I awoke to find Sara crouched by my side, looking anxious.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"Um, I think so," I replied.
I noticed that Henry was no longer underneath me. He was crouching beside Sara.
"What happened?" I asked.
"You fell asleep," he replied.
"You could've told me to try and block out your voice," I said angrily, pushing myself up into a sitting position.
"I don't usually have that effect on people. I could ... make it so that wouldn't happen again."
"No!" I said, annoyed.
Henry stood up and walked away, saying, "Your friend's okay now."
Sara was looking after him curiously. "He really cares about you," she said, looking back at me.
"I know," I said, rising to my feet. Sara stood up too. Beth seemed to be distracted and was gazing into space, looking confused.
"You should've seen the look of concern on his face, and the way he caught you and cushioned your fall."
"He loves me, Sara, okay? He told me so. And we are never talking about him again. He's going to leave us alone now that he's dealt with Beth."
I turned to Beth. "How are you feeling?"
"Weird," she murmured, not looking at me. "I feel like I've remembered an odd dream but one that feels so real, it was like I was the dream."
"I suppose you were, in a way."
"It's extremely disconcerting."
"Well, just try to forget about it. Nothing like that is ever going to happen to you again."
I walked into French feeling optimistic.
It was strange how Harriet fell asleep. I wasn't talking that hypnotically. Maybe she was a bit scared and therefore a little more suggestible than usual. Whatever the reason, I have to forget about her now. So my heart doesn't break.
Monday afternoons could not be worse. I was appalled to find that a double maths lesson preceded physics. To my annoyance, I was still captivated by his hand movements as he copied down notes from the board.
"Why does this happen?" I muttered, trying to tear my eyes away as he wrote a string of numbers which seemed to have been specifically chosen because of the curving motions Henry's hand made when he wrote them down.
Henry looked up, startled. He put his pen down. "Sorry," he whispered.
I looked at him. "Are you going to explain?"
"Er, I'm incredibly hypnotic," he replied. "Don't worry about why; just try not to watch me when I write stuff down."
"Okay. It's weird, though. And very annoying."
"It is rather," he admitted.
He waited until I was fully focused on copying down my own notes before he began writing again. I had to struggle to keep my eyes on my own work, though, because I noticed the hand movements in the corner of my vision. It was like there was an invisible rope tied around his hand and my head, connecting them.
Harriet being mesmerised by my writing was very unhelpful since I've been trying not to think about her. I wish there were some way I could turn the spell I unwittingly cast on people on and off the way I can make my eyes and voice hypnotic and plain. There's no way to change it, though; not without hypnotising the whole universe.
Noticing Harriet's awed look made me long for us to be friends again. I was half tempted to draw a spiral which would have been terribly unfair of me. Thank goodness I can resist temptation, because I was also tempted to entrance her and kiss her, and if she'd discovered I had, she'd have scarcely appreciated it and probably hated me more.
I get the feeling Henry's not ordinary. Not that I hadn't guessed something was different about him when I'd worked out he could hypnotise people. He's something more, though. Almost like ... a different species. Not as different as a monkey or tiger, but something within the human race like a werewolf. Oh gosh, I hope those don't exist.
It was a relief to go home until I remembered that something prevented me from being able to chill out and forget about everything.
I was writing in my diary, in an attempt to take the burden off my shoulders and I wasn't really paying attention to what I was writing when I noticed I'd written the word ‘spirals' repeatedly. Also, I'd written it so that it formed the lines of the letters of the name Henry. I was shocked.
The next day, I stormed up to Henry and said, "Hey," angrily.
"Um, hi," he said.
I faltered. What was I going to say? Oh, hey, I was just coming to tell you I wrote your name in my diary last night. That wouldn't go down well. He loved me and might get the wrong impression or might ask to read the diary and I couldn't have that.
"Was there something you wanted to say?" he asked.
"What happens when you draw spirals?" was the first thing that came to mind.
Henry looked startled. "I could have sworn I didn't draw any yesterday!"
"Oh, no you didn't. I was just ... curious."
Henry looked confused. "I've never talked to you about spirals before."
"Well, could you tell me?"
"Um, okay. Well, you noticed that you get drawn in when I draw any curved shape or line and if I draw a spiral, your eye follows the line around and you become hypnotised and go into a trance."
"Is there any reason at all why it would suddenly occur to me to come and discuss this with you?"
"I don't know... I'm not allowed to find out."
He didn't make his last statement a question but I wanted to make it absolutely clear where we stood on that particular topic.
"I guess we'll both be mystified until we forget about it."
I walked off, feeling confused and also anxious that my subconscious was trying to send me messages about trances and Henry.
Why would Harriet come and ask me about spirals? I'm almost scared one of my brothers has gone up to her, but they don't know about her ... to the best of my knowledge.
Talking to her was difficult. I was almost tempted to demonstrate what drawing spirals did. I have a scary feeling that I'm slowly being conquered by these desires which are building up and making forgetting about Harriet harder.
I have to be better at resisting temptation. If I want Harriet, this is the only way to go about it, and I do so want her.