Part 13

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The next morning I make the resolution that I have to get up and go to school. I'm only making it worse by staying in my room all day with no social interaction.

As I get ready, pulling on some black skinny jeans, my mind replays the events of yesterday. How Daemon got so close to me and lifted my face, dark brows furrowed in some emotion I can't place. He wasn't acting like himself. Had he really been...concerned for me?

I know I'm being stupid for even considering that. There's no way Daemon cares for me. But when I remember how it felt in his arms for the brief second he caught me, how safe I felt against his chest, I wish it was true.

But those are just silly thoughts. My friends are crazy enough to see Daemon as a romantic prospect for me but I'm certainly not. I do my best to shake thoughts of Daemon from my mind and grab my bag and go downstairs.

Lucien is able to drive me today, thankfully. I don't necessarily want to face the guy I tried to hit with a baseball bat and also cried about my test grade in front of.

I nearly fall asleep in the car on the way to school, still feeling extremely exhausted by the emotional turmoil I went through during the weekend. I'm still feeling anxious about the nightmare and have already slipped back into the habit of picking at my nails until the surrounding skin of my cuticle is all bloody and torn.

I just try my best to avoid thinking about it. Because if I think enough about what went down in my stepfather's basement it'll put me back there, to that horrible experience and I don't want to feel that terrible fear ever again.

I have to distract himself. It's the only way I can get through this. Lucien briefly suggesting going to talk to the school councilor about 'whatever it is' that's bothering me but I immediately refused. I don't want anybody to know. They can't know. If I just pretend like it never happened then it'll go away...right?

When I get to my locker I find a frazzled-looking Lylah waiting there, shouting out my name when she sees me. "Ash!" she throws her arms around my neck, sending me stumbling back onto the cool metal of the lockers.

"Um, hi?" I say.

She pulls back, giving me an incredulous look. "'Hi?' 'Hi?!' Is that all you have to say for yourself? You've been AWOL the entire weekend!" she exclaims, pulling out her phone and scrolling through the multiple calls and text messages she left me.

"We thought you died, seriously," Wren seems to materialize next to us, making us both flinch.

"Hoe I swear to god--" Lylah fumes, making to jab at him but he expertly dodges it, as it seems like something he does often.

"Sorry guys," I apologize, nervously grasping the back of my neck. "I turned my phone off and literally was just sleeping the entire time," I lie, though the lying in bed motionless part of it is true.

"So you were so tired you didn't go on your phone even once?" Lylah raises a skeptical eyebrow.

"Basically..?" I shrug, cursing myself for how obvious I sound.

"That's insane, Ash. I couldn't survive like, one hour without my phone," Wren says, scrolling though his phone at an alarmingly fast rate.

"Clearly," Lylah rolls her eyes at him before turning back to me. "Well I was just worried about you. Everything's okay, right?"

I nod, forcing a smile. "Yep. Everything is fine,"

"Good. But if you ever ghost me again--!"

*

After getting a lecture from Lylah about the importance on communication, I head to my first period. It's algebra so it kind of sucks but we just have to do a simple worksheet so I just try to get it done as quickly as possible. As I'm finishing up the last problem I feel like someone's watching me so I look up, finding a guy a couple desks over looking at me. When he sees that I caught him, he flashes me a sheepish smile, flashing pearly whites. 

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