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FACADE
by Nyrae Dawn

Genre: New Adult, Young Adult

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“How’s your hand?”

“I don’t know. Do you want to check it for me?”

 We’re fucking close and she smells good. Apples and cinnamon.

“Sure… I want to help you.”

Her answer’s strange, but I don’t let myself think about it. Don’t let myself try and figure her out because I’m not sure I want the answers. Instead I nod and grab on to her shirt, right by her side. She jumps a little but doesn’t struggle as I lead her through the mass of people in my place. She tries to stop at the bathroom, but I keep going. Lead her to my room, unlock the door, and close it behind us.

“I’m only checking on your hand,” she says.

“That’s all I asked you to do.” I grab my first-aid kit off my dresser and sit on the bed. I glance at my pillow to make sure Ash’s shirt isn’t showing.

Delaney stands there, looking around. “Did you just move in?”

Through her eyes, I can see why she’d think that. I have a small bed, a table, and a dresser. There’s one desk lamp on the table that I use at night and a few notebooks stacked on my dresser. Those are the only things in my room that are out in the open.

“No. My interior decorator’s a little backed up.”

Sadness creases her eyes when she looks at me. I hate that fucking look, but still I find myself saying, “My sister used to go to this field when she was younger. She brought me there once. All I could see was what looked like weeds to me. No flowers. Just weeds. Dead ones at that. I asked her why she came and she told me to keep following her, so I did. Right in the middle of the field was one tall flower. Almost like it came from fucking nowhere. I told her it was lonely. She said it was beautiful. That there was nothing wrong with being strong, alone.”

I didn’t agree with Angel then and I don’t now. I’m not even sure why I told Delaney that. It doesn’t really have anything to do with my room because there’s nothing beautiful showing here. And I’m not strong in my loneliness.