Eventually, my time with Harry came to an end as the time for the second class inevitably arrived. The short while I spent with him was marvellous. We didn’t mention my secret again during that hour, and although I felt uneasy at first, gradually I started to become more relaxed around him. There was something that made me apprehensive; Harry had shown to have a temperament, and his sudden change in demeanour was quite striking. It just seemed impossible to me that we went from someone with so much anger to being lovely and sweet. It seemed like he was a different person. Because of such transformation, I had come to the greatest conclusion of all times; people can change, people can accept, people can care, people can be what you need. That gave me hope, but there was one problem though: what if, despite his beautiful words and the way I felt for him, his core hadn’t changed? What if he still had a lot of anger inside him that could be triggered by a simple action, word, gesture?
Regardless of all my doubts and fears, I was relieved, and above all, happy. I knew that to continue to be happy I had to dive head first and hope not to hit my head on the bottom. I had to trust him and hope that he wouldn’t do anything irrational. I had to remind myself that this was how everything started: If I was not scared or hesitant at first it meant that I didn’t care enough about it, that I wasn’t willing to sacrifice whatever in the hopes of succeeding, and I most certainly cared about Harry, cared about us.
My second lesson came to an end as fast as it started. I walked outside the classroom and as I walked down the stairs to go and eat something, Mr Hansen’s piercing voice called my name. I immediately sensed something was wrong. I turned around and there he was, standing motionlessly by the door of his office.
He instructed me to approach him and I complied.
He closed the door behind him and I stood in the middle of the daunting yet magnificent room.
“What lesson were you supposed to have first period?” He went straight to the point. His voice was firm; he didn’t look away. I was almost one hundred percent what was coming next.
“Maths,” I told him.
“Did you attend it?”
My suspicions were confirmed.
I bowed my head in embarrassment “No, sir,” There was no point in lying. It was obvious he knew I skipped the lesson, so if I lied I could end up being in more trouble than I already was.
“Why?” He asked intimidatingly.
“I... well,” I was confident when it came to lying under pressure, but standing there, in Mr Hansen’s office, with his threatening eyes staring down at me it became too much. My mind went blank, my heart started to race, my hands started to sweat and my ears started to feel hot. How could I lie to the highest authority of the school? How could I keep a straight face while I did it? Was he going to buy it if I tried?
He took a deep breath and looked at me apprehensively “You’ve never been in any kind of trouble before this little stunt. I’m going to let this one slide, but take this as a warning,” I could literally feel my nerves vanishing as he said that sentence “If I find out that you’ve been skipping lessons again, and trust me, I will find out, you know where your name is going to be written on.”
I didn’t dare to say a thing as Mr Hansen moved to the back of his desk, waving at me to leave.
“Don’t let me down Summer,” He told me, but I was already halfway through the door.
I closed the door behind me and took a deep breath. What a lovely way to start the day. I started walking back to the canteen where I originally planned to go. I was still quite in shock from Mr Hansen’s words, but I tried to put them in the back of my mind.
“Good morning Summer!” Anthony said when we crossed our ways as I walked inside the canteen.
“Good morning,” I said to him. I was afraid he might notice my uneasiness, so I made sure to mask my true feelings with a smile.
“Why weren’t you in the Maths class? Is everything okay?”
“Oh yes, totally fine. I just had so much work to do that I decided to skip just that one lesson I hate the most to get all my work done.”
“Oh, okay, just don’t forget to tell our teacher that. Tell her that you weren’t feeling well or something. It’s better to just lie in these cases, and trust me, it’s not pretty when teachers find out students are choosing other subjects over theirs, especially Maths. They are very over-protective…” I nodded my head with a closed smile, trying my best not to give away my cover-up “But anyway, what are you doing today after school? Thought we could study together or something?”
I would be meeting Harry in the music room right after lessons ended, and although I could really use some help in Maths I just couldn’t go.
“Uh, about that,” I tried to make the lie sound complex and real, to sound as natural as possible “I got most of my work done but I still didn’t manage to finish that English essay. “
“Oh come on, it’s just an hour,” He spread his arms and shrugging his shoulders as I lead him towards the food table “It won’t kill you!”
“For your information, I need more than an hour to finish that stupid thing.”
“Okay then. What about tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow’s good. I’ll talk with you later,” I grabbed a ham and cheese sandwich and walked in the direction of the door, parting our ways.
Once I reached the exterior I looked at the calming sky. This was not how I envisioned my school life to turn out: lying constantly to my friends, being called to the headmaster’s office and lying to him as well, meeting Harry in secret, and on top of all that distress still trying to get good grades.
I leaned against a wall and tried to reorganise my thoughts. Maybe it wasn’t that bad. Maybe I was doing all the fuse, complicating what was simple. I just had to make that complicated life a routine and conciliate everything as better as I could.
I really struggled with the next hours of school. Finding motivation or concentration was like searching for water in a desert. All I could think about was what happened that morning between Harry and I, how that moment was made of all the things humans have trouble believing. At the end of all the classes, the time to meet with Harry came along, and without anybody watching, I sneaked my way down those spiral stairs that lead to the music room, anticipation building in.
I was now in the library by myself studying for a Maths test we were going to have next week, but I couldn’t find the concentration. There was something wrong, something wrong with Summer. One minute she was around, then the next she was nowhere to be seen. That day was no exception, for I noticed Summer disappear yet again with no apparent reason after the end of the last period of the day.
I had been watching Summer for a couple of weeks after noticing her odd behaviour. Her mood swings were what caught my attention in the first place, and once I started to pay attention there were so many other signs that I had missed. For example, the other night I couldn’t find her at dinner time so I went with the other girls, and when she appeared in the canteen later she looked broken, numb really. She didn’t speak or even give us an honest smile. She just ate her food, got up, and left. That behaviour was so out of character, as if she was replaced by an impostor.
My days had been occupied with trying to figure out that great mystery. Before the holidays, everything was fine, but after those days when she was left at Hudson alone Summer started to act in a peculiar way. It was all so very mysterious. Something must have happened during the holidays, but what? Even Anthony who always had his mind in outer space noticed that she was different. I truly believed she is hiding something, and I wanted to find out what it was.