Not As It Seems
Author's note: I started to write this piece a couple years ago before putting it aside. I found it a couple... Show full author's note »
Back To SchoolGroaning, Lilly reaches over and turns off the blaring alarm clock and hides her head under her pillow, trying to block out the iridescent glow, flashing as it reads the time, 7:00am. She lies there for about five minutes, trying to wake up. Sighing she jumps out of bed and sways, lightheaded.
Eyes only half open, she runs to the bathroom to get ready and pretend it’s just another day.
When she walks into school, she notices most people whispering or pointing at her as she goes past. Head held high, she walks to her locker, wondering how they all found out so fast. Approaching her locker, she sees Adam there already, waiting for her and Lilly’s confusion is quickly dismissed by betrayal as she realizes that it was him who told. She turns around with a groan and heads to her homeroom.
Running as fast as she can in her skirt, she’s still late for homeroom with Mrs. Cooper, who usually has no sympathy for being late, just smiles and says nicely, “It’s okay for today Elizabeth, just try to be here next time,” gesturing for her to sit down before smiling at her and continuing the lesson.
And as the class goes on being treated so carefully, like she might break at any moment, she finds herself missing the teachers dirty looks and empty threats, doubting that Mrs. Cooper is just in a good mood.
Not long after the bell rings at the end of class, Lilly feels someone fall into step beside her. Turning slightly she sees Adam grinning at her and frowns, looking away. Finally she whispers,
“Why did you tell someone? It’s nobody’s business,”
“I didn’t,” he stammers looking confused.
“Then how does everyone know? And why is everyone whispering? And pointing? And treating me like I’m about to just die right there in front of them!” She interrupts, voice growing louder with each word until she stops, breathing heavily she sits down on a bench nearby noticing all the attention they have attracted. Face flushed she avoids peoples gazes.
“Lilly, look at me.” Adam says sitting down next to her, his hand brushing hers before returning to his lap. Lilly feels that familiar bright blush lame her cheeks and waits until it’s mostly gone before looking up and meeting his warm, brown gaze.
“What?” She says softly, brushing her soft waves behind her ears.
“I would never tell anyone, okay?” he says, waiting until she nods before continuing, “It was probably one of the nurses, it’s a small town; word spreads fast. It will all blow over.”
Staring at him long enough to make him squirm, she gathers her stuff before impulsively squeezing his hand and smiling, “No worries,” her heart and head pounding as she turns away, making sure no one sees her smile falter.