Three days had gone by. Three days stuck inside a room with Harry Edwards reading books, doing homework and thinking. I had to admit it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. He didn’t talk to me, I didn’t talk to him. Sometimes he would make a rude remark about the nurse coming to the infirmary every five minutes to check on us, and I tried not to laugh at his rudeness which I found quite funny. Nonetheless, I was still in shock about what happened. What I saw him do to that kid was actually worse than the actual fire. I also discovered something I didn’t know I had; anger. I always have been a very pacific person, but in that moment Harry turned me into something I was not.
Andrew, the kid that Harry assaulted, had not shown up once to visit us, which I expected. Apart from him, I’ve been having visits every day, even from Aunt Marge and teachers. I couldn’t help but notice Harry didn’t have a single person to check on him. He really had no one who cared for him, and despite the undoubted truth that he didn’t deserve anyone’s pity, I sad for him. Why didn’t he change school then? Why did he need to continue there if Hudson had nothing to offer him and vice versa?
My thoughts were interrupted but the nurse coming inside the infirmary. Every day, before we went to sleep, she would check my wrist and change the bandage. It was still looking really bad, but it didn’t hurt that much now, only when I tried to write, which was impossible to do. I didn’t even manage to write a word without suffering a tortuous pain, so Anthony lent me his typing machine to write essays and some homework... I just wanted it to heal quickly and get back to same old hand-writing.
The nurse unwrapped the bandage and a funny looking wrist was revealed. I couldn’t quite put a finger on it, but it just didn’t look right. Harry was staring at it intensely as the nurse did the job. Was he feeling guilty? I couldn’t tell, but if he was any human, he would. Maybe he was good at hiding his feelings, which I wouldn’t be surprised at all. Like myself, he was hiding something, for sure; no one got away with what he did without a punishment, but he did. By that time, he should have been expelled, but he wasn’t. What was he even doing in the infirmary anyway? He didn’t show any signs of illness anymore.
The nurse asked me to open and close my fingers a couple of times – which hurt like hell – and then she put another bandage around my wrist.
“Well guys, I have good news for you,” she said out of the blue. “I think tomorrow you are ready to go back to lessons.”
“That means that we can go back to our dorms?” I asked, excitement clear in my voice.
“Yup,” she confirmed, a smile sketched on her face.
“But what about her wrist?” asked Harry, pointing at me. “She isn’t going to be able to write.”
“I am sure your teachers will let you use the typing machine during lessons, but I will talk to them personally explaining your situation,” she said “Besides, your wrist is recovering well. I expect it to be completely healed by the beginning of the Winter holidays. However, it’s still going to hurt occasionally, and movement will be limited.”
Finally! I didn’t care if I was going back to the boring lessons, I just wanted to leave Harry and the awkward silences and go back to my friends.
“Aren’t you in the running team?” The nurse asked lastly.
“Yeah, what about it?”
“Unfortunately you won’t be able to attend training. It’s too risky for your wrist; if you trip and fall it can make it worse and slow down your recovery.”
I simply nodded and she left the room after saying good night. I had to admit I wanted to continue running, but she was right. What if something happened and I had to go to the hospital? Thinking about that gave me chills and I pushed them aside. I pulled the blankets over my shoulders and drifted to sleep for the last time in that infirmary.
I was sitting at a table full of food and filled with happy people. I recognised their faces as being the kids from my class. Anna sat beside me and Anthony in front of me.
We were talking loudly with each other, Amanda on the other end of the table was laughing hysterically, even Mr Hansen had a smile on his face. There was music playing and the joyful sound filled the canteen, creating a fun and relaxing environment. It looked as if we were having a party.
“Summer,” called Mr Hansen “Can you go and call Aunt Marge? I think she is outside,” he said and took a sip of his drink.
“Huh, sure,” I said and got up from my seat. That was strange. Why did Mr Hansen ask me to call Aunt Marge and why was she outside? For some reason it must’ve been, so I didn’t protest.
I walked outside. It was the first time I was outside at that time of the night, and the feeling was strange and foreign. For my surprise, it was a warm night, like a summer night, which I found also very strange; weren’t we in the winter? The only light illuminating my surroundings came from the lamps which were five meters apart from each other and went all around the building.
“Aunt Marge!” I called. I saw a shadow around the corner.
“That must be her,” I thought “Aunt Marge!”
I ran to her and as soon as I turned the corner, I saw her body collapsed on the floor. Horrified, I knelt down and lifted her, turning her body around. A pool of blood was on the floor and coming out of her head. In that moment I swear I stopped breathing and was perplexed. Before I could react, I felt something cold touch the back of my head.
A barrel of a gun.
“What are you doing up so late?” I turned around and I saw the face of the last person I ever wanted to see. Harry.
“Harry, put it down,” I pleaded. The gun was directly pointing at my forehead and my muscles were shaking. I wasn’t crying though, I still hadn’t had time to process what has happening.
The gun made a clicking sound and I knew exactly what that meant.
“Harry, please, I beg you! Put that thing down, let’s go inside,” My voice was cracking now and I could feel an agonising lump forming at the back of my throat.
The most wicked smile formed on Harry’s lips. After that, I heard a bang and everything went black.
“Summer, wake up! Wake you, it’s just a nightmare!” I heard him said. My eyes swung open and I immediately pushed him away from me.
“Stay away from me!” I shouted, my voice cracking at the end. I was crying, my body was full of sweat and I couldn’t think straight. I looked at Harry and the only thing I felt was fear. He killed me in my dream, he killed me.
“Hey, it’s okay, I’m not going to hurt you,” he said in a calm voice. He sat on my bed slowly and then wrapped his arms around me. With tears still streaming down my face, my body tensed. This was not the Harry that shot me in my dream.
His large hands run up and down my back in a comforting way, his head resting on the top of mine. Hesitant at first, hands went around his torso, but then I hugged him tight, my breathing irregular.
My heart was pounding against my chest: that was the most terrifying thing I ever saw.
“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked, not stopping to caress me. I tried to decide if I should tell him what really happen or not, but I was done with lying. I was going to tell him the truth whether he liked it or not.
“You killed me, you shot me,” I whispered.
His hands stopped its constant rhythm. His body tensed just like mine seconds before, but he didn’t push me away.
“I would never do that,” he said quietly, sadness trespassing through his tone.
“How can I be sure?” I asked, tilting my head to look into his eyes. I could see the guilt in them, and it shattered my heart.
“Because I hurt you once and I didn’t like the way it felt,” He simply said.
I stayed silent. With that statement, he confirmed what I suspected. He felt in fact guilty. My curiosity wanted to ask him if he also felt guilty towards what he did to Andrew and all the other kids in school, but I decided against it.
I was afraid of what he would say, because if I was being frank, I had a feeling it wasn’t going to be what I wanted to hear.
Now we were locked in each other’s arms in complete darkness and my tears had stopped and I felt numb. I could feel Harry’s heart beating against my own as he continued his soft movements down my back. Then, he tucked a strand of my hair behind my ear.
I didn’t know what to think: first he was mean and conceited, irritated me so much that I wanted to scream in anger, not to mention that he was almost the cause of my death, but then he acted like that; gentle and caring.
My eyes were starting to get heavy. I tried to stay awake, because I didn’t want that moment to end just yet. Unfortunately, sleep took over me, and I felt asleep peacefully in Harry’s arms.
We stayed like that for what seemed like hours. I was sure she fell asleep because her arms didn’t hold me tight anymore and her breathing corrected itself. When I heard her scream I immediately woke up and shook her till she finally opened her eyes.
I could never forget the way she looked at me. That look of sheer terror and fear. I couldn’t believe she had a nightmare about me killing her. I couldn’t fucking believe that was how she viewed me, a murderer, just like everybody else.
I never wanted to do those things I did. I just wanted, no better, needed to take it all out on someone, anyone to keep my sanity. But this isn’t what I wanted. Somehow, my ultimate objective of being invincible came crashing down by that girl in my arms. I felt bad, I actually felt really bad about everything that I did to her. She was the first person who actually talked to me and looked me in the eyes when she did so. She was the only one who took such an interest in me that she risked being caught just to find out more about me when she left her dorm room to read the book. She was the only person who had the guts to tell me the downright truth about myself.
And somehow, I liked it.
My body acted like a shell around her fragile and vulnerable body. I laid her down, tucked her in and went back to my bed. I wished we could stay in the infirmary a bit longer; I really don’t want to go back to the hell that were lessons. Everyone was going to saying “He almost killed her”, “He set fire to the stables on purpose,” “He made that kid smoke against his will,” and that thought made me want to scream.
At least they were almost leaving for Winter holidays. I wished I could leave that shithole too, but Hansen said I couldn’t, under any circumstance, and I didn’t protest. I didn’t want to get involved in any more problems: I already had enough.
Until then, I had something to distract myself with: spending hour after hour thinking about the girl with the broken wrist.