e l e v e n

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People who are suffering from emotional wounds tend to easily annoyed with others for no apparent reason.

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“I thought we’d gotten past this.” Randall remarked, disappointment evident in his eyes.

“I’m sorry.” Sage apologized, looking down at his hands. There was nothing worse than disappointing someone you cared about, and that’s exactly how he felt when Randall found him in the bathroom, having lunch.

The black-haired boy sighed, shaking his head. “I told you that as long as we’re friends, you don’t need to eat in here anymore.” His words trailed off when he saw tears glistening in Sage’s eyes, slowly leaking over, leaving a crystal path. “Christ … are you okay? Did someone bully you?”

“I-I’m fine.” Sage apologized, swiping his finger under his eyes, removing the tears. He didn’t want to tell Randall that Carlos had cornered him in the lockers after physical education class earlier, the torrent of vitriolic insults that spewed from his mouth, and the contact of a fist meeting his stomach, numerous times. He didn’t want to feel any more useless than he felt right then and there.

Just when he was starting to think that things were starting to blow over, it only picked up again when photocopied versions of his diary were out, stuck up on every last wall in the school. Sage was sure that Randall hadn’t seen, or else he’d treat him with the contempt he deserved, for sure. There was no place in the world for a low-life faggot like him as Carlos had told him, and he was beginning to believe. After all, what boy likes another boy? There was nothing normal about that, and then, Sage had been enlightened on that fact. It was only a matter of time before Xander found him again, shipping him off to the hospital next.

Sage was still shaking from the encounter with the terrifying senior, but nevertheless, he felt a sea of relief cloud his body now that Randall was here, although it should never be. He could leave at any moment, leaving Sage to fend for himself once again.

“Hell no, you’re not, Sage. You’re crying.” Randall pressed, replacing Sage’s hands in wiping away his tears. His hands fell to his side, limply. “Who did this to you?”

As expected, Sage kept his mouth shut, fearing that if he told him, Carlos would come back. Instead, he tried dissuading Randall. “I-I’m okay n-now, Rand.”

“Sage…” he whispered, the fury flowing through him slowly disolving when the skinny boy wrapped his hands around his waist in a hug. Still, that didn't make him feel completely at ease. He pushed him the sophomore, holding him out at an arm’s length. “If you won’t tell me what happened, I’ll just go beat the fuck out of the crack-head and his pussy for friends.” His eyes flashed with realization, then they simultaneously narrowed. “It’s about that diary, isn’t it?”

Sage shook his head, clinging to Randall’s arm so he wouldn’t run off. “N-no. P-please don’t.” registering the look of fear in Sage’s eyes made Randall’s insides churn, but he decided to push it off and relax.

“Fine,” he said, with a huff. “You can’t let them continue fucking you over, Sage.”

Sage looked down. “I-I know.” He heard Randall sigh, and he was almost afraid to look up.

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