Ollie was in a lot of pain. Emotionally, speaking..he was devastated.
Ivy's phone was not in service.
Why was this happening? After all this time, he thought..he thought..someone had found him..to be... normal. It was such a good feeling. He loved what she did to him. She was there..and now..she wasn't.
He spent most of the weekend, thrashing around in his bed. He threw his stuff about his room, as if he might be his very own hurricane. By Sunday afternoon, he cleaned up his room, trying his best to get his act together. Still, he didn't eat a thing, and cried most of the night before school started on Monday.
It was impossible to find Ivy anywhere at school. Yes, he'd catch a glimpse, but she would never turn to look for him.
He knew about the girl fight. He knew he should have been there... to keep it from happening, but he was off getting a drink at the water fountain.
Just where had it all gone wrong? He thought he knew her. He thought it was their world, taking love to new heights. Who cared about her past friends? Just a mundane history.
And now, he was all alone. Really, all alone.
Even his foster sister Valentina found someone. The drama kid who probably didn't even like her, but she followed him everywhere.
Really, this whole LOVE connection was going down the drain for Ollie. He was now sour to the world, once again. Perhaps, even a ticking bomb. It felt like a long walk home from school.
"Hey, kiddo, you look like you could use one of these," someone said as he pushed a cigarette from his menthol pack toward Ollie. Of course, Ollie took it.
The face was a little familiar. Ollie vaguely remembered him, when he was little, but he wouldn't exactly call the guy his Dad. Except, he really was. Ed didn't look too bad off. He never really did, but usually Ollie would find out ...he was living on the streets and sometimes sleeping in stairwells of apartments on cold nights. Yet Ollie thought of him as a figment of his imagination, for the most part.
Naturally, Ollie had to share the cigarette with him. Ed couldn't even afford to give Ollie his own. The man didn't even know when his birthday was, and he was never around for the holidays.
"I've been thinking about you, you know." Ed shrugged as if what he felt.. was rather vague, too.
"I was down in Houston, with all that flooding." He shook his head. "For a moment or two, I wondered if I'd ever see you, again."
Ollie sort of laughed, but he felt too sad.
"What do you want?" Ollie couldn't help but pout.
"Nothing..not really." Ed scratched the back of his head in thought, as his mop of dark hair fell in his dark eyes.
Ed walked down the street with Ollie. His dad was in flip-flops, but he wore jeans and a sweatshirt.
"I've been going to library, lately. Looking for work." He handed the cigarette back to Ollie who took his time inhaling and exhaling the smoke.
"Well, they ain't gonna hire,you, at the library." Ollie gave him a smart smile and Ed smiled back.
"If only they would, things might be a lot simpler." Ed nodded. "I lost everything in the flood, except you."
Ollie cleared his throat. The man had never really done a thing for him, but Ollie felt kind of sad for him. Still, no way was Ollie going to bring him home to his foster parents to meet.
Ollie looked up at him, out of the corner of his eye. He wanted to be mad at him. He wanted to hate him, but he was the only person to talk to him today.
"You'll find a way. You, always, do." There was the grim reminder he might not see the tall stranger, again.
Ed almost winked with a smile.
"This time, it'll be you and me, kiddo. You'll see. Just you and me," Ed said.
Ollie didn't believe him. Ollie knew he shouldn't believe him.