Hours passed, and a new school day started for Pete. He never managed to finish off his story to Katie, but that was ok. All that stress and pressure had passed out, and his parents had not bothered with him yet. He arrived at school feeling very refreshed.
“Heya,” Chris said, “Nothing bad happened, I hope, yar?” Others commented and asked similar questions, and Pete just laughed it off. “Dad’s pretty scary at times.” was all Pete said about it.
A normal school day started, and Pete daydreamed off in his English class as the teacher droned on about poetry of post-World War Two. He thought mostly about what Katie thought about what he told her that night. She could have thought it lame, she could have been very shocked – surprised? Maybe rather scared at his sentimentality. However, he also thought about how Katie touched his hand so passionately at about the point he had almost lost control and consciousness over his narrative. She must have understood what he meant. And yet, the way she commented on his change, his success as she called it – seems now to him, rather derogatory.
‘So why would the poet have portrayed it in this way, Peter?” the teacher asked.
Pete snapped back into reality. “Um, so that the reader can understand it better,” without any idea what was going on.
“Yes, exactly,” the teacher said, “Otherwise, no one would understand a damned thing the poet is talking about!”
Relieved, Pete went back to daydream. Chris looked at him with a shake of the head, envying Pete’s quick-wit. There was a time when I envied him, Pete thought. It’s all really strange how our roles switched so dramatically. I thank Alex Howard so much, but it seems unfair. So unfair – for Alex Howard.
The bell rang for next class, and Pete’s heart leaped as Katie was in it. Saying bye to Chris, he met Katie at the foot of the stairs before going to class.
“You came to school late,” Pete said lightly, “Better not be late for class either.”
“Shut up, Pete,” Katie said smiling, “I woke up late – no, I was actually thinking about what you told me the other night.” She looked at him quite seriously, and said, “And I was wondering if we were jumping a step in our relationship. ‘Cause, I realized that I really don’t know much about you.”
Pete’s heart sank. Anything that could happen, will happen, as it goes. Pete didn’t know what to say though. “I don’t know what to say. I guess it was inevitable.” They went up the stairs into class. There was no one in class, because the two had forgotten about the class trip to the national park. “Where did everyone go?” Pete asked to no one in particular. Katie shrugged, and pulled out a chair to sit down. She yawned and closed her eyes. She was rather shocked at what she had just said. Part of her wanted to continue it with Pete, but the other part warned her against it. She tried to calm the adrenalin pumping into her, and breathed deeply. She opened her eyes as Pete put his hands on her shoulders, whispering, “Calm down, Kate, calm down, Kate.” Pete is so sweet, Katie thought, do I want to lose him?
“Right, I remember,” Pete suddenly said, “We’ve just missed a class trip.” He laughed and took a seat next to Katie. “Oh, well, then. I guess we’ve got an hour to waste.”
Katie did not look at Pete to reply a ‘yes’. She started to feel very awkward, and found that her tongue was tied up in a knot. Even her facial muscles will not let her open her mouth. Tensing with a sudden panic attack, she let out an unexpected gasp.
“What, Kate?” Pete asked in surprise, “What’s wrong?”
Katie’s tongue released its knot. “What’s wrong is that I still made myself look decent for you, and I still looked forward to seeing you so much. I still…” She stopped by Pete’s smile. He smiled at her, and said, “I think I understand, Kate. Alex Howard told me about this sort of thing once.”
Katie suddenly was exasperated. “Who the hell is this Alex Howard anyway? I’ve heard you tell me about him so many times, but I still don’t get it.”
“I’ll show him to you, if you want,” Pete said, “Let’s go now. I don’t wanna be at school anymore.”
The two then played truant, and slipped outside school as easily as they had always done, and took a taxi. “Raily Road, Number 4, please,” Pete said. “Raily Road? Doesn’t he live on Cornwall Street? Didn’t you…?” Katie asked. “Oh, I forgot to tell you,” Pete said carelessly, “He’s dead.”