Final

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Brigid noticed that her feet were walking faster and her heart was beating faster as she made her way down the hall. She checked the hallway clock despite knowing it didn’t work. Would Aliya be there? Would she bother to look at Brigid? Had Brigid been forgiven? A fellow Newspaper kid walked by, but Brigid paid no attention to him. By this time, the only one she could see was Aliya.

Brigid turned the corner and immediately spotted Aliya—her beautiful girl. But she was talking to Virginia. Brigid tripped a bit in surprise. Her heart seemed to have muted in anxiety.

Virginia had finally taken her Aliya.

Virginia had finally—

Won.

Brigid stopped a few feet further away from Aliya than she normally did. Virginia noticed Brigid and shot her a jokingly ugly smile, but Brigid couldn’t see the joke. Brigid smiled back at Virginia. Aliya turned a bit when the smiles were unleashed, and saw Brigid, but continued talking to Virginia and packing her book bag.

The thought of Aliya leaving her for good was still unbelievable. Brigid couldn’t believe it. Couldn’t! Aliya wouldn’t!

“I need to go to the bathroom.” Aliya told Virginia.

“I want to eat.” Virginia stated.

They separated paths. Brigid had a split second to decide: Aliya didn’t want to see her (maybe?), so she should go with Virginia. Then again, why would she go with the one who stole her love? And maybe there was a chance that Aliya still wanted her.

Slim to nothing.

In the end, Brigid followed Aliya just because it had become routine. She learned through experience never to break routine.

“How was Gym?” Brigid asked.

Aliya was walking a few feet in front of her, but she felt a mile away. Aliya glanced back, smiled, and said, “We didn’t dress out!”

“Oh, yeah,” Brigid said. A smile! Did that mean—no. It was just a smile. A friendly smile.

In the bathroom, Brigid leaned against the wall. Her old Converses weathered down by three years of pen-littered floors failed her and slid down slowly. Brigid’s body descended like her self-esteem.

Emily and Aliya laughed when they saw, and barricaded Brigid’s shoes with their own.

“But now when you let go, I’ll drop to the floor.” Brigid said.

Emily glanced at Aliya, and then they stepped out of the way. Brigid crashed to the floor, but a smile broke her previously stoic face nonetheless.

Aliya laughed and offered Brigid a hand. Brigid looked up and again saw an angel. A beautiful angel giving her another chance. Brigid smiled and took the hand.





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