Chapter Eight: Shrödinger's Cat

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Shrödinger's Cat

At the stroke of midnight, Pippa had erupted like a watery volcano- salty clear liquids sliding down her chubby cheeks, her face compressed into the down pillow, making a beak-nose shaped indentation. Pippa, while at least five years older than Roslyn, still managed to contain most of her baby fat. Her cheeks were round and smooth and full of soft, subtle fat, her nose curved just slightly like a persian princess.

But she hardly ever cried- and it was with surprise that Roslyn gingerly ran her pearl comb through Pippa’s vibrant red locks, full of knots and bristles. Her own black hair fell in front of her face like a shade, blotting out the sun and the whole west side of their room. she pushed it behind her ear and bit her lip, patting Pippa’s back. Rubbing it with small, motherly motions.

Pippa had the brown comforter hunched around her shoulders, not making a sound as she hid her face from view.

“Pippa, I wish you’d tell what the matter is.” Roslyn said. Pippa carefully lifted her head up- tendrils of curly red hair fell in front of her face, messy and sprawled.

“You are so darn lucky,” she whispered with baited breath.

Roslyn? Lucky? The idea seemed strange, foreign on her tongue. Only Pippa and Georges knew of her troubled past- and they had never before called her ‘lucky.’

“W-how?” She stumbled over her words, in a haste to make Pippa feel better.

Pippa’s dark hazel eyes ran up and down Roslyn’s body, surveying her, checking for scars. It was a habit the girls had acquired after one of them almost had a brush with death, letting a horrible wound fester. Pippa got lost in the eyes; the eyes, especially. Silver filament, blueish and copper and gold and grey all rolled into one.

“And I’m so jealous,” she murmured. Finally, Roslyn understood. At times, Pippa seemed to get lost in her own head. She thought beauty should be prized more than skill, intelligence. She was deeply wrong.

“Barney hasn’t called me in weeks!” She cried out in dismay, suddenly getting to her feet. Barney was Pippa’s boyfriend. He found her breathtaking, fun and dangerous, but she would often overlook him and pretend his feelings weren’t mutual. Only Roslyn knew of her real love for the drinking buffoon, who gambled every tuesday night, who had rebound flings on friday, who watched himself slowly gain weight in the cracked downstairs mirror of the Citadel.

“He what?” Roslyn placed her hands on Pippa’s shoulders, holding her still.

“He was going out to the pub, as per usual. He never... came back!” She snorted into a used tissue. “Today would be our five month anniversary!” She collapsed onto the bed, bones crumpling, a disheveled emotional wreck.

“Pippa, he probably got sidetracked from the bar. You know how your teddy bear is. He can’t help getting into trouble...” She shushed Pippa’s snorts of disdain and bumped thighs next to her, a white arm hugging her in closer. She knew it wasn’t true- Barney had probably found someone else. She didn’t want to tell Pippa this.

Pippa sniffled one more time, and pulled the covers up and over her head. She sidled against the wall, muffled.

“I’m hungry. Leave me alone. But get me something to eat.” She exited meatspace, falling into her relapse of vivid dreams. Most of them involved blood, and none of it hers. Pippa- the only person Roslyn knew who found pleasure in pain.

Finally, disgruntled, Roslyn sat down on her own bed. It was characteristically evil of Barney to leave without telling Pippa, to get up and move on. Few times before, she had caught him kissing a sugary blonde with innocent blue eyes and the most stupid dimples, who couldn’t add or multiply or do anything requiring a brain; Roslyn was pretty sure her mind was made of cotton candy.

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