Warnings:Maturee + Swearingg
It was half eight, and the bell had just rung in the dim school hall. After the echoing of the bell ended, the silence resumed – it was the loudest silence ever heard. It was silent for a good three, four minutes before it was bitterly interrupted by the foyer door slamming shut and a pair of heels dragging across the marble floor.
The woman stood there for a moment, looking at a piece of paper she had withdrew from her purse. Momenterily, the darkness seemed to grow greater, and it almost consumed the woman as she backed toward to the wall; when she was fully submerged in the lingering darkness, a few dozen students came marching in, each clad in their own variation on the mandatory black and purple uniform. It was relatively silent, and most of the students marched in unison before they began to spread out through the hall into a variety of different rooms. But one student remained in the hall, standing near the doors which lead out to a dimly-lit and narrow hallway. She stood taller than most, and had an elegant long black mane which was done in a long plait to contrast her snow-white porcelain complexion. She stood delicately, with a thin frame and high cheek bones, looking down at the floor and straightening her black skirt. She looked at the clock – it was nearing eight-forty. After about another half hour of waiting, the foyer doors slammed, and a tall guy walked in, turning to the ruddy receptionist and nodding. It seemed as though they had a mutual agreement. He averted her gaze from the receptionist and to her papers – he smiled a little, then nodded.
“Rose” he whispered to himself.
He walked into the dark hall, and walked over to her hastily before placing both of his hands on her shoulders and looking into her eyes before shaking his head and hugging her. She remained still, however, and did nothing but stand there in that embrace for a few moments. Tears ran down her face.
He released his hold of her, and wiped the tears away before the bell rang, and they both went separate ways; the girl into room 21, and the boy out of the foyer and into the yard.
Amongst the students was Alice. She carried herself with a certain pride, and was shorter and thinner than most of the others, despite wearing her heels. She brushed her black fringe out of her face and continued walking through the hall, through the foyer, and onto the yard, where she looked over at Sam sitting on the bench, who looked to be under a great deal of stress.
She walked over, slinging her bag over her shoulder. He saw her approach and took a defensive stance. “What?”Alice was slightly taken aback by how he greeted her. “I just wanted to see if you’re ok.” Alice and Sam had only spoken a little over the past few weeks, but they both felt close, despite their recent distance.
“I’m fine.” He was holding back the tears. He pushed his head into his hands and took a deep breath. “I’m fine.”
“No, you’re not. I can tell. We’ve known each other long enough.”
His act dropped. He just didn’t know what to say. He started to shake a little and he began to cry. “It’s my uncle. He… died.” He pushed his upper body down.
“I’m so sorry.” She sat next to him and placed a hand on his back.
“It’s fine. We saw it coming…” He took another deep breath and sat back up, looking directly at her. “Please, don’t tell anyone. I’d rather keep it private.”
She nodded and held her arms out for a hug, and he obliged, pushing his head into the crook of her neck, crying a little more. Damn, he smelt good. They sat there for a few minutes, and she rubbed his back as he let out his tears. He hadn’t cried in a long time, and it felt good to confide in someone, but he knew that Rose wouldn’t approve. But fuck it – this was a good outlet.
He moved and slouched, looking at the floor. “Thanks… I… I don’t know what I’m doing. I shouldn’t be a blubbering mess.”
She smiled at him and told him it was fine, he was behaving appropriately.
The sky started to go grey and a few rain drops began to cover them. Alice sighed and stood up, telling Sam she had to go home. He grabbed her hand and told her to wait, he wanted to walk with her, and maybe talk some more – after all, they hadn’t really spoke for a week or so.
They walked half way before the rain really began coming down. Alice looked like a drowned rat – her hair was like rats tails, and her clothes were practically see-through. They both stood under a tree for a few moments, and then Sam noticed how bad Alice looked.
“Hey… wanna borrow my jacket? You look pretty wet,” he laughed, unzipping his jacket. Before he even got an answer, he’d taken it off and was handing it to her.
“Won’t you get wet?” He shrugged and pushed the jacket into her hands.
“Put it on, you look… well… terrible.” He laughed and watched her awkwardly put it on. She thanked him and they carried on walking in the rain. Sam seemed pretty much unaffected, besides his tee getting wet. They got to her house, and then he hugged her goodbye and asked when they’d speak or hang again.
She said she was free tomorrow if he wanted to come over for a bit. After all, her mom was unlikely to be there. She cared more about getting a tan on holiday than looking after her own daughter – Alice was generally home alone twenty-four seven.
He agreed to come over tomorrow, and he left her on the doorstep fiddling with her key in the lock. The lock had always been stubborn, and in cold weather it seemed to jam and be a lot worse than usual.
The door opened, and Alice pushed her way in, dripping wet, and dropping her bag on the floor. She collapsed onto the wooden chair in the kitchen and looked at the note on the table.
“Won’t be home, I may not be back for the rest of the month, Sweetie.
Just ask the neighbours for anything that you need, I’ll be available on my mobile but I’m in Boston so it costs to call from home to America, Sweetie. You’ll be OK. Oh and I was back last night (you mustn’t have heard me) but you were asleep. I left money in the safe and passports etc as well. I’m sorry.”
I should be used to this she thought. However, she wasn’t. Deep down, she hated every moment of being alone in that old house. Mainly because it was lonely there. She had a few fond childhood memories there, but she wasn’t satisfied with just the memories.
She could also remember stealing her mum’s diary when she was younger. She could still remember the contents of it, and she knew why her mum repeatedly went away.
Alice’s mum was 19 when she had her, and most of the family despised her for it. Her grandmother however, provided her with a trust fund, initially for both her and Alice – the money kept increasing. By the time Alice was 6, her mum had brought into a business, and her lifestyle became much more erratic than it used to be. They moved into the town where they currently lived, and that was it. When Alice was 10, her mum was going on holiday three times a year – without Alice. Her grandmother took care of her for 6 years before her death in a car accident in December, and then Alice was completely alone. Her mum’s outlet was going on holiday without her daughter, and that was fine by her. But Alice didn’t approve.
Alice spent the night on the computer, browsing a few sites before stumbling onto a directory of authors, and their fates. For some reason, she loved looking up stuff like this, it fascinated her beyond belief. Then again, she’d always been fond of history, especially history that involved death.
She looked up at the clock, and it said 5:45 in the morning. She’d been awake all night, doing essentially nothing. And now that she thought about it, she was actually pretty tired. She yawned and shut her computer down, and dragged herself upstairs. She looked out the window before closing the blinds – it was still raining. It was coming down pretty heavy, too. She shut the blinds, and slipped out of her clothes before throwing herself on the bed and closing her eyes. Finally…
There was a loud thud at the door, and it woke Alice up with a start. She yawned, still tired. Then it hit her – she told Sam that he could come over. Why did she forget that when she decided to stay awake all night? She could easily just stay there, and pretend she wasn’t home. Or something. That way she could carry on sleeping. But then again, he’d probably catch on and decide she wasn’t really playing nice.
She pulled herself up and looked out of the cold glazed-over window. It had been snowing a little through the night so it seemed. And she was correct, it was Sam out at her door.
She got up and pulled on her dressing gown and clambered down the stairs and through the kitchen where she spent several moments searching for the key. When she found it, she put it in the lock and it clicked. She opened the door and smiled at him and apologized for the delay. She looked out as he walked in. It was snowing, only lightly, but she could tell that winter was coming.
She followed him into the living room and put the door key on the counter so as she would know where it was. Sam looked around for a few moments then sat on the sofa, looking up at her.
“Were you asleep? Did I wake you?” He was nervous that he’d woken her up.
She nodded and he apologized profusely before telling her he could go if she wanted, and he could come back another time. She said it was fine and offered him a drink.
“Yeah uhm I’ll have a coffee please,” he smiled.
“Sure.” Tottering off into the kitchen, she cursed loudly and dropped the kettle. Within a second, Sam was beside her as she laughed nervously at looking idiotic and then admitted how she had just burned herself on the kettle.
“Does it hurt?” He asked, looking at her.
“No, don’t worry. I’m afraid drinks have been cancelled…” she said sighing. He smiled and then he laughed at her… or so she thought.
“It’s ok, I don’t need a drink. If you want one I’ll make you one, just sit back down, OK?” he said, holding an arm on her shoulder and shooing her out of the kitchen. Three minutes later, he returned with a steaming mug of hot chocolate – made just how she liked it. “It’s a bit hot, leave it to cool so you don’t burn yourself,” he said caringly. He was so kind-natured she thought as she closed her eyes and took a sip. He was right, it was piping hot. She put the mug back down.
She put on her awkward-smile and looked blankly at him, then again with sympathetic eyes, full of empathy. "So... I don't mean to intrude but... well..." she sighed then looked to the floor, collecting her words, then looking back at him. "Are you alright?"
He laughed awkwardly, unaware of what he should say in response. "Yeah." He held his white mug in both hands and looked at her politely. "Why wouldn't I be?" She was slightly taken aback.
"Your..." She just stopped, she knew she was digging herself into a deeper hole.