They were no doubt complaining about my recent sensitivity as I marched away from Study Room F, but I couldn't be bothered by it at this point. After all, why should I? It

was true. Around the holidays it couldn't be helped. Especially given everything that's happened since Pierce's passing has been complete and utter crap. A little less than a

third of our group was gone, and everyone else was barely holding on. I was just trying to make some kind of positive out of it. Unity tended to do that for us, but that was

when we had Annie to care enough to organize. Now, it's up to me and nobody wants to hear it. It's all on my shoulders because everyone else is so darn damaged to even try

to move on from this. They're not the ones who started the fire. But whatever. It's their lives, I can't control the coping process. After all, I'm the one that got out of it without

so much as a scratch, right? I had no room to talk so they had said.

Before I could get to my car, Jeff ran up next to me and lightly moved me aside so he could stand against my driver's side door.

"What the heck was that all about? I'd hardly say rejection was an acceptable reason to leave like that. God, Britta. Please don't tell me it's about how we're all living such

terrible lives and need companionship to cope, because this will be the millionth time I've had to hear that, and I'm not one for hyperbole."

"Whatever, Jeff" I stopped abruptly to face him and rolled my eyes. "Everything's just been screwed up lately and no one else is bothering to make any attempts to fix that

so why the heck not? Whatever happened to you not playing victim? Oh wait, that's never happened."

Jeff's face flushed and his eyebrows furrowed. "Britta, you look at me and tell me that you haven't been waiting for this day to come!" His face neared mine and his voice


"The day that you were the most stable one in the group and we came to you to for advice, with the semester of General Psych that I'm sure you're barely passing. Please,

Britta. Tell me that you're being completely altruistic about this, because I'd love to hear about it."

"It's not like that, Jeff! You're so full of it! You'd be on board in a second if Annie were here! I'm just trying to make things easier for us!

"Don't you dare bring Annie into this! You are insane. Do us all a favor and get back to me when you aren't acting like a lunatic. Or at least normal. Hard to believe it, but

we actually like you better that way. You're actually bearable."

I just groaned in frustration. I shot him a glare and dismissed his drama with a "Whatever. Sorry for trying. It's been dark for all of us, not just you. Now back off, I have to

get home."

Jeff raised his hands in mock surrender and moved aside without any more trouble. He sported a smug smile and left me to get in the car and drive off.

Great start to break.