By Kylee Day
Rory noticed Charlie staring to the right. She thought it was nothing, probably just him getting distracted by some bird again, until he didn’t look away. That’s when her curiosity got the best of her. Looking at Aryn, Rory silently noted three things about the new girl. One: she’s from out of town. It didn’t take, but two seconds to figure that out. The girl was looking around like she’s never been in the diner before and anyone in Bellwich can tell you that Maeve’s Place is somewhere everyone goes. Two: she’s beautiful. Rory only ever thought of other girls as pretty, but with the new girl, it was hard for her to even stop looking at her. She has freckles that dot her nose and cheeks, red hair that frames her face perfectly, and these bright blue eyes that were just as easily lost in as the oceans they resembled. Lastly: she’s tough. It was seen in the way she held herself: something you’d find similar to the way a criminal does, like she’s hiding something she’d never willingly give out. That alone wasn’t enough for Rory to want to keep away from the girl. If anything, it made her want to know more, find out what she’s guarding behind her hard stare and cold attitude. There was only one way to know.
Although it was Charlie who noticed Aryn first, Rory was the first to have mustered up enough courage to talk to the blue-eyed girl.
“I’m Rory,” she had started with, holding her hand out for Aryn to shake, “and you’re new.” Aryn took the unfamiliar girl’s hand with confusion. People only shake hands with people they hope to impress or hope to be friends with. Aryn couldn’t help, but wonder why anyone would ever want to be friends with her. For starters, Rory didn’t even know her. The only things she knew or even thought she knew about Aryn, are things she had acquired from what she saw on the outside. And while there is the saying “Looks can be deceiving”, Aryn is more than sure she’s what you’d call an “open book,” but this girl didn’t know that.
“Uh… yeah.” Aryn responded, just as the waitress set her food beside her with a smile.
“Need anything else, sweetie?” Leonie asked. Aryn simply shook her head. “Just let me know if you do.” She told Aryn sweetly before walking back into the kitchen.
“So, where are you from?” Rory asked with a curious gaze. Aryn took a sip of her shake before deciding what to say.
“Jumping to stalking a bit fast, are we?” Aryn asked, taking a fry from her plate and dipping it into her milkshake.
“Uh, no, I mean . . . right. Right, so, what’s your name?” Rory fumbled, pulling a strand of her short, brown hair behind her ear. Aryn smiled to herself, finding the other girl’s nervousness amusing.
“Aryn. Yours?” The redhead asked in pure wonder. Of course she’d want to know the name of a girl who just randomly started talking to her, she’s not an animal.
“Rory, like I said before.” The brown haired girl replied.
“And I’m Jaden,” A boy came out from behind Rory, adding to the conversation, “but you can call me anytime.” He had a wide, beautiful smile, Aryn can’t lie, but he’s not exactly her type. Aryn looked to him with a bored expression and back to Rory.
“Is he always like this?” She asked her newfound friend. Rory laughed, shaking her head.
“Only around pretty girls apparently.” Aryn smiled at that.
After an hour and a half of talking to Rory, Jaden, and all their other friends they introduced her to, Aryn finally went home. She took a mental note to go to “Maeve’s Place” next Friday, and walked back to the same sad, unwelcoming, not-so-empty house. Aryn couldn’t help, but feel that her day had been made better by a girl with short, brown hair and honey, brown eyes. Even the sunset’s golden light seemed to shine through the only window in her room and she felt as if she could burst of happiness. No one could wipe the smile off a teenager’s face when they’ve had a good day. No one. But no one is invincible.
She had a hard time sleeping that night, over the deafening sound of her mom and stepdad fighting. Over what, she has no idea, but can only guess it’s over the same thing they always fight about, money. Aryn’s smile faltered as soon as she heard the door slam shut when the two finally got home around ten. What came next was predicted, Aryn having known what was coming before it even happened, she glared at her bedroom door as the shouting began. It was muffled through the walls and unclear to any human ear, but it was there. Glass shattered and Aryn heard her mom cry. It’s hard seeing your mom cry, because you think she’s invincible and can handle anything. It’s harder to hear it and not be able to do anything about it, because you’re scared too. Aryn just turns her back to the door and silently cries herself to sleep, hoping the overwhelming darkness of her room will drift her back into a place of escape, although she knows it will do no such thing because her dreams are just as terrifying, if not, more so than the harsh reality of her life.