Chapter Twenty Two

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My stomach swam as I raced towards the bathroom – my hand clamped tightly over my lips. Trying to fight the urge to be sick. But it was overwhelming. I emptied my lunch into the toilet, grimacing to myself as I flushed it before going to brush my teeth for what felt like the millionth time.

Two weeks.

It'd been two weeks of the same horrible thing.

I'd pick up the book.

I'd maybe manage to squeeze out a few words out loud.

And then I'd throw up.

The whole thing felt like an impossible task. I couldn't seem to make myself talk, and I felt stupid trying.

Raking my fingers through my hair I let out a frustrated noise.

There was a knock on the bathroom door.

"Charlotte?" I flinched at the sound of my mother's voice. She knew I couldn't answer her. "Your friend, Conner, is at the door." She told me.

My eyes widened.

Holy crap no!

Rushing to the bathroom door I wrenched it open, frantically shaking my head, trying to let her know not to let him up.

My mother narrowed her eyes. "Charlotte you've taken two days off for school." She said in reprimanding. "I realise you're ill, but that doesn't mean you can't be social."

I grimaced at the word ill. My mother had no idea that I was trying to learn how to talk again. I hadn't wanted her to due to the fact I knew she would make a big deal and then she would try pushing me too far.

I'd get there on my own...eventually.

"Actually you look a lot better." She lied. "You just need a little more colour in your cheeks. Here." She took the chance to lean over and pinch my cheeks hard enough that I let out a yell. "Much better." She said as I slapped her hands away rubbing my sore cheeks.

That hurt!

"You might want to get changed though." She said looking down at my worn jeans and baggy band shirt.

To spite her I shook my head.

Not happening.

It wasn't like Conner hadn't seen me in worse.

My mother sighed. "It's a wonder the boy ever talks to you at all."

A mother's love is such a wonderful thing.

"Come downstairs soon or I'm going to send him up."

I grimaced following her down the stairs to find Conner making himself at home on the sofa in our living room. I waited for my mum to reprimand him for putting his feet up on the coffee table, but she didn't say anything.

Conner grinned when he saw me. "Ah, you are alive then?" He said sounding cheery.

I gave him a strange look nodding my head and my mother left us in the room.

" don't look much better than you did before." He said pulling a face.

I gave him a flat look.

That's right Denison just keep throwing compliments like that at me and before you know it I won't just like you – I'll be completely head-over-heels.

"I was hoping since you took a couple of days off to rest you would be a bit better by now." He said with a frown. "Have you been to the doctor?"

I shook my head. There was no point. I knew why I was being sick, and it wasn't something physically wrong with me. It was just me being my usual head-case self.

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