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"You never texted back," Ruby said as soon as I answered his call the next day. I had just left Michael's house and was on my way to school when he had called, and although it was unexpected and I still wasn't in the mood to talk to him, it was probably best to get over with it already.

"Yeah, I must have forgotten it or something," I replied and suppressed a yawn. "Life's a bit stressful right now."

"Sucks, man," he commented. "How's school and everything? Have you learned to ride a horse yet?"

Oh, the stigma of living so remotely.

"I don't think they have those here," I said with a shrug. "I haven't even seen any cows, to be honest. I thought they would run around the streets or something, but they actually aren't."

I noticed how quiet Ruby's background was. At this time we were usually on our way to school if not already there. There weren't any voices or sounds of cars coming from the other line though, so I doubted that he had even left his flat yet.

"You're skipping, aren't you," I deduced which caused Ruby to chuckle lightly.

"Taking a day off," he corrected. He always called skipping his 'deserved day off', even though his self-decided holiday was often longer than the actual amount of days he spent at school.

He didn't look at his education as something that would help him later, instead he rather saw it as a liability he had to get over with. It didn't matter to him, so he didn't even try to put any effort in school – and quite frankly, I thought of it the same way.

The only difference was that I had had mom and Eliot who had made sure I was attending my classes, while Ruby's family couldn't care less.

"If you don't turn into a cowboy, we could hang out someday," Ruby said. "You could stay the weekend if you don't wanna see your mom."

"It's fine," I replied rather quickly. "We'll see about that. I'll text you, I guess."

"But for sure this time," he said, and I could hear the grin in his voice.

"Sure. I'm at school now, so I gotta go."

"Right. Don't turn into a country bumpkin, Kiri."

"Yeah, I won't," I said before ending the call. I stuffed the phone back into my pocket while entering the school's building and made my way to class.

For some odd reason, Ruby's offer of letting me stay over so I could come home didn't appeal to me. Just a few days ago I had been so angry about being here, and all I wanted was to be back at home.

But now that I could, I didn't want to.

I just wasn't ready to face mom again, and to be so close to the place I was so damn used to while knowing that I couldn't stay. That I had to come back here, no matter what.

To the stranger I lived with, and the few people in this small school that seemed so weird yet so intriguing at the same time.

See, this was what all this silence lead to. Dull thoughts that didn't get me anywhere and only worsened my mood.

I tried to push all that out of my mind as I entered the classroom and sat down at the back, impatiently waiting for my first lesson of the day to start. I would just regularly text Ruby and mom so they wouldn't call and annoy me anymore, and that was that. Give them what they expected, and everything would be fine.

"Good morning, sunshine," Gill greeted as she sat down next to me. I glanced down at the dark button up shirt and black jeans I was wearing today and raised an eyebrow.

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