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Chapter Twenty

[ALEX]

“You can’t die on me, live!” I heard Sky screech as a pencil continually poked my scalp.

“I’m awake, I’m just resting!” I insisted, shutting my eyes even tighter. It’s the night before the exams finally start, and Sky had thought it was a wonderful idea for us to study together so here she was, sitting on my bed and poking me, who with a very good reason was using my biology textbook as a pillow.

“Wake up! We can’t be done just yet!” Sky protested. I soon felt a heavy weight on my back, before tickling fingers brought my not too long ago dormant body back to life.

“Shit, stop! Stop... ouch! That hurt!” I complained before she eventually rolled off me.

“Great, you’re awake,” she said, grinning down at me in triumph. I groaned, moving my now not only tired but sore body a few inches away from her, just a safe enough distance for me to look at her and be free from the pestering at the same time.

Sky’s red hair was loose from its constant headbands and ruffles and seemed plastered to her head like puffed up cotton wool. Some parts were way higher than the others, and some parts looked almost skin shaved.

“No I’m not awake — mentally that is. I’m seriously not in the mood right now Sky,” I protested, closing my eyes again.

I sighed in frustration as fingers obviously belonging to Sky parted my eyes open.

“Stop, that’s dangerous,” I said, swatting her hand away.

“It’s also very effective,” she said before scooting closer to me so her butt was right beside my head. She didn’t bother me for a while, she just let time pass by in the silence as she caressed my hair.

“Is this about Chris?” she asked, breaking the silence.

“No...” I said, not even believing myself. My voice had suddenly gone all moody and my eyes were already prickly with unshed tears. I hate that the mere thought of him could make me act up like this... I hate Chris so much.

Sky sighed, taking her hand off my hair. “If you don’t talk about it, it won’t get any better.”

I sniffed, peeping at her from the sides of my tear clouded eyes. “I hate him for making me feel this way,” I confessed, wiping my tears.

“It’s... it’s really odd and it feels so uncomfortable,” I said, getting it all out of my chest.

“Feel what way?” she asked, adjusting herself so she could place my head on her laps. I would never tell Sky this, but she has natural mother instincts and it was very comforting.

“You know,” I muttered, biting my bottom lip. “Bothered, confused, angry, and terribly upset all at the same time. Damn it Sky, it’s eating me alive!” I groaned, burying my head in her laps.

“Look,” She started, stroking my hair. “You don’t have to feel that way, you are a beautiful...”

“Handsome,” I corrected, cutting in.

“Smart,” Sky continued ignoring me.

“Actually, the word most accurate is intelligent,” I cut in again.

“Justice seeking,” she muttered, but with a frown.

“I think you mean revenge seeking—”

“Alex I swear, if you try to correct me again I’ll shove my whole hand down your throat and I’ll make it feel nothing like deep throating, and I mean it.” Sky threatened. I winched at the mere thought of the experience.

“As I was saying...” Sky trailed pouting her lips in thought. “You don’t have to feel this way at all. Just clear your mind and think of other things... Like the biology test we have tomorrow.”

“You don’t understand,” I said, shaking my head. “I can’t just stop thinking. I’ve tried that, it doesn’t work. If anything, it makes things worse.”

Sky clicked her tongue, thinking deeply. “How so?”

“Okay, remember when I couldn’t stop sighing uncontrollably in art class?” I asked, trying to invoke the memory. She nodded, giving me her full attention.

“Well, I kept scribbling Chris instead of the fruit arrangement on the table...” I trailed, just realizing how ridiculous the whole thing sounded. Sky began to giggle, making my face heat up in embarrassment.

“This is not a joke Sky. I almost died from my inability to stop thinking about him subconsciously. I’m so screwed. I’ll probably write his name instead of mine on my answer sheet tomorrow...”

“Zip it,” Sky said cutting me shut my sealing my mouth shut with her palm.

“Breath in,” she said, taking her hand off my mouth. I gave her a weird look before abiding anyway.

“Then out,” she said afterward and I complied.

“Good. Now, what is it that truly bothers you?” Sky asked in a creepy baritone voice, making me raise a brow in question.

“Don’t look at me like that. Apart from being a modern hippie, my mum happens to be a new age healer, so yeah.” Sky added, shrugging before repeating her previous sentence... She didn’t alter the voice. Not even a little for the sake of my sanity.

“Nothing,” I answered after thinking for a while.

“It can’t be nothing. Nothing is too broad, too meaningless. Think hard. What are you most disappointed about regarding your breakup with Chris as of now?” she asked, waving her hand over my eyes to make sure I was paying attention to her.

“Well...” I trailed, feeling my eyes water at the thought of what I was about to say.

“My birthday is on the eight of April and... Chris and I already planned out an outing and everything... I... This sounds stupid, let’s stop,” I said, covering my face with my palms.

“No it doesn’t,” she said, pulling my palms away from my face.

“It’s only when you succeed in expelling, and not repressing negative feelings into your sub-consciousness that you are truly free of them,” Sky said, drawling in that odd baritone voice of before.

“You’re scaring me.” I pointed out, making Sky give me a horrified look.

“What? It totally sounds calming when my mum does it...” Sky trailed with a look of confusion on her face.

“Well, it’s not exactly calming to me, so stop,” I said, turning away from her.

She crawled up behind me, hugging my sides, her head over mine so she was spooning me... It was a very uncomfortable spoon. Her hair was getting everywhere, including my ears and mouth.

“Get off me...” I demanded, spitting out strands of red hair.

“Will it be okay if I celebrated your birthday with you instead? I know I’m not Chris, but it’s the best I can come up with.” She proposed curling up to me even more and ignoring the fact that she was suffocating me with her hair.

Although I had red hair blurring my vision and an unreasonable amount of hair in my mouth, I felt touched. What exactly would I do without Sky?

“Since it’s during the Easter break, I say why not?” I muffled before Sky finally took the hint and rolled off me.

“So, now that that’s settled, let’s get back to reading, shall we?” Sky said as she got into a sitting position.

“And no, you will not draw or write Chris on your exam sheets,” Sky assured, pulling my biology notes from under me.

We read a lot late into the night than expected, dozing off at about three in the morning and waking up at around eight to fight for the shower. We then ate a box of frosties raw on our way to school, because we were just that late.

Being around Sky made me realize I had a void that I didn’t know even existed until she fixed it.

I remember Sky snatching my phone from me while I was talking to my mum, quite mad that I hadn’t mentioned her to my mother before. After a brief chase around my bedroom, Sky and my mum had a long chat with me sighing and rolling my eyes in the background. My mother had called me up later, telling me how pleased she was that I’d made a friend.

Friend. That sounds wrong.

Sky isn’t just my friend, she’s my best friend.

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