A/N: Guess what day is it? It's Acacia's one year anniversary! So here is Acacia's sequel!
Acacia was written when I was one year younger. Thus, my writing was awful and I very much prefer to not read what I have written even though I still have to since it is required for me to do so when I want to write its sequel. And since it's been a long time since Acacia and that some of you may have forgotten what exactly happened in that story, if any of you would like some summary of some sort or just have any questions in general, just ask me in the review box or private message me :) I even welcome the new readers to contact me for a synopsis because really, my writing in Acacia was bad. But I guess, it was also page turning? And it definitely had some great elements in it. Just badly written...
Thank you so much for staying tuned throughout the year and to all those who has read my other works as well such as Four Chances and For Me You Were The Book, I appreciate you guys so much ^^
Disclaimer: I do not own Divergent.
"Mate, are you seriously not taking up the offer? Because I'm all up for it if you're not." Zeke questions after a long moment of silence.
Tobias looks up from his black duffel bag, a scowl deeply etched on his face. "I told you Zeke, teaching is not exactly my thing. To teach computer programming to a crowd of dim-witted students is definitely the worst combination for me."
He swings the duffel bag on his shoulder and with a final nod, leaves for the door.
"I'll see you in Chicago?" Zeke asks.
Tobias stops briefly. "I'll think about it." He replies before leaving his best buddy, side-kick ever since first grade in total silence, and total lost. Tobias doesn't notice it, he never does these days. But he has been pushing away everyone away from him, be it friends, acquaintances, or enemies. No one seems to get on the right side of his book. Mention these two words and you'll definitely get killed; love... and Tris.
Zeke sighs as he wonders on what will become of his best friend one day if he keeps on living in this melancholic note. They've just graduated for god's sake. He doesn't even want to attend his convocation where he will be awarded with some achievement-of-excellence-tittle-kind-of-thing.
Bruno Mars's "Just The Way You Are" rings around the room and Zeke's lips quickly curves up into a smile. He grabs his phone from his desk, smiles at the picture of his girlfriend which is illuminating his phone screen and presses the answer button.
"Hey, Shauna!" He greets, his episode with Tobias already forgotten.
Shauna smiles through the phone, hooking her hair behind her ear. "Hey... So umm, I called Caleb last night and he said that he'll be fine with you staying at our house for the week and also won't mind if I stay at yours for the next week."
"The house in Chicago or Cincinnati?"
Shauna frowns, letting go of the strand of hair she was fidgeting. "I thought I've told you that after we found out that my mom left her old house in Cincinnati for us, we've decided to permanently move there and sell the one in Chicago..."
"Oh yes, sorry about that," Zeke replies apologetically.
"So if your mom is fine with it, I guess that plan is on?"
"Sure." Zeke replies, second-checking his drawers to make sure that he has packed everything. "Though I'm positive that my mom won't mind, I'll ask her later just to be sure."
"Right, thanks- umm... I'll meet you at the auditorium then?" Shauna asks, her lower lip sucked between her teeth.
"Sure. I'll be there in a few."
But when Shauna sees Zeke walking towards her, her smile drops into a frown. "Where's Tobias?"
Zeke sighs, for probably the tenth time today. "You know him, decided that he should just wait for his certificate to be mailed to him and catching a cab to drive him to the train station and driving his way home early since he can get some alone time that way."
Shauna snorts. "Spoiled brat he is."
"Watch your mouth," Zeke warns with a grin, placing a soft kiss on the tip of her nose. "That's my best friend you're talking about."
Shauna shakes her head in laughter as they take their assigned seats, waving at Zeke's mother when they spot her at the students' family section.
"Your lovesick best friend," Shauna adds.
The cranking blue jeep grumbles down the freshly tarred road, echoing even louder as it parks inside the garage. Tobias parks it close to the wall, so close that it is impossible for you to get down from the passenger seat without climbing onto the driver's side and getting down from the left door instead. Johanna fails to understand why, but it seems like her step-son has registered it into his head that that is how you park a car in the garage.
She smiles softly as Christina excitedly runs to her step-brother, immediately cracking a joke to him and grousing about how her days have been so dull without him. But her smile immediately fades away when his never appeared, not even the slightest sign of it.
"Mom." He greets, giving Johanna a loose hug around the waist and a peck on her cheeks before he is pulled into a tight hug by his father. "Hey, dad." He squeaks out.
"Hey, son." Marcus replies, arms still wrapped tightly around Tobias, his duffel bag hanging loosely in his hand. Marcus lets go slowly, a hand still placed lightly on his shoulder. "I'm really proud to see you graduating from Princeton, son. I know that you can do it."
Christina scoffs silently in the background, but Tobias ignores her.
He cracks a weak smile.
"Thanks dad." He replies, keeping his false happy facade on his face for another second before his gaze false onto the blue beanie on Christina's head. In furor, he grabs the beanie with his free hand, brushes off the dirt from the hand-knitted work, fisting it into his hand and marching off into the house. His steps falter when he reaches the landing of the second floor.
Vivid pictures flash through his mind and terrifying voices pierce his ears. Shattered ceramic on the carpeted floor, an ear-splitting scream from the room six feet away from his, the menacing laughter which follows and the scene he had to take in when he looked through the door...
He tears his gaze away from the door which once belonged to her.
And his door ends up being slammed with a bang.
His seat on the dinner table is never filled that night.
Waking up with bugs eating up the insides of his stomach, Tobias curses each step he takes to reach the cold kitchen floor. He flicks the switch of the bright LED light on and squints his eyes while he rummages the fridge, hunting for something to give the bugs in his stomach to eat hoping that they will accept the food in favour of freeing his insides.
Deciding that there's nothing in the fridge which he can eat, he grabs the half-filled carton of milk and pours out a mug for himself, downing it immediately as he sits on the high-stool of the kitchen island. He inwardly laughs at himself when he notices the glass container set in the middle of the island top, filled with leftover pasta Johanna probably packed from dinner. Grabbing a metal fork from the cutlery drawer, he immediately digs into the pasta... his favourite dish... the dish which no one seems to be able to learn to cook from Johanna... except, except for that blonde girl... That blonde girl who he had and maybe still does lo-
Tobias slams the fork down with a sharp clatter and rises up from the high stool.
The fried pasta has suddenly lost its appeal.
Johanna frowns at the partly eaten container of fried pasta on the kitchen island.
So Tobias definitely came down to eat, but he didn't finish it? That is something he rarely does. What more when he's struck by a gastric attack.
Her frown deepens when she sees the milk-stained mug and the empty carton in the sink. She swears that she has just opened that carton last night, pouring one glass for her before she went to bed. Why had Tobias chosen to drink the milk instead of eating the pasta?
Sighing exasperatedly, she shakes her head and grabs a mixing bowl and some flour, deciding that it's wiser for her to prepare the breakfast than mulling over Tobias's weird antics.
He'll open up about it. She tells herself. Or even if he doesn't, you'll find out about it from Zeke.
The sound of light footsteps threading softly down the staircase reaches her ears, a moment later, she finds herself facing the boy- the young man who has been perplexing and worrying her brain all year.
Tobias merely nods a greeting to her before grabbing a bowl, a new carton of milk and some cereal from one of the high cabinets.
"I was thinking of making some pancakes for breakfast," Johanna announces, watching Tobias pouring the milk into the ceramic bowl. "Are you sure you don't want some?" she asks.
Tobias shakes his head, eyes still cast down on his cereals. "I'm in a hurry."
"Where are you going?" Johanna asks.
"The library... I'm going to the library." Tobias's eyes blink twice. "I promised someone to meet at the library."
Johanna can tell that he is lying, but she sighs and lets it pass.
After he finishes his breakfast and cleans his dirty bowl and spoon, Tobias decides to help Johanna to set up the table for breakfast before picking up his keys from the key hook by the back door, lingering there for a second too long before he tears his gaze away from the old wooden door.
"Are you sure you don't want me to pack some of these for you to munch on in the car?" Johanna offers, pointing at the stack of cooked pancakes, steaming hot and sweetly inviting Tobias to eat them.
But the scent doesn't just triggers his taste bud or his stomach, the scent wafts its way up to his brain, swimming into the deepest corners, pulling out images of a certain blonde girl as she runs around the kitchen, apron hanging loosely around her neck and tied tightly around her waist, trying to catch up between the frying pancakes and cleaning up the messy kitchen before Marcus or Johanna comes down.
Shoving the images back deeper into his head and gulping down the forming lump in his throat, Tobias shakes his head, a "no" coming out of his mouth in a voice a bit too tight before he walks away from the kitchen.