It had been over a month since Alexander had moved into the house down the road. And over that four week period he and Grace had become joined at the hip. Due to the fact they had become friends during the summer holidays, the unlikely pair was able to spend every waking moment together.
Alexander understood Grace, and Grace understood Alexander. While he was, indeed, just another awkward teenage boy trying to get by, he was also a very thoughtful and complex person. Grace had taken it upon herself to adopt his way of looking at the world, although she had yet to discover fully how that was. Alexander liked to study people, so she tried to as well. She learned to see the humour on his face when he knew someone was lying to him or spot the nearly undetectable shift in his expression when he was angry and didn't want to admit it.
Grace enjoyed being in his company, and that was the pure and simple truth.
'...And I said to her, you just have to get over it because I'm not - hey!' Holly stopped mid-babble, her squeaky voice had become a pleasant hum in the background for Grace while she was thinking, 'are you listening?'
'Oh,' Grace looked up at her friend, 'no. No, I wasn't.'
'Honestly, this is first time we've been able to hang out for ages! You could at least pretend to be happy.' Holly pouted, and lapsed into an angry silence, 'you've been ditching me all the time lately for your boyfriend.'
'Alexander isn't my boyfriend. He is my best friend.' Grace replied dryly.
'No. No he isn't. I'm your best friend, I've been with you since we started high school and you hadn't seen him for years before that,' Holly said, obviously irritated by the new contender for Grace's friendship.
'I've only know you for two years,' Grace pointed out, which was the wrong thing to say, because Holly's cheeks blazed with her annoyance.
'And you've only known him for a month!' She spat, saying 'him' with a terrible venom.
Grace's eyes widened in shock; she had never seen Holly so angry before. Even if she wasn't too fond of her friend, it was a little upsetting for Grace to be what Holly's anger was directed at.
Holly sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose, 'I'm sorry, I didn't mean to be nasty. I'm just feeling left out.'
'I'm sorry, too.' Said Grace, not sounding sorry at all. 'Alexander understands me and he's really nice so I enjoy spending my time with him.'
'And I want to understand you, Gracie,' Holly said sadly, 'but you don't let me in. I'm trying so hard to get to know you again but I can't do it if you won’t let me.'
Grace didn't know how to reply to that. She hasn't even considered how much her amnesia had affected the girl sat opposite her, and she suddenly felt sorry for Holly. She didn't realise that the accident would have made Holly feel sat, too. She just took her friendship for granted and accepted the fact she couldn't shake the firey redhead off.
'I'll try harder to talk more,' mumbled Grace quietly, 'if it's what you want.'
'Thanks, yeah.' Holly smiled, 'well! I'm off, we have guests over today. We'll talk later right? Message me.' And with that, Grace's friend left the picnic table with questionable haste.
'I'm sorry.' Grace said again.
'Sorry for what?'
She looked up and was mildly surprised to see Alexander looming over her with his eyebrow quirking upwards, 'nothing.'
Alexander studied the girl for a second and looked as though he had something to say, but thought better of it, 'if you say so.'
He sat down on the bench opposite her, where Holly had been sitting. I should have been this happy to have Holly opposite me, Grace thought miserably.
'Now I'm really worried,' said Alexander, who had been staring at her, his brows furrowed in concern. He placed a gentle hand on her arm, 'what's wrong?'
Alexander's hand comforted Grace, who would have usually recoiled if someone touched her. People placed their bodies near hers made her feel incredibly uncomfortable, their heat left a sickening residue on her skin that she couldn't rub off. She stared at the hand, her eyes glazed over with confusion and worry.
'I think I'm making Holly sad.'
'She wants us to be friends, but I don't know how to be friends with someone like that,' sighed Grace, feeling a little better for being honest with herself - and with him.
He frowned, 'why are you forcing yourself. It's going to hurt her, and you, more if you string her along.' His words stung, but they were the truth. It was unfair on Holly. But Grace couldn't bring herself to let Holly go; she felt like the girl could help her remember her past, even a little. But it was unlikely. The doctors had told her, after weeks and weeks of therapy, that there was little chance of any memories returning to her.
Of course, this didn't really trouble Grace at all. She didn't really want the memories back. If she regained them, then who would she be? Would she magically transform back into her old self, or be who she was currently; only with actually proof she had been alive before she was thirteen. There was something incredibly disconcerting about it.
She slipped out of her little moment and glanced up at Alexander quickly, he was staring at her with genuine concern on his face. Grace trusted Alexander, but she wasn't quite ready to start telling him her most private of thoughts.
So instead of saying something in reply to his statement, the pair fell into a thoughtful silence.
(Sorry, it's really long but it was too short to be able to split into seperate chapters!'