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The Difference That Binds Us

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Chapter 2

I woke up the next morning with my head on Matthew’s leg, and he was smiling down at me. I jolted up, quickly looking around. The TV had music on, a rock radio playing Hold On by Korn. I sighed and said, “Why am I here?”

“Well, you got wasted, tried to leave, then fell asleep on the couch,” he informed me, nodding toward the three -or is it two?- bottles of beer.

“God, I think I’m still drunk.” I paused then said, “I want bacon,” I stood up, then stumbled and staggered before almost falling down the stairs. “Definitely still drunk,” I told myself, walking into the kitchen like I owned the place.

“I’ll make the bacon, you sit. Or else you’re going to either burn the house down or burn yourself,” he pointed at the bar stool, and I decided to just listen to him, in which I proceeded to sit down and let my forehead fall onto the counter, which hurt like hell.

“Gah,” I sighed and rubbed my forehead. “I’m never drinking again.”

“You said that last time, and look where you’re at now,” he chuckled when I threw the towel lying on the counter at him.

“I know, but last time it was tequila.” I rolled my eyes, and even that hurt.

“Go lay down, I’ll just make some breakfast and you can watch some TV,” he handed me a bottle of water and I drank half of it before I stood up and walked over to the couch, falling onto the leather cushions without a care how the leather slapped my face.

I turned the TV on and clicked onto Netflix, picking my account, yes I had my own account, and putting The Promised Neverland on and letting it play as a background sound as I tried to ignore the throbbing in my head.

Matthew, being the asshat he was, decided to hum in a very loud voice. I had to resist the urge to stalk in there and throw the remote at him.

All of a sudden he decided to sing the intro to The Promised Neverland, his voice high pitched and totally out of tune.

“Shut the hell up, Matthew Renee Zander!” I shouted and I heard an intake of breath.

“Well, it’s not my fault you put on my favorite show on, Rave,” he shouted back.

“Raven Willow, where were you? Class started fifteen minutes ago!” Mrs. Wally asked me when I entered class late.

“Well, short story short I got blown off by a dude, my best friend picked me up, then I got drunk and had a hangover. Speaking of, I still do. So fuck off,” I growled and her eyes widened, then narrowed.

“Detention, Miss. Willow,” she informed me and I shrugged.

“Okay? I’m used to detention by now.” I walked to the back of the class, where my seat was, and sat down. Nobody cared about this class, Social Studies, so everyone was on their phones or skipped class. I decided to pull out my phone and shoot off a message to Matthew.

Me: Stuck in detention. Was late, and talked back LOL.

Matthew: Same. Mr. Parch was mad about me ignoring him. Meet you in English?

Me: And Science, then detention. Au revior! (bye, I’ve been taking French)

Matthew: LOL. Well, au revior, dear friend.

I smiled and looked up to the board. If I wanted at least a C in class, I had to copy notes. So I did until the end of class. Where Matthew met me at my locker.

“So, French class?” He said as a ‘hello’.

“Yes, French. I plan on moving to France and attending a college there,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Oh. Which school?” He asked me, a sad look crossing his face.

“Sorbonne University. It has this big main building, and I want to get a bachelor for child welfare. Why?”

“Well, we’re sticking together, aren’t we?” He looked at me, and I softened.

“Of course we are. You’re the only person who will be sticking with me until the end,” I told him, and he sighed before pulling me into a hug.

“Good. I wouldn’t be able to do without you, Rave.” He said, and kissed the top of my head. A blush spread along my cheeks and I buried my head into his chest.

“We should both apply there! You can try one of their courses and see if you like it,” I suggested. He let go of me, slinging an arm around my shoulders and walking with me to Science.

“Good idea. I’ll apply later, though. Around graduation,” He kissed my cheek, but I moved my head sideways and his lips landed on mine. His eyes widened and he pulled his head back. Mine were probably twice his size.

“Oh my God, I’m sorry. Sorry,” I said in a surprised voice. He just smirked and kissed me again. A blush crossed my face. “Why did you do that?” I asked him. He just shrugged.

“Because,” was his only reply, then he pulled us into Science class. We sat in the back, and I pulled out my phone.

Matthew: Want to go on a date?

Me: A date? 0.0

Matthew: Lmao. Yeah, a date. Y'know, where a guy or girl get together, hang out. Movies, dinner. Ends with a kiss on a porch than a lecture from the dad.

Me: I know what a date is! But, why?

Matthew: Because? Just for fun, I guess.

Me: For fun? *unconvinced emoji*

Matthew: Okay, maybe because I actually like you. So what?

Me: I'm such a bad influence though!

Matthew: I'm the one that convinced you to just off the bridge into that river when we were ten. How are you the bad influence?

Me: Tattoos? Piercings? Oh, and that one jail time. You've never been to jail!

Matthew: True, but I still like you. Just agree. Please?

Me: Ugh. Fine. When?

Matthew: Tonight? 8PM? I'll pick you up at your apartment.

Me: 'Kay. Ttyl.

Matthew: Yup.

I slid my phone into my binder and payed attention to the rest of the class, until the bell rang and students started packing up for lunch.

I slowly collected everything, taking a few minutes of freedom before afternoon classes started.

"Bitch.." someone mumbled while passing me, and I looked up. Oh God, I thought.

"What did you say, Chelsea?" I asked her, and she sneered.

"I called you a bitch. You, like, flaked on Paul. Who does that?" She stated, and I nodded slowly.

"Well, he said the date was over, so I just hung out with my friend. Is that a problem?" I looked her up and down, from her five inch platforms to her bleached hair, and said, "I sure hope not. Wouldn't want to ruin your pretty ego."

I picked my binder up, tied my old Gucci hoodie - a gift from my ex - around my waist, and sauntered off to my locker. Matthew was still at his locker, located near mine, and he grinned when he saw me. I unlocked my locker, dumped my binder in my backpack - grabbing my phone and IPods first - and started pulling off my over shirt.

Matthew looked at me, then raised an eyebrow. "What? It's like ninety degrees outside," I said as an explanation, and he chuckled. I threw the shirt into my backpack and pulled my white tank top down lower, just barley reaching my belly button, where two wings wrapped around my belly button. Freedom. Memories waved through my head.

Daddy stood by the fire, stoking it, while glancing at Mommy every once in a while. "Raven," Mommy said, and I looked up at her.

"Yeah, Mommy?" I was innocent. So, so innocent. I couldn't comprehend her words. They seemed casual, what she said next.

"Freedom is something you get, in a certain time of your life. Never take advantage of it. Sometimes things go wrong, but freedom is what awaits you in the end. When me and Daddy leave this world, we'll be free," she lifted me into her arms.

"Why would you leave? You and Daddy are supposed to stay with me." I said with hope, though sadness coursed through me.

"Sometimes we leave when we don't want to. Just promise me, that if something bad happens you'll remember freedom is going to come to you," she made me promise, and I did. We sealed it with a pinky promise and a couple tickles.

Daddy kept murmuring, "My sweet girls. I love you both," that night. I went to sleep cuddled against Daddy's chest, and he meant every word. I knew he did.

"Hey, Rave. Helloooo. Yoo-hoo," Matthew said, pulling me out of my mind.

"Oh, sorry. Spaced out." I said, and shook my head.

"No problem, but where'd you get that tattoo?" He asked me, and I smiled.

"I don't remember, I got it a few years ago." I told him honestly. I couldn't lie to him. Ever.

"Cool. Well, lets get some lunch. Three Margarita's?" He grabbed my hand, and I intertwined our fingers.

"Sure, let's go." I said and we went to lunch, the memory in the back of my head.

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