Broken Frames, Torn Pictures Chapter 3

Thalassa darted through the crowds of people, pulling me along behind her. After a few minutes, we arrived in front of a diner. “They have the best root beer floats here!” She had explained. We were led to a booth and I sat down. Surprisingly, Thalassa took a seat next to me.

My cheeks started heating up. “You don’t want to sit across from me?” I asked.

“No,”

A waiter walked up and Thalassa ordered one float. “I never finish one on my own,” she explained with a smile.

Is she doing this to mess with me?

“How’d you get to my school so quickly? Does your school let out earlier?”

I ran a hand through my hair and stifled a nervous laugh. Luckily, Thalassa couldn’t see how uncomfortable I was.

“Is that an uncomfortable topic? I’m sorry, if you don’t want to talk about it, it’s fine.”

How did she know? “It’s fine. I uh, dropped out of high school last year.”

Thalassa turned to face me, her head cocked to the side. “How come?”

“It’s really… really complicated.”

Before Thalassa could say anymore, a gargantuan glass was placed between us, along with two straws. “Enjoy,” the waiter said.

When we were about halfway finished with our float, Thalassa said, “I could never imagine dropping out of school. I had to beg my father to let me go to public school in the first place.”

“Did you go to a private school before?”

Thalassa shook her head. “No, I was home schooled. I just started this school year, but I already love it. I don’t have any friends, but that’s okay.” She took a sip from the float. “Well, I guess I do now. Do you have any friends? I’d love to meet them!”

“I… used too. Then I dropped out, and everyone just went on without me.”

A small frown crossed Thalassa’s face. “Well now you have a friend too.”

I smiled. “Yeah, I guess I do.”

Once we finished the rest of the float, the waiter handed us a check. I moved to pull out the money I had just been paid yesterday, but Thalassa held up a hand.

“I invited you here, so I should pay.”

I opened my mouth to insist I paid, but Thalassa had already placed the bills on the table and started walking out. “Hey, wait up!” I called. “Where are you going?”

“We’re gonna go to my home.”

I creased my brow. “I thought your dad didn’t want me hanging around there…”

“He said that you couldn’t stay the night again, but he never said you couldn’t stay for dinner.” Thalassa winked.

“Wow, I’m being treated to ice cream and dinner. What did I do to deserve that?”

“I figured you needed something more nutritious than McDonalds.”

I creased my brow. “How did you…”

“I saw you running down the street.”

Oh god she saw that… I laughed nervously. “Yeah, that wasn’t one of my prouder moments.”

Thalassa smiled sweetly despite my fidgeting around. “Well the past is in the past. C’mon, dinner’s gonna be ready soon.”

Once again I was dragged through the streets by a girl that seemed a bit too excited about everything. I mean, who loves school? It’s an absolute Hellhole filled with douche bags that don’t care about learning and want to make everyone pay for their boredom. And Thalassa actually liked to be there? Maybe her school was different, or she’s just more tolerant than I.

My face slammed into a pole, and I let out a grunt that was very becoming of me. Thalassa was pulled back due to the impact and turned to face me.

“Are you alright?” She had me by the arms, a concerned look on her face. “You don’t have a concussion do you?”

“Ugh, no… I’m fine.” I tried to shrug off Thalassa’s grip, but she just frowned and tightened her hold on my arms.

“You’re sure you’re not feeling dizzy?”

“I’m positive. Now let go of me; people are staring.” Indeed people were watching as Thalassa and I had a small episode on a populated street corner.

“They’re probably as concerned as I am about whether or not you have a concussion.”

I sighed. “I don’t have a concussion. Let’s just go to your house okay?”

Thalassa frowned, but finally relented. “Alright, fine. But if you pass out, it’s not my fault.”

“I’ll keep that in mind.”

We finally arrived at the performance hall I had just left a few hours ago. “You live here?”

“Mm hm!” She opened the door, and turned to the left.

“Isn’t there just a wall-“

With a flick of her wrist, a section of the wall spun to reveal a staircase. Before I could react, Thalassa had grabbed my hand and was pulling me up the stairs.

“How the hell did you do that?” I breathed.

Thalassa stopped and with a flourish of her hands whispered, “magic.”

Okay then. Guess we’re just gonna keep going…

We entered what looked like a living room. Scattered around the place were various magic props along with a couple cages of rabbits and doves.

“Wow, this place is very… lively.”

“I know, isn’t it great? C’mon, I’ll show you to the dinning room. Dinner should be ready soon.”

We had to walk through the kitchen to get to the dinning room. This wouldn’t have been a problem except for one thing. Thalassa’s father was the one cooking dinner.

“That’s the street rat you dragged in yesterday.” He was once again frowning at me.

I laughed nervously. “I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a rat…”

Thalassa stepped in front of me.”I invited Jove to stay for dinner. Is it almost ready?”

Her father looked at the time. “Yeah. Go sit down.”

Thalassa smiled; there seemed to be a hint of triumph in her eyes. “You can sit beside me, Jove.”

I nodded as Thalassa took a seat. “He’s not gonna try to kill me is he?” I whispered.

” I won’t let him.” Thalassa replied as she poured water into my cup. “Lemon?”

I knit my eyebrows together. “Lemon?”

“For your water silly!”

Oh. “Uh, sure…”

Thalassa dropped a couple slices in my cup.

“Thanks.” I took a sip. Not bad.

“Why don’t you put your guitar case against the wall? It’s taking up a bit of room.” Thalassa suggested.

I looked down. My case was pushing again mine and Thalassa’s legs. “Yeah, you’re right.” I propped it against the wall behind me.

Thalassa’s father entered the room with what looked like a ham. I waited for him and Thalassa to take what they wanted before I grabbed anything.

“So do you just wander around all day, or do you do something that’s actually productive?” Thalassa’s father was talking to me.

“Well, I try to earn enough money to keep my heart beating. I’d count that as productive.” I responded, a frown beginning to form on my face.

“You mean you beg.”

“Father,” Thalassa was frowning. “Jove is our guest, so I would appreciate it if you left him alone.”

Another frown from her father.

“Would you like some salad Jove?”

I nodded and received a small bowl of lettuce. “Thanks,” I muttered.

We ate dinner in silence. Thalassa squeezed my hand under the table and whispered an apology to me. I forced a smile, and tried to take another bite of my salad. But my stomach didn’t seem to want anymore food no matter how hard I tried to force another bite down. I placed my napkin on my plate and took a nervous sip of my water.

“So now you’re not even going-“

Thalassa gave her father a sharp look.

“Nothing.”

Once everyone was done eating and Thalassa and I cleared the table, I picked up my guitar case and turned towards the door. “Thank you for the food Mr…”

“Gramarye,” Thalassa said.

“Mr. Gramarye. Dinner was delicious.”

Her father nodded as I opened the door.

“See you tomorrow, Jove!” Thalassa called.

I nodded and walked out of the room. A smile started to creep up my face as I walked down the stairs.

God she’s nice…

. . .

“Bye Pollywog! I’ll pick you up after school, okay?” Jove forced a smile one his face.

Apollo replied with a tired nod -he was always like this when he didn’t go to bed on time- and walked up the steps to his school.

Jove let out a long sigh and took off down the streets.

Time to break the news to the guys…

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