7 - Sometimes I just like to remember what it's like to be on the other side.

44 9 7

Camden and I continued working in the Art room together for the rest of the period; however, now the silence was broken, it was hard to find it again and not for my lack of trying. He mostly just asked me questions, and I tried my best to answer them. What my interests are, what I liked to do, what I did and did not like about school, favourite things—the usual getting-to-know you type questions. 

Turns out he had heard by way of your general schoolyard gossip trail that I was a teen mum, to a twenty-something year old drug dealer, but that this was so far unconfirmed as I had been sleeping with the whole local footy team and, therefore, no one really knew for sure who the father was. 

I couldn't help but laugh. "Well, at least they've found one way to be creative for once in their lives." 

"So, I assume it's not true then?" he asked. 

"Definitely untrue, but there are some elements of that fanciful bullshit that are closer to the truth than others," I answered, still laughing a little at how pathetic everyone at my school was.

"Let me guess, you've only slept with half, not the whole, local footy team?" His sly grin was killing me. It made it so hard to remain insulted by his comment about me being half-way to the biggest slut in town.  

"Neither here nor there." I definitely didn't have to answer to him about who I did or did not sleep with, though for the record, the official count was still at zero. Ruben and I barely had a private second to ourselves at the best of times, so sex just hadn't been a possibility as yet. Other things that take a fraction less time, however . . . "I do share my room with a baby though, and he was the kid of a teenager mother and an older drug-dealer. I just wasn't the teenager." 

He was curious. "So, whose is it?" 

"It is a he, and he is my nephew, Madden," I said, frustrated. "No one knows where my sister is. She left pretty soon after he was born, and no one has heard from her since." 

"And you're raising him as your own son?" 

"No. Maybe? I don't know. He just needs someone, and unfortunately I'm probably the best option he has. I was already sharing a room with my sister when she had Madden. Then she left and, as our house is so small and there's so many of us, there was no other place for him, so he's still in with me. I feed him and things when I'm home, and my mum looks after him during the day when I'm at school and at work unless I bring him with me, which my boss doesn't mind me doing. I was there when he was born, so I guess I feel responsible for him now my sister is gone." 

"Shit. That's hectic. You make a lot more sense now." 

I was really getting sick of his presumptuous comments all the time. "What do you mean by that?" I asked, perhaps a little more aggressively than I intended. 

"Relax, it wasn't an insult, I swear." 

I don't know whether that was the end of his answer, but I interrupted him all the same. I have enough shit to worry about and people telling me what to do without strangers I don't know telling me to fucking relax. "We only just met and you've already called me a whore and made presumptuous judgements about me, all in the space of a single conversation. So forgive me for getting defensive." 

"When did I do that?" 

"My apparent servicing of half the team?" 

He laughed. "That was clearly a joke, Sadie.' It was the first time he had said my name, and the sound of it was doing weird things to my insides. "I just meant that knowing all that about you now, all your responsibilities, it makes sense, and it translates in everything about you. The way you speak, the way you look at people, the way you carry yourself, your art . . ." 

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