Tea Girl and Coffee Boy

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Tea Girl goes to school

We went to fourteen stores in the three hours we were out. Ten were clothes stores, some providing more loungewear, others the ultimate clothes for first impressions. The last few were generic stores, the best being a store full of tea. I had heard about the store through the internet and hoped I would get to see it but it was more than I could have ever dreamed.

Every wall was covered to the ceiling in pods full of loose leaf tea. Each had a flavour that was actually mixed in with the leaves. It smelt like heaven. I may have left the store with ten more bags than when we entered but I wasn't ashamed.

As we were coming back to the flat, I had a desperate need for a drink.

"Mark, one more stop." He turned to me smiling but you could see the pain in his eyes. I knew it was torture to bring a man shopping but he had to be there so who was to blame.

"Just Starbucks. Don't worry." Sadly, this wretched country did not come with Costa coffee shops but Starbucks would be an acceptable second. Mark dropped me off at the door while he went round to find a parking spot.

Starbucks was completely full of people, mostly my age but some looked to be a lot older and way more serious. Mark agreed to wait outside as I entered to order our teas. I was hoping to try one of the iced teas they had and was very happy when I was finally able to grab hold of the slushie like drink. My hand gripped the cup and I winced at the coldness. Just as I was about to pull away, a hand reached out and grabbed hold of mine. I looked up and was met with a set of icy, almost white, blue eyes. He realized his mistake pretty quickly and stepped back as I waved a hand at Mark, who looked like he was about to pounce on the guy.

"Sorry..." He said sheepishly, pulling a hand over his hair. It had been tied up and made a rather large bun on the back of his head.

"It's fine," I said, reaching for a straw. As I rammed the straw into my drink, I saw him reach for his.

"My name is Chris by the way. Me and my friend, Wes, are sat over there if you want to join us." I smiled at his forwardness as he reached for a second coffee that had just been pushed through the window.

"What makes you think I want to sit with you guys?" I said, loving the look in his eyes as he sought out an answer to my question. The smirk returned to his face as he answered.

"I know you are new in town and I thought we could be your welcome wagon." He returned to his table as I stood at the counter, debating what to do. I needed friends if I was going to survive this hellhole and a tea break wouldn't hurt, right?

I sent Mark a quick text to collect his own drink and then find a spot to watch us from afar. He agreed and I headed quickly to meet the boys. They were already discussing me and I found it quite amusing they didn't hear me come up behind them.

"So, I was promised a welcome wagon then?" Chris jumped, turning to meet me with a genuine look of surprise. He gestured for me to sit down as the boys stirred their awful hot drinks.

"You are from England right?" I just nodded, sipping eagerly at the tropical tea slushie I had ordered. Wes seemed to be studying me, watching as my throat moved the drink down.

"What school are you attending?" Chris kept guiding my attention back to him. It was small actions like a tap on the table with his stirrer or another question and I relished in being the centre of attention once again.

"Just the local school. I don't know what it's called though." Both boys seemed to smile at that, knocking each other's arms like they knew something I didn't.

"We go there too. If you want, we can walk you to school, we only live around the corner." The boys were clearly eager to please but it was strangely too easy to get them to help me. I gave them my numbers and told them I would message them as Mark signaled we had to leave.

On the way back, Mark reprimanded me for the first time. He was very angry as we pulled into the car park of the apartment building. He parked before turning to me.

"Do you know how stupid of a move it is to give your number out to randoms when you are in hiding? They could be working for someone who is after you. I can't believe you did that." Anger continued to seep out of him as he helped me get the bags into the elevator and through the door of the apartment. Once the door was shut, he turned to me, seemingly more angry than in the car.

"You need to be more careful or you are going to get yourself hurt..." That was the last thing he said to me before leaving me on my own. He stayed in his room all night but then again, I couldn't blame him; we both had school the next day.

When I woke that morning, Mark had already laid out a breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and tea. I finished it as quickly as I could before ducking back into my room, glad to avoid the disdain coming from Mark. I was washed, dressed and ready to go just on time as Mark exited his room, the biggest smile plastered on his face.

"You stay near me at all times. We sit together, we stay together. I am going to give the guys a chance because I understand your need for friendship but I am going to watch over you like I was hired to do." I just nodded, linking arms with the very buff man as we descended into the lobby.

We walked around the corner and headed towards the school, joining the throngs of kids all going the same direction. I saw Chris and Wes on the other side of the road but made no move towards them. I had to enter through the back and didn't want any questions about it.

Two knocks on the door were all it took for the caretaker to open it and allow us in. We moved our way through the school before finding the office and collecting our timetables and locker keys. We immediately dashed for our lockers but we confused to find them on opposite sides of the corridor. That wasn't good.

Mark signaled me and told me to share his while he got the situation fixed. For now, though, It was off to our first class of the day, history, ugh!

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