Toby's senior year was going all too smoothly. It sped by with little fanfare, the same blur of practice and class and socialization that it'd been in the past three years prior.
When others asked him about it, he acted as though he was ready to be shed of this place forever, as if it was merely another step along his way. Another chapter passed that he would remember in great detail, certainly, but a mere preamble to the rest of his life; his glory days weren't over if he had anything to say about it. Yet there was a part of him, deep down, that was terribly afraid that things would only go downhill from here.
Was it a fear of progression? Most others found reasons to fail in these situations, but Toby found his grades shining brighter than ever, words like "promise" and "potential" falling from the lips of his instructors. Perhaps, if he worked hard and gave himself a future to look forward to, leaving wouldn't be so difficult. Yet every day passed just the same-- documented, counted, another day gone of a routine he'd grown comfortable with, and no amount of "potential" gave him solace.
Sometimes he felt awake when the rest of the world was asleep. Now it stung, like an understanding he preferred to ignore. He glanced over the gossiping crowd, recognizing some of faces and snippets of chatter as simply useless. In five years, they would forget one another, and all of this will have been a sheet of paper earned rather than something truly meaningful.
Toby shook his head firmly to chase this depressing line of thought away. He was sounding more and more like his brother by the day; he couldn't make fun of him for being "emo" throughout his entire life and then succumb to the same shit, could he? On one hand, he could call him and have someone who understood him, but on the other he didn't want to feed this monster. Nick fed his, and Toby could see just how miserable he truly was after it was all said and done.
The dialtone caught his attention first; as if on autopilot, he'd already called his brother, yet as fate would have it, he found himself colliding with someone else before his call was answered. Instead he found himself staring down at an unsettlingly familiar face, and for a moment the rest of the world froze around him. He was stunned, eyes wide, as he took in her features.