"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Yugikun
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Do you know what the worst part was?

She was sorry.

As Irene turned her back and ran away, all Jasmine could think about was how to apologize. How to say sorry for breaking her heart. How it was all a misunderstanding. How, as she was knocked back by her own push, hitting the concrete of the bridge behind her pant legs first, she didn’t mean what she said. She was scared. She wasn’t thinking straight. She made a mistake and now she had to pay the consequence for it. She could have tried to defend herself. She could have tried to blame her. She could have tried to do anything that led to the conclusion that Jasmine King was in the right, Irene Djezari was in the wrong, and it was best that this happened before Irene’s pure toxicity spread to her. But she didn’t. As Irene turned her back and ran away, all Jasmine could think about was how to apologize.

But she didn’t. As Irene went back up the slope - one, two, three, four steps, before going out of sight - no words came out. There was nothing she could think of saying .There were words in her head but none fit and she struck them down and by the time Jasmine realised that she couldn’t she was gone. Another mistake.

A bitter cherry on top of the disgusting cake.

So she sat there, for a while. Staring at the slope. She could tell where her last step was. Where she had been before she had vanished forever. From her life. Oh god, from her life. They couldn’t be friends anymore. They weren’t friends anymore. Her first friend, no longer there.

Her breaths were ragged. Hard, as she realised this. She looked up. The sky was grey. It was nearly evening.

She shook her head. She just needed to not be here. Thinking about this here wasn’t a good idea. She needed to go somewhere where she could.

So she stood up, turned around, and left, via the other side of the bridge. She didn’t look back. She tried not to think about it. About what had just happened.

But she knew. This was the way they would have gone as the both of them went back to her house. They’d talk. About things. Topics. She didn’t know. It was the way she went home from her first school. It held something. They could have talked about that.

And when they were home, they were going to get something to eat. What it was? She didn’t know. It wasn’t something they… she was going to cook. Takeout. Julian could have leftovers from the fridge, if he cared enough. They were going to decide together. As friends.

She ordered pizza. Meatlovers. Extra Large. She ate alone.

And then, after that, she went upstairs. To her room. Stared at the ceiling, as Molly snuggled in next to her. That wasn’t on the agenda. They were going to watch a movie. Her choice. And they wouldn’t talk, just as they wouldn’t now. It was important enough to warrant that silence. She knew that it would be better if they didn’t talk. It’d be best for the both of them. Either way it went.

She knew that.

She knew she wouldn’t be able to keep it.

But she knew that it was for the best.



And they were supposed to be together, as they slept in her room. In separate beds, of course. They would talk about life, until the both of them were too tired to keep doing it. They would talk about their future. Together.



At least she wasn’t alone. The cat was by her side, as she cried in her bed that night.



She was gone, on Monday. Mary, too. Everyone showed up at the picnic tables, except for the both of them. They had asked why, of course. She had been in Science that day, so why wasn’t she here? She had an answer for that. She had a day to rehearse it. There were differences. There was something wrong with her. Irene no longer fit within the group, so she decided to take her leave. Mary followed. They believed what Jasmine was saying. She was a good actor. She was a good liar. It was only natural that they believed her. And how could they not? They didn’t know what had happened. There was no way they could have guessed. She had a crush on Cris. Everyone knew that. And they didn’t know any better.

And eventually, everyone moved on. There was a couple days of confusion. A couple days in which Jasmine had to work so that nobody found out, but eventually, those days passed. Jordan came over to the table more often. New people had arrived to replace previous ones. Nobody had found out. Nobody knew any better. Eventually, nobody cared. She was sitting on the other side of the classroom, now, with all the popular girls. Rea. Mary. Maria. The wrong crowd. Bad influences. People the group at the lunch tables never associated with. It didn’t matter too much, though. They used to be friends. They weren’t, now. Jasmine focused on her studies, so that she could end up the best person she could be. She didn't know what that person was, but she knew she’d make it.

But one day, they were assigned to particular seats by a substitute teacher, for some reason. Nobody knew why, but they just went with it.

But the way it worked out, Irene and Jasmine were sitting next to each other. By pure coincidence. She didn’t look at Jasmine initially, she was pretty sure. Jasmine spared glances at her. During the last moments, she spared one as Irene decided to look down at her bag.

And for the first time in forever, their eyes met. Brown. Black pupils. Baggier than they used to be.

Hi, Rene.

I’m sorry for what I did.

I miss you.

Please be my friend again.

....

The bell rang, and they both went to lunch.

This time, Irene didn’t follow her.



Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Jasmine sat on the couch in front of her family’s TV, the sound of her watch being the only noise amidst the silence. She put her hand on it; twisted it, slightly, as she looked out the window. There still wasn’t anything. Not in front of the door, not in the driveway. It was… understandable. She had only been down here for two or three minutes, at most, since she was quickly typing up something and allowed herself to be slightly late. That was okay. It wasn’t like it needed to be perfect, there. There was always the margin of human error and even without it being there she would still be five minutes early, which she felt was slightly unnecessary. Just so long as she got here before Julian did, and things would be okay.

She tapped her foot on the ground, the sound drowning out the ticking of her watch. It was 1:30 by now, right? It had to be. She’d be surprised if she was wrong. She turned her hand around.

1:31.

Her guest was officially late.

That was okay. It didn’t need to be perfect. She would be happy if she didn’t have to wait very long, but she didn’t have to stress about this. They were coming, and then they were going to have their sleepover. So long as she stayed patient, she would be rewarded. It was as simple as that. Wait, and eventually things would happen.

She closed her eyes. Breathed, for a second.

The door knocked, and once again, the sound of her watch had been drowned out. Slowly, she stood up, and walked over to the front door. Her hand slowly clutched the metal of the knob, and she twisted it open. The lock of the flyscreen door went up, and soon, that opened as well.

She looked up off the knob, and locked her friend in the eyes, smiling. Kiziah Saraki.

Her close friend.

Her best friend.

She greeted her the best way she knew how, jumping down off the step and hugging her. It was nice. Warm. Comforting.

Safe.

“Hey, Kizi,” she said, smiling as she held her.

((Jasmine King; Memories Concluded))
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