Milly: Hunter and Prey

Vicky taught her moral behaviour, so what persuaded her it was a good idea?

Milly knew she was wrong to throw someone’s work in the trash, no matter how mean they were. Had she returned the notebook or ignored it, Milly might have saved her guilty conscience. The problem she faced was this student may have incriminated Milly. She could see them accusing her of stealing the book and landing her in detention. Taking a deep breath, Milly buried it in the nearest bin beneath a half-eaten sandwich. The act gnawed at Milly; she kept glancing over at the student, the worried look on their face. They scoured their bag in a panic, chuntering how the exam was Friday. Milly thought about the sandwich. How its day-old contents were seeping into the pages of the discarded notebook. Ink blurred words of scientific theory and references to recall. Swallowing the guilt, Milly walked over to the student, offering to share her notes. They spent an hour in the school cafeteria checking facts and memorising concepts.

Milly, Scarlett, Hunter and Eliza

Showering, Milly hoped to absolve herself of the day’s wrongdoings. The soap stung her eyes, karma for her misdeeds and the sudden drop in temperature made her yelp. Eliza knew there was a problem. When the neighbours used their bathroom, the water in her shower scolded or froze the user. Mr Carrington’s interest in Eliza’s career made them both uncomfortable. It meant inviting a stranger into their home, one approved by him to resolve the issue. The building’s manager Diya was someone Eliza came to trust. It was the one person who was open to sharing their unease about Mr Carrington.

Milly stabbed at the meal, pushing food around her plate without consumption. There were other thoughts in her mind. Eliza had taken out the trash and bumped into Hunter in the hall. His voice was low, rough and harsh, at odds with the language and polite demeanour he greeted Eliza. Milly sighed; she had to admire him from afar. Hunter was similar in age to Eliza and made clear in his actions that he was not interested in Milly. She felt patronised; Hunter told her how to stack plates or to be careful when handling food. His presence made her tremble; the butterflies in her stomach swarmed whenever he was in the room. It frustrated her, this man made her swoon, yet his behaviour towards her was parental.

He and Scarlett joined them for dinner. The topic of school and her upcoming exams did nothing to change Hunter’s mind. Milly wanted to show she was a maturing young woman. She wondered how desperate she sounded. Her brain tried to find intelligent questions, but they sounded lame. Who was his hero? What motivated him? In her mind, they seemed philosophical, and open to discussion. Those green eyes were cold, staring through her and the silly questions.

Scarlett, Milly and Eliza

Scarlett felt the tension and Hunter’s unwillingness to discuss himself. Milly bit back tears continuing her effects to join the now political conversation. Hunter dismissed her opinion on the city’s renovations under the new mayor. She convinced herself, it was the inclusion of the tabloids and the links with Mr Carrington. The conspiracy suggested the mayor’s involvement with organised crime. Hunter smirked, shaking his head; it made Milly’s shoulders tense. Whether wrong or right, Eliza encouraged Milly to share her opinion. How else would she learn to understand or debate differences with others?

Milly took her trembling to the bathroom, allowing the tears she held back to flow. Scarlett’s warm, comforting voice on the other side of the door invited themselves to join her. They sat in silence, listening to Hunter and Eliza clear the dishes. A heated debate regarded the decision to create a homeless shelter in the Arts District. Hunter grumbled; Eliza’s logic was not something he could argue. A space for people to go rather than living on the street made sense. It kept those people safe; it fed into the mayor’s campaign “No Person left behind”. The controversy came with Mr Carrington. He monopolised the opportunity by offering these people jobs within his businesses. Rumours of endeavours were unsavoury and led to a police investigation.


With the apartment door slamming, Eliza ventured into the bathroom. She squeezed onto the seat with them and looped an arm across Milly’s shoulders. Eliza knew her cousin was hiding something about her school day and her crush on Hunter was obvious. The latter, Eliza and Scarlett, hoped was fleeting. As for school, Eliza reminded Milly she is a brilliant student. This desire to aim for perfection is unnecessary because to Eliza, Milly was already. She has a huge heart but needs to learn to be good to others, even when they are cruel. Milly dropped her head, taking Eliza up on another offer. Writing her thoughts had been Vicky’s suggestion and no longer served to help. Instead, Milly fastened the gloves. Nothing else could manage her complex teenage emotions like pounding the punch bag.

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