Anna persistently twisted her hair as she sat on the end of the bed. Her eyes, naturally big, were fixed on the floor. She had been awake all night, but she had the rare beauty which meant that a night without sleep made her look younger, more naive, instead of fatigued. She hadn’t cleaned her teeth since the morning before and she could feel the sugar crystallising around her gums. She rubbed her legs together and felt the faint regrowth on her shins. 

She began to fantasise about being the shower; the water weighing down her hair, pulling her head back. The smell of tea tree overwhelming her senses as she lathered shower gel generously over her skin.

Ben, still passed out behind on the bed behind her, twitched and broke her out of her reverie. 

She hadn’t intended last night to go as far as it did. She liked being the centre of attention, being desired and stared at. She wanted people to look at her; wanted the boys to want her, the girls to hate her, for them all to wonder what it would be like to fuck her. But she hadn’t meant to end the night with Ben. 

“You only want me because you know you can’t have me”, she’d said to him last night, as he lifted her off the floor and thrust her against the wall.

Furtively, she felt her neck and winced as her fingers found the impression of Ben’s teeth. She traced the indentation as though attempting to read Braille and held her breath as she dug her nails in.  

With the surreptitious skill of Parisian thief, she moved about the room collecting her clothes.

As Anna stepped out into the pale, naked light of the early December morning, she regretted the previous evenings choice of outfit. She struggled to light a cigarette as the icy air numbed her fingers.

She thought about what she’d say: where she’d been, who with, doing what, who else was there… the questions, she knew, had already been set up and would hit like a cannonade as she walked through the door.

Despite the cold she walked slowly in the direction of her house.

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