded solemnly. Laylin grabbed her bowl and rushed up the steps. She threw open her door and cozied up into the bay window, raindrops tickling the glass. She looked out at the little street that she now lived on.
“Miss you mom,” she sniffled, wiping invisible tears.
But no way was she going to cry. Crying got you nowhere. She wiped her tear,s, sat up straight, and ate her chili, thinking.
Thinking about how she would push everyone away in this town so she could be alone. Just how she would like it.
Here is Laylin's kind of style, these are not supposed to be Laylin thought:
Laylin woke up to birds chirping, and the sun shining through her window. Ahh. What a beautiful day.
Laylin shoved a pillow into her face trying to block out the horrid light burning her pupils. She wanted this day to be over already, and for those stupid birds to shut their stupid little beaks.
It had already been a week, and Laylin had completed a total of three, four hundred page books. She stayed holed up in her room reading and listening to music, only leaving for snacks, meals, and the bathroom.
But something was off about today, and Laylin didn’t like it.
A loud knocking entered her ears, confirming that today was going to be a wreck.
“Good morning, sunshine!” Walter cheered, throwing open Laylin’s door. Laylin groaned, burying herself farther into the pillow.
“Unless you’re talking about the horrid ball of yellow light burning my eyes out, then yes. Say good morning to that. If you’re talking to me please leave my room now, before I make you,” she snapped. There was silence, and Laylin celebrated her victory with a cuddle into her sheets.
Out of nowhere, a cold, wet splash hit her in the face.
“Ahh!! What the heck?!” she screeched, jumping out of her soaking wet bed. Walter laughed, holding an empty bucket.
“You don’t get up, you get wet!” he said. Laylin glared daggers at him.
“Don’t you ever do that again!! Ugh! You’re insane! I’m taking a shower! Gosh!!” she screamed, shoving past him. She was furious!! What right does he have to dump ice cold water on her head, ruining her bedsheets!! That has to be some kind of child abuse or something!! She turned the hot water on with a rough flick of her wrists and peeled off her wet pajamas.
She took her sweet time washing every part of her body, just so she didn’t have to see this horrible man’s face anytime soon.
“Laylin, breakfast!” Walter called from behind her door. Laylin huffed.
“Walter, don’t care!” she seethed back, turning off the shower. She wrapped a towel around her torso and headed into her room. After twenty minutes she came downstairs to a plate of chocolate chip pancakes, eggs, and bacon.
“Here is breakfast! Eat up, go a big day today!” Walter instructed. Laylin made a face and threw her hair into a high ponytail.
“Um… what do you mean “a big day”?” she asked, sliding into her chair. Walter smiled with mischief in his eyes.
“You start school in three days, and have not gotten any school supplies or new clothes!! So today, we're going to get both!” Walter cheered. Laylin’s face dropped along with her heart.
“What!? Didn’t mom tell you I hate shopping!? Looking at a bunch of clothes being shoved in your face by advertising and having no diversity! No way am I going shopping!” she snapped. Walter shrugged.
“Guess you don’t have a choice!” Laylin’s jaw dropped.
“WHAT!? I have a choice, I’m a human being!! I’m not setting foot in a clothing store!!” Laylin yelled. Walter crossed his arms over his chest.
“Laylin. Today we are getting you out of this house and you are going shopping. I have three hundred dollars for you so spend on whatever clothes so r shoes you want. We are going shopping,” Walter ordered, firmer this time. Before an argument could slip Laylin’s lips, she caught her tongue.
“Any clothes or shoes I want?” she repeated. Walter nodded, not seeing the trap he fell into.
“Okay. Let’s go shopping!” she cheered with sarcastic jazz hands to make the whole situation extra.
She walked out the door, clomping down the stairs, and heading for Walter’s car. Laylin threw open the door.
Oh was this going to be fun, she thought. Walter had no idea what he was getting himself into.
Walter pulled into the local clothing store’s parking lot.
“I’ll go get some school supplies, and you can find some clothes? And do you care what colors?” Walter asked as they climbed out.
“Just black and gray,” she replied and headed inside, three hundred dollars weighing in her back pocket. She opened the door, the smell of clothing, and vanilla candles hitting her nose. Her nose scrunched up to the smell, and her ears wanted to bleed at all the girls giggling over their dumb clothes. Gosh, how did people do this?
She began the women’s clothing section, praying she’d find what clothes she wanted. She passed racks and racks of cute sweaters and skinny jeans. T-shirts with slogans like ‘be the sunshine!’ with cheesy smiley suns. You could find most of the; highschool girls of Greendale shopping here.
“Wow, Savannah, how about these?” a blonde girl giggled, holding a pair of jeans up to her legs.
“Omigod, Sara! Those are like, perfect!” the other girl gushed. Then they went into a girly spurt of giggles and laughing. Laylin rolled her eyes and finally found a rack of shirts that her eyes could actually stand.
Flannel jackets in an array of colors hung on hangers. Black, green, blue, red, pink, and coral hung in neat little rows.
“No, gross, no, no, no!” Laylin casually said, sliding all the pinky hues to the side. She pulled down a black one with fuzzy white lining, examining it for a split second, then throwing it over her arm. She grabbed the green one too, and a nearby pair of black leggings, throwing them into her arms. Laylin found a black camo crop top, and black sweatpants, adding it to her armful.
Then she heard whispering.
“Do you think she needs help?” the girl-Savannah-whispered to Sara, as they eyed Laylin. Laylin scoffed.
She continued shopping, grabbing a jean jacket, and another pair of sweatpants.
“Hi!” a cheery, sappy voice called. Laylin turned on her heel. There stood Savannah and Sara with cheesy smiles plastered on their faces.
“I’m Savannah and this is my bestie Sara,” Savannah gushed, and Sara gave an all too excited wave. Laylin rolled her eyes.
“What’s your name?!” Savannah gushed like Laylin as a lost puppy.
“And I would tell you my name because?” Laylin snapped. Savannah just laughed and twirled her hair.
“Silly! We were wondering if you’d want to shop with us!! Never seen you around town before!” Savannah replied.
“Yeah. No. I don’t associate myself with little rich girls,” Laylin smiled, using a high pitched little voice. Savannah kept smiling, taking in the comment. She gave a nervous laugh. Before she could respond, Sara grabbed her arm.
“Oh god! It’s him!” Sara breathed. Savannah’s eyes bugged out of her head, and Laylin followed her gaze.
There stood a boy looking at socks. He wore a jean jacket, and a patched-up pair of jeans. He was tan with a sharp jawline, and a tousled mess of chocolate brown hair. He had beautiful, deep brown eyes.
Laylin didn’t see what was so incredible about this boy, but Savannah and Sara were practically drooling over him.
“God isn’t he so hot! If only!” Sara swooned.
“For the dreamers, my dear. For the dreamers,” Savannah sighed. They had completely forgotten about Laylin and continued on their way shopping, swooning over this mysterious boy.
Laylin wanted nothing to do with him.
The problem was, this boy was right in front of the pair of sneakers she wanted. And when Laylin wanted something, no one got in her way.
She walked over there, and down the aisle. The boy shot her a sideways glance. She walked right up to him, and stood there, waiting for him to take the hint and move.
He didn’t. Laylin scoffed. He smirked and looked at her.
“Um… do you need something?” he asked. Laylin rolled her eyes.
“No I’m just standing here to look at the great view,” she scoffed. He chuckled, which annoyed her more.
“Could you please move Pretty Boy, I need those shoes,” she ordered. The boy looked at the white sneakers.
“These shoes?” he asked. This boy was really beginning to make Laylin tick.
“No bright pink heels. Yes, white shoes!” The boy made an amused face, and moved the shoes to the top rack, out of Laylin’s reach. Laylin’s eyes bugged out of her head.
“You have got to be kidding me!! I just want the shoes!! Get them down now!” she snapped. The boy looked very amused and kept playing his little game.
“Say please,” he replied. Laylin’s eyebrows shot up.
“Excuse me? I do not take orders from anyone let alone you,” Laylin snapped back, anger boiling in her blood.
“Well then, I guess you’re not getting your pretty little shoes then!” he replied, bopping her on the nose. Laylin jumped back.
“What the heck is wrong with you!? Just give me the shoes!!” Laylin snapped back.
“Then they stay up there.”
“Ugh!! Fine, I’ll do it myself!” Laylin finally said, throwing her clothes into the boy's arms, and pushing him out of the way. He kept his footing, laughing, and tossing his hair out of his face.
Laylin jumped up just barely touching the shoes.
“No, I can reach them!” Laylin jumped again, skimming the shoes.
“Are you sure? You seem to be having a hard time,” he chuckled. Laylin spun around.
“Gosh, are you annoying! Fine! Please get me the shoes!!” Laylin seethed, her hands clenching and unclenching at her sides.
“And there’s the magic word, Princess.”
“Don’t call me that, and get me my shoes,” Laylin snapped, taking the clothes out of his hands, and pointing at the shoes. The boy laughed, grabbing the shoes and adding them to the top of the pile.
“Goodbye, and good riddance, hope I never have to see you again,” Laylin
snapped, spinning on her heel.
“You’re welcome!! My name is Forrest by the way!” the boy called back to her.
“Don’t care!” she replied.
Forrest leaned against the shoe rack and chuckled.
“What a funny girl,” he mumbled under his breath.
School started just three days later. Laylin had thought about Forrest quite a bit over those short three days, wondering if she’d ever see him again. And she tried to convince herself she didn’t want to see him again, but something tugged at her gut.
This was a new feeling that gave her a tiny ray of excitement for school. She actually took her time with her hair and did a bit of eyeliner, and didn’t even notice how she had changed.
Laylin came down the stairs, wearing her camo crop top, and gray sweats.
“Morning, Walter!” she mused, waiting for him to turn around, and see her outfit.
And Walter did just that.
His mouth gapped open, and Laylin tried not to laugh.
“Yes?” she asked, keeping her act up.
“What's on your shoulder?” Walter breathed. Laylin looked over her shoulder and gasped.
A dark half sun, half moon birthmark rested on her shoulder. Laylin’s eyes shone with fear, and she quickly covered it up.
“It’s nothing!” she yelled, running up the stairs. She flung open her door, and slammed it shut, clicking the lock into place. Her head fell into her hands as she paced the room, mumbling under her breath.
Laylin hated her birthmark. It was so weird, and out of place, and she wanted it gone. But of course, her mom thought it was ‘unique’ and made her ‘special.’ Pfft. Laylin hated it more than she hated Walter and that was saying something.
Laylin turned her back to the mirror to look at the mark. It was about the size of a quarter and sat right on the back of her shoulder.
“Ugh!” she cried, whipping around, and grabbing a jean jacket. She was going to be late for school and it was all this stupid birthmark’s fault.
She stomped down the stairs, grabbing her bag, and slinging it over her shoulder.
“Laylin do you want to-” Walter began.
“No,” she snapped back, grabbing a Pop-Tart, and stomping out the door.
“I’ll pick you up after school?!” Walter called to her. She waved him off, already halfway down the sidewalk, angrily eating a pop tart.
What an incredible morning! The sun has to be nice and sunny, and there have to be these dumb birds chirping away, and her stupid birthmark just had to show up, yay, Laylin thought. She turned down the sidewalk, seeing a group of girls ahead of her. Ugh, people. Her headphones were slid over her ears, just so they wouldn’t even think about talking to her.
She was new here. The new shiny toy everyone could poke and prod at. Yeah, no one was touching this toy.
These girls were walking very slow, so Laylin snapped,
“Hey could you speed it up, I’d like to get to school before we have to graduate!” The girls turned around, shocked at her response, and moved out of the way.
The school was just up ahead. Thank goodness for that. She finally came to the school’s sidewalk, kids getting dropped off by parents and older siblings, all mingling in the parking lot.
Laylin kept walking past, head held high, looking intimidating. She could already see people whispering, and spreading rumors about her. She crossed the parking lot and immediately sickened seeing a group of senior jocks all leaning against a jeep, checking out the girls. Oh god, not today, Laylin thought. She sashayed past, determined to get out of there as fast as possible.
“Nice butt!” a guy whistled to her. She whipped around.
“Excuse me?” she seethed. The boy laughed.
“Nice butt,” he replied, and his friends laughed. Laylin twitched, debating on what to say next.
“Oh why thank you, kind sir. Now I will just fall into your arms like every other stupid Barbie doll at this school, just because you admire the butt I got. Yeah no not this girl. So have a nice day throwing your little football across your stupid grass field, and hopefully, you’ll trip and break something!” Laylin smiled and walked away, the image of the boy’s surprised face embedded in her mind as a beautiful memory.
She came to the door throwing it open. A long hallway went all the way down to a row of lockers. The cafeteria was to the right and broke off to the freshman hallway.
Laylin headed that way, passing all the little friend groups clogging up the halls. She finally came to the lockers, scanning them for locker 301. Luckily it was very close, and she was there in seconds. She turned her lock back and forth until it clicked open.
“Hello!” a peppy voice said. Laylin groaned and turned around to see a girl. She had her brown hair in pigtails, and round glasses hid her green eyes.
“I notice you’re new, and I’m Marcy, usually help the new kiddos out! So if you need anything just ask!” Marcy smiled. Laylin didn’t reply and just stared at her. The smiling and staring went on until Marcy finally said something.
“So… you need help with anything?” Marcy asked nervously, trying to keep smiling.
“Nope,” Laylin replied, examining her nails, waiting for this girl to leave. She could be her friend. Marcy could be Laylin’s best friend. But not in this version of her life. Laylin didn’t get close to people, because people left. That’s how the world worked. Round and round, get close to whoever you want they will eventually leave.
“Well… um… have a great day?” Marcy replied, saying it more like a question than a statement. Laylin smiled back.
“Tata!” she replied, wiggling her fingers in a goodbye. Marcy turned around to go annoy some other poor, confused freshman. Laylin groaned. Could this day get any worse? Laylin slammed her locker shut, and whipped around, slamming right into someone’s chest.
“Gosh, watch it!!” she snapped, bending down to pick up her spilled books.
“Oh sorry!” the person replied. Laylin froze. No. Oh please no, any other person but him. She looked up from the ground to see none other than the most famous Forrest. Forrest smiled in recognition.
“Ah, Princess, how lovely to see you again!” he smirked, helping her up. Laylin pulled her hand away and folded her arms.
“I said don’t call me that, and sadly I can’t say the same for you,” Laylin snapped back.
“You don’t like people, do you?” Forrest questioned, cocking his head to the side. Laylin threw her hands up in the air and began walking towards her class.
“Oh, what gave it away?” she replied, causing Forrest to chuckle.
“Oh just the snarky comments, and the high levels of sass,” he replied. This made Laylin smirk, just a bit.
“Hey, look at that I got a smile out of you,” Forrest laughed. Laylin smiled more.
“No you didn’t!” she fought. Forrest shook his head.
“No, you’re smiling right now.” Laylin covered her mouth with her hands, trying not to laugh. She had no idea why she thought this was funny, it just was.
“No,” she finally said, trying to keep her face straight, “I’m not smiling.” They stood there for a minute, just staring before Forrest burst out laughing. Laylin smirked.
“Fine, I smiled. But it won’t happen again.”
“Well, it is my new mission to make-what’s your name?”
“Then it’s my new mission to make Laylin smile once again,” Forrest announced. Laylin snorted.
“Okay, have a fun time with that, cause I don’t smile,” she replied. The bell rang. Forrest gave a two-fingered salute and left for class. Laylin shook her head as she entered the classroom, trying not the smile.
The rest of the day was plain. She saw Forrest a few times, and he’d give his little two-fingered wave, but they didn’t talk again.
And it made Laylin sad, and she was mad at herself. She wasn’t supposed to get close to people cause people left. And this wasn’t going to go anywhere, and she didn’t want to get herself hurt. So she promised she wouldn’t get close to anyone, ever.
She walked down the sidewalk, hoping to find some decent coffee in this stupid town. So far she’d been there for over a week and all the coffee was crappy as heck. Her headphones blasted music into her ears, and she watched her shoes as she walked.
A tap on her shoulder made her jump, and quickly spin around, ready to slap whatever pervert was trying to attack her.
“Wow, Princess didn’t mean to scare you,” Forrest laughed, running a hand through his hair.
“I said stop calling me that! And you didn’t scare me,” Laylin reassured him, taking her headphones off and setting them on her neck.
“What are you doing?” Forrest asked when Laylin began to walk away.
‘Trying to find a cup of coffee,” she replied, looking at her map.
“Well, I know every coffee place in town, what kind of coffee?” Forrest asked.
“Iced,” Laylin replied, still looking at her phone. She wasn’t even thinking about how she was giving information to Forrest about herself. How this’ll just make them closer.
“Well, there’s the BrewingHouse, they brew iced coffee every morning, then there’s the coney island, but their coffee is bland and gross,” Forrest informed her.
“Where is the Brewing House?” Laylin asked. Forrest stopped her by the shoulders.
“Right here,” he replied, smiling. Laylin looked up to see a sign reading BrewingHouse in swirly letters.
“Perfect. I hope they have good coffee, I haven’t had a drop in over a week, and I’m having withdrawal,” Laylin informed. Forrest laughed and opened the door. The smell of delicious ground coffee hit Laylin’s nose.
“Well, I guess this is where we part,” Laylin hinted, wanting to be alone. Forrest looked surprised.
“Oh okay. Well, see you,” he waved and walked out the door. Laylin didn’t think of Forrest one bit as she ordered her coffee. She paid and walked out the door.
“Oh hello,” Forrest said, making Laylin jump.
“What are you doing?” Laylin asked, beginning to walk away. She needed to forget this boy ASAP so she wouldn’t get hurt.
“Can’t a person just… walk?” Forrest shrugged. Laylin scoffed.
“Could you just ‘walk’ somewhere else then?” Laylin replied in a mocking tone.
“But this is a great view,” Forrest defended, looking right at her. Laylin’s cheeks caught fire. What did that mean? She’d never heard that before.
“Um…” she murmured, stumbling for a comeback. Forrest chuckled.
“Cat’s got your tongue?” he asked, bopping her on the nose. Laylin again jumped back.
“No! And would you stop that!?” she seethed, shooing away his hand. Forrest laughed. He was having way too much fun with this. Laylin tried to lose him by walking faster, but his stride was big, and he could keep up just fine.
“Do you need something?” she questioned. Forrest shrugged.
“Again, just walking.”
“Again, don’t want you here!” Laylin rebuked. Forrest stopped walking.
“Then why haven’t you kicked me out yet?” Laylin stopped in her tracks. Why hadn’t she? Couldn’t she just yell at him to leave her alone? Look him up and down, figure out his insecurities, and use them against him? Yep. That’s exactly what she would do. Then he’d leave her alone, and she’d never have to talk to him ever again.
So she whipped around ready to yell at him, to let all her anger go on him. But his head was cocked to the side, not angry at all or anything. Just curious, and interested. And for some reason, Laylin didn’t yell at him. Her stance went from threatening Laylin to just normal Laylin.
“Whatever. Follow me if you want,” Laylin snapped and kept walking. She wouldn’t admit that something clicked when she looked at him. She wouldn’t admit that maybe-just maybe-she could let just one- Laylin shook the thought off. She wouldn’t let anyone in. That’s not how her world worked.
Forrest walked a few paces behind Laylin. Her ponytail swung with her step, and he thought it was cute. This girl was interesting and different. She didn’t fall at his feet like all the other girls, she wasn’t scared to be herself, well from what he could tell.
“Well, this is my house. So… bye,” Laylin’s voice cut through his thoughts. He looked up to see Laylin pointing at her house.
“Oh… well… see you tomorrow, Princess?” Forrest smirked, knowing the simple little word would annoy her.
“I said don’t call me that!! Bye!” Laylin scoffed, trying not the smile back. She ran up to the porch.
Forrest waited for her to look back. All the girls looked back.
Nope. She didn’t. Laylin closed the door and didn’t look back. Forrest smiled. He smiled so big.
That never happened. They always looked back. But not this girl. This girl was different.
Forrest knew that this girl was interesting. This girl was different.
And he intended to try to get to know her better, to see if this wouldn’t blow up in his face.
So, guys, I could not figure out how I wanted Forrest to look! There were so many good Pinterest pictures, and I couldn't decide between these two below!
But Forrest is tan like the second image and has that color hair. He wears jean jackets, jeans, and tennis shoes, sometimes combat boots. The first picture is more of Forrest's build and face shape. So you guys decide, and if you have any pictures (or your own drawings!) of what you think Forrest should look like please comment them below!
It’d already been a week, and Forrest had tagged along with Laylin, walking her home every day. To Laylin he was not walking her home as some sappy boyfriend would, and to Forrest, he was walking her home. But neither of them knew what the other thought.
“Laylin!” Forrest whispered during the math class. Laylin ignored him trying to focus on her homework.
“Laaaaayliiin!” Forrest prodded on, tapping her on the shoulder with a pencil. Laylin ripped the pencil out of her hand, snapped it, then handed it back to him.
“I need help with problem four! Laylin!” Forrest replied, taking his now broken pencil. Laylin didn’t answer.
Forrest finally leaned over his desk, and over Laylin’s shoulder to look at her paper.
“What are you doing?!” Laylin seethed, trying to stay quiet.
“I need help with number four!!” Forrest whined, grabbing her paper and flipping it to the answer.
“Forrest!! Ask some other girl who actually wants to help you!!” Laylin replied, trying to grab her paper.
“Is there a problem Laylin?” Ms. Haskin asked, looking up from her book. Before Laylin could answer, Forrest chimed in.
“Oh no! Laylin was just confused on number four! Just helping!” Forrest smiled with a thumbs up. Ms. Haskin gave an approving nod and went back to her book.
“What was that?! You liar!” Laylin snapped, whacking him with her eraser.
“Hey!” Forrest whispered back, rubbing his head.
“That did not hurt under the mop on your head you like to call hair!” Laylin rebuked. Forrest pouted. Laylin rolled her eyes.
“Fine, here,” she gave in, handing Forrest her paper.
“Thaaaank you,” Forrest said, sinking back into his seat. Laylin-again-tried to not smile. She’d been doing a lot of ‘trying-not-to-smiling-ing’ this week. Was that a crime? Forrest made her laugh. Was it that bad?
Laylin was trying to convince herself it was. That it was that bad. She did not want to get attached to anyone, but she just couldn't help it. She had gotten used to pushing people away, but this was new and interesting. And Laylin… well she kinda liked it. She smiled a bit more and could fall asleep just a little happier, and excited for the day ahead. So maybe, this wasn’t so bad, and she would give it a chance?
The bell rang releasing the class, and Laylin was out the door in seconds.
“Princess, wait up!” Forrest called, jogging up to her. Laylin rolled her eyes and spun on her heel.
“For the millionth time don’t call me that!!” she seethed. She hated it absolutely despised the stupid nickname he called her!
“Sorry. Laylin. I found another place that sells coffee in town for you to try out,” Forrest informed. Laylin pretended to contemplate it as they both headed towards her locker
“Done deal. See you how we usually do,” Laylin replied. Forrest leaned against the lockers.
“With me coming along with you on a great adventure to hunt down delicious coffee?” Forrest questioned with a cock of his head. Laylin snorted.
“Um no. More like a complete stranger who could be a pedophile for all I know following me wherever I go,” she scoffed, closing her locker, and walking away.
“Not a pedophile!” Forrest called to her from down the hall. Laylin waved him off and disappeared into the crowd.
The end of school came quickly, and Laylin began her walk home.
“Hey Princess,” Forrest called, jogging up to her, and falling with her stride.
“Again,” Laylin snapped, turning to face him.
“Don’t… call… me… princess,” she ordered, with little hand movements. Forrest shrugged, as they continued to walk.
“Whatever you say, but you definitely seem like a princess to me, Princess.” Laylin groaned.
“Dear god, would you stop it?!” she cried, trying not to laugh.
“Where is this coffee shop?” she asked. Forrest looked at his phone and stopped walking.
“What?” Laylin asked. Forrest studied her, contemplating something.
“What? Something on my clothes?” she asked, looking down at her black leggings, and examining her flannel jacket and sweatshirt.
“No, you look… great,” Forrest replied, still looking at her. Laylin began to absentmindedly fiddle with the infinity necklace that laid on her neck. They stood there on the sidewalk for all the passerby's to see.
“Do you want to get coffee?” Forrest finally asked. It took Laylin a minute to process what he was saying. Then she burst out laughing.
“Hey! What’s so funny?” Forrest asked, very confused and offended. Laylin laughed harder, that she plopped on the ground. She was laughing so hard she was snorting.
“Aren’t we?? Aren’t we already? Aren’t we already getting coffee?!” Laylin finally said through fits of laughter. Forrest groaned and ran his fingers through his hair.
“God, I’m an idiot, come on Princess, get up,” Forrest sighed. Laylin was laughing too hard to even correct him, as he helped her up. She was trying to not laugh and smile, so she buried her face into her sweatshirt sleeves.
“Can I talk now?” Forrest asked, trying to act annoyed. But she was too cute, that he couldn’t help but smirk.
“Yes. Wait hold on… yep, okay I’m calm now,” Laylin chuckled, keeping her hands in front of her smiling face.
“I meant would you want to get coffee, like… like a…,” Forrest didn’t finish, but it dawned on Laylin. Her jaw dropped.
“Date?” she asked, finishing his sentence. Forrest’s eyes light up.
“Um… yeah,” he replied cautiously. He had no idea how Laylin would react.
Laylin didn't even know how she would react herself. She just… she just got asked on a date. What did that even mean? This was horrible!! Laylin didn’t get close to people, and this is the closest she could get to someone. How did someone like Forrest even like someone like her? Laylin kept everyone shut out, and was mean and rude! Forrest was nice and considerate, and understanding. And his hair is amazing, Laylin’s brain quickly added. What?! NO!! She did not like Forrest. She would say no and walk away and then he’d be totally out of her life forever.
Laylin looked up at him. Say no, say no, just do it, it’s just a little word, say no.
“Yes,” Laylin replied. Her word surprised her, as did it surprise Forrest.
“Wait. You’re kidding right?” Forrest double-checked. Laylin’s cheeks blushed red, and she covered them with her sweatshirt, giving a quick nod.
“YES!!! WOOHOO!!! YES YES YES!” Forrest cheered, jumping up and down around Laylin. Laylin burst out laughing. Forrest was dancing around her, cheering, and smiling super big. After his little party, he finally calmed down.
“Gosh, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. That was embarrassing,” Forrest blushed, running a hand through his hair. Laylin regained her composure and shook her head.
“No, it was fine,” she replied. They stood in silence, not knowing what they were doing next.
“So? Are we going on this… date?” Laylin finally broke the silence. The word felt weird on her tongue. Like a foreign spice, she wasn’t used to. And she was scared. She couldn’t tell if this spice tasted good or not.
“Ah yes, this way Princess,” Forrest said, taking her hand.
“Yep, nope. Not calling me that, and get your sweaty hand off of mine,” she snapped, pulling her hand out of his and putting it into her pockets. Forrest held his hand up as if to say he was backing off.
“Okay, sorry. Now let’s go find this coffee shop.”
Laylin was happy. At least she was pretty sure. Forrest made her… happy. Four weeks and six coffee dates later, Laylin sat in class, feeling happy. She was excited to see Forrest after school and to tease him about his hair or something. She felt happy. She really did like Forrest. But then again, it scared her. She couldn’t get close to him. It wasn’t safe. Something would happen and it would all come crashing down. Something that seemed small and minuscule would bring everything to the ground.
“Yep, they are not official. Still can’t believe he picked her!” a girl whispered to her friends. That simple sentence burnt down Laylin’s happy thoughts and filled them with anger.
Laylin could not take it anymore. How many times did people have to hear that her and Forrest were not boyfriend and girlfriend?! Okay! He never even asked-not that she would want him to though. Laylin hated putting a label on things. Why couldn’t her and Forrest be? Why couldn’t they just be people? Two minuscule, insignificant people to the world full of billions. Two little people who hung out and got coffee.
“Do you really think she’s his girlfriend? Like… how?” a girl gossiped to her friends.
“I have no idea. I mean, she’s not even that pretty,” another replied. Laylin whipped around in her seat, eyes fiery with anger.
“Excuse me! If you are going to talk about her girl literally right behind her back, d girlfriend, so mind your own business,” Laylin snapped back and turned back to her homework. you can say it right to her face. M’kay?” Laylin snapped. The girl’s looked taken aback.
“Oh so sorry, honest mistake!” she smiled through her teeth. Laylin sneered.
“An honest mistake is when you don’t know the person you’re talking about is right in front of you. By the way, how dare some little rich girl with her faux Prada backpack and fake hair extensions go off on me,” Laylin comebacked. The girl’s eyes bugged out of her head.
“Um!! This bag is actually Prada!” she snapped.
“Whatever. But no, Forrest and I are not boyfriend and girlfriend, so mind your own business!” Laylin snapped back and turned to her homework.
The bell finally rang, and Laylin grabbed her bag and rushed out the door.
“I heard that they’re only secretly dating!”
“Sucks for me, Forrest is so hot.
“Julia, they’ll break it off in a week, don’t worry!”
The gossip-filled Laylin’s ears, making her shake. She stuffed her hands into her sweatpants ’ pockets, trying to get out of the school.
“Okay, but her? She’s a rude little sour child! I made cookies for Forrest every week for a month and he never asked me out!”
“You wanna know what I heard straight from Laylin?!” This comment made Laylin stop right in her tracks to listen in.
“That her and Forrest aren’t even boyfriend and girlfriend! He’s open meat guys! I’m going to go shoot my shot, wish me luck!” the girl from class smiled. She sashayed right past Laylin.
No,no,no,no,no. It was happening. Forrest was going to leave. He was going to leave as everyone else left. Everyone eventually left, and Laylin was right. Forrest was going to leave. He’d give some half-hearted apology, then leave her for some snobby rich girl.
The thoughts filled her mind, making her anxious. Her hands shook as her eyes darted around for an exit. Cold air. Fresh air. Not the crowded hallways. Her eyes located a door, and she beelined for it. She threw it to open a burst of cold air hitting her face. She gasped a deep breath, trying to calm her mind, and her beating heart.
She took huge gulps of fresh air and sat on the steps, head in her hands. You should’ve never let him in. You idiot!! What is wrong with you?! You’re just a toy to him, aren’t you? He’ll leave you in a millisecond when a prettier toy comes along. Laylin, what were you thinking!! All these thoughts rushed through Laylin’s head, but they shattered when she heard Forrest’s voice. Her head whipped up to see Forrest talking to the girl.
Anger and fear crept up in her chest. What did she do? Did she go up to the girl and tell her to back off? Did she just walk past, head down? Forrest technically wasn’t even hers. They were just two miniscule people who didn’t impact anything who got coffee together.
She watched the scene unfold. The girl was twirling her hair, while Forrest scratched the back of his neck. That. That simple gesture shook Laylin. He did that when he was nervous.
That was the only proof Laylin needed. He liked this girl, not Laylin. Laylin jumped up and hurried down the steps. She put her hood up, hoping Forrest wouldn’t know it was her. She quickly tried to walk past, watching him out of the corner of her eye.
Forrest looked her way. Dangit!
“Laylin!! Hey, Laylin!” Forrest called, running away from the girl. The girl scoffed, her face bright red.
“Laylin, hey!” Forrest called again, falling into her stride. Laylin just hurried her pace.
“Something wrong Princess?” Forrest asked. The word stabbed Laylin in the stomach. She couldn't react though, she wouldn’t react.
“Princess,” Forrest said again, holding out the word. He peeked under Laylin’s hood.
“You okay Princess?” The last one snapped Laylin. She whipped around the face on fire, clouding her thoughts.
“Would you stop calling me that!!!? I absolutely hate it!! You need to stop!! Just totally stop!” Laylin snapped. Forrest’s face flushed with surprise.
“I SAID TO STOP CALLING ME THAT!! God, you are the absolute worst!!” Laylin screamed and began to run. Runaway from this boy, run away from this school, run away from everything.
“Laylin wait up!” Forrest cried. He didn’t want her to be mad. He really wanted her to stay. He grabbed her arms to stop her.
“Don’t touch me!” she snapped, trying to wriggle out of his grasp.
“Laylin, calm down,” he tried to soothe. She kept wriggling over and over, but he wouldn’t let go.
“What is wrong?” he asked again. She finally looked up at him, the fire behind her eyes.
“Everyone!! Everyone is gossiping about us!! Why can’t we just be?!” she yelled. Forrest bit his lip, thinking. Laylin rolled her eyes and waited for his idiotic reply.
“Why don’t we… stop the gossip then?” Forrest suggested. Laylin’s face twisted with confusion.
“What?! That is literally impossible to stop people from talking, people do what-” But Laylin was cut off.
“Laylin, will you be my girlfriend?” Forrest asked. Laylin’s eyes widened.
Love it. It took me about 40 minutes to read :p