Gone Before Tomorrow

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Chapter 9: Meeting the Crew

Paisley

Once I finally catch up to Derek and Jamie they have both filled their trays to the brim with food. I look down at my own tray which is incredibly and noticeably barren. ‘Grab something! Grab anything!’ I think frantically scanning the food options in front of me. Sandwiches , sandwiches and, you guessed it, more sandwiches. I grab the first one that looks remotely edible and plop it on my tray along with a bag of barbeque chips before shuffling forward to where Jamie and Derek are waiting.

Once I have joined them Jamie begins talking a mile a minute about something or other and it takes all my concentration to even attempt to keep up. I think Derek sees my confusion because he leans over and whispers in my ear “Just smile and nod theres no use in trying to keep up with her.” I let out a little laugh and give him a nod of appreciation. Someone across the room waves us over and we all begin walking toward the figure. Once there Derek slides smoothly into a seat next to a boy with dirty blonde hair who gives him a fist bump and a nob. Jamie bounds right in after Derek and immediately begins eating. A girl with pin straight, jet black hair, and a bandage wrapped hand looks me up and down before shooting me a glare. I feel blush rise to my cheeks as I turn away from the table. Where I am going? I have no idea. I don’t know how to get back to my room, and all the other tables in the room are filled.

“Hey where are you going?!” I hear Jamie’s small voice shout out and I wince.

I turn back around slowly and grin sheepishly “Ummm I don’t really know.” I mumble.

“Sit.” she commands before digging back into her food.

Legs shaking, and heart pounding I slide into the only empty seat next to Misses Murder Glare. I try to give her a smile and all I get in return is a flip of hair over the shoulder and a huff. Defeated I stare down at my tray of food, which now seems infinitely less appealing.

“So you’re the new chick.” I hear a voice say and my head snaps up, making eye contact with the other boy at the table. He reaches his hand across the table toward me and gives a charming smile “I’m Matthew, nice to meet you.”

I feel a small smile play onto my lips as I reach my hand toward his and shake it softly “Nice to meet you too, um I’m Paisley.”

He points to the girl on my right and says “That grouchy pants is Anabella, and yes she is always this stuck up and prissy.”

I clap a hand to my mouth but am unable to stop the childish giggle that comes out. I am rewarded with a grin from Matt and a glare from Anabella. “Sorry” I mumble still smiling a little.

I open my bag of chips and begin eating tentatively as Jamie begins recounting a story of a unicorn named Sally, or Sammy, or something of the like. After a few minutes of this the girl to my left cuts her off saying “Why are you here?”

She turns to me eyes narrowed and eyebrows raised. I give her back a confused look before responding “Well, umm, uh, I guess I thought it was okay to sit with you guys, if its not I’m....”

“No idiot why are you here, at the hospital?” She doesn’t even try to mask the venom in her voice as she spits the question out at me.

I feel tears start to prick at my eyes and I know that if I try to talk I will just become a blubbering mess so I just look away. All of a sudden a familiar voice pipes up “Why the hell would you ask something like that?” Derek slams his palms on the table and stands, eyes blazing. “Like I know you’ve got issues but what the heck makes you think it’s okay ask something like that!” His voice rises with every word and I instinctively begin shrinking away from him. I know he’s defending me but the anger in his voice scares me.

Matthew places a hand on Derek’s arm and pulls lightly “Come on dude, chill.”

Derek reluctantly sits down, still shooting daggers at Anabella. I look over at Jamie to see if she’s okay, and to my surprise she is still eating as if nothing had happened. I turn my attention to Annabella who just looks mildly annoyed more so than upset, angry, or scared.

‘Holy freaking hell these people are insane!’ I think staring intently at the table ‘You’re one to talk’ a voice responds. I roll my eyes at myself and am suddenly compelled to stand up from the table. My stomach is churning and I have lost my appetite. “Umm well thank you guys for uh letting me sit with you.” I mumble still looking down, not daring to make eye contact with anyone at the table “but, I’m really tired so I think I’m going to go back to my room.” I turn away from the table and go to dump my food but suddenly there is a small child wrapped around my legs.

“But you promised you would come color with me.” Jamie whines looking up at me sadly.

“Oh yeah, um well how bout this” I say prying her off my legs and bending down to her level “you stay here and finish you food, and when you’re done come get me okay?” I hope that this will be enough to get her to let me go.

She thinks for a moment before nodding furiously and attacking me with a hug “Okay! I’ll bring Derek too!” she quickly runs back to the table before I can say anything, a devilish grin on her face.

“Crap.” I mumble standing and making my way toward the door. Once I am in the hallway it hits me. I have no idea where I am going. I groan and put my heads in my hands, then it hits me again. This time it is the door, which I am dumbly still standing in front of. The hit knocks me to the floor. I sit up rubbing my elbow which was the first thing to make contact with the floor and look up into the hateful eyes of Anabella.

A smirk slides onto her face as she says in mock innocents “oopsie.” before she walks off down the hallway, hopefully back to whatever level of hell she was spawned from. I sigh and stand up slowly, still rubbing my sore elbow, what? It really hurt.

‘Right or left?’ I think looking in each direction and decide on right. ‘Oh joy literally everything looks the same’ I think before rolling my eyes, crossing my arms, and continuing stubbornly down the hall. After about 15 minutes of walking I am forced to admit that I am very, very lost. I walk past a door that seems to lead to some kind of outside courtyard. I can’t even remember when the last time I had been outside was, so I open the door- which is surprisingly unlocked -and walk into the afternoon air. A light breeze blows through the courtyard and encourages a smile to form on my face. I smell freshly mowed grass, and rain. There is a giant weeping willow in the middle of the mock field and I walk over to it. I take a seat in the dry grass and lean my head back onto the trunk of the tree before closing my eyes. ‘It’s so peaceful here’ I think sleepily. Another breeze blows through, causing me to pull my sweater tighter around me. ‘I could stay here forever’ is my last thought before falling asleep...again.

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