You're The Closest To Heaven That I'll Ever Be
Nothing has changed
"So, do you think that you can find your way around?" Lily asked, handing Andy's schedule back to him.
"Yeah, I think so..." Andy looked down at his class schedule.
"Okay, good. I have to get to class. My teacher will kill me if I'm late but the hallways seem to be clearing up. You should be able to find your way around a little better. And if you're late for class, just explain that you're new here, okay?"
Andy nodded and watched her walk down the hallway and around the corner. Once she had disappeared from view, he turned and began to make his way down the long, empty hallway. When he was about half way down the hallway, a couple of upperclassmen boys turned the corner at the end of the hall and started walking towards him.
"Hey, are you the new kid?" The taller of the two boys called out.
Andy looked up at them behind his long, black bangs. "Yeah... I'm... I am..." Andy slowed his pace.
"Well, let us give you a proper welcome." The other one said before he pushed Andy into the lockers behind him.
He took hold of Andy's shirt, pulled him forward and then slammed him back against the lockers. Each time his back hit the wall of lockers, he was called a different name. They finished off with a right hook and hit him in the side of the face.
"Emo faggot!" They called back at him as they laughed together down the hall away from Andy.
He knew Ohio wouldn't be different. He told his parents that it wouldn't be. No one was going to accept him for who he was. They couldn't see past the makeup, the piercings, and the long black hair.
But then he remembered Lily. She accepted him; she looked past his appearance. But she wasn't there to protect him; to tell him that everything would be okay.
Andy turned into the bathroom to fix his hair so his bangs covered his newly forming black eye.
When he walked back out to the hallway, Lily stood there talking to someone.
"Oh, hey, Andy!" Lily walked over to him. "I've been looking all over for you."
"Oh..." Andy reached up to make sure his black eye was hidden. "Well, here I am. What's up?"
"Well, I was just wondering if you maybe wanted to hang out with me after school?"
Andy smiled. "Yeah, I'd like to do that."
"Great!" Lily clapped her hands together once. "Want to meet back here after class?"
"Sure." Andy nodded.
He expected her to just turn around and go back to her class but instead she did something that surprised him. She skipped over to him, placed a light kiss on his cheek and then turned to go back to class. Maybe the rest of this day wouldn't be as bad as the start.
"So, how was your first day?" Lily sat down next to Andy in the cool grass beneath the tree he fell from when they first met.
"Good," Andy lied.
"Make any new friends?"
Lily scooted over closer to him. "I'm sure you'll make some soon." She tried to sound positive.
She watched as Andy reached up to fix his bangs. She noticed he had been doing that quite a lot lately. His sleeve fell a little and she saw his cut up arm peek out from underneath. But what was cut into his arm was even worse. He had engraved her name in his arm with deep, scarred cuts. A feeling of fear and panic washed over her.
"Um, Andy, I have to go." She stood up abruptly.
"Wait," He reached for her but she was just out of reach.
Now he began to wonder what he had done to scare away the one person who finally understood him.
She needed to get away because she was afraid he was hurting himself because of her. What she didn't realize was that she was hurting him by not being around.