A/N: Apologies for the delayed update, this chapter was incredibly difficult to write for various reasons but I'm pleased with the end result. Also I know it doesn't seem like much but in case there are any younger readers, there is a swear word in here. Seeing as though Lily is the kind of girl who never really swears, I suppose you are forewarned that this chapter as as angsty as the last.
In terms of exams, I'm hoping to get one or two more chapters up but I can't make any promises after the length of time this chapter took. Anyway, hope you enjoy!

Lay upon my bed, it was a struggle to stop my eyelids from plastering together, the bright phone screen a blur of profile pictures and unreadable text from my friends.

None of the words seemed to be sinking in, my mind far too foggy for anything to make sense. The thick duvet that I was sunk into filled my senses with the scent of detergent, the material super soft and freshly washed, lulling me to have a nap.

If only it were that easy.

All I wanted to see was the nothingness that came before sleep. The visions that I had were so vivid I could almost convince myself that I was dreaming.

I was stood in the English corridor, watching the faceless blurs and navy Blazers mill around, taking up every inch of space. Their cliche chatter of my friends was a background hum to whatever snippets of voices entered my mind. Tonight's overture had Mum's nagging reminder about universities and Dad's voice mail message cancelling our meet up mixed in.

Then the vision pursued its course: the predictable conversations over nothing in particular dropped to lower tones of filthy gossip as every single person slowly turned to face the doors. A passageway directly to where I stand forms as the crowd rips apart, tearing me apart. I know what I'm going to see. Now my eyes won't open. Just like everyone else in the corridor, they are focused upon the figure approaching in that wary way of theirs. Taylor, eyes cast down to hide from the stares, shoulders hunched forward as if to make themselves as tiny and forgettable as possible. As if anyone could forget about them now. 

Suddenly their head lifts as Taylor stands before me. Behind the lifeless gaze, I recognise the surge of hatred that shines through their somber features. I see it in my own eyes every day. The words scream inside my clamped lips-I'm sorry. I'm sorry. Nothing will come out.

A hand upon my shoulder causes my gaze to swivel around. Dan is beside me.
I seem to meld into him, enveloped by an unbreakable barrier of stone arms. His voice pounds through my ears, whispering sweet nothings that make my insides turn bitter. One word is repeated: Lily.

Other voices join in too, chanting my name. Mum in her disappointed and patronising tone, Dad apologetically, Chloe whining, Alexa like she's snickering, Dan in that gruff voice he thinks sounds sexy. And Taylor. There's no inflection, just hollow bitterness when they pronounce my name. The chants overlap, distort, growing more intense with every repetition. Now everyone in that corridor is saying Lily, getting closer and closer, stifling me. There's no space left, no air left to breathe.

I gasped. Immediately, my eyes had snapped open and the illusion shattered to reveal my bedroom once more. The phone had fallen into my lap, and I let it topple onto my bed. It had only been two minutes, but over a dozen messages had flooded the notifications, which I disregarded entirely.

I got up and tried to shake off the tiredness that clung to me like the water from a layer of soaked clothing going through to the bone. Without even being aware of it, I had begun to pace- a habit inherited from Dad and one that had Mum fussing over me wearing down the carpet along the route back and forth past my bed.

Something golden flickered in my peripheral vision and I paused mid-stride, turning to face the full length mirror on the opposite wall.

In the reflection there was a girl. Her shoulders and back automatically stiffened as she noticed that slouch her mother chided her for. The white shirt was untucked, leaving barely an inch of skirt visible.  Slender hands slipped the shirt back in, because she knew to look neat and classy. Yet this revealed the rolls of the skirt waistband that allowed the thighs to be exposed. Well, her boyfriend wasn't going to date a prude. Her eyes trailed upwards, the perfect posture forcing the reflections' chest to jut out, unveiling a black bra beneath the tight shirt.

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