Offenders (10)

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When I woke up the next morning, I expected the gash on my forehead to be gone, just like all the other injuries I ever had. But when I unwrapped the gauze to see that it was still there, I almost fell over.

I barged my way into the meeting room, where Hank and Nay already were. When they saw me, still in my pajamas with gauze in my hand and a gash on my forehead, they looked at each other with unreadable looks.

“We probably should have told her not to do that, huh?” Hank asked my other mentor, who let out an exhausted sigh before she turned toward me.

“Why isn’t the scrape gone?” I questioned, pointing to it. “My injuries usually heal overnight, but this has barely healed at all!”

“We were afraid this one wouldn’t heal as quickly,” Nay told me, cutting a concerned glance over at Hank. “I guess we were right.”

I was growing annoyed. “Why?” 

Nay looked back over at Hank, as if wanting him to answer for her instead. He said nothing.

“How am I supposed to go to school like this?” I demanded. I couldn’t even imagine facing Tom or Vanessa like this. What would I even say had happened? “I can’t go to school with gauze wrapped around my head or a big gash on my forehead!”

“Why not?” a new voice but in, and I turned to see Dex, his bandage still tied around his arm. “I’m going to school with my injury.”

I scowled at him. “Your injury isn’t where everyone can see it! You can wear a long-sleeved shirt and you’d be fine. What am I supposed to wear? A parka?”

Dex shrugged. “You could.”

I wasn’t in the mood to argue with him, so I left the meeting room to get ready without another word to Hank or Nay. I was sure they wouldn’t have been much help anyway.

When I got to school, my bandages caught the attention of almost everyone. Dex had opted to wear a short-sleeved shirt, but no one looked at the bandage on his arm. I couldn’t believe this.

“It really doesn’t look that bad,” Lena told me, but I didn’t believe her. “You only think it’s bad. You look fine.”

I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw someone making their way down the hall toward me. I looked at Lena, asking her with my eyes to save me, but she shook her head and took a step away from me, leaving me all alone to deal with Tom.

“Violet!” he gasped when he saw me. “What happened? Are you okay?”

I couldn’t really tell him what had happened, so I forced a smile and nodded. “I’m fine. It was just a… car accident. That’s all.”

Tom nodded. “Well, I’m glad you’re okay.”

“I’m glad too,” I nodded, but then frowned. “I understand if you don’t want to go out with me tomorrow because of this.” 

Tom looked surprised. “I still want to go out with you,” he said, and I felt a smile make its way onto my face. “If you’re still up to it, of course. I don’t want you going anywhere if you don’t feel well.”

I couldn’t even form words at first because I was so shocked. I had been sure that he would break off the date the second he saw my head, but he still wanted to go out with me just as much as I wanted to go out with him.

“I’m definitely up for it,” I told him.

And so the next day, I was getting ready in my room for my date with Tom. I kept the bandage wrapped around my head, since Nay said I shouldn’t take it off until it healed a little, and even though I didn’t have the usual healing power I usually did, I still had the superhuman healing just like the rest of my friends did. I was just glad that Tom wouldn’t mind that I was wearing the bandages.

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