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"Resurfacing" chapter 6

Tom! He appears!

Bill was keeping his promise.

He had interpreted Nora’s use of the word “schedule” quite literally. In his head, he knew exactly who he was going to sit with in which class, on which day.

Bill raced into his first period class, English, just as the bell rang. His teacher sighed at him, already getting quite used to his late tendencies. Bill slid in next to Rosalie, who smiled at him. Bill’s mood lightened up when he saw that - he was happy Rosalie wasn’t mad at him anymore.

His next class was Math, where he sat next to Chris, one of Erica’s friends. In the corner of his mind, Bill knew this wasn’t such a good seating arrangement. They talked through the whole class, and Bill hadn’t learned a thing.

Next was Spanish. Bill spotted Megan sitting by herself, and slid in next to her. Her face brightened as he did this, and she shyly started up a conversation, the first one she’d be having since she arrived at school. She was so tiny and fragile - Bill felt so bad, knowing she was sad outside of the one class she had with him.

Then it was Biology, which was even more boring than Math. And that was probably because Rosalie and Zi were next to him, taking notes and forcing him to pay attention.

“There is no fucking way we evolved from fish,” Bill groaned as he and the two girls made their way to the cafeteria after being dismissed.

Rosalie giggled. “If you had done the homework, it would have made sense to you,” she said playfully.

Bill gently punched her. “Naw, man. I refuse to believe it.”

They entered the cafeteria and sat at their usual table, where the rest of the group was already sitting. Bill was sitting with them today, but tomorrow he’d be with Erica. He had decided to switch off the days he’d eat with which group.

Everyone seemed to be fairly satisfied with the arrangement. The whole group was talking, laughing, sharing iPods.

Except Bill.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck...” Bill mumbled as he dug through his school bag. “The History homework was due today?” he said in disbelief, staring up at Nora.

She nodded. “What, you didn’t do it? Again?”

Bill huffed. “I didn’t even know there was homework! Shit, this is, like, my twentieth missed homework.”

Nora and Rosalie looked at him sympathetically.

Bill just sighed. “I’m so sick of doing badly in school,” he said, defeated. “I’m skipping my afternoon classes.”

Nora’s eyes widened. “What? No, you shouldn’t do that!” she said, sounding worried.

Bill smiled, looking tired. “It’s not that bad, Nora. Haven’t you ever skipped before?”

She shook her head, causing Bill no surprise. “Well, I am. School fucking sucks...” he mumbled, gathering his stuff.

“Where are you going?” Rosalie asked.

Bill stood up. “Lunch is almost over. I’m going to find somewhere to chill,” he answered, slinging his bag over his shoulder. “I’ll see you guys later.”

They all waved, and Bill started walking toward the exit. Once he was in the hallways, his mind started turning.

‘Where should I go?’ he thought. ‘I can’t go home... it’s my mom’s day off. She’ll be there.’

Bill continued to walk, taking random turns down the locker-lined hallways of the first floor. ‘And I’m tired... I don’t want to be lugging my bag all over town.’

Bill took another turn, and was stopped short at a closed door. He peered at it curiously. “Hmm...” he muttered, seeing the sign above it, reading ‘Nurse’s Office’.

He quickly considered the rest of his options. He had none.

‘Alright, whatever. Maybe I’ll be able to get some sleep...’ he thought, giving up on anything better, and opening the door to the nurse’s office.

The walls were painted bright yellow, as though giving a weak attempt to make the room seem cheery. It smelled strongly of medicine, cleaning alcohol, and Febreeze. Bill heard someone barfing in the background, and cringed. He walked up to a desk where a woman sat, typing something on a computer.

“Um... hey,” Bill mumbled, not sure exactly what to say.

The woman glanced up. “Hi. What brings you to the nurse’s office?” she said with sarcasm.

Bill scratched his head. “Um... I’m sick?” he said weakly.

She chuckled slightly and nodded. “Alright, then. Name?”

“Bill Kaulitz.”

“Ailment?”

“Erm... headache? Or something?”

“Sure. Well, you can stay here until you feel better, and I’ll give you a note for your teacher.”

Bill nodded. “Thanks.” He took the note she handed him, and looked around the room for someplace to sit. There were chairs lining the room, along with a sofa in the back where a terribly nauseous boy lay, hand over his eyes.

Bill settled in a chair. He looked up as he heard the bell ring, and knew his next class would be starting now. He almost smiled. Sure, his hideaway was pathetic, but at least he wasn’t in class, getting in trouble and not paying any attention.

He popped in his headphones, leaning back in his chair and closing his eyes. One good thing about moving to another town was that he got a week off of school, and he spent most of that week catching up on sleep. As soon as school started, he lost that sleep all over again. His house was further away from the school than most of the students, and he had to wake up two hours before school even started to get his hair and makeup ready.

‘I can’t wait for Saturday...’ Bill thought. ‘Then I can finally sleep in.’

Bill felt himself getting sleepy, and he rested his head in his hands. Nothing was happening in the room. The other boy had left, running off to the bathroom, and he was now alone. He let the music fill his head completely, let his eyes droop comfortably, waiting for sleep to hit him... until the door opened.

‘Okay, if it’s that kid fucking barfing again, I swear...’ Bill thought in annoyance. He snapped his eyes opened, but was taken aback.

‘Oh...’

It was dreadlock boy.

He didn’t seem to notice him, and turned to the nurse to give his name. He was holding a hand to his cheek, and his head was low. The cap on his head created shadows across his face, making him seem even more mysterious than he already was.

The nurse gestured to the chairs, and he nodded. Bill turned the volume of his music down, wondering if the boy would recognize him.

But he didn’t. Or, at least, he didn’t give him a second glance before taking a seat on the opposite side of the wall from Bill. Bill noticed the new bandage on his cheek, blood crusting around the edges.

Bill cringed. That looked like a big cut, or scrape, or whatever it was.

“Hi...” Bill said, unsure of how to even approach this boy.

He seemed so cool, somehow.

He looked up at him, expression blank. “Um, hi?” he answered.

Bill blushed slightly. Did he already sound like an idiot? “I’m Bill... I think you’re in my gym class,” he said, remembering yesterday.

“Oh... yeah, I guess. Bleachers?” he asked, voice calm and disinterested.

Bill nodded. “Yeah. No uniform, I had to sit there the entire time,” he responded, laughing a bit.

The boy twitched a smile, but it was odd, as though he was trying hard not to.

“So... what’s you’re name?” Bill asked when the boy didn’t say anything.

He frowned, but answered. “...Tom.”

“Oh. Cool,” Bill said. There was silence, and Bill guessed that this boy was not very good at talking either. But, he was different from people like Adam. Adam’s words simply had no charm, nothing to keep people interested. This Tom was actually trying not talk or sound interesting.

“How did you get that cut?” Bill blurted out. He was curious - he couldn’t deny that.

Tom looked away. “I tripped. I was just being stupid...” he answered. Bill noticed this was the first time he seemed to even think about what he was saying.

Bill nodded. “Oh. That sucks,” he said.

“Yeah,” Tom mumbled.

“I’ve seen you around the school before, you know,” Bill said. He wanted to ask Tom something.

“Oh, really.”

“Yeah. I remember you from a few days ago... I was with Brent and his friends, do you remember me?”

Tom looked at him, surprised. He seemed to cringe at Brent’s name. “Um... I’m not sure...”

“I remember, it was Tuesday. Right after school. I remember it because your class got out really late, on the left side of the school,” Bill said, voice firm, as though trying to imply more.

“Tuesday. Yeah. I remember that,” Tom answered, eyes squinting in suspicion.

“Yep. Brent was teasing a few kids. I stopped him, do you remember?”

Bill could have sworn he heard Tom gasp slightly.

“Yeah, that was a really stupid move of your’s,” Tom said with hostility.

“Why? He shouldn’t be doing that to people,” Bill said, voice growing louder to match Tom’s.

“What he did was nothing. If you keep screwing around like that, you’ll find yourself with enemies.”

“I don’t care.”

“Why not?”

“It isn’t right. I don’t care if I end up completely alone, but I won’t succumb to bullies like that.”

“Well, aren’t you fucking amazing?’

“Is it true Brent never does anything too bad?”

“Yeah, you’re a pussy for even thinking he could be tough.”

“How did you get that cut then?”

Tom was silenced. He stared at Bill for a moment, then looked away.

Bill’s face softened. He also looked away, embarrassed. The nurse was glaring at them for being loud. Yet, she was also gazing at Tom with something that looked like sympathy. She gave Bill a nasty look.

Bill glanced back at Tom, whose eyes were now far away.

‘I’m such an asshole...’ Bill thought to himself.

Bill stood up and walked over to Tom, sitting down in the chair next to him. “Look... sorry,” he said.

Tom didn’t answer. Was he going to go back to hardly talking at all?

“I’m an ass. Sorry. I just get... mad, or whatever, when I think someone might be being bullied,” Bill explained.

Tom glared. “Why?” he muttered. He didn’t even deny the fact that that’s how he got hurt.

Bill blushed. “No reason...” he said softly. He couldn’t tell a complete stranger exactly why it angered him so much.

Tom’s expression was a little softer now. He was still pissed at Bill for acting like a fucking saint and tricking him, but the guy was interesting. He couldn’t deny that.

“...Yeah. I remember you,” he mumbled. Bill looked up. “I think you’re in my Computer class. You’re the one the teacher was yelling at.”

Bill blushed. “He was yelling att me? I didn’t realize...”

Tom smirked. “Yeah, you were listening to music. He just gave up after a while.”

Bill laughed. “Oh my gosh, I’m such an idiot!” he moaned, grabbing onto his hair, chuckling. “I suck so bad at school. I better shape up soon, or my mom will kill me...”

Tom snorted. “This school is easy. My old school was much tougher,” he said.

Bill looked at him, surprised. “You transferred also?” he asked. “I just came in a few weeks ago.”

Tom nodded. “Yeah, I know. I transferred in the middle of freshman year,” he answered. “You’re lucky, you know. People don’t usually give a damn about kids who come in late. They’re practically ostracized.”

“Oh, really? That sucks. I didn’t know that,” Bill said. He tried to ignore the implication Tom was giving that he, too, had been ostracized.

“Yeah. It does,” Tom answered solemnly.

The two boys didn’t talk for too much longer. The nurse eventually told them they had been here long enough, and that they needed to get back to class. They both got out of their seats and walked out into the hallway.

“Well... bye,” Bill said.

Tom nodded awkwardly. “Bye...” he mumbled, walking and disappearing around the corner.

Bill checked his watch. If he started walking home now, he could just tell his mom he caught the bus early today. Without even checking to see if anyone was looking, he walked right out of the school.

As he made his way home, his mind buzzed with the conversation he had just had.

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