Further changesMature

Lydia could only gobble at the screen for a while. Then she noticed the stares she was getting from Aiden and Amelia.

'Wait...' she said uncertainly. 'Wait, what?... Did you do that?'

They didn't answer. Aiden got up.

'I'm going downstairs to nick some food,' he announced. 'You two want anything?'

Lydia felt like a wedge of dough had lodged itself in her throat, and she couldn't speak. Amelia just shrugged on her behalf, and Aiden left. The girl turned to Lydia.

'Are you alright?' she asked.

'Well,' Lydia managed to say. 'Not really. I just saw a programme of - it was my future! My mother was going to cut my hair off! That's what's going to happen, isn't it, oh God, oh God...'

'No,' Amelia was shaking her head. 'We won't let her do that.'

Lydia scoffed. 'Are you going to come home with me and tell my mother to go to hell while she's trying to force me into something with lace on the hem and take that icky nasty disgusting stuff off my face? I didn't think so.'

Amelia scooted up the bed to sit beside her. 'Well, your attitude is improving.'

'My what?'

'You're right,' Amelia said, putting a hand on her shoulder. 'We can't follow you around like guardian angels and make your mother treat you civilly. We only have this evening to show you how to look after yourself.'

Lydia's head was swimming. It was still beyond her why these two people, nice enough though they were, would want to help someone like her. They had surmised an awful lot in a very short amount of time. They had persuaded her into leather, gloves and a skirt that barely covered her knees, heels that would snap the ankles of more brittle-boned individuals, they had plastered her face with makeup, and they had dyed her hair. And now she was sitting with them, watching TV, and Amelia had taken to resting her head on Lydia's shoulder and her free hand on her knees. This was not an arrest-able offence, granted, but Lydia could feel her personal bubble being invaded quickly and didn't really like it.

It was a relief when Aiden returned and Amelia took her face out of Lydia's neck. 

'Getting on well, are we?' he remarked.

'No,' Lydia stammered.

Aiden shrugged. 'It's fine, really.'

He had a plate of dried up pastry things (which he had drenched in ketchup), a few dd-looking cakes and three glasses of something fizzy.

'What's that?' Lydia asked as Amelia leant forward to take the glasses.

'Punch,'he told her. 'Don't worry, there's nothing in it.'

Lydia took her glass doubtfully. She didn't put it past these two to try and get her drunk, but the punch didn't taste of alcohol or anything suspicious. All the same, she crammed her mouth full of the pastry and cakey things to absorb anything she might mistakenly imbibe. Amelia and Aiden just watched on in interest.



The End

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