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The Hollow Days

Chapter Eight

My gaze softened as I looked at Elliot's eyes. He had such gorgeous eyes. Okay, now I needed to find out why he always had that look on his face I wasn't going to stall anymore. He didn't seem as annoyed as earlier, so maybe I had a chance...

"Elliot," my tone was soft, and I looked into his eyes so he'd know I was completely sincere and not bullshitting him. "Why do you look so sad all the time? What happened to you? That's all I've been trying to figure out all day. It worries me, actually," I laughed a bit at the last part, surprised I was actually saying this. "That's why I keep looking at you. I'm just trying to figure you out, not be a creep."

I think that was good. Yes, that sounded great. Maybe he'd soften up--

"Fuck off, Emma! You don't know anything about me, and you never will!" He barked. His eyes screamed hate, and I mumbled a tiny apology before scooting away. I leaned against the window as tears formed in my eyes, and I bit my lip to stop it from quivering. Okay. I was completely wrong about him softening up. Maybe I'd just forget about him, and it would be like he doesn't exist.

I could feel him watching me. I put my knees up on the seat and hugged them to my chest, watching the houses pass outside. The bus stopped suddenly, and a group of kids bounced off eagerly. My stop was next. I rested my head against the cool window, closing my eyes to stop the tears from forming even more.

"Emma, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell at you," I turned my head at Elliot's voice and saw he was sitting on the edge of his seat. "I guess I'm not used to people being nice to me. The ones who are usually bail and turn into complete assholes when they find out the real me."

"I wouldn't do that to you." My voice was soft and quivered a bit.

"Why are your eyes tearing up? Aw, fuck, I'm really sorry. I hate making girls cry, surprisingly." He laughed a bit, making me smile. This is the first time all day that he's actually been nice to me. It made me happy, I guess. Suddenly, my bus hitched to a sudden stop. I shifted my bag onto my shoulder and stood up, adjusting my shirt.

"This is my stop, see you tomorrow," I smiled and hopped off the bus. I looked up to see my mom's car idling, waiting for me to get in. I bounded up to her car and got in the passenger seat. She gave me a big hug. "How was your first day at school? Tell me everything!" She cried as she let go. "You hungry? I'm gonna take you to Dairy Queen to reward you for surviving today." She gave me a smile and started driving down the long road.

I launched into my story about how my teacher introduced me in the most embarrassing way possible. She laughed hard, and I smiled. My mom and I were really close. I told her a lot of things and she always listened.

"Have you seen any cute guys?" She asked, fluffing out her long, straight blonde hair that I inherited from her.

"Well, there is this kid Elliot," Before I could say anymore she gasped and whistled, elbowing me in the side jokingly.

"But he's different. He always has this depressed look in his eyes, and whenever I tried to talk to him, he was just being a dick. He's on my bus, too."

"Oh, I feel you, hunny." My mom said as we pulled into Dairy Queen. I was excited to get ice cream. I mean, who didn't love ice cream? I ordered the usual Heath Blizzard. I loved that stuff. It tasted so good and always cheered me up, no matter what mood I was in. I could be ready to kill someone and get that ice cream and be completely mellow by the time I took the first bite.

She got regular vanilla on a cone. We sat out on one of the picnic tables, enjoying the spring warmth. She asked my more about school, and I chatted about the kids there and my teachers and the classrooms, and after she told me about her day.

My mom was always gonna be my best friend. A part of me wondered where me and Elliot would stand tomorrow, but I pushed it away.

When I got home with my stomach full and happy, the house phone rang. My mom hurried and answered it.

"Hello?" She said, in the voice she used when she didn't know who was calling. Suddenly, her gaze swooped to me. She beamed at me and her smile hid something serious.

What? I mouthed to her.

"Emma? Oh, she is right here. Hold on." She covered the mouthpiece as she headed toward me, a big smile on her face.

"It's Elliot." She whispered before handing me the black phone.
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