After break we’d had History, Religious Studies and English. Neither of the first two was very interesting or eventful. In History and RS we were in our form but in English we were in sets mixed from everybody in the year group. I was in set one, with – you’ve probably guessed it already – Nathan Hold.
Nat was one of the only boys in the set. He came and sat next to me as soon as he saw I was sat alone.
“Hi,” he said.
“So, how’d you find History and RS?”
“Yeah, me too.”
He pushed his bag underneath the table as the teacher came in. She started talking but Nat ignored her and turned to me.
“So Zoe tells me you’re definitely coming with us tonight,” he whispered.
“It’ll be fun,” I nodded.
“Nathan, are you and our new girl quite finished?” said the teacher.
“Sorry, Miss Ardling,” he said, obviously not meaning it.
“No you’re not, Nathan. Go and sit next to Alexia on the other side of the classroom.” The girl opposite me perked up when she heard that.
Nat picked up his bag and books and sat down in the chair next to the pretty girl with light brown, curly hair – Alexia. He paid her no attention whatsoever, which seemed to disappoint her.
“Now, will you all get your books out and we’ll start reading from where we left off,” said Miss Ardling.
While everyone was picking up books and muttering amongst themselves, Miss Ardling handed me a book.
“And what’s your name, dear?” she asked.
“Evy Alliker, Miss.”
“What a lovely name. We’re in Act 1, Scene 5. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the book.”
She moved off. I looked at the book in my hands. Romeo and Juliet. I didn’t need to look up to know that Nat was smiling at me.
“Nathan, will you start us off please? Line forty-six.”
I quickly found the page and looked up as Nat started reading. As he read, his eyes kept flicking up at me.
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright. Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear; beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows, as yonder lady over her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight! For I never saw true beauty till this night,” he said. It was Romeo speaking after he first saw Juliet.
Everyone noticed his glances at me. Nobody was listening to him as he read on; they were all staring at me, even Miss Ardling.
“Luna, will you carry on?” said the teacher, finally tearing her gaze from me.
The girl called Luna carried on reading, after she found the place. Nat kept smiling at me. I smiled back sheepishly. There was a bit of quiet murmuring between some people. Some of it about who I was but most about why Nat – the guy who could have anyone – wanted me. Several of the other girls flipped their hair over their shoulder and glared at me.
Finally Nat focused on the book in his hands and I released a breath I hadn’t known I was holding. After that, the forty minutes dragged by slowly.
When it was over, I shoved the stuff on the desk into my bag and rushed out of the room. Zoe caught my arm as she was passing me and asked me what the rush was.
“I’ll explain later,” I whispered before grabbing her hand and scurrying off.