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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20. 20

20

Laine

After kissing Ashley that night, I told her I just want to be friends. She understands. I only said that because I'm confused about how I feel, and I need to think about my feelings before anything happens.

I've been busy with Amber since she got released from hospital, and Suki since she confessed about Dan and the bullying. I've been to theatre a few times, but Diaz and Pippa have always been there so we haven't talked much alone. She probably thinks I'm avoiding her, but then again everything has turned to shit the past few weeks, so hopefully she knows how busy I've been.

I had some time to myself for a few hours the other night, so I decided to sit in bed and read my book. I'd had a shower and I had no makeup on, so I decided to put on a face mask and pin my hair up. As I sat flicking through the pages, I heard a knock on the dorm door. I got up and opened it to see Ashley, standing there in a plaid skirt and a white t-shirt. "Hey," she said. I held the door open for her to come in, and looked in the mirror on the wall. I'd forgotten about my face mask, so I quickly ran into the bathroom and scrubbed it off. When I came out, Ashley was sat on my bed laughing. "You look hot with a face mask on, and your hair all pinned up."

I laughed at her and sat down on my bed next to her. I got hold of her hands and held them tightly. "I'm so sorry I haven't talked to you. It's been hectic with Amber and Suki."

Ashley scanned the room to see that it was warm and cosy, and my fairy lights were turned on and the main light was off, and I was curled up in bed reading a book. "Yes, it looks like it's been stressful."

I laughed. "Trust me, this is the first time I've sat down and had some alone time." Ashley let out a tired laugh before looking down at our hands. "Ashley..."

"It's okay," she said, "you don't have to explain. You find it awkward talking to me since I told you I like you."

I shook my head. "No. I've actually been thinking about you... a lot. You see it's all quite confusing. I've always dated guys, but when you came along and I got feelings for you... it's all just confusing."

Ashley stroked my face. "Oh Laine, sometimes sexuality is confusing. But so is life, but that doesn't stop you from doing things, right? Just because it's confusing and fucks with your feelings? I like you, you seem like you like me, that's simple, right?"

I sighed. "I guess you're right. I just don't know how to define myself when people ask if I'm bisexual, or if I'm a lesbian, because now I know you, I can't ever see myself with a boy. I can only see myself with you."

Ashley stroked across my lips with her thumb, "you don't have to explain yourself to anyone. Be mine, Laine, be my girlfriend."

A smile spread across my face. "If I'm with you, I can face anything."

"Then be with me," she laughed.

"But what about when I leave? When my scholarship ends and I move back home, what will happen to us?"

"We will figure it out," she reassured me, "I promise. So what do you say, do you want to be my girlfriend?"

"I'd love to be your girlfriend."

I spent some time cuddling Ashley. As we heard Suki return, Ashley kissed my cheek and headed back to her dorm. Suki smiled at her and stopped her at the door. "I'm sorry for being nasty to you," she said.

Ashley shrugged. "It's okay. We can put it behind us."

As Ashley left, Amber came through the door. It was all three of us, back home together. "You know what I think," I said, "I think we should all sit down and talk about everything that has been doing on. You're my best friends and my sisters, and I want to help you."

We all sat down on the floor in a triangle, with our legs crossed. "I want to explain why I'd don't tell you about the scholarship. I knew you were both having your own problems, and I didn't want to tell you until it was for definite. Then Amber went into hospital, and I didn't want to tell one of you without the other. But my mum won't answer any phones, and the school board have paid for my scholarship this year... they're refusing to pay again now. I'll be gone by the end of this year."

"Surely someone can do something?" Amber asked.

"Nope, they've run out of options. But Ashley said some companies come to see performances to sign some people, and I might be lucky because I have the lead role... but I'm not jinxing it." I replied.

"Let's hope Ashley is right..." Suki said, crossing her fingers.

"Oh yeah... that's another thing. I'm dating Ashley..."

Suki and Amber kept congratulating me, saying they'll stand by my side and they're proud of me. "We are so happy for you," Suki cheered.

"Thank you," I said.

Amber decided she wanted to talk about her and Dom. "He wants to be referred to as a girl now, and called Emily. I told him... her, that I'll stick by her side no matter what. She's on hormones and she's going through full surgery in a few weeks."

"I'm glad you made that decision," I said to her as I squeezed her hand, "I knew you loved her too much to let her go."

"I couldn't possibly leave her now," Amber said as she smiled.

"Suki, anything you want to talk to us about?"

Suki bit her lip and a tear rolled down her cheek. "I just felt so alone... and I know I have you guys but I also thought you were too busy. I turned to Dan because I thought he was helping me, but he hasn't helped me..."

We both reached out and took her hands. "He's gone now Suki."

"I know," she cried, "but now I'm hooked on the drugs and the alcohol, and I can't help it. I don't want to get into those things, but it's hard to stop when you rely on them to numb the pain."

"We're going to help you," Amber said, "we will get you the help you need to overcome all this crap."

Suki nodded, and we all shared a group hug.

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