I Can’t Have You.

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    foREVerYours. (100)

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    Finley Moore & Cooper Black
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    Cora Parker & Ryan Bowman
    January 5th, 2020 at 08:01pm
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    Finley Moore laid in her bed as she usually did on school mornings, staring at the ceiling. She counted the stripes on her quilt, murmuring the numbers to herself. “33… 34...35… 36…” Once she was finished she squeezed her eyes shut, recalling the names that almost everyone at school called her. “Freak”, “loon”, and “nutcase” were a few. Having severe OCD only allowed the list of names to grow, as the other students at her school weren't particularly kind. Her mother came upstairs and knocked on the door, reminding her that the school bus would be at the bus stop in ten minutes, and that she needed to get up and get dressed. Her mother then went back downstairs, grabbed her suitcase and went out to the waiting cab to head to the airport and back to her husband and other children, who all lived a few states away, as her father was a prominent politician who didn't like his daughter's "issues" sullying his image.

    Finley reluctantly rolled out of bed once her mother was gone, changing out of her pajamas and into a simple outfit, pulling on a jacket as she grabbed her backpack and went downstairs, tying her shoes before she headed out of the house. After making sure to lock up before she headed to the bus stop at the end of the street, counting the cracks in the pavement as she went.
    Ryan Bowman headed towards the entrance of the school with his friends after parking his car, holding his gym bag. He had never been one to hate school like others, and was doing extremely well in his classes, along with having plenty of friends. The teachers loved him, and he was captain of the football team, which made him a happy guy overall. He did notice that sometimes this friends weren't the nicest to people, and tended to bully some of the weirder kids in school, and even though he felt guilty about it, he often fell victim to acting the same way, getting caught up in the moment whenever his friends would start picking on someone. When he got to his locker, he shoved his gym bag in and grabbed a textbook he'd left in there before shutting his locker and leaning against it while he chatted with his friends.
    January 5th, 2020 at 08:20pm
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    Cora stares up at the ceiling as she counted the tiles, “55..” She sighed as she got out of bed and sat there for a moment. After switching schools for the third time this year, Cora had been at this one for about two weeks. The name calling had already started as they noticed her OCD. Cora had tried time after time to get her mother to let her be home schooled, but it never worked. As she got dressed, Cora put her hair up in ponytail before leaving her room and going downstairs. It wasn’t surprising that her mother was gone, Cora was used to taking care of herself in the morning. Making sure everything was locked, she walked out the door and made her way down the sidewalk.

    She pulled the hood of her sweatshirt up and walked towards the school. It wasn’t too long of a walk and Cora always managed to get there at just the last minute. Cora didn’t want to give the other kids any extra time to pick on her. Seeing the school come into view, Cora slowed her steps. Glancing to her side, Cora started counting the fence posts until she reached the corner.
    Cooper grabbed his bag as he walked out of the locker room. He had made a point of getting to the gym for at least an hour before school. It was easier to stay in shape rather than trying to catch up when sports started. Seeing his friends around his locker he walked over. School wasn’t awful for him, he didn’t have problems with any teachers or students. His subjects came pretty easily to him. There wasn’t anything for him to really complain about. Cooper knew his friends weren’t the beat people. They liked to act as if their popularity gave them a free pass to do whatever they wanted and treat people like trash. Of course, Cooper couldn’t judge them too harshly, he tended to give in to their peer pressure and would usually end up joining them when it came to teasing other students.

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    January 6th, 2020 at 01:02am
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    Finley headed into the school when she finally arrived, ignoring the taunts from those who had ridden the bus with her. She hated school, even though she loved learning, and even though she'd begged her step-mother to let her be home schooled they'd refused, so here she was, suffering through the bullying, counting down the days until she graduated. Once at her locker she carefully put in the combination on the lock before opening it, switching out some of the books inside for ones she'd brought in her backpack. She flinched when someone threw a wadded up piece of paper at her, her attention shifting away from her locker for just a moment to look for who had thrown it, which was long enough for one of Cooper's friends to slam her locker door shut on her hand, earning an eruption of laughter from those watching, and a dry of pain from Finley.
    Ryan was laughing along with his friends when Cora entered the school, and he looked over at her as his friends shifted their attention to her, listening with amusement as they began to tease her as she headed to her locker. He didn't think it was right for them to be picking on her for OCD, as it wasn't something she could really help, but she also acted quite odd a lot of the time, and sort of walked right into most of the teasing and jokes from his friends.
    January 6th, 2020 at 02:04am
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    Cora hadn’t even made it to her locker before she felt eyes on her. She took a breath as she opened her locker and quickly exchanged her books. The sooner she was able to get to her class, the better. Cora shut her locker and started walking. She didn’t get far before something tripped her up and she fell flat on her face. Cora gasped, taking a moment to gather herself before she got up. Hearing everyone around her laugh, Cora hung her head and ran down the hall to her first class. Once she reached the room, she sat in her normal spot. She felt the tears starting to form in her eyes, but she used every little bit of strength she had to hold them back. Instead, she found herself playing with her bracelets.
    Cooper couldn’t understand why they always insisted on harassing Finley. It wasn’t like her OCD was something she chose and for some reason it was like a target. Cooper never stopped his friends though. Hearing a cry of pain, Cooper’s head shot up from his phone to see that one of his friends had slammed Finley’s hand in the locker. He was in disbelief, his friends had done some pretty bad stuff, but never actually hurt anyone. Cooper couldn’t bring himself to do anything. He was shocked as his friend walked back over to them, smiling like it was some kind of accomplishment. Cooper looked at him, “What was that?” He questioned, not able to believe what had happened.
    January 6th, 2020 at 03:46am
  • katahdin

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    Ryan frowned a bit as he noticed that one of his friends had tripped Cora, watching as she got up and ran to class. He thought that that was a bit excessive, physically hurting someone was a lot different than just teasing people. Before he could really say anything to his friends about it the bell rang, so he headed to his first class, taking his usual seat with a little sigh, noticing Cora in her seat looking rather upset. Clearing his throat a little he leaned over, offering her a small, polite smile. "Sorry those jerks did that.. I hope you're alright." He murmured before the teacher came in and began talking, pulling out a pen to begin taking notes on some project or another that they'd be working on over the next few weeks.
    Nick was laughing as he walked back over to Cooper and his friends, frowning a little when Cooper asked what he'd just done, shrugging as he grabbed his bag from his locker as the bell rang. "I dunno. Figured it'd be funny, and it was." He grinned, heading off to class with the others. Finley whimpered as she cradled her injured hand in her other one, struggling to keep tears at bay as she shut her locker before heading in the direction of the nurses' office quickly, partially convinced her fingers were broken, although they were only badly bruised.
    January 6th, 2020 at 04:47am
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    Cora was surprised when Ryan apologized for his friend. She didn’t know what to do, other than quietly respond, “I’ll be fine.” It could have been worse, Cora had never been physically harmed by any other student before. Truth be told, she was scared. As the teacher went on about their notes and that they would be starting a new project that would take a couple weeks, Cora listened closely. A few kids in the class were still mumbling about what had happened in the hall. Cora already couldn’t wait for the day to be over.
    “That just crossed a whole new line,” Cooper said, more to himself seeing as everyone else had walked off. He noticed Finley walking toward the nurses office, “Hey.” He called after her, following her down the hall and finally catching up with her, “I’m sorry about him.” Cooper looked down at her hand, “Do you think they’re broken?” He felt horrible about what Nick did, no one deserved that. Considering Finley had never done anything to anyone, she didn’t deserve to be hurt.

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    January 6th, 2020 at 05:02am
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    Ryan hushed some of the guys seated behind him who were still talking about Cora, mostly because it was distracting him from taking his notes, although he also didn't approve of the 'prank,' and wanted them to stop talking about it. He looked up in surprise from his notebook when the teacher began to read out the assigned pairs for the project, hearing that he and Cora were assigned partners.
    Finley looked up when Cooper began speaking to her, tensing a little as he stood next to her. She didn't trust him, knowing that he was always hanging out with the boys who teased her. He had to be up to something, this must be some kind of trick. She shook her head a little when he asked if she thought they were broken, shying away from him. "No.. Please leave me alone.." she murmured soflty, glancing up at him anxiously.
    January 6th, 2020 at 05:40am
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    Cora’s eyes widened and her head shot up when the teacher assigned her to work with Ryan. Sure, he had been nice to her earlier, but that could have been a fluke. She knew there was no point in trying to argue with the teacher. Cora hadn’t been there long enough to establish any kind of friendship with the teacher so she would be able to do the project on her own. After explaining the details of the project, the teacher told them to get into their pairs and start discussing. Cora hesitated before moving closer to Ryan, “Did you have any ideas?” She asked quietly.
    Cooper immediately sensed she was uncomfortable and backed off, “I really am sorry.” He said before deciding to give her space, seeing he was already late, Cooper decided to skip his first class. There was no way he’d be able to focus while thinking about Finley. He was almost ready to question his friendship with Nick. Cooper wandered the halls, finding himself back by the nurse’s office. He walked down the hall a bit, passing the door and sitting on the floor across the hall. Cooper would give her space, but he wanted to make sure she was okay.

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    January 6th, 2020 at 06:36am
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    Ryan looked over at Cora as she moved closer so they could discuss their project, humming a little in thought before shaking his head. "No.. No ideas off the top of my head. What about you?" He asked. He was sure that they could come up with something together, they just needed a place to start.
    Through the open door Cooper could easily see and hear Finley speaking with the nurse while she carefully taped her fingers together to splint them as a precaution, giving her some pain medicine and an ice pack to help with the swelling. "How did this happen, Finley? This is the second time this month you've been injured like this." The nurse pointed out, obviously suspicious about it..

    Finley only gave a little shrug of her shoulders, staring down at the ice pack. "Didn't notice my hand was in the way when I shut the door.. My mistake." She murmured softly. Even though it would be easy for her to tell the truth, to get Nick in serious need trouble for the bullying, she didn't. She never told the teachers who asked questions the truth, always deflecting and blaming herself for whatever it was that was done to her. Once the nurse dismissed her she headed out into the hall, freezing in her tracks when she saw Cooper sitting in the hall waiting for her. "Did... Did I do something wrong?" She asked nervously, worried he was there to beat her up or something.
    January 6th, 2020 at 06:52am
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    Cora shook her head, it was odd for her, normally she had no problem coming up with ideas for projects. She looked through the notes in her notebook for a moment, hoping that there would be something in there to spark an idea. The only reason Cora could come up with for her sudden inability to come up with an idea was Ryan. At any of her old schools, Cora always worked on her own, either because the teacher let her or her partner would complain to the teacher and end up being put in with another pair. “Sorry, I’m not used to working with a partner...” Cora said softly.
    Cooper couldn’t believe Finley wouldn’t tell the nurse that Nick had done it. He shook his head slightly and waited for her to come out. Seeing Finley open the door, Cooper quickly stood up, “No, you didn’t do anything. I just realized I was already late for class so there wasn’t a real point in going and I wanted to make sure you didn’t have any broken fingers or anything...” Honestly, Cooper didn’t know what he was doing or why he had the sudden interest in Finley. He made sure to give her space, not wanting to make her even more uncomfortable.

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    January 6th, 2020 at 07:25am
  • katahdin

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    Ryan smiled a little when she apologized for not being able to come up with anything, shaking his head. "Don't worry about it. We've got some time to come up with an idea, so it'll be alright, don't worry." He said as he skimmed through his own notes, looking for something they could use. "Hm. Maybe we could center our project around a specific theme?" He suggested.
    Finley frowned a little as she listened to him explain why he was here, adjusting the ice pack on her fingers as she looked at him. "Oh.. They're not broken, I don't think.. Just hurt.." she shrugged a little, tugging her jacket around her a bit tighter as she felt a bit self conscious and cold. "You shouldn't worry about me. I'm fine."
    January 6th, 2020 at 11:06pm
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    Cora couldn’t figure out why he was being so nice to her. In the weeks that she had been there, no one had gone out on a limb and been nice to her. Maybe it was only because they had to work together? Cora didn’t want to think about it anymore as she turned her attention back to Ryan, “Yeah, I think that would be a good idea.”
    Cooper didn’t like seeing the frown on Finley’s face, “Well, I’m glad they aren’t broken, but I am sorry they’re hurt. Nick is, well, an awful person.” Saying it out loud made it much more real to him. “I am worried, I never should have let them get away with everything they do,” Cooper felt so guilty over everything, he couldn’t bring himself to stop apologizing.

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    January 7th, 2020 at 06:37am
  • katahdin

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    Ryan nodded when she agreed with his idea, quickly scribbling a few possible themes in his notebook, as well as what they could possibly do with their project centered around that theme. "Do any of these seem good? These were just the ones I thought of, so I'm sure that there are others we could do." He felt bad for the way she'd been treated by everyone since she arrived at school, and he didn't want to be rude to her just because of something she couldn't control.
    Finley's brows furrowed in confusion as he apologized for Nick, shaking her head a little. "I.. I don't understand.. Nick is your friend, but you think he's a bad person?" She didn't understand why he kept apologizing to her for his friend's behavior, especially when he generally laughed and joined in on their teasing at some point.
    January 7th, 2020 at 03:57pm
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    Cora watched as Ryan scribbled ideas into his notebook. “Oh, that one would work,” she said, pointing to one of the ideas. She was glad that Ryan was being nice, but she needed to keep her guard up. Cora couldn’t understand why he was having such a change in attitude.
    “Honestly, I don’t understand either,” Cooper told her, it was the truth. He couldn’t understand why he was friends with Nick. It was starting to become clear to him that he needed to change the way he acted, “He is, and I haven’t been much better by standing by and letting him do what he’s done.”

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    January 11th, 2020 at 03:22am
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    Ryan nodded when she pointed out the idea that she liked, smiling. "I like that one too. Any suggestions for what to include?" He asked, looking up when the bell rang, signaling the end of class. "I can give you my number, if you want, so that we can arrange a time to meet outside of class to work on the project?" He asked, starting to put his notebook and bag away.
    Finley frowned a bit as Cooper continued to speak, shaking her head in confusion. "I.. I don't understand.." she repeated, heading down the hall toward the doors that led outside to the sports fields. She liked to go out there when she skipped her classes, as no one else was ever around, and it was a good spot to sit alone with her thoughts.
    January 11th, 2020 at 03:48am
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    Cora didn’t get a chance to answer his question when the bell rang. “Sure, that would work,” she said when he mentioned giving her his phone number. Cora started putting her things away, once she got his number, she nodded, “I’ll get a hold of you to set something up.” She quickly finished gathering her things before leaving the class room, needing a few minutes to compose herself. Cora reached her locker, only to see someone wrote FREAK across it in large letters. A sigh left her lips as she put her books away and quickly took off towards the library. Cora knew it would be empty and she could be alone.
    Cooper sighed as he watched Finley walk away and head outside. He wanted to explain to her that he had made a mistake. He should have done something to stop his friends a long time ago. Unfortunately, it took Nick going too far to make him realize that. He stood there for a moment, thinking about if he should follow her. Against his better judgement, Cooper followed her out to the sports fields. When he finally caught up to her, he sighed, “I don’t expect you to accept my apology, but I am sorry for not doing something to stop them from bullying you.” He tore a piece of paper from his notebook and quickly scribbled on it, “Here’s my number. This isn’t a joke or anything like that, I want to be a better person. If you need a friend or want to talk, just get a hold of me, okay?”

    @ katahdin
    January 11th, 2020 at 05:00am
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    Ryan smiled a little as she took his number, nodding as she said she'd get in touch with him. "Ok, just text me with whatever works for you, ok?" He said before heading out of class and to his locker. He frowned as he noticed the work scrawled on her locker, feeling incredibly guilty for what his friends had done. With a sigh he headed to the library for his free period, blinking when he saw that Cora was there, hesitating a moment before moving over to take a seat at the same table, clearing his throat awkwardly. "Hey... I'm sorry they did that to your locker.. I'll make sure to clean it up for you."
    Finley looked up from where she sat on the bleachers when Cooper came up to her again, frowning a little in confusion as he apologized again and gave her his phone number, offering to be her friend. "I.. You don't have to apologize, you know.. It's not your fault... I.. You can sit, if you want.." she offered softly, figuring he might want to given that he had followed her out here.
    January 11th, 2020 at 05:31am
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    Cora was surprised when Ryan sat down at the table with her. Hearing his apology, Cora sighed, “It’s not your fault, you don’t have to apologize.” Cora brushed a strand of hair away from her face, “I, uh, I should be used to it. The same thing happens at every school so it isn’t exactly shocking.” A small smile crossed her face when she heard him say he’d clean it up, “You don’t have to. I appreciate the thought though.”
    “I feel awful though, especially since I didn’t realize it before,” Cooper said, embarrassed to admit he had never paid much attention. Hearing her say he could sit down, Cooper sat across from her. He looked around slightly, “You come out here a lot?” He asked, it seemed like a good place to go during class when you wouldn’t want to be bothered.

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    January 11th, 2020 at 05:57am
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    "But it shouldn't happen. There's no good reason for it to happen." Ryan pointed out with a frown, pulling out one of his textbooks, needing to work through a few problems to finish up some of his homework. "My friends are jerks, and shouldn't be treating you the way they have been. I don't mind trying to right their wrong." He offered her a little smile before turning his attention to his textbook, sure she'd be wanting to focus on her own work.
    "It's ok, no one pays much attention to me, so you don't have to feel bad." Finley offered him a faint smile, trying to reassure him that he hadn't done anything wrong. She often felt like she deserved the bullying, given how long it had gone on, so she didn't like him blaming himself. She nodded when he asked if she came out here a lot, looking out over the grass. "It's quiet, and there are no people usually... I get my homework from my teachers at the end of the day, and keep out of everyone's way.." she explained quietly, adjusting the ice pack on her hand. She shivered a little in the cool fall air, having not brought a coat with her since some of the cheerleaders had taken hers a week or so ago and ruined it, leaving her to have to deal without it.
    January 11th, 2020 at 06:06am