Hey guys, sorry for the wait again, this chapter took me ages to write. I've decided to focus on this story, because it only has another three or four chapters to go, and then I'll go back to a cinderella complex.
It's like you never had wings.
Logan had been lying in the same motionless position on his bed for the last three hours. Of course his unmade bed was so piled high with clothes, recently abandoned laundry, and many other thankfully soft expendables, that it wasn't immediately obvious that he was even in the room. But the music blaring at a deafening volume contradicted that. Everyone in Maxwell hall knew that Logan was there, and the genre that was currently assaulting their eardrums served as a warning of painful mutilation to anyone who dared to complain about it.
He didn't understand what had happened. Well, he did, he knew he'd been forcefully put in his place and dragged down quite a few notches; what he didn't understand was why it hurt so much. Rejection wasn't something that he had to deal with often, but it did happen on occasion, even to the great Logan Reese, and it rarely bothered him. This time it did.
He felt like he'd been floating around above everyone and everything, and someone had just reminded him that it was impossible, and gravity had kicked in. He hadn't hit the ground yet, he was still falling, but he knew that when he admitted to himself what he was already aware of on some level, he was in for a painful landing.
Everything had changed, but at the same time nothing had. He'd still slept with her. She'd still whimpered his name as she came. He'd still held her afterwards, and never wanted to let her go. It was exactly the same as last time. Except this time he knew that there was no future in it, no future with her. He knew she was just using him as a distraction, which fair enough he'd done too many times himself, with too many different girls. He had just never known it could feel like this.
"Dude, you do know that there's volume control on that thing right?" Chase yelled disapprovingly, as he entered the room and slammed the door in an attempt to make himself heard. "There's also a stop button, and the ever popular option of destroying the CD completely…"
Chase often referred to the Deftones as music to slit your wrists to. That was because he'd rather slit his wrists than give any song of theirs a chance and bear with it till the chorus; a point he'd made graphically clear, several time. He bent down and unplugged the CD player, with deliberate malice; something that Logan wouldn't usually stand for, but on this occasion he was relieved. The song 'Change' was mid indistinct slur, and the lyric 'I watched a change in you, it's like you never had wings' was way too relevant.
It had struck a nerve the last four times it had played too, but he hadn't been able to force himself to move. It was like she never had wings, she had never been that angelic perfect person that he'd made her up to be and kept on a pedestal all these years. But the halo was still there, tarnished but firmly in place, and as hard as he tried he couldn't force her off that pedestal.
"Not that I'm complaining, but why am I still un-pummelled?" Chase questioned hesitantly as he retrieved a chilled bottle of Blix from the fridge. "You ok?"
"I'm fine." Logan muttered unconvincingly, as he sat up and motioned for Chase to toss another bottle his way.
"Where were you this afternoon? Seriously, if you keep blowing off math like this you might have to go into a witness protection programme to stop Mr Geddes from doing unspeakable things to you."
Logan forced a weak smile.
"I was with Dana."
"I don't need details." Chase insisted hurriedly. "I got front row seats last time, remember?"
Chase looked at him curiously, obviously expecting a witty remark about the size of his penis, or at the very least mock embarrassment.
"…Did you guys have an argument or something?"
"Just a wake up call." Logan said, trying to give the impression that he couldn't care less, as he twisted the lid off his bottle and took a few calming swigs of his cherry Blix.
"Elaborate." Chase ordered, seeing right through his friend's dismal attempt at casual, and taking a concerned seat next to him.
Logan sighed, and closed his eyes, complying for god knows what reason.
"I think I'm in love with her." He choked; his voice cracking as the metaphorical ground finally hit, and shattered every bone. "She doesn't feel the same."
The line was bad. The static crackled loudly, and the distance distorted the sound of her mother's voice so much that Dana barely recognized it. It had taken five minutes of pacing and fiddling with the volume and reception of her phone just to work out who was on the other end. It was almost ironic that she heard every word of the following sentence in crystal clear high definition.
"I booked you're ticket this afternoon. You're going back to Paris two weeks tomorrow."
"…W-what…?" she yelled, gripping the phone to the side of her head so tightly she was sure it would leave an imprint.
"I'll emai- flight inf-ation –morrow. I-"
A rhythmic beeping sounded in her ear, informing her that the connection had been lost, and to please hang up and try again. She just about had the presence of mind to press the cancel button and let the phone fall out of her hand. There was very little chance of her managing to remember and dial a ten-digit phone number.
Dana carefully sat down on her bed, and brought her knees up to her chest. She wrapped her comforter around her shoulders tightly, and buried her face in it. The only vaguely comforting thing about it was the lingering smell of Logan's aftershave that was still woven into the fabric, and even that wasn't enough to stop the tears. The droplets forming and cascading down her face didn't even register.
The familiar throbbing of a headache was steadily increasing in her temples, as defeat was slowly realized. She lacked any control over her own life. She couldn't keep her family together. She couldn't stop the arguments or the plate throwing, or the terrible things her parents said to each other whenever they were forced into the same room. She couldn't stop her granddad from dying. She couldn't even control which country she lived in for god's sake. She was pathetic. A muted reflection of the independent strong willed Dana Cruz who used to confidently stride these halls.
She constantly had to remind herself of the way the old Dana would act, or the things that she would say, just so that she could keep up the pretence that that person still existed. She'd somehow lost herself over the last three years. And every time a major decision was taken out of her hands, another piece of her faded away. The truth was, she didn't know who she was anymore.
Dana was mid self loathing thought when room 101's purple door unexpectedly swung open with a lazy creak, yawning a cool breeze into the dorm.
"I'm just saying," Lola was laughing, "Jack sparrow is hotter than Johnny Depp."
Zoey frowned at her incredulously, and shook her head. "Jack sparrow IS Johnny Depp. Just with long hair and makeup…"
"I am not a lesbian!"
Zoey giggled at her overdramatic friend being, and tossed her bag carelessly onto her bed. Her humoured gaze rested on Dana, and her smile fell, concern flooding her face.
"Dana? What's wrong? Are you ok?"
That's when Dana realized how ridiculous she must look, curled up on her bed in the foetal position, practically hiding under her duvet with a flood of unstoppable tears dribbling down her gormless face.
"N-nothing." She stammered, hurriedly wiping the tears from her face, and forcing her features back into her signature scowl. "I'm fine; I just… got hair spray in my eye."
"Both of them?" Zoey asked sceptically.
"Yeah. It's pretty painful, you want me to demonstrate?"
Dana reached out and grabbed the aerosol can, giving it a few threatening shakes. The action lost valuable menace when she jumped slightly, as her abandoned phone vibrated insistently next to her, the screen proudly flashing with the words 'incoming call'. She tightened her death-grip on her comforter, and just looked at it, watching as it hovered across about a centimetre with each vibration, inching closer and closer to the edge of bed.
"You do realize that will stop if you answer it." Lola offered sarcastically.
Dana didn't bother to look up. Her attention was focused on the phone, and whether or not her mother would hang up before it buzzed its way onto the floor.
"Seriously will you just take the damn call?"
"Will you just mind your own business?"
Lola placed a slender hand on her non existent hip, tossed her wavy hair out of her defiant eyes and glared at her.
"I would actually call my insane roommate having a breakdown and hiding from her phone, my business."
Dana clenched her jaw shut, and went for the killing two birds with one stone approach. She grabbed the phone mid vibration, and hurled it at Lola, who somehow managed to sidestep out of the way at the last possible moment, and scream like she'd just fallen victim to an attempted assassination. The phone smashed into a sunflower on the windowsill and shattered the terracotta pot, toppling it onto the desk. Muddy soil, still sodden from that mornings loving and thorough watering, took the opportunity to escape its terracotta prison, and enthusiastically splattered everything within 40cm. That included Zoey's astonished face, and a neatly folded blue square of cashmere that happened to be situated directly below the rogue pot.
"My new sweater!" Lola shrieked, mercilessly yanking the limp homeless flower off her precious sweater and hurling it over her shoulder, before shaking the garment vigorously in an attempt to limit the damage.
"My sunflower!" Zoey yelped, bending down next to the discarded plant. "Dana that was a present from my mom!"
"You so did that on purpose." Lola spat accusingly, hugging her sweater.
"I was aiming for you." Dana reminded her icily, barely able to see the funny side of the situation, despite the infuriated expression on Lola's face.
"This is ruined! You do realize you owe me 30 bucks?"
"Oh good luck with that."
"If you damage someone else's property it's polite to offer to replace it."
Dana bent down to retrieve her phone, and slipped it into her pocket. The back had fallen off, and the screen was cracked, but at least it had stopped ringing.
She straightened up stiffly, and looked Lola up and down. The girl was nowhere near as special as she thought she was. Okay, she was pretty, but not enough to balance out her arrogant attitude. It enlarged her head to such an extent that it was a wonder her tiny shoulders could accommodate the extra weight. Time was, Dana would have taken her out in a heartbeat, just to teach her a lesson.
"Firstly, I am not polite. Secondly, it's your own fault; if you hadn't moved, it wouldn't have happened."
"You can't just go around throwing electrical equipment at people!" Lola yelled, stamping her foot angrily, like a toddler mid-tantrum.
"Next time it'll be a six foot sound system."
"Are you threatening me?"
"Are you still talking?"
Zoey scrambled to her feet, finally accepting the fate of her sunflower, and stepped in between them.
"Will you guys stop?" she yelled, with a very uncharacteristic flash of anger in her voice; it tightened her lips as she clenched her jaw, and filled her usually understanding eyes with a genuinely unnerving blaze.
"Not until she apologizes." Lola announced superiorly, crossing her arms, and turning her head away from Dana.
"Again, good luck with that."
"Zoeeeey!" Lola whined.
Zoey rolled her eyes in annoyance, and started fiddling with her t-shirt, which shed just realized was in a similar state to Lola's splattered sweater.
"Dana, for god's sake, just say you're sorry. I don't even care if you mean it, I'm sick of all of this arguing!"
"You made Zoey yell." Lola stated with a childish pout.
"You make me want to punch myself."
"You're such a bitch!"
"And you're an anorexic slut, but what are you gonna do?"
Lola protectively wrapped her arms around her tiny frame, and did her best fish impression as she desperately tried to think of a comeback. Zoey just gawped at her. Dana couldn't explain it, but the tense silence made her feel better. The fact that Zoey and Lola were speechless meant that she'd had some effect on them. It reassured her that her actions still had consequences even if they were negative. It made her feel in control, if only for a few seconds.
"You're attitude really needs to change." Zoey stated unsteadily, launching into an in depth psychoanalysis. "I don't know what your deal is Dana, but you can't keep treating people like this. You're rude, you're violent. You attacked Logan with a compass for crying out loud! If you keep this up, you're going to lose all of your friends. I want to help you, but I can't if you won't tell me what's wrong."
By the end of her speech, Zoey's voice was wobbling unevenly, and her eyes were brimming with unspilled tears. Dana almost felt guilty. She almost considered bursting into fresh tears and telling her everything. But of course, Dana Cruz would never do that. So she bared her teeth and went for the kill.
"Oh go fuck Chase."
"Dana!" Lola gasped.
"What? Someone needs to screw that goody-goody attitude out of her." She finished coldly.
The hurt expression on Zoey's face didn't bother her at all. At least that's what she told herself. Regret was nowhere to be found as she defiantly stormed out of the room, slamming the door so hard that it bounced back out of its hinges and reverberated loudly into the stunned silence. This place didn't mean anything to her anymore. The people here didn't know her any better than she knew herself. Maybe it was for the best that she was leaving.
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