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(trigger warning: mentions of suicide)

      In all honesty, Hadley had expected to be called into the principal's office sooner than she had been.

      She picked at a loose thread on her shirt sleeve, her fingernail wrapping around it as Principal Jacobson listened to Theresa Copp's mother. Hadley noticed that she had a high and nasally voice, annoying just like her daughter's. Hadley had no idea why Theresa's mom was even there. Jacobson had asked Hadley if she wanted him to call Tabitha, so she could have someone there, but Hadley couldn't think of anything she wanted less in that moment. 

      "Principal Jacobson," Marlene Copp stated in her annoyingly nasal voice. It grated on Hadley's nerves to hear it. "This child punched Theresa in the nose. We had to take her to the hospital. How can you expect us to sit idly by and watch as she isn't punished?"

      Mr. Jacobson ran his hand through his greying hair. It was apparent he wanted to bring up Reese's death, so Marlene would go easy on Hadley, but wasn't sure how to bring it up delicately. "Mrs. Copp," he started, still trying to find the words, "I'm sure you've heard what's happened in the Cruise family..." he trailed off, expecting Marlene to connect the dots. Her sister died, give her a break his eyes seemed to say.

      "And I can sympathize with them. They're going through an awful time. But that does not excuse the fact that my daughter's nose is broken because of Hadley Cruise."

      Hadley wished she could say she regretted punching Theresa Copp in the nose. It might have helped her case if she had felt regretful on the entire situation. The truth was, however, that if presented with the situation again, Hadley would have reacted the same way. She probably would have tried to pack in more force, actually.  Theresa Copp had made Reese's life a living hell. And though Hadley was smart enough to know someone as insignificant as Theresa Copp didn't even come close to factoring in Reese's decision to end her life, she hadn't exactly helped.

      "Hadley," Mr. Jacobson sighed out in an exasperated tone, "did Miss Copp initiate the fight? Or did you just hit her?"

      She figured it didn't matter. Marlene Copp wouldn't stop until Hadley had been punished for her actions. Leaning forward slightly, she saw the silent presence of Theresa's dad and then Theresa herself, a bandage covering her nose. There was some bruising around the bottom of her eye from where Hadley's pinky knuckle had connected, but she looked like she would live. "She was talking about Reese," Hadley replied quietly, her hands clenching into fists. "She made Reese's life a living hell and then suddenly talks about her as if they were best friends. Forgive me for not being happy about it."

      "Was she talking about Reese in a bad way? Or were you just emotional?" Though the question pissed her off slightly, Jacobson wasn't unkind when he asked it. He knew what was going on with the Cruise family, and how hard losing Reese had been. But still, asking if losing her twin sister made her emotional? It was a low blow.

Sleepwalker  ▸ Jared CameronWhere stories live. Discover now