"It's like in hospital in here..."
"Don't be like that, sweetie, we have guests to come. Everything has to be nice and clean."
"So it means that this whole semester is our house gonna stink like chlorine?"
"What has happened to you, Meggie? Why are you so resentful? Someone was mean to you at school, honey?"
"No, mum, everyone was just as sweet as sugarcane."
"Sarcasm does not suit you, dear, you should shake off this horrible habit of yours and tell me what has happened."
"Nothing, nothing at all. Don't worry."
Saved by the doorbell, Meghan ran to open the door. Surprisingly pleased when she saw Nick and his dad standing behind them.
"Good evening, Mr Wythe! Nick. C'mon in. Just finishing with the cleaning. Mum's in the kitchen," Megs greeted them with a huge smile and bowed them inside.
Mr Whythe had bowed to her too and offered his hand: "Please, Meghan, call me Raymond." Megs had said she's very pleased and shook his hand.
"What's happened, M'? Look a little grumpy today. Did someone harass you? Nick, have you something to do with it?" asked Mr Wythe frowning at his son.
"NO! Don't worry, Mr Wythe... I mean, Raymond. It's just a look on my face. Nothing to do with my mood and not at all with Nick," snapped M' at Mr Wythe and grabbed Nick by his hand. "C'mon, I'm gonna show you around the house. And your room of course. If you don't mind Mr... Raymond."
She hadn't waited for the answer and draggled Nick upstairs. She'd pulled him in the room and closed the door. She'd leaned on it and went down to the floor.
"Well, that wasn't awkward at all," said Nick sitting on the floor opposite her.
"Shut up," she said covering her face with hands and trying to get rid of the heat coming into her cheeks. "It wasn't THAT bad, was it?" she mumbled with her hands still on the face. Nick could hardly hear her but figured what she'd said.
"My dad's quite fun, so don't worry 'bout that. I think it was kinda adorable."
She' raised her head, mascara smushed all over her face. She was trying to find even the slightest trace of a sham but no luck. She was shocked but happy. But then she saw it - a grin appearing on his face.
He started giggling: "You should see your face. That madness you've been showing all day finally appeared physically."
She darted to a mirror standing on the desk. As she saw it she'd started to rub her face with her palm and fingers. But all she'd done only made it worse.
"I'm out. I'm givin' up! This is the worst day ever," she said falling to the ground next to Nicholas.
Nick asked her again like their parents what had happened, she only shrugged and looked at her feet, her arms hugging her legs, her chin lying on her knees.
"You're always so chilled and fun and up for a party and this stuff. Everyone was shocked when you exploded back at the cafeteria. Won't lie, everybody's talking 'bout it," Nick was leaning on the front desk of his future bed with his back.
Megs remained silent biting her lower lip. There was so much going on in her head at that moment.
"I've never talked to you like that," she said at last, "it's weird when you think about it. You're so annoying every time you let out even just a squeak. But now... I don't know why but I feel like I could talk to you about anything." She looked up at him. He was researching the ceiling.
He looked like he didn't want to say anything at all. Meghan lost her hopes and decided not to tell him anything personal anymore. She wanted to get up.
"Sorry about your mum, though. I was acting like a total cow and did not tell you," she apologized and stood up.
"It's fine," he replied his eyes still glued to the ceiling, "thanks."
She'd reached the doorknob and wanted to go out.
She turned around to see he's watching her with those emerald green eyes. She felt a shiver ran down her spine. She couldn't bear the look so she'd sat back down next to him.
They sat in silence for a while again. She'd found her self feeling comfortable. She hadn't felt that way for a long time. Someone wanted to be in her presence, pleased even without the words or any other sounds.
She remembered herself talking to Amy at lunch. She was warning her to stay away from the very one she was now sitting in one room with. Her heartbeat got faster and she could feel she's getting red again. She was ashamed of herself. She'd felt like those people who say one a thing but thinking another.
She'd wished for him not to notice. She decided to throw herself on the bed and prayed he would stay on the floor.
Instead, he got up and sat on the chair next to her.
"You know it's my bed, right?" asked Nick with a wicked accent in his voice.
Wickedness was his great power and something he just couldn't let go.
"You cannot sleep here, Bertie," he added trying to provoke Megs.
"I should get you a nickname too, Nickie. You deserve one," she said provocatively sticking out her tongue at him. "Just wait for it. It's gonna be splendid!" she pointed her arms up and let them fall back down on her belly.
They were talking about nonsense for some time before Mrs Burklight interrupted them yelling that she'd arrived.
Megs had asked Nick to kill her but he refused like a true gentleman.
They got up slowly and walked downstairs as slow as they could. Megs was in the front and had the privilege to see their new roomie as the first.
Tall, skinny girl in Megs' age appeared in the doorway as Mrs Burklight opened the front door.
She had long ruffled hair colored in blood-like red. The black eyeshadows contoured her almond and green eyes just right, making them pop out. She wore dark red lipstick, which made a nice bridge between the black of her eyeshadows and the bloody red of her hair. Megs could notice the matching nail polish she wore as she clutched her phone.
Her ears were all pierced with earrings, with one especially visible. She had a dragon wrapped around her ear, connecting the holes in it like stitching. Another one of the piercings was poked through her lower lip on the left side.
Everyone could notice the heavy tattooing thanks to her deep cleavage. It started only about an inch above her collar bone and spread down her body to God knows where.
She was dressed all in red and black. She had a black headband with a bow on it. She wore loose, checked red and black shirt dress falling just above her knees. Black stockings highlighted the curves of her legs.
Her shoes were the cause of her height. They were on a high platform with a needle heel about fifteen centimetres high. They were leather black, with thin stripes wrapped around her ankles to hold the shoe on the foot. Her toes were peeking out of the hole on the tip of the shoe.
She carried a suitcase bigger than Megs' whole closet.
"Hey, Mrs Burklight! Your house is absolutely wonderful. Those are your roses over there? They're enchanting," she said when she noticed the door had opened. She let off of her suitcase and rushed in to give Mrs Burklight a hug.
"You have to be Meghan!" she almost sang her name and ran over to hug her, too, "I've heard so much about you. We're going to have so much fun together. But we have to change your closet a bit. Hun', you're beautiful. But don't take me wrong but these are just as boring as my great-grandma's." Meghan looked herself up and down and a sad look spread over her face.
"Oh, don't be sad. We'll fix that as soon as possible!" she smiled, with her eyes closed.
Then her jaw dropped: "Who's that handsome, standing behind you? Brother?" She bit her lip and put on a seductive look.
"That's the son of my mother's boyfriend, slash my schoolmate, slash my friend," said Megs bored, "his..."
"So, you have to be Nicholas, right?" her smile was wider and wider every time. "And where is Mr Wythe?" she looked around the room but hadn't seen him anywhere.
Mrs Burklight said he's in the kitchen preparing the meal.
"I always wanted to have a husband or at least a boyfriend, that could cook. I'm a horrible cook," she ran fingers through her hair.
A sudden look of shame appeared on her cheery face: "I'm the rudest person that ever walked the Earth. I haven't introduced myself. Name's Adeline Norren. I'm from a small village in California. Thank God, it's close enough to LA."
Mrs Burklight explained to Adeline that her room wasn't fully prepared. Adeline said she didn't want to bother Megs with her presence and agreed to stay in the living room for the whole week.
Meghan had accidentally let out a sigh of relief and quickly tried to hide.
"There is no need for you to pretend anything. I'm a sympathetic person. I accept whatever you say or do to me. Just be yourself and live your life, Meggie," Adeline air-kissed her and took off her high-heels.
They'd all headed to a dining table to greet Mr Wythe and have a delicious dinner. He'd prepared amazing roasted chicken breasts with cheese sauce and baked tomatoes. As a side dish were creamy mashed potatoes with bacon and fresh spring onion.
He'd received many compliments.
And Megs was so occupied with her meal she totally forgot about the whole "Roommates situation".
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