14 - Broken Girl

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I walked the hallways at school the next day a little deflated and on edge. I hadn't slept a wink last night and it wasn't from my usual restlessness and nightmares. I had tossed and turned because my mind was too busy replaying the events of yesterday. There was still a massive weight resting on my chest knowing Gwen and Mary Jane had somehow been involved in my newly found partnership with Peter Parker. I hadn't spoken to either of them since yesterday and ignored their calls all night. I didn't know how and right now, I didn't care why they had gone behind my back and deliberately gotten me partnered with Parker. None of it even mattered, not when my overdrive emotion was betrayal.

I pushed passed students that hung around their lockers at the end of the school day heading towards my locker. Class had ended nearly fifteen minutes ago but I had stayed behind in Ancient History to finish off taking notes. I also had a sneaking suspicion that my two best friends would be waiting to ambush me at my locker. I had successfully avoided them all day without too much of an effort. As I turned the corner, I saw them. Both patiently waiting by my locker. I fidgeted on my feet for a moment, knowing I couldn't avoid them forever. But right now, I could. I skidded back down the hall, knowing I had somewhere else to be soon but as I passed the girl's bathroom, an echo of something smashing stopped me.

I pushed open the door, entering the girl's bathroom and finding my canvas shoes nearly soaked with a thin layer of water that filled the entire floor. A question formed on my lips, staring at the shattered basin that was smashed to the ground. The broken pipes were spraying water in all directions, wetting half my jeans.

But it didn't matter, not when my eyes landed on the figured curled up against the wall.

"Cindy?" I questioned, dropping my books near the door where the water hadn't reached and moving towards her. I knelt down in front of her, staring at the girl who I had only seen days ago at Flash Thompson's party. She had seemed fine that night, giggling with her boyfriend but now, she just looked broken. "Hey, Cin...are you alright? What happened in here?" Water drenched the length of my jeans now, my jacket dotted also.

She didn't move, just stared down at her hands which were curled into tight fists. I shifted back her wet hair from her face, tilting her chin upwards. "Cindy, please say something." The water level was increasing rapidly but if I couldn't even get her to speak, how was I supposed to get her to move?

"I didn't mean it," Cindy choked out, tears glistering in her eyes. "I didn't mean for it to happen at all."

I nodded but didn't have a single clue what she was talking about. I glanced back at the broken basin which looked like it had been snapped in half. "Cin, we should leave. I need to tell somebody--"

Her hand snapped out, fast and strong. It wrapped around my wrist, her grip tight. I let out a little gasp, her fingers causing a slight pain. "No, don't. Please, Florence. Don't say anything."

I eased my wrist from her grasp, staring at her. I saw the fear in her eyes and before I knew what I was doing, I nodded. "Okay, I won't say anything."

A sigh escaped her lips as she tilted her head back against the wall, her eyes drifting shut. We sat like that for a moment, not speaking. I kept glancing back at the basin, seeing the broken pipes and the damage. I wanted to ask her what happened but knew she wouldn't tell me. When her eyes opened, she looked more calm. "I have to get to practice."

"Uh, alright." I pushed myself up to my feet, giving her a little room to move. I didn't know what to do, was there anything I could even do to help? "I have to get to Parker, we've got a meeting to go over our assignment."

Cindy was on her feet, picking up her discarded bag and glancing at the mirror, fixing her hair. She was mostly soaked, every inch of her clothing covered in water. "Partners, I heard that." She gave me a tight smile, "I hope everything works out." With that she was leaving the bathroom like nothing had happened, that the bathroom wasn't trashed and that I hadn't found her curled up on the floor in a state of shock. She quickly turned back before she disappeared out the door completely. "Thank you for not telling anyone, Florence. I'll let the front office know there's a broken pipe in here on my way to the field. You should leave too."

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