Every Friendship has a Beginning

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Final Moment of Quiet

“Athene!”

“Hmm?” she muttered opening her eyes ever so slightly.

Anthony was leaning over her his eyes lit up like lightbulbs.

“Don’t do that!” she stammered rubbing the sleep out of her eyes, “don’t wake me up like that!”

“Sorry Athy,” he chuckled, “I just couldn’t wait.”

“What time is it?” she muttered.

“Five o’clock.”

“Why in the name of all that is holy have you woken me up at five o’clock?” she snapped glaring at him.

“Because we’re going back to school today, I thought you’d want to do some more reading.”

Anthony looked very foolish, and was staring down at his shoes and had his hands in his pockets. He looked as though he wanted to sink into the ground.

“Sorry I woke you up,” he muttered turning to leave, “I’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Wait Tony!” she called as he went out the door.

“Sorry I snapped,” she said smiling slightly.

“Is it your turn to pick?” she asked kindly.

Athene didn’t know what it was, but she couldn’t be angry at anyone for long, especially at Anthony even if he did wake her up at five o’clock!

Anthony turned back around and smiled at her.

“I’ve found the perfect play,” he beamed, “its set during the Trojan War.”

“Oh, like Homer?” she asked excitedly sitting up properly.

It had now become the habit, that Anthony did the reading whilst Athene did her crochet or sewing, so Athene got out her wool and crochet hook to get on with her work.

“So, what’s the play?”

“Troilus and Cressida!” said Anthony dramatically as he opened the book to the first scene.

Athene tried to do her crochet, but it just seemed to come out in a tangled mess today.

“What are you trying to do?” he chuckled.

“I’m trying to learn how to cable crochet, I was going to make a jumper.”

“The wool’s a nice colour,” said Anthony looking at the grey-blue wool, “it’ll make a nice jumper!”

“When I get the stitches right!” she laughed as she unpicked her crochet to restart yet again.

Anthony read to her the play, getting all the voices right. Towards the end of the play, they started to hear voices coming from downstairs. Nick and Mark were rushing around trying to find the last of their possessions to pack. Anthony and Athene had packed last night to save the last-minute panic.

Athene sighed slightly; this was going to be the last of their quiet moments until Christmas. Going to boarding school might be exciting, but it was hard to get a few minutes of peace and quiet. Usually, if Harry and Charlie weren’t trying to persuade her to join them for rugby, then Mark and Julie would be dragging Anthony to the practice room to help with practice. Whether it was helping Lizzie with her French homework, or helping Julie and Mark rehearse their lines for the latest show, there was always something.

She had gotten used to spending time with Anthony in her quiet attic other the last few weeks, and it was a shame it was having to end.

“Come on then, best get our uniforms on.”

Athene turned up her nose slightly, and Anthony chuckled.

“It won’t be too bad, same St Christopher’s we’ve been going to for two years.”

“I guess you’re right,” she laughed as Anthony left.

She got on her uniform and looked in the mirror. It was the same uniform she had worn three months ago, but she somehow looked so different. There were only a few small changes, she was wearing a bra instead of a vest, and tights instead of socks, but they had somehow made the world of difference. Now instead of looking eleven years old because she was so short and skinny, she actually looked her age, if not slightly older!

It might help the fact that she had actually finally hit five foot. She could pass for fourteen at a push.

She skipped down the stairs for breakfast where the boys were waiting for her.

Mark dropped his mouth wide open as he ate his toast.

Anthony had been trying to cut the top of his boiled egg, and Mark nudged his twin brother.

Anthony looked up curiously and dropped his knife in shock which clattered onto the floor.

“Have they changed the girl’s uniforms?” stammered Mark.

“It’s not the uniform that’s changed,” smirked Nick, “but the girl wearing it.”

Athene blushed so redly, as the twins stared at her, that her freckles for once were hardly noticeable.

Nick poked Mark in the ribs, and Mark shut his mouth like a trap and went back to his breakfast.

Anthony came back to his senses and started fumbling around under the table for his knife.

“Here,” chuckled Athene passing it back to him as she sat down next to him.

Athene noticed that Anthony was smiling at her a lot more than usual as he ate his breakfast, maybe Anthony was just in a good mode because they were going back to school today?

She tried to ignore him.

“Ok kids,” said Mr Pennington as he finished his paper, “let’s get the kit loaded!”

Athene had decided to leave her new petticoat at home, there was hardly anything she was going to have to use it for at school. Julie might have packed hers, but she probably needed it for a show or something.

They crammed the four sets of luggage into the boot of the car and Simon stood in the doorway to the house. It was a Sunday, and he was still in his pyjama’s. He was very grateful that he wasn’t having to go back to school today because it meant he got a nice day off.

The only reason he had gotten out of bed at all was to wave goodbye to his little brothers. After all, he wasn’t going to see them for three months.

Athene got in the back of the car, jammed up next to Anthony and Marks guitar. Athene noticed that Anthony was staring out the window straight past her as though she wasn’t even there. She would have been offended, but she had known Anthony for two years and she knew that although he had a great mind, he did tend to go in a daze sometimes and get lost in his thoughts, which gave him a strange kind of expression as if he wasn’t quite there.

When they pulled up at the school the Makenzie’s were in the middle of dropping off Charlie and her older brothers.

“Athene!” screamed Charlie.

She hardly waited for the car to stop before throwing the door open so she could hug Athene. If Mr Pennington hadn’t known Charlie was there, he could have easily run her over.

“What the bloody hell happened to you?” said Charlie.

“She had a chance encounter with the fair lady puberty,” said Mark as he got his bags out of the car.

“If you wait a few years maybe she’ll meet you too?”

Charlie was now long and lanky, she looked like she was growing overnight. It didn’t help the fact that at the moment her skirt was several inches below her knee. Mrs Makenzie had bought Charlie new skirts, but as she just kept on growing, she had bought them far too long. The other problem was that the rest of her body hadn’t caught up with her yet, so she was still fairly skinny.

It seemed as if Julie was still destined to be the beauty of the three, Charlie was just too boyish with her short hair, and although Athene was pretty, she wasn’t very confident or showy, so boys didn’t always notice her.

Athene headed up to her dorm with Charlie and they started unpacking.

“Hi Charlie,” said Harry leaning against the doorway.

Charlie looked up at Harry, with an eager expression. What better excuse to stop unpacking than the timely arrival of one’s boyfriend?

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