Author's Note: So I don't really care for this chapter, but I needed to update. Hope you enjoy; and I apologize for it not being my best work.
Artist: In This Moment
Lyric: I hate you for always choosing me, and not someone else
Eli Goldsworthy was eating lunch at the picnic tables when he saw her walking outside with…who was that? Eli squinted, trying to get a better look. The guy looked like he was about in Clare's grade, and he was dressed in khakis with a tucked in polo.
He does realize that Simpson decided to get rid of the uniforms, right?
He looks like that Jake kid, if Jake wore non-Lumberjack attire.
Eli nibbled on the slice of left-over pizza Bullfrog had packed for him (packed meaning he ran around the kitchen trying to find something edible to fix for him, settled on the pizza, wrapped it in tin foil, put it and a Coke inside a paper bag, and tossed the bag at him as he headed out the door) before school. Cece was out of town, and Bullfrog was barely scraping by running the house on his own.
He peeled off a chewy pepperoni and tossed it to the ground – maybe it'd make a squirrel's day – and continued to watched Clare interact with the guy. They laughed, and she scrawled something down on a piece of notebook paper she tore from her binder, and handed it to him. That got Eli's attention a little more.
Who is that kid?
Fuck if I know. She looks happy with him though. They're laughing. Look at her smile.
Wow…she hasn't looked that happy in a long time. Normally she just looks…
"Hey Eli!" Clare bounced over to him, and sat down across from him at the table, "What's up?"
"Nothing much. Who was that?" Eli asked, trying to remain as casual as possible.
"Oh, that's just Blake. He's my new lab partner."
"Oh," Eli nodded, picking at the crust of his day-old pizza, "You two seem to get along."
"We do," Clare pulled her thermos from her bad, "He's really cool. He wants to go on to major in chemistry at university."
"Hmm," Eli sipped his Coke, "Clare…you looked happy with him."
"Eli, what are you getting at?" Clare's brow furrowed as she unfolded her paper towel napkin into her lap.
"Well…I just…I'm not stupid Clare," Eli finally said, "I see the way I exhaust you. I am so much to handle, and I know that. It must be so tough on you having to deal with me, and my emotions. I am a wreck – a mental wreck. I'm a walking cocktail of chemical imbalances! You should be with…with someone that makes you happy."
"Eli," Clare's voice was firm, "He told me a lame joke; and I laughed. You…you bring me so much joy with each day. I get excited about waking up in the mornings, because I know I'll see you and hug you and kiss you and see your smile and hear your laugh. Yes, there are bad times; but the bad times are nothing compared to the good times we have together."
"I just don't understand how you could still chose to be with me," Eli shook his head.
"Um…well…I don't know…maybe because I love you to the moon and back," Clare reached over and grabbed his hand in hers, and squeezed, "You're the world to me, Elijah Goldsworthy…the world. I wouldn't change that for anything."
"I just want you to be happy."
"And I am. With you."
"Don't you think you deserve to be with someone better?"
"How can I be with someone better when I am with the best?"