"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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Discomfort seemed to radiate out of Alice, like birds flying out from a tree at dawn. Her eyes kept flitting to Bradley, who for the moment seemed to content to just sit and leer. No doubt the other girl had also had the misfortune to fall recipient to Bradley's attentions in the past. Georgia Lee could only imagine how well that might have gone.

Even being near him made her skin crawl. It was rather like, she imagined, sitting next to some stinking, grinning corpse. Even if it wasn't doing anything, there was something repugnant about just being near it.

Georgia Lee kept her eyes on Alice, not wanting to give the boy the satisfaction of knowing that his presence warranted her attention.

"I'm looking forward to next year too. A lot of work, of course, but it'll be nice to be seniors, finally."

It would be, too. Since Georgia Lee had committed herself to getting out of Cochise, to getting a scholarship to Columbia and making a life for herself all of her own, this had been what she was building to. All the work had felt so tedious at times and it had been such a struggle to convince herself that it mattered at all, but now the end was in sight. Senior year. All her study, all her preparation, all her extracurriculars and committees and activities and extra classes and volunteer work and scrimping and saving and tutoring halfwits just to make enough money to pay for SAT prep classes; this coming year would finally be when all of that would be put to use, and all of her hard, achingly hard work would be proved to have been worth it.

There were other benefits too, to Senior year.

"I think I'm really ready for it, to be honest. I'm a little over having a bunch of older students looking down on me, thinking they know more than me when they don't. Thinking they're welcome when they're not."

Georgia Lee's eyes didn't waver from the anxious face of the girl in front of her.

"Don't you think so, Alice?"

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Swipe Rite · After the Dance