23: Franny

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23. Franny

Mr Dalton is talking monotonously again.

This time he has saved himself from having to stand up all class by blaming his laziness on a fabricated foot injury. Apparently, he has just gone through critical surgery on his foot and can barely walk without feeling excruciating pain.

Though such a serious injury didn't stop him from racing towards the teacher's lounge before the bell rang to get the first choice of donuts. I zone in and out of the class, listening to the things that need to be heard, and ignoring the nonsense that he spews out for brownie points.

One earbud is in my ear, playing music quietly. My pen flicks back and forth over my worksheet and I build up line on line until there is a large, black mass of ink in the corner of my page.

"What are you doing?" Tally asks as she glances over. "Drawing satanic ritual marks?"

I give her a flat look and drop my pen on the desk. "No, stupid. It's called doodling. It's for creative people. You should try it."

"I heard it was for people that have short attention spans in class." Tally gives me a sly smile and turns back to face the front of the class, her focus intent on Mr Dalton.

I roll my eyes. "You're no fun," I mutter.

Glancing back a little, I see no one sat in Tyler's seat. I don't overthink it. I also don't overthink how close we were the last time we were together. How close we were to perhaps kissing. And how quickly we pulled away, awkwardly pretending it didn't happen.

But it could have.

We were so close.

I look back down at my desk and clench my eyes shut, letting out a long exhale. When I open my eyes back up, I look over at Tally's face. I frown a little. I didn't notice it before, but now I see a faded, red mark streaking down from her bottom lip.

"What the hell?" I whisper and reach over, prodding her chin where the mark stops.

She flinches and looks at me with narrowed eyes. "What?" she whispers back.

"That," I hiss and point once again at her chin. "Your lipstick is smudged."

Her eyes widen and she quickly shoves her hand into her small bag before fumbling and finally bringing out a little mirror. She slips it open and angles her face up so she can see her lips.

"Crap," she mutters and tries to wipe it off. "Could have told me sooner."

I hold my hands up. "Not my problem . . . so, who was it?"

"What do you mean?" she asks, rubbing at her chin.

"Well I mean lipstick usually doesn't smudge itself unless pressed up against something. Like another mouth maybe . . . and also why are you wearing lipstick?"

"What's wrong with lipstick?" Tally shrugs.

"You never wear it. I didn't even know you owned it."

"I don't," she says. "But my mom does."

"Do you steal everything from your mom?" I ask with a little smile of amusement.

"It's not stealing if she's never there to use it," Tally says sharply and I blink, sobering up a little.

I don't say anything for a moment.

"So who fucked up your lipstick?" I ask.

Tally gives me the finger and I try to smother a laugh.

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