Chapter 3

Harriet

                I was disappointed to find that Henry took neither Spanish nor Latin, the two subjects which made up my afternoon. I almost ended up not going to Spanish after lunch because I was following Henry again but Sara and Beth came and found me and tugged me in the right direction. I worked and wandered between the lessons disconsolately. I wondered if I did have a small crush on Henry but, despite his looks, could never see him as anything more than a great friend. I didn't doubt he could make a good boyfriend if he wanted to but I valued our friendship and hated the thought of risking it by becoming closer to him.

Sara and Beth were slightly grumpy that I'd lied to them since they'd wanted to see if I'd got anywhere with Henry but I found I couldn't care less as it became difficult to concentrate in  class which seemed to make me feel unusually stressed.

 I saw Henry for a final time that day after the last bell rang.

I was walking up to the buildings where the buses stopped and I met him as he headed the same way from another class.

"Good afternoon?" he asked, unusually conversationally.

"Not really," I replied.

"Oh no. Why?"

"Don't laugh but I think it was because you weren't there."

"That's very ... nice of you," Henry said, sounding awed.

I snorted. "I thought it was worrying."

Henry stepped in front of me, forcing me to stop. He looked into my eyes.

"Don't worry," he said comfortingly, stroking my arm.

I instantly stopped being fazed by how I'd felt this afternoon but felt uncomfortable with how he was looking at me and the fact that he hadn't let go of my arm.

"Could you let go now?" I asked.

"Oh, yeah, sure," he replied, looking slightly embarrassed. He took his hand off my arm.

We walked alongside each other to the buses and said goodbye as Henry found his. He kissed my cheek, before climbing aboard, making me feel slightly distressed. I didn't want to end up feeling awkward around him and I still didn't have feelings for him. I wandered to my own bus feeling lost and helpless because some part of me told me Henry could probably get his own way with people if he wanted something badly enough.

I got home and went straight up to my room. I lay quietly on my bed, staring into space.

Things were going too quickly, that was for sure. Henry barely knew me. In a way, that made me feel better because no one would ask someone out after only knowing them a day. Nevertheless, he had kissed me so I wondered if anything was really stopping him from striding up to me and asking me on a date.

A small part of me was flattered. A guy was potentially interested in me. I briefly felt warm inside but soon found myself worrying again.

Henry

            Wow. All I want to do is make her happy. I don't even know why. Her smile will always make my day. And she has such a perfect personality. I think I love her. 

            Kissing her was nice. I wanted to kiss her on the lips, though, and for a lot longer. Too bad she wasn't happy with me doing that...

            I want to know exactly how she feels about me. I'm going to ask her tomorrow.

Harriet

                The next day, Henry walked up to me before registration and asked me to come talk with him somewhere quiet. I desperately hoped he wasn't going to ask me out. To my relief, he just looked into my eyes. It was different today, though. It was like his eyes were burning. Had my mind not been blank during it, I would have felt uncomfortable with the intensity of his stare.

When we went back to the corridor where I had registration, without having said anything, Henry looked perhaps a little sad. I wondered what was wrong. I was awfully confused since he'd seemed so happy to see me before.

Henry

            She doesn't love me. I asked her and she said no. So calmly too, though that shouldn't be surprising. Maybe it would have been worse if she'd been sorry and tried to apologise. Maybe it's best that she doesn't remember me asking in case it makes her feel awkward around me.

            I felt so sure she'd want to make me happy too...

            I guess I'll never get to kiss her again.

Harriet

                Something's up with Henry. He won't talk to me, won't even look in my eyes and transfix me (not that he realises he does that). What's wrong with him?

Henry

            I considered something terrible a while after I asked about Harriet's feelings for me. Forcing her to love me. It would be so unbelievably wrong to do so and I was shocked at myself for thinking such a thing.

It would be so easy, though. So horrifically easy.

Harriet

                At one point in the morning, Henry looked horrified. It was as if he'd contemplated doing something appalling. I have to ask him what's wrong. Just leaving him alone as I have been is not going to help.

Henry

            I get the horrible feeling that Harriet is in danger from me. I have to stay away from her, at all costs. Even if she ends up hating me...

Harriet

                I decided to confront him at lunchtime. I confidently walked up to him after our second physics lesson of the term and asked, "Are you upset because I didn't kiss you?"

Henry looked at me as if I was very strange. Then he seemed to have some internal battle and walked away without saying anything. I ran after him and stepped in front of him.

"Henry, please. I can tell something's wrong and I'm really worried. This morning, you just looked at me and ... nothing happened. Did you want something to?"

Henry looked sadder. He walked around me. I caught his arm. He looked down at my hand and then into my eyes. Instead of allowing my mind to blank, however, I tried to resist him, holding onto the thought ‘He's sad'. Alarmingly, Henry's eyes grew more intense until my thoughts faded. I let go of his arm without intending to and turned and walked away from him, although I still wanted to ask him what was wrong.

What had made me do that? I was starting to wonder what Henry was really able to do. Had he communicated something to my subconscious with that stare? The word ‘subconscious' started a disconcerting train of thought. Things you did subconsciously you weren't aware of thinking of doing, and dreams were controlled by your subconscious mind, weren't they? Sub- as a prefix meant ‘below' and I suddenly thought of a synonym which led to a very disturbing thought: under. I thought of films and books and television programs, no specific ones but a concept quite common in them. ‘You are under my power,' a character would say to another, entranced, one. Entranced... Trance... Trances were brought on by, and I shuddered at the thought, hypnotism.

The End

276 comments about this story Feed