the dark Angel|13


​”No, I’m fine. Really. But where’s Daddy? Did he already go to work?”There was a pause, then her mother said, still calmly, “Your father left last night.””Dad left?” (Dad left?)(It happened last night while you were asleep.)(A lot seems to have happened last night while I was asleep.)(The world’s kind of that way, dragonfly. It keeps on going even when you’re not paying attention.)”Anyway, we’ll talk about it later,” her mother said. A final pat. “There, that’s perfect. You’re beautiful, even if you don’t look like my little girl anymore. You’d better bundle up, though; it’s pretty cold out this morning.””I’m already dressed.” The moment had come, and Gillian didn’t really care if she shocked her mother now or not. Her father had left again- and if that wasn’t unusual, it was still upsetting. The closeness with her mother had been spoiled, and she didn’t want cinnamon toast anymore.Gillian stepped to the middle of the kitchen and shrugged off the pink bathrobe.She was wearing black hipsters and a black camisole. Over it was a sheer black shirt, worn loose. She had on flat black boots and a black watch, and that was all she had on.”Gillian.”Amy and her mother were staring.Gillian stood defiantly.”But you never wear black,” her mother said weakly.Gillian knew. It had taken a long time to cull these things from the forgotten hinterlands of her closet. The camisole was from Great-grandma Elspeth, two Christmases ago, and had still had the price tag attached.”Didn’t you sort of forget to put on a sweater on top?” Amy suggested.(Stand your ground, kid. You look terrific.)”No, I didn’t forget. I’m going to wear a coat outside, of course. How do I look?”Amy swallowed. “Well-great. Extremely hot. But kind of scary.”Gillian’s mother lifted her hands and dropped them. “I don’t really know you anymore.”(Hooray!)(Yup, kid. Perfect.)Gillian was happy enough to give her mother a flying kiss. “Come on, Amy! We’dbetter get moving if we’re going to pick upEugene .” She dragged the other girl behind her like the tail of a comet. Her mother followed, calling worriedly about breakfast.”Give us something to take with us. Where’s that old black coat I never wore? The fancy one you got me for church. Never mind, I found it.”In three minutes she and Amy were on theporch.”Wait,” Gillian said. She fished through theblack canvas bag she was carrying in place of a backpackand came up with a small compact and a tube of lipstick. “I almost forgot.”She put on the lipstick. It was red, not orange-red or blue-red, but red red, the color of holly berries or Christmas ribbon. That shiny, too. It made her lips look fuller,somehow, almost pouty. Gillian pursed her lips, considered her image, then kissed the compact mirror lightly and snapped it shut.Amy was staring again. “Gillian… what is going on? What’s happened to you?””Come on, we’re going to be late.”‘The outfit just makes you look like you’re going out to burgle something, but that lipstick makes youlook… bad. Like a girl with a reputation.””Good.””Gillian! You’re scaring me. There’s something-” She caught Gillian’s arm and peered into her eyes.”Something about you-around you- oh, I don’t know what I’m talking about! But it’s different and it’s dark and it’s not good.”She was so genuinely shaken that for a moment Gillian was frightened herself. A quick stab of fear like the flick of a knife inher stomach. Amy was neurotic, sure, but she wasn’t the type to hallucinate. What if-(Angel-)A horn honked.Startled, Gillian turned. Right at the edge of the driveway, behind Amy’s Geo, was a somewhat battered but still proud tan Mustang. A dark head was sticking out the window.”Standing me up?” David Blackburn called.”What-is-that?” Amy breathed.Gillian waved to David-after a sharp nudgefrom Angel. “I think it’s called a car,” she said to Amy. “i forgot. He said he’d drive me to school. So-I guess I should go with him. See you!”It only made sense to go with David; after all, he had asked first. Besides, Amy’s driving was life threatening; she sped like a maniac and wove all over the road because she couldn’t see without her glasses.It should have been satisfying. After all, yesterday Amy had stood her up for a guy-and a guy like Eugene Elfred. But rightthis moment Gillian was too scared to be smug.This was it. David was going to see her new self. And it was all happening too fast.(Angel, what if I faint? What if I throw up? That’s going to make a great first impression, isn’t it?)(Keep breathing, kid. Breathe. Breathe. Notthat fast. Now smile.)Gillian couldn’t quite manage a smile as she opened the car door. Suddenly she felt exposed. What if David thought she was cheap or even freakish? Like a little girl dressed up in her mom’s clothes?And her hair-all at once she remembered how David had touched it yesterday. Whatif he hated it?Trying to breathe, she slipped into the car.Her coat came open as she sat down. Shecould hardly make herself look toward thedriver’s seat.But when she did, her breath stopped completely. David was wearing a look thatshe’d never seen on any guy’s face before,at least not directed toward her. She’d seen it, occasionally, when guys were looking at other girls, girls at school like Steffi Lockhart or J.Z. Oberlin. A stricken gaze, a compulsive movement of the throat, an expression that almost made you sorry for them. An “I’m lying down andI don’t care if you walk on me, babe,”

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About ayanfe

LIVE!!! LOVE!!! LAUGH!!! life is just too short to be sad #wink
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