"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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frogue
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just a picture of a cloud
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"VinneyGatti. I get it."

She did get it. She didn't find it funny, but she got it. VinneyGatti. She might even look it up, given some time. What could it hurt?

And then Fiyori was there, and she knew what it could hurt. She knew she couldn't afford distractions like this, knew that this was the universe's way of punishing her. What else could it be? Had she gone to an empty classroom to study, as she sometimes did, she'd be well away. Instead she'd stayed here, and now here was Fiori.

Georgia Lee wished she could retreat into herself. Pull up her collar, tuck in her head like a tortoise and just hide in there until Fiyori went away. She wanted to run, wanted to be anywhere else other than here. But no, how would that look? All it would do was signal to the bigger girl that she was weak; that she'd allow herself to get picked on.

And she wasn't weak, and she wouldn't allow herself to get picked on.

Instead she stayed. She sat there, wishing she was somewhere else, but she stayed. She shrugged, when Fiyori asked how it was going.

"It's fine. Quiet."

She wouldn't make a scene. Georgia Lee didn't make scenes. She wouldn't allow herself to get pushed around, though. It seemed like Fiyroi and Vincenzo were friends, and that could be awkward, but Vincenzo also seemed sympathetic to what she'd said, so maybe they'd mediate. She wouldn't be a doormat, but she'd be civil, and she'd weather this conversation and she'd leave and she'd learn. Georgia Lee had made the choices that had put her in this position, and she wouldn't make them again.

Punishment was the universe's way of telling you that you're on the wrong track. No lesson worth learning comes without pain. This might be ugly, but she'd been faltering in her resolve and this'd set her straight. Now all she had to do was grit her teeth and bear it.
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