“So, what’s up?” Amaya asked Marlee. I would’ve thought that she was ignoring had she not been so obviously on-edge.
“Calypso and I need some first-aid help and I couldn’t remember who was good at that kind of stuff,” Marlee replied, her own smile daring. She seemed to see how nervous the girls were around me.
“That would be me,” Amaya said, narrowing her eyes on me as she glanced to the side. “What kind of help do you need?”
“We have some scrapes that we want you to look over.” Marlee looked her over. “What happened?”
I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by ‘what happened,’ but Amaya and Cecelia seemed to understand.
“Devin was going around telling horror stories about her,” Cecelia answered when Amaya didn’t, nodding her head towards me.
It was a little bit frustrating how they talked about me rather than to me.
“What kind of horror stories?” Marlee asked, narrowing her eyes.
I sighed. “Let it go, Mar. He’s just going to make my reputation bigger. I should be thanking him.”
“But you aren’t,” she said flatly. “You don’t want this.”
“I don’t,” I admitted, “but I can’t do much about it. I can’t prove that I’m some nice person because I’m not.” I smirked at her. “Also, you’re doing the thing where you tell me what I’m feeling instead of asking.”
“Sorry,” she frowned, “you’re letting him win just like that?”
I shrugged. “I’m leaving soon, anyway.” I glanced at Cecelia and Amaya. “I let you bring me here to do whatever to my ‘injuries,’ but if nothing is going to happen, I’m going to bed.” I was surprised at myself because normally, I would’ve gotten mad that my reputation is being built for me and it’s hurting me. At this point, I was too tired of things being the way that they are to try to change things.
Cecelia looked ashamed and she shoved Amaya. I tried to pretend that I didn’t see that Amaya shot her an annoyed look in return.
“Please, Amaya?” Marlee asked sincerely. “I just want to make sure that she’s fine before she goes and does—” she stopped herself, realizing that she probably shouldn’t tell the girls what I told her, “whatever it is she’s doing.”
I rolled my eyes. “She’s not going to say—”
“Fine,” Amaya snapped, “but only because I’m being promised that you’re leaving tomorrow.”
“Gee, thanks,” I said sarcastically.
Marlee shot me an annoyed glance that seemed to say, ‘don’t make her change her mind.’ She looked back at Amaya. “So…?” she prompted, seeming uncertain of what she was supposed to do.
“Head back to the corner, I’ll bring the kit,” Amaya said tiredly.
Marlee smiled slightly. “Thank you.”
Amaya didn’t seem to have heard her, as she was already walking off.
“Sorry about that,” Cecelia winced, “she’s been a little off lately.”
“Since Amos went off to yellow?” Marlee asked, sympathy radiating off her.
“Yeah,” something glimmered in Cecelia’s eyes, “I’m feeling it, too, but I haven’t wanted to show it because…” she glanced back towards were Amaya had disappeared to. “I wanted her to be able to release for a little bit.”
I kept looking between the two of them in confusion. “Um…”
“That makes sense,” Marlee nodded, acting like she was this friendly with Cecelia all the time.
“Who’s Amos?” I asked, interrupting them.
They both turned to me as though they’d forgotten I was there, which was both interesting and offensive because that means that I’m forgettable.
That’s also interesting because I was actually forgettable to someone. I wasn’t sure whether to be upset or start thinking of how I could utilize it.
“Oh,” Cecelia blinked, turning to me, “he’s Amaya’s twin brother. He went off to try to go do something in yellow. I’m not sure what it was, but it was very important.” The way she said ‘very important’ made me wonder if she was thinking that he had prioritized it over something.
“He was also Cecelia’s boyfriend,” Marlee added, raising an eyebrow at Cecelia, “though that seems to not be the main thing she thinks of when she thinks of him anymore.”
Cecelia blushed, but she shot Marlee a sharp look. “Is,” she said firmly, “he is my boyfriend. He’s just not currently present.” She shot me an equally sharp look as though waiting for me to argue.
I wasn’t going to, but okay. I see how it is.
“So, rather than chat about absent boyfriends, we should be getting back to the corner, shouldn’t we?” I raised an eyebrow at Marlee, who only just then seemed to realize that she’d gotten off-topic.
“Oh, yeah,” she said. She looked at Cecelia. “We have to head over to the corner. You coming?”
Cecelia shook her head, smiling slightly. “No. I told Gliss that I’d help her with dinner tonight. She caught me walking in circles earlier, so this is my penance of sorts.” She smiled ruefully. “I wouldn’t mind being able to nibble at things as I cook, though.”
Marlee carefully didn’t look at me, but I could tell she wanted to. “We all would,” Marlee said, shaking her head at her friend, “don’t eat too much or there won’t be much for the rest of us.”
Cecelia shook her head. “As it is, I’ll probably be grinding the nuts to thicken whatever broth she has. Or what she calls broth. It just tastes like water to me.”
“It’s better than nothing,” Marlee reminded her.
“True,” Cecelia conceded, tilting her head.
Something told me that these two would talk about absolutely nothing for hours.
“Okay,” I said, grabbing Marlee’s shoulders, “I’ve already pushed you around and fought with you today, so consider this your friendly shoving in the right direction because you two will literally never move.”
I didn’t really care that I had said that right in front of Cecelia. My reputation already preceded me, so I figured admitting that I’d fought with my frenemy turning friend wouldn’t break her brain.
Marlee seemed surprised, then she chuckled. “Yeah, that’s pretty spot on.”
I rolled my eyes. “Wonder why I decided to do something rather than wait it out,” I muttered.
Marlee flicked my hands on her shoulders. “I can walk myself,” she said.
“Doubt that,” I replied. “Bye, Cecelia!” I called over my shoulder. I was perhaps a little too eager to ditch Cecelia, but in my defense, the only thing I knew about the girl was that she reminded me of brushing my teeth.
Trust me when I say that it’s weird to literally only have that one thing to focus on when you say that you’ve met a person.
“Cecelia!” Marlee called as though she was begging for help. Despite that, she was laughing. “Save me!”
“Save yourself!” Cecelia called back, also laughing.
I couldn’t help but grin as I shook my head. These two were amazing sometimes. I just couldn’t figure out what the other adjective. They are amazingly something, I just had to figure out what the other word was.
Or if it even existed. That might also help the process.
“So,” Marlee said in a normal voice this time, “are you ready for Amaya to probe those cuts on your arm?”
I let go of her shoulders so abruptly that the weight she had been leaning against me suddenly pulled her backwards. She only barely caught herself before she hit the floor.
“Shut up,” I ordered her good naturedly.
“That’s too hard,” Marlee replied, grinning as she walked up next to me. “Seriously, though, some of these are bad.” She picked at a small tear in my bodysuit where I’d been nicked by something sharp. Blood was dried along the cut, which made me think that it was fine.
“It’s already sealed,” I told her with a slight frown, “It’s fine.”
Marlee shook her head. “Honey, if you think that this is ‘fine,’ wait until Amaya sees you. She is going to rip you apart.”
I rolled my eyes. “I think I can handle it.”
Marlee shook her head at me, pushing ahead. “If you say so,” she said doubtfully, “but don’t say that I didn’t warn you.”
I shook my head at her as she picked up her pace to walk ahead of me.
Why did she think that I couldn’t take it?