THE CAR RIDE BACK seemed like it was way shorter than the one towards the camp had been. Then she had felt like she was driving to her inevitable doom, now she was just feeling glad. Her mother hadn't even started another sermon in the car, so that was a win in her book. Sebastian was silent for once too, seeming pleased, a wide grin on his face from his encounter with his friends as he stared out of the window.
Even though she had only been gone for five days, it felt like she had been there years already. She was glad to have found people she clicked so easily with, though she supposed it wasn't surprising. In a camp for delinquents most of them were bound to have the same interests and personality. Never mind the fact that it wasn't hard to find her type there.
Levi's face flashed in front of her eyes, not able to suppress the smile on her face as she thought back to him. Something about his cold, bitter personality was the most adorable thing in the world for her, even though in the beginning all it had been was an annoyance. She was shaken out of those thoughts when they arrived, her house a comforting sight after spending days in a small tent.
The outside was a soft cream, ivy climbing up the side and flowers blooming in the garden. After her father had died her mother had moved, taking her and Sebastian along to get away from the city which reminded her so much of her husband. She had grown up here ever since she was nine and had adapted really quickly to it, though Sebastian had had it a bit more difficult.
Thinking of her father didn't sting as much as it had now, her lungs not clouding with grief and shattered glass the way they had back then. Sometimes she wondered if it was better that she had been a child, that she didn't remember a lot any more, purely because she saw the sorrow Sebastian still choked on. One look to the sky made her whisper a soft prayer then, one she didn't believe in but her mother did. If heaven existed, she hoped he heard her.
"What are you waiting for, Ella?" Sebastian said as he held the door open," are you coming in or walking back to St Joseph?"
"Walking back obviously," she said," the allure of sleeping in a tent outside is too big for me to stay here."
"Understandable," Sebastian nodded sympathetically, before flashing her a grin and heading in.
She followed behind, making her way to her bedroom and letting herself fall on her bed, her suitcase forgotten. Her room was a sight for sore eyes now, after days in a tent, with it's grey walls covered with polaroids, the clothes scattered across her floor and the punching bag beside her makeup table, both a matching silver. A sigh escaped her lips then as she leaned her head back on her silk pillow, her phone beside her as she let her friends know she was back in town. Her fingers hovered over the boys' names then, though she knew the cell service sucked in the woods.
Still, she made a group chat and send a text to let them know she was home, a small smile playing on her lips as she wondered what they were doing right now. If she remembered right, a collective yoga session was planned for today and she was actually sad to miss it. Though it was hard to imagine Levi stretching himself in any position but a fighting stance, she would have liked to see it.
Her mother hadn't explicitly grounded her, but Ella knew better than to ask if she could go to her friend's house when she got the invite. She hadn't seen them all in so long, but after being kicked out of a camp for delinquents she supposed it would get even longer. There was one place she could go however, so she threw on a black crop top and cargo pants, grabbed her oversized denim jacket and walked down the stairs.
"I'll be off to Faiza's for a moment, mamá," she said as she peeked her head through her mother's office," if that's alright."
Her mother glanced up from the case she was looking at and nodded absent-mindedly. "If it's only to Faiza, I don't mind. Be back before dinner."