I don't think about it again until lunchtime. It's strange, but I don't. It's more like I asked him if he liked my shoes and he didn't, rather than what actually happened.

I sit through Maths, and I'm fine. I sit through English, and I'm fine. At break, I listen and watch and talk with all the others like I normally do, and I'm fine. And then I sit through Biology, and I'm fine. 

It's like nothing has happened. 

And even when I'm waking down the corridor with Ellie May chattering about how someone spilt flammable acid and then dropped a lit match on it right underneath the fire alarm and nothing happened, I just go on like I normally do. 

In fact, it even seems natural when, in complete silence, I sit opposite Matthew at our usual dinner table and give him my crisps, and I don't so much as utter a word to anyone about it. 

It's only when Samuel drags Ellie may away from us again that I say anything, that it becomes abnormal, strange territory. 

"Heidi, you're ignoring me," Matthew states in complete truth. 

I look up from pretending I'm interested in the joke on my Penguin biscuit. "Yes."

"OK, the last thing we need is for you to go into silent mode. Stiff, one-word answers," he say. "I have a girlfriend, you missed  your chance. That's the end of it."

I look steadily into his eyes, but say nothing. He returns my gaze, and also mutes himself. 

"Sorry, that was harsh," he apologises after a few minutes. I nod in forgiveness.

More silence.

"Who is it?" I ask eventually, not faltering.

"You don't know her."

"That's not what I asked."

"It's what I'm telling you."

"You might as well have not said anything, then."

"Why are you being like this, Heidi?" He looks like he's slightly annoyed. I don't blame him. I would be.

"I'm not being like anything," I tell him. "You're the one avoiding answering simple questions."

"You don't know her," Matthew repeats stubbornly.

I frown. "If I don't know her, what's your problem?" 

"Fine," he averts his eyes down to the table. "It's Anna Brickston."

"You're right," I roll my eyes. "I don't know her."

He answers my unspoken question with his own eye roll. "I didn't want you to be jealous and do something stupid."

That offends me, but I know the look I have on my face doesn't show it. "I'm glad you think so highly of me."

The face he pulls almost makes me want to laugh. But I don't. I can already see how this conversation will end, whatever I do.

"Are you jealous?"



"Why wouldn't I be?" 

He sighs and folds his arms. "You're being ridiculous."

I groan. "Well, I'm very sorry for being jealous of the girl who got to be with you before I could. You must understand exactly how it should feel. I am completely in the wrong and I apologise for my inappropriate behaviour." 

And I get up and leave. This is the first time I've ever felt a negative emotion towards Matthew. 

The End

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