Paxton flicked the end of his cigarette with his thumb, watching as the hot ash fell onto the snow-covered floor beneath his window. He watched traffic move slowly past his window, a car horn sounding every so often; he assumed the slow traffic was due to the heavy snowfall.
He shivered as a gust of cold wind floated through the window, raising goosebumps on his bare chest. Pressing the cigarette to his lips, he took another long pull, inhaling the toxic smoke before throwing it into the oncoming traffic. He backed away, pulling the window closed as he did so.
Paxton picked his way across his bedroom floor; books, unfinished sketches, and art supplies were strewn across the floor, leaving almost no space for him to step. He pulled his wardrobe doors open, pulling out a plain white t-shirt to match the dark-coloured jeans he had already pulled on previously.
He hummed the tune to 505, as he pulled it over his head. He closed the doors to his wardrobe before making his way to the door and pulling it open. The sound of the kitchen fan filled his ears, along with the smell of fried bacon drifting toward his nose.
At the idea his stomach growled, making him recall that he hadn't eaten the previous night. He trudged downstairs, embracing the smell of the food that was being cooked, as he reached the bottom of the steps he heard the radio playing in the kitchen; which could only mean that it was Amanda cooking.
Amanda was Paxton's adoptive mother, he usually referred to her as his guardian rather than a foster parent. She was a small, plump lady, with long brown hair and a heart-shaped face. She was a lovely lady, and always did everything with Paxton in mind, or at least she tried. She had adopted him when he was around 7 years old, she'd done everything right, but Paxton was tormented by his past and couldn't come to terms with his past, let alone with someone else pretending to be his mum. Nevertheless, Amanda loved him like her son.
Paxton walked into the kitchen, rubbing the end of his nose as he did so. Two plates of warm toast, eggs and bacon were placed on the kitchen island, with two glasses of orange juice. Amanda turned to look at Paxton as he entered, a warm smile appearing on her face.
"Morning sweetheart. I made you some breakfast, I noticed you didn't eat before bed last night, so I imagined you'd have an appetite," she stated, switching off the radio. Paxton smiled but didn't say a word as he sat down on one of the stools, pulling the plate towards him. A burning sensation ripped through his fingers as they made contact with the hot plate.
"Fuck." he muttered, jerking his fingers away quickly.
"Sorry!" Amanda apologised, bustling towards him. She pushed the plate towards him, placing her hand on his shoulder,
"It's fine. I'm good." Paxton mumbled, shrugging her off of him. She gave him a small smile, a prick of hurt stabbing at her heart. For years she had tried to make him reciprocate the love she had for him, but he was so enclosed that she couldn't tell if he loved her.
"Are you sure, honey?" she queried, "I can get you a cold flannel."
"I'm okay." he persisted. "I just want to eat."
Amanda nodded and took her place at the other side of the table. As soon as she sat down, she began to say grace, but Paxton began eating before she could finish. She sighed at this, before finishing her grace and picking up her utensils.
As soon as Paxton started to eat, the food immediately warmed him up. As he wolfed down the last bite, his phone pinged in his pocket. Shoving his hand in his pocket, he grabbed his phone and read the text.
'See you at college in 10?' the text read. It was from Aiden, his long-time friend, he'd known Aiden since primary school and they'd been best friends since, even after many physical and verbal fights, they had a bond like no other.
Paxton stretched his long legs before stepping down from the stool, picking up his plate and cutlery with it. Amanda looked up at him as he did so, putting her cutlery down as he walked past her towards the sink.
"Paxton... I think we need to have a talk." she started, "about college, your tutor has been in touch with me recently."
Paxton said nothing as he turned on the faucet, rinsing off his plate.
"They said your attendance is very low... they want to have a meeting."
Paxton placed his plate on the side next to the sink before turning to her.
"No." came his short reply.
"It's not a case of-"
"I said no!" Paxton retorted, storming out of the kitchen.
He knew his grades were dropping, he had probably attended around 6 classes a week instead of the full 16 timetabled classes. He studied art, but he was lacking a muse. He couldn't bring himself to start a project without him burning it. He spent most of his time high, meaning he had next to no time to do any coursework. A meeting meant that he was probably getting kicked out, and that was the last thing he needed right now.
He pulled his trainers on by the door before grabbing his coat and swinging it over his shoulders. Amanda appeared behind him as he opened the front door.
"We are going to talk about this, whether you like it or not," she warned.
"Bye." Paxton mouthed as he stepped outside into the cold, pulling the door closed behind him.