f i v e

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The best things are usually found when you are not looking for them.

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There was a sticky note plastered on the refrigerator when Sage strolled in the kitchen, early that morning after he'd written in his diary. An obnoxious yawn ripped past his lips, almost kicking his headache back in high gear. He promptly covered his mouth, brushing a clump of his hair out of his eyes before viewing the note.

Good morning, donut! Did you sleep well?

I'm sorry that I couldn't be there to see you this morning. Margaret called in sick, so I'm taking care of that shift. I'll be home early today.

Breakfast is in the microwave. Take a cab to school today. Extra money is out on the patio. Please remember to lock the doors when you're leaving.

Have a nice day at school, honey!

Love and kisses,

Mom.

A labyrinth of nerves settled in Sage's stomach of the mere thought of taking a taxi to school, being driven to school by someone he didn't even know. With a sigh, he stuck the note back where it originally was, moving to the microwave, where a plate full of eggs and bacon scrambled were waiting for him. Retrieving the brown bread from the cabinet and a glass of orange juice from the fridge, he sat at the table, devouring his breakfast.

Despite the fact that he knew a lot about fashion, dressing himself was still difficult. He didn't know what looked good with what, so he just pulled out an outfit his mother had already made him wear—a simple blue t-shirt and cream cargo pants. Looking at himself in the mirror, he couldn't tell if what he was wearing looked good or not.

When it came to pointing out to other people what looked nice and what didn't, he could, but when it came to himself, he was clueless. It was a sad irony.

Not wishing to spend any more time sulking over his dire situation, he turned his back to the mirror, grabbing his sneakers, tugging them on. He found his bag on the couch next, and so, he stepped out the house, locking the door behind him.

A gush of cold wind streamed by, and Sage almost regretted not wearing his hoodie or sweater instead. His eyes scanned outside, feeling weird being by himself. He had gotten so used to being by his mother's side outside, heading over to her car in the garage that when she wasn't there, it was a palpable absence.

Walking down the cobblestone path, he made it onto the pavement in no time, clutching his bag close to his body, furrowing his brows. He was just about to start walking when an oddly familiar Impala came to a halt before him. His heart fluttered in his chest when the window rolled down, revealing a familiar, messy-haired, blue-eyed boy in the driver's seat. The memory of repeatedly touching himself to thoughts of the same boy infiltrated Sage's mind, slapping him with the ineffable feeling of absolute mortification. He gulped, sheepishly looking away for a glance before returning his gaze to the car before him, awkwardly waving, not knowing what else to do.

"You planning to stand there all day?" Xander asked, resulting in a torrent of heat rushing in Sage's cheeks. How was he supposed to know that he stopped there for him? He could've been there, checking out the...lawn?

That's pretty lame, Sage.

"Oh." he stepped towards the car, about to open the back door when Xander beat him to it, opening the door to the passenger seat. Relief spread through Sage's chest at the obvious that he wouldn't have to take a cab, but at the same time, he still felt lily-livered. Wasn't Xander pissed at him from yesterday? Sage couldn't tell at all. "G-good morning."

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