seven

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It was Friday afternoon when Mom called. I was laying on my mattress, my math book uselessly placed on my stomach while I was scrolling through my phone.

I had wanted to do my homework, but then I had gotten distracted, as usual - shit, that had been two hours ago. I had to leave for soccer practice soon.

I couldn't deny that I was looking forward to not having to work out over the weekend. All this exercising was though, and my body was yearning for a day of doing nothing. God, Ruby could never.

My gaze was fixed on my screen as the sound of my annoying ringtone drowned in the music that was playing. Why did she have to call me when she made it clear that she wanted to get rid of me?

Realizing I should probably cut her some slacks, I reluctantly answered the call. She didn't exactly intend to abandon me, after all. She just wanted a break.

"Hi," I greeted once I had paused my music.

"Kiri!" she said cheerfully. "I was worried, you never called or texted me."

"Yeah, I was kinda busy," I lied. "Michael and I have so much fun. Maybe you can come out one day and join us - oh wait, I forgot. You hate it out here."

She sighed. "Kiri, not again-"

"But so did I, and you still sent me here," I finished. The anger I had almost forgotten about came back, spreading eagerly as my irritation grew.

"I'm on my way home. I just wanted to check in on you. Do not start another argument with me," Mom said dryly. I just now noticed the city's noises in the background, the sounds I was so used to.

This wasn't fair. None of it. Her relationship broke and I was the one to pay for it? I never asked to be here. I hated having to live with a stranger who couldn't even take care of himself, to desperately wait for anyone from back home to reach out to me, to wake up to silence every day. I hated how calm this town was, how quiet everything seemed.

I just wanted to come back home.

But I knew it wasn't possible. I had had time for the past few months to come to terms with it, and although I had kept it low for the last week, the desire to return to the life I was so used to came back stronger than ever before.

I couldn't though. I couldn't and I hated it. But I had to accept it, as much as I despised the mere thought of it.

"I'm sorry," I said quietly. "I'll call you back later, okay? I have to go."

"Sure. Please behave, and have fun. Try to make the best out of it, can you do that?" Mom asked. "For me?"

For the woman who had brought me all this in the first place? Think again.

"Yeah. Bye, mom."

The call ended and I was back in the silence of my own room again. I stared at the ceiling, my heart beating faster with every passing second. I could hear my blood rushing in my ears.

This wasn't right.

I quickly pressed play and music started blasting out of my speakers again, drowning out the silence and allowing me to relax.

Much better now.

Just half an hour later I arrived at the soccer field, as usual dressed in my ridiculous uniform and carrying my bag. When I walked over to the stands to put down my bag I noticed everyone else sitting on the benches.

"What's up?" I asked once I was within earshot of Asher and his friends. "Why are you all sitting here looking like lost sheep?"

"Still waiting for the coach," Gill explained. She was sitting next to Sam while Asher had claimed the bench behind them.

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