TalesMature

I didn't want him to think I was staring.

I tried to persuade myself that it was just to concentrate my thinking - because I knew there was something...off, somehow - but I'm fairly sure it was just him. It was wet up on the roof, and my clothing was soaked through. I guessed there'd been another freak rainstorm whilst I'd been asleep. His clothes were a little damp, especially around his chest and knees. Probably from climbing up here. I was still suspicious that he'd managed to climb up without me noticing at all. If he'd done it whilst I was sleeping, that was easy enough to understand - I used to wake at the slightest sound, but that life was shattered long ago - though it did raise the question of exactly how long he'd been up here. And what he'd been doing. Watching me? No, that was paranoia. Although...it was pretty strange for him to just decide to come up here. Maybe he'd followed me from the start.

He said a few things, mostly just trying to make conversation, I guess, but he didn't get much. I didn't feel like talking. He must've picked up on that, because he shut up real quick. The rest of the world was being pretty quiet, too. For the most part. There was wind, but it was only whispering, and any animals had long fallen silent. The moon was out, nearly full, bathing everything in a comforting glow. Most of the other students should have been asleep at that time of night, though I could hear more voices than I expected coming from below.

Some screams, too.

I glanced across at Steven, and immediately looked away when he met my gaze. He didn't seem fazed by the screaming. Maybe it was just some of the girls messing around.

After a little while, I became aware that it wasn't just girls. "Hey, Steven... D'you know what's going on down there? Because I can hear some guys screaming. Callum, I think. And some others." I looked back up at him, even though I didn't want to meet his eye.

He still looked perfectly at ease. But then, in the short while that I'd known him, I'd never seen him otherwise. He didn't seem the type to get flustered. "You must have good hearing," he said. "I can hardly hear them up here, let alone  make out individual voices."

"I'm used to..." I broke off, trying to think of a way to phrase it that didn't sound too weird. "I'm used to people yelling at each other." Now it sounded like I was from a broken home, but it was the closest I could get to a reasonable explanation. Truth is, when you live in the open, you have to shout a lot. Especially in the city, where there's so much other noise. Doesn't mean you love each other any the less.  

The End

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