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Casey’s POV

                As per usual, my day started out with aimless wandering through the halls as I avoided eye contact and listened to my music.

                This morning had started out much better than yesterday – no voices to be heard, not even a whisper. This was usually an early sign of a good day, so I was better rested and less on edge.

                Yet I had also decided that despite elated feelings from yesterday, I could not get close to Dakota Kels under any circumstances. The fact that he could make me smile so easily just by thinking about him meant that I was allowing myself too close already.

                Slipping into class, I decided to just chill until class started. Then I’d catch up with all my lessons that I had zoned out on yesterday.

                Thankfully my seat was next to the window, so I got the privilege of staring outside as I waited. I watched as cars piled into the parking lot, getting more crowded by the minute. Students were everywhere, meeting up and greeting each other with smiling faces and hugging as if they hadn’t seen each other in forever. It was a gorgeous day out, so most were outside enjoying the early morning sun before being trapped in this school for six hours.

                I was so caught up in watching the students that I didn’t realize someone was trying to get my attention until I felt an earbud being pulled out.

                “Hey!” I exclaimed in annoyance, prepared to give the student responsible the meanest glare I could muster.

                “Why hello there, fancy meeting you here.” I was surprised when I looked up into the smiling face of none other than Dakota Kels, the boy that had been on my mind since yesterday.

                I could already feel my lips tugging upwards, but caught myself just in time to force them back into a neutral line. “Hi,” I said in a monotone before looking back out the window.

                I vaguely heard him slide into the seat next to mine as I fiddled with the dangling earbud in my hand.

                “Are you okay?” he asked, and I had a short internal war as to whether or not I should answer him.

                Finally, I decided I shouldn’t be too rude and answer, since it was clear I heard him.

                “I’m fine,” I responded curtly, my eyes flickering to his for a minute.

                “You sure? You seem… distant. You were so warm and bubbly yesterday.”

                I couldn’t help the half snort – half chuckle that left my lips when he said those words. I turned to look at him incredulously. “Warm and bubbly? Are you kidding me?”

                He paused to think for a moment, fidgeting slightly. “Okay, maybe not warm and bubbly… but you were certainly more open, not to mention witty and funny.”

                This time it was a full on snort. Attractive, I know. “Right, of course I was. Maybe I’m just not feeing it today.”

                “Well, if you tell me what’s wrong, then maybe I can help you,” he suggested with hopefulness lacing his tone. I looked into his grey eyes and saw nothing but honesty, sincerity. God, why does he have to look so.. nice, so kind? This just makes pushing him away so much harder..

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