Chapter 2 (SM)Mature

I roll out of bed to the shrill ringing of the alarm on my phone.

Beepbeepbeepbeepbeepbeepbee-

I slam my hand down on screen, but it doesn't do anything. Giving up, I turn to rub the sleep from my eyes and tug on the grey skirt, facing myself in the mirror as I dress.

These days everything's grey. My skirt, my face, my eyes, my ink.

I make sure to scrub every trace of it off my hands, hating the way I can't seem to stop drawing on my hands, watching as it sinks into my skin.

It's a waste, and I'm a waste.

Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath, and throw on a school sweater, the crest emblazoned on the front: a golden dragon coiled below a crown on a dark blue background, and a lighter blue square in the upper left-hand corner. Honor, steadfastness, strength, and loyalty. Add bravery and victory, and it's even more useless than the school code of morals.

I sigh and straighten my shirt, smoothing the wrinkled fabric down and slipping my Oxfords on.

"Alicia!" I call, starting the coffee machine. My bag is already by the door, filled with unfinished homework and books that I wish I was in. Pens and mechanical pencils rattle inside, freed from their case, along with notebooks and ripped pages.

I pack my lunch and Alicia's while I'm at it, setting out her pills in a small bowl and I call her again. "Alicia! We need to go!"

Toast pops out with a ping! and I grab it, slathering it in raspberry jam, before catching the second piece just in time as it's launched into the air. 

"Damn, I need to fix that toaster," I mutter to myself, downing an Advil for my headache and shrugging a worn leather jacket on.

"Luci?" Oh goody. She's awake. 

"Grab your antidepressants and breakfast and let's go." I tell her, ignoring the wince at the mention of the pills.

I stuff her lunch kit into her bag, choosing not to comment on the messily scrawled answers, and running upstairs to retrieve the papers that she's inevitably left lying around her room. 

As I sling my bag onto my shoulders, bearing the weight with barely a cringe, I eye Alicia.

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In class, I almost fall asleep, jolting awake when the teacher shoots me a disapproving look and a rap on the desk as she hands back the test.

20/50.

40%.

In the old days, I could have done better. I could easily do better if I had the time or the mind to. Despite what many think, I'm actually reasonably smart. I used to want to be an architect. Dreamt of it, in fact.

Now dreams are of no use to me.

The End

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