Anthony was reading to Athene; they were reading Romeo and Juliet that evening. For some reason, they felt like reading a romance. Athene was working steadily on the first sleeve of her jumper which was starting to grow quite quickly now she knew what she was doing.
Harry, Charlie, Julie and Mark came back into the room at this point all chatting cheerfully. They had just got back from the Cadet Meeting and Choir Practise.
“Mr Wells is considering forming a smaller girls choir, there are quite a few girls now, he wants us to sing Ave Maria at the carol service.”
“You should join Athene,” beamed Julie, “you’ve got a beautiful voice.”
“I’m good thanks,” said Athene as she counted stitches, “stage fright.”
“What happened to you two?” asked Mark looking between Anthony and Athene.
It was as if the last week had never happened, Anthony was reading to Athene, and they both had smiles a mile wide on their faces.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” smirked Anthony.
Mark decided to leave this for now.
“So how did your interview go?” asked Charlie as she pulled off her boots.
“It went well,” said Anthony.
“So when do you leave?” asked Harry.
“Well if you’re that desperate to get rid of me Harry I might just take them up on their offer.”
“What are you talking about Anthony?” asked Mark confused.
Mark had thought that Anthony wanted to go to Harrow so that he could go to school with people who were more academically inclined like him.
“I’m not going,” he said simply.
“What?” asked Julie choking on a glass of water, surely, she had misheard things.
“But why?” stammered Harry.
“You must be crazy to turn them bloody down!” said Charlie.
“The situation has changed, I realised that I can still study here, and I’d rather stay here with my friends.”
Athene smiled up at him slightly.
“Anthony, you can make friends anywhere,” chuckled Mark.
“There’s something you’re not telling us isn’t there?” asked Charlie grinning mischievously.
Anthony and Athene grinned at each other from other ends of the bed.
“You haven’t?” asked Mark beaming.
“Haven’t what?” asked Charlie.
“Done what we’ve been saying they’d do since first year,” smirked Julie.
“Romeo has finally found his Juliet!” said Mark kneeling down dramatically.
“Star crossed lovers, torn apart by fate find each other at the last moment!” said Julie with her hand over her heart before fainting exaggeratedly onto her bed.
“You lot are a bunch of prats!” laughed Athene throwing pillows at them both.
“But we’re right aren’t we?” asked Julie sitting back up properly.
“Maybe,” muttered Anthony.
“You’re not as crazy as I thought Tony,” said Harry ruffling his hair.
“Harrow might be full of boffins like you, but there are no girls!”
That night after the boys left, the girls stayed up for another midnight feast. It was much better than they had used to be, as there was no longer any rationing. They each had loads of sweets and cakes. Lizzie even had a box of chocolates from her boyfriend back home which she shared around with the other girls.
They were doing each other’s hair by torchlight. Charlie didn’t care much for hair, she had very short hair, and she didn’t like doing other people’s so she chatted away whilst the other girls did their hair. Julie plaited usually plaited Athene’s hair up into a crown on top of her head, but this time she took the hair ribbons that Athene usually tied on to the bottom of her plaits and plaited them into one long plait down Athene’s back.
“So Athens,” said Charlie grinning mischievously.
“It’s time to answer the question we’re all dying to know,” said Julie.
“What?” asked Athene trying not to laugh.
“What was it like to kiss Anthony?” asked Lizzie as Lucy nodded.
“What?” laughed Athene.
“What are you talking about, you know what it’s like to kiss people! You’ve got boyfriends Charlie and Lizzie, and you Julie must have kissed Mark dozens of times on the stage.”
“Stage kissing doesn’t count,” said Julie, “I’ve never kissed anyone properly.”
“And Harry’s just Harry,” said Charlie, “he’s a pretty energetic and full-on bloke. Our kissing is usually fast and energetic and often, but never lasts very long, we usually have something else to be doing.”
“But Anthony’s so shy and sensitive,” said Lizzie.
“What’s it like to kiss the forms biggest bookworm?” asked Lucy.
“Apart from you obviously,” added Charlie.
“You guys really want to know, don’t you?” laughed Athene.
The other four girls nodded enthusiastically.
“Oh alright then,” sighed Athene smiling broadly.
“Well, I started by kissing him on the lips, I thought for a moment he was going to pull away, but then he didn’t.”
“He started kissing me gently and slowly. I closed my eyes, and the world had never seemed more perfect. I wanted it to go on for hours!”
“Did you do tongues?” asked Lizzie.
“No,” laughed Athene.
“Shh,” said Lucy who was enthralled by the story, “go on Athene.”
“As I said it felt perfect, Anthony wasn’t leaving, we were talking again, and we had realised that we loved each other. I was starting to lose myself in his kiss when I started to feel something else.”
“What?” breathed Julie.
“Anthony had started to run his fingers through my hair, it was already down and he was stroking my hair softly. I was surprised, but I didn’t stop him, nothing had ever felt more right!”
“What did he taste like?” asked Lizzie.
“Uggh!” muttered Lucy who had never kissed a boy.
“Harry tastes like peppermint, usually a cross between toothpaste and mint humbugs.”
“My boyfriend Peter tastes of chocolate,” beamed Lizzie, “his favourite sweets.”
“To be honest?” asked Athene.
“His lips tasted like rhubarb crumble,” she giggled.
“Rhubarb crumble!” Julie asked incredulously.
Charlie and Lizzie where in hysterical fits of laughter.
“Shhh,” said Lucy still giggling, “or Matron will come in!”
“There was rhubarb crumble for pudding today, so that’s what he tasted like!” laughed Athene.
“And he smells like a delicious combination between old books and freshly laundered bedsheets.”
“Only you could be turned on by old books,” muttered Charlie.
“But why does he smell like clean laundry?” asked Lizzie confused.
“I think it’s the soap he uses,” explains Athene, “I think it has cotton in it.”
“How do you know what soap he uses?” asked Julie suspiciously.
“Have you two been up to something?” asked Charlie trying to hide back a grin.
“Because I live with him for half the holidays!” laughed Athene.
“Oh right of course,” said Julie nodding.
“We completely believe you,” said Charlie in a sarcastic tone.