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Night Skies and Hot Lines

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As Evan walked the wind picked up even more than it had already and he shivered a bit. He shoved his hands into the pockets of his faded jean jacket even deeper in some hope of keeping his fingers warm. Even though it was late July nights were already getting cold but Evan didn’t mind much. He quite enjoyed fall. The smells and the colors, he just felt so relaxed during fall.

He stopped at a cross walk even though he saw no cars coming he still waited a little just to make sure. After a short minuet he crossed the street of his little city and started walking along the cracked sidewalks again. Evan was heading to a small off-white building that wasn’t quite a business or a store. In fact the building was kind of scary looking. It was made of all brick and covered in spray paint but inside was what really mattered.

After his little incident in mid to early June he confessed to his mother what his real intentions had been in that tree. Of course she understood and even convinced him to confess to his therapist. After that he went to a rehab center for about a week and half. After his little run in with death he wasn’t really that eager to try again but the rehab did help him face the truth about it. The doctors and other patients at the center were pretty friendly and understanding which really helped. He liked the idea of having someone there to talk to, even if he wasn’t in a really depressing mood. Just knowing that someone was there made him relaxed.

So anyway, he started volunteering at a suicide prevention hot line soon after he got out of rehab. He was volunteering at the state park but after “The Incident” he just couldn’t go back. He wanted people to know that someone was there and that they understood. He knew one phone call wouldn’t completely help them but he hoped he could maybe help them postpone it. Maybe if they postponed it for a later date they’d realize that they weren’t ready to die yet. Sometimes people just need an outlet to dump their feelings on and Evan gladly volunteered to be that outlet.

Soon enough he stumbled across the plain square building and rushed in, to escape the cold air. The smell of mildew and old carpet flooded his lungs and he quickened his pace fearing he might be late if he wanders for too long. Even though normal phone calls make him extremely anxious something about answering the calls of people in need don’t. Maybe it’s because it makes him feel that someone needs him and that he’s important to someone. He knows that’s pretty selfish of him but he just can’t help it.

After a few long strides he’s in the main area of the building. He clocks in- a little early but better early than late, right? He waves to the sweet old woman who keeps the place running, Debra, and sits at his desk. When he says desk he means a small old table where a phone and recorder are hooked up. He puts on his headset, smiles and waves as Debra leaves and begins his night. He’s the only one who really works Saturday nights, which can get hectic but most nights they’re pretty quiet besides a phone call every thirty minuets or so.

--------------------------- 2am
Evan had just sat down from pouring himself a second cup of coffee when the phone rang for maybe the fourth or fifth time since his shift started. He took a quick sip, successfully burning his tongue in the process, pressed record and pressed answer on his headset.

“Hello. This is the Saint Peters suicide hot line, can I help you?”
“OH hey! * snort * UH yeAh I kindA wanna dIe.”
“Sir, are you-are you high right now?”
“Mayyybeee. I am also currently sitting on my roof wishing that the height would kill me if I jumped.”
“What’s your name sir? I’m Evan, maybe I can help you get down from your roof ok?”
“Connor. Connor Murphy. Also Evan, my roof is nice. The sky is pretty. And if I go inside I have to sit in my dumb room with no door and listen to my dumb sister snoring next door.”

Connor Murphy? As in the Connor Murphy? The kid who threw a printer in second grade. As in the kid who glares at every kid who passes him in the hallway. The kid who Evan ran into in the secluded school bathroom smoking a blunt. Evan has never really had anything against him but the rumors he’s heard from Jared do sometimes scare him. And lets not forget to mention the fact that Evan had a crush on his sister from seventh to tenth grade, and Jared just wont let him live it down. He still has a slight crush on her even if its embarrassing, but Evan has come to realize that its more that he wants what she has than an actual love for her.

Is he going to recognize Evan’s voice? Is he going to attack Evan if he realizes who Evan is? Oh god what if he tells the whole school that Evan works at a suicide hot line and then the whole school will make fun of him. What if Jared stops talking to him completely because he doesn’t want to be friends with the weird kid who volunteers at a suicide hot line. What if Jared figures out that Evan tried to commit suicide and makes fun of him for it? Ohgodohgodohgod-

“Helloooooo? Evan did you die? That’d be the first. Imagine the headlines! Young man with a dumb name like Evan dies after realizing that Connor Murphy called a suicide hotline!”

Evan paused for a second and chuckled a bit. He didn’t know if it was a nervous chuckle or a one of general hilarity but it was probably a mix of both. He didn’t know if Connor was always this sassy or if it was the fact that he was high but Evan was oddly enough starting to enjoy it. Anyways he needed to get back to the task at hand. Even if he sounded like he was having fun and making jokes the fact that he was on his roof very high was concerning.

“Well Connor, I don’t think it’s very safe for you to be on your roof right now. Maybe you don’t have to get off immediately but maybe bit by bit ok?”

“You’re such a party pooper Evan!”

“I guess I might be Connor. So anyway why don’t we just talk? What are you doing on your roof right now?”

“Well I’m currently looking at the stars and wishing I hadn’t smoked all my pot an hour before calling you.”

“Isn’t kind of cold outside? Don’t you want to be a bit warmer?”

“Eh it’s not that cold. Maybe you’re just a big pussy Evan.”

“Such a foul mouth! Do you speak to your mother with that mouth?”

“I don’t speak to my mother. She’d dead.”

“...”

“OHMYGOD I’M SO SORRY I DIDN’T MEAN IT I WAS JUSTTRYING TO MAKEAJOKETRYING TO LIGHTENUPTHEMOOD BUT I MESSEDITALL UP NOW DIDN’T I I’M SOSOSOSO SORRY PLE-PLEASE DON’T BE MAD-“

“WOah dude chill out! I was joking too! Well goddamn Evan. All this talking has made me too tired to even function, well maybe it’s the talking and all the pot but anyways I am very sleepy now.”

Evan heard some loud bangs and a few curse words as he assumed that Connor started climbing back inside. That made him sigh in relief at the fact that Connor was actually planning on going to sleep, or at least he hopped that he was. He hoped that Evan had successfully worn him out so much that he actually did want to sleep, and that he wasn’t just saying that because he was mad at Evan for the joke he made. He heard a few final clangs and bangs as Connor landed on his room floor and one last string of nasty curse words.

“Well then you should sleep Connor. Please have a safe night and always remember to call this hotline if you ever need someone to talk to.”

“Yeah see you around... Evan.”

And just like that Evan’s small conversation with a very high Connor Murphy was over. It was definitely an experience. And selfishly one he hoped to experience again.

 

 

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It had been a few days since Connor had called that hotline. He doesn’t really remember what happened during the call or really anything he said. Quite frankly he doesn’t even remember where he got the number for a suicide hot line. But he does remember two things about that call. The first being that he was definitely very high, he knows this by the fact that his whole stash was gone when he woke up the next day and that he had the worst hangover from it. The second thing was just a name. A first name to be more exact, Evan. He figures that it was the name of the guy working the hotline but something about it just seems so familiar. He just can’t shake it; he can’t stop thinking about the name.

Who’s Evan? His brain wonders. Do I know an Evan? Does Zoe know an Evan? So he asked. He just couldn’t figure out who this kid was and why was Connor thinking about who he was non stop anyways?

Then late one night, well more like early morning, he had the brilliant idea to look through some of his old yearbooks. He never really was one for yearbooks but his mother insisted that he needed one every year. So anyways he grabbed the first few from the stack and just started flipping through one. He was starting to lose hope in finding this seemingly fake person until he finally had a break through.

He came upon a row of uncomfortable teen kids and while skimming through the names he may have found what he was looking for. Evan Hansen, the human time bomb of anxiousness and awkwardness. It couldn’t be him. Evan looks like he can’t even have a normal conversation and he definitely wouldn’t be able to handle suicidal phone counseling. It just didn’t make sense.

 

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A few days later Connor decides to call the hotline again, this time only slightly high. He had gotten into another dumb fight with his dad that by now he couldn’t even remember what started it. He does know that it was bad nonetheless. Well all of the fights he has with his dad are bad but this one was straight terrible. He knows that it was a lot of yelling and Connor probably said things he didn’t mean. He also remembers freaking out at his sister while walking back up the stairs, which ended in her yelling back and storming off to her room.

Oh and he’s back on his roof again. Even if he knows that jumping from his roof wouldn’t end in his death he still climbs up there whenever he needs to blow off steam. It’s nice, the sky and him, all alone. He just feels so much calmer up there. There’s no frantic mother trying to make everyone get along, there’s no dumb father who yells at him for every little thing he does, and most importantly there’s no perfect sister showing off how perfect she is. It’s just him and the calm sky. He can relate to the sky a lot. Full of clouds blocking the sun and sometimes so much rain that it floods the earth below it, hard violent hail that can destroy windows and damage people, and strong winds that can blow down some of the strongest buildings and trucks. Yeah, he relates to the sky a lot.

So anyways he’s sitting on his roof and calling this dumb hot line again. He knows that he’s probably just calling to see if this whole Evan thing is real, but he also just kind of wants someone to talk too. He’s never really had an outlet to dump all of his emotions on and now he just might have one. Even if calling a suicide hotline to just have someone to talk to about his feelings is pretty lame it’s his only option at the moment. It’s not like he has friends and its not like he can just go hunt Evan Hansen down and talk to him in person about them. He doesn’t even know if the guy he talked to was actually Evan Hansen for god’s sake!

The phone rings once

The phone rings twice

And before Connor can change his mind and hang up the phone is answered and now he’s trapped in a conversation with some random stranger.

“Hello. This is the Saint Peters suicide hot line, can I help you?”

“Probably not, but I could use someone to distract me right now.” Now if Connor was being honest that was true. When he got all angry and sad after these fights he tended to do things he wasn’t so proud of. Mostly cutting or punching his wall until he bled or he punched through the wall again. So having this little distraction of another human talking to him as if they didn’t know his reputation helped those urges.

“Connor?? Is that you again?”

“Wow you’re faster than I thought, Evan” Connor honestly didn’t expect him to recognize him so quickly or even remember him. That was nice. The fact that he remembered made Connor feel a little better, like someone actually cared. Wow that’s pretty sad that someone remembering him makes him feel better.

“So is something the matter? Is there something you want to talk about?”

“I mean I’m back on my roof again, not as high this time. But yeah I am on my roof.”

“That dang roof again. Tell me, Connor, are you always on your roof when you’re sad?”

“I guess I am. Its nice, the sky the quiet. None else in my family comes up here. So I come up here to escape, considering I can’t really calm down in my room because the asshole Larry took my door.” Earlier this summer Connor had lost his door due to him smoking in his room and locking himself in there for hours so he ‘couldn’t be trusted with privacy’. He honestly doesn’t know why they wont give it back. The longer he can be away from them the better, for all of them.

“So what’s bothering you? Did something happen between you and your family before you called?”

“Ah you know me so well already Evan, maybe you’ve stalking me for years and now’s your chance to attack me.” Evan chuckled a bit on the other side and Connor may be wrong but he thought he heard a little snort or two in there as well.

“Sadly enough I have not. But most kids who call this line have family problems so I normally assume that that’s the main problem.”

“Well you were right Mr. Stalker. I got in a fight with Larry about thirty minuets ago. I mean we get in fights all the time; we basically go at each other non-stop like wild dogs fighting for the same piece of meat. But this time it was different. This time it was bigger and the hateful words suddenly hurt more, like as if he actually meant everything he said.”

“Sometimes parents can get so overwhelmed with work and the stress of daily life that they get in small fights which then escalate into full on screaming matches where they express all their anger. The fight you had with your father could have been an example of that.”

“He’s still an asshole though...” Again there was another little chuckle but this time it faded off nervously.

“I never said he wasn’t, but I was just trying to explain why it was a different fight than normal. Do you remember what stared the fight?”

“No but it was probably something dumb like me drinking all the milk, or something. A lot of our fights begin like that, I do something miniscule and then Larry just flips out.”

“Many families with a toxic relationship have fights like this. They seem to be small things that suddenly become huge things. When families are on edge at all times from all the anger and anxiety flowing through the members everything seems to just blow up in their faces. Lots of families suffer from this problem and that’s how families break apart. The most important thing for you to do in these situations is to worry about yourself. Fights like these can be very toxic for you and it most important that you worry about calming yourself. If you can’t calm yourself then dangerous things could happen.”

“Therapist in training aren’t ya.” There’s that damn laugh again. This time it didn’t sound nervous at all Evan sounded like he was actually laughing.

“You kind of have to be a therapist when you work a suicide hot line. Is there anything else particularly bothering you that you’d like to talk about?”

“Night, Hansen.” And with that Connor hung up.

 

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After that Connor called the line a few more times but every time Evan tried to bring up the fact that Connor knew who he was he always denied it. Time and time again Connor said that Evan is a common name and that there’d be no way he’d know who he was. Evan was starting to think that maybe he imagined it all.

Evan wasn’t working tonight because tomorrow is his first day of senior year and his mother wanted him to get some rest before his ‘big day’. Though it was nice being able to eat dinner with his mother after barely seeing her all summer. Evan was trying to sleep but he couldn’t, one though just wouldn’t leave his mind. If Evan saw Connor tomorrow what would happen. Would they become friends? What would he even say?

Evan wondered if Connor was going to keep pretending that he didn’t know who Evan was. I mean It’d make sense, who would want to be associated with the most awkward kid in school. Even if Connor wasn’t very popular and was basically the school’s idea of emo Evan was seemingly even more unpopular. None even really knew who Evan Hansen was; he could count the amount of people who actually knew him on his hand. Connor was hated and bullied but Evan, Evan didn’t even exist in most of their minds. Maybe Connor really didn’t know who he was. Maybe Evan got so excited that someone was regularly talking to him that, he-he imagined that Connor actually knew he existed.

God now Evan was crying. He’s been so alone all summer that he’s starting to imagine friends. Jared hasn’t talked to him all summer except for when their moms forced them to hang out. Where Evan sat in the corner of Jared’s room while Jared sat on his phone in the other. It’s not like Evan has any other friends. That’s why he’s so selfishly clinging on to Connor Murphy. God if Connor ever realized that he’s the one working the line and that he thinks that they’re friends in his mind. God he’s sick! Connor would be disgusted- Connor is would hate him. Anyone would hate him. He’s selfish and terrible and disgusting! He’s going to be alone forever, and-and he deserves it! Look what he’s done when someone gives him even the slightest bit of attention!

Evan ended up giving himself a panic attack and didn’t fall asleep until he passed out from crying. Tomorrow is going to be hell and it’s going to be Evan’s fault.

 

--------------------
Connor could not deal with school today. He felt like absolute shit but of course his family thinks its because he’s high and being stubborn. So now to show them that he’s not an asshole teen he has to go to school. Fuck! Why doesn’t his family actually believe in him for anything! His mother always gives him this LOOK, where you can just tell she’s wondering what’s wrong with him! Well fuck them!

Right as he’s about to walk out of the door Zoe starts blaring the horn and yelling at him to hurry up, in his truck by the way! Which of course just pisses him off even more. Halfway through the car ride he’s got a pounding headache because Zoe is blaring her fucking music just to annoy him. God today is going to be a god-awful day.

-----------------------------
Evan ended up having to walk to school because Jared didn’t respond to his text. One of the “terms” of their friendship was that Jared drove Evan to and from school, though Jared rarely ever drove him home. Ever since the middle of the year last year Jared’s been distancing himself more and more from Evan. Evan doesn’t blame him, there’s so many other-better people for Jared to be friends with. But even so Jared still tended to drive Evan to school in the mornings or at least text him if he wasn’t going to pick him up. But this morning when Evan texted he didn’t even respond. Now that, that hurt a little. What could Evan do though, he couldn’t force Jared to text him.

So he walked. It wasn’t that bad, the scenery was nice. It also gave him time to think though. Which lately hasn’t exactly been the best thing for him, if last night was any example. But he thought, he thought, and he thought. About the most mundane things too, like what’d he eat for dinner, or what the new freshman are going to look like, or what his new science teachers name is going to be. Before he knew it he was there, he was standing on the stairs of this massive building and suddenly all the bad thoughts came flooding back. They engulfed him, they filled his lungs, his head, his eyesight, he couldn’t hear anything; he was frozen in fear. He felt so sick, so sick of everything.

He ended up throwing up the small breakfast he had in the bush to the left of him.

He was so sick that he didn’t even care if people saw him puke into a fucking bush. He didn’t care if they were laughing and pointing at him. He just didn’t want to be sick anymore, he wanted to puke every last bad thought and fear, he wanted to be better-to be normal!

Suddenly he felt a hand clapping his back and a familiar chuckle to the left of him. He hazily looked up from the poor vomit covered bush and met eyes with Jared Klienman. His so called friend who ignored him all year, his friend who didn’t respond to his text this morning and forced him to walk to school. His friend who was now saying something that Evan couldn’t quite hear.

“-ook like shit man!” Oh it was just an insult. How very Jared of him. Evan stood up and wiped his mouth with the collar of his favorite blue polo. He tried to fix his appearance but was interrupted in the midst of wiping his pants off by none other than Jared yanking his cast closer to him.

“WOAH DUDE! You finally did it! You finally broke your arm by jackin it too hard!”
“W-What Jared NO! Th-that’s not what happened!”

“I can see it now. You’ve got Zoe Murphy’s Instagram pulled up and right before you’re-“ Before Jared can even finish that thought Evan turns away and walks inside heading straight for his locker. Even though he doesn’t really use a locker because he’s so afraid of leaving a book or binder in there (he does tend to leave his lunch in there though) he normally hangs around it in the morning.

Of course Jared is close behind laughing at his own joke and how easily Evan can get embarrassed. When the pair finally stops in front of Evan’s locker they stand in thick awkward silence as Evan struggles to open his locker and put his lunch inside.

“So if you didn’t break it that way how’d you do it?” Evan cringed. He couldn’t just tell Jared that he jumped out of a tree; he’d never let him live it down!

“I uh-uh I fell. I fell out of a tree...”

“You fell. Out of a tree. Like, out of a tree?” Evan looked away shamefully and nodded.

“Like a fUCKING ACORN?!” Jared found this very, and I mean very, funny. Jesus Christ Evan really wasn’t going to live this down. Evan looked at the floor and fiddled with the bottom of his shirt whilst Jared continuously laughed next to him. Suddenly the loud laughs became low chuckles and Evan looked over to find that someone else captured Jared’s eyes.

“Evan-ohmygod. Don’t look now but its Connor Murphy, he grew out his hair, Jesus Christ!” Evan tried to follow Jared’s eyes but he realized that the teen boys had been in a staring contest that was quickly gaining tension.
“Connor! I love the new hair cut-very school shooter chic!” Evan’s eyes widen as he looked at Jared in disbelief. He knew that Jared could be a jerk but that just went too far. Connor angrily marched over to where Jared and Evan were standing which honestly kind of scared Evan. He just seemed so angry. Connor was absolutely furious he was basically leaking anger.

“What- it was supposed to be a joke. It’s funny. Can’t you take a joke, Murphy?” Jared was obviously starting to get scared which was pretty obvious by his fidgeting hands and wavering voice; his cockiness was fading.

Connor moved even closer to Jared, he was basically only a few inches from the smaller boys face.

“It’s hilarious- can’t you see that I’m laughing?!” Connor was yelling well it seemed more similar to hissing. It was so full of anger and hatred; this wasn’t the Connor that called the hotline. This was a completely different person, a person of rage. Evan was becoming more scared and nervous by the second and he didn’t know how to diffuse the situation. So of course he did something stupid; he very nervously chuckled. Connor whipped his piercing blue eyes from Jared and glared at Evan. Jared saw his opportunity and ran, such a great friend.

“You think this is funny! You think I’m some sort of freak! I’m not! You’re the freak!” And with that Connor pushed him and ran off as well. Suddenly the bell rang and the multiple kids, who probably just witnessed that whole thing, scurried off to class. Then he was all alone, again. Thankfully he landed on his good arm, which was numb at the moment.

Just as Evan is about to stand up Zoe Murphy of all people walks up to him, pathetically sitting on the floor, and offers her hand. This day just couldn’t get any better could it?

“I’m sorry about my brother. He’s an ass” Evan took her hand or at least he reached for it, before quickly pulling it away and wiping the sweat off of his hand onto his pant leg. After that embarrassing experience he grabbed her hand and stood up.

“I’m Zoe, you’re Evan right?” Evan flushed. This is the moment that a few years ago he’d be dying for it to happen. But now that it was he didn’t feel as love struck as he thought he would. He is still embarrassed though, cause I mean, it’s Zoe Murphy!

“YES! I’m- I’m Evan. Wait I’m sorry that’s weird, you just said my name and I just said it back. Sorry that’s weird sorry!” Evan grew redder and redder as he fidgeted with his hands, and his shirt and anything his grabby anxiety filled hands wanted. Zoe giggled and smiled a smile that was comparable to the stars. GOD Evan that’s weird! What’s with you fantasizing about the Murphy’s lately!
“You’re pretty funny Evan. OH! I have to go I’m already two minuets late for class and its across campus. Nice meeting you Evan!” And with that she was gone. Is it just Murphy procedure to end conversations so abruptly? Evan figured he was also late but he didn’t care, he just wandered to the most secluded bathroom, that wasn’t the one that he ran into Connor in one time, and hid in there for all of first hour. When first hour was over he simply walked into the office stuttered that he was late and nabbed his schedule.

-------------------------

It was almost the end of this hellish day. Jared hasn’t talked to him since the incident this morning so he figures he doesn’t have a ride home. He figured that since he doesn’t have to rush to get his ride he might as well stay after and work on his therapy letter. After confessing to his therapist about his attempt his therapist edged him to start writing letters to himself about how today can be a good day. He had started on it this morning but he might as well finish it. Today was definitely full of ups and downs so Evan didn’t really know how he was going to spin it and make it a good one.

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After that whole freak out Connor had this morning he decided to skip the first half of the day. He ran to his car and drove off to some park, the Orchard was too far for him to make it back in time, and smoked a blunt. He realized that he’s probably the biggest asshole in existence this morning. He didn’t want to flip out on Evan this morning but he just couldn’t help it. When he gets all angry like that he flips out on literally anyone. They don’t even have to do anything they could just be standing there and that’d piss him off.

After thinking about it that little chuckle was probably a nervous tick. He just fucking pushed and called the one kid who actually listened to him in years a freak. Jesus was he an ass, but he wanted to change that a bit. Evan was... Evan was nice and he wanted someone to just talk to every now and then. So he stupidly decided to go back and apologize to the kid. Or at least try to have a normal conversation with him, one where he’s not yelling at him, or one over a suicide hotline.

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By the end of the day he was determined to find Evan and talk to him. As he was idiotically roaming the halls to try to find the kid he watches the smaller boy run into a computer lab, so he follows like the weirdo he is. He really doesn’t know what he’s going to say to him, so instead of running up to him and blurting the first thing that comes to mind, he stands near the doorway to think of a plan. In the middle of thinking Connor hears the printer start up and he looks up quickly at it.

‘Fuck it.’ He thinks as he walks over to the printer to pick up the paper for Evan. What he didn’t expect though was touching someone else’s hand rather than warm paper. He looks up from picking at his nails to meet eyes with dark blue ones. Quickly he rips his hand away and looks down at the floor suddenly forgetting everything he was going to say. Evan shoves his paper in his bag and tries to rush out of the tense room, but he doesn’t because Connor speaks up.

“So uh what happened to your arm?”

“W-What?” Evan turned around to look at the brunette in shock. Which makes sense considering what he did to him this morning.

“Your arm. What happened to it?” Just as Connor expected, the other was more awkward in actual conversation than over the phone.

“Oh I-uh I fell out of a tree.”

“Well that’s just the saddest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.” Evan looked away and chuckled. Then they were left in awkward silence again. ‘God Connor think of something!’.

“None signed it.” Evan looked up again and met eyes with Connor’s.

“Oh uh yeah haha...” That nervous tick again, the tick that got him attacked this morning. Connor grabbed the arm engulfed by the plain white cast, a little too hard if he’s telling the truth. That was confirmed when Evan let out a quiet “Ow.” He loosened the grip on the poor boys arm figuring he hurt the kid enough today.

“Do you have a marker?” Connor looked up questionably. Evan nodded and shuffled around for a few seconds before he pulled a black sharpie out of his khaki pocket.

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Evan was still weary of Connor but he didn’t seem to be nearly as mad as he was this morning. He even seemed to be trying to be extra careful. That was nice. He’s different than Jared. He doesn’t seem to try to go out of his way to insult Evan. He thinks that he could get used to that.

Evan hands Connor the sharpie he opens it with his teeth. Which not to be weird and dramatic was strangely very hot? God what is Evan doing. First he’s fantasizing about being his friend after a few phone conversations and now he’s finding him attractive? Evans hormones really needed to chill out.

When Connor deemed his masterpiece done the casted boy looked down at his left arm to find that the taller of the two signed his name in giant letters, filling the whole cast. Evan smiled a bit and looked up at the other to give him a smile too. Connor capped the sharpie and gave a small smirk in return to Evan’s smile.

“Now we can both pretend we have friends.” Connor headed for the door but stopped right before walking out.

“See you around... Hansen.” Then he left. Evan couldn’t believe that that just happened. It was definitely weird but something he’d gladly experience again.

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The next morning as Evan reached his locker to dump his lunch a note caught his eye. He picked it up; it was a folded piece of loose-leaf paper with some cute plant doodles adoring it. When he opened the note he found similar messy scrawl to the writing on his cast. The note said,

“Here’s my number so we don’t have to keep having conversations via suicide hotline – Connor.”

Evan smiled. He guesses they really were friends now.