The Girls 2

Estal Academy is back! A new year, new students, new friendships.

With all the problems in their lives, can the three girls stick together?

*Contains triggers and emotional subjects people may find distressing/upsetting

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11. 11

11

Laine

I was sat up in the dorm practising my lines when Suki came in. She was supposed to be going out for a coffee with Lewis down at the cafe. He’s been so great helping since the news about Kaito got out, he’s always there to support Suki and often calls me or Amber to check up on her and see how she is doing. But she only left the room 30 minutes ago, and I know her and Lewis would’ve been sat talking for hours. When she turned around though, I realised her polo shirt was covered in mud and her face was covered in bruises.

“Oh sorry Laine, didn’t know you were in,” she said really quietly. Her voice was really shaky and she looked as if she’d just seen a ghost.

“It’s okay. Are you alright? You look like you’ve been beaten up?” I asked, putting down my practice sheets.

Her eyes widened. “Uh… no, no. I just tripped.”

“That’s a lot of bruises considering you tripped! Aren’t you meant to be meeting Lewis?”

“I… uh… I hit my head on a wall… or something. I’ve got a headache starting… I decided to cancel and just come back instead… I might get a long shower?”

“Are you sure you don’t want me to take you down to the nurse? If you’ve got a headache starting, you might have concussion?”

Suki hesitated for a moment as she approached the bathroom door. “Uh… nope, I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’ll take some medicine. Thanks though… uh… I’ll let you know if I change my mind?”

She closed the bathroom door and within seconds, I heard the shower turn on. I decided to sit and listen in silence, just in case she shouted for me or if she suddenly passed out and hit the ground. Luckily, nothing happened, and she spent a whole 45 minutes just stood in the shower. Her phone kept buzzing so I assumed it was Lewis trying to message her. Whilst she was in the shower, Lewis called me.

“Is Suki okay?” he asked, “she just text and said ‘can’t meet tonight sorry’ with no reason!”

“She came back covered in bruises, saying she’d tripped or something. She said she hit her head on a wall too, so she wasn’t feeling great and decided to come back,” I told him, picking at my nail varnish.

“Is she hurt? Does she need to see the nurse?” Lewis asked. He sounded out of breath, so I assumed he was walking back to the academy.

“I asked her that and she said no, she’ll be fine. I’m keeping an eye out on her tonight though just to make sure. I’ll keep you updated if anything happens.”

“Thanks Laine. I best go, I’m almost at the academy. Bye.”

“See ya Lewis.”

I watched Suki the whole night just to make sure she was fine. She didn’t actually fall asleep, and she started crying when Amber was asleep and when she assumed I was asleep. I’ve no idea what is going on with her. I think all of this stuff about Kaito has really gotten to her. I hope the bruises aren’t self-inflicted.

I must’ve fallen asleep because when I woke up, Suki wasn’t there, and I know she was there when I was last awake, and I definitely didn’t see her moving about. I panicked a little, then I remembered she usually goes for an early morning walk around the fields.

In my free period, I went down to the performance hall to get a bit of practice in. There were a few people practising around the stage, but as I entered the hall, my eyes only headed in one direction, and to one particular person. Ashley was there. She was pulling her script from her bag along with lyric sheets. As soon as she spotted me, she gestured me over. “Hey Laine! How are you?”

I went over and placed my bag next to hers. “I’m good thanks, you?”

“Same. I feel like I haven’t seen you in ages! I guess U’ve been missing your gingerness,” she laughed.

I sneered. “It’s strawberry blonde, actually!”

She elbowed my ribs and laughed, “okay ginge.”

I glared at her in a playful way. “Anyway, where are Diaz and Pippa?”

“They’ve got lessons,” she laughed, “so I guess you’ll just have to put up with me!”

Ashley and I spent the whole free period running through our lines, dancing like idiots and singing to each other in weird voices. As we practiced and practiced, I realised that I felt a connection with Ashley. It felt strange. It wasn’t a friendship connection, and I’ve never felt this sort of connection before. Not even with my boyfriends in the past. Why? I’m straight, aren’t I? Why do I feel like this towards Ash? Why is it so easy to talk to her, to flirt with her, to mess around and act like a girly girl who has fallen head-over-heels in love with someone?

Why do I have a crush on Ashley Martinez?

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