Chapter 2


                I discovered that Henry was in my physics class, as, pleasingly, were Sara and Beth. We were asked by the teacher to sit boy girl at the benches and I felt strangely drawn to sit next to my new pal. It was a continuation of this morning's odd fascination with him, though there was nothing I really hoped to get out of this.

                We were drawing circuit symbols and I found, disconcertingly, that I couldn't look away if I happened to glance at Henry while he was drawing any sort of curve. For example, when he drew the circuit symbol for a lamp, it seemed to me that the motion of his hand was rather slow and deliberate and, in a way, mesmerising. If he noticed, he didn't say anything.

When we left class, I found myself following him to his next lesson; despite the fact I didn't know whether we had the same one. Luckily, we both had English. Again, I sat next to him. This time, I kept my eyes on my own work. It was very strange how I felt calm and content around him. It was as if he radiated an invisible aura which relaxed the people nearby although the girl on his other side, Anita, looked slightly tense as if she were afraid of him.

At break time, I followed him to a quiet corner of the library. He seemed not to mind the way I was always trailing him. Like this morning, he gazed into my eyes and we sat there wordlessly. I wondered if he preferred not to talk or was captivated by my eyes in the same way that I was transfixed by his. I noticed that my mind seemed to blank when he looked at me in this way.


            I like the way her eyes melt. It's also extremely pleasurable to talk to her.


                Henry stood up and I was able to think again.

"You're very quiet for someone with seven brothers," I said as I stood up.

Henry looked momentarily distracted as if I'd said something that didn't make sense but he gave that rare, pleasant smile and said, "We barely acknowledge each other's existence."

I yawned, finding myself unusually tired, as I stood up. "If only I could ignore my brother."

"You know you love him really," Henry said as he started walking out of the library.

I stopped, confused. "Yeah, but I never said anything about that to you."

Henry turned and grinned. "I do have seven of my own."

I started walking again. I was being silly, I chided myself. As if he could really read minds.

                To my surprise and delight, Henry was also in my maths class. I spent the double period captivated by his hand movements when he wrote down the numbers 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 0 and nearly forgot about my own work. The lesson was followed by a second physics lesson. More becoming transfixed on my part.

The way I'd been behaving didn't go amiss. At lunch, I was prevented from following Henry as Sara and Beth obstructed my pathway, asking, "What happened to not having feelings for anyone?" They had massive grins on their faces and I rolled my eyes as I thought about the things they were probably thinking right now.

"He's just a friend," I told them. "I have no intention of having any relationship with him apart from friendship. Anyway, he's a bit too quiet for my liking."

Sara raised an eyebrow. "Oh really?"

Beth asked, "Isn't the quiet type better? It means more time spent ... kissing."

Sara nodded. "That's very true. And you certainly look as if you want to kiss him."

"I do not."

"Oh yes you do," they said together.

They both followed me as I started walking to the lunch hall.

"You look at him adoringly," Beth said.

 "As if he's mesmerising," Sara said.

I stopped. "Mesmerising?"

Sara and Beth nodded, looking totally serious.

"Nah, you've been reading too many books."

"You're saying that to us when you know you're the bookworm?" Sara asked, snorting.

"Come on, he's hardly hypnotic," I said.

Sara glanced at Beth. They frowned slightly.

"That's the thing," Beth said slowly. "You do actually look slightly hypnotised around him."

"It's a bit disconcerting to be honest," Sara admitted.

"It's like he's controlling you," Beth whispered.

I burst into laughter. "Guys, can you hear yourselves? That is the most absurd thing I have ever heard in my life."

"Just... just be careful," Sara said.

"Okay, I will," I replied. "I'll watch out to see if he brings out a pendulum."

They didn't look too happy as we resumed walking. By the time we were sitting down having lunch, though, Henry had been forgotten and Beth was grumbling about how much homework we'd been set already.

                When I'd finished, I'd told my friends I had some work I wanted to do early in the library but actually went off to find Henry. I found him on the field talking to Anita who, unlike this morning, looked totally unfazed by him. She was chatting animatedly about her favourite films and Henry appeared to be listening intently, but when he looked up and saw me, he broke out into a wide smile and said something to Anita which made her stand up and walk away without another word.

"You know, my friends said the funniest thing," I told him as I sat down opposite him.


"They said, ... and I think it's hilarious, ... that I look hypnotised around you."

Henry burst into laughter. The joyous, lovely sound made me collapse forwards and black out.


I woke up, dazed and disorientated.

"Are you okay?" Henry asked, looking searchingly into my eyes.

"I think so," I replied. "What happened?"

"I think you fainted."

"How odd."

Henry nodded. "It is rather. So you were saying about your friends?"

"Oh, yeah. They're so daft. I told them I'd watch out in case you brought out a pendulum."

Henry laughed again but made it short this time. I was laughing too anyway, so I didn't hear it so much. "No, that would be too obvious."

I stopped laughing. "I'm sorry?"

"Oh, if it were true. You don't honestly think I'm suggesting I can hypnotise people, do you?"

I shook my head, mood lightening again. "Nah; that would be crazy."

Henry smiled and sighed as he gazed into my eyes almost dreamily. I felt drowsy and promptly dozed off, finding sleep easy and natural in the warm autumn sun.

                I woke up feeling free as a bird.



            I felt strangely jealous when Harriet talked about her other friends. It was as if I wanted her whole mind focused on me (which I could very easily arrange).

I have to be careful about laughing around her and looking at her in the wrong way, and I must take care not to confuse her, but otherwise I feel things are going very well. I get the great feeling that Harriet would answer any questions I asked without me having to stare into her eyes (although I enjoy doing that).

I've decided I'm going to ... let her be herself more around me. I've learned enough about her to know that she's a friend worth having and I don't suppose I need to ask her anything else. Though it might be nice, from time to time, just to randomly clear her mind...

The End

276 comments about this story Feed