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I ALWAYS FELT barely tethered to reality at this time of the day

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I ALWAYS FELT barely tethered to reality at this time of the day. After spending hours in the sun and sea and coming back to the house to shower and get ready to go out once more. When the the sun is slowly saying it's goodbyes and the waves are calmer. 

I felt here but only just. 

Standing in front of the large windows above the sink, looking out onto the beach, the soft breeze brushed onto my sunburnt skin, cooling it. My hair was still wet and fell down my back, smelling of summer and salt. I held a mug of raspberry tea in my hands, wanting to hold onto this feeling forever. 

"No daughter of Andrea could be ready this fast." David chuckles from behind and I glance over my shoulder to see him shuffling into the kitchen. I chuckle and turn around, leaning back against the large white sink. 

"Well, when you've accidentally shown up into a lecture in your unicorn pyjama shorts it teaches you a few things on not caring." I shrug as I explain and David takes a seat at the island block.

Since it was Michael's first night back in Holden Bay, we were all going out to his restaurant of choice—it was also part arcade. Everyone was currently getting ready since there's only two showers and after a race up the stairs, Penn and I managed to get in first. 

As my mother and Emily's mother are good friends and Emily often babysat Michael, she was invited out tonight too. She had spent the entire day with us at the beach too. She's a really sweet girl and she seems to be getting along with everyone. 

I'm sick and tired of being weary and hating everyone who's not from my friend group. My first year of college was a fucking nightmare; anyone who came up to me honestly scared me shitless. I'm so damn tired of being fearful. 

"Everyone would've been jealous anyway." David points out and I nod with a small scoff. "Anyway's, I'm glad you're here first because I've been needing to talk to you." 

"Oh shit." My eyes widen as I walk forward and place my mug down on to the island block. 

"It's nothing serious," David chuckles at me, "I just want to make sure that everything's alright with you." 

I frown with a small amused scoff, "With me?" 

"I want you to know that I see you as my own daughter, Hayden, and I've noticed that you...you seem different." David explains and I know my frown turns into confusion as he continues, "You're one of the most badass and strong-willed women I have ever met, the other one being your mother. When I first met you I remember thinking 'holy shit I do not want to go up against this girl when there's only one rotisserie chicken left at the supermarket'."

"That happened once. The lady broke her ankle but moral of the story, I got my chicken and it was delicious." I explain as David laughs at me and shakes his head at the preposterous but completely true story.

"I'm glad it was," David smiles softly at me, "And I understand, given the circumstances of the past, that this is change in behaviour is natural. But you were doing so well and we were so proud of you but now...it's like there's a part of you missing." 

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