She was five foot four, with a mass of thick, dark brown hair that bounced and shone in a million wide ringlets. Her hair shone in chestnut waves when the sunlight hit it. She was secretly proud of her hair, truth told. Her eyes were her other secret joy. They were large, round and brown. Her eyelashes weren’t as long or thick or luscious as she would have hoped them to be, but they were hers and she reckoned she rather enjoyed them as they were.
She was just the average seventeen year old girl, slightly on the chubby side of affairs, trying to make her way in the world. When she got along with people, she really got along with them. However, she’d then spend the walk home from sixth form cringing about how loud she’d laughed, or how silly she’d sounded, or how daft her statement about sentimentality had been.
Friends? Oh, she didn’t have those. No. No friends at college. Now don’t get her wrong, she wasn’t your characteristic, general type of loner. Oh no. She did spend a lot of time in the library, yes. I believe her two years at sixth form college were the years she read the most, actually. A total of four hundred and seventy eight books, I reckon. She was very self conscious, and sometimes she thought she probably looked a little bit nice, but when she got home and stood in front of the mirror, her lumpy tummy would gaze back at her and it was simply awful. She made friends with a girl in her Sociology class. It was the sort of friendship built up on laughs, for she was sure they had nothing in common.
The girl was, at first, quiet. Reserved. She smelled funny. That’s what Aurelia thought. It wasn’t exactly a bad smell. It was just an odd smell, really. Like an old piece of plastic mingled with some toast and a flick of cheap perfume. Just a whiff, mind. Her hair was thick, though. Thick and curly and always pulled tightly back into a thick and long ponytail. She’d wear a blue coat dotted with large white polka dots during winter, and it was always tied around her chubby waist. Pretty? Yes, she was pretty. She wore glasses and had luscious lips, darker in colour than the average lips. She was striking, in an odd way. And she laughed a lot at the things Aurelia would say to her. Lenora secretly liked this; finally, somebody at college liked her! They took to sitting next to each other in Sociology class, and even started walking home together, although when they reached the main road, Aurelia would turn right and the girl would turn left. Sometimes the girl would ask Aurelia to take the long way round to the main road, because their conversation was too interesting to stop, even though it didn’t consist of anything intellectual.
It was mostly peppered with laughter and gasps of shock (from Aurelia) at the terrible things this girl would tell her about the married man who picked her up in his car and took her out to the park.
This was the beginning of Aurelia’s spiral into misery. I think she was so relieved to have found a friend that she simply ignored the fact that this friend was full of negative and awful tales that would simply pollute Aurelia’s mind. Aurelia’s mother told her she didn’t like the sound of this girl. But Aurelia was adamant that this girl was her friend, and her mother just didn’t know her to see the good in her.
What Aurelia was not aware of, of course, was the fact that people use other people rather a lot these days. And she was just as susceptible to usury as the next naive person.