= Chapter 27 =

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" Even though I'm a swimmer, I'm drowning without you there to save me. "

-Jeremy Lockhart


Reaching out once more, I dragged the water past me. My arms were aching from the repetition of that action while my heart was pounding against my ribcage as I swam my 90th lap. Feeling confused and frustrated would be an understatement, I was going insane.

I should have felt exhausted by now, but I didnt. To be honest, I felt numb both inside and out.

Emily was gone.

Skylar was on my mind.

3W! was messing with me.

Dante was suspicious from the start.

Slapping my hand against the tile, I inhaled the air that I wish would just choke me. When would I ever have a normal life. A normal life with no one haunting me. I would never have that. I heard footsteps as I gulped down my water.

"Bro, you should get going. Don't push yourself too much, it's gonna get better, trust me." Gabriel gave me a light punch on my shoulder which I shrugged off.

Dragging myself out of the school pool, I walked with Gabriel into the boys locker room.

I pulled my shorts up my legs, feeling a pair of eyes on me.

"What do you want Gab? You're giving me those eyes like you have something on your mind." I asked in a bored tone, not bothering to spare him a glance.

"You like her don't you?"

"Oh come on! Not this again!" I rolled my eyes in frustration.

He remained quiet. He always did that when we talked about this, he would usually just change the topic if I reacted this way

"Tell me." He asked in a firm voice which surprised me. He was really meaning what he said this time.

"I hate her." I crossed my arms over my chest challenging while he ran his fingers through his hair before bursting out in laughter.

Staring at him in confusion, he laughed harder. Gabriel never laughed.

"Good joke Jeremy, but I'm not here to play games." He wiped his tears of laughter away before casting upon a dark expression over his features.

Ignoring him, I turned away to pack my bag. He needed to mind his own business. Gabriel was never like this, he was usually that friend who never retaliated.

"I see what you're trying to do Jeremy. Ignoring me? Well, you might want to check out what I found." He took out a familiar brown book engraved with two words on the cover that held the biggest secret to my heart. My eyes widened in utter shock as he dangled it in the air with a grin on his face.

That son of a—

"Give that back Gab!" I yelled taking a few threatening steps forward.

"Oh so now you're listening to me? You know, I love the first quote – 'You'll be the anchor that keeps my feet on the ground and I'll be the wings that keep your heart in the clouds.' And I really wonder who is that pretty girl with those unforgettable green eyes that you keep writing about..." Playfulness laced in his voice.

"How dare you read it!" I cracked my knuckles, for a moment wishing it was his face.

"Want it back? Come and get it Jjromy!" He snickered before dashing off in a sprint.

Without hesitation, I ran after him while being half naked. My eyes remained glued onto his slender figure that ran through the crowd of students. Avoiding the desperate hands that tried to touch my bare chest, I squeezed through the hallway of students.

When could Gabriel ever run this fast?

Where is he heading to?

My eyes looked ahead to see a familiar brunette with striking green eyes. He couldn't possibly bring the book to her, right?

He looked back with a evil smile that told me he was planning to do exactly what I didn't want him to do.

At the very next moment, he bumped into Skylar which caused the book to fly out of his grip. The book fell to the ground in the gap between him and Skylar.

Before she could pick the book up, I swiped it off the ground. Her gorgeous bold eyes met mine before roaming over my chest, my breath hitched as I swallowed a big lump in my throat. A blush creeping up my ears.

Gabriel smirked at my reaction towards her.

"Gabriel, what's the title of that book?" Curiosity swirled in her eyes.

"Strange Attraction." He wiggled his eyes at me. Looking between them, I brought the book closer to my chest before pulling Gabriel away by the back of his collar.

"Bye Skylar!" He screamed out with a smile which she responded with a small wave, puzzlement clearly seen on her face.

A smile never left Gabriel's as I dragged him into the janitors closet. My fingers clenched around Gabriel's shirt as I tried to contain my raging anger.

The moment I closed the janitors closet's door and switched on the light, I slammed Gabriel against the wall as I lifted him off the ground by his collar.

"You kno–" before he could mouth a single word, I swung my fist across his cheek which caused him to own a bloody lip. Throwing another bone cracking punch into his stomach, my face contorted with rage and anger.

How could he betray me like this?

After throwing a few punches, I paused for a moment to take in his reaction. Through his bleeding lip, he gave me a knowing smile, never once groaning in pain.

How could he still smile?

Panting hard, I prepared to throw him another blow across his cheek before his words stopped me.

"It's funny how you're punching your best friend cause you can't admit to your feelings." He chuckled lightly.

My grip on his shirt loosened. The moment I released my grip, he fell to the ground but not before I caught his arm- placing it around my shoulder.

"Shit Gab. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have punched you. Look at you now, you're in so much pain." I lowered his body to the ground.

"I'll take your punches if it would help you realize where your feelings lie, cause that's what friends do for each other." He gave me a lopsided smile, as I embraced him into a hug. 

Gabriel had a subtle way of showing people the truth in their life, and he just happened to show me the meaning of my life...

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