Simpatico Outcasts

❝Everyone thinks that the outcasts are the rejects, don't fit into groups or societies; they're the ones people don't want. But they're wrong, because outcasts do belong somewhere. Together.❞

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For 17-year-old, Cecil Jones, the Simpatico Outcast group had become her world. A world in which she could avoid her home, her family and anything else she didn't want to think about. She'd found comfort in having a group, and even a boyfriend, despite never knowing where she was going to sleep at night.

But after one weekend, everything changes again and she's forced into the realisation that you can't just ignore the wounds before they've healed. And no matter how hard you try to bury the mistakes you make, sometimes you just can't stop making them over and over again.

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Author's note

A/N: Please be aware that some chapters contain adult/sexual content (why I have rated it R) so please don't read it you feel uncomfortable with that.
AA

18. Eighteen ⦁ Problematic situations

⦁ Reggie ⦁

Fuck, was my first thought as I woke up. What have I done? 

I ran a hand through my knotty hair, my other hand reaching for my cigarette pack and lighter on the bedside table. I sat up and leant against the wall behind me, holding a cigarette between my lips and lighting it up. I let it relax me slightly as I took in a puff and let it out slowly. 

My mind drifted to Cecil again, and I cursed inside my head. Why did you let it happen? I had been so frustrated last night that she wouldn’t talk to me that I had started to send her messages. And then well, things escalated. A lot. 

I had been right, I couldn’t stop thinking about her but I probably could have stopped everything that happened last night when she turned up at my door. But I really didn’t want to. I wanted all of that. I also meant every word I said to her. I just wasn’t sure on reflection whether it had been a good idea, letting myself get in to whatever mess we were creating. Fuck, it was exciting but, fuck, I could really get myself in trouble with Archie. I had a lot of mixed feelings on it. 

I finally got up from the bed, going to make some kind of breakfast when there was a loud knock at the door. I stared at it and stubbed out my cigarette. What if it was Cecil again? What if we ended up doing bad things again? 

I turned to the fridge, trying to resist my urges to see if it was her. The person knocked again, harder. I waited a few seconds, and they banged on the door a third time, it sounding angrier. 

“Open up, I haven’t got all day!” The person shouted through, and it was a male gruff voice. I began to shuffle over, positive that it wasn’t Cecil anymore. 

I pulled the door back and came face to face with a short, angry, bald man. 

“Can I help you?” I asked, a little confused. 

The man just kept on glaring as he bit back, “don’t take that tone with me boy. I’m the landlord!” 

I didn’t remember him being the landlord but I took his word for it. I’d probably only briefly seen him on the day I moved in when he came to give me the keys. He never showed his face when I reported maintenance issues, just sent some ancient handy man who was terrible at fixing anything. 

“You're late on your rent,” he told me snappily as he folded his arms. 

“What?” I raised a surprised eyebrow. “I have a standing order on my bank account, it just goes to the management automatically.” I swallowed hard. There had to be money in there, I’d saved up for the year during summer when I was working every day. 

“Well it hasn’t worked,” he told me and shoved a piece of paper in my hand. “Here are the rules about late rent.” 

I briefly ran my eyes down the page. Extra 50 pound charge every day you don’t pay it. If it hasn’t been paid in a week from the original date it should have been, you get evicted. Shit. 

I looked back at him. “I’ll sort it.” I hoped it was just a random bank error. 

He glared at me some more before he nodded at me. “You better.” He started to walk off, but not before he called over his shoulder, “and stop smoking inside, I’ll charge your arse for property damage if you’re not careful!” 

Not like it wasn’t in shit condition before I moved in, I thought to myself as I shut the door. Despite his warning I lit up another cigarette, screwing up the rent warning and shoving it in my pocket. Just another thing to worry about. I continued to make my breakfast, trying to work out in my head why my standing order might have gone wrong. I’d always been pretty good at staying on top of rent, so I just assumed it was the banks fault and not mine. I didn’t have the head-space for it to be any other reason. It was stressful, even remotely thinking about it. 

I drove speedily to school, heading into the sixth form block where I knew there was some computers. I logged into my bank account, praying in my head as the little loading symbol pulsated on the screen. Then it finally, loaded up showing my balance and all of the recent transactions. 

“Shit,” I swore under my breath as I passed my eyes over it. The transfer of money for rent had indeed failed but it wasn’t the bank’s fault, it was mine. I hardly had any money left. 10 pounds to be exact. 

I scrolled down the recent transactions, trying to work out where on earth all the saved-up money had gone. I’d made lots of cash withdrawals which I knew was because I preferred carrying cash around and not a card. Most of that went on food I knew, but I also knew I had spent so much on buying cigarettes every single week. Car fuel too, that was costly. That on top of normal bills and rent had drained the savings I had. I wasn’t as good with money as I thought I was. 

“Fuck my life,” I cursed angrily, slamming my fist into the desk so that the shitty keyboard rattled around. 

“I’d rather fuck you,” a voice whispered in my ear and I jumped, turning my head quickly. Cecil was behind me, grinning at me, with a cheeky look on her face. She dropped into the seat beside me and leant more towards the screen. “What’s up with you?” 

I swallowed hard and gripped the mouse, shutting the tab quickly. “Just money problems.” 

She moved her eyes to me and looked a little sympathetic. “I wish I could say I could help but I literally only have 5 quid to my name, I think.” 

I pretended to not be concerned as I got up and shrugged. “I’ll just have to see if I can get a weekend job.” We began to walk out of the communal area and into the corridor together. “It’s fine,” I said. 

I knew it wasn’t that simple though. I probably couldn’t make back 400 pounds in a weekend in time to not be evicted. I would need a seriously nice boss to pay me a 400 pound advance, which I knew was very unlikely to happen. The restaurant only had me down for the summer job, they already had people for weekends during term times so I knew I couldn’t ask them. 

I seriously felt like jumping off the roof now as I walked in to my form class, and spent the duration of it searching up ‘fast ways to make money’ on my phone. A couple of articles said to do online surveys which offered rewards, but that wasn’t going to get me enough cash and I would have had to do a lot of them. Others said to sell stuff that you don’t need anymore. I didn’t have many personal items as it was, the record player was probably the only thing I cherished and I wasn’t going to get rid of that. I did think about possibly selling the car, but that was a load of crap anyway so no one was going to give me 400 for it. I didn’t have parents to borrow off either. I pretty much had no options that were any good. 

“Can I come over tonight?” Cecil asked me, breaking through my thoughts. I’d slightly forgotten that she was even there. 

I looked up from my phone, to see her looking at me expectantly. She was doing the thing with her eyes again, where I really couldn’t look away. I didn’t really think twice about it as I said, “yeah.” 

Maybe I needed a distraction from the stress anyway, but I knew having Cecil in my flat was also problematic in itself. It was just slightly less of a ‘you’re going to be evicted’ problem, and more of a ‘you shouldn’t be doing this’ situation. Both of them were problematic situations that I could try and control, but only one of them I wanted to stop. 

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