She's dead, Faith thought, pacing her bedroom. Dead, dead, dead. The door knocked and she thought about ignoring it, she liked it in her house all alone, with her Mum at work, not knowing anything, and her older brother at school, not knowing either. She let them both leave thinking she'd left for school early. She was not going into school, no way.
She peeked through her window curtain and saw a familiar mop of brown-gold hair standing in front of her door. She immediately ran through the hallway, belted down the stairs, flung the front door open and didn't stop, even when she felt Leon's body slam into hers. For ages, she just stood there, sobbing into his shoulder as he held her tight, not saying anything, just letting her cry there in the street.
Leon and Faith sat together in Faith's kitchen, drinking orange juice and picking at blueberry muffins. Neither felt like eating or drinking, though, and just sat there, staring at the food with an almost disgusted look on their faces.
Time had seemed to pause for them, Leon thought, in their own little world, no time was passing, they were just.. Frozen, in this nothingness. Frozen, numb, painless. Yes, the pain was over now, it had to be. The glassy look in both of their eyes would be enough to tell anybody how empty they felt inside.
A rumbling sound told them a car was turning into the drive. Leon looked out of the window.
"Faith, it's your mum. Does she erm.. kn- know?"
"Does she know you're not at school?"
"So shouldn't we go to your room?"
"Okay.." He leaned back in his chair, defeated. He only wanted to stop her from being shouted at, but there was no point in arguing with her at a time so sensitive like this. He didn't need to lose her, too.
The door gave a soft click as Faith's mum unlocked it. She walked into the kitchen, looking down and scratching her neck as she took her cardigan off. She had not seen them yet. She muttered something about tea as she looked up but screamed before she'd finished saying it.
"Faith?! What do you think you're doing? Why're you not at school? Have you been here all day? Why - Leon? What's going on? Why are you off? You're not doing anything you're not supposed to, are you? If you're smoking, or doing drugs, or, or -"
Neither of them bothered to stop her, but Faith had tears pouring from her big brown eyes onto her freckled cheeks.
"What? Why are you crying? The drugs have made you go mental, oh my god, why did you do it? We have to take you to the hospital, oh dear, Faith, why..? Leon, you're not high or anything, are you? Oh god, what'd make you do such a thing?"
Faith allowed her Mum to pick her up by the arm, her mouth shut tight, tears dribbling down her face, still with that empty look to her eyes.
"Lilianna, we haven't been taking drugs. I - I can't explain. It's -" Leon burst into a series of uncontrollable sobs and coughs, and said, "phone Charlotte. She'll explain everything.."
"Is something wrong with Rylee?" Faith's Mum thought instantly of Charlotte's daughter whenever she thought of Charlotte.
Faith cracked. She spluttered and dragged a chair out towards her, sat down, placed her face in her hands and just cried.
"Phone Charlotte," Leon said. "Just phone Charlotte."