They got to Teri’s house first, Morgan’s was at the other end of the street. Teri had to solemnly swear that she would stay at the end of her driveway until Morgan reached hers. That way they could both walk in together. Given everything, it wasn’t really a request you could say no to, but as the cold burrowed into her bones, Teri wished she’d found a way.
She could barely make our Morgan’s wave and then she ran inside, more from the cold than the fear. She tore off her coat as soon as she could. It felt like waves of cold were pouring off the thing. She stood in the living room letting her body shake for a few minutes. Finally she was warm enough to make a beeline for the stove and put the kettle on. Hot tea was called for. Definitely decaf, she didn’t need to make it any harder for her to get to sleep.
Up in her room with a scalding hot mug of tea clenched in her hands, Teri felt almost normal. She looked over at her mirror. She’d thrown a sheet on it yesterday and she checked to make sure the edges were still tightly wedged. As she drank her tea, Teri still kept glancing at it every few minutes.
Delicious warmth spread through her ribcage and now she shivered with pleasure instead of from the cold. Her mug was empty all too quickly. She was so relaxed her eyelids were starting to droop.
Teri shot bolt upright and almost dropped her cup. Homework. She’d totally forgotten about it. She’d tossed her books down with her shoes by the front door. Pulling her phone from her pocket, she sent a text to Morgan.
Totally forgot about HW. Can’t even remember what we have.
She stared at her screen, digging backwards through the day in her thoughts. The smiling picture of her and Morgan faded to darkness and then lit up again as Morgan’s reply came through.
No Chem because of the test. I have English, don’t know about you. And Math.
There was always math homework. Teri was reasonably sure she’d forgotten the book anyway. She’d try to get as much done as she could in school before class. Climbing under her covers to trap the last of the tea’s warmth, Teri thumbed through a synopsis of the book she was supposed to be reading for English.
Either the book was way more confusing than she’d thought, or she was getting too tired to absorb information. The only break she’d had from adrenaline today had been bouts of crushing anxiety. Deciding to cut herself some totally undeserved slack, Teri closed her phone’s browser and put it on her nightstand.
Turning out her light, Teri dared to hope that she wouldn’t have nightmares this time. She should’ve know that was much too much to hope for. The dreams came, and nothing could’ve prepared her.