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Chapter 19 | Lacking Vitamin U

Oh no. Don't smile. You'll kill me. I stop breathing when you smile.
- Tessa Dare

Listen to You Make Me Smile by Uncle Kracker for this chapter.

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Expectations. Life's full of them.

Like, for example, you'd expect for a school day to be as average and 'drab' as possible. What, however, you wouldn't expect is a six foot tall boy, who manages to look like some sort of male model, to show up at your door wearing a cone-shaped party hat to top his dirty blonde strands.

The frigid air swarms inside once I swing the door open, and the coldness on my face feels both alarming and refreshing. I look up a fraction, encountering my unexpected vision of a cold Monday morning: Asher in a bright pink party hat. He contrasts painfully with the stark white snowy background.

"Are you a dictionary? Because you're definest thing I've seen this morning."

Before I can fully comprehend what is actually going on, he whips out a matching party horn and blows it. I blink inanely as the annoying sound fills the air. I'm definitely awake now.

"Why would you do that?" I groan, my voice still groggy due to the fact that I had to get ready ten times faster than I usually do to answer the door.

"Happy International Pun Day!" he exclaims, not long after blowing the paper horn closer to my face this time. The sound makes me cringe.

"International Pun Day? Is that even a thing? " I ask, my face crinkling with confusion.

"Sure it is," he smiles, ruffling my already messy hair.

"Um, okay," I utter, flattening my untamed hair, and deciding that it's too early start an argument about the validity of Pun Day.

"Are you going to join me on the road to a pun-filled day?"

"Don't you mean fun-filled?" I ask, before thinking, and it suddenly dawns on me.

"It was a pun," he replies, his expression flat. I roll my eyes in response.

"Newsflash, Reed. Puns are so not cool," I scoff, throwing my backpack across my shoulder.

A mischievous smile glints across his face. "You're going to wish you hadn't said that birdie, because now I feel inclined to prove you wrong."

Asher has become my ride to school most days, so seeing his matte black car above the snowy blanket is a relatively usual sight for me. The smell of black leather in his car is no longer foreign, but the slight click as the car is switched into action sets my mind into panic mode. Halsey resounds in the background, as if on cue, as the car starts.

All we do is drive,

All we do is think about the feelings that we hide.

I'm reminded of the near-accident that could've potentially killed us if Asher hadn't acted in time. It sends a shiver through me and I regret the fact that I'll never be able to have that feeling again: the feeling of power; of being able to glide freely on a smoothly tarred road. It'll never happen again because after that I made a promise to myself that I'd never attempt driving until I'm mentally ready. To be perfectly honest, right now I'm not.

All we do is sit in silence waiting for a sign,

Sick and full of pride.

My nightmares are slowly devouring my mind. Back when I used to visit a psychologist, she told me that the only thing that would help make the nightmares a little tolerable was to think of something that makes me happy. She said it could be anything; anything at all. Strangely, the only thing that seems to work is thinking about the colour blue before I close my eyes at night. Yet sometimes it's still not enough.

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