Isak didn’t expect much from his second year at Nissen. Same old shit. Same old façade to emulate, but the show must go on, right? Which was why he was currently smoking weed out of a water bottle pipe and laughing at something dumb Magnus had just said. And talking about all the girls he had absolutely no interest in.
The thing was, Isak knew somewhere deep down that he had been in love with Jonas all of last year. He knew the reason he broke Eva and Jonas up wasn’t because he had feelings for Eva. And he knew Sara did nothing at all to stir lust within his gut and he knew he hated feeling up her boobs because they were too squishy where he just wanted to feel solid muscle.
And he also knew it was 2016 and nobody would probably give a fuck if he wanted boys, but his mother sent him passages from the Bible all day long and it made Isak cringe every time he read them. He couldn’t help but think that if his own mother thought he was going to Hell, why wouldn’t everyone else?
So Isak kissed Emma and showed off and slept in too late and ate way too little and drank way too much. But it was okay. Life didn’t seem to have much else to offer anyways, so he was taking what he could get.
It was the first day of school and Isak had already fucked up. He owed Sana his presence at Kosegruppa because he’d left the weed at Eva’s party. God, Sana knew how to hold his balls in the palm of her hand. He both admired and loathed her.
He also couldn’t find his textbooks or figure out his goddamn locker. And his mother would not stop sending him messages about hellfire, as if she could sense the way Isak was checking out some boys’ asses as they’d walked by earlier.
So, by the time lunch rolled around Isak didn’t have much appetite. He picked at his sandwich, absentmindedly listening to his friends when suddenly something Jonas said caught his attention.
“Did you hear about the new guy?” Jonas asked, motioning over to the other side of the cafeteria.
Isak looked up and became rather breathless at the sight of the tall, blonde and totally gorgeous boy wearing sunglasses.
“What’s up with that?” Isak found himself asking before he could really stop himself. But he was curious.
Magnus started to sing – obnoxiously loud – I wear my sunglasses at night! And laughed like it was the funniest thing in the world. Jonas reached over and smacked his arm, effectively shutting him up.
Isak saw how the mysterious boy gazed in their direction, and Isak had a horrible image of the boy standing up and walking over; taking off his sunglasses and demanding to know what the hell their problem was.
Isak didn’t need more drama on the first day, for fuck’s sake.
“He’s blind, Magnus. Show some goddamn respect.” Jonas snapped, shaking his head.
Isak frowned and looked over at Jonas. “He’s…what?”
“Blind. Don’t you see the cane beside him?” Jonas explained, and Isak titled his head to the side in order to see what was next to the boy. He then saw a white cane leaning against the boy’s chair.
“Yeah. Must suck to be the new transfer and blind. I hope someone is helping him find all his classes.”
Isak licked his lips and reached for his soda, wanting to wet his throat that was suddenly and weirdly dry. Isak couldn’t take his eyes off the boy and now that he knew he couldn’t see Isak, he didn’t feel so bad about staring.
“Anyways, can we please talk about the girl with the cat tongue? Because seriously!” Magnus announced, laughing like it was the funniest thing in the universe.
But Isak didn’t hear the rest of their conversation. He kept pretending to eat his food and then stealing glances at the boy whenever he knew his friends weren’t looking at him. The boy was eating his lunch slowly and methodically, taking small bites of what looked like a similar sandwich to Isak’s. He wasn’t speaking to anyone. He had headphones in so he probably couldn’t hear what was going on around him, and he didn’t seem to care.
Isak couldn’t help but feel worried because the boy looked…sad. He looked lonely. Isak couldn’t stop imagining what it would be like to go through school blind. How could his friends be talking about stupid, trivial shit right now? How could they not wonder what the boy was thinking, or what – if anything – the boy could see. And how would his day go, and what was he listening to and what…
“Earth to Isak!”
Isak looked up and saw that all his friends were standing and waiting for him. He shook his head and stood up as well, grabbing the rest of his lunch and throwing it out into the trash bin.
“Sorry. Daydreaming.” Isak said, stealing one last glance at the boy who looked about to get up as well before he walked out of the cafeteria.
Isak was walking out of his last class, eager to find his friends and start walking home, so he wasn’t exactly paying attention. He was reading a message from his father as he walked, which was a dumb idea, but he thought he had some co-ordination.
He thought that right up until he turned a corner and slammed into another student, knocking himself and the other person to the ground. Isak fell awkwardly on his arm and let out a loud “fuck!” before he straightened himself up to see the state of the other person.
His eyes went wide when he realized he had just run into the boy.
The boy who was blind.
Fucking hell. Isak had just knocked over the new blind boy.
“Shit, I’m so sorry!” Isak rushed to say, sitting up and automatically reaching for the boy who was lying flat on his back.
He still had sunglasses on and he looked defeated.
“Just my luck, really.” The boy said, his voice laced with anger and Isak suddenly felt nervous.
“I wasn’t looking where I was going. Here, let me help you.” Isak attempted again, reaching for the boy’s hand.
But the boy sat up rather quickly and pushed Isak away.
“I don’t need your help.” He spat, feeling around the floor for his cane which had also gotten knocked to the floor when Isak was being a clumsy fuck.
Isak spotted the cane on the other side of the hallway and he walked over to it, avoiding bumping into anyone else in the hallway.
Nobody seemed to care that a blind boy had fallen down. Fucking assholes, Isak thought.
“It got pushed over here.” Isak mumbled, putting the cane in the boy’s hands.
“Thanks.” The boy muttered, finally getting up on his feet again and leaning against the wall to steady himself. He let out a long sigh.
Isak hovered near him, not knowing what to say. He could feel himself blushing. He could feel himself wanting to apologize again, but he figured the boy wouldn’t take too kindly to it. So he kept quiet.
“Are you still there?” The boy asked, raising his eyebrows. Isak could see them pop up over the rim of the sunglasses.
“Ugh, yeah…yes! I’m still here.” Isak rushed to say, feeling so fucking stupid.
Apparently the boy thought he was funny though because he chuckled and shook his head. Isak couldn’t help but feel a twinge of hope bloom inside his chest.
The guy had a fucking glorious smile.
“Could you help me then and show me which way leads to the front doors? I’m all turned around now.”
“Oh,” Isak gulped. “Sure. It’s that way.” He pointed in the direction of the quickly emptying hallway, everyone rushing to get out and enjoy their evenings.
“Um, bro?” The guy asked.
Isak looked back at him. “Yeah?”
“In case you haven’t noticed, I’m blind. I can’t see where you’re pointing.”
“Fuck, shit. Ugh, my bad. How can I show you then?” Isak asked, his face turning the colour of a tomato. Why did he suck so much?
The boy put his hands out hesitantly and took a step towards Isak. Isak stayed very still, waiting for the boy’s hands to reach his chest and when they did Isak resisted the urge to flinch. Because the guy had really big hands and they were currently touching Isak’s too hot skin, and then the boy went on to reach up and fucking cup Isak’s cheek in the most tender of gestures…and Isak couldn’t really breathe anymore.
“Take my hand and show me.” The boy said, his voice gone dark and hazy around the edges. Isak let out a shaky breath and reached his hand out to cup the other boy’s.
His skin was so soft; his palms almost buttery as Isak gently pulled and held the boy’s hand in the right direction.
“T-this way.” Isak whispered, hoping the boy could hear him.
The boy didn’t say anything for a moment, and Isak couldn’t tell which way the boy’s head was turned. But he wondered if the boy’s face was anywhere near what it would be if he were able to look at Isak. He wondered what the boy would think if he could see Isak. Would he like him? Would he think he was ugly?
Would he spare him a thought at all?
“Thank you.” The boy said, detangling their hands and grasping his cane. “It was nice bumping into you.”
Isak let out a small laugh and ran the hand that had just been clutching the boy’s hand through his hair; a nervous gesture.
Why did this feel like flirting?
“Sorry…again. About that. I’ll keep my eyes open more.”
Isak faltered because really? Did he really just say that?
But the boy laughed again as he started walking away. “You do that.”
Isak was about to let him go because the boy seemed set on leaving, but there were so many people in the hallway still. And stairs coming up that lead outside. And who was going to help him get home?
Isak was walking before he knew he was going to do it.
“Wait, ugh.” Isak muttered inarticulately. “Don’t you…need help? To get home or…s-something?”
The boy stopped walking and turned in Isak’s direction, a smirk playing on his lips.
“Do you think I’m incapable of getting myself home?”
Shit. Isak should have just shut up.
“No! No, of course not. I just…I know you’re new here and I didn’t know if you knew how the school is set up, or…or, I don’t know. If you had a friend to meet you. I just…fuck. Sorry. I’ll go now.” Isak scrambled, mentally kicking himself in the face.
He went to walk away when he felt the boy clutch onto the bottom of his jacket, extending his reach to compensate for the space Isak had moved away from.
“Hold on.” The boy said, steading himself. “I’m only joking. Thanks for your concern. I do have a friend meeting me.”
Isak unconsciously moved closer to the boy, a flutter in his chest at the way he still hadn’t let go of Isak’s jacket.
Not flirting. Get it together, Valtersen.
“Okay. I’m glad.” Isak said.
“What’s your name?”
Isak parted his lips to answer, the word right there on his tongue, but then the boy was pulling Isak closer to him. Their chests were practically touching and Isak could feel the boy’s cool breath on his face. Isak instinctively put his hands up to prevent himself from falling, and they ended up landing on the taller boy’s shoulders.
Shit. They were basically embracing in the damn hallway.
“Hm.” The boy sighed, moving his hand that was clutching Isak’s jacket back up to Isak’s face, running his fingertips lightly across Isak’s jaw.
And then his cheek.
The outline of his lips.
The curl of his hair that had escaped his snapback.
Isak didn’t breathe.
“Nice to meet you, Isak. I’m Even.”
And just as quickly as it happened, Even pulled away. He took a step back from Isak and Isak was sure Even could still hear the frantic beating of his heart.
“I have to go.”
“Okay.” Isak croaked out. “See you around?”
Even broke out into that laugh again. “I’m sure you’ll see me, Isak. But if you want me to see you…”
He trailed off, and Isak literally face-palmed this time because how stupid could he be?
“Don’t be sorry, Isak.”
Even said his name like a prayer.
“I’ll see you around. Just not with my eyes.”
And he walked away, leaving Isak stunned and sweaty…and kind of turned on.
Maybe second year wasn’t going to be boring after all.