Part V: The Redo
When I returned outside Allison had heated up the pool, the air now reminding me more of a sauna. Then Allison’s partner/friend Found me.
“Hello there.” She said, her tone low. She had a one-sided grin on her face as well as she very obviously looked me up and down.“I’m Sheila.”
“Hi,” I answered, wondering if I was missing something. Allison was covering their face with one palm when I glanced at them. Oh god Sheila, please don’t… I immediately stopped looking at Allison, frowning. Caroline had been practically yelling at me but it shouldn’t have been so straightforward with Allison. Unless…I had connected with them a lot, could that have had some unexpected effect? Sheila was messing with Allison, that vibe was clear.
“I’ve heard a lot about you,” Sheila said, drawing me from my musing.
“Hopefully all good. You’re Allison girlfriend, right? It’s great to meet you,” I replied.
“Good like you wouldn’t believe,” she chuckled, the words surprising me – what had Allison been saying about me?
“And we’re just friends, sort of.” It was similar to what Allison had said. I knew not all relationships were monogamous – my own parents were an example as such – but I wasn’t going to make assumptions until I had been able to speak to Allison about it. If I could ever bring myself to broach the subject. The idea of doing so made me blush.
“Oh, right,” I begun. “Are-” I stopped myself. There was no way Sheila was flirting with me, that just didn’t happen to me. “What do you think of Ravenhold?” I asked, opting for a safer subject.
“It’s fine and all, but I’m much more interested in the people.” Wow, I kind of envied her flirting skills. Except, she was definitely not flirting with me, wasn’t she? I saw Allison glare at Sheila and remembered the earlier vibe.
“Everyone here is nice. Well, avoid Allen, but everyone else is nice,” I said, smiling and trying my hardest to keep things PG. Sheila turned to Allison and began speaking in another language, I glanced between them. It was so tempting to just read their minds to know what they were saying, but I resisted it.
“I’ve heard you and Al are close,” Sheila said, suddenly resuming English.
“They’ve helped me settle in. I’m from Europe so everything here is kinda new,” I said, nodding. She muttered something else in another language, laughing.
“Well, it was nice meeting you, I’m going to be raiding the food now. Ciao-ciao,” she finally said in English, waving at us. I stared after her for a while, frowning.
“She seems nice…” I murmured, tilting my head. “Was she- nevermind, it’s not important.” It really wasn’t. I mean, she was cute, but it had only been a matter of hours since she and Allison had locked lips.
“She’s nice, don’t worry about her, she was just teasing you. She does that to everyone,” Allison said, answering my unfinished question.
I joined my parents in eating, hearing stories about Jeremy followed by me telling them about my classes. Mum of course teased me once or twice about Allison. When I shot them a side-glance it looked like they hadn’t picked up on it thankfully. The plus of being able to speak Icelandic. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Allen’s parents were okay, if very quiet. Allen himself looked like He wanted to be anywhere but there. I hoped he could resolve whatever was going on with him soon.
Eventually the evening came to an end, with Mr Martin taking our families back to the main gates. I kissed my parents goodbye and waved them goodbye, looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow. I helped with the clean up and then went to Allison’s room, knocking and chewing my lower lip until they answered the door. Gosh, why did they have to look so pretty?
“We’re still okay for tonight?” I asked, walking into their room.
I nodded, remembering I didn’t have any of my PJs or toiletries. I didn’t feel ready to go back into that room with Allen alone.
“Is something wrong?” Allison asked.
“Do you want to come with me, get my stuff from upstairs?” I asked. “I don’t really want to be alone with Allen right now.”
They took my hand as we walked, making the blush from earlier come back for a moment. The room was more of a mess, the corkboard on Allens side of the room was askew after a run-in with Jaeger. Allen himself was at his desk, looking at class notes. He heard our entrance and stood up, his eyes meeting mine. His gaze was uncomfortably intense but I couldn’t feel any ill intentions.
“Sage, I’m-” he started.
“Don’t worry about it,” I said. I wasn’t interested in an apology. Maybe later but not yet, I was still processing. He nodded and sat back down. My floor was chaos from the scene I had made when getting dressed. I rummaged my wardrobe and found some PJ bottoms which I put into my class backpack. Rather than waste time looking for more I decided to just grab that and fresh clothes. I was crashing on the floor anyway, I didn’t think Allison would mind me being shirtless too much… I frowned before remembering that my wash stuff was in a bag under my bed.
Speaking of Allison, something felt wrong. I glanced towards my bed where they were sat, waves of distress hitting me.
“Are you alright?” I asked.
“I’m… really not… Your room is making my OCD freak out,” they answered, twiddling their fingers nervously.
“Oh.” I grabbed the stuff from my floor and put it back in the wardrobe and threw the dirty stuff in the laundry basket. When I turned around Allison had grabbed the stuff I just put away. They folded them and put them in a different way.
“It wasn’t right,” they said, their voice defensive.
“Right?” I asked, trying to understand. Allison had mentioned having OCD but I admit it wasn’t a fact about them I had thought much about.
“Things need an order, they need to make sense and be right. If they’re not it brings all kinds of bad energies, everything’s going to go wrong. I know, it doesn’t make sense, but my brain won’t let it go,” they ranted, embarrassment flushing their cheeks. They looked down after speaking, hands crossed awkwardly in their lap. I kneeled on the carpet so they couldn’t avoid my gaze.
“It’s fine Allison, really. I’ll try to be tidier if I know you’re coming in here,” I said, holding their hands in mine.
“Thank you,” they whispered. I really wanted to kiss them. Not a passionate one, but a peck on their cheek or forehead. I didn’t, that wouldn’t be right.
“I got everything, how about we go back downstairs?” I asked, grabbing a blanket off my bed.
“Yes, sure,” they said, nodding. I thread my fingers through theirs as we walked, I could sense they were still a little shaken by their OCD. When we reached the room Rowan was already asleep in their bed.
“Guess I’ll make myself comfortable,” I said, placing the blanket on the floor next to their bed. The sofa probably would’ve been more comfortable but I felt safer around Allison.
“Wait,” they said and I glanced at them over my shoulder. Alison didn’t say anything and I frowned, standing up fully and facing them.
“Yes?” I asked, concerned. Still, they said nothing. “Allison?” I couldn’t help a nervous chuckle after I spoke. Then they placed their palms on my cheeks and moved closer to me. I saw in their eyes what they were going to do the moment before they did. I closed my eyes and felt the soft pressure of their lips on mine. The kiss was short and sweet – and so much better than the kiss with Allen. They pulled away quickly, their eyes moving downwards.