“What?” Mark asked, blinking in confusion.
The girl frowned, looking as if she was about to speak, when suddenly there was a crash behind her. The girl swiveled quickly and disappeared, leaving Mark staring up at an empty roof.
“What’re you looking at?” a voice said. It was the girl from geometry. She pushed her glasses up her nose, shifted her back and looked at him closely. Mark shrugged, trying to avoid her gaze. Her name was Eva, he remembered, or something like that. He hoped she would leave, but she kept staring at him, until finally she shrugged as well. As she turned, she said, “Some people hear other things and see other things. My mother saw omens, once…” She walked away, adjusting her uniform to make sure it was in its proper place.
Mark had a sudden urge to run after her and ask her to explain. Just in time, he realized a move like that would completely compromise his social integrity. Taking a final glance at the roof, Mark continued his saunter through the school yard, trying to replace the haggard girl’s face with thoughts of his ham and cheese sandwich.
The screams began again during history. This time they came in starts, like the engine of a lawnmower as it was revving up – except they continued to sputter during the teacher’s discussion of early immigration laws, and during the group discussions that followed. Finally Mark could not stand the way his head pounded any longer. Putting up his hand, he asked to use the washroom, intent on trying to follow the screams.
But, when he escaped from the classroom, the screams suddenly stopped a second time.