XIII - Feeling blue

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[RECAP: Juliet is trying to seduce her hot Latin teacher Carl Spencer, but her past - losing her parents at an early age - is getting her down]

After finally escaping Miss Mead, Juliet didn't feel like rejoining her friends. She wanted to be alone, to lick her wounds for a bit.

Latin was the next class but there was still some time before the bell went for afternoon lessons. So she headed to the bathroom that was nearest to the Latin room.

Damn. It was locked and out of order for some reason, with a notice instructing people to use another facility at the far end of the building.

Juliet didn't want to trudge all that way. It increased the chance of bumping into people and she simply wanted solitude. So she went and sat at the top of some stairs that led to a fire escape, which were separate from the main staircase. No one ever used them.

She closed her eyes and for a while tried to wish the world away. Tried to wish away the last ten or so years and return to a time when she was a normal girl, with a normal family. Three people.

Three people who loved one another.

"Juliet? Are you okay?"

Startled, she opened her eyes and sat up from leaning against the wall.

Mr Spencer, having seen her through the glass of the fire door while on the way to his classroom, was holding it open in concern.

Juliet felt embarrassed because she knew her cheeks were wet. "I'm fine."

He frowned. "Do you want to come and sit in my classroom until class starts? It doesn't look very comfortable here."

There was no reason not to accept the offer and every reason to take it up. So she followed him. "Thanks."

Inside she went to straight to the back row, her usual seat.

Then they were both awkward, neither knowing what to do. Juliet wanted to put her head on her arms and close her eyes, sleep for a few minutes even. But she couldn't do that with someone else there.

Mr Spencer, who had brought some class preparation to do, seemed reluctant to just ignore her as she seemed distressed.

He came and stood by her desk, looking at her intently. "Is something wrong?"

"No. Yes. I was just remembering some stuff."

"If you want me to get the school counsellor...?" He tailed off, not really knowing how to proceed.

Kindness always made her cry at a time like this. She felt the tears well over but dug her fingernails into her palms hard to stop herself from actually crying.

Tentatively - he knew he wasn't supposed to touch a student, but human instinct won over - he put a hand on her shoulder. His touch burned through the fabric of her clothing, far more than its mere warmth should have done.

"If you ever need to talk about it... or if you need me to find you someone you feel comfortable talking with..." Once again he was struggling to know what to say.

Juliet brushed her eyes with her hand and tried to force a brighter expression. She turned her head to look up at him. "Really, I'm fine. I was just being silly, it's very long past."

He wasn't convinced. "Is it something to do with your family? Your parents?"

Juliet smiled weakly. "I know I should be over it. Just sometimes it gets to me still. You know how it is, or you probably don't. I hope you don't," she said.

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