Lauren's cheeks reflect and mix red colour from my fire place with the pink that is already set from the cold. I listen to her ramble on about absolutely nothing important but its hard to stop her. Shes so into her own stories and even my injections I make every once in a while. Her teeth show bright through her parted lips when she laughs, her laugh is warm and girly. Its not annoying sounding like the laugh some girls posses, theres nothing awkward or terrifying about it. Well maybe theres one thing, its terrifying how deeply infatuated I've become with it. Its infatuating because I'm not in love, this is not a fairy tale although I wish so bad that it could be. Most likely I have no future. Ive denied that I'm special in any sort of way but thats stupid to think now. Of course I am, of course my brain is slower than usual. Of course Harry Styles is almost dead and of course he would be low enough to feed off of the liveliness of Poor Lauren.
Her hands wrap gently around a mug of hot chocolate that ive made her and she has it close to her face for warmth, just as she did the first time I met her. My eyes seem to be glued to the magnificent way her eyes simply close then push open so effortlessly. I try to copy that effortlessness. I look crazy I know that when she laughs because I'm trying too hard to copy her in looking normal.
"What" she giggles and sinks further into my hoodie that has engulfed her body.
"Nothing, Im just trying" I am slumped over on the couch opposite of her, my elbows rest on my knees and I cant help but sigh at how foolish I am.
She sets her mug on the table between us then swiftly brings her legs to her body. Her small hands peek out from the massive fabric around them and she hooks them over her shins. "I think youre your biggest critic here Harry." I think about what she says but its not true. Everyone is a huge critic in the Harry Styles and Jenny Johnson wreck case. And that case is my life. "What do you want to do after collage" She looks at me with her head cocked.
I shrug and fold my hands. "Id like to probably help children like me."
She smirks at her knees and pushes her thumbs together. "Thats really nice" Lauren's words are a whisper but they flow loud enough for me to hear. "Im a freshman in collage, I'd like to write though." She looks up at me for a reaction.
"So just an author?" Im intrigued.
She nods "What year are you in."
"Oh yeah, sorry" I completely ignored her statement that was meant for me to also mention my level. "Im a sophomore in collage"
"I thought so" She smiles and catches me off guard by sitting right next to me.
I run my hands over my hair to keep myself busy, not sure what else to do.
Lauren takes my hand and I watch her lips form a dreadful frown. She runs her fingers over a few scars, some are small and lay across my fingers while others are big moving from my palm through part of my arm. Im disgusting. Why she running away scared of me? Everything about me is ugly isnt it obvious? I have scars on my face too, down my chest. They are everywhere. "Did you feel any of this?"
I process her words and sort through exactly what she might mean. "Like when I woke up?" I ask. She nods and searches my other hand. "Nothing hurt. I mostly felt numb. I mean sure my head hurt some and my back ached pretty bad but these were almost healed when I first saw them. So no, I guess not"
"Did it scare you" She is sure to keep her words quiet as our eye contact is met.
"Kind of." I want to explain what I mean to her but the words I want to use are no where to be found.
"What do you mean kind of?" She has so many questions.
"I guess it scared me that I didnt know what was going on at all. My own mother was a blur." I want to tell her how my heart would ache for knowledge and my insides twisted for answers. I want to let her know that I sat in silence and captivity for for days before they even thought of letting me out because they were sure id gone mad. I want to tell her how many times I cried without reason and how many times I begged for this horrible curse to leave me be. I want to tell her so much but the vocabulary swirls around teasing my mouth to slip. I cant get myself to tell her.
Lauren sighs and slips back into her new spot next to me. "You're so distant" her eyes are narrowed as she shakes her head. "I mean I know we don't know each other as well as we could but thats not it, you dont connect with anyone."
I wonder if she realises shes putting me down so hard? I thought that my social skills were actually going well and that I was pulling everything off. Guess fucking not.
"There you go again!" Her voice interrupts my thoughts. I look at her but say nothing because honestly, Im confused. "You zone out and look at the ground. You've done it at least three times in the last ten minutes, it makes you look sad"
"Im sorry" I look past her at the kitchen. Im really hungry, I hope my guest likes grilled cheese. "Are you hungry?" I ask kindly.
"Yes!" Her voice gives a small growl and I cant help but laugh. "Don't laugh at my hunger" Her smile is like the sun, bright and golden.
We get up and hurry into the kitchen together almost racing for first place just like two kids would do. "Grilled cheese?" It sounds pathetic but thats all I have to offer.
Her nose scrunches and she laughs taking the bread from my pantry. "As long as I get to help" She agrees. Im glad she did offer because Im not a very good cook and I was sort of scared that Something would go wrong.
Even doing something easy like making grilled cheese with my new found friend makes me panic. I still don't actually like her, how can you like someone you hardly know? I enjoy her company however. Of course one could also argue 'how do you let one into your house when you know them not too well.' Lauren makes me feel like everything is okay when I know that its barely the truth. Everything is complicated but she makes me step back and focus on the big picture that works without the details. My point is that if she were to be my friend I cant say I would mind. We are compatible.
Lauren scrapes the bread from the pan and slides the two sandwiches on separate plates. "Bon appetit, lazy" Her lips are strung up into a light smile and her eyes focus on me. I had hardly even realised how little I was helping make dinner, My thoughts tend take me away from reality.
"I should count as a cripple, give me some slack" I smile with my lips together and take our plates to the table, setting hers down in front of the seat beside me.
She sits and turns her body slightly to face me and I do the same. "I just made a 'cripple' stranger dinner in his house" She whispers. I cant tell if shes trying to point this out to be funny or if shes actually creeped out about it. I pray she thinks it is funny because I really don't want her to leave, her company is nice and quite frankly, better than none.
"Well I let a judgemental stranger into my home and let her make me dinner" She smiles and picks up her sandwich to take a bite.
"Fair" She states with half a mouth full of bread and cheese. She holds up a finger un the air while she chews and then looks at me. "Why are you so distant" I want to ask why do you keep bringing this up? Why do you care? Cant you see I'm trying? Maybe its because my brain got knocked loose? Instead I put my sandwich down and take a deep breath in.
"I don't know" I lie. She sees through it too. I don't care though.