Edd exited his home, carefully locking the door and turning to walk down the driveway and off to school. This particular November seemed warmer than most, and as Edd walked along the sidewalk he felt refreshed by the change in temperature. Ed and Eddy did not join him that morning, as Edd had woken up early in hopes to do an extra study session in the library before his test, first period. It was quite pleasant to walk in the early morning haze, watching the sunrise creep over the suburbs; a signal for those nestled in bed to wake.
Edd continued to revel in the beauty of the morning colours, not noticing a certain jock gaining speed on his bike behind him. Though Kevin would not usually take the time to say hello to a fellow student, when he saw the beanie-clad boy he couldn't help but smile, opening his mouth to greet him. His voice momentarily stuck, however, as he watched the glazed over Edd walking straight into the path of a telephone pole. Before he knew it, he was calling out.
"Double Dweeb, watch out!" Edd snapped from his trance, whipping his head to look at Kevin just as he smashed into the pole.
Kevin rode to the sidewalk, kicking out the kickstand and sauntering over to the smaller boy who had sunk to the ground, clutching the side of his head.
"Shit, dude; you took a beating there. You okay?" Kevin stood, peering at the Ed with a reddening face.
"Oh- ow- Kevin!" Edd looked up, a tear glistening in one eye. "Thank you; I'm sure I'll be alright in- ow- no time." Kevin offered a hand, which Edd took sheepishly, wobbling a bit on the way up.
"Why are you out this early anyway, dork?" Edd looked away, stunned at Kevin's words. He only noticed who exactly he was talking to right then. Is this actually happening? Is he really talking to me…? Edd thought, a blush creeping across his face.
"I have a very important c-calculus test this morning, and though I exceed expectations in that class, I still wanted to have a s-secluded session of studying in the library before school. A-And yourself?"
"Football practice. There's none after school today so instead we're up early. Sucks, but hey, what can I do." Kevin stretched, cracking his back, and went back over to his bike. Edd watched as he slid back onto the leather seat, his jeans tightening at the knees as he bent them. Quickly Edd turned, continuing on his trek to school, avoiding the pole this time. Being near Kevin could only lead to the worst possible situation, with his nerves. Kevin pushed off and was quickly beside him, rump in the air as he stood on the peddles.
"Wanna ride?" he asked, sitting back down. Edd turned wide-eyed to the jock.
"I said, wanna ride? It's early, and we don't want you running into no poles again."
Edd bit back the urge to correct Kevin's grammar, looking down at his now stationary feet, face heating up. Talking to me, helping me up, and now offering me a ride? I didn't think it possible… Edd bit his lip, contemplating his answer.
"I-I suppose that would be alright." Kevin smirked, scooting forward to let Edd sit on the seat. Needless to say Edd was not graceful, nearly knocking them both off the bike. Once they were comfortable, Kevin gave a push, signaling for Edd to do the same, and they were off.
Cool air whipped past the two, smacking Edd completely awake. He couldn't remember the last time he had been on a bike, but everything seemed so surreal now that he was. All senses alert, Edd grabbed on tighter, watching Kevin's legs work on the peddles, the bill of his red cap hitting his hunched back with every push, and the light sheen of sweat glistening on his brow. Edd was mesmerized, and he never wanted the moment to end. With a wholehearted, loving smile he leaned in closer, unaware that the jock was glancing back every now and then, a surprised smile tugging at the corners of his mouth.
"Alright, we're here." Kevin stood forward over the crossbar, careful not to hit himself. Edd was in a daze, and it took him a moment to realize that they were already at the school building. Quickly he hopped off, faltering then catching himself.
"Thank you very much, Kevin! That was a very pleasurable ride." Edd clasped his hands together over his chest, a warm smile on his face. Kevin now saw to the full extent what Edd looked like with his smile, and swallowed the lump that was forming in his throat. He coughed and hopped off, taking his lock and chain and tying the bike up.
"No problem. Watch where you're walking next time, 'kay?" With that he turned, walking off in the direction of the football field. Edd watched, admiring his broad back and good posture until he was no more. Spinning on his heel, he ran along inside, a spring in his step.
"Salutations, gentlemen!" Edd chirped, his face bright with energy. Eddy turned his head slowly, glaring up at the gap-toothed boy holding his packed lunch.
"And where the hell were you this morning?" Eddy was obviously peeved, his arms crossed. Edd sat down, turning his nose up at his friend.
"Language, Eddy," he began, earning a click of the tongue from said boy. "I informed both of you yesterday on our way home, did I not? I came early to school so that I may study, which proved quite useful, as I got full marks on that calculus test!" Edd's voice had unconsciously risen, filling with excitement and pride at his accomplishment. Eddy groaned, turning the other way, but Ed came bounding from where he sat, crushing Edd in his usual bone-crushing hug.
"Good job, Double D!" Ed twirled him around, causing Edd to feel dizzy.
"Ed– Ed I say– Let me down, please!" Ed immediately stopped, dropping a wheezing Edd to his seat on the cafeteria bench. Ed only grinned, sitting back down himself.
The rest of lunch was pleasant, Eddy coming out of his mood and spouting out new schemes. Edd laughed along, unaware of the subtle glances being cast his way from across the room at the football team's table.
Last period was always one of Edd's favourite classes. Not only because Kevin sat right beside him, but because he enjoyed History very much, and when the class groaned, he smiled.
Plopping down in his seat, Edd began taking out his History binder and supplies, patiently waiting when all was in order. Other classmates soon started filing in, including Rolf and Jonny. Funny how the Cul-de-Sac sticks together in odd ways, Edd thought, grinning. Letterman's, horn-rimmed glasses, pumps; all kinds of people filled the classroom. Soon a mixture of pumps and a Letterman entered the room, their owners taking their seats. Nazz and Kevin, side by side, as usual. Though they were not dating, the school seemed to think that it would happen sooner or later. Of course Edd wasn't all too pleased, but after hiding his feelings for nearly two years, it wasn't hard to take it with a smile. Well, most of the time.
Kevin did not speak a word to Edd about that morning. Edd did not know why he had even anticipated it; of course Kevin would never talk to him at school. It was a mere coincidence that Kevin had been there at that time, nothing more. They had only talked out of necessity; there was no idle, friendly chit-chatting. A sigh threatened to escape him, but he bit his lip, holding it in for good measure.
The bell rung just as a few students rushed in, taking their seats swiftly. Mr. Alba, an elderly man with a booming voice and a surprisingly harsh demeanor, stood, taking roll call with a sharp tone.
"I'm sure we all have our essays on the Storming of the Bastille done?" A silence washed over the class, not a single person moving. "If you do, I would advise you to come to the front of the class and give it to me." More silence. "Immediately."
Edd sat tense, looking down at his essay, neatly written and wrinkle free on his desk. Surely no one will ridicule me this time…? He thought, slowly rising out of his chair. At the sound the leg scraping across the floor all heads turned his way, watching him as if he was their collective prey. Edd shivered, looking down and quickly stepping up the aisle, ready to give his essay in. Just as he reached the front a foreign object hit the back of his head, causing him to yelp. The class snickered in unison. Tentatively they watched Mr. Alba take the papers.
"Well done, Eddward!" Mr. Alba boomed after skimming through the stapled package. "Your essays are always top of the line. Thank you." Edd nodded, gripping his arms and heading back to his seat, head down.
The insults came at him in whispers, but he brushed them off. Another thing that he'd learned to deal with after several years. Looking up, Edd caught Kevin's eye, staring at him as the rest of the class did, but with indifferent eyes. With an almost inaudible gasp, he ducked his head swiftly.
For the remainder of the period he kept to his work, never lifting his head unless needed and making as little noise as possible.
When the bell rang he made haste, stepping lightly so that he may get out without much disturbance. Halfway through his plan, however, he met his fate; Mr. Alba called his name, beckoning him to the front of the room.
"How may I be of your assistance, Mr. Alba, sir?" Edd gripped the strap on his messenger bag, unsure of what would happen next.
"After having you in my class for only two and a half months, I must say, you are by far the best student I have ever encountered." Edd flushed slightly at the unexpected praise. "Your work far exceeds my expectations, not only in the information, but in the linguistic flow and structure as well. You are a genius, my boy, and unfortunately there are not many like you. So, seeing as you have grasped all of the concepts so well, and are actually keeping up with my pace, I would like to make you an offer, my boy." Edd stiffened, eyes opening just a smidgen wider. "I would like to know if you would be interested in a tutoring job. Personal tutoring, to be exact. Your classmates are horribly behind. I have come to the conclusion that some need extracurricular help, and badly. If you are willing, I, myself, would imburse you per hour of work." Edd had tensed so much his knuckles had gone white. Tutoring?
"I– I'm sorry, sir, but I do not think that I will be able to partake in such an activity." Mr. Alba raised his brows, though he did not look shocked. "I thank you for your praise, as well as the offer, but I must decline. I do not think it will motivate any student to study more if I am their tutor. Surely there must be others that can help the cause?" Mr. Alba shook his head, resting his bearded chin on his knuckles.
"There are no others. The current peer-tutoring system is full, and I am at a loss." Edd suppressed a sympathetic sigh, looking to his feet. Now he felt bad. "I would love for you to help, though I do recognize if you do not want to. Though I will mention that you may have a say in who you tutor, as will the tutored. For all we know it could be one of your friends from middle school, my boy." This lifted Edd's spirits some, and he began to contemplate it.
After a few minutes of thoughtful silence, Edd looked up, his mind set.
"I will take the job, sir." Mr. Alba's face lit up with delight, taking Edd by surprise.
"Very good, my boy, very good. How much would you like? Fifteen an hour seems fair, does it not?" The very thought shocked the beanie-headed boy, and he put up his hands in defense.
"Oh no, sir, you do not have to pay me, sir." Mr. Alba raised his gaze to meet Edd's, and the boy stiffened yet again.
"I insist. Tutoring is not an easy task, my boy, though I have faith in your abilities. Please take it. It's the least I can do."
The air had turned colder that afternoon as Edd left the building. Ed and Eddy had seemingly already left, but it did not bother him. Solitude was needed.
Tomorrow he would know who he would be tutoring, and would begin right away. Before leaving he had given a not-so-specific list to Mr. Alba, telling him that he did not mind tutoring the Cul-de-Sac kids. Now the only problem was time. Yes, Edd did have plenty of time on his hands, but the sticky notes! He couldn't let them wither without following the instructions written upon them.
Thoughts spun about through Edd's head as he made his way home, keeping him occupied (as well as the dedicated effort to not run into any telephone poles).
(So this is my first published work! I'm really excited to have this up and I hope that you enjoyed it. Thank you so much for reading!)