“You’re family has ravens as postmen?” asked Zoe.
“Basically. And bats actually,” I replied.
“This is another creepy conversation,” she noted.
“We’re getting awfully good at that.”
Awkward silence descended as neither of us could think of anything to say, except for the topic at the forefront of both our minds. Finally, Zoe just came out with it.
“So are you dating Nathan?”
I nodded. “Yeah.”
“Okay, alright. Did you tell him?”
“I did. It led to the scene where you came in, which resulted in you lying on your back on the desk and concluded with me sending a letter by raven-mail.”
“An interesting way to sum it up. WhereisNat in fact?”
“He went to play football,” I told her. She nodded. “What’s football?”
She looked at me oddly but explained anyway. “It’s a ball game.”
Someone walked into the room. “Do either of you know why Nat is basically skipping down the corridors?” It was Elizabeth, the girl who’d spoken to me outside the maths room. She glanced at me and something told me she knew exactly why Nat was so happy.
“He’s going out with Evy,” said Zoe simply.
“I thought so,” said Elizabeth, leaving the room to spread the news, no doubt.
“Why did you tell her?” I asked.
“News and rumours travel fast when they’re about Nat. Sometimes people can’t tell the difference, though most of it is probably just news. It would have been round the school by tomorrow, even if you didn’t tell anyone. Nat’s got more of a reputation in this town than a serial killer. And, like a serial killer, most of his fame’s not good.”
“Then isn’t it a good job that I don’t care,” I said.
“You probably will when you hear half of it. But you won’t hear it from me. You’ll have to ask Nat.”
“I will do. Another time.”
“What, when you’re ‘closer’? From what I saw earlier, you’re already pretty close,” she mocked.
I stomped out of the room and down the corridor.
“Evy, I’m sorry!” she shouted after me.
I ignored her and carried on. The sound of my shoes striking the floor resonated through the hallway. I retraced our earlier steps outside and walked quickly past everyone. The shouting and laughing followed me as I sat on a bench far away from the crowd. My back was to them, which I was glad for. It meant they couldn’t see my face.
I dropped my head into my hands with my elbows on my knees. What have I done? Was it good or bad that I’d met Nat? Was it good or bad that I’d let him kiss me? I couldn’t control my feelings, but I could control myself. At least that was what I’d thought up until that day.
“Evy?” asked someone behind me.
I turned my head. It was Nat. He came and sat next to me. He shuffled closer to me and put an arm around my waist.
“Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked.
“I don’t know,” I murmured.