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Pen Your Pride

“You’re late, Mami.”

The blonde in question grunted softly at the boss’ words while she shut the door behind her. She looked around the room, seeing the girls scattered about as usual. Her eyes stopped at Tomomi, she could instantly seeing the way the brunette was eyeing her. Tomomi couldn’t really be that mad at her, could she? She would need to find an excuse that would make this up to the girl.

From across the room, Haruna watched Mami carefully. She could see the way the blonde walked slowly and with a bit of a limp. She could see how Mami’s arms laid still at her sides, barely moving. It was always a sign of bad things when Mami didn’t move her arms much; she was always very animated with her arms. Seeing all of this, Haruna began to regret the words she had chosen to greet Mami with. It was just her style to greet people in such a way but there were certain times when Haruna regretted saying things like that and this looked to be one of those times.

She could see from the way that Mami moved that it had happened again. Haruna knew that somehow, someway, Mami’s mother had found time to beat the teenager again. It was all evident in how she moved. After all this time, after all the beatings Haruna had comforted Mami through, the boss had learned how to spot the signs of Mami attempting to hide the evidence of the abuse.

Mami made her way over to where Sumire and Tomomi sat only feet away from each other. She pushed her back against the wall, letting herself slid down onto the floor in between the two teenagers. She pulled her legs up to her chest, doing her best to conceal the pain this was all putting her through. She draped her arms over her legs and resisted the urge to sigh in relief. It felt so nice to finally not be moving anymore.

From beside her, Tomomi continued to eye the blonde. She could see it too. She could see how odd Mami was acting and she knew instantly that something was wrong. Tomomi didn’t know exactly what but after that call, she had her suspicions. She couldn’t come out about those suspicions though; Mami still didn’t know that Tomomi knew about her mother. Tomomi hadn’t found the courage to tell her yet.

“Now that we’re all here… I guess we can ask Mami that question we were planning,” Aina said being the first to speak. She paused and looked around the room; practically everyone, including Mami, was now looking at her and waiting for her to continue.

“Ask me what?” Mami prompted. She could hear how raspy the tone of her voice was and she hated it. Her voice was making it hard to keep this charade up. “Is it about Hana?”

“No. We will decide later what to do with her, we might have to wait until we’re all back in school to make our move. For now, there’s something a bit more recent that we need to discuss,” Haruna told her. Mami nodded her head and turned her attention back to Aina. If it didn’t have anything to do with Hana then what did it have to do with?

“Before I start, let me ask you this… Were you called into the principal’s office today?” Aina asked. Mami’s heart skipped a beat but she kept a calm composure. This was far too much to be a mere coincidence. A bad feeling was beginning to swirl in Mami’s body again.

“I did,” Mami answered finally. Aina nodded, a sour look crossing her face. The look Aina got and the look everyone else had at her answer didn’t give Mami a very good feeling.

“Then it’s just as I thought,” Aina said. Mami pursed her lips together, her confusion mounting at the answer Aina had given her. Just where was the older brunette getting at?

“How did you even know that I got called in?” Mami knew that Aina hadn’t specifically told her that she knew but the blonde was getting the sinking suspicion from Aina’s latest answer that she did indeed know that Mami had been called in despite none of them being in Mami’s class when it had happened.

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