I don’t know why Tiger’s being so nice to me. I just broke down, I got thrown out, and I’m an utter wreck. But Tiger’s hand is on my arm, and so they’re here nevertheless. I want them to leave…but I want them to stay. I settle for uncurling slightly and they snuggle closer to me. I close my eyes and start to focus on my breathing. I don’t have to slow it down though, because at some point, I started breathing in time with them. I succumb to the warmth radiating off of Tiger and sigh. My arms feel limp by my sides and I feel drowsy, and I want to go home and sleep. But now I remember I have no home and I have to try not to think at all.
“You probably have to get to your next class,” I say. Tiger pushes themself away from me and sits up.
“Are you going to your next class?” They ask. I sigh. “I don’t know. But I don’t want you to miss a class because of me.”
Tiger sighs. “I’m not going to leave you alone, Angel.”
“Then I’ll go to my next class.”
“Do you want to come to mine? I can say you’re a transfer and you’re trying the school out?”
That sounds like the best option I’m going to get right now. “Sure.” And so, I follow them to their class, trailing them like a dog. The door’s open, and we sit at the back table together, five minutes early. Other kids begin to filter in, and no one asks why I’m here. When the teacher comes in, she doesn’t call me out in front of the whole class. She walks around taking attendance, and when she notices me, she politely comes over and asks me what I’m doing here. Tiger feeds her their story and for a second, I think she’s not going to believe the lie and get mad at me. But she just smiles at Tiger and I before she moves on. I breathe a deep sigh of relief. Then I look at who’s at the table beside me and I realize I let my guard down too soon. It’s Marissa.
“She’s in this class?” I whisper hoarsely. I look over and Tiger’s on their phone, typing. They look up.
“I know. Just ignore her. I promise that nothing she says is true. Ever.”
Once it was. I remember when Marissa was the most honest kid to exist. She was a bit of a snitch, but she was too cute for anyone to care. But I leave it be.
Tiger finally puts their phone down.
“Okay, good news; My parents say that you can stay at our house. However, we don’t have a spare bed, and we can’t have you on the couch because our dog, Loki, would never be able to fall asleep. So, um, we’re going to be sharing a room. And possibly, a bed.”
This is going to be so awkward. I need somewhere to sleep though, so I agree and say it’s fine. We almost make it through hum before Marissa comes over to our table.
“Aw, the two freaks are together? I never thought you were in to furries, Angela.” She draws out the a and the end of my name to make sure I know we’re not friends. Tiger tenses beside me.
“So what if I’m a furry, Marissa. So what if someone likes anthropomorphic animals.” They stare Marissa down.
“What about the hair?” Challenges Marissa.
“My hair? My parents thought frosted hair was still in fashion, and I made a play on my name and turned it into tiger stripes,” Tiger laughs. “What do you have against furries, anyway?”
Marissa rolls her eyes and walks away. “Furry.” Tiger looks at me. “Honestly. Who cares if someone identifies as a furry?”
I shrug. “I guess some people don’t like other people’s identities. We should probably get back to our humwork though. Your teacher’s giving us the evil eye.”
Tiger looks up at the teacher. “Yeah, you’re right. Wait, did you just call it humwork?”
I nod. Tiger laughs. “Wow, just…wow” So, we get back to doing our work. A little bit later, the bell goes. We walk together to drama, and I feel safe inside the theater, knowing that Charlene, Sabrina, and Marissa can’t reach me. I tell Mr. Blaiz that I have a place to spend the night, before we get to work on our project.
“I have an idea,” I say. “What about a romance scene?”
“A romance scene…” Replies Tiger. “Like we did yesterday?”
“Like we did yesterday.” I say.
“What’s up?” I start.
“The sky” Responds Tiger.
Edited by Emberfrost12