🌥XXV

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Hey everyone thank you so much for reading <3 This chapter is a bit shorter than usual but I hope you guys enjoy it nonetheless!

Shay

🌥 🌥 🌥

We have another Mario Kart contest that night. Eating leftover pizza before Alan tossed some hot dogs into the grill and we all hung out and talked about our lives. It was almost like a hazy dream. When we went back inside to eat ice cream and watch a movie on the plasma TV, I ended up dozing off against Ethan's shoulder, and when I woke up somewhere in the middle of the film I excused myself to go to my room.

Sadly being the first one to go to bed also means I got to wake up super early on Sunday morning.

I roll around and fetch my phone from the nightstand and look at the time.

Seven in the morning. It's at least nice to see my sleeping schedule is getting fixed back before I start classes again.

I wrestle with the idea of going back to sleep once again, but decide against it and instead sit up to stretch. My eyes inevitably going to Anna's side of the room.

She's not there.

"Huh."

Ophelia seems to be resting still, so I tiptoe my way out of the room with some clothes in hand, and thankfully being up this early proves fruitful when I try to open up the bathroom door and it's empty today.

I take a bath today, to help my sore muscles from the hike yesterday, and also because if there is a crazy nice marble bathtub in a place you are spending time on, you have to take one. Thankfully, just like with the small vanity in our room, there had been an assortment of bath bombs, not bath fizzers, left on the sink of the tub with a similarly written note that said we could use them as we liked. The pile seemed smaller than it did yesterday, so I'm sure some of the other girls also decided to take advantage of the resources.

I take some time to text my mom and dad that I'm okay and having fun. Then watch some YouTube videos on my phone, and once the water has started to be too lukewarm for my liking, I decide it's time to get out.

I change into the outfit I had arranged before Ethan asked if I wanted to go hiking, and since I didn't get my hair wet in the bath, I unbraid it and let the partially stiff waves down over my shoulders.

This time there is no one waiting for me when I get out of the bathroom, and so I decide I can make my way downstairs and watch some Netflix in the living room.

As I turn to the main hall that leads to the stairway down, I nearly bump into Carlos, who is just standing there.

"Oh, watch it." I move back, but he's simply resting against the banister, and it's the look on his face that makes the next taunt end at my throat. He looks like he just saw a ghost. "Hey, are you okay?"

He's still not looking at me.

"Carlos, hey," I put a hand on his shoulders and he startles. "Hey, are you okay?"

"Fuck, Sol, sorry I just hardcore dissociated." He runs a hand through his hair.

"What's wrong?"

"Nothing."

"It's not nothing. You think I don't know you like the back of my hand?"

He looks at me for a couple of seconds, it almost feels like he's looking through me. Then he grabs my elbow and begins walking, nearly sprinting, down the hall. And down the staircase. I don't even ask questions, I've never seen him like this and I am too concerned about it all to wonder why we're moving so hurriedly.

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