Diane's words kept bugging me, even three days later. I bookmarked the page I was reading and slumped back in my desk chair. I'd been unable to concentrate on anything these past few days. I'd put it down to the near-death incident, but that didn't bother me. I shook my head as the memory brought up William. With a sigh I pulled on my jacket and headed downstairs and followed the hallway to the kitchen.
“Morning,” Penny said when I walked in, her head buried in a textbook. I murmured a response as I pulled stuff from the cupboards and made a sandwich for my late lunch.
“Okay, spit it out,” Penny said, crossing her arms. She was leaning the chair back, her legs hooked round the table leg to stop her falling. If mum walked in she'd have a go at her for it, saying how she'd break her neck.
“Spit out what?” I asked, taking a seat opposite her.
“Whatever it is that's been bugging you, duh,” she said. I rolled my eyes at her tone and started eating. “Fine then. Don't talk to big sis. But if you and Diane had a argument then I'm the best person to talk to,” Penny continued. I almost choked on my mouthful of food but managed to force it painfully down.
“We didn't have an argument,” I said, my voice a little hoarse. “And we both know Bryan would kill me if I was actually involved with her.”
“Somehow I don't believe you. You spend all your time either hiding in your room or looking off in the far distance,” Penny said. Her expression changed and she gave a little laugh. “Unless you and Diane really are just friends. In which case, tell me everything about the girl that is taking up time in your head.” I shook my head at her words. There was no way I was going to mention William. I'd earned odd looks from Bryan just because I'd defended him.
“I'm going into town,” I said, pushing away from the table. Penny huffed at me, but I ignored it. I left the house, ready to walk the half a mile to the next bus stop and paused. I glanced behind me at the sprawling trees near the house. I walked in deep enough to be well-concealed and stripped. The shift was quick and effortless. The scents of the forests engulfed me instantly, calming the unease that had been bothering me. I walked a few steps, feeling the vibrations of other animals moving and burrowing nearby. I studied the treeline and trickling sunlight before taking off.
The wind pushed my fur back as I moved, picking up the pace as fast as I could go. I could sense a rabbit escaping nearby and considered giving chase. I decided not to, enjoying the freedom of just running. I didn't stop circling the familiar forest grounds until a light drizzle began falling. I returned to my clothes and dressed quickly. I still wasn't interested in going back home yet though. I snuck in the back door and washed and changed again. Getting rid of the twigs from my hair and dirt from my nails. I didn't really care about looking messy, but I knew Diane would complain about it all day if I was. I sent her a text as I walked away and reached the nearby residential street. I waited a few minutes for the next bus and got off in the city centre.