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Stupid Little Things
I hate the waiting what comes with lights out. There's so much yelling, and the yelling makes me itch with the waiting. Girls who spend all day blitzed out like zombies screech louder than anything in the dark. You become the real you after lights out - learnt that from my bastard ex boyfriend, learnt that from Larkhall especially. Learnt it from Larkhall in a good way, mostly.
'You're sweeter at night,' Sheena used to say. 'You're a big softie, really, aren't you?'
'Oh, leave it out,' I'd say. Then I'd mumble something daft like, 'You're hogging the duvet, sleep in you're own bleedin' bed for once'.
Knew I was kidding, though, because she'd laugh in my ear and wrap the blanket round us both. And I'd mumble more stupid things then, embarrassing stuff 'bout which I don't care remembering. About us and a house and her boy and a garden. A stupid bloody garden.
'Course she's been gone over a year, and I'm promoted back to G3 now. All the girlfriends of screws are up here, alone in the dark. I hate the waiting. On bad nights I feel like maybe I'll be climbing the walls one day with the rest of the nutters, screaming without any real words besides 'fuck' and 'shit', like this one girl two doors down. She's either gone completely off her nut tonight, or is shagging her personal officer. I'm deciding on which is worse on my ears, when I hear the lock on my door rattle.
I don't answer. I don't know why but it gives me something, making her wait.
'Pat?' she hisses. 'Are you there?'
'No, I'm off at the pub ordering the last round before closing.'
I can hear Lou sigh, 'No Hello for me, then?'
I finally look at her, she's got her arms crossed. I lie back on my bed and watch her stride towards me.
'You took for-bloody-ever,' I mutter.
'The divine Miss Masters kept me late after school.'
'Been naughty, have you?'
'Fifty lashings,' she replies. You can only see some of her features in this light, like her smile. Sheena would say she's too old for me, even though she isn't really. Sheena would say she's too everything for me. Would say I'd have to be mad.
'Nobody seen you come?'
'Pat, give me a break.'
'You're mad enough to want to be shacked up in here, mad enough to get caught.'
'I was quiet,' she rolls her eyes. 'You're more paranoid than a withered old granny.'
'I worry, alright?' I shrug. 'And you're not exactly quiet when you're in here, are you?'
'Ah, see that would be your fault.'
'You're like a banshee,' I insist.
She just laughs at that, and tells me to stop being so serious.
'Maybe your room's haunted?'
I love watching her undress. She doesn't have to. She shouldn't, really. I mean, what if there's an emergency? What if someone bursts in and sees her, breasts bared, in my prison-issue sheets?
I like it, though.
'You're all deep and serious tonight, then?' Lou asks. 'I'm sorry I haven't been here-'
'Save it,' I say. 'You come when you can.'
She smirks idiotically at that, 'Oh, every time.'
'Give it a rest,' I say, rolling my eyes. 'And get a move on. You'll catch a bloody cold in a minute, you daft cow.'
She climbs beside me. 'You know exactly what to say to the ladies, don't you?'
I make an irritated noise, but that just makes her start talking again.
'Don Juan's got nothing on you.'
I throw my top on the ground, but she doesn't notice.
'I think I should send you to a finishing school,' she muses. 'Or charm school, or-'
I shut her up with a kiss, and she makes a soft little noise and melts into me. I don't mumble stupid little promises about us and the outside. I just try to enjoy us in the next ten minutes, and leave forever for another night.
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