Reggie waited until she was sure the tiny bathroom behind the library assistant’s desk was empty before she went in, making sure to lock the door behind her.
Hopefully, Dee had not seen anything, and did not decide to come into the library looking for her with Jay in tow. Not much seemed to get past Dee these days, and Reggie had never been able to fool Jay, not even when they had been little kids. If either of them figured it out, they would be telling her parents faster than she could think of anything to stop them. They would do it because they thought they would be helping her, but the truth was that them saying anything would only make the situation worse.
Right now, the last thing Reggie wanted was to hear another lecture from her mother about doing this kind of thing to get attention – last night’s lecture had been more than enough. Her mother just did not understand that this had nothing to do with getting attention from her and Dad. It was about finding a way to deal with how she was feeling without dragging anyone else into it. She thought that she was being rather adult in that respect, but her mother did not quite see it that way and likely never would. Still, Reggie had to try it her way.
She set her backpack on the floor, then bent down and pulled one of the razor blades she had taken from her theater tech class a couple of months ago out of the front pocket. There was a little dried blood on the edge of it, left from her trip to the bathroom this morning.
Reggie tapped the blade against her fingertip, and sighed when she pulled it back and found it had cut nothing. As she had suspected during second period, the blade was dull and needed to be thrown away. It had been too hard and had taken too long to get the small patch on her right arm that she had gotten done before going back to class. Her teacher had given her a funny look when she got back to class, and Reggie knew she was going to have to find another class to do it in.
Reggie slid down until she was sitting on the floor and reached into the front pocket again, praying she would come up with the other razor blade she had stuck in there solely for this occasion, then had to stifle the groan that came to her lips when her hand came up with nothing but pens with bite marks and pencils that were in desperate need of sharpening. If the spare blade was not in her backpack, it was sitting on top of the books she had checked out for her history project - which were stacked on the top of her desk and collecting dust because Reggie only liked history a little bit better than she liked English. Math was her best subject because she did so much better with numbers than with words. The numbers were far easier to understand than Shakespeare’s constant use of “thee” and “thou”, and the rules were easier to remember than the names and events in history.
Reggie let out another exasperated sigh as she threw the old blade back into the front pocket, zipped it up, and got to her feet. There was no way she was going to be able to cut until she got home, and she was not about to let on to anyone what her real purpose in here was, so she grabbed the bottle of orange juice Dee had insisted she pick up in the lunch line today and poured it into the toilet, before flushing it. For good measure, she walked over to the sink and washed her hands. Then she picked up her backpack, stuffed the bottle back inside, closed the pockets, and headed out the door into the land of the sort of normal people that lay beyond it.
Max Beckman – the super cute guy in her math and history classes who took on the library assistant role during lunch – was sitting at the desk when she came out. He looked up at her and smiled.
“Hi, Reggie,” he said quietly. “Didn’t know you were in there.”
“Just had to do my business.” Reggie managed a weak smile in response. “Dee hasn’t come in here, has she?”
“Nope.” Max’s attention turned back to the screen of the antiquated computer that contained the newly computerized check out system for the library. “But I haven’t been here for long. She might have slipped in before I sat down.”
“Thanks.” Reggie was almost relieved. As long as Dee had stayed and waited for Jay like she had said she would, Reggie was in the clear. “If she comes in, don’t tell her I’m here. I actually want to get some studying done.”
“Not a problem.” Max’s fingers flew across the keyboard. “You haven’t touched the books for our project yet, have you?”
“Guilty as charged.” Reggie grimaced. “I have yet to crack the books – been trying to keep up with the assignments Mr. Gibson’s been handing out lately.”
“Ah, yes. It’s not tough, just…”
“… time consuming,” Reggie finished for Max. “If I get a chance after math, I promise I will.”
“As long as you have some of it done before Friday....” He looked up at the approach of another student. “Now get yourself going so you don’t have me to use as an excuse for not getting your studying done.”
“Yes, sir.” Reggie nodded, and headed for the table in the furthest corner of the library. Max was cute, but he was a serious guy, and he had a serious girlfriend. Everyone knew it, and no one bothered them – especially not Reggie. She had some respect for that kind of thing. Besides, she knew how little market value she had. Everyone knew about her and her problems.
She dumped her backpack onto the table, took her English book, then opened it up and began to read. Hopefully, she could get some peace this lunch period, and finish up the second act of The Crucible before class today. No offense to Mrs. Randall, but English just was not her subject, and she hated reading pretty much everything that was assigned in class.
Just so long as I don’t fall asleep reading this, we’ll all be okay…
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