You walked down the main hallway of the school, keeping your gaze fixed in front of you, trying hard to avoid accidentally bumping into several kids as they headed out the front doors of the building along with you. After that lunch period, you had been uncertain about whether or not you were actually going to be meeting Arthur outside of school. After all, you had only ever talked to him in the library before school started, and that was when the two of you were alone with absolutely no interruptions. You didn’t want that blonde girl finding the two of you talking together and taking it as an opportunity to humiliate you in front of everyone once again.
But in the end, you had decided that it would've better to talk to Arthur like he had wanted, even though you were a bit nervous about what he might've wanted to say to you. But he might've gotten mad again if you didn’t meet him, especially since you had agreed in doing so, and you didn’t want him to get upset at you only a few hours after finally forgiving you for what happened a while earlier.
You let out a tiny smile as you exited the front doors of the school and instantly felt the cool, autumn air brush against your face. You rarely spent enough time out in the fresh air, and maybe this meeting with Arthur would've allowed you to get more than you usually did.
As soon as you stepped outside to the front of the school, you took a few steps off to the side of the front doors, away from the crowds of kids that were making their way outside, so you wouldn’t have gotten in the way of anyone. You took your backpack off and set it down on the ground next to you before you pressed your back against the wall, instantly looking around for any signs of Arthur through the large amount of kids that were walking around the front of the school. Some were walking together in groups while others were standing in place talking to each other, but no matter how much you looked, you weren’t able to find Arthur.
Well, he said to meet him outside the front doors, after all, you thought, frowning with a bit of dismay as more and more time passed and he still wasn't there. Maybe he didn’t get out of school yet, or maybe when he had gotten out, he thought that you had already done so earlier and went out looking for you. Either way, you eventually decided that if Arthur wasn't going to come sooner or later, you just would've taken your backpack and left. It was already trouble that you were going to be spending time talking to him after school, and you seriously didn’t need to spend any wasted time waiting for him if he wasn't even going to come.
Your thoughts were interrupted when you felt a soft tap on your shoulder, and you lifted your head and instantly shifted your gaze to the side to look into the eyes of Arthur, who was standing directly next to you and was staring at you with that same serious look he held before. You hadn’t expected him to show up next to you so suddenly, and his sudden presence almost made you jump in shock.
“A-Arthur,” you stammered, trying not to let your voice shake from surprise. “What...”
Before you had the chance to finish, Arthur briefly drifted his gaze off to the side before he shifted it back to meet yours. “We need to talk, but not here.” He took a step back and motioned you with his hand. “Follow me.”
You were silent as you found that you had no choice but to obey, and you leaned down to grasp your backpack and flung it over your shoulder before you quietly followed Arthur, who had by now turned around and started heading off in his own direction.
The walk was quiet as Arthur led you onto the sidewalk, away from the front of the school, and down a few blocks until the both of you had reached a rather large park, accompanied by several paths, trees, and benches. You continued to remain silent as he led you down the main path until the two of you reached a bench that was placed directly in front of a bush and a cluster of trees and had sunlight shining down on it. Arthur paused in front of the bench before he sat down on one side, looking up at you and motioning you with his hand for you to sit down next to him.
You stared down at the empty spot next to Arthur a bit hesitantly before you finally gave in and sat down next to him, scooting away from him a little bit so that there was enough room to place your backpack between the both of you. It was silent for a few minutes as you drifted your gaze off to the side and tapped your fingers against your thigh before you finally spoke up a bit impatiently. “So, why did you bring me over here?”
“Here we’re allowed to talk without any possible interruptions,” Arthur said as he kept his gaze in front of him.
You leaned back in your seat so that your back was pressed against the bench before you crossed your arms and shifted your gaze to the side to look at him. “What did you want to talk to me about, anyway?”
Arthur was silent for a few moments until he shifted his gaze so that it was able to meet yours and replied quietly, "_____, have you been aware of the way you talk to people lately?”
You continued to stare at him, your gaze quickly filling with confusion. “Why should I be?”
Arthur’s gaze filled with seriousness as he answered, “Well, I noticed that you seem to have plenty of anger issues, and these issues have an impact on the way you interact with others.”
You let out an irritated huff as you turned your gaze in front of you and closed your eyes. “Is this why you called me over here? Just so you could talk to me about anger problems that I don’t even have?”
“_____, take a moment to think about it,” Arthur said as he continued to keep his serious gaze fixed on you. “Think about the way you yelled at that girl who had walked up to you when we had lunch earlier in the day.”
“But I had the right to yell at her!” you defended as you turned your head to look at him, your eyes quickly filling with anger. “She tried to humiliate us by calling me your boyfriend even though we aren’t even friends!”
Arthur was silent for a few moments, and you could've sworn that he looked like he wanted to laugh at your statement. But instead, he closed his eyes and shook his head. “_____, you should know that you could've handled the situation in a more sensible way. Yelling at her in front of everyone only attracted more attention to yourself. You could've politely told her to stop teasing you and I’m sure she would've left you alone.”
“No, she wouldn’t have!” you retorted with an irritated frown. “I know for sure that if I asked her politely to stop she would've just ignored it and kept on—”
“Did you ever try to ask her politely to stop?” Arthur interrupted as he opened his eyes and looked at you once again.
You were silent for a few moments before you replied a bit uncertainly. “W-Well...no, but—”
“I bet if you had asked her nicely to stop teasing you when it first began, I'm sure she would've listened and left you alone,” Arthur said. “But now I suppose it’s too late, since if you tried acting polite around her she wouldn’t have taken your act seriously.”
You had fallen silent at his reply, and it wasn't a few seconds until he added, “And it was a similar story when we had met for the second time in the library. You had told me you wanted me to leave, but I refused to since I wasn't able to fully respect you with the tone that you had been giving me. If you had asked me kindly that you wanted some privacy, I would've obeyed and left. I thought that you eventually would’ve figured out that I was treating you that way because of how you were speaking to me, but you hadn’t understood.”
“Oh...” you murmured silently as you dropped your gaze down to your feet, which were stretched out in front of you. “I never knew...I...I thought you were acting that way only because you were being stubborn.”
“Well, you seemed more like the stubborn one in that situation,” Arthur said softly. “I was able to tell that you were under a reasonable amount of stress and I thought I would've been able to convince you to help you with your homework and your test to try and make things easier, but you refused.”
“Well, I just didn’t want to deal with anyone at the time,” you said crossly.
“Do you feel that way often?” Arthur asked you.
You were silent for a few seconds before you replied a bit hesitantly. “Well...mostly, yeah. I feel that people only get in my way and prevent me from doing what I need to do, and so I don’t usually interact with them that much.”
“Does this explain why you don’t have any friends?”
You lifted your gaze to look up at Arthur, and for a moment you felt slightly offended by what he had asked you about not having any friends. But after a few moments passed, you realized that it was true that your desire to isolate yourself from everyone else, even the teachers, was the main reason why you didn’t know how to properly interact with people and why you didn’t have any friends.
“Now that I think about it...I guess it is,” you said softly, and you were surprised to find that there was a bit of sadness in your tone. There was no reason why you should've pitied yourself. You were fine with not having any friends, after all. “I...I don’t really know how to have proper interactions with people, and I talk to them only if they get on my nerves enough that I’ll have to say something to them to try to get them to stop.”
“But that doesn’t happen very frequently, does it?” Arthur asked.
You shook your head and frowned. “No. Usually they would just keep on getting on my nerves until I do something else besides yelling at them.”
“_____, is there a reason why you’re so angry all the time?”
This question took you by complete surprise, and when you shifted your gaze to look at Arthur, you found that he had moved considerably closer to you, still keeping your backpack in between them, the expression on his face showing nothing but concern.
You were silent for a few long moments as you continued to stare into his intense emerald eyes. You wanted to deny being angry all the time, but now you realized that Arthur was right. You thought back to how you had interacted with him when you first met him in the library, how you had pushed him away even after he had helped you, how you had yelled at the girl for snatching your test and telling the whole cafeteria that you were Arthur’s boyfriend. Now you realized that it was true that you had anger problems. And this thought made a tiny bit of fear start to grow inside you.
“I-I don’t know,” you murmured as you stared down at your hands. “I...I just always feel so stressed all the time and...I never seem to get a break from anything and get time to relax unlike others. I also get mad by the fact that everybody seems better than me and their life is easier than mine, and sometimes I wish I could just start all over with my life.”
“_____, you shouldn’t think that everybody is better than you,” Arthur said in a tone so quiet that you were barely able to hear him. “You should remember that you're unique in your own way and that you—”
“But I'm not unique!” you yelled suddenly as you sprang out of your seat and turned around to glare at him, your hands clenched into fists and anger filling your eyes. “How can you say that I'm unique when there are so many things that are wrong with me? I hardly eat, I get very little sleep, I procrastinate every day, I fail all my tests even though I try, I have anger problems, I can't get along with people, and I can't even trust myself with anything because I know there's always going to be something that gets in the way of me doing what I want to!”
The both of you were silent for a long stretch of time, Arthur staring up at you with eyes slightly wide in surprise and you continued to stand there with clenched teeth as you took deep breaths to try and calm yourself through your sudden burst of anger.
Finally, Arthur stood up from his seat as well and took a step forward so that he was only inches away from you and he put his hand firmly on your shoulder, causing you to stiffen though you didn’t take your angry gaze away from his. “_____,” he said softly, “whether you want it or not, I'm going to help you. I'm going to teach you how to get rid of your anger and how to make your life easier. It’s clear that you need at least someone to help you with all the problems in your life, and I want your life to be much easier than it is right now.”
You were silent for a few moments as the anger in your eyes faded. “Arthur, you don’t have to—”
“_____, if we don’t do something about your problems you'll only be surrounded by an even greater amount of stress,” Arthur said firmly. “I will not leave you alone until we’re able to solve all of your problems, even if it would take months.”