“Harry, why don’t you go next?” Harry stayed seated. “You don’t even need to stand. Just give us a bit of information, so we can help you recover. Don’t you want to get out of here?” Harry laughed, quietly. Everyone watched him in curious silence. He coughed and stood up. “I cut too deep. It was a mistake, whatever.” He sat down and looked away. “Why were you doing that to yourself Harry?” He stayed silent. “Okay, well I think that's enough for today. There’s an hour of free time now. I suggest you go to the rec room.” We all stood up in sync and left, heading towards the rec room. David, who had been weirdly quiet, went straight to his room. Lisa and Gemma chatted, sitting at the same table, whilst Nick stared into space. Suddenly, he leant over and started kissing at Gemma’s neck. She abruptly stopped chatting to Lisa and got busy with Nick. It was not a particularly pleasant sight, seeing them eating each other’s face, so it was a relief when Nick stood up and dragged her away.
Megan grinned at me. She and I were sitting on a table, rolling paint covered marbles back and forth on a piece of paper. “Wait for it” she said, smiling. I looked at her curiously. “Wait for what?” she tilted her head to the side, still grinning and laughing softly. “Nick’s room is next to mine. Nick’s room is also next to this room. And, if they are about to do what I think they are going to do...” she paused, and then a banging noise echoed through the room. She laughed like a hyena. Every few seconds, there was a banging noise. Finally it clicked. “Oh. This is going to be awkward for a few minutes then.” Megan snorted. Harry was staring at the floor, cheeks reddening. “If they’re anything like they were last night, it’s a good 5-7 minutes. Maybe even longer. Nick must be a pretty good boyfriend, huh. In that department at least.” She was snorting with laughter again. “Hey Lisa. How long did Jack last?” Lisa burst into fresh tears and stormed out. Megan chuckled harshly and looked at me expectantly. My face remained blank.
“I’m out of here now. Places to be, people to see.” She announced, standing up. “Bye then. See you later.” Her eyes gleamed. Slowly, she reached down and then quickly grabbed my paper. “Hey! What are you doing? You’ve ruined the pattern!” I shouted angrily. “Fuck you Leila. Why are you sticking up for Lisa? Huh? I've been nice to you this ENTIRE time, even though you’re a freak. Lisa hates you anyway, I heard her telling Gemma she reckons you did it because you’re an ugly virgin.” I shrunk in my seat, outraged and upset. “See you tomorrow Leila. Have a good sleep. I sure won’t if I have to listen to that fucking bed banging against the wall all night.” She laughed to herself and waltzed out.
I was painfully aware that it was just me, Harry, and the banging noise. After a few desperately awkward moments, he laughed. It made me laugh too, and soon we were both almost falling off our chairs, doubled over in laughter. “Hey, can I come and sit on your table? It’s just, well it seems a bit weird to not sit together when we’re the only two in here.” He was still chuckling slightly. I sat up straight and tried to smile in the most attractive way possible. “sure, that’s cool” I said. I quickly attempted to sort out my hair as he got up. “Your hair looks fine. It looks nice.” He said. I smiled awkwardly. Why did he make me so nervous? Oh yeah, because he was possibly the most gorgeous teenage boy ever. He bent down and picked up the paper Megan had thrown on the floor. “Hey, this is really good!” he said. I shrugged in response. “It was nothing special. Just started rolling marbles, and I guess it made a pretty cool pattern.”
“I remember doing that in primary school. It was so ridiculously messy, and the marble would never make the right pattern.” I smiled sympathetically and we both laughed. “You’re good at art though, right? That thing you do yesterday, the one Lisa saw. It was really good.” He lowered his eyes bashfully. Oh god, why had I bought that up? “yeah I guess I’m alright. I used to draw and paint a lot.” His eyes met mine as a soft smile played on his lips. Lips that I was desperate to reach across and kiss. No Leila, you don’t want to kiss him. Yes I do. I really do. “Is it weird?” he asked. I looked at him, confused. “Is what weird?” he bit his lip and looked to the floor, as if he was embarrassed for asking. “Not remembering anything, is it weird? Or does it feel normal? Sorry, I was curious.” I could feel my cheeks flushing, as were his.
“Oh. I guess it’s pretty weird, like not knowing what made me do it. It’s not too bad though, because everyone else did it too. I'm not the only one.” He nodded like he understood. “Do you like music? The thing I miss most from down there is my mp3 player. It had all my favourite songs on.” I laughed and nodded, glad to change the subject. “I love music. Who’s your favourite?” his eyes flicked to the floor then to me. “That's a difficult question you’re asking. Sum41, The Fray, Bowling for Soup, bands like that. They were the best 5/10 years ago and they still are.” I laughed at how passionate he was. “They are pretty good. Everyone thought I was weird for listening to the ‘old’ bands like them, but they’re so much better than current music!” he was grinning at me. “Your music taste is good, you’ve passed that test. Favourite food?” “My favourite comfort food is marshmallows. You?” I replied. His eyes were twinkling so brightly that I couldn’t look away from them. “I absolutely love carrots. But marshmallows? They are like pillows of sugar. Your teeth must be gross!” he joked. “Rude! I should’ve eaten more carrots though. Then I’d have night vision.”
“It's true what they say. Wait here and I’ll prove it.” He darted off, leaving me laughing at the table. “Where are you going?” I asked. Suddenly, he switched all the lights off. “Harry! What are you doing? Jesus, it’s so dark. Where are you?” I hissed into the darkness. “I'm here!” he laughed, right behind me. I felt his hand on my shoulder, pulling me to stand up. “Jesus! You scared me! What are you doing?” He laughed again. “Maybe if you’d eaten carrots instead of marshmallows, you’d be able to see!” He took my hand and twirled me round. I was amazed t how casual he was being. In therapy, he’d seemed so shy, but now he was acting as if we’d known each other for years. I could feel his breath on my neck as we stood still, hands clasped between us. “I wish I was American”. Oh god, did I say that out loud? I could feel his body shaking as he laughed. “Interesting. Why?” he asked, still laughing quietly. Oh god, I felt so stupid. “I don’t really know. I guess interesting stuff always happens to teenage American girls.” He laughed and then span me round, so fast I nearly fell over. He stopped suddenly and pulled me close. “That interesting enough?” he asked, laughing. “If interesting means nearly falling over, then yeah, I guess it was pretty interesting.” he laughed his soft, beautiful laugh again. I ignored the tiny voice that remained in my head, screaming at me to get away. “So, what’s your favourite song?”
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