6. Charity Case

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* the last chap was a bit long so I just moved some into the next chapter (this is not a new chapter for those who are reading after 6/11/15

Let me know how you like the gifs.

{Natalie's Bedroom}

Some time later, I woke up to the sound of heavy bass jazz music flooding my ears. It was lucky that we didn't live too close to anyone.

Outside was dark, but I had no idea what time it was. I strained my eyes to see what time the clock on the wall read. 5:45. I must have been really tired, I mused to myself.

The music continued. I assumed it was Eleanor having one of her artsy painting sessions.

I walked down the steps, still just in my undies... only to reach the foot of the stairs, turn my head and see that there were people in the kitchen and dining room. Talking, laughing, drinking, eating. I turned on the balls of my feet and sprinted back up the steps.

They were have a freaking dinner party?! What the hell! I hastily changed into something more suitable. Jeans and a tank top. Bum fully covered.

Of course I wanted to confront them about about the major thing they forgot to mention to me, but they were nowhere to be found. The couch and kitchen chairs were filled with people I didn't know or care to know so I just filled myself a plate of food, grabbed a beer and found a spot on the floor hoping not to be stepped on.

It was about ten o' clock at night when I thought I saw Eleanor's brown hair, now up in a bun, bobbing out the front door.

"Eleanor!" I called out, as I got up of the floor, my legs way past numb. Plus the three extra alcoholic beverages I had were not helping.

"Hey!" A man stopped me by reaching out for my shoulder. He was white with buzzed hair and standing with a darker woman, a drink in his hand. "Me and a few others were talking about sharing a cab home later. You interested?" The man asked.

"It's OK. I live here actually." I corrected him. So not only did Chris and El have a party and not tell me, they also did not bother to mention to anyone that they had a roommate.

"Oh me too. I live just down the street," The olive-skinned woman interjected, her glassy hazel eyes lighting up.

That was not what I meant. "No, I mean I live in this house actually." I told her.

"Really? Since when?" the man scoffed in disbelief.

"What was your name again?" The woman asked, clearly tipsy, but then again, so was I.

"Natalie," I replied.

"Oh wait, I know who she is!" The woman said to the man, then turned back to me. "Are you the American teenager girl they took in?" The woman asked.

Teenager girl? I was twenty frickin two years old. Chris was only six years older than I was. Were they really acting like I was some charity case? Nobody took me in. I was invited here - same as Chris was.

"No one took me in." I shouted, angrily.

The couple just looked back and forth at each other.

Just then, a slightly off-balance Chris came up from the basement. Some blond girl in a short dress was on his arm. She frowned when he stopped.

"Oh...hey Nat." Chris said.

"Really?" I asked, turning towards him, assuming he had heard.

"Come on. It was just a joke." He said.

"Sure it was." I said, biting my lip. "I'm leaving," I told him. I wasn't really leaving, I was just being dramatic when I was really going to sit out in the shed.

"Don't be like that." he shrugged out from underneath the blond's arm and began following me.

"What else do you two say behind my back, huh?" I exclaimed.

"No one was talking behind your back. They were kidding."

I was almost completely out the door, when he grabbed me by the arm. I turned around to yell at him, but instead just fell under his hard gaze. Then I noticed his latest conquest standing behind him looking drunk and confused. My eyes drifted down to her bare pink painted toes.

I turned back to Chris. "Your friend is waiting." He reluctantly let go of my arm just as I yanked it away.

That was weird, I noted as I walked out past the garden. We had never had a moment like that before. We barely talked about things didn't revolve around who was doing the shopping or what good protein options him and Eleanor thought of for dinner or what sight I should visit when I get the time. Come to think of it, he has never randomly decided to chat with me for no reason, like earlier when he came to my room.

I continued walking till I got to the shed. I wondered what Bane was doing at this moment...or what Barsad was. I may not have known much about Bane, but at least he never treated me like I was inferior just because of my age. Like he needed to educate me.

He actually saw...whatever he did see in me. Not like I needed to be perfected by knowing about arts and music...or politics... or how to make Ma'amoul because this lovely Moroccan woman from class taught him how to make it.

I sighed. So this is what the rest of my night would look like. Me - sitting alone in a dirty shed with a dusty bottom. I probably should have brought my flip flops because my feet were now covered in dirt.

I turned my head toward the sound of the shed being tugged open. It was Eleanor.

"Chris told me you were upset. Said that you hate us." she said as she came inside, leaving the door open so we wouldn't be in complete darkness.

"Did he now?" I asked, stubbornly.

She came over and took a seat beside me. I felt bad for having her get her green peplum dress dirty for me. "Look, they probably just misinterpreted." She said looking at me.

"I was probably a little tipsy when I snapped anyway." I replied, solemnly. That and just tired. I was just tired of not being enough for people. I guess I sort of expected them to automatically be saying bad things about me. I could never keep friends for a long period of time anyway. Every one usually just left. Truth was, if I had never met Chris or Eleanor, I would probably be alone in some cheap hotel or probably even at home. There is no way I would have lasted this long in a foreign country if I was all alone.

"So... I said, looking up."Why didn't either of you tell me about the stupid party, then?" I asked.

"You didn't know?" She asked, seemingly in disbelief.

"No I didn't." I said loudly.

"Well we just planned it the day before. Anyway, I told Chris to tell you."

"And did you think he would?" I raised an eyebrow at her.

"Right..." Eleanor shook her head. "The same man who forgets and leaves the stove on when he goes out for a bike ride." She slapped her palm to her forehead. "So sorry."

"It's fine now." I told her.

Neither of us said anything for a couple of seconds.

"Tomorrow if you want, we can to the shops...get some cool stuff...some clothes." She offered with a smile. "By the way, this is NOT me trying to win you over, I'm saying this as your friend...we are friends right?"

"Yeah of course." I nodded. I wanted us to be more than just roommates who occasionally spoke to each other whenever we entered and left the house. I wanted to be as close to her as Chris was. We all met the same way, so there was no reason for me to feel the need to exclude myself as much as I did."Tomorrow..." I began. I didn't exactly have plans, but I knew I wanted to see Bane again. I just didn't know how to make that happen.

Who was he and why was he in Morocco living in that big empty house? I planned to go back there. I know I wanted to, I just didn't know when.

"Yeah, tomorrow's fine," I told her.

***

Thanks for staying with me. Also thanks for all the reviews and support so far.


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