(hope no one saw that
Gm approved by the way.)
She waited a moment before responding. It was a sad moment, characterized by averting eyes and fidgeting hands.
"... Yeah," Paisley smiled, warmer than before, not forced, "I'm a fucking mess too. We all are. I think."
Paisley was not one to curse. It was Corin's answer that set her off. But she did not curse in anger, and when she reached for the rest of the things, she kept her eyes on his. He came to see her? It was flattering to say the least. As she turned back towards him, she paused, lips pursing. She studied Corin.
They met in art class. Corin, so of course they got on. She never thought too deeply about him though. Her interests were elsewhere, of course. If Corin was disappointed or angry he never showed it. He was always nice. Shy, nervous, maybe, but nice all the same. Paisley appreciated that about him. Could she call him a friend? She wasn't sure. She wanted to, in that moment. It made things easier.
She smiled again.
"You know," Paisley said, "you were always a nice boy."
Then she did something that shocked even her. She shouldered her bag, dropped the gun and grabbed him by the lapels. Paisley Hopkins was eighteen years old and her first kiss was with Corin Albanesi.
There was no love, not on her side. Paisley did not want to die kissless. Paisley could handle dying a virgin. Expected it, even. But kissless? The thought made her want to curl up into a ball. Theoretically it could have been any boy. Preferably someone cute and sweet and kind and who wouldn't try to push Paisley into going further. In truth she wasn't about to kiss just anyone. There was a name at the tip of her brain, Marcus, Marcus, Marcus, but Vahka smashed those hopes with a mallet. So she found someone close. Someone she liked. He was no soccer player, sure, but Corin was cute in his own way, and he was always nice. Paisley was glad he was there, and that he wanted to see her
. It made things easier. She prayed to Jesus, Mary and Joseph he did not freak out, pull away and mutter something about how it "wasn't going to work" or how there was "somebody else". She would die if that happened. Just drop like a fly.
He didn't pull away, though.
She was thankful for that.
The kiss was nice, too. She thought it was nice.
Her heart did not throb and her body did not melt. But the butterflies in her stomach fluttered. She figured that was a good sign.
But that made what came next all the more crushing.
Harder to bear.
But she had to do it.
She let go of his jacket. She took a step back. Once she did, her demeanor changed. Gone was the smile that stitched it's way across her lips, replaced by misty eyes and smooth lips.
"But I don't think we can be friends. I'm sorry."
Then Paisley shouldered her bag and left.
She did not want him to stop her, not even to say goodbye. She figured the farewell was implied. Implicit. Clear-cut. Crystal. Corin would understand, surely. It wasn't like they were going out or anything. He would understand.
She realized that her actions were strange and illogical but there was nothing to be done. Paisley hoped he wouldn't follow her. Something in the pit of her chest told her that he would, though. Pia would handle it, she told herself. They were killers. Pia could handle anything that Paisley wanted no part of.
(Paisley Hopkins continued in The Nthn Wave