The only reason why I get out of bed in the morning is because of the chance to see my twin sister and my boyfriend at breakfast. When I get down to the cafeteria on the second floor, I find Alan sitting in our usual corner in the far right of the massive room. For the first time in weeks, he's sitting alone.
"Where's Ros?" I ask him when I'm a few feet away from him.
"I don't know, Lee." He rises, towering over me as I close the space between us. His large hand reaches for mine and gently tangles with my thin fingers. His other hand reaches up to brush along my flushing cheek.
We head over to the breakfast line hand in hand. Part of me wants to stay and wait until she comes down, just so I know that she's alright. The other part of me knows that if she's sleeping in this late, she probably screwed someone she likes so well and so much that she didn't want to leave first thing in the morning.
Either that or she banged someone in her own bed for once.
The food line is almost empty when we get to it. Most of the kids have either already eaten and headed out to go to school, or find work, or are eating at the tables surrounding the room before leaving for the day.
There's no real age that dominates the area. There's everything from pre-teens to almost adults to actual adults. Even the staff has a whole slew of different ages. The youngest worker we have is Ros, who runs the AA and Al-Anon meetings under the table. The oldest worker there is is Jasmine, the founder and creator of the shelter we all live in- The Shelter for Rainbow Youth.
A soft tapping on my shoulder takes me out of my mind. I turn to face Alan, looking up into kind blue eyes. He asks me, "Are you okay, love?"
I laugh, step towards him, and bury my chucking face in his lightly padded chest. His hand cups the back of my head, holding me close. After my laughing subsides, I look back up at him and grin painfully wide. "I love you, Al."
His smile lights up the room. I reach up to touch his lightly bearded cheek, my thumb brushing against the bristles. He leans into my touch, closing his eyes behind his large wire-frame glasses. "I love you too, Lee."
"Aw, you guys are so gay," a familiar voice cooes from behind us. I turn to glare at my sister, pulling away from my boyfriend and crossing my arms when I look at the girl who is sheepishly fidgeting behind her.
"Who is this?" I ask, stepping around my sibling. The girl freezes like a deer in headlights when I move around Ros to get a better look at the girl she's hiding.
The girl's face looks non-threatening enough- big green eyes with pinkish cheeks. Her hair is almost as short as Alan's shaved head. Her tee-shirt, jeans, and converse are all holey and smell like she walked through the woods to get here. She probably did. The two things that stick out the most are the hundreds of scars on her visible forearms and the massive purple hickey on the side of her pale neck.
"This is the new girl." Ros grins up at the crewcut chick. "She came in last night when Jasmine and I were starting to lock up for the night. After breakfast, I'm taking her downstairs to fill out paperwork and set her up with a roommate."
Terror fills the eyes of the ginger child. "I thought that I'd be staying with you." She swallows uncomfortably and shifts away from us. "Why can't I stay with you?"
Ros grimaces. Time for the lie she normally tells her one night stands. "My room always has an extra bed in it for situations like yours- when someone comes in at night and it's too late to set them up in a room."
Surprisingly, it looks like the new girl believes her. That's unusual.
What's even more unusual is when Alan speaks up and talks directly to the couple before us. "My roommate got accepted back into her family last week, and no one has claimed that side of the room as theirs. If you want to, you can room with me."
Excitements floods Ros's face. Confusion and wariness fills the redhead's. The ginger asks, "We can't room together. You're a guy and I'm a… not guy."
Ros hides her laugher well. Mine erupts out of my mouth viciously. The girl silently fumes at us. Alan patiently asks after our chucked subside, "Are you gay?"
Immediately she says, " Yeah. Aren't you?"
Alan nods. "I'm gay. Really gay. Like, really really gay." He points to me. "Especially for that one."
Ros and I cackle at the mildly uncomfortable look on the new girl's face. My boyfriend continues with, "Considering that we're both gay and are currently dating people, we should be able to room together without there being an issue."
Ros's face flushes redder than the scarlet lipstick she's wearing. She shakes her head rapidly, her mostly purple hair flying around her face. "We-" she gestures to the girl next to her and back to herself, "are not dating,"
The disappointment that falls over the redhead's face almost makes me feel bad for her.
I know in my heart of hearts that if this child falls for my slut of a sister that she will never recover from the crash down. Ros will use her, take what she wants from her, and leave what's left of her out for the dogs to devour. At least Ros will tell this unsuspecting girl all of this before she jumps in head first.
As much as I don't want Ros to hurt another unsuspecting girl, I hope that this one could be the one to change Ros for the better. I saw the scars on her arms. They practically match the oners on Ros's arms. Maybe, just maybe, they will both share a certain name on their thighs. Maybe then the ginger kid can try to convince Ros that true love really does exist, that it's not a scientific miscalculation. Maybe then Ros will actually let someone love her, and maybe she'll even try to love her back.
Maybe. Just maybe.
Or probably not.