The Boarding School

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Thirty Nine

Anna’s POV

Wow. I was speechless. Utterly and entirely speechless as well as paralysed.

How was it possible? How was it possible that she was in love with Harry? Were we talking about the same Harry, because clearly she wasn’t seeing the person I was seeing, the person I had warned her countless times about.

How was it possible that she fooled us all? Fooled me?! How was it possible for such an innocent girl like her keep such a secret for so long? How was it possible to pull it off without anyone noticing?

What would happen if people found out? It would be the end of her, although it seemed like she was already finished. Compared to that confession, the fight which left the whole school in shock was nothing, absolutely nothing! It was incomparable. That secret was a whole new level of worse. It felt like she was backstabbing us all, betraying us all.

After all the things Harry had done to that school and to its students and teachers, she was giving him a second chance and that was one too many. It was impossible for me to understand how Summer had completely forgotten that Harry did: he contributed to a little kids suicide and he took over the school by intimidating students so they would obey him; he used fear to control them, he humiliated my friends and beat them like they were punching bags as I stood powerless watching all of it unravel around me.

I will never forget the day he used his powers on me, the day he scarred me, the day he hurt me and humiliated me like I had no feelings, like I wasn’t a human. He didn’t hit me, but he yelled at me in the middle of the corridor, making my bones rattle and my books fall all over the floor.

At that time all I felt was fear, and that fear started to slowly transform into anger as I saw the entire school bow down to him, accept his devilish power without a fight.

It felt like we were living under a dictatorship. It was so frustrating because sometimes I felt like I was the only one who was truly seeing what that animal was doing to us, and I knew that alone I would never achieve anything, that I could never fight back alone. People were too scared to revolt, to act, to do something about him, but everyone was too damn afraid.

And then, when I thought everything was lost and kids were destined to be submissive to Harry for as long as he stayed at Hudson, John died. With that Harry magically started to stop. He never stopped entirely, the incident yesterday proving so, but it seems like reality hit him and for once he used his brain to think.

All that I have ever felt towards him was pure anger and hate, a hate so deep it ate me inside and made want to set him on fire and watch him burn.

And yet, God only knew why, Summer decided to fall in love with him!

If only she had seen with her own eyes what he had done to us in the past... But still, she knew it, I told her everything about what that boy had done and I saw her shocked and repulsed expression when I told her the disgusting things he had done.

How was it possible to love someone like him? How was it humanly possible to even give him a chance? How?!

I took a deep breath and sat down on the edge of by bed. I took a deep breath and tried to see the big picture, tried to predict what was coming next: when people find out about this, she would be finished.

In that exact moment Amanda and Lottie came storming inside the room. They were chattering loudly and laughing, but it didn’t last long. As soon as they notice the state I was, they immediately stopped.

“What’s wrong Anna?” Lottie came to my side and put a hand on my shoulder. I could sense a hint of fear as she spoke her words, but I wasn’t surprised. I must have looked mad. I felt mad.

I wanted to tell them everything, every single detail of the conversation Summer and I had just moments before, but there was something holding me back. How badly I wanted them to know that Summer, my best friend, was dating Harry Edwards. I could imagine their faces, their multiple denials that wouldn’t change anything. It felt like I was going to explore at any second. That secret was too big to hold.

“I talked to Summer,” I told them, my mind racing one hundred miles per hour.

“I knew it!” said Amanda with a despising tone “What did she say?! I want to know everything!”

I had the power in my hands to tell them everything and ruin Summer’s life in that school for good. I could confirm that Summer was in love with that boy, and then they would tell everyone. The news would spread faster than wildfire. Everyone would know. Everyone would treat her like they treated Harry, like a monster. They would despise her, and the rumours would transform into confirmations and I would be the reliable source. I would be the informer. Me.

I had one choice that could change her life in that very moment, and the pressure was too great.

I looked at the two girls with hungry eyes by my side as they waited for an answer.

“I-I have to go,” I managed to say at last. I was in the corridor in seconds, my hands shaking and my breath completely irregular.

I had the power to ruin Summer’s life, and I really wanted to tell them, but I couldn’t do it. Summer betrayed my trust, our trust, but I could never do that to her.

My mind kept telling me that there was something more to the story that I didn’t know, that I needed to be aware of to comprehend all of it. It seemed like I had finally solved the puzzle to why Summer had been acting so strangely, but the image just didn’t look right, although the pieces fitted together perfectly.

I had no idea where I was going as I ran down the stairs of Hall A, but I had to get away from people as quickly as possible. They reminded me of the grenade I had in my hands, and I was so tempted to drop it, but I couldn’t do it.

I found myself going outside, the cold breeze of evening hitting me like a truck. But the coolness of the air didn’t help me clear my thoughts, as they left me more confused by the second.

There was another reason, a very worrying reason, that was stopping me from telling the girls the truth: what if I was wrong? What if Summer was right and Harry actually had changed? Very unlikely, almost impossible, but still a possibility that didn’t leave my mind. If I told them the truth they would punish Summer by humiliation, but what if that punishment was unfair?

I was pulling at the roots of my hair as I walked back and forth in a frenetic way.

“Okay,” I said aloud as I sighed again “Calm down, you will figure out what to do. Don’t freak out,” I told myself.

But I was already freaking, and I didn’t like how that felt.

Summer’s POV

After leaving Harry and drinking half of the bottle of scotch (which wasn’t that much considering the size of it) I headed back the Hall A that was apparently empty at that time since everyone had left for dinner.

I knew that sleeping in my room was going to be impossible, at least that night, so I grabbed some of my stuff and went to the community room. I knew some girls would go there after dinner, so I stored my things away from the eyes of everyone in one of the drawers in the multiple desks.

Then I decided to write to my parents. I hadn’t written to them in ages, but then again, neither did they. I somehow felt it was my obligation to contact them, but I felt like I was doing it for them not to forget I existed. I sat at a desk and took out paper and a pen. The words that came out through my hand were all a bunch of white lies. I wasn’t telling them the truth because I wanted to protect them, but rather because explaining everything was too tiring. Having to actually write those words and explain all that had happened to me was quite emotionally taxing. I wasn’t in the mood to feel any more pain.

It was actually quite fun to write that letter. It was a reflection of what I wanted my life at Hudson to be, which was the complete opposite of what I was living. It went more or less like this:

My friends are amazing as well as my teachers. I am loving the racing team and I am becoming better every day. Everything is just so peaceful, I couldn’t wish for a better school to be at. My studies are going really well, and I am working hard as I always did.

Maybe it was because of the scotch but I felt no remorse in saying such things. If I had lied to my parents like I was doing two years ago, I would have had immediately gone back with my words. This reminded me of another cliché that was also not true: people don’t change.

Of course people change. Everyone around me seemed to have changed in a split second drastically. Especially me.

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