Chapter Twenty-Seven - Apologies

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Lea

If only pain didn't exist, the world would be a happier place.

If I can just stop crying, my eyes wouldn't be puffy. And if my eyes aren't puffy, I'd be able to get out of this toilet cubicle and continue with my daily school cycle. But no, my stupid body doesn't listen to me.

Please just stop crying.

It's not even the pain from Georgia's punch that's causing my tears; it's the internal guilt that makes me sob like a mad woman.

River broke up with Georgia.

Georgia found out about the kiss.

It's all my fault, it's all my fault, it's all my fault.

Shut up, shut up, shut up.

I take a deep breath, inhaling and exhaling, feeling the air slither into and out of my lungs. In, out, in, out. I wipe my eyes, removing the dampness from around my sockets only for it to return straight away due to the never-ending tears. 

Just stop crying, and you can go back to the house. You don't have to bother with school.

"Okay, you're fine, you're fine," I repeat to myself, wiping my face with some toilet roll before standing up from the closed toilet seat and hesitantly unlocking the cubicle door.

I peek outside, towards the direction of the sinks. Thankfully, no one is here, so I exit out of the cubicle and stare at myself in the mirror.

I look terrible.

Rapidly, I pull my hair out from my ponytail and slide my hairband up my wrist. Shaking my head, my hair falls freely over most of my face – covering the large and noticeable bruise developing under my left eye. Although my eyes are puffy, there is little I can do about them now, so instead, I just take another deep breath and walk out of the toilets.

Luckily, there aren't many people in the corridor; only those few who are scurrying away to lessons or have a free period.

I just need to get to the sixth form centre, grab my books, and leave.

Leave.

So, I pace through the halls of this hellish school, picking up the pace as I walk past full classrooms with middle school students working away or concentrating on the teacher. I pass all of them until I reach the sixth form centre.

After hastily entering the code to unlock the door guarding it, I push it open and rush through the foyer. Heading in the direction of the lockers, I bow my head, hoping that no one will stop me or pay attention to my bruise. I'm trying my hardest to hold in tears as I continue to well up, but I can't help my vision from blurring.

Walking fast while having your head bowed towards the ground and very blurry vision, you're bound to bump into someone. And knowing my fate, that's obviously going to happen to me.

Bam. I bump straight into the side of someone extremely tall. "Sorry," I mumble, avoiding any eye contact with the man, and continue in my tracks.

However, I'm abruptly stopped - due to the strong yet gentle fingers wrapping around my wrist. They tug slightly against my skin to keep me from moving further away, then pull me back to face him.

"Lea, I've been looking for you all morning." The husky voice says, and I immediately know it's him.

My cheerless eyes reluctantly slide up to meet his; I'm unsure of what to say or how to feel, completely speechless, just like how I was with Georgia.

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