The crunch of gravel beneath his feet startled me. I wasn't expecting him for another two hours.
There was something different about his vacant stare as he approached me. He walked slowly and never took his eyes off my face. "Hello." I greeted him politely, trying to shrug off the consistent feeling that things were not right.

"Hi." His answer was quick and unfeeling. He ran a hand through his messy blond hair and frowned lightly.

"What's wrong?" I asked. What could be troubling him that he was trying to hide?

"I've found a college you could go to," was his response. "After searching, I came across one involving arts, literature..subjects you love, right?"

"College?" I repeated, my voice echoing off the grey walls of the apartment building. "But I've already told you, I don't plan on going to-"

"Just give it a try," he insisted. "You just might like it."

"But Adrian," I protested. "I don't want to. I know what I want to do and it doesn't involve school."

"It should."

I looked down at the floor, trying to conceal all emotion of sadness and pain. Why wouldn't he accept my decision?

"What's your plan?" he interrupted my thoughts loudly. "Living on cheap paperback novels based on fantasies?"

"You're my boyfriend, not my parent!" I said angrily. "And we've gone through this before!"

"If by 'we' you mean you, then yes, we have gone through this. But we have never been on the same page about your decision."

"I'm seventeen!" I cried, throwing up my hands in frustration. "I can live the way I want to without needing your approval."

"Age has nothing to do with it. You have a whole future of opportunities ahead of you and you want to throw that away?"

I winced at how lame he sounded but continued. "Let me tell you something," I hissed, bringing my face close to his. "To me, they're not opportunities. I don't want to be living a monotonous existence based on someone else's rules, I don't want to be stuck in a dead-end job. I want to have my own rules, my own deadlines, my own ideas."

"You can't exactly pay your bills that way," he answered, his blue eyes filled with skepticism.

"Why are you being such a jerk?" I yelled, pushing him away. "Have your parents said I'm not good enough for you?"

"Mom said you're not living in the real world," he put in. "That pretty soon you'll wake up and everything will come crashing down around you." I could tell there was more but he didn't want to say it.

"Oh, so it was your parents," I breathed, trying to calm down. "They never liked me, I saw this coming."

"I feel the same way as they do," he added, thinking it would help.

He was wrong. Seeing the flaming look in my eyes, he tried to explain himself. "You're not in touch with reality. You need to stop drowning yourself under a pile of papers and writing stories."

He paused. A heavy silence filled the air. Finally, I spoke first. "You need to leave."

"Jade.."

"Trust me," I told him calmly. "I know what goes on around me. I just don't want to be a part of it."
He looked down at the pavement and nodded slowly. I was sure he was still doubtful about my decisions and this only clarified that he would never understand.
I watched Adrian get in his car and drive away without shooting a glance my way.
Leaning against the wall, I rested my head on the cold brick. So his family thought I was a loser. And so did he. Thinking clearly about us, I realised that he had never really understood me, but somehow our personalities clicked. Why were things changing when I needed him most?
A tear ran down my cheek and I wiped it away. Instead of crying, I focused my stare on the gray sky contrasting with the red and orange trees. Clouds were overcast and I decided to go in before the rain came pouring.
I looked up, hearing a sound near me. It was a black-haired guy with light blue eyes that were outlined intensely.

"I heard..parts of you fight," he said, staring into my green eyes, "and if it's any consolation, I agree with your concept on reality. You know. Living in your own world." He paused. "I like that. I'm like that."

I turned to him and raised my eyebrows. "What's your point?"

"I already told you," he replied, a light smile playing around his lips. "If it's any consolation."

Letting out a deep breath, I pushed myself off the wall and took a step forwards. "It's not," I responded, staring coldly at him. "Goodbye."
Walking past the guy, I crossed the graveled parking lot and made my way into the stone building, jogging up the stairs impatiently and running a hand through my light brown hair.
Considering summer was on its way, I had never been more scared for my future to reveal itself.