Hey sweetie! Have you started your letter yet?"
Connor looked up and over at Heidi. Zoe was on her bed, on her phone. He then looked at his laptop. He had started one, but it wasn't a good one, to say the least.
"I er, I just started one," Connor shrugged, looking back at Heidi.
Heidi smiled, "You don't need to hear me drone on about how they'll make you see a different outlook on this year, but it's true. Dr. Sherman thinks it'll help calm you down, too."
"I don't know how that'll work," Connor stated.
"Just promise you'll try to avoid a fight and you'll be on good terms with me," Heidi ran her fingers through Connor's hair. "It's getting long again. You sure you don't want it cut?"
Connor rolled his eyes, "It's not as hard to manage as you think."
Heidi ruffled it lightly, and went to Zoe. She sat on the end of her bed. "Hey Zoe, ready to start the day?"
"As I'll ever be," she said sheepishly. "Are you sure you don't mind me doing Jazz Band still?"
"Not at all! Sweetheart, it makes you happy, I won't object to that. Besides, you're good at guitar!" Heidi assured, grabbing her hand and giving it a squeeze.
Zoe smiled, "Thanks mom."
Heidi stood up and was about to leave, but stopped at the doorway, looking back at the two. "I won't be home for dinner, I've got a long shift and class right after, so I left out money for pizza. Connor, remember to take your meds. Zoe, don't forget your guitar. I love you two so much, okay?"
Both of them nodded. Heidi sighed, and left the room.
Connor glanced at his computer, where his letter draft filled the screen.
"Dear Connor Hansen, today is going to be a good day and here's why;
You aren't going to have an outburst this time. You're going to stay completely calm and rational and you won't freak out at anybody at all. It totally won't be like the time you tried to talk to Evan Murphy, the ridiculously cute choir kid. You aren't going to hide in the bathroom because you were too worried about staying calm and breathing, which, you were calm at the time! But you didn't know if you'd loose it for no reason whatsoever so you didn't even talk to him then."
Connor deleted the draft. That wouldn't do, at all.
He decided it'd have to wait until later, because Jared had just sent him a text message about waiting in the car, so he and Zoe hurried out the door.
Jared was one of Connor's few friends (it took a long time to get him to admit it), and had met him through Heidi when their father had left. Jared was important to him, even if he'd never admit it.
Jared whistled, "Loving the new hair length. Very gay."
Connor scoffed, "I'm bi, and already told you that, so shut the fuck up."
"Connor, be nice, or it's good-bi to you," Zoe grinned.
"Like I haven't heard that one before," Connor rolled his eyes. "I'm gonna nap, wake me when we get there."
Zoe rolled her eyes, but didn't comment.
"It's your senior year, Evan. You're not missing the first day."
Evan cowered from Cynthia slightly. He hated first days and she knew that. Besides, he didn't want to go anyways. He had something in mind.
"C-can't I go tomorrow instead?" Evan nudged his pancake with his fork.
"We go through this every year, Evan. It's just nerves, you'll feel better about it soon," Cynthia assured, giving him some orange juice, before looking at Larry. "Are you gonna say anything, or are you too invested in your emails?"
"Listen to your mother, Evan," Larry typed at his laptop, not sparing a glance at either of them.
Cynthia sighed. "Just finish your pancakes, and get ready, okay? Alana will be here in half an hour."
Evan nodded numbly, taking a bite out of his pancake stack. There was no use arguing, he knew he wouldn't win anyways. He could wait.
"Remember Evan, I've got my yoga class, and your father has to work late, so we won't be home until late. You have to eat something, alright?" Cynthia went to wash dishes.
Evan looked up at her, "Got it."
Cynthia hummed, beginning to wash some plates. "And ask people to sign your cast! There's a sharpie on the counter."
Evan looked away afterwards. He just had to make it through the day.
"Damn, does the Murphy kid always look that socially inept?" Jared commented, watching Evan awkwardly scurry off to an empty table.
"Jared, just shut up," Connor sighed, shaking his head.
"I think I'm gonna go say hi," he replied cockily, walking over to the isolated table, blocking out whatever Connor was saying about leaving him alone or whatever.
Jared leaned against the table, and grinned at Evan. "So, hows it feel to be the first person in history to break their arm from jerking off too much? Do you hold that as a personal privilege?"
Evan blushed heavily, not saying anything. He couldn't if he tried. Granted, Evan knew he had to stand up for himself and had to be more assertive, but he just couldn't do it.
Jared pressed on. "Paint me the picture; you're in your room, lights dimmed, candles being your only light source. Music plays softly in the background as you pull out your probably new, 10+ phone or whatever-"
Connor's hand lands impossibly fast on Jared's shoulder, and one glance would show that he was pissed. Jared laughed nervously.
"Uh.. s-see ya!" He quickly scampered off.
Connor scoffed, watching Jared go, before turning to Evan. "I'm sorry about him. He's an idiot."
"No no, it's, it's fine. T-thank you," Evan smiled at him.
"I'm Connor. I think I've seen you at er, at concerts?" After seeing Evan's confused expression, he quickly added on, "Jazz band shares concerts with choir, right? My sisters in Jazz band."
Evan nodded at this extra detail. "I'm n-nothing special. I, I don't do s-solos or anything."
"But you like it, don't you?" Connor assumed he would.
Evan shrugged, "There's n-no one to, to talk to.."
Connor could sympathize with that. He let his gaze travel to his left arm, where a cast sat. So, he mumbled, "Do you mind if I sign it?"
Evan didn't hear him. "I'm sorry, w-what? I, I couldn't hear you."
"Er, it's nothing. I'll leave you to it," he quickly walked off, and tried to ignore Jared's laughter.
Connor sat at the desk in the computer lab during his homeroom. He had procrastinated long enough on his assignment, and had to finish it. So, he began to type his woes of the day,
"Dear Connor Hansen, turns out today won't be a good day, or good week or year, because things are just getting bad again.
I can't tell mom about it. She worries too much about me as it is. She should be focusing on Zoe (I've noticed it's harder for her to engage. I hope it isn't anxiety). I'm in control of myself, I can handle passing the spotlight to Zoe for a change.
And then there's Evan. Why the fuck did it have to be him? Why couldn't it be anyone else? I can't even talk to him.
I wish things were different. I wish I didn't feel any of this. I wish I was just a normal person.
But apparently being normal is overrated, am I right?
Sincerely, your best and most dearest friend, me."
Connor pressed print without a second thought and leaned back in his chair. The point of these letters were to be honest, right? So he decided to be brutally honest. Connor knew his therapist wouldn't like it, but why try to hide it? Dr. Sherman did say that he wanted him to be honest with him.
Connor didn't get to think long, because his phone was ringing, so he pulled it out and answered. "Hello?"
"Hey sweetheart! I just wanted to say I won't be home tonight. I have to work overtime.." Heidi sounded exhausted.
"Got it. I'll text Zoe," Connor sat up. He was too used to an empty house.
"Thanks Connor. Hey, did you finish your letter?"
"Just printed it off."
"Was it a good day?"
"Yeah.. too good to be true."
Heidi cursed under her breath, "I'm sorry, I've gotta go. Don't forget about your appointment! I love you!"
"I love you too," Connor listened as the call came to an end. He pocketed his phone and decided it was time to grab his letter.
But Evan Hansen was there.
With his letter in his hand.
"Um, hey. I- I wanted to t-thank you. For- making Jared stop," he said, beginning to fidgit a bit.
"Oh, it wasn't a problem," Connor said, matter of fact lay.
Connor cleared his throat, catching the other's attention. "So uh. How'd you break your arm?"
Evan's free hand was clutching at his cast, picking at the plaster of it. "I f-fell- out a tree."
"You fell? Out of a tree?" Connor briefly wondered how high he was up.
Evan refused to meet his eyes, and the grip on his cast tightened. "I-isn't that the- the saddest f-fucking thing you've, you've ever heard?"
Connor chose to change the topic. "Um- no one's signed it."
Evan briefly looked at him, before looking down. "No I- I know."
"Well I'll sign it," Connor offered, stepping forward.
"Y-you- you don't have to," Evan looked up again.
Connor pressed on, "Do you have a sharpie?"
Evan nodded in confirmation, silently pulling out a sharpie, and held it him. The entire sequence was stiff and screamed 'I'm so anxious right now but please don't notice it'.
Connor took the sharpie and uncapped it, taking Evan's casted hand as carefully as he could. It was probably the closest he'd been to Evan, and tried to act normal and not like he was going to implode. He cradled his cast, writing big, bold letters on the front, spelling out the words 'CONNOR'. Afterwards, he closed the sharpie and handed it back to Evan.
"There. Now we can say we both have friends," Connor offered, watching Evan pocket the sharpie.
Evan smiled, before remembering why he approached Connor. "Is-is this yours?" He held up the letter. "I s-saw it on the printer- and there's no one else in here- It's even got a name. Connor Hansen. T-that's you, right?"
Connor tensed a bit. "Um yeah. Can I have that back?"
Evan was reading it now. "'And then there's Evan. Why the fuck did it have to be him? Why couldn't it be anyone else? I can't even talk to him.'" Evan looked at Connor, shocked.
"Evan wait, it's not what you think!" Connor stepped forward again, but Evan stepped back.
"You hate me.." Evan murmured, staring at the letter. He looked up, tears gathering in his eyes. "You- you hate me! I s-should go.."
"Evan wait!" Connor watched in horror as Evan ran out of the room, frozen, feet glued to the floor. He couldn't will himself to move.
The same type of horror washed over him again when Cynthia and Larry Murphy met him in the office, letter in hand.