Chapter Fifteen: Unrelated And Oh So Separated

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(TW: aspects of grooming behaviour patterns)

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(TW: aspects of grooming behaviour patterns)

Eisa leaves the girls with a wave as she walks to her car, the school day finally over, having finished her dealing with the Vice Principal and gotten the card back from Mrs Bandhauser, along with the news that Amy only had a bruised tendon and needed four weeks of rest. All in all, a pretty good day. And yet, as she goes to start her car, she hears her phone alert her to a new text message. She almost wants to ignore it, pretend it isn't happening, pretend she doesn't need to look right away to confirm her fears of another order from A. But no one has ever thought her to be an ostrich before, and burying her head in the sand isn't her modus operandi, so she puts on her big girl panties and checks the message.

For a moment, she's relieved, its not A, but then she reads who it is from, and what the message pertains to, and a little part of her thinks it might actually be worse.

Hey babe, I think we should have dinner tonight, get to know each other properly, I'll be at your place at 7, see you then.

- D

Great, dinner with Wilden. And this time she actually has to talk to him. She sends an affirmative back to him before driving home, wondering exactly how she's going to pretend to actually want to be dating this Grade A asshole.

Then again, she has long been praised for her outstanding skills in acting, and he isn't completely hideous in anything other than manner, furthermore, judging by his performance on their first... Well, she'd be remiss to call being picked up in his car, taken to his bachelor pad and having sex with him a date, but she supposes that for this sham it'll have to do. But regardless of his lack of romance in getting her there, once she was in bed, it certainly was enjoyable, she supposes, though her comparable experiences were gentler, kinder, softer, altogether more reverent. She supposes that she might grow to be content with the whole situation if she gives it a chance. But that's the kind of lie a girl like her has to tell herself in situations like these.

As she's driving home, she absentmindedly turns on her radio to fill the air while she thinks about what groceries she has, what groceries she needs, flicks a quick text affirming the 'date' and asking if he likes steak, never really paying attention to the song playing in the background of her ride. She hears snippets of the lyrics, peaches and cream, strawberry wine, ribbons and curls, but none of it registers. Instead, she's too busy checking her phone when he responds with a pro-steak opinion, so she doesn't notice that in the time since she's gotten out of the car to go to the store, and gotten back in with the steaks, the same song has begun anew. But none of that matters, because it remains beneath her notice.

Instead, she checks the time, just hitting four o'clock, which leaves her with plenty of time to clean her house, make it look lived in, set the table, cook the food, all the things whirling through her mind to set themselves upon her imaginary checklist.

Meanwhile, where Eisa can see nothing, Hanna arrives to The Grill to a horrid surprise, a father, her father, and a woman and her teenaged daughter. Her new family. And not too terribly far from there, Aria arrives to her beloved beau's apartment, with a kiss and a cuddle and the wonders of young love... Well young for her at least. It's starting to get dark, and Eisa is in the midst of cooking while two doors down Spencer is frightened near out of her mind by a rattle. By a thud. By a... Wren? Not fifteen minutes later, it hits exactly seven o'clock at night, and Darren is the timely type.

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