Tara remembered the bomb fire, thick with smoke. The smoke in her lungs too, but of a different kind. The stuff that made her heavy with sleep, maybe dreamy.
The girl with the red dreads danced around her and finally she dance with her. She told her, her name was Kia, but Tara only giggled.
"That can't be your name," laughed Tara as they shared the cigarette and enjoyed the drumming as it kept going deep into the night. But when she kissed Kia all she could think of was Emmy. Emmy in dreads. Tara couldn't help but smile.
She awoke in her coat. Everyone was gone and there was a frost and for a moment she thought she might be on fire, but it was the steam from her breath.
Tara slowly got up, to figure out where she was in the early morning light. There was no one here now. Not even Kia. It was like a dream of some kind, but she was wishing she were home even if it was just a mat on the floor. Now she could feel the leaves in her hair, she was a mess. She smelled of soured alcohol and sleep was like rot in her eyes.
She walked toward school, zombie like. Actually, exhausted, but somehow she'd kept going. Where else was there to go? Hopefully, she'd find the loo early and wash herself up before anyone would know. Naturally, the door was locked when she got there so she set down on the steps and hugged herself.
Now Tara felt quite sad. Maybe even disgusted with herself. What was she thinking? Being with this Kia. It probably wasn't her real name. She hugged herself more, vowing she'd never ever let herself get this way again. She knew she'd been lucky.
As she looked up at the clouds as if they might foreshadow the dreary day of rain, somebody was looking out for her. Possibly. Still, she hated her life. It wasn't ordinary like other people. Oh, how she'd take ordinary about now. Tea. Toast and jam with her studies done.
Did she really even want to go to school? She heard the door unlock. Finally. Tara hurried on to the loo and washed her raccoon like face off. The warm water helped her sensse. If only she'd thought of a shower where the girls took their exercises by the gym.
But she was tired and sore and her hair still wild with leaves and twigs. All she had were her fingers to fix it.
She flung her head down and shook her head about, but the leaves were stuck so she fingered through the mess. When she looked at herself in the mirror again, she was just a wilding, after all. Thankfully, a lone rubbe rband was near the mirror. She pulled her hair up in a ponytail on top of her head. This would have to do.