|Rituals and Reasons
Author: sinecure PM
Annie has a morning ritual, and a reason for everything.Rated: Fiction T - English - Angst - Annie E. & Jeff W. - Words: 901 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Published: 11-14-11 - Status: Complete - id: 7552974
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: Rituals and Reasons (1/1)
Spoilers: Up through Basic Rocket Science.
Summary: Annie has a morning ritual, and a reason for everything.
Disclaimer: I don't own Community and I make no money off of it. (save the show!)
Author's Notes: No beta as usual, all mistakes are mine.
Annie comes in every morning, an hour before most students are even up and knocks lightly on the glass doors of the library. Glenda, waiting for her as usual, smiles and unlocks the door, letting her in. Her big ring of keys clack against the metal frame, ringing in a familiar way to Annie's ears. She's become used to this.
Her morning ritual.
Glenda assumes she has OCD, and Annie lets her think that.
"Good morning," Annie chirps, smiling so widely it nearly breaks her face. The fakeness isn't complete because she likes this woman. "Thanks for letting me do this. Again."
"No problem, Annie." The soft British accent no longer surprises Annie. "You go have at it, I've got bins to empty." She pushes her cart of cleaning supplies with her, one squeaky wheel echoing throughout the library.
It's the same every morning, so much so that Annie has trouble remembering a time when she hasn't come here this early. A time when she hasn't needed to. She crosses to the study room and stops in the doorway. The room is empty, observing her as much as she's observing it. She's here alone and the room mocks her for that.
A determined sound leaves her tight lips.
Tightening her hand on the handle of her bag, she steps inside, taking the power from the room. Unzipping the bag, smiling a little to herself at the sound it makes, she sets it on the floor and kneels beside it. Delving inside, she pulls free a rag and a bottle of disinfectant cleaner.
Her eyes travel to the table, imposing and intimidating at this height, but small and insignificant when she stands and approaches it.
She stares it down.
"You won't get the best of me."
She's here to stay now, at Greendale for the long haul. No more talk of transfers and flags and disappointed feelings.
Her heart breaks a little as she sprays the table with cleaner. It breaks as she thinks of leaving this room, the school, and her friends behind. Leaving it all behind because of a table. Eight legs and a flat surface.
How could they?
Something so innocent and loved has become an enemy to her.
Wiping the surface with large circles, she scrubs and scrubs, moving down toward Shirley's seat, then Pierce's. Troy and Abed's sections come next. Then she stops.
Spraying in front of Britta's seat makes her a little ill.
Britta's her friend, but her heart beats faster and her eyes sting. Annie hates that a tiny part of her hates Britta. It's buried so deep that she'll never let it rise to the surface, but it's there and it eats at her and she wants it to disappear. To just dry up or shrivel up and slip out of her heart, out of her mind. Friends don't hate one another, do they?
Tightening her hand on the spray bottle, she aims it at Jeff's section. "You're just a stupid table." Still, her hand won't squeeze the trigger because she knows she'll have to wipe it then. Every morning it's the same.
Glenda is coming by on her way to the office; Annie can hear her footsteps.
She'll come by and ask how Annie's doing, smile and pretend to understand the morning ritual, then head into the office. Annie will spray the table and scrub at it with enough force to take off a few inches from any other surface.
Not today. Today, she's going to beat the table.
Holding the bottle out further, she squeezes the trigger with both hands, listening to the deep exhale of the pump, then drops it and uses both hands to scrub the table. She leans over, pressing hard, feeling the chair dig into her side, but she scrubs and scrubs and scrubs, feeling a little lighter with each pass of the cloth.
She's beating the table, winning like never before.
A lock of hair drops over her forehead and she blows it back with a grin that, for some reason, doesn't feel genuine and falls soon after. The heaviness is back and she scrubs some more, but it's no use.
The table is beating her. She hates the table.
Tears fill her eyes as she twists the cloth in her hands. Today isn't the day. Packing up her supplies, she shoulders her bag, and, with a last look at the room, seeks out Glenda.
After storing her bag in the trunk of her car, she spends an hour in an all-night diner, nursing a single cup of cold coffee, staring out at the sunrise. By the time the rest of the study group straggles into the library, Annie is seated at the table, books open in front of her, smile on her lips.
She'll beat the table tomorrow morning, she's sure.