I gave them both a frown. "Why not? It seems logical to share the workload and then to join--"

"It's not going to work." Mary Jane butted in. "Trust me on that. I thought you were serious about your grades, Flo?"

I nodded, tightening my grip on the strap of my backpack. "I am, you know that."

Mary Jane gave me a stern look. "Then working separately on your report with Pete, is a bad idea. A very bad idea. Working with him can't hurt your good grades, you know?"

Gwen gave a quick smile. "Who knows, maybe you'll learn something from him."

I backed up to the locker, my head resting against the cool metal. There was a tiny voice in my head, screaming at me that they were not wrong. "I doubt it." I replied and they only shared a quick look before linking their arms through mine and pulling me forward, blending back into the sea of students rushing off to their next class.


***

I nervously fidgeted with the locket I wore around my neck, threading the sliver charm up and down the chain. I kept chanting in my head, over and over again that this was the right thing to do and the only thing to do if I wanted my grades to stay where they were. I couldn't slip backwards, not because of Peter Parker.

My hand curled into a fist, knocking on the familiar painted door right across from Mary Jane's apartment. I waited for a moment, hoping maybe nobody was home. But the door swung open, revealing a smiling woman. Aunt May.

"Oh, hello Florence." Her kind eyes rested upon me and I gave her a tight smile. I might not be friends with Peter but I have practically grown up right next door and had known the pretty woman that raised Peter for years. "I wasn't expecting you."

I let out a little strange laugh, "Yeah, I know. How have you been?"

"Good, plenty of work keeping me busy and with Ben's work too, it's rather nice to have a night off." May nodded, moving out of the way and letting me pass through the threshold. I hadn't stepped foot into their apartment for years, not since I was a kid. The apartment was inviting but small, much like Mary Jane's home. Pictures littered the walls, some of Peter and his uncle, Ben. "How have you been, dear? Are your parents good?"

I dragged my eyes away from the pictures and gave a little nod. "Yeah, they've been good...me too. Um, is Peter around?"

May moved into the kitchen, readying the kettle. That woman always loved offering tea. "He's in his room, just down the hall. Will you be staying long? I could make some tea." She was smiling, kind and sweet.

I shook my head, "I'm only dropping by, just need to discuss a report with him. Maybe next time I'll have time for tea."

"Oh, alright." May nodded, folding her hands in front of her. "It's nice to see you, again."

I gave her a quick smile, already heading towards the small hallway. "You too, Aunt May." She had always been so kind to me as a child, kind to everyone really. Everyone that knew her called her Aunt May, I didn't know why, it was a just force of habit. I liked May, so it wasn't a lie that came from my lips as I told her it was nice seeing her.

I headed down the hallway, pausing at a closed door which I assumed was Peter's bedroom. I hesitated for a moment, a little weary about what I was actually about to do. I took a deep breath and knocked twice on the door. There was a rustling that came from inside.

"Aunt May, I'm doing algebra, please--" Peter's voice drifted from his room.

I cleared my voice before he could finish his sentence. "Actually, it's Florence."

I heard as something crashed to the ground and an uttered string of words I couldn't make out came next. Then suddenly the door was yanked open, revealing Peter. "Florence, what--" He stuttered out. "What are you doing here?"

I peeked over his shoulder, seeing a rather messy room. "I thought we could talk." Peter's eyes grew a little wide. "About our report, obviously."

Peter let out a nervous sigh, "Right. Yeah, of course." The door swung a little further open and I stepped inside his room, my eyes running over the unmade bed and messy shelves of books. There was some old computer gear and a lot of crappy outdated tech lying on his desk.

I turned back to him, my hand going back to the locket. "We should work together." The words were blurted out and I couldn't take them back now.

Peter was stunned. "Wait, on our report?" He quickly questioned. "I thought...we agreed to do it separately, because--"

I moved towards the desk in the corner, my fingertips running over the old hard drives. "I know what I said," I butted in. "And I take it back. I know we've got an agreement, and that it's not the best idea to work together..."

"But?" Parker comment as I drifted off. My fingertips had stopped, resting upon a framed picture. It was an old photo, one of Peter and who I could only assume were his parents. Suddenly, a flare of pain warmed my chest again. 

I yanked my eyes away from it, knowing the image was burnt into my brain already. "I have to keep my grades up if I want any chance to get into a good college. I can't have my grades slip, just because we're not friends and that we have to work together."

Peter nodded, his eyes heavy on me. "Right, okay."

My hand fell to my side as I twisted back to face him. "I guess that's it. I'll see you in class and we can start putting some ideas together then."

I moved passed him, almost running towards the exit. Peter moved out of the way, letting me make my quick escape. "Sounds like a plan, partner."

I was already out of his bedroom and turned back to stare at him. "Don't call me that, Parker."

He gave a little sheepish grin and rocked on his heels. "Right, sorry."

Without a second glance over at him, I was already moving back down the hallway and seeing the picture of his parents in my head again, a heavy feeling resting in my chest.

The Weight of The World 。 Peter Parker [1]Read this story for FREE!