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"Oh there you are!" Avan exclaimed as soon as his eyes landed on me, letting out a sigh of relief. "You weren't in class this morning, I thought something terrible happened to you."
I held up my elbows to show him, the corners of my lips curling downwards. I had large bandages plastered across both of my elbows, effectively covering the scratches and bruises that were covered in blood. I watched as his eyes widened to the size of a saucer before me and he took my elbow in his hand to examine them closely.
"What happened to you?" He asked, concern laced his voice as he continued to stare at my injured elbow. "Does it hurt? Wait, who am I kidding, of course it hurts. How did this happen?"
"I fell when I was riding my bike to school," I told him as I recalled how I tried to dodge a little girl in the path and ended up falling over. "Good thing I am wearing jeans, my knees aren't injured." I lifted my legs, swinging one of them as I stood on my other leg, just to prove my point.
"You should stay home to rest, I already took notes for you in the earlier lecture."
"Oh. Thanks Avan, but I'm really fine. Just bruised elbows, no big deal. I don't need my elbows for school," I said, letting out a laugh.
"Fine, but you shouldn't go to work today."
"I'm fine, really! Nothing you say is going to stop me," I said before running away to my next class just as the bell rang.
"Bailey Rivers!" I heard him yell behind me but I could hear the smile in his voice.
"See you later!" I shouted back, raising my arm up to wave without even looking back.
Lessons had past by in a blur and before I know it, school had ended and that also meant that I have to be at work soon. I had my head tilted downwards, my eyes fixated on the ground as I quickly put my long hair up into a bun, rushing out of school.
Yet again, I found myself bumping into another person's chest and I let out a loud yelp. "Oh my god, I'm sorry."
"I'm sorry," a familiar voice apologised as well. I looked up and locked eyes with none other than Ethan.
He looked tired, pretty much like the last time I saw him. Except this time he was dressed in a nice black button down shirt and he had the sleeves rolled up to where his elbows were. He had paired it with a pair of jeans, I recognised those jeans. It's the one I had bought for him last year as a gift.
"Oh, hey Rivers," he said, calling me by my last name. It's a habit of his and I used to love it honestly. The way his deep voice sounded when he calls me, how it sounded so sweet and gentle. But now, hearing my name come out of his mouth disgusts me.
"I'm in a hurry," I told him, my eyes void of any emotions as I stared at him coldly before spinning on my heels to walk away.
I felt his fingers wrapped around my wrist as he pulled me back to him. "Hey, what happened to your-"
"Let go of me," I demanded and he slowly lifted his fingers off my skin. "Don't you get it? I have no interest in talking to you. Please just leave me alone and don't bother talking to me ever again. You were the one who broke up with me so just pretend you don't know me or that I don't exist."
"Rivers..." He mumbled under his breath and I thought I saw sadness flashed past his eyes for a mere second but I quickly shook that off, thinking that I wasn't seeing things right.
"I got to go," was all I said before I turned around to leave, leaving him behind as I walked out of school.
"Bailey!" Avan called out from afar as he waved at me in a dramatic manner with a huge smile plastered across his face.
I forced the corners of my lips upwards into a small smile, waving back at him as I made my way towards him. "Hey," I greeted.
"What took you so long? Wouldn't wanna be late on the first day of work now do we?"
"Sorry, I was caught up with something earlier," I told him.
"Ah, sure. It's fine, let's go. We have 20 minutes."
I slid into the passenger seat while he slid into the driver's seat on the left. The engine roared to live and soon, we were zooming down the busy streets.
Pop music was playing at the back as I stared at the trees and buildings we past, a small pout on my lips.
"Hey, you okay? What's on your mind?" Avan asked beside me, his eyes still fixed on the road ahead of him. "You are really quiet."
"Nah, it's nothing. Don't worry," I lied. My mind was filled unanswered questions and it doesn't help that the scene from earlier can't stop replaying like a broken television.
"Sure," he had finally said after a while. If he wasn't convinced, he surely did not show it as he did not say anything more or pursue it any further.
He drove in silence for the next 5 minutes, occasionally humming along to the music as I continued to stare out of the window with a blank mind.
The car had finally pulled over and we had arrived at my first official work place which was also Avan's new work place.
I stood by the doors of the restaurant, looking up at the sign board hanging high up above me as I took in a deep breath.
A sudden realisation had dawned upon me. I was so lucky that I never had to work or lift a finger since the day I was born, just because there wasn't a need to. I was pampered by my parents, I get everything I wanted with no hesitation. I never had to work hard outside of school, I never had to bear the responsibility of earning my own income or providing for myself. This whole time, I had relied on my parents relentlessly. The thought of this somehow scares me and I can't help but feel this churning feeling deep within my tummy.
"Why? Nervous? I'm guessing it's your first job huh."
I nodded silently as the sound of my heart pounding against my chest echoed in my head.