Chapter ElevenMature

Zoe and I were sat in the cafeteria on a little table of our own. There was a tray of food between us that neither of us were touching.

“So my brother smiled at you while reading lines forty-six to fifty-six of Act 1, Scene 5 in Romeo and Juliet?” Zoe asked.

“Yes.”

“Just to clarify, this is Nathan Hold we’re talking about? Nat? The boy who went through four girlfriends in five days?”

Yes,” I said exasperatedly, getting tired of her repeated questions.

“Okay, that was the last question.”

Thank you.”

“No, wait. Lines forty-six to fifty-six, that’s the bit where Romeo says that she’s too beautiful for him and that’s he never saw beauty before he saw her, right?”

I dropped my head into my hands. “Yes,” I said monotonously.

“Okay, all done. He must really like you. He hates Shakespeare.” She smiled, then grinned and started to laugh.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“It’s just that this really is like Romeo and Juliet. Opposing houses that hate each other, forbidden love and all that. A Banshee and Death are in love.”

“I think ‘in love’ is a bit strong.”

“You’re in love with him, just admit it,” she pressed.

“I can’t say because I’ve never been around boys before. Except my cousins and other family members but they don’t count in my opinion. Can we just drop it?” I begged.

“Sorry, yeah, of course. So what do you want to talk about?”

“I’ve no idea.”

“OK. After lunch we’ve got double Art and PE. I think we’re doing dodgeball.”

"I can’t do that,” I said.

“Why not?” Zoe asked.

“Bones.”

“There’s something wrong with your bones?”

“I’m made of bones, Zoe.”

“So is everyone else around here.”

“I mean I don’t actually have skin and muscle, it is old magic. I am literally made of bones.”

“Oh,” she said. “That’s a bit weird.”

“Yeah.”

“We seem to be very good at getting into creepy conversations.”

“That’s who we are.”

She smiled so I smiled back. Her beam wavered for a moment.

“I’m sorry to keep returning to it, but there’s one condition for you going out with Nat,” she sighed.

“Okay...” I trailed.

“You have to tell him.”

“Tell me what?” said a voice, making us jump.

Nat was stood at our table. I hadn’t even noticed him stood there. He pulled up a chair and looked at us expectantly.

“Tell me what?” he repeated, getting impatient.

“It doesn’t matter right now,” I said.

“No, I–”

Zoe interrupted him. “Just leave it, Nat.”

The look of irritation on his face didn’t fade as he put the chair back where he’d found it and walked out of the cafeteria.

“Sorry, I should have noticed him stood there,” said Zoe.

“No, don’t worry about it. He should know anyway,” I said.

She smiled apologetically and picked the tray up. She tipped it all into the bin. We walked out of the large room and to the form room.

The End

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