When I wake up, I groan again.
Well that was embarrassing.
I stretch and sigh as everything rearranges and my muscles wake up.
Still, I definitely needed that.
Steeling my nerve, I glance at my alarm clock.
I was screwed.
So I’d had a nice nap, I now wasn’t going to sleep tonight.
Back at square one.
I hurry to get dressed so I’ll be ready in time for lunch, this time making sure I look presentable, partly to make up for my embarrassing ordeal earlier and partly….
I shake it off.
Partly because I wanted to look nice, what was wrong with that?
Slipping into my black skinny jeans and baggy black shirt that fell off one of my shoulders, I slip in my four lobe piercings before thinking, why not? I could use some jewellery confidence, and put in the cartilage piercing at the top of my left ear with the chain connecting it to one of the lower ones.
To finish it off, I pull on my black boots before strolling out to the canteen.
Grabbing a tray, I slide it along, giving one snarky commenter a glare after I hear them whispering to their friend.
“She’s feeling better then. She passed out earlier…”
I was not in the mood.
Still, I try my best to smile at the dinner lady despite her still wary glances.
She shovels my pasta onto the tray using the edge of her serving spoon, barely holding it.
I sigh angrily.
“You know, I’m not going to hurt you.” I say too harshly, she startles and moves on to the next person.
“Calm down, Rose. You’re look is scaring enough people without the attitude.”
“Shut up, Leo.”
“Yes actually. Did you really have to tuck me in?” I smirk.
“Just be thankful you don’t have a Sharpie moustache I was so tempted…”
I sit down, pleased to see that Rin and Roan aren’t cuddled up on the sofa.
“Where are the others?” I ask Leo cautiously.
“Apparently, she hurt her ankle in PE, so now they’re playing doctor.”
I drop my fork back onto the plate and push it away.
“Do you have to be so disgusting when I’m trying to eat?”
“You going to eat that?” He points at my spaghetti carbonara and I shake my head.
Sinking into the sofa, I play with the chain on my ear.
“Your look is scaring enough people…”
It was because I felt vulnerable.
I didn’t do vulnerable.
After breaking down last night and then losing it this morning, I was feeling like someone had made a split down the middle of me and ripped me open, revealing my innards for everyone to gawp at.
Leo shoves away the empty tray and drops his arm behind my shoulder.
“No one thinks you’re any less scary Rose, least of all me.” He laughs, low and throaty. “Not with that amounts of zaps I’ve gotten from you. You don’t need all this.” He flicks the chain on my ear and I listen to it rattle delicately.
Damn it, why does he have to go and know me?
I play with a frayed piece of thread on my ripped jeans.
“I’m not trying to be scary, I’m trying not to be so….”
His hand comes to rest on mine, stopping me fiddling.
“No one’s going to hurt you. I’d say I won’t let them but I think you do that better than I ever could.”
I rest my head on his shoulder.
Rin stands awkwardly in front of us, Roan’s hand on her hip. She opens her mouth as if to attempt to whisper something before wisely shutting it again.
Leo nudges me, putting his mouth to my ear.