September 3rd, 2013
Hatter, it’s only a few days before my second year starts at Oxford Brookes. Rabbit called me twice already, but I’m scared to pick up. Lately, he keeps telling me he’s worried I’ll find someone else at the new university. I have to lie and promise him I won’t. I’m scared that I will…At orientation yesterday, I shared a few glances with this boy named Charlie. Creepy, huh? He doesn’t look like you, though. I mean, I don’t think so.
He asked me to lunch with a group of his friends, and was a bit too enthusiastic. I felt bad to say no. So, tomorrow, I will meet him and his small band of misfits at a cafe on campus.
The Tuesday that followed my drunken night with Mister Alley was so embarrassing, it hurt. I mean, I genuinely felt a pang throb in my heart. He flicked his gaze my way occasionally, but never held it. After class ended, he waved me over to his desk silently.
“I don’t know why you were in my apartment Saturday morning,” he began in a low hush, “but I don’t want it to happen again, Miss Peregrine.” His eyes never left the report he was grading. He scribbled a ’53’ at the top in green pen, and only then turned his gaze on me.
My jaw hung open. “You—!” I sputtered a laugh and had to fight back tears. “Mister Alley, you tried to—”
He nodded to a passing student, his gaze snapping back to me right after. His jaw clenched. A small shake of his head. He was then staring at another student behind me, his head tilted.
“Yes? Can I, um, can I help you?” he asked through gritted teeth.
The student pulled out a group of stapled paper. “I, er, I have a question about my grade, Mister Alley…” the student sniffled.
I took the chance to escape. My professor cleared his throat, and I caught his anguished glance as I closed the door behind me.
“Yooooo, bitch!” Beth sang from behind me. She threw her arm over my shoulder and patted it with her gel, red polished nails.
“I saw you get called over. What did he want?”
“I don’t think he likes me.”
“What did he say?”
I sighed. “He doesn’t want to find me in his apartment anymore.”
She snorted a laugh and patted my shoulder once more. “Oh, babe.” Beth hummed a sigh. “I’m sure he was just confused. Finding a pretty, little thing in his home, scantily dressed, right after waking up from a doozy of a night…I’m sure he is just assuming the worst. Maybe he’s angry because he can’t remember why you were there, and thinks he forgot boning you. I would be pissed off, too, forgetting a thing like that.”
I laughed and bumped her hip with mine. We continued walking down the hall towards the exit.
“M-Miss Peregrine!” called Mister Alley, out of breath and on the move towards me and Beth.
We both spun around, shocked to see him running our way.
“The hell does he want?” Beth snapped in my ear, and I looked at her with a bewildered shrug.
“Miss Peregrine…” he heaved. Bending over to lean on his knee and the wall beside us, his gaze fell onto the floor. Mister Alley looked up carefully. Like he was scared.
“If I was—if I was horrid, you must tell me.”
“What? Horrid at what?”
“To, to you, to you, horrid to you; if I upset you in any way, if I made you uncomfortable, anything. Please, be honest. I don’t remember a thing from that night. I’m so sorry.”
“We didn’t do anything, uh…inappropriate. If that’s what you’re worried about…”
He sighed that of relief. I felt hurt by this. But Beth’s words fluttered to the front of my mind, and I realized, maybe…he was just relieved we didn’t do anything because he couldn’t remember any of that night. Maybe she was right.
“I had no place to sleep, you offered me your couch. I never got to say thank you.”
“Um…you’re very welcome.” He stood up, stretched back, then straightened out. Mister Alley scratched at his left temple.
(Oh my God, he’s calling again.) (Back. That only took over an hour. I had to talk to him. I had to reassure him, what, maybe eight times? that I wasn’t going to fuck some jock at a party. I can’t even continue. I’m too upset. I’ll finish the story later.)
September 3rd, 2013