Why do you tolerate her?

He's been asked this question before and he honestly doesn't have an answer.

She's infuriating. No respect, no manners. She is completely inconsiderate and unpleasant, and she doesn't even care. Everything she does is simply for the demise or discomfort of others – namely, him.

She is a ball of anger and resentment, lashing out at the most innocent situations.

But she's Carly's friend and he has to endure it. Tolerate it, for now. Maybe eventually he can convince Carly she's bad news, and he won't have to deal with her violence again.

Why do you care about her?

He's been asked this question before and he honestly doesn't have an answer.

She tries to be impossible, tries to be frustrating but for some reason now, he sees through it. He sees the pain and loneliness that she's been through and he just knows that her temper is her way of fighting back at the world, keeping it at an arm's length. She needs to have her walls, or else someone might get to her. And she can't let that happen.

He doesn't expect to ever be the one to break down the walls, or even get a glimpse past them. He isn't sure if he even wants to be.

But he understands. And that's enough to keep him around, keep him bringing her smoothies and enduring her kicks and insults.

It's just her.

Why do you like her?

He's been asked this question before and he honestly doesn't have an answer.

She's intriguing. Her crazy blonde curls flying behind her as she runs, her laughter calling back to him like a song. He can never guess what she's going to do next – she's completely unpredictable. She doesn't follow any stereotypes – she's a tomboy who loves heels. She is the laziest person in history but she always seems to be three steps ahead of him.

She makes his life interesting. Exciting. Worthwhile. She doesn't sit at home and wonder, she goes out and lives. She finds some way to drag him out of his worries and studying and convinces him to do things he would never even dream of doing, and things he doesn't regret in the slightest (and a few he does, but that's very minimal). Driving with no destination, climbing on top of Mrs. Brigg's roof and chucking m&ms at her windows, breaking into the school at 2 AM to help him turn in his final paper.

Why do you love her?

He's been asked this question before and he honestly doesn't have an answer.

Because she's infuriating. She messes with his mind and runs in circles around him and sometimes he just wants to scream at her to stop playing games but he can't. He won't. He never would because she's her and she's imperfectly perfect in every single way and he wouldn't trade any of it for the world.

She dances in the rain, throwing her arms up and leaning her head back so he has to grip her waist even tighter to keep her from tumbling backwards with the force of her movements. She grins and kisses him square on the mouth and he can't help but close his eyes because in this moment, this exact moment-

He's home.

She's always been there, even through the nearly unbearable punches and attacks, she was always there. He's learned long ago that people come and go in life, but she stayed and that means more to him than any words she could ever put together to tell him (she's never been very good with words anyway).

Sometimes he fears he couldn't imagine his life without her there next to him. Some people say he's whipped, others say it's unhealthy how dependent he is. How dependent they are (though she claims she could walk away at any time, he's eternally grateful she has yet to find a suitable opportunity). But it doesn't matter because he trusts her with his life – which is incredibly dangerous considering the stunts she has convinced him to pull with her in the past –

There's no one else. Never has been, never will be.