Chapter 9

"Good morning," Henry says as I open the passenger door. I glance up before going in, but Aunt Sandra isn't by the door. In fact, I hadn't seen her all morning. She had still been in the shower when I left the house.

"Hey," I reply, forgetting about her for the time being. My mind is focused on the note that is still up in my room, on the dresser next to my bed. Should I say something?

"So," he says, interrupting my thoughts, "how is your Aunt? I mean, cancer. Wow."

I look at him and my heart skips a beat. I wonder at first how he knows, but then remember that everyone in town knows, and take a breath to steady myself. "She is okay. Her chemo starts next week." Neither of us say anything for a minute. I have trained myself not to get worked up about this. As far as I know, her breast cancer is still in the early stages. The doctor's aren't even worried about it, and the chemotherapy is just a precaution.

"I'm sure she will be fine. She's tough," he comments finally. I nod my head, not wanting to discuss anything further. Thankfully, the car ride goes quickly and we are at the school. He stops the car and we both get out and walk to the doors together. I have a feeling this will become routine.

Then I see that blond girl from history walking towards us. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Henry tense up and take a deep breath. I wonder what could make him so nervous all of a sudden?

"Hi there, Henry," she girl says when she stops in front of us. Obviously, we are expected to stop too.

"Hy, Ness." Their eyes lock for a moment, and I shift uncomfortably. I don't want to ruin their moment or anything, but if they keep this up I will be late for Spanish. Henry looks at me and seems to remember that I am still standing there. "Oh, right. Vanessa, this is Ada. Ada, Vanessa. Ness was my- er- is my friend. Well, I mean Ada's my friend too. But- oh forget it."

I grin because of his blatant discomfort, and he smiles sheepishly at me. The girl, Vanessa, watches the interaction between us with an odd sort of look. But I hold out my hand anyway.

"Nice to meet you, Vanessa." She looks at it, and I see something flash across her face before a friendly smile replaces it.

"You too, Ada." She looks up at Henry, and I notice that he is taller than both of us. Hm, why haven't I noticed that before?

"We'd better get to French, Henry. We can't be late on the second day of school!" With a twitch of her head, which I assume was meant to throw the honey-colored hair out of her eyes, she turns and walks the opposite direction of where I'm going.

Henry is looking after her.

"I'll see you later," and I walk away too. I can feel his eyes lingering on my back,  but I don't turn around. Why should I? It's not like I have any reason to wait for him, or to ask him who Vanessa is and about their relationship. It's none of my business. And anyway, I don't even care.

Spanish is just as boring as it was yesterday. At my old school, the last one I went to before mom got in the accident, I was in Spanish 4, which was advanved. Now I was in Spanish 2, because this decrepit school was so far behind. The next 3 classes flew by, and before I knew it I was in 11th period again, sitting next to, and ignoring, Henry.

Once again, a piece of paper hits me on the head. I turn to glare at him before unfolding it.

There is NOTHING going on between me and Vanessa. Seriously. it says.

That's fine. I don't care, I write down and toss. Mr. Monroe is turned towards the chalkboard, but I glare at his back, hoping it will absorb into him. I am still irate about what happened yesterday, but he hasn't given any sign that Aunt Sandra talked to him, though I know for a fact that she did. Maybe he is hoping that I will forget about it. But I won't.

The paper lands on the floor this time, just short of the edge of the table. I bend down inconspiculously and grab it.

Well I thought you might like to know why she is so hung up on me. Yeah, you're pretty hung up on her too, I think to myself.

We dated last year and into the beginning of the summer. But I broke up with her because she was getting too clingy. That's all. I needed space.

I scoffed. Now where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah, the day my father called to tell me he was leaving us.

The End

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