Walking through crowded hallways full of people trying each trying to get around is never fun. Everyone's trying to get to their own destinations, and they will get there, even if it means running. Luckily for me, I only bumped into three people today. Unluckily for me, the third person was the one and only Craig-fucking-Tucker.
I looked up to meet his eyes. When he saw me, his face formed a scowl, and I returned one.
"Tweek." he said monotonously, despite his angry expression.
"Craig." I replied with the same tone
We kept our glaring match going until someone called for him. As Craig brushed past me, I noticed Clyde, Token and Jimmy, his closest friends, giving him friendly gestures.
I turned back around and continued my path to my locker. Though the whole way, I couldn't help but continuously glance back at them.
At lunch, I sat with my friends (or as we like to call ourselves, the social rejects). There was Kevin Stoley, Jason, Francis and Scott Malkinson.
I sat in my normal seat next to Kevin, who I had recently grown closest to. The group was talking about Disney and Star Wars (or something, I wasn't really listening) while I poked at my food, contemplating many things at once.
Kevin seemed to notice, since he tapped my shoulder and asked if I was okay.
I nodded in response, continuing my food assault. I was completely tuned out of the others' conversation, until I heard someone say Craig.
My head jerked upwards to hear. I noticed they were all looking at me, expecting.
"Um... sorry, what?" I asked
"Craig is totally staring you down." replied Jason
I turned around to look at the table closest to us. The people seated there were Craig, Clyde, Cartman, Kenny, Kyle and Stan.
Sure enough, Craig was staring blankly in my direction. When I shot him a scowl, his expression hardly changed, but I noticed his lips quirk slightly upwards. He dropped his gaze and replied to a question Cartman asked.
"Stop giving each other googly eyes, there are children around." joked Kevin
"Just because you can't get a date doesn't mean you're a child." I retorted
Kevin scoffed, then changed the subject again. I definitely wasn't paying attention this time.
When I decided I was bored enough (and my food was completely poked to death) I excused myself and left the cafeteria.
I headed to the music room, then turned the knob. It was locked. I figured the music teacher was on lunch break as well, so I dug a key out of my pocket and used it to unlock the door. I once worked in the office and they lent me a spare key, but they never asked me to return it.
My eyes settled on the grand piano on the far right of the room. I picked up a random music book and set it up.
I tried to imitate the notes on the first page myself, but the notes got all jumbled, and I repeatedly forgot about the key signature, and it frustrated me to the point that I had to bite my hand to prevent myself from screaming in anger.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I heard a chuckle from the music room's door.
I immediately began shaking and twitching violently, jerking my head towards the noise.
"Craig!" I hissed
"Wow, you're awful." he smirked
"Shut up. I can't help it." I looked down at my shaking hands.
"If you're referring to your twitching, then you're lying. You didn't start shaking until you heard me."
I was silent for a moment. "I didn't think anyone noticed."
"Did you finally quit drinking coffee like it was oxygen?"
"I'm working on it."
I then realized that we were meant to hate each other, so I morphed my face into a scowl. "Want me to help?" he offered
"Yeah right, you play piano."
He rolled his eyes and started towards the piano. "Move over." he ordered
I glared at him for the rudeness, but scooted off the piano bench anyway.
He began playing a tune that I recognized. I couldn't quite pin it, though. His hands moved from note to note fluently. The way he played it was truly beautiful. Not that I'd ever admit that.
When the song ended, he looked up at me with an eyebrow raised.
"Well?" he asked
I rolled my eyes. "That's unfair, you have big piano hands."
He held his hand up to compare it to mine. He pressed our palms together, but I jerked it away. He sighed. "Or I've been playing for my whole life."
"How did it never come up while we were friends that you played piano?"
He shrugged. "It wasn't much to brag about back then. I'm sure the guys would make fun of me."
There was silence between us. I didn't know how to reply.
He then stretched. "Well, want me to tutor you?"
I glared at him. "What makes you think I would ever want you to tutor me?"
"Because you suck and I rule."
I scoffed at his childishness.
"So? How about it?"
I paused to consider it. "Meet me here when the last bell rings."
"Is that a yes?"
"It's a maybe. If you play your cards right."
I grabbed the music book from the stand and placed it where I found it. "Where are you going?" he asked when I was at the door.
I looked at him, then the door. "I don't know. Far from you, I guess." I replied honestly
He nodded and started playing the piano again. I exited the room, but stayed right outside, just to hear him play.
After he stopped playing, I decided to spend the rest of lunch period in the library, all the while trying to decide whether or not I wanted Craig to tutor me.
I hated the fact that I was almost certain I did.
When the last bell had rang, I had nearly completely forgotten about my plan to meet Craig.
I put my books away and, as quickly as I could, made my way to the music room.
Sure enough, he was in there, leaning back in a chair, chatting with the music teacher. When he heard me enter, his gaze shifted to me. I felt myself tug at my collar anxiously under his intimidating eyes. When he noticed, his expression softened.
"Hey." he greeted me calmly
"Hey dude." I replied quietly
"Have you made a decision?"
I narrowed my eyes at his odd politeness. Polite for Craig, anyway. "I guess."
I let out a long sigh. "Yeah, fine."
He nodded, lips slightly quirking up into a smile. I narrowed my eyes again. When he noticed, his expression immediately dropped. He had the same dead look in his eyes. "Then let's practice at my house." he stood up, grabbing his bag.
"What, right now?"
"Oh, let me call my mom first."
"I just want her to know where I am if I get murdered!"
I ignored him and dialed my mom's cell phone number. I stepped out of the music room into the empty halls. She picked up almost immediately.
"Hello?" she greeted
"Oh, hello Tweek. What is it?"
"I'm going to be late getting home today. I'm visiting a friend."
"How nice. That's fine, just be home before five. Who are you visiting?"
I hesitated before responding. "Craig."
"Oh, you're back together, that's wonderful!"
"This is so exciting! I'm happy for you,—"
I hung up before she could finish. I saw Craig from the corner of my eye leaving the music room. I sent my mom a quick text as an excuse, then put my phone away in my pocket.
"Ready to go?" he asked
I nodded and followed him as he headed to the exit of the school.
When we were outside, I saw Kevin approaching us. He looked at us suspiciously.
"What's this?" he asked carefully
"It's a Craig." I replied sarcastically
"Oh, I thought it was a robot." when Craig flipped him off, he only laughed. "I was going to ask if you wanted to come over tonight, for a movie marathon with the other social rejects."
"Oh..." I looked up at Craig. He glanced down at me, uninterested. "I already have plans. Sorry." I felt myself start shaking from the pressure.
Kevin placed a comforting hand on my shoulder. "Okay! Come visit tomorrow. We're having a sleepover. No excuses!" I nodded. "See you then!"
He ran off to meet with the group of friends who were visiting tonight. Craig began walking again, and I followed close behind. After a while, he spoke up.
"You have strange friends."
"I'm strange too." I pointed out
"I don't think you are."
"Thanks. I think. But I don't think they're strange either."
"They spend their free time talking about movies and fangirling over merchandise and figurines, instead of going outside or socializing."
"You flip people the bird instead of socializing."
"Whatever. My point is, you don't seem to be the type of person to fit in with those types of people."
"I don't fit in with anyone. We're friends, that's all. We don't have to be the same to get along."
"But you and I are complete opposites and we hate each other."
I thought I heard myself mumble "I don't hate you", but he didn't address it.
When we got to his house, he opened the front door slowly. He peeked inside then opened it wider. He stepped inside, and I followed quietly. We took off our shoes and he threw his blue coat and chullo hat on to the couch arm. I took that moment to appreciate his shiny black hair. Although, he seemed to have dyed the under side of his hair blond.
He led me upstairs to his room. When we were in there, I noticed his younger sister, Ruby, sprawled out on his bed. He didn't greet her, he only walked right to his piano, which was by the window at the back of the room. I quickly looked down at Ruby, and saw her arm was over her eyes, and she had headphones on. Craig seemed to notice, since he said:
"Just ignore her. She always sits there."
I nodded and walked over to him. He patted the empty space next to him on the bench, so I sat down.
"So how much do you know?" he asked
"Not much. I only started playing a couple days ago."
He nodded and his fingers placed themselves over a few notes. "Then let's start with a beginner's song."
After an hour and a half, I decided it was time for me to head home. Since it was practically summer, at 4:30 the sun was still shining bright, despite the snow on the ground that never seemed to melt.
Craig was leaned against the door frame as I sat on the porch, pulling my shoes on. When I stood up, Craig grabbed my shoulder, making me jump a foot in the air.
"Gah! What is it?" I asked shakily
"Dont spaz out, damn. I just..." he dragged his hand over his face. "I want to apologize for... what happened."
My eyebrows raised in surprise. When what he said sunk in, I looked down. "You know I can't hold a grudge against you." I pointed out
I didn't wait for a response, I just turned on my heel and headed home.