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Just to make sure
She examined her reflection with a blasé expression. The same dull routine every day, for the same results. Of course, she still looked messy. What would make this day any different from the rest?
All the same, she couldn't tear her eyes from the mirror, determined to straighten every strand of hair, to reach perfection.
Amy glared at herself. Truth be told, she knew that she looked fine, but something about her appearance irritated her. Mousy brown hair tied into neat plaits that fell to her shoulders; a pale face with freckles; green-brown eyes and rosy lips. Her clothes were simple, nothing that would draw any attention to her.
By that point the door opened, at which she turned abruptly from the mirror. Her mother peered round, looking exhausted, as usual.
"Are you alright, Amy?" Her mother asked anxiously.
Amy forced a smile, though she felt like crying. "Yeah, just getting ready."
Her mother nodded, but Amy could tell she didn't believe her. There was something about her face that remained concerned. "Well, I just came up to remind you the bus is coming earlier today. You had better come down now if you're ready. I made your lunch for you too."
"Thanks, but you didn't need to." Amy trudged to the door, glancing back at the mirror on impulse, a movement that her mother couldn't fail to notice. But she made no comment.
Downstairs, her mother handed her her schoolbag - a cheap, light blue one, with no pattern. Amy opened the zip and peered inside, checking off her equipment. Yes, everything was there.
Or was it?
She listed the equipment again. It did seem like everything was there, but how could she be sure if she didn't quickly check again? She wouldn't want to go to school just to find she had forgotten something. Best look again, just to make sure.
Her mother watched sadly as Amy checked her equipment for the third time. "I made sure everything was in there." She assured Amy, who closed the bag reluctantly.
A movement outside caught her attention and she sighed. "Well, the bus is here!" She tried to sound cheerful and casual, but she could see the nervousness of her daughter, the way she fidgeted with the zip a little. "I love you, have a great day at school." She embraced her daughter in a hug, kissing her on the forehead.
"Love you too, mum." Amy hugged her back, before running off to catch the bus.
But her mother couldn't help noticing the way she faltered on the garden path, how she pulled her bag off and rifled through it one last time before boarding the bus.
Yes, her daughter has OCD. And yes, it worried her.