7: Franny

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7. Franny

"Some guys will be round later on tonight. They'll take a few of the boxes from upstairs."

I place my spoon back down into my bowl of soggy cereal as my dad pours himself a cup of coffee. "What are they taking? Why didn't you ask me? There's stuff I want to keep."

"It's just some clothes, Franny." He leans back against the counter and looks down at me. The gesture irritates me and I have the foolish desire to stand up so we're the same height—so he can't look down on me as if I'm beneath him.

"You could have told me," I mumble like a petulant child. My dad just sighs.

"Well I'm telling you now," he says. "And you're not off the hook for staying over at Tally's the other night."

"I'm surprised you even noticed," I mutter. My dad doesn't say anything, just stands there, until I hear his cup being placed down on the counter and his footsteps echoing down the hall.

I finish breakfast in silence.

***

Tally doesn't participate much during history class, which is strange for her—she always answers at least one of the questions right, seeing as she's one of the smartest kids in the room. I don't push her or lean over to ask her if she's okay, though.

The whole of yesterday, after I'd spent the night at her house, she had been quiet, too. Not as quiet as now, though, and I'm not sure if it's about the fact that she told me she's bisexual or that she kissed me.

Before I can open my mouth to talk to her, she turns her head and leans over a little. "Thank you."

I don't speak at first, just look at her eyes which are so serious and pained as they stare back at me. "No problem," I whisper back.

I know that I've said the right thing when she smiles, the corner of her lips quirking up, and raises her hand to answer the next question.

I lean back in my seat, chewing mindlessly on the end of my pen. It's actually Tally's pen. She stares daggers at me from the side when she sees her pen covered in my saliva.

I take it out of my mouth and offer it to her, but she holds up her hand. "No, keep it," she says. "Really. All yours."

I roll my eyes and put the pen back to my mouth. I turn sideways in my chair so my back is against the wall. The World War II poster falls and stabs me in the eye and I bat it away, creating a loud noise that ricochets through the classroom.

A few people look over and I look down sheepishly. Sighing, I press my head back against the wall and look out the window on the opposite side of the room. The rain is coming down hard and I'm reminded of why I don't like this time of the year. October is cold and wet and makes my bones constantly cold and a chill is always running down my spine.

I catch movement in the corner of my eye and glance over at Tyler, who's leaning back against the wall in the exact same position as me. His eyes are already on me and I get that unsettling feeling again which always seems to come up when he looks at me. Maybe it's just the blankness in his stare—as if he isn't actually looking at me, but just staring because I'm there.

He raises an eyebrow at me and before I realize what I'm doing I raise one back. His eyes narrow.

"Mind not staring at me?" he asks quietly.

"You were looking first," I say back.

"Don't flatter yourself," he mutters.

"I can if it's a fact," I say.

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