By that time Belle had to go and dress Diana. She went up the stairs and opened Diana's bedroom door. She wasn't there!
Belle stepped back in surprise, and bumped into someone. She turned around and there was Diana, locking the door to the Red Room.
Diana turned around, surprised, then recovered from it almost instantly and ushered Belle into her room. Then Diana left again, with a finger on her lips.
It was like that with mute people: it was too much of a hassle to communicate, so they usually just did things without warning, and explaining them later, after they did it.
Soon, Diana came back, this time with Cecil following her. Belle raised her eyebrows questioningly, but didn't say anything (when I say say, usually I mean write).
Diana sat herself down on her soft bed. She reached for her slate and a new piece of chalk (the old ones went to Belle) and started writing.
It was like she was weaving a spell on Belle and Cecil. They would only snap out of their trance after Diana had to rub out the slate to clear it, or change pieces of chalk. But when Diana got up to the part where Belle was involved, she just couldn't write it.
Her hand stayed suspended in mid-air for a few seconds before Cecil asked her if there was anything wrong.
Diana shook her head. She would just have to leave that part out. But her friends deserved to know. And if she didn't tell them there would have to be more lies in the future. Diana felt ashamed that she was telling them for her own personal welfare, but she quickly tried to convince herself else wise.
Her hand came down again, and she wrote as fast as she could, as if to get it over and done with as quickly as she could.
When she was finished, Diana risked a look upwards, towards Belle. Big mistake. A big, fat tear rolled down her cheek, and she could tell that Belle was doing all she could not to run out of the room but not after slapping Diana hard.
I'm sorry, really.
Belle shook her head. Diana understood. Sometimes, words didn't help. She should know – her whole life was based upon words.
Cecil gulped. “I never would have guessed, Diana. Really. But move on. Onto the plan.”
Yes, the plan. Diana thought about how to write it. It wasn't going to be a simple plan, this one.