Chapter 11 - School

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The next morning I woke up to my horrible blaring alarm at 7:10am, I rubbed my tired eyes and for a brief moment, I wondered why I was so tired.

That was until I remembered last night. I groaned and sat up on my bed, embarrassed that Elijah had been witness to my tears and guilty that I kept him up.

However, when I remembered that I started school today a nervous excitement stirred in my stomach.

I was nervous that perhaps nobody would like me and anxious about the mere thought of trying to introduce myself to someone. But I was excited at the same time, excited that perhaps I didn't have to be the broken and bruised girl anymore and perhaps I could have a chance to re-invent myself.

I walked into the bathroom and sighed at my dishevelled appearance in the mirror, blotchy and red tear-stained cheeks from last night. It looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards, that's what my Mum used to say to me with a quick smile at the end to reassure me she was only teasing. No more of that, anymore. 

I splashed some cold water on my face and thoroughly brushed through my knotted and matted bed-head. I quickly got changed into my new folded school uniform, the shirt and blazer embellished with the private school's logo, and apprehensively made my downstairs to meet Elijah.

To my surprise, Elijah was already seated at the kitchen table, enjoying a cup of coffee whilst scrolling through his phone. He was well-dressed in a suit with a tan-coloured trench coat, looking pretty refined.

"Morning," I alerted him of my presence nervously, still embarrassed after last night's episode.

I felt more at ease accepting comfort from him in the darkness of my room last night, he looked so much less intimidating than he did now in his million-dollar suit. Never-the-less, he looked up at me with a smile and placed his phone down.

"Hey Mads, how are you feeling?" He asked softly, pulling out the chair next to him.

"Better, thanks," I replied, pouring myself a glass of water and grabbing a banana from the fruit bowl.

I saw a look of disapproval at my small breakfast choice in his eyes, but he didn't seem to comment on it which I was grateful.

Perhaps he understood that my mind was whirling with other thoughts, suppressing my appetite, or maybe he just felt pity from last night. 

I took the seat he pulled out next to him and sipped on my water slowly. I felt him staring at me so I looked up, unable to read his gaze. Did he want me to apologise?

"Sorry about last night," I quickly murmured. In response, I saw Elijah's expression morph from concern into a stern frown.

"Don't you ever apologise for that," he ordered strictly. "I just wanted to make sure you're alright," he added gently.

I gave a small smile and nodded, "Yeah I am, thank you for being there."

I meant it, it was the first time in a long time that anyone had comforted me like that before. A quick 'thank you' just didn't seem to do it justice.

"It's not a problem at all, Maddie," he spoke sincerely. "It's what I'm here for," he rubbed my shoulder affectionately with a smile.

I hated the irritating part of myself for thinking that soon enough he would grow tired of me, tired of consoling and comforting me after every nightmare, flashback and memory. That soon enough he would leave me as they all do. It wouldn't be surprising.

"I expect you to come to either me or another one of your brothers if you ever feel like that again, okay?" Elijah's voice broke me out of my thoughts.

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