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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:37 pm
Thursday, October 9th, 2008

4:00 PM

Noelle sits in her favorite chair in the naturally lit lounge area. She has her usual large pile of books next to her, but half of them are business textbooks. It's sunny and bright outside, giving everything a golden hue. More leaves have fallen and have been pushed into large piles through campus. Many students have been laying in them, but Noelle hadn't been outside much.

After her moment with Tobi, Evan had really cracked down. Noelle wasn't stupid- she didn't tell Evan about everything that happened. But he was not happy that she had been at another boy's dorm instead of studying with him. Most of Noelle's past week had been spent with the blonde boy, helping him with homework, going out to lunch. But Noelle didn't feel as close to Evan as she did. He was showing off some really disturbing patterns of anger. But Noelle still couldn't get herself to leave. She knew Tobi cared, but she wasn't good enough for him. If she left Evan, she truly believed that would be the end of it.

Noelle isn't looking great either. The last good night's sleep she had was at Tobi's. The bags under her eyes are much more pronounced, and she looks paler than usual. She even looks a little thinner- it's only been a week but with midterms and Homecoming coming up, she had been working non-stop. Namely on Evan's work, but that went without saying.

Her glasses are low on her nose, and she is looking at a book about marketing. Her neat script covered the page, but she no longer has a pencil in her hand. She just stares at the page, not reading. Just staring.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:04 pm
'Midterms. God, midterms.' Tobi thought as he sat in one of the study rooms in the library with his study group. He stared blearily at the whiteboard set up at the front of the room as Florence wrote out their last problem of the day. She began working through it as the three others tried to help. Tobi sipped at the coffee Taylor had brought before offering his own thoughts, which were quickly written down next to all the others. As the others debate solutions and formulas, he looks outside through the large window. It's golden outside, the leaves fluttering past as the breeze knocks them loose from their branches. Soon, he'd get to see them turn, yellows and reds and greens blending beautifully before the weather finally turned downright cold.

He wonders what Noelle's doing. It'd been a while since he'd seen her, since that night. He'd woken up the next day and she'd been gone. He hopes she's alright, wishes he could find her, take her out to coffee or something. If he had her number he could ask, but she'd never texted him back after that first day when he had given it to her. 'Should ask for it next time', he thinks.

The smack of a book on the table causes him to slowly turn his head back towards his group. The group looked downright beat. Taylor had his head down on the table, Florence was staring into the book smacked onto the desk with an intensity that frankly scared him, and Colette was flipping through her own notes in desperation. They'd been at this for hours now, and he knew a breaking point when he sees it.

"Lunch?" he suggests. The three look at him. "I'm gettin' lunch." he clarifies when no one moves. "Let's take a break." At this they relax. He hears Florence and Colette discuss where to go as he leaves out the door and works his way down towards the front doors.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:14 pm
Right before Tobi goes out the door, Noelle looks up. She's about to say something- greeting or calling him over, but it comes out as a choked, guttural sound. She turns bright red, frozen in place.

She wanted desperately to talk to him. Each night before she went to bed, Noelle would hover over Tobi's number in her phone. She wanted to reach out and talk to him. Tell him about Evan and her schoolwork and everything else, but fear and guilt always made her put her phone away. She didn't want it to seem like she was leading him on, or that she was using him.

She looks at Tobi after she makes the noise. She was sitting with her legs over its arms. She probably looked so dumb. She straightened up, trying to push forward a smile. She wondered what he was thinking. With Homecoming that weekend and midterms next week, she figured that he was probably busy. Of course, Noelle saw him around campus. But she was always with Evan, who she figured would be upset if she tried to talk to him.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:03 pm
Tobi doesn't quite hear her strange noise and pushes the front doors open to step outside. He takes a deep breath in of the warm fall air. He loves this feeling of when the weather is cool, but the golden light makes the world feel warm. His feet hit the pavement slowly as he walks toward the coffee shop to get a refill and a sandwich, taking a leisurely pace to better savor the weather. One hand is stuffed inside his jacket pocket, the other is wrapped around the almost empty coffee cup. He takes a long pull as he walks away from the front doors to drain the cup dry.

He walks down the quad. The place is littered with evidence of the Homecoming events and dance this weekend. He shudders at the thought. 'God in heaven.' he thinks of the dark suit that his sister had rented him. She was too damn pleased about this whole situation.

Finally reaching the coffeeshop, he pushes the door open. One large sandwich, chips, and a coffee later, he begins his walk back towards the library. The bag of chips makes a soft pop as he pulls it open and begins to munch on them as he walks. He can see the library ahead marked by the well groomed bushes and beautiful large trees out front. Students leaned against some of the old oaks with books out in front of them. Some of them waved at him, he raised his chips in greeting. Finally, he pulled the front doors open again to make his way back up to his study group.

'Prob'ly still have plenty a' time.' he thinks as he pops another chip in his mouth. It hadn't taken too long to get his lunch. 'Dinner now, I guess.' he thinks. It's closer to five now. He walks slowly through the library, taking his time, peering in doorways as he walks by. There's a familiar figure in one of them, hunched in a chair and surrounded by books. He tilts his head, does a little double take.

"Noelle?"
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:14 pm
Noelle is really disappointed that Tobi didn't look her way. Why should he? She hasn't really been a great friend lately.

She looks back at the book, focusing on the words. Subconsciously, she begins to whisper aloud the words. Smoke pours from her mouth, and the letters start to disappear into an inky blob. Noelle's eyes widen, as she tries to stop, but she can't/ She needs to finish the sentence. And the stupid book was composed of sentences that were too long. Once she is able to finish the sentence, the inky blob on the page molds and melts. and then disappears. She sighed, then coughs- a couple of hookahs styled smoke rings fly out of her mouth. When reading about ideas or concepts, they can't really manifest into the air. Noelle just absorbs the information into her brain, but the only thing that shows her mutation is the room that is pouring with smoke, and the missing sentence in the book. Groaning, she almost wanted to smack herself with the book. Evan wasn't going to be happy.

Noelle jumps at the sound of her name. She looks up, seeing Tobi. Her face reflexed into a smile, but it was small and distant. Her voice is a little rough fro the smoke she just blew "Hey Tobi." She coughs again, another ring escaping her lips.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:40 pm
"Hey," Tobi nods and steps inside the room. He looks confused at the smoke in the room. "You smokin' in here?" the hand that isn't holding his food waves at the air. He turns as he does, looking around the room.

She's surrounded by books he'd bet weren't hers. They're piled all over, the amount of work seems staggering and in the center is Noelle. She looks much more drawn than normal, much paler, way more tired than when he saw her last. That's saying something, considering she passed out on him. This Evan seems to have just given her every lick of homework he had and expected her to do everything for him while he was out doin' who knows what. 'God dammit,' he thinks.

His hand comes up to rub at his eyes in frustration. Not at her, no, never at her, but at this other kid. He feels that unfamiliar burn of anger rise in him, feels his fingers twitch as his ire rises, but he swallows it back.

"Noelle, what's all this?"
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 2:48 pm
"Midterms." She coughs again, swallowing "And no. I don't smoke. It happens when. Well you know. When there aren't any words that can leap off the page, they kind of just... dissolve."

She rubs her eyes. She wishes Tobi didn't see her like this. Noelle knew she looked rough-but as soon as midterms passed, she would be better. She just needed to work really hard until then. Until next weekend. Then she can take time for herself. She carefully puts the book down on one of the piles, looking at him.

I missed you. I'm sorry. I wanted to see you. She wanted to say these things desperately, but all that came out was "How are you doing?"

Why couldn't she just say what she wanted to? It would have made it so much easier. She should have just run to him and reached for a hug as soon as she saw him, but she couldn't.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:07 pm
He moves into the room, very deliberately moving some of Evan's books out of the way to make a spot for himself near to Noelle. "You know how it is, what with Homecomin' bein' so soon. I think most e'erything's in order, just gotta get it movin' here soon." He crosses his legs in front of him and begins to unwrap his food. The chips are nearly gone by now, so he stuffs the bag inside the bigger paper one his food came in. "I'm upstairs righ' now studying for my own midterms. We jus' took a break."

"What 'bout you?" he asks her, meeting her eyes with his own.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:42 pm
“Oh you know.... just studying for midterms. Um... Evan is going to meet me here soon. He has some stuff he needs to go over. And I have a paper I need to write.”

Noelle meets his eyes, her own a little droopy from tiredness. She looks desperate for... something. But she doesn’t ask for it. His presence is enough. She felt like she had disappointed him- she could see the frustration as she was working on Evan’s homework.

She wasn’t even really helping him anymore. She was doing all of the work She felt so guilty about that night with Tobi that she had become a doormat for Evan.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:31 pm
Tobi nods. "Midterms are a pain." The room settles into a silence as he picks apart the wrapper holding the sandwich together. He's about to take a bite, but looks up at Noelle.

"It okay if I eat with you?" He asks. "Don' wanna go back yet, and I ain't seen you in a little bit." He doesn't say that he's worried about her, that he wants to make sure she's safe, that he would feel so much more comfortable being with her in that room than her being alone with Evan. Give her at least a little security.


"You can have half if you want, too." He holds the sandwich out towards her. He's casual about it, but there's a nervousness rolling in his gut. She's looking a little thinner, which just feels dangerous when she was already so skinny. He doesn't say that either, just shakes the sandwich half at her in what he hopes is an enticing way.

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 9:44 pm
Noelle’s stomach growled. She hasn’t eaten since the day before. With the work and her anxiety, food just sat in her mouth. She was hungry but she knew that she wouldn’t eat a whole half of a sandwich.

“Tear me a fourth?” She says, trying to sound good-natured and relaxed. Anyone who can see her would know it was fake. But she had to try- she didn’t want Tobi to worry. She was fine. She would be fine.

Noelle pushes her glasses up. Evan would be back any minute now. When he came back, she hoped they would finish their work quickly so she could go back to her dorm and read. Tamara had been there more often, so it was hard to let Glenn out. Noelle had meant to start her counseling hours, but she was afraid that if she started now, the counselor would focus on Evan instead of her anxiety. Which was a ridiculous thought.

Evan was starting to walk back into the Library. He wore a nice pair of jeans and a plain red t-shirt. Noelle glanced at him as she saw him approach. She turned her attention back to Tobi, biting her lip.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:06 pm
"A fourth it is." Tobi nods and tears her a very generous third. He hands it over to her, taking care to wrap it first in a strip of the paper bag it came in. He knows her, knows that she's not doing great but trying so, so hard to pretend it's fine.

He settles himself in where he sits and begins to eat his sandwich. He'd have to let his group know in a bit that he might not make it back today. Fine by him, they needed a longer break than an hour and he's got more pressing concerns at the moment. Noelle's gaze out the window just caught his own attention, and he manages to catch just the tail end of a blond boy making his way inside.

Something in him riles, burns, itches and it takes an almost Herculean effort to stamp it down. Noelle needs to be safe more than he needs to get angry. He calms himself, munches on his food, and waits.

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:17 pm
She sensed anger in Tobi, but she thought it was towards her because of her unwillingness to eat a sandwich or something just as small. She shrinks into her seat as Evan gets closer to the Library. She didn’t want to deal with it. She reaches for the sandwich and takes a bite, chewing it thoughtfully.

Evan walked in grinning brightly, heading into the lounge. He had an effortless charisma surrounding him- he waves to several other students, winking at a couple girls. He walks in, looking at Noelle “Hey! How’s it going with-“ he breaks off, looking at Tobi. His head swivels back to Noelle “Oh, I didn’t know that you had company.”

It was a simple enough comment, but it was tinged with a slight snobbiness- like she wasn’t allowed to have someone with her.

Evan looks at Tobi and reaches out a hand “I don’t think we’ve met. Evan.” He flashes a blinding smile.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:37 pm
And there he is. Tobi watches Evan as he walks into the room, his eyes tracking the boy's movements. There's a moment where he approaches Noelle, who's nervous as all hell, but notices Tobi sitting nearby.

Oh, Tobi hates the sound of his voice.

'Little thing too.' Tobi thinks as Evan introduces himself to him, holding out a hand to shake. Tobi doesn't get up nor make any motion to introduce himself back. Instead he fixes Evan under the full weight of his too cold, too sharp stare and takes a bite of his sandwich. He chews silently, never once taking his eyes off the other boy.

Finally, and on his own time, he puts his sandwich down and stands to his full, broad height in front of Evan. His hand reaches out to take the other's in a tight grip. "Tobias Rudolf Maynard." He drawls. "Pleasure."

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:47 pm
“Oh. Wow.” Evan says. It’s obviously directed to how Tobi introduced himself. Even with his average height and lithe build, his confidence makes him look a lot less pathetic next to Tobi’s height and broad frame. Evan doesn’t break his smile or his eye contact as he says “Huh. How do you know Ellie?”

Noelle frowned, her eyebrows furrowing. She knew this was a power play, but she also didn’t like that he was calling her that. She told him in confidence that was something her parents called her when she was really young. And the only one who called her that now was her sister. She felt incredibly vulnerable about it, and the fact that he was using it as a way to make it seem like Tobi didn’t know her as well made Noelle extremely upset.

Evan’s hand shake is firm, but not warm or inviting. It’s cold, like a business transaction. He was the epitome of suburban swill, and he was proud of it.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:28 pm
"Ran into each other first day'a class." Tobi replies easily. "We're in th'same schol'arship program." He doesn't mention which one. He doesn't wanna give even one ounce of consideration to this kid.

"Noelle and I been friends e'er since." He goes on, ignoring the nickname he uses for her. If Noelle had wanted him to use a nickname, she would've told him. She's Noelle to him till she decides she's not.

He's calm and steady in front of the younger boy, with a patience and will honed by years of survivalist living. He knows that he and Noelle are close, and nothing's going to shake his conviction on that. Not this boy trying to convince him, not Noelle and her anxieties, nothing. He wants to be her security, wants to show her that she can stand up for herself, that she can stand up to this kid that has such a hold over her. So he stands and he'll keep standing, unshakable, until the other backs down.

He allows the conversation to lapse, still meeting Evan's blue eyes with his own pale grey.

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:42 pm
Evan nods “Huh. Alright. Well, nice to meet you Tobias.” He makes his way over to Noelle, kissing her hair gently. He sits on the arm of her chair and looks at Tobi, grinning. The grin isn’t friendly anymore- it’s taunting. Then he turns to Noelle. “So, babe, what have you been up to? Read through my stuff at all?”

Noelle takes another small bite of the sandwich. She made eye contact with Tobi for a split second, before looking at her lap. She felt trapped. She didn’t know what to do. In a very small voice, she said “Some of it. I had some stuff I needed to get done first.” The steel in her voice is there, adding a small edge. But Evan either doesn’t notice it or care

“Well, my stuff is usually pretty easy. Let’s get started.”

Noelle chews her lip, taking out one of the notebooks that surround her. She inspects it, but she sends a silent message to Tobi through glances and expressions “It’s okay. You don’t need to stay... I’ll catch up with you after this... I promise.”

Evan’s grin dissipates “Tobias, hate to do this, but Ellie and I have to work on something.” He’s eyes are cold snd glowering.
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:04 am
Tobi nods slow before going to pick up his sandwich and settling himself loosely in a nearby armchair. He sits sideways with his back against one arm rest and legs dangled over the other side. He starts once more to munch on his sandwich.

'Babe,' he called her. He rolls his eyes and takes out his phone to message his study group, resting the sandwich in his lap. If he thinks he can rile him that easily, he's clearly stupider than he looks.

Tobi looks up at her and catches her eyes. He tries to shoot her answering look, something without any judgement and a little bit of encouragement. He wants to tell her how he noticed she was standing up to him, how he was proud of her.

But he can't, at least not now. He buries his nose in his phone and his sandwich, content to be a quiet chaperone. Quiet, that is, until Evan tries to dismiss him.

"Oh I ain't gonna be no bother, just gonna finish my sandwich." He doesn't look up from his phone and his sandwich sits untouched on his chest. "Won't even know I'm here."

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:15 am
Evan rolls his eyes, and smiles at Noelle wildly “Alright. Let’s begin.”

Noelle begins to explain to him about the things she had read in the marketing book that she had... modified earlier. Evan is listening, but he’s occasionally on his phone, laughing and smiling. Noelle would stop and wait for him to finish before continuing. Occasionally, she would shoot apologetic glances to Tobi. Evan finally begins to understand, asking Noelle to write down what he’s saying “You know it helps me to speak and look at it later, Ellie.”

Noelle sighs and takes out a notebook, but also grabs her phone. She finds Tobi’s number from the first day they met, and smiles.

From his spot, Tobi’s phone vibrates with an unknown number.

‘Hey. I’m sorry. You don’t need to stay. Also, thanks for the sandwich :-)’
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:32 am
Tobi watches the small notification pop up on screen and squints at the unfamiliar number. It takes him a moment to realize who it is, but the instant he does, he adds it to his contacts list under the name 'noelle'. After a moment's hesitatation, he adds a 'less than' symbol and a three after the name.

'Aint like she ever gonna see it.' he thinks with a soft, barely there smile. He flips back to the text and begins to type out a reply.

'first time you text me and it's to tell me to leave, I see how it is.' he shoots her a teasing look across the room.

'welcome' he texts after the first, and then after a pause, 'you need an out?'

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 12:41 am
Evan starts droning on about marketing. He isn’t wrong, but he talks in circles, is convoluted, and often makes points that are verbatim of what Noelle had said earlier. Noelle has played this game before- she writes down her thoughts on the subject. It would suffice.

When her phone buzzes, her heart leaps. She quickly reads. With the first message, her eyes widen, but she catches his teasing look. She rolls her eyes. When the next two texts roll in she responds.

‘I can get out of this in a bit. He wears himself down.’

She writes a couple more things, but when Evan looks away, she sends Tobi another message.

‘I never said thank you for that night last week.’

And another

‘Thank You.’
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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:44 am
'hes wearing me out just looking at him.' Tobi types out and hits send.

The two other messages give him a little more pause. That night, a week ago, he had woken up with so many half memories and fuzzy recollections. All he could really remember was that singular revelation and the feelings that came with it. He remembers her cuddling next to him, her in his arms, their hands intertwined. His face flushes a dark red across the bridge of his nose.

'Concentrate,' he thinks to himself. 'Aint the time f'r that.'

She was crying, that was it. Crying about Evan, right in front of him and still using her as a glorified secretary.

'aint nothin', he types back. His fingers fly across the keyboard on his phone as he tries to think of something else to say.

'could do it again sometime'. Delete.

'really enjoyed that last bit'. Delete.

'Youre plenty good at snugglin, all the thanks I need.' Delet- wait.

Oh God, no, he pressed send on that one. He pressed send, shit on a stick, he pressed send.

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Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 1:59 am
Noelle flashes a small grin towards Tobi with the first text. She looks up at Evan, nodding and writing out his thoughts. Well, her thoughts. But she wasn’t going to think about that. She sees the Tobi’s blushing, which causes her to blush in turn.

That night answered a lot of questions for her, but she still wasn’t sure if Tobi saw anything in her. He was so smart and kind and patient and loving and warm and-

She looks at her phone and her entire face turns beet red. She looks up at Evan, who is preoccupied by his own phone. Noelle kept her eyes down on her phone. Well. He at least saw one thing in her

She contemplated what to say back to that. Finally, she sent it, her face red and her hands shaking.

‘Do you really think that?’

And after

‘Because you aren’t too bad yourself.’

She avoids eye contact, continuing to listen to Evan.


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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:23 am
Tobi's looking through his phone and taking bites of his sandwich trying to look casual. He's avoiding looking over at her.

'God, that was too much.' he thinks. 'Too much.' It was rude, doing something like that when she was already having boy troubles, he didn't need to add anything to that mix. No matter how he felt, he shouldn't have-

A soft vibration pulls him from his thoughts. One finger unlocks the screen slowly, carefully, and he reads the notification.

Huh. 'Apparently she don't mind.' he thinks with a small uptick of his lips. His fingers patter softly against the glass screen as he writes out his reply.

'yeah, I do.'

'a higher honor there never was, thank ya kindly.'

He sends the both of them off with a warmth in his chest. She really was something else, he thought and took a bite of his sandwich. Something else, indeed.

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Re: Highmauve: Library, Study Room D

on Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:55 am
Noelle beamed at her phone. Evan did notice this time and gave her a look "Babe, come on. Stay Focused."

She nods and keeps writing, hiding her phone underneath her leg for a moment. This did it for her. She made a decision about Evan and Tobi and everything. Tobi saw something in her, and she was going to trust it. After Homecoming, she was going to break up with Evan. She knew now the relationship wasn't going to last long with him- she was waiting out the inevitable. She takes another bite of the sandwich, transcribing Evan's words. Finally she texts back:

'Oh my goodness. Thank you. That's really sweet.'

She pauses to think, looking at her phone. Evan coughs and she looks up "Sorry. Listen, I think you're pretty much done. You got this down. You're gonna ace your midterm."

Evan sighs "You think so? Do you have anything that you need to work on?"

"Yes, but you don't need to stay."

"Alright, well, if you need anything. Shoot me a text?" Evan leaned down, looking at Tobi for a second, then back at Noelle. He places his hands on her jaw and leans forward, placing a kiss on her lips. Noelle's eye widen. This was her first kiss. This isn't how it was supposed to happen. The kiss is long and tender, to Evan's credit. But she wishes it was Tobi, holding her, kissing her.

Noelle's heart squeezed with shame.
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