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i'm not upset
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After a bit of goofy dancing, the trio turned off the music and presently all were asleep. They all slept in the same room and they'd moved a table in front of the door for good measure.

Hazel settled into an uneasy sleep at first, moving around and trying to arrange her bag as a pillow in a way that wouldn't push the collar up into her neck. The area they'd chosen was quiet and the small space was cozy. The only thing she heard was the gentle breathing of the two boys. She relaxed and fell asleep.

In the middle of the night she began sleeping more fitfully. Hazel rolled over and grabbed someone's hand. Tears picked up in the corners of her eyes and fell sideways down her face.

"-n-Jae" she half-whispered.

Han-Jae, her father. He left her and her mother so long ago she never knew what having a father was like. She was two months old when someone abandoned her for the first time and it felt like it never stopped. Hazel had gotten so used to it that it wasn't surprising anymore and she told herself that it didn't bother her. Charlotte, her second mother who nearly raised her, left for Florida just as she was becoming a teenager. Hazel couldn't expect someone to choose her over a better life, but it still hurt.

Hazel knew that she was full of affection, but that she wasn't selective enough and that had endangered her other relationships with her girl friends. She couldn't stand the thought of losing them too.

Hazel thought she found the one who would stay by her this time. This time for sure. But she was wrong as usual. Cue price is right losers' horn.

In the dark, her dreams were of never having the feeling of a "dad." Someone you go to who you feel like will take care of the problem and make things right, someone who makes you feel safe. Someone who makes you feel loved. In regular life his absence didn't bother her much because you can't miss something you never had, but right now it would have been nice to have a memories of strong arms giving a bear hug and she had none. The very first person to ever leave her.

Hazel woke, feeling slightly queasy. She opened her eyes sluggishly and saw she had her face buried in Jordan's arm, which she was clutching for dear life.

"Sorry," she whispered, embarrassed. Her fingers loosened and dropped. Hazel hoped she hadn't woken him up. She rolled over, and tried to go back to sleep.

Morning had molded the boys into shape. From her place laying on the floor she could see their blurry figures sitting up. She woke up halfway through the announcements and blinked a few times before rousing herself. She was had gathered her wits just in time to hear that Jeremy had won a prize.

Hazel rubbed her eyes and nodded as Jeremy left departing instructions.

She scratched her head. Her scalp was really oily and gross. None of them had had a bath in days.

Jordan brought up the obvious question once enough time had passed that Jeremy wasn't going to bust through the door going "Sorry, forgot my essential chisel!" She didn't really want to answer him, but it wasn't a talk they could put off.

"Well....I think we can. We've slept with him more than once. If he wanted to kill us, I think he would have already done it, right? Unless he's using us for cover, like if we run into anyone else then he can say 'No, I'm cool and for sure not dangerous. Just ask my friends here.' Then again, it sounded like that announcement and what he told us line up. There wasn't much choice for him. Then again, AGAIN, why was he hanging out with Alex when we found him?"

She said it all somewhat slowly, trying to work out the question for herself as much as Jordan. Hazel bit the end of her index finger, deep in thought.

"What do you think?"
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Jenny From the Block · The Radio Tower