We were told that we had to go to some kind of group therapy session thing at 10 so we had to shower quickly and get ready. I wasn't sure how, but some of my clothes were stacked up on the bedside table on the left of my bed. I guess Aidan came over for a while and dropped off my clothes. I also noticed my iPod there, beside the heap of clothes with my earphones wrapped around it. How sweet of him.
The group therapy thing was at another facility so we had to wear normal clothes there. So I got up and just got changed because I'm a lazy ass and anyways, Ashton was already in the bathroom so I guess it would be a waste of time to wait for him to get out, then get in, then shower, then get out, then get changed again. I changed by the side of my bed and I pulled the privacy curtain around it so no one could peek in. I changed into my favourite shirt. It was an oversized white jersey with the number 17 printed on the back, in black. Aidan had given it to me so I felt less alone when he went on his trips overseas. I put on my jeans then my socks and Converse.
By then, it was about 9:32. I sat on the bed, fidgeting with the sheets. I re-counted all the ceiling tiles. Still 372.
I finished counting and looked around. Ashton came out of the bathroom, surrounded by a puff of steam. His hair was soaked, as well as the rest of his body. Well, the part of his body that I could see.
No. Shut up. It's weird. You just met him. Stop it.
"Hey. No staring." He smirked, with a side of sarcasm.
"You wish." I rolled my eyes at his and eased back into the bed. I groaned. I turned my head to Ashton's bed where he was only in a pair of black skinny jeans. Nice, Ashton. "Hey, nice legs."
He turned and grinned. "So you were staring huh?" He pulled over a black t-shirt with the Batman logo all over it. Um. Well..
A nurse popped in and gestured at us to get into the bus. I had no idea why it was a bus taking us there but when we got on, the were only 3 people on. Me, Ashton, and the driver. I sat somewhere in the middle, on double-seat. And Ashton went on and sat right at the back. I put my music on shuffle and woopdido guess what came on! Forever and Always! To say the least, I nearly cried right there on that bus but I skipped it just before those waterworks started.
We arrived at the facility in just under 14 minutes. It was a white bulding with maroon detailing and glass windows stretched out across the sides of it. We walked in together, glancing into the other rooms as we passed by. Our room was right at the end of the corridor so as we brushed past the desolation of the bulding. We got to the room and right in the middle was a circle of chairs, and by the side, a few tables with coolers filled with lemonade and coffee. There were only about three or four people there already but as minutes passed, seats were taken and the session got closer to starting.
As the last few people arrived and took their seats, the meeting began. A man, about in his mid-twenties, who sat four seats to my left, stood up and cleared his throat.
"Um. Hello everyone. Welcome to, uh, support group. Uh, um, my name is,uh , Ethan, and uhm," He fumbled with the papers in his hand and mumbled to himself "Oh, uh, shit. Oops, haha not supposed to say that. I guess." He stopped for a while and looked behind him, towards the door, then back towards the middle of the circle. "Um, sorry everyone, I think I left my papers in my office. Uh, I'll just go get them. It'll just take a minute or so. If I can find them..."
And as the man turned the corner, every single person, apart from me and Ashton, got up and wreaked havoc. But, one guy, Ashton's age probably, got up, walked over to me, spun a chair around to face me, and sat on it. He was about 2 inches away from me; far too close for my liking.
"Oliver. I'm 19, single, and you're hot." He said, rather loudly, making sure everyone in the room could hear exactly what he was saying. After that, he started talking again, but I'm not sure what he said, because he kept his hand on my leg. Flat on my leg, palm down. He started playing with my hair too. I guess that Oliver guy was kind of a dick, I mean, I was obviously uncomfortable. He ran his right index finger up and down my left thigh. Up and down, over and over again. His elbow rested on the back of my chair and his fingers, playing with the back of my hair. I began breathing thickly, with my chest rising up with each gulp.
"Um, can you, maybe, please, stop?" I stammered. He still wouldn't listen to me. His fingers still lingering on my leg and the back of my neck. I shivered.
But what was really weird was that I could see Ashton in the corner of my eye, while he stared at him. After a while, he walked up to us and tapped Oliver on the shoulder. They went over to the snack table and started talking about something. Ashton shifted his jaw quite a bit. He was angry. I didn't know why though. Still, he put and arm around Oliver's shoulder and strode over to another corner of the room. Ashton put his arm down, and rolled up his sleeves. Oh no Ashton.
He threw a punch at the guy. He was on the floor, gripping his face. Another blow. And another, and another and another. I saw Ashton's mouth moving, but I couldn't make out what he was saying. I ran there as quickly as I could. He was screaming out words between punches.
"She- doesn't- like you! She- was uncomfortable- and tense! And you don't- just ignore- something like that for your own fucking sake!" Ashton was on top of him, a leg on either side of him, on his knees. He was almost panting. The support group leader came back after what seemed like a minute after the fight started and he ran straight to the action. "You're a prick. I bet you don't even know her name. It's Maia you dickhead. You'll never deserve anybody as good as her." He hit him one last time, just as the Ethan guy pulled Ashton up, off of the prick there. He sat them down opposite each other in the circle. I sat next to Ashton and held his fisted hands in mine. They were stained with blood but it didn't seem to phase him at all.
Ethan then began the session and everyone who looked under the age of 21 all grunted in anticipation. "Alright guys. So now that we're all, um, settled down," He looked directly at Ashton and smiled ear to ear. "We can get started!" He said with an ounce of glee. "So uuuh, let's get introduced then. Let's see..." Ethan looked around and wagged his finger towards everyone. "Ah! Yes, Oliver, let's start with you. So name, age, and why you're here."
And at that, Oliver stood up, clapped his hands once and exhaled sharply. "Kay. So. My name's Oliver. I'm 18. And I' here because my bitchass mum made me. Oh and it might also be the fact that I once got diagnosed with narcissistic or some other dumb shit." He gave a bloating grin and slightly nodded around to everyone in the circle.
So then everyone said their name, age, and how they got there; except for me and Ashton. Also, about 3 people before my turn to speak up, he requested that I speak for him, as he didn't want to talk.
"Uh hey, my name's Maia, and this is Ashton," I said, pointing to my left, where Ashton sat. "I'm 17, 18 tomorrow, and Ash over here's 19. We both got sent here from the Rose-Oak Hospital after being admitted into it yesterday. Either from hurting ourselves too much or some people getting fed up of taking care of us." I sat down and in the corner of my eye saw Ashton grinning at me, with fondness radiating off of his face. "What?" I uttered straight to his face, turning ever so slightly in his direction.
"N-no, nothing. It's nothing. You just said something that reminded me of someone I really miss." He said.
"My sister. She died 4 days before my birthday. Suicide, actually. Shot herself right on top of my apartment building and fell into the open parking lot. Funny, huh?"
"Nothing to be sorry for, really."