Hey peoples! Here's another chapter of everyone's oh-so favorite story! (-trampled-) Ahaha. Okay, just kidding. Let's move on with the chapter now...I waste too much time anyways. (-dies-)

Hm...before that, though, just a little side note...has anyone else noticed how much drama and angst-ness this story has held so far? I never even realized it until now. It should be getting lighter soon, though, I think. We need to get rid of all the confusion first, no? And God knows that this chapter is chalk full of it. Again. XD

It's All In the Timing


Keely heaved a sigh of relief as the bell finally gave off a shrill ring, signaling the end of another long, boring day. Silently noting the empty seat next to her, though, she could only wonder what had happened to Via, seeing that she had practically run away from the brunette after that whole ordeal involving---

'That whole ordeal involving Phil.'

The usual shine in her eyes faded almost immediately. Even after an entire year without him, just the name itself made Keely rip herself apart on the inside, still hating him for leaving without any warning whatsoever, probably thinking that it was for her own good. But deep down she hated herself for ever thinking that he'd actually stay...and even more for falling in love with him, thinking that maybe, just maybe, he had felt the same way...

She had been too angry to think logically after his sudden disappearance, too hurt and torn to take into consideration that maybe something had gone wrong. And even when the pain had slowly began to trickle away, bit by bit, month after month, she had been too stubborn to try and grasp that logic, to forgive him so easily and move on with her life...and she knew why. Despite everything, no matter what she had tried to tell herself, she knew the real reason for her never-ending grudge...and that's when she hated herself the most.

It was just what she needed, Keely thought bitterly, hastily shoving her things into her backpack as the other students quickly filed out of the room and into the hallway. To have Phil back on her mind, right when she had felt so close to wiping her history with him clean, both good times and bad. "It's my fault, my stupid mind's just playing tricks on me again like before," She muttered, rolling her eyes as she slung her bag over her shoulder. Seriously, Via would never do anything like---

'So you're saying that Via's "playing tricks" as well?' Her mind asked in a soft whisper, though it easily drowned out her other thoughts as it began to nag at her brain. 'You're saying that she's lying?'

"Of course not! But he hasn't come back, and he definitely won't come back anytime soon, either!" Keely declared out loud, abruptly cutting off the persistent voice in her head and causing the students who were still lingering in the classroom to shoot her bizarre looks. Catching their gazes, the flustered blonde flashed her trademark bubbly smile and added after a beat, "---because...he's out of town! My uncle, y'know, the clown...who's...touring...with the circus... " She trailed off pathetically with a short laugh, and without another glance her classmates swiftly grabbed their things and hurried out the door.

Letting out a soft groan, Keely smiled grimly, almost amused.

"And just when they thought I couldn't get any weirder."

She pushed open the classroom door and walked out into the loud bustle of the halls, her eyes already scanning for any sign of her two friends as she ran a hand through her silky hair. Just like all the other times, she'd forget about everything that had happened today, everything that had to do with him. Maybe cruise around the mall with Via and even Owen, who usually tagged along just to pester the both of them, then go home and call Sh---

"Yo, Via!"

At the sound of Owen's voice, Keely broke away from her thoughts and cast her eyes further down the hallway, catching a glimpse of her tall friend's spiky light brown hair and lopsided grin as he towered above the other students still straying within the school. 'Great,' she thought, smiling with relief, 'He found her.'

Lightly brushing past some of her classmates with a quick wave goodbye and a radiant smile, she made her way towards the locker Owen was currently leaning against. Suddenly, though, his expression went serious. Straightening up, he walked forward, and...and...

'What is he doing?'

Puzzled, Keely slipped around the small group of chattering freshman blocking her view and lightly stepped onto the scene, just about to voice her usual cheerful greeting. But Owen beat her to it, and the words were already tumbling out of his mouth before she could even take in the sight in front of her---


And just like that, her words were completely cast aside.

She didn't feel her bag slip off her shoulder, didn't even hear it when it hit the ground with a heavy thump. In fact, the moment Keely heard his name, her entire system shut down. This boy in front of her wasn't Phil. Just some look-alike from the back...it had to be! There was no reason for him to come back now, right? This was all just some sick, sick joke...

It wasn't helping her situation when she finally noticed that Via and Owen had gone completely pale, frozen with what looked like shock and dread. But still she refused to believe it, even when the boy turned around to face her.

Even when he looked...exactly...like him...

He didn't say anything. Just stood there, like he didn't really exist. At this point, she desperately hoped so. It was possible, right? He wasn't really there, she was just dreaming like so many times before. And maybe when she woke up, everything would be back to normal just like how it was supposed to be...how she wanted it to be...

But he didn't disappear, and after what seemed like an eternity, his mouth finally opened.


It was all the proof she needed to turn on her heel, walk out the school doors...and shatter her world into a million pieces all over again.

- - - - -


Acting on instinct, Phil was already taking a step forward to chase after his best friend---only to have himself held back by the two hands now practically attached to his wrist. Outraged, he spun around to face Via and Owen.

"What are you doing?" He nearly shouted, trying to yank his arm away without any success. "I can't just let her go without explaining everything!"

Despite the pained expression evident on her face, Via shook her head, refusing to let go. Even Owen, who still had no idea to why his old friend had suddenly reappeared after so long, held a determined look in his eyes as his grip tightened.

"We're so sorry, Phil..." Via whispered softly, unable to look at him any longer. "But you just don't understand! Keely...she..." The brunette faltered, unable to finish her sentence. There was no way she could tell him now.

For a moment, Phil's face dropped in defeat.

"Sorry, dude," Owen offered apologetically with a slight shrug. Now was not the time to be asking questions of his own.

"So what're you saying, then?"

Phil raised his head, his voice shaky.

"You're telling me that I'm supposed to sit back and watch my best friend walk out of my life without trying to fix it first?"

His words cut through them like a knife, and without meaning to, both of their grips slackened for a split second.

It was all Phil needed to break away.

- - - - -

She didn't care that everyone was staring at her as she stumbled blindly down the stairs, but their hushed whispers were almost deafening in her ears.

"Jeez, what's wrong with her this time?"

"She's been like this for so long..."

"Don't tell me she still hasn't gotten over him!"

"But...Phil's been gone for almost a year, hasn't he?"

'Stop it!' Her mind screamed, drowning out the voices. 'I don't...I don't want to hear it anymore...I don't want to hear anything anymore---'


Her heart constricted painfully at the sound of her name. Even with her feet throbbing in her sandals she increased her speed, already feeling the blisters starting to form. He couldn't catch her. He shouldn't even be here! The way he had looked at her, the sound of his voice...couldn't he understand that he was literally ripping her to pieces just by straying in her mind? And yet the footsteps behind her became louder, faster...

He was going to catch up to her. He always had. And once that moment came, she wasn't sure whatwould happen to her...but she definitely didn't want to find out---

Out of nowhere a figure appeared in front of her, and before she could screech to a halt she collided into it full-force, vision going black. The person let out a surprised grunt as the wind was knocked out of him. "What the h---?" But the boy looked down and saw who it was, and at once his arms wrapped around her instinctively.

"K...Keely? What's going on?"

She looked up at him with wide eyes, startled. He was nearly a head taller than her, his golden brown hair falling over deep auburn eyes that clouded over with concern. Gently, he took his hand and tucked the stray golden locks behind her ear. "What happened? Are you okay?"

The emotional wall she had constructed around her ever since that morning finally shattered into pieces, and she fell into his chest, sobbing hysterically.

"H...He's back..." She whispered between painful gasps of breath. "I-I don't know...what I'm supposed to do..."

Phil stopped dead several yards away as he watched the boy pull Keely closer to him, comforting her as he ran a hand through her hair, and his insides went cold almost instantly. It was the guy Keely had been with when he had first seen her that morning...but...

Who was he?

Heavy footsteps sounded behind him, and without even turning around to see who it was, he spoke in a quiet, shaky voice. "This...this is..."

Via took a step closer to him as Owen continued to catch his breath a few feet away. "I'm so sorry, Phil," She whispered brokenly, resting a hand on his shoulder as the three of them watched the boy lead Keely away. Phil resisted the urge to shrug her off, simply shaking his head instead. Via glanced at Owen as he came up next to her, heaving a dejected sigh.

"Dude...you just came at the wrong time, that's all."

Phil continued to watch his best friend walk away with..."Who is he?" He asked, voice already void of all emotion, just like the look in his eyes.

It took a while before anyone answered.

"His name is Shane," Via said softly, when Owen refused to say a word. "He's---" She faltered, shutting her eyes momentarily before continuing in a voice barely audible.

"He's...Keely's boyfriend."

- - - - -

A/N: Sorry so late, guys. Writing fanfiction just doesn't interest me as much it used to, and because of that I'm having a much harder time coming out with decent chapters, much less anything. So, from this chapter, the story's going on a temporary hiatus until I get my thoughts straight and my other personal projects out of the way. I'm sorry for this one being so out of whack...I hope you guys can forgive me for the crappiness. I just can't seem to come up with anything right now...

Until next time, then...and major apologies from the heart.