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"I just want to love you! I can't live without you, don't go!"
//

Richie slammed his locker shut as Eddie and his group of friends came down the corridor. He hated the way they got so close to the small boy, and how they always had to be touching him. Whether it was holding his arm or ruffling his hair, they were all over him.

"Hey, Rich!" Eddie jumped up, waving.

Richie's face dusted over with a bright shade of red before he waved back. His hands began to shake and he thought he would drop his books. Two of Eddie's friends rolled their eyes, snickering obnoxiously loud. The others just gave Richie a pitiful look and kept walking, dragging Eddie with them.

Except one. A girl with short, red, curly hair stayed behind and walked up to Richie. He'd never really had a problem with her, she kept her distance with Eddie and was pretty sweet, but that didn't mean he still didn't tense up when she approached.

"I'm Bev, we have history together." She said, holding out her hand.

Richie shook it, trying to be nice, "I'm Richie, you sit behind me, don't you?"

She nodded, "I notice you've been staring at Eddie every time he comes down the hall, you like him or something?"

"Huh? Why, do you have a thing for him?" Richie asked, annoyance prickling his tone.

"Oh no, I'm with Ben! The sweet little boy who runs the paper?" Bev said, trying to give Richie a mental image.

"Oh yeah, Hanscom! We worked on a project together once." Richie gestured, "He's sweet."

Richie was starting to warm up to her already, and he hadn't even known her for five minutes.

"Anyway, back to Eddie, you like him?" Bev asked again

"Uh, yeah, I guess you could say that-"

Bev smiled, "Ahh, finally! Eddie thought that you hated him or something."

"Oh god no!" Richie exclaimed, "And he talks about me?"

shut up you fucking idiot! you're gonna blow your cover!

If you could even call it a cover at that point. What was he covering? Certainly not the blush that graced his face every time Eddie walked by, thats for sure.

"Yeah, he brought you up at the lunch table, kind of upset because he wanted to be friends with you or something." She shrugged.

Richie's heart almost stopped, the pace of his breathing picked up rapidly, causing the air to get caught in the back of his throat. He coughed a bit, choking on his own air supply.

"Don't tell him that I like him!" Richie blurted out

Bev chuckled and patted his back, "Don't worry, I won't! If you wanna study after school, let me know."

Bev scribbled her number on Richie's binder, smiling at him as she walked away.

-

Richie hummed to himself, opening his notebook. He added "call beverly" onto his todo list, smiling softly at the words.

Richie sighed, resting his chin in his palm. He wanted to find a way to talk to Eddie, he just didn't know were to start. He tapped his pencil lightly on his desk, before hearing soft footsteps in his direction, making him slam the notebook shut immediately.

"R- Richie? Isn't i-it?" A boy, who Richie could only assume to be Bill or Stan (not that he was a stalker or anything because stalkers are gross and Eddie wouldn't like a stalker...) said to him.

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