September 18th @ 7:42am
"Maya, do you ever wonder why the leaves fall?"
"No, because it's so simple. Leaves fall because it's the natural order of things." Lifting up her cup of hot cocoa, Maya took a sip of it before continuing, "Only children ever ask those questions. What's more important is talking about who you'll ask to homecoming this year."
"I guess you're right. It doesn't really matter. Now, does it?" Kate picked up her own cup of coffee and took a big gulp before placing it back onto the table. "It's nearly time to go. I promise we can talk more about homecoming at lunch today. I'm just not in the mood right now.
Maya smiled. "Sure. That's alright with me. I'm just about done with my drink, so you can go on ahead and I'll catch up with you in a second." Once she made sure she had all her things with her, Maya stood up from the table with her empty cup in hand, ready to throw it away.
Luckily, the trashcan was on her way outside, and before long, she'd catch up with Kate. Their school was only a six-minute walk from the cafe, which made it a convenient place for them to hang out. In fact, the two girls had made it a daily ritual to meet up there every morning.
By this time, though, all of the other students would have left by now. Maya had made it into a joke about how she and Kate were always the last two students from Seacoast High School to leave the Eats & Treats Cafe. Except, this morning, it would appear that their title was stolen.
By a girl that looked like a mess, both physically and emotionally.
Her black eyes stared straight ahead, as if looking out into space, while tear after tear spilled down her warm, pink cheeks. Her long, black hair was in ruins, almost as if the girl had not slept for days. Her chewed-up and red lips were slightly parted like she was whispering something.
But the most unsettling thing of all was how her body shook, even when nothing was happening. You had to look very careful, but once you saw it, it was hard to unsee it. Almost like her whole body was vibrating in fear. Or maybe she was just cold. The girl wasn't wearing a jacket.
And because of that, cuts and bruises were on full display for the whole world to see. Little cuts around her wrists, but those grew larger in size before ending just around her elbow. The bright red spots surrounding the cuts looked fresh, too, as if they had recently stopped bleeding.
Maya's heart completely sank to the depths of the ocean. Seeing this young girl so beat-up and bruised made her want to do something. No, she had to do something. Something to make the pain go away. To help the poor girl who seemed like she had suffered enough already.
This young girl almost looked recognizable, too. Maybe someone from one of her classes. If she had more time to sit and observe, the girl's name would have come to her mind. It was on the tip of her tongue, just barely out of reach. Her name started with an H, didn't it? But what was it?
Out of nowhere, a shout interrupted her thoughts.
"Maya, get your ass over here! We're going to be late!"
Perhaps she'll try again another day. Now, it was too late.
September 19th @ 7:16am
"... are you even listening to anything that I'm saying?"
Maya blinked her eyes in response before picking up her hot cocoa. "Sorry, Kate. I just, I have a lot on my mind right now. What were you were saying? I swear I'll listen this time."