The world is flat, and this is a fact I was told at 9:54.
Their world is different than mine. Or planet? Is it planet or world? It doesn't change one simple fact; I can't talk to them..
“No,” Kaminari's voice rises above the others. “It's fucking flat!”
A dark hand comes from the side, whacking the tangled, blonde mop resting on the teen's head. “Boy, I'm this close to smacking you again.”
Before Mina can turn around, I drop my head, pretending to be interested in the book lying in front of me.
She shakes the shirt pink hair framing her dark face, slapping her friend. A smirk rises on her face as she notices eyes on her. She's an entertainer at heart.
Only one even tries to read the Bronte sister's work; his red hair is held up with a plethora of Mina's hair clips.
"Wake up, shitty hair."
Kirishima's eyes dart up at Bakugou's snarl as the bell echoes out from the hall. I gather my things, a sigh escaping my mouth as I check my phone for the thousandth time. Swiping down as I see that despicable swirl. I already know they haven't responded.
The friends of my old school are all dead. Okay, maybe they aren't dead, but that's beside the point; I don't get to see them anymore, and it feels like...
What does it feel like? I've never known what it's like to not have any real friends. I guess I'm new territory.
Introverts can't survive on their own. I think it's a well-known fact that we require some random extrovert that... gets us. And until we find our guardian angel, I guess we're all drifters.
I gather my things quickly, eyes darting as I scan the halls. I know all these kids by heart, and I've only been here for like... three weeks?
I feel a heavy body smash into me, thick with muscle and thread through with hate. Bakugou's eyes meet mine, and that's when I know I've met the devil.
Every school has the blonde bitch, the rich girl with an army of skanks. Or maybe it was just mine. Anyway, what do you do when that girl is 5 foot 9, captain of at least five sports (Idk, a lot of them), number three in your class, and also maybe ridiculously hot? Oh, and don't forget the part where he's menacingly staring down at you, even though he shoved you.
A: Cave in and Cry
B: Ask Him Out (What. The. Fuck?)
C: Realize That You Just Dropped All Your Papers.
"Fuck," I mumble, dropping to the ground to pick up the notebooks splayed out. All of a sudden, it's like I'm Mina; I think eyes are all on me, or maybe my papers. Drawings and notes, along with much darker things are all on display.
The rest of his gang all stray into the hallway, but Bakugou drifts near the doorway, a scowl on his face as he picks up one of the notebooks.
"No," I protest, but my voice couldn't possibly sound any weaker. "Don't-"
"Is this for real?" Bakugou's voice shifts from anger to an unexpected emotion; ecstasy. "No, you've gotta be fucking kidding me..."
His voice drifts off as he realizes what else is on the page. When the cover turns around and I see the title, I know my world is ending.
It's my suicide
I don't know if either of them is on the football team, but Kirishima perfectly catches the notebook in his tan, weathered hands as Bakugou throws it behind his head. "Report this."
Kirishima nods, the easy-going smile on his face drifting away as he dutifully rushes out of the main building. I can already feel the heat rising in my cheeks, but I attempt to push it down.
"Let me by!" I shout, suddenly conscious of the crowd that's gathered. At least the other books are on the ground. Did they have to grab that one though? "Please!"
The blond boy snorts, raising his arms to stop me. "I'm not letting you off that easy. You think I didn't see what was in your journals?"
"Bakugou!" Mina calls, grabbing Kaminari to help shove their friend off me. "Listen, I don't know what was in that book, but you can't just-"
"I'm not letting anyone else die."
I take advantage of the momentary distraction he causes, slipping underneath his tough arms. I can practically hear the anger inside of him, but I don't care; I have to get my notebook back.
If these students didn't know me before, they're probably gonna remember now; I rush by, slamming into thousands of bodies before I end up outside. Sunlight hits me the moment I stretch out on the campus ground. I catch the red-haired kid out of the corner of my eye and start bolting in that direction, trampling at least a dozen tulips. They're my least favorite flower anyway.
"Stop!" I shout at him, nearly stumbling on both my words and the ground. He turns around, falling like a mountain.
"Gah!" his body just keeps falling, a drawback of his near gargantuan stature (at least, he's massive compared to me). Suddenly, it's like my body is completely taken over; despite the clear weight difference, he ends up in my trembling arms. Our eyes lock, from my muddy green to his warm brown. His eyes are chocolate milk.
"Sorry," I mumble, dropping him slowly to the ground. He smiles a little as the reeds of grass envelop him, surrounding his world. When I reach out to grab the notebook, the smile fades. A cloud drifts above us, eclipsing the world.
"I still need to tell someone," Kirishima's eyes furrow. "This isn't a joke."
"Exactly," I huff. "It's not a fucking joke. So what was that whole thing you did back there?"
"I'm just trying to help," he protests.
"Help? No... no. That's not what people like you fucking do."
I can tell that I've hit something. His smile cracks, dropping into a thin line. "What do you know?"
"Take it," he shoves the notebook back into my hand. "If that's how you feel, fine. I can't tell you to stop. Just please promise me that you won't open it up again."
He stomps off, all essences of the joy he showed earlier gone. There's something in the way his fists shake that I know it immediately;
Kirishima's not even angry. And that's the scary part.
The only thing reflecting in his warm eyes is fear.
Leaves litter the ground like confetti even though it's been months since they fell. A few yards lie bare, green, and untouched by fall's bounty. Spring is evident in the flowers that poke up from underneath piles of plastic. The flowers grow through the bones, but they still sit raw.
I find myself returning to the swiping, watching as piles of spam flood into my inbox. Okay, but who reads those texts from people like "Sexy Bunny". Bitch, I don't even KNOW you, and you think I'd want to pay money to have sex? I trash the messages, sighing as another message pops up in my mind.
They're not going to respond.
The group chat has been "dead" for weeks now. Yeah, right. I'm sure they just have their group chat, sans me.
I'm at my ugly-ass house in only a moment. The perfect little picket fence and gaudy blue paint hide what could only be described as a never-ending funeral service.
Mom isn't home, which makes sense. I'm sure other kids would love a situation like this; instead, I'm stuck inside the walls that killed my father.
Other factors caused his death. Everyone always reminds me of that when I claim to hate the house, but it doesn't matter to me; who cares about the doctor that didn't save him? Or the old owners that conveniently "forgot" to clean out the asbestos?
Anyway, I'm living in a house of bones. And no amount of poetic value will ever make that okay.
My bedroom is the only form of sanctuary I have from the nightmares; string lights wrap themselves like pulsing snakes around each corner, bordering posters. I narrow my eyes at a few, inspecting them. I haven't even listened to Panic! in forever. It's almost like a time capsule.
Almost like his backpack.
No. We're not going down that road again. I don't care how close I was to him today. I don't even give a fuck that he tried to save me. Because I need to finish this.
If the house is one of the bones, the notebook is my funeral. Speaking of that, I've already imagined a world without me, and it's not going to be anything different. I am but a mere illusion of importance.
I open up the first page, scowling; entire pages are scribbled out by a red pen. Some have holes in them, and others are just ripped out. Only one page lays nearly untouched by the red pen's wrath, listing a 10 digit number.
My phone is whipped out immediately as I punch in the phone number, still not believing the spontaneous action; others find destroying property spontaneous. Just sending one first text to a boy leaves my heart rushing.
I decide on a very romantic "What the fuck". Sans punctuation, of course; he doesn't deserve it yet.
Three dots bubble up almost immediately, sending my heart into a flurry. No one's even read a text I sent in forever, let alone respond.
"I see you broke your promise. It's only been three hours."
I huff, smashing the keyboard to type his contact into my phone. Only now do I realize that I haven't even told him my name.
"It's my body, and it's my life."
"I want to talk in person."
Wow. I'm such a nice guy. The obvious prize here.
A heart pops up next to my text. "If you don't tell me where you live," Kirishima promises. "I'll keep sending hearts."
"Wow," I roll my eyes. "That's soo not shady."
"I could call the police and have them detain you before you kill yourself."
I sigh; I could have sworn he wasn't this perceptive before. Maybe he's hiding a brain behind those muscles? I type in my address hastily, before we get a mess on our hands; I doubt mom would want to come home from work to police just so I can scream my way through an excuse.
"I'll be there in 5," he promises, sending another little heart and smiley face. I pretend to gag, but I can't help it. A part of me's intrigued by his determination.
His knock jolts me from scrolling through old texts. I get up, greeting him with a wonderful "No."
Kirishima's smile doesn't fade this time. "I want to get to know you," He gestures toward the basketball in his hand.
"Through sports? Guess you chose wrong."
He runs a hand through his manic, red hair. "Then we're going through the hard way, huh? Anyway, you outran me; you clearly have some physical talent."
"There's a difference between physical talent and competitiveness."
"Yeah," he shrugs. "I never got to learn your name."
"I need it for your contact," he reasons. I smirk, barely trying to hide it.
"Suave," I nod. "Nico."
"Hmm..." Kirishima puts a hand to his chin. "Sounds... manly. Cool."
"Manly?" a laugh escapes my tight lips. "Are you kidding me?"
"Let me explain," he nods. "Manly... doesn't mean masculine to me. It means... honor-bound. Tough. Able to deal with life."
"Well," I swing on the pole holding up our tiny terrace. "Then you've got the wrong guy."
"Don't say that!" Kirishima protests. "You're plenty manly! You just need a push in the right direction?"
I huff, blowing hair out of my face. "Look, Kirishima-"
"Call me Kiri," he winks. "Just a little... push in the right direction."
"You don't think enough," I taunt.
"You've had to think of the rest of your sentence at least three times now. You jump on anything as quickly as you can."
"So?' Kiri shrugs, his muscled arms rising up and down. I strain to pull my eyes away from the little bit of deeply tanned skin lying at his midriff revealed by his stretch. I'm being saved by an angel, and he doesn't even fucking understand that. "It means I'm proactive."
"No!" I explode. "You just want to help me to help yourself!"
"Why do you keep saying that?" the grimace from before returns. "Please... just trust me. I can't help you if you don't trust me."
"Then don't help me!" I scoff. "It'd be so much easier. I could die, and everyone could forget about me. My old friends seem to be okay with it."
"I read some of your old journals," Kiri plops to the ground, beckoning for me to join him. "And... can I tell you about my scar?"
I look up to where he's pointing; sure enough, a thin line sits right about his eye, faded, but still red.
"I wasn't ever suicidal," he shudders as the word leaves his mouth. "But there were times I didn't know what to do. And... it was before I started working out."
"Let me guess," I roll my eyes. "You're the type that does a push-up every time they're depressed?"
"Don't make fun of it!" he pushes me, trying to be playful. Instead, I end up with a face full of tulips. Fucking. Tulips. "It clearly works, right?"
"Uhh," my brain gets short-circuited as flexes in front of me. Ew, gay panic. "Sure? Is that all you were trying to tell me? Because if you're gonna mention a fuck cure, I can just tell you that-"
“What is it with people and thinking that they exist?”
I'm caught off guard. He's agreeing with me for once. “Tell me.”
I bite the inside of my cheek, rubbing hands against my black jeans. “Tell me.”
“Tell you what?”
Before I can stop myself, I'm an inch from his face, staring at the nick. I can tell he passes it off as a scratch, but I can see the lines underneath. He's hurt.
“Oh,” Kiri deflates. How is it that I can already call him that so easily? “Well... I guess I was like you. Weird, right?”
“Don't be like that! C'mon, ya want me to tell the story or not?”
I roll my eyes. “You're clearly rich. You're popular. You're hot. Yo-”
“You think I'm hot?”
The conversation falls flat, smashing onto the flowers beneath us. I can tell he's trying to pick up the conversation, but my face turns as red as his hair, matching his shirt too.
“I felt like the gravity of the world was on me,” he sighs, continuing. “And... I needed a way to let it out physically. So I-”
Tears plummet for his eyes. My hand holds his back, distant and icy. It's like an entire world is between us. We're from different worlds. It's a fact, and it's something I fucking need to accept.
“Thanks,” my hand falls down his back, slow and methodically through his sniffs. “It came out like that. People hurt me, and I couldn't do anything to them. Back then, determination wasn't a thing. I think I was dull, colorless. And then came the red.”
“Red is passion,” he laughs, noticing the blush rising in my cheeks. “Its anger, and it's pure emotion. Like fire, right? Anyway, it's all my eyes saw when I... when I did it.”
“So you're saying I should self-harm?”
“No!” Kiri roars, standing up suddenly. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
“How about the fact that I want to kill myself?”
He shakes his head. Something inside of me breaks, but I don't know what to say. “Stop this. I told you that things can get better and yet-”
“Can!” I shout in his face. “Doesn't mean that they will. Or should?”
“Shit,” I mumble. “It's... nothing.”
He doesn't pry into it. “Why did you write those things? All your... plans.”
“I think we're opposites; you started out introverted, right? And you didn't like to talk to people.”
“Yeah,” he nods, flexing his arms casually. “And?”
“Well, I've never really been extroverted. I mean, when I was young... but that doesn't count.”
“Why don't they count?”
“Well,” I shrug. “I guess I wasn't aware of what the world could do to someone back then. And now we have...” I spread my arms, staring up towards the blue sky. “This.”
“What's so wrong about it?” Kiri asks, smiling.
“The trees are dead,” I point out. “There's trash lining the street.”
He just leaves, walking out toward the sidewalk. “Wait,” I call out, suddenly panicking. Do I want to get better? “Don't leave!”
“I'm not leaving,” his hair falls a little from its spiky mountains. “I'm just picking up the things you don't like.”
Before I know it, I'm holding an armful of garbage. “If you see something bad in the world, I'll make it better. Take those inside, alright?”
I huff but end up listening as I haul over to the trash can. My pocket vibrates, indicating a text. Kiri wouldn't text me when we're only at yelling distance, right?
Turns out, it's mom. “I'm not coming home tonight. Late meeting.” she writes, all blank. Right as I think she's going to make some amends and show that she cares, the next message breaks me.
“You can heat up something.”
Whatever. But my eyes betray me; tears run down my cheeks; to watch as your world slowly falls apart by mundane things is like drowning in lukewarm water.
I have to crouch to stay out of view from Kiri. He doesn't get to see me cry. He doesn't get to see anything.
We're from different worlds. And that's all there is.