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Mirror: Chapter 5

CutOut Mar 31st, 2019 (edited) 102 Never
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  1. Alita stared at the ceiling of her bedroom.
  2.  
  3. Although painted in cheerful colors it was currently dreary, because she had shut out all the light she could. Only in oppressive darkness could Alita fall asleep.
  4.  
  5. If she couldn't see, then she couldn't see how unhappy she was.
  6.  
  7. After glancing at the full-length mirror, she remembered she turned it to face the wall.
  8.  
  9. A gentle rapping on her door startled her. She didn't answer.
  10.  
  11. Go away Ido. I can't. Not right now.
  12.  
  13. Another knock.
  14.  
  15. "Alita? It's Adem."
  16.  
  17. Oh, this is so much worse.
  18.  
  19. "Can I open the door?"
  20.  
  21. "No."
  22.  
  23. "Right, ah, I'll do this through the door then. Ido told me what happened between you and Hugo--"
  24.  
  25. Damn it, dad. Don't do that.
  26.  
  27. Her fists curled in frustration.
  28.  
  29. "--and I want to apologize for studying your fighting techniques without asking first."
  30.  
  31. She clenched her jaw and then followed up by covering her mouth with her hand.
  32.  
  33. Shut up, Adem. What do you know? I don’t want to cry again. Just shut up. Shut. Up.
  34.  
  35. “So, I’m sorry.”
  36.  
  37. She waited for his footfall to indicated he left.
  38.  
  39. You apologized, now scram!
  40.  
  41. “My sister is coming over later for lunch. She’s one of your fans and looks up to you. So, if you’re not busy--”
  42.  
  43. “I’m busy,” she blurted then squeezed her eyes shut. She came off much ruder than she wanted.
  44.  
  45. “I see. Motorball and stuff?”
  46.  
  47. “Yeah, motorball and stuff. I… accept your apology.”
  48.  
  49. “Okay, well, don’t hide in a dark room too much. You might turn into a vampire.”
  50.  
  51. She let out a single giddy laugh, despite her misty eyes, before squashing the rest.
  52.  
  53. You happy moron.
  54.  
  55. That single laugh felt like a life preserver, keeping her afloat. Instead of sobbing, she let herself lay still. An hour later she got up, dressed, and tiptoed down the hall.
  56.  
  57. The scraping of silverware on ceramic plates filled the house, accompanied by pleasant conversation.
  58.  
  59. Right, lunch.
  60.  
  61. Adem noticed her first, but he didn’t say anything to draw attention. For a moment she felt like a little girl again, sneaking down to the clinic when she first woke up in Ido’s house.
  62.  
  63. Is he letting me leave?
  64.  
  65. Ido picked up on the missing beat in the conversation, followed Adem’s line of sight, and then noticed Alita.
  66.  
  67. “Good morning, sleepy head.”
  68.  
  69. So much for escaping. But it’s not like I’m actually trapped, right?
  70.  
  71. A blonde teenage girl stepped unsteadily into view, with a lower body replaced with slender cyborg legs.
  72.  
  73. “It’s her! Number 99! Alita!”
  74.  
  75. An instant later the blonde latched onto Alita in a hug.
  76.  
  77. “I’m your biggest fan! Can I have your autograph!”
  78.  
  79. Never mind. I’m trapped.
  80.  
  81. "Alita," her father said, "Meet Sarah."
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