Armin once told me that there’s someone out there for everyone. I had always thought that until I met him. No, this is chapter one. I can’t tell you about him yet. Now, most of the stories Armin reads to me are fast pace and get to the kissing very quickly. If you came for that, I am sorry my romance didn’t happen until a month after he started tutoring me in reading and writing. Don’t worry about that now though. That doesn’t happen until later. No, this is the first chapter you see so I shall start even before him.
I sighed and put on my red vest over my button down shirt. I put on slacks getting annoyed by Mikasa’s nagging to go faster. It was six in the goddamn morning and I hadn’t even had coffee yet. I really didn’t need her assistance right now. “I am hurrying! I don’t have to be at work for another two hours so shut up!”
“Eren!” She hissed storming into my room and tripping over the mess that was all over my floors. “I told you this. In order for me to get you to the movie theater and for me to get to school you need to arrive two hours early.”
“Yeah, cause I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” I grumbled slipping on a belt through the loops of my black pants and then stumbling around to put on my socks. “Just give me five goddamn minutes and then we’ll see where the fuck I am in getting ready.”
“You watch your mouth. Your mother hated when you cussed.”
I really didn’t fucking need this right now. I had stayed up all night gaming again and I really didn’t get much sleep. Of course, I know that was all my fault, but Mikasa shouldn’t just bring up my mother like that. She had died ten years ago due to a car wreck. I had been playing a video game in the front seat, Mikasa and Armin were in the back reading a book. We were going down to the cabin for a weekend of fun and swimming in the lake when a drunk driver came by and smashed into us. She had jumped in front of me to stop the airbag from crushing me. She had died in my lap. Armin had gotten a broken arm and Mikasa got away with little damage. When the ambulance came, it was already too late and my mother had been cold in my arms. The three of us had went to go live with my uncle, Hannes, and the drunk driver had died on impact. I shake my head to get the memory away. “Yeah, well, she’s not fucking here.” I pushed Mikasa out of the room and slam my door. I sighed and fall on my bed. That really hurt to say…
Eventually, Mikasa came back with a coffee and I had walked out to the car and she drove me to the movies. I walked in and sat down on a chair that was about half my height and sat up straight. I couldn’t read, so my stupid manager always kept a close eye on what I did. He was always next to me on the register beside me. We were friends… at the very most. It’s not that I didn’t mind his existence he was just always really annoying. “Morning, horse face.”
“Shut up, Yeager.” He smirked over at me. I really hated that condescending smirk.
The movie theater was pretty popular. We’d had our regulars. Most were teenagers from a high school Armin and Mikasa went to. I never was good in school and thought they should use the money towards other necessities. Some people just thought I could never learn how to read and write since I was so far behind in my studies. I wasn’t a moron and I didn’t have any mental illnesses. I just couldn’t sit down and bother to learn. It felt like such a waste of time when I could work part time at a movie theater, which didn’t fulfil my time either. I look up to see an orange haired girl and a shaved haired guy.
“Two for Sweethearts in Heaven.” The boy said as he got out his wallet. It was summer time so I was expecting them to come. They normally came whenever a lovey dovey movie came out. They’ve been coming here for three years.
I tapped at the screen and forced a smile up at them. “That will be fourteen dollars.”
The guy handed me a twenty while the girl clung to his arm. “Thank you for paying, Franz.” He smiled back at her while I handed him the change, tickets and the receipt. “See ya, Eren.”
I wave to them then bring out my sketch book to doodle on while I waited for my next costumer, cause honestly, who comes to a movie theater at eight o’clock in the morning?
“You’re getting good at drawing.”
“Go suck a dick.” I grumble as I started to draw in a meadow with blue leaves and a tree, in the background was a wall with a gate. Sometimes I think humanity is imprisoned in their own lives. In their own routines. I feel like we get stuck in these ruts and that’s why we don’t like change. I wish there was something new this world could offer me, so I didn’t feel like I was in these walls in my picture. Humanity was like cattle. They did whatever their masters told them to do without even taking a second glance at what THEY wanted to do. I really did yearn to have a more exciting life than this. I wanted to risk my life for the good of humanity, but then again why should I? Humanity was the one to take my mother away from me. I hadn’t realized I had blackened a flower until it was too late. I sighed and started erasing it to make it just a gray shade again. It really wasn’t fair. Everything bad always happened to me.
“You know, Yeager, it’s that bad attitude that makes you not approachable.” Jean muttered as he started to write more in his notebook. We always did this. He would write his stories and I’d draw my drawings. Sometimes he’d read them to me and I’d give my opinions, while sometimes he’d look through my sketchbook and pick out the ones he liked best, but other than that we really didn’t talk. We probably couldn’t stand to be so close together if we really did talk.
Around noon, I walked out of the movies and walked down the strip mall on my break. The movie theater wasn’t far from where we lived but Mikasa didn’t want me to walk it. There was the movies, bath and body works, an ice cream shop, and a few massage places in the one strip and then restaurants scattered around in the parking lot. I walked across the parking lot to a burger joint that had cheap food that wasn’t entirely bad. I walk in and go up to the to-go register. “A burger with no pickles and mustard and a cookies and crème milkshake.”
“Okay, I’ll get that to you in a few minutes.” A woman smiled as she punched in what I had ordered. “That will be ten dollars.”
See what I mean? So cheap, yet so good. I gave her a ten and then sat on a barstool waiting for my order. This place was usually very busy so I always just took it back to the movie theater to eat while taking care of customers. Jean had complained at first, but after a while he decided it didn’t really matter since hardly anyone came in during the weekdays and the people who did didn’t care about what I was doing while handing out tickets. So, I walked back to my seat and started eating. This habit would later not be a habit due to a certain someone, but that is beside the point.
“You really should have a better diet.” The horse face had the gall to say.
“I can eat and drink however I want. It’s not that bad.” I muttered as I started to shade in my scene while I ate and sipped at my milkshake.
“Aren’t you scared you’ll get ketchup all over your drawing?”
“Aren’t you scared you’ll get hay all over your notebook?”
“Shut up, Yeager. Can you go five minutes without making a horse joke about me? Seriously, I look nothing like a horse.”
“You do.” I argued and sighed. “And no I don’t worry. I keep my sketchbook completely clean.” And just because my life is shit a blob of ketchup ended up on the corner of the page. I cursed and grabbed a napkin to dab it up.
“Yeah, you’re really fucking clean.” Jean laughed and helped me before looking at our next customer.
“Zombie Island!” The woman nearly shouted a handsome blond man standing behind her rolling his eyes.
“Two tickets, please.” He said as he got out money and paid Jean.
I watched and then sighed going back to my drawing. I started shading in the wall giving it the sigma of a woman with curly hair. I look up and nearly fall out of my seat when the woman was leaning over the counter to see what I was drawing. “FUCK!” I shouted in surprise as I kept my balance on my chair.
“Yeager, apologize.” Jean rolled his eyes though he was snickering at my shock.
“I’m sorry… I just didn’t see you there.” I blushed as I looked at the brown haired woman who wore glasses and had a pretty nice sized chest- not that I was staring. She was wearing a button down shirt and a stupid jacket that went only half way down her torso. What the fuck was up with that? That wasn’t going to keep you warm and no one else wore something like that so it wasn’t a fashion statement so why would anyone walk around with half a jacket on? I decided to call it a wannabe jacket. I would see it a lot more later on.
“I like that wall. Where did you get this idea?” She asked in excitement and interest not caring that the taller blond was trying to pull her away so they could go see the movie they were late to.
“In a dream actually.” I answered as I looked down and smiled. I was actually proud of this one.
“WOAH! I’m doing a study on that! You see we’re scientists and I’ve been dealing with the inner mind. My hypothesis is that we see our past lives in our dreams. It’s illegal to do human experiments, sadly, so I haven’t been able to prove it, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.” I feel like most people would find this woman to be an absolute lunatic, but I wasn’t like most people.
“Really? That seems pretty cool. Though I wonder how long ago this was then considering we don’t see the walls anymore…” I muttered sounding like a lunatic myself for believing her. I didn’t really care though, cause what if it’s true? I’ve always drawn these walls. They’ve always appeared in my dreams. I flip through the pages and stop when I got to a page where a part of the wall was at the bottom, but a skinless giant was looking over it. After I drew it I felt like I really was crazy, but… maybe humanity had fought these things at some point? I hadn’t noticed they walked off until I looked up and saw that the woman was being dragged to the snack line.
“Shit, man, you really believed her.” Jean laughed and shook his head. “That’s Hanji. She’s a… well… she’s different.”
“Yeah…” I muttered, but kept looking at my drawings. She was different. Sadly, this wasn’t the only different person I would be meeting in the near future.
When Mikasa and Armin got me after school, there was a silent, but short, car ride home. I walked in and sighed falling on the couch and turning on the TV. After Hanji made her appearance, I spent the day fixing my sketch, inking and coloring it while also handing out tickets. It got pretty boring after a while, so he was glad he only worked part time.
Armin sat down next to me and smiled. “How was work today?”
“Boring as hell.” I muttered and rubbed my eyes. “Horse face kept bugging me.”
“You really should be nicer to him, Eren.” Armin sighed and snatched the remote away from me to change it from cartoons to a reality TV show.
“Why should I?! He starts it first!” I whined crossing my arms. Armin has had a crush on Jean for the longest time. Jean was older than us by two years and he was a hardworking man. I could see the potential of why Armin would like him, but we both knew Jean was either taken by this Marco guy he always talks about or that he would be taking by this Marco guy.
“Eren, do you even try to get to know him? He really isn’t that bad. He just has a short temper and likes to show off a little, but I mean if you have the stuff to back up your words why not show off?” Armin asked as he reclined in the couch and pulled out a text book to start doing his homework. If there was one thing I was good at, it was math. I could do numbers. It was just when letters would be put into words is when I started getting confused. Like how should I know when to say the different pronunciations of the letter a? English just seemed why too confusing. I scooted closer to see what they were learning and sighed knowing Arming didn’t need any of my help.
“Because it’s annoying when someone is always a show off. I can’t stand that guy.” I growled and walked to the kitchen to see if Mikasa needed any help. She threw me out immediately. I wasn’t the best chief in the world. I could make stuff that comes in a box, but homemade meals were always better and Mikasa didn’t mind the cooking job in the house. We all had our jobs. Mikasa cooked. Armin cleaned. And I worked to pay the rent. I walked back to sit beside Armin until Mikasa called for us.
At the end of the show she did, “Boys, dinner!”
We both got up and walked to the dining room table. I sat at the head of the square table, Armin to my left and Mikasa across from me. I nibbled at the food, today’s dinner was spaghetti and sighed. I really wasn’t hungry. Well, I was, but I was so used to this constantly being the only thing happening in my life. Every day I worked, came home, did whatever I could to help, ate dinner, and then played video games or went to bed. I never got to do anything different. No one was stopping me so why should I just go out for a walk and see who else is out at this time of day? It would be something new at least, but no, I sit here, eat, go to my room, and hopefully sleep. If I was lucky. If not, I would either video game or Mikasa would nag me to sleep. Sometimes I really wish I could just get away from her. I understood how she felt and how she basically raised all three of us, but I was sixteen. I could manage my own life.
“So, Eren, do you want to learn how to read and write?” She asked as she twirled her spaghetti and then ate it.
“No one can teach me.”
“I really don’t want to be taught by you.”
“I’m not teaching him. We already tried. He’s just too stubborn and won’t sit still.” Armin argued as he ate his own meal shaking his head a little too frantically.
“We’ve already been through this. I don’t want to be taught and that’s final. I’ll learn it when I’m good and ready.” I said and got up. I put my plate on the counter for Armin to clean up later and walked to my room. I tried to play video games, but it wasn’t keeping my interest. I started to draw and that wasn’t keeping my interest either. So, I wound up laying on my bed and thinking about how much of a failure I’ve been. I couldn’t even describe how much I needed a life changing thing to happen in my life. Anything would do. I stared out my window and saw a shooting star fly by. “I wish something different happened to where it would change my life forever.” I whispered and fell back on my bed. It was childish, really, but it made me happy I could put my faith in a star. Things happen in strange ways. I don’t know if it was coincidence or not, but the next day I met him.
And he met me.
And it was our beginning.