Gabrielle perched uncomfortably on the edge of her chair. After thinking about Dominick, things felt different around Hermann. She was suddenly more aware, and felt as if it were somehow wrong. How could she like Hermann when she promised she would never love again? She decided to try and push the feeling aside but she couldn't. She was failing in love again - doing something she promised she would never do again. Although Dominick was her first love, he was also supposed to be her last. This was not how it was turning out.
The waiter appeared with a notepad and pen to take their orders.
'I'll have a prawn delight with salad please.' Gabrielle pratically hummed, although her mind was whirring with other confusions.
'I'll have a sirlion steak without the onions please. My tastes aren't so advanced.' Hermann laughed. The waiter scribbled furiously, nodded and walked off. There was an awkward silence.
'Worried about the test on Friday?' Gabrielle tried.
'Yeah kind of. Hey, I've got this friend who's having a christmas dinner on Sunday. Do you want to come?' Hermann smiled.
'Okay.' Gabrielle agreed. Then, 'Hermann, how would you class us? What are we?'
'We're good friends. Very good friends.' Gabrielle's heart sank.
Gabrielle had hoped that he would say something more. How could she. She suddenly realised and was angry with herself. She loved Dominick. And after her heart (or what was left of it) had been cracked, she decided it was better to live in her shell. That didn't mean she couldn't have friends. She would be friends with Hermann and Daphne and Stephanie but she could never look Hermann Dennison in the eye again. Her expectations were once again too high.
Sunday came and Hermann arrived to pick Gabrielle up in his car. He was dressed quite casually. More casual than when he took her out for dinner. Maybe she had been mistaken and was out for a meal with the guys. They pulled up after about twenty minutes, outside a large, town house.
'This is it.' Hermann said. They got out of the car and knocked on the front door. A young girl of about sixteen with long blonde hair and green eyes. opened the door, smiled when she saw Hermann and let them in.
'Hello, I'm Meriel, are you a friend of Hermann?' the girl asked.
'Yes, I'm Gabrielle. It's awfully nice of your family to let me come along as well.' Gabrielle tried and cheerfulness.
As they reached the kitchen, other voices came. The kitchen was full of people, who dispersed to other rooms when Gabrielle arrived - after introducing themselves, of course.
There was an eigtheen year old girl with black hair and green eyes. She was called Trudy. She was Meriel's sister. Their other sister came to greet Hermann first, hugging him and kissing him on the cheek. She was twenty and had white-blonde hair and pale, blue eyes. Her name was Alba. Meriel was chatting to a redheaded boy called Ervin.
The adults were: Cassandra O'Brian, a small brunette who was understood to be the mother; Joel O'Brian, a smallish blond man who was understood to be the father; an old, wise looking woman called Claire-Marie; a laughing couple whose names were Carlotta and Victor. They all introduced themselves warmly and left Cassandra to cook. Joel pulled Gabrielle out of the room and guided her towards the lounge. Hermann had disappeared.
The day overall went well but Gabrielle couldn't help feeling uneasy about Hermann and Alba. They way they laughed together. The same way she had with Hermann before she thought about Dominick. The way they were always sitting together having their own little conversation. Thank god she had the rest of the family there to distract her.
Her diary entry that night was:
Seeing him with her and her with him makes me think of me and Dominick. Maybe we were wrong. We were never like that - we never had time. But my heart breaks to see my best friend taking no notice of me. How could it be that my heart breaks twice in a row? By the time I'm thirty it will be entirely made of sticky tape and string. And then it won't work properly so I shall die.