Alex covered her eyes with her hand. Her breathing came out in chunks through her nose, “Please tell me when Logan really left.”
Just then, a faint sound of the front door closing echoed throughout the house.
“I guess he did now” Lauren teased but then, her face turned serious, “Have you told him about what happened at the party?”
Alex released her eyes and sighed deeply, “No. I am really not in the mood to talk about it for a while. Besides, I didn’t really have the chance to tell him.”
Her eyes swept the laundry room. It really wasn’t a pretty sight. Why couldn’t laundry be harmless like Stitch wearing a bra and a cape to pretend he was a superhero? She could almost hear Stitch screaming at her for the mess.
Alex left the room to grab a mop nearby. The best way to get rid of all the water was to push it towards the drain. At least, that had been the solution she came up with. She found two mops in the broom closet, handing the second one to Lauren who followed her.
“Sure, you didn’t” Lauren answered sarcastically.
“I’m serious, Lauren.”
“I’m sure you are.”
“Oh, you wanna play that game, huh?” Alex taunted teasingly as they went back to the laundry room, “What’s going on between you and Colin?”
Lauren almost stopped walking at the question. She almost thought Alex had seen her go back to the party and helped out in cleaning, “Why would there be anything between me and Colin?”
“He gave you his number, didn’t he?” Alex giggled.
Lauren shrugged in nonchalance, “So?”
“So? That is clearly a sign that he’s interested.”
Alex nudged her side. Lauren merely snorted and took off her shoes. Then, she started to mop the water towards the drain in the corner.
“What do you even know about a guy being interested?”
“I’m a third party to this so I can see it.”
Lauren really wanted to counter Alex’s words by saying the same thing but towards her and Logan except… the image of Alex shaking as she revealed her true identity came to mind. She didn’t think Alex was quite ready for that yet—not when friendship was already an issue. She had a feeling Logan did know that too.
If only she had the power to interfere then, maybe things could stir towards the right direction.
“Why are you here, by the way?” Alex asked, finally realizing she had another uninvited guest.
Lauren smiled at her cheekily, “I came to check on you just like the lovely person that I am. But it seems like someone beat me to it.”
Alex pushed the mop towards her way.
“Hey!” Lauren did the same thing to her, “I just saved you from further embarrassment. I am also helping you clean up this mess unlike a certain someone.”
“I know, I know. You’re the best.”
Lauren winked, “And don’t you forget it.”
Alex had developed good composure. Her family found themselves in the spotlight a lot of times. Anything she did could compromise their family business. As much as people tried to separate personal matters from business ones, they rarely succeeded. Even if they didn’t pull out of the deal, they’d still gossip about any scandal behind each other’s backs.
In that sense, Alex was groomed since she was a baby to this world. She rarely did anything to embarrass her family or to have 3rd parties question their morals.
She learned to be a step ahead in order to avoid incidents… like maybe exposing her bra?
Her phone alarm blared out from her side table. She groaned, pressing the snooze button for the third time that morning. She had a lot of alarms for two reasons. One, the snooze option eventually stopped after sometime. Two, she might not hear the first one at all. She couldn’t possibly miss a day at school—not without her parents finding out anyway.
After it rang again, she forcefully pushed herself up, rubbing her eyes.
Her head felt like a truck full of metal hit it. That didn’t feel like a good sign.
She got up, grumbling as she did. She swayed a little as she went straight to the bathroom. She opened her medicine cabinet and took out the thermometer, placing the tip in her mouth. As Alex waited for it to beep, she assessed her grubby state in the mirror.
She certainly looked sick. She had that sunken eyes and extra pale lips. It didn’t help that her eye bags looked darker than their normal purple color.
Once she heard the beep, she swiftly looked at the little screen.
The numbers, 103.10°F/39.5°C, blinked at her. She sighed and placed the thermometer back.
Alex washed her face and brushed her teeth. She debated if she could handle herself at school but her temperature was too high. She could probably survive half of it before she ended up in the school clinic. Then, the nurse would tell her to go home.
She did a quick assessment of her classes.
When she was sure she had no test due, she went back to bed, thinking, stupid Logan and his equally stupid laundry skills. It took more than two hours to clean the mess—so it took three times as long to get the laundry done. To top it off, she had a fever because of it too.
Alex snuggled comfortably into her sheets and picked up her phone. Then, she began to type,
‘I can’t go to school today. I’m sick >.<‘ – Alex
She hit the send button and closed her eyes. Dreamland already wanted to take her away but, in less than a minute, she received a reply.
‘Okay, I’ll tell the teachers. I’ll also take notes for you and send them too along with any homework you’ll get. Feel better soon xx’ – Lauren
‘Thanks, Lauren :))’ – Alex
Alex put her phone back on the end table and went to sleep, hoping there wouldn’t be any homework. She could use some less stress since she had no idea how long the fever would last. With any luck, she would be fine by the next day.
Alex groaned and rolled over to her side. She covered her face with a pillow, struggling to block the irritating voice. It was a nightmare and nothing was more horrible than a nightmare. It threatened a person’s sleep and sleep was essential.
The voice took her pillow away, forcing her to lay face down to shield her eyelids from the light.
“Good morning, sunshine” its breath kissed Alex’s ear. She shivered. Turning her head, her eyes snapped open. A creepy-too-happy smile with a pair of green eyes stared at her. She cursed at the reality that she wasn’t dreaming.
“Leave me alone” Alex glowered and pushed Logan’s face away with one hand. She lied on her side, her back towards him, and snuggled her head against the pillow. It smelled like cherry blossoms from the fabric conditioner.
Just ignore him, a voice said in her head and she listened to it happily.
“Sorry, princess, but I have orders from Her Majesty to take care of you” Alex heard Logan say as he walked around to the other side of the bed. The bed sunk under his weight.
With her eyes still closed, she grumbled, “And who could that be?”
“Queen Lauren Elizabeth?” Alex was positive that she had a deadpan expression on her face. Of course, it was Lauren. It wasn’t like Logan had psychic powers and magically knew she was sick. The only other person who knew was Lauren.
Alex could almost see Lauren in her mind with an innocent look on her face. Across from her would be Alex hissing, “You are so going to pay for this, Lauren!” Then, Lauren would merely blink and say, “What?”
“The one and only” Logan chuckled.
Opening her eyes, she looked up at Logan and saw that his signature smile was there like always.
“Say, Logan” Alex suppressed a smile from sneaking onto her face “Do you really want to help me?”
Logan narrowed his eyes at her. Alex let out the smile she tried to hide. He clearly knew something was up.
“That is my purpose from the beginning” he verified, nodding and crossing his arms over his chest.
At that, Alex used her most convincing voice, “Please leave me in peace.”
Logan smirked in response. She tried glaring at him, “I did say ‘please’.”
He snorted at her attempt, “Nice try, Alex. But Her Majesty, Queen Lauren Elizabeth Williams, left me in charge of taking care of you. Only I could give the orders from around here.”
Alex hung her head in surrender, draping an arm over her eyes. She heard Logan chuckle again. It was worth a shot anyway. Then, her phone vibrated from her desk. She picked it up and saw that she had one new message.
‘Alex, I’m sure you’re feeling down in the dumps so I sent Logan to ease the pain ;)’ – Lauren
She scowled at the screen, not bothering to reply. Great, she was stuck with Logan for another day. Did Lauren really intend to make her feel better? Or was it worse?
“Queen Lauren Elizabeth Williams may rest in peace” Alex muttered, placing her phone back to its usual spot.
“I’m so glad we’re feeling better enough to have a sense of humor” Logan said, amusing himself and earning a flick on the forehead from Alex, “It must be my presence.”
Although Alex’s laugh was sarcastic, it did nothing to wipe off the smile from Logan’s face. He was a tough nut to crack. It was gonna be a long day.
It became silent for a moment. Alex almost found it awkward. One look at Logan and it did become awkward. Alex buried herself under her blankets straightaway.
Oh gods, oh gods, oh gods. No, no, no. Why did she have to remember? Please go away, Alex chanted in her head.