"I don't k-know the m-meaning of t-the wo-word"
I watch her bite her lip and a small ball of blood appears then slides down her bottom lip before she wipes it with the back of her hand and I realise she's shaking again, I give her my blazer and she smiles a thanks.
"CRISS! WHERE IS YOUR UNIFORM?!" it's Mrs Porter, Stephanie and I duck under a table and crawl out just as she drags Criss in,
"There was an emergency" he tells her
"That required you to remove your shirt?!" she accuses,
"Well, what was the big emergency then?"
He hesitates, everyone already thinks Stephanie tried to kill herself, he couldn't say much to make it worse
"Stephanie was bleeding through her bandages and it was all on her shirt so I gave her mine"
I peeked through the little window hole in the door and Mrs Porter is frowning hard,
"Bring her to me"
Criss looks amazed, "What?"
"BRING HER TO ME!"
Criss scrambles out of the room and I take Stephanie's hand and lead her around the back way where we meet Criss halfway,
"Mrs - Porter. She- wants - you" he manages to say between pants.
She frowns and all three of us go, I wait outside of course;
"Now, is it true this shirt you're wearing at the moment is Criss'?"
"And its true that you needed it because your shirt has blood on it?"
She nods again,
"Where is your shirt now?" she asks sharply,
Stephanie sighs and puts her backpack on the table and fishes out her balled up shirt, unrolls it and holds it up for Mrs Porter to see,
"Hmm" she says looking at the bloodstained shirt disgusted,
Steph rolls it back up and throws it in her backpack,
"You both may go" she says and the final bell rings.
"What happens now?" Criss whispers to her, I don't think I was meant to hear,
"W-What?" she asks
"With me and you"
She takes a deep breath.
"Make a choice" he whispers, she blinks a few times and puts her head down,
"Steph!" we both call after her, we follow her to hell's locker (666) and she throws a few books into her backpack for homework, she shuts the locker loudly and she turns to stalk off but I take her hand, but the next person who speaks isn't me or Stephanie, it's Criss-
"Come take my hand tonight, I'll show you where to start. Because every word that left your lips was like a needle through my heart"
Her mouth makes the shape of a small 'o' and I can't help but feel a stab of jealousy.
Criss takes his bus and I follow Steph to ours but she doesn't step on, she turns the opposite way and starts walking, I catch up to her,
"Steph, where are you going?"
"H-home" she flinched
I sigh, "Do you know how dangerous this place is? You can't walk by yourself! It's likely that you'll get raped"
"Then w-walk with m-me"
She slips her hand into mine and we walk.