― thirty: the tapes

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[ CHAPTER 30 : THE TAPES :when you were here before couldn't look you in the eye. you're just like an angel, your skin makes me cry. you float like a feather in a beautiful world. and i wish i was special, you're so fuckin' special. but i'm a creep, i'm a weirdo. what the hell am i doing here? i don't belong here. i don't care if it hurts. i want to have control. i want a perfect body. i want a perfect soul.]

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          PARKER FEELS AWKWARD TO say the least. She tries fixing the green beanie on her head, then nitpicking at her now laundered mustard sweater, and lastly at her hair that seems to curl naturally and against her will. Giving up with her appearance, she reaches forward and knocks on the front door of the Pérez household; hoping to god that Nico is the one that answers and not his father or his brother. To her surprise: it's none of the above, it's Leo.

          His hair is tousled over one side of his face and beneath his hair is a black eye turning blue and light gray that trails in small light blue dots down his face. His hazel eyes glance down at her in wonder as he pulls his grey hoodie over his head, hiding his black eye further. Parker crosses her arms, "Is that why you haven't been in school for the past two days?" She asks with a lifted eyebrow in question.

          Leo cracks a smile, "Hello, nice to see you too, Parker. Me? I've been better, but let's talk about you―how are you? I heard about your grandmother, sorry about that, but I doubt you'd be happy if I asked if you were alright." The girl looks at him with a glare, watching as he casually leans against the door frame. His smile twists into a smirk that stretches more to one side than the other.

          Parker shakes her head, "What happened to you?"

          "Stuff," The boy chuckles, that smirk still plastered on his lips. "I'm guessing you're not here for me, right?" His words irritate her, like he's quietly accusing her of favoriting Nico over him. It's not just in the way he speaks, but the way he looks at her. His smirk silently twitches downward in the corners, wanting to frown while his eyes narrow in on her. The only thing she can do in return his frown.

          Leo moves out of the way slightly, allowing for Parker to peek inside, despite the fact she knows he wants her to walk in. From where she stands, she can spot a body lounging on the couch and flipping through the channels of the television hung over the marble fireplace. It's probably Sebastián. If it was Nico, he'd already be here, worrying over her.

          "Hey," The girl looks back up at Leo, pursing her lips and moving her hands to grip at the straps of her satchel. "Want to help me steal some stuff from my psychiatrist?"

          His eyebrows furrow, "You're seeing a psychiatrist?"

          "According to my parents, I'm mentally unstable enough to need to see one," The girl shrugs her shoulders and watches as his face switches between confusion and concern. She doesn't see what the big deal is? Cameron was looking at her the same way when she mentioned it earlier yesterday at school (having refused to say it the two days prior) but it's not like she's actually mentally unstable. She's just...messy. "So, are you up for it?"

          Leo chuckles, "It's fucked up, but yeah."

          He snatches his coat from inside the hall closet and slips into his sneakers by the shoe rack. "Seb, tell Nico I'm heading out, alright?" The boy calls over his shoulder, and Parker can see Sebastián throwing his hand up in acknowledgement before the door closes behind him.

          "Are you and Nico on better terms?" Parker quips.

          Leo casually shrugs as the two walk down the pathway leading to a car parked on the side of the street. "Not really, I just needed to talk with him about...stuff." He side glances the girl, and she looks back at him in disbelief.

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