*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*
I’m counting on you reading parts one through seven HERE!
Helena chooses a seat at the very end, as far away from everyone as possible and right next to the window. As she swings her bag across the table and onto the chair in front of her, a familiar voice disrupts any peace she thought she might be able to steal.
“Bags don’t get a seat. House rules.”
“And rules were made to be broken.” Helena replies without looking up.
“Do you really believe that, or are you on autopilot?” The voice asks, moving to stand in plain view.
Helena is forced to look at her. Small and plain, the girl’s perfectly trimmed hair runs up and around the curves of her ears and the long pieces in front are swept to one side, revealing her dark, dramatically arched brows. Her thickly feathered lashes cast shadows on her sun-covered cheeks and her tiny nose barely pushes out past her top lip.
“Autopilot’s kind of what I do.” Helena uses her fork to make bruise patterns across the withered leaves of lettuce on her plate.
“Bitty,” the girl says as she sits down next to the illegally parked backpack. Seeing a vague look of disbelief cross Helena’s face, she says; “It’s short for Bettina.”
“Oh. Okay well, Helena.” Helena surrenders reluctantly.
“Not sure that suits you,” she says. “I think I’ve finally come to accept you as a Sinead.”
“I have way more hair.”
“Yeah, I guess I was right the first time around. You’re a Sinead like I’m a Bettina.”
“Bitty it is.” Helena agrees.
As Bitty turns her face towards the window, Helena tries to make out the tiny tattoo behind her left ear.