The first thing I feel is violated. Though I haven't made this room my home yet, it was my space, if only for a short time. I slept in that bed, showered through that door and convinced myself I'd be okay here – all inside this little space that I began to call my own.
Confusion bubbles in my stomach, rising so that I feel like I'm going to be sick. How did this happen? Who would do this? And, most of all, why me?
I need to clear my head, to have a little time and space for myself. Most of all, I want to go home, to get away from here and have a movie night with Mum, where life is steady and safe.
But all those things are impossible right now. Home is two thousand miles away and as I stand in the lounge, with rain beginning to fall outside and security ensuring me they'll get to the bottom of this, I realise that this is my new reality.
I don't have my family to fall back on. Here, right now, I only have myself.
These thoughts swirl around my mind like a storm, electric on my skin and pulsing from head to toe. I feel alone, despite the fact that next to me Eden fights in my corner.
She grills the man dressed in black uniform with all the questions I probably should be asking instead. Are there any CCTV cameras? What about witnesses? Why wasn't anything taken?
Across the room, Wesley leans against the door frame. His dark eyes dart between the security guard and me, listening in on the conversation. When he catches me looking, his gaze locks onto mine and his lips curl, causing my breathing to halt.
I don't know what it is about him, but whatever I'm feeling is so foreign it stumps me for a moment. Why is he looking at me like that? What is he thinking? I bite my lip and glance away, trying to ignore the way his eyes continue to burn into the side of my face.
On the sofa, Riley sits. Her jacket lays next to her, abandoned. She picks absentmindedly at her thumb, eyes cast to the floor. I don't think Eden and her have ever been in a room this long without arguing, and that thought alone jolts me back into reality.
'Where will I stay whilst the door's being fixed?' I ask, my voice quiet at first.
'Sorry?' says the security guard.
The badge on his chest tells me he's called Matt, and I repeat my question – this time with more vigour.
'Where will I stay whilst my door is being fixed, Matt?'
'Oh.' There's a pause. 'Well, you can move into one of our vacant rooms for the time being. Unfortunately, the only ones available are in an empty house, so as long as you're happy with that, I can get you the key within half an hour.'
I look at him, lips tight. Does he really believe I'd want to be in an empty house, alone, knowing that whoever broke into my room is still walking around free?
'If it makes you feel any better,' he continues, 'we don't think it was targeted. We have camera footage, but it's on a twenty-four-hour loop so we won't be able get anything until this evening. I can promise you, though, that whoever did this will be caught and apprehended. We don't tolerate this type of behaviour at Woodcreek.'
Eden looks at me and then back at Matt, incredulous.
'Funnily enough,' she says, 'I don't think that does make her feel better.'
She reaches out and squeezes my hand. Her skin is warm against mine.
'You can stay in my room, if you want. The bed should be big enough for us both and I don't mind sharing if you don't. We can make a movie night out of it – you like Disney?'
YOU ARE READING
Dead If You DoMystery / Thriller
When Haley Bell is offered a scholarship to study at the exclusive Woodcreek College, famous for moulding the world's brightest thinkers, artists and inventors, she jumps at the opportunity. Except when she arrives, the murders start. In a campus h...