A foreign hand, reaching out to his face caused Royland to jerk away with disdain in his eyes. Were he an animal, the only appropriate response would be to growl or hiss to fully express his unbridled discomfort... Who...
He followed the limb to its source, to lay eyes upon the face of just who
this hand belonged to, and found himself releasing an eased sigh upon seeing a face once unrelated with the word 'comforting.'
Beau... A thoughtful, unassuming boy with an attractive face and a gentle voice that had transferred just before the murders began... Suspicious? Royland couldn't help but let his gaze linger for a few moments before averting his eyes elsewhere. There was surely no reason to go pointing fingers at the first person who tried to touch your face, now, was there?
Listless eyes grimaced at the gesture on his desk, and though flattered, Royland couldn't accept it graciously as he would have once did when his soul was in one piece. "I don't drink coffee." No, not since Jacob passed. That had been one of the very last things he'd ingested, found during the medical examiner's toxicology test to determine whether or not the boy had been drugged or sedated when he was killed. Unfortunately, that hadn't been the case.
Without wanting to be rude, he gently ushered the coffee back in Beau's direction, insisting it'd upset his stomach should he ingest it. Though, that hardly deterred the other, this time inviting him out.
Rather bold, Royland couldn't help but note, since they hardly knew each other. But, given the circumstances...
"Ah, sorry. But, I... I think I'm going to spend the afternoon with Jacob. I made a promise to him that I really can't break."
It was some time ago that they'd made that silly childhood promise; to bury one of their most coveted possessions, only to be disturbed should the other be unlucky number one to pass away. What Jacob had hidden from Royland was a mystery, but where it was hidden was just a matter of retracing their steps through a fairly horrid map they'd drawn of the terrain behind their homes. It would take most of the afternoon, and maybe even longer, if Jacob had really dug was far down as he'd claimed in their agreement, penned in red and blue crayon. No matter. He'd start the journey today, and it would end when it ended.
In any case, he had no intention of frolicking around the city with his classmates while his best friend lie in the Earth, rotting at the hands of the worst that human kind had ever seen... "I appreciate the offer, really... But, I'd rather be left alone." If he couldn't be with Jacob, then... He'd rather not be with anybody. Silently excusing himself from the usual lunch chatter, it seemed the only refuge from prying eyes during school hours was to be on the outskirts of campus, giving Royland the incomprehensible feeling of being nowhere and everywhere at once. But, there were no memories here. This is where he could, at last, be alone with his thoughts.
Why was everyone trying so hard to please him? To get in the way of his grieving? It was common knowledge that time healed all wounds. Why could they not simply... let him be? With nowhere to go, the brooding boy's fingertips suddenly connected with the homage that Jacob's killer had left on his headstone.
...I've been in love with you for a while now...
I choke back sobs...
...It’s impossible not to love you...
...and weep for the friend that I've lost at your filthy hands.
Only the devil himself would think to rip away the closest person to him, then profess his love for him on his best friend's grave. The paper was ripped
, flying to what he could only hope was oblivion as they left his fingers. Resolution was the fire that gave his tears their heat, and anger guided his fists into the wall of his daytime hell. While he stood here to cry, in pain, in anguish, a killer was roaming the streets, mocking the collapse of the world around him.
Should it be the event that caused him to breathe his last, his greatest wish had become nothing more than to eradicate the sick son of a bitch, by any means necessary.
No such evil is worthy of receiving or claiming to love.