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Dedicated to @Artemis108 , 'caz she's been here with me from day 1. Thank you so much.

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The moment I saw him, I knew I was looking at my future.

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"M-mom..." Sage whined, hoping that his mother would get the message. She didn't. She only continued cupping his cheeks, drowning him with praises. "Stop treating me like I'm a baby, mom!"

Cecilia smiled, pushing some loose strands of his white-blonde hair off his forehead, back into the countless strands of hair where it belonged. A smile grew on her lips, and he couldn't have felt more awkward. "I can't help it, donut!" she justified. The look in her eyes told him that there'd be much more where that came from, so he braced himself for its arrival. "You're my only son, and you've gotten so big already. Grade ten? Gage would be so proud."

There was a dip in her facial expression at the mention of his father, but it was soon pushed aside, her admiration multiplying as she perused Sage's appearance. He didn't like it one bit.

He could feel a blush warming up a winding path leading up to his cheeks, and once again, he tried stepping away. Just standing within six feet of someone else was an awkward enough ordeal; he surely didn't need the soul-searching stare to be bestowed upon him, so he tried making his appeal once again. "M-mom... You're going to make me tired in the morning."

"I'm sorry, donut. It's just that I'm a little concerned," she said, causing Sage to look at her, questioningly, waiting for her to elaborate. "One day you'll grow up and get married to a nice girl, have a family and forget all about mama Cecilia."

He pressed his lips into a thin line, his gaze darting away. Growing up always sounded like a huge mountain to climb for him, but now that she basically mapped out what was expected of him, he couldn't help but feel as though it was a lot closer than he'd anticipated. He shook his head, resorting to slipping his cold hands up the sleeves of his cream sweater.

The silence was getting too deep for Sage's liking, so he decided to speak again. "I'm not going to forget about you, mom. And I've already made it through the first week of school. The second week shouldn't be any different." finally freeing himself from her motherly clutches, he sauntered over to his Spider-Man backpack lounging on the small oak table standing by his double-bed. Occasionally glancing at his timetable spammed on his bedroom door, he began the task of tossing books inside.

School for him had been amazing; way better than he had expected. He had already slotted himself in a group of cool kids, which, considering his prior history to fellow schoolmates—was significantly non-existent—is a major accomplishment. At his previous school, he didn't have any friends, and hence, he didn't really have a reason to terribly miss it. Frankly speaking, he'd made cheers to the new beginning. The atmosphere was rejuvenating, and he couldn't help noticing how much this new school differed from his former alumni. The cafeteria was a lot bigger, capable of accommodating over three hundred students. There was also actually a courtyard, and to top it all off, the kids seemed all cool and swell, so far. No one was isolating themselves from him or aiming pointed looks at him because he was "weird". In all honesty, this was all Sage could ever ask for.

Debating about it over and over in his head, he was still at a loss as to what he was doing to be labeled as weird. Over time, he came to a conclusion that by wearing an expressionless face at all times, avoiding making eye-contact with anyone for fear of any unwanted confrontations and seldom speaking to people, it was only normal for one to be called weird.

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