"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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Georgia Lee felt a little unsettled, seeing Fiyori take off her glasses. She seemed so much more human without them. No longer behind the lenses' distortion, her eyes were pleasant and shapely.

It was like she'd pulled a plug, when she'd taken them off, and everything about her had drained away. All her prickliness, all her venom, everything that made her dangerous. She seemed vulnerable, even weak. Georgia Lee'd read somewhere that cats closing their eyes around you a show of trust, letting you know that they had enough faith in you to take their eyes off of you. Was this something like that?

The glasses were sitting on the table, not six inches from her book, with it's thick spine and hefty weight. A single hit from that would have shattered the eyewear, and what would Fiyori do then? Who could she tell? There wasn't a single teacher in the school who'd believe her, if she went and told them that Georgia Lee had done that. The amount of power was almost overwhelming.

She ran her finger along the spine of the book, but didn't pick it up.

Everything about Fiyori just seemed so much lesser without her spectacles. She couldn't keep her eyes in one place for more than a second, and Georgia Lee could actually see her trying to calm her breathing.

It was almost pathetic.

Fiyori's question was meant to be hurtful, she supposed, but in her current state it just came off as desperate, and Georgia Lee realized, in that moment, that she pitied the girl. She pitied her weird, insect body; she pitied her inability to commit to anything of scholastic value, or anything at all besides a nicotine addiction and a death, alone in her mid 40's from lung cancer; and she pitied the girl's hopeless, wretched envy that forced her, upon meeting someone who actually had a modicum of control over their future, to lash out at them like a little boy with a crush. Georgia Lee almost wanted to laugh, it was so sad.

She hoped Fiyori's eyesight was poor enough that she couldn't see her smiling.

"The bottom's not so bad. Good reading. Free bread." She tapped her pocket. "And in... 45 minutes I'm gone." She'd motioned at checking her watch, but hadn't actually taken in the hands. Georgia Lee's internal timekeeping was almost always accurate.

"What about you, Fiyori?"

It was the first time she'd actually spoken the name. It had a strange, exotic taste, and Georgia Lee wondered where it was from. Was it common, in whatever place it was that Fiyori hailed from? She tried to picture that name fitting anyone else, and failed.

"I mean, the bottom? Come on. No way this is the bottom for you. You're in here, what? Four, five days a week? There's no way this is the worst thing in your life. Not. A. Way." With each word, she tapped a finger on her book in emphasis.

"I mean, there must be worse than this in your life, right? There must be!"

Georgia Lee was going too far, she knew it, knew that there was nothing to be gained from taunting the girl like this. A voice in her head was telling her to stop, to apologize, to just turn around and ignore the girl, but there was a louder voice in there too, and it was Fiyori's. Shouting after her as she tried to cross the grounds to get away from her. Calling her names. Baiting her in the library. No, there was no way Georgia Lee was stopping now.

"I can't even imagine how bad things must be, outside of here, for you. You probably look forward to being in here, is that why you act the way you act, Fiyori? No, I wanna hear about the what the bottom is for you. My goodness, what is that like?"
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