VIII. Talking About It

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Lena hurried into her dorm room and crashed on her bed, having moved straight past Raina and Aria, who were relaxing on their respective beds. The two girls immediately took notice of her upon entry, and when she collapsed on top of her bed and sniffled.

"...Lena?" Aria ventured, "You okay?"
Lena didn't reply.
"Lena," Aria ventured again, "What happened?"
Lena still didn't reply.
Raina looked from Aria, to Lena, and back and forth again.

"Alright, that's it," she stated, and got up.
She went over to Lena and pulled her up off the bed, Lena having to fight her off of her once they were up.
"Um, Raina, I don't think-" Aria started, getting up herself.
"Listen," the blonde began, "I don't know what in the hell your problem is. I don't know if it's a recent thing, a lifelong thing, or what, but I can tell this is going to annoy me. What is going on?"
Lena looked at her, frustrated.
"Leave. Me. Alone," she snarked.
Raina took a deep breath.
"Look, I get you're upset right now, but if we're gonna go the entire year like this; with you coming up in here crying or angry or whatever other shit, then you could at least tell us something," she said, somewhat abrasively, "You don't have to tell us your life story but just let us know when something's up. I'd rather not take the easy route and go file for a new dorm room and new roommates, okay?"
Lena crossed her arms, tears still streaming down her face.
"I can't handle it when people don't communicate things to me," Raina said.
"We're roommates, we should try building up more trust and more of a connection than this," Aria said quietly from where she stood.

Lena and Raina looked over to her.
"While I... don't like how she said it, and yes, we should and will respect your personal space..." Aria began, "Raina has a point. We're rooming together... we should be there for one another."
She paused.
"I don't know what happened today," she said, "Or whatever else may have happened, but this whole... coming in here and crying on the bed thing... it has me very concerned."

Lena wiped her eyes and looked at both girls.
She sighed, annoyed.
"I don't want to talk about it," she said.
"Are you kidding me?" Raina asked, "She tells you she's concerned for you and you still don't want to open up?!"
She scoffed, and turned towards the door.
"Where are you going?" Aria asked.
"To blow off some damn steam," Raina replied as she roughly opened the door, and slammed it shut behind her.

An awkward silence fell over the room.
Aria looked at Lena, who kept her gaze at the floor.
Aria sighed, and sat back down on her bed, and pulled out her phone again.

"It's this guy," came a quiet voice.

Aria looked up, and saw Lena slowly turn to look at her.
She sat up and patted her bed. Lena took the invitation, and sat down.

🌊

The following day arrived, and Lena was leaving her dorm room after Raina and Aria, backpack on, to head to homeroom. She started walking down the hall, and stopped, remembering what happened yesterday. Regaining her composure, she backtracked a few steps and waited by her room.

A moment later, Kai, Dai, and Luke exited their dorm room, a stifle of giggles accompanying them.
They stopped upon seeing Lena.
"Oh, Lena," Dai said.
"Dai," she greeted back.
"Uhm... what are you doing out here?" he asked.
"...Can I walk with you all to homeroom?" she asked awkwardly.
The three boys looked at one another.
"Sure you can!" Luke smiled, "Also, I don't know if you remember me, but I'm the guy from a couple days ago, remember?"
Lena couldn't help but let out a chuckle.
"Yes, I remember," she said, "Sorry about that."
"Nah, don't be," the blond replied.
"I don't think we've been introduced," Kai smiled, "I'm Kai, related to Dai, believe it or not."
Lena nodded, cupping her hands together.
"Okay okay, let's get to class before we're late," Dai said.
The four then headed off down the stairs and out of the building, heading across the path to the education buildings.

As they did, Lena caught sight of Hunter and Melany walking into the building in front of them.
Please don't see me, please don't see me, please don't see me.

Despite her hopes, when they turned, Hunter caught sight of her and smirked, only for the smirk to quickly disappear when he saw the company she was with.
Lena noticed this, and looked at the three boys she walked with.

Melany then noticed her too.
"Lena! Dai!" she said, waving hello.
The four stopped.
"Lena, I heard about what happened yesterday," Melany said, "I can't believe Jace did that."
Lena sighed, "Yeah."
"I'm sorry," Kai interjected, "Who are you?"
"Oh! Sorry, I'm Melany, and this is my boyfriend, Hunter," Melany smiled.
"'Sup," Hunter said bluntly.
"I'm Kai, and this is Luke," Kai introduced, "You guys know Lena?"
"Yeah! We have been friends for a... significant amount of time," Melany said, somewhat solemnly.
"Oh, cool," Luke commented with a smile.
"Well, it was nice seeing all of you, but classes are literally starting in one minute," Melany said hastily, "See you around!"
She hurried off, trailing Hunter behind her, leaving the other four to continue to their own classes.

"You really know those guys?" Kai asked.
Lena just nodded gravely.
"I don't think I told you guys, but I met them already," Dai explained, "And the Hunter guy tried making a joke by calling me "One of the Gays'."
"Wow," Luke scoffed sarcastically, "What a great joke. He already seems like such a great guy."
"More like a douchebag to me," Kai uttered.
"Don't tell me you're actually friends with him, Lena," Luke said.
"Not... really," Lena said quietly.
The three boys looked at her.
"Has he... done something to you?" Dai asked.
Lena didn't reply, for a moment.
"He... creeps me out," she muttered.
"Oh, yikes," Kai responded.
"Forget him," Luke said, "He's not worth your time."
Dai nodded in agreement.

Lena felt herself smiling a little, feeling the weight she felt on her shoulders lightening slightly.

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