Chapter 3: What Could Go Wrong?

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Edit: Sorry this didn't upload on Friday like it was supposed to, there were problems with connection while I was travelling and I have 0 signal on vacation. So to make up for it, I'll be uploading this chapter, plus Chapter 4 as a bonus for being super late. Hope you enjoy!

As the locker opened, it swayed down to the ground delicately. A peculiar piece of paper. When Nikita picked it up, he could feel the weight and thickness of the paper, it almost felt like watercolour paper; fit for an artist, so elegant and mysterious. He flipped it over, revealing inscriptions in black ink. His eyes wandered along the words listed upon the page, they widened as his heart pounded in rhythm to his numerous thoughts.
Autumn leaves and spring to summer vibes
I can't help getting lost in those soft hazel eyes
How that heartening voice caresses my soul
How I wish you were the one I hold
Though my feeling won't be exchanged
My love for you sets my heart in flames
You are my everything, all that I ever wish to see
But could you ever see love in a mere friend like me?

He didn't know wether to smile or to be scared. This could mean he had a secret admirer- someone who wanted to express his love in a cute, old fashioned aesthetic. Or maybe it was a stalker, Nikita always seemed to jump to pessimistic conclusions but even this seemed like it could be true. The handwriting was very unfamiliar but the phrases oddly were. 'A mere friend like me?'
"Hey Nik!" Mikolas seemed to spontaneously appear, Niki being too immersed in the strange love letter to notice how. "Whatcha got there?"
"N-nothing!" He slammed the locker shut.
"You're a terrible liar, Niki. C'mon, we're best buds, show me." Nikita waited, thinking to himself before slowly opening the locker and taking the note out.

"You have to promise not to tell anyone about this, okay?" He muttered nervously.
"Not even the rest of the group?" Miki whimpered.
"Maybe. But not yet, not without my permission anyway." He showed him the paper reluctantly- a wide grin stretched across Mikolas' face.
"Someone's in loooove with you" He chuckled.
"Yeah I got that. But why? How? Who?"
"You friend-zoned anyone recently?
Nikita looked at him, confused.
"Define "friend-zoned" real quick."
"Like did anyone ask you out recently but you told them you only saw them as a friend?" Mikolas enquired.
"No..."
"Or maybe you called someone close 'just a friend'?" As those words left his mouth, Mikolas smiled to himself.

Kostya walked out of the boys' bathroom and almost physically cringed at the sight of Nikita clutching his poem. He immediately regretted all decisions leading up to him leaving that in his locker. He softly smiled as the 3 made eye contact- Miki grinning cheesily.
"Ayy Kostya! Have you seen this?" He pointed down to the short Belarusian, the paper behind his back. Nikita face-palmed, seeing that Mikolas had completely ignored the 'No telling anyone without his permission' rule.
"Seen what?" He casually asked, looking at Niki.
"Uh, never mind!" He mumbled quietly.
"He's got a secret admirer."
"But I still do want to go with you!" Niki squealed in a panic, "I don't even know who this is and I would much rather just go with you like we planned!"
"No no, it's okay, I get you. I-I believe you." He replied calmly.

They walked down the hall together, searching for Ari and Benji as they began to approach a student taping posters to the walls of the long corridor. Formal posters. The boy turned around and flashed a small smile.
"Hey there." He said. It was Roko Blažević, a Croatian sporting straight As and a clean reputation. "You guys hyped up for the big event?"
"You bet ya my man!" Mikolas cheered , going in for fistbump. Roko stared for a few seconds before politely accepting the gesture.
"You guys bought your tickets yet? You can get them in the music room." He'd obviously been made to promote the event by staff members, but he sold the idea well enough. Kostya glanced down at his watch.
"Sure, I mean we have 10 minutes 'til 3rd period why not?"

Meanwhile, Benji waited in line at the drink stand, some loose change in his bronzed hand. All of a sudden, he felt someone tap his shoulder: turning around slowly when he did. He looked up to see the mysterious students face- since he only stood at 5"7, he was often craning his neck to talk to the other pupils. It was a familiar face, Robin Bengtsson himself.
"Hey!" He smiled, oddly sweet.
"Hi..." Benji greeted.
"How are you?" He asked, trying to make small talk.
"Great. You?"
"Good, good..." they stayed quiet for a moment or two.
"So... me and some friends are going to Oxford Park after school for a few drinks. You wanna come?"
"Drinks?"
"Non alcoholic of course... unless..." He winked at him.
"Haha no, non alcoholic is fine." He sniffed.
"So, is that a yes?" He thought to himself for a while. Would his friends approve? It did sound fun, quality time with an old friend and an opportunity to meet some new ones. What could go wrong?

At the end of the day, The Five Guys set out on their usual routine of meeting up and venturing home together, aimlessly chatting as always. As they reached their point of usual separation, Benji walked over to the bus stop and traced his finger along the small timetable. He wasn't going to catch his usual bus, he'd text his dad saying he was going out with a few friends and hop on the X36, taking him to Oxford Park. He felt very excited, but nervous to meet Robin's friends- they were ever so popular and hip, he just didn't know how well they'd get along. He truly did miss what Robin and him used to have, that unbreakable bond, but he loved The Five Guys more than anything. The bus came to a halt, he stepped on and took a seat at the very back. He gazed out of the glossy window all the way there, watching as the trees and the buildings rushed by before his eyes; the city was quite beautiful once you cared to take a good look at it.

After 20 minutes had seemed to pass quite quickly, he recognised his stop and got off outside the office block. He wandered down the street, took a corner or two before the red gates were in his view. There it was. Oxford Park in all its glory. He knew exactly where the students would hang out, so he ventured forth to the hideout in the forest- as he got nearer, he was able to follow the faint sound of laughing and talking. His heart began to thud aggressively as he turned a corner, not having to duck under any trees, he saw a group of teenagers sitting on fallen tree trunks. Robin looked at him.

"Oh yay, Benji's here!" He yelled excitedly.
"Hey there." A small-ish Swede turned to him, his friendly smile making him feel more welcome. It was Måns Zelmerlow, one of the most well known students at Euro High. He sat down next to Robin, some memories of the days they used to hang out flashing by as he looked around at the group: Eduard, Donny, Måns, Justs, Luca. These guys were at the top of the top and Benji didn't know exactly how well he could fit in with them.

The evening kicked off straight away, the group made jokes and laughed together- making the whole situation seem a lot less scary than Benji had forged it to be in his head. They were just kids his age that wanted to have some fun.
"So why did you and Robin drift?" Justs asked out of the blue. The pair stayed quiet, staring at eachother.
"Well..." Robin began. "It was just that..."
"It was my fault." Benji sighed. "I couldn't seem to fit in time for Robin when I found The Five Guys. It was kinda selfish but I just... forgot him sometimes."
"No no, it wasn't like that-"
"Guys, guys!" Justs interrupted. "We get it. Friendships come and go."
"But beer doesn't!" Luca shouted. The group looked at him. "Too soon?"

"Wait, aren't we all like... in high school?" Benji mentioned, concerned.
"Just one won't hurt." Ed replied, reaching for a can out of Luca's backpack and cracking it open. "Cheers!"
Måns could see the blank look on Benji's face.
"You don't have to if you don't want to you know?" He whispered.
"No no, I'm alright. I can handle it." He smiled confidently, accepting a can from Luca. "Seriously" he thought to himself. "What could go wrong?"


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