Ed and I are on his sofa a few days later after a lecture, kissing. For the first couple of days it was really weird to act loving towards each other after we've spent so much time being kind of mean, even in a friendly way but we're used to this now. So so used to it. There's a knock on his door and I pull away, staring at him for answers. He stares back.
"Shit." he murmurs, moving me off him and then he laughs. "Nobody ever knocks on my door, of course it's today when you're hanging out here. Uh, go upstairs to my room, I'll come and get you when they're gone."
He sounds so calm and relaxed as if we wouldn't have ruined every opportunity the two of us have if whoever knocked had even looked through the window. I wonder if maybe I'm the only one out of the two of us who realises how serious this is. It's kind of weird being in his room. I don't know why, there's nothing very out of the ordinary about it but it's nice. He has a bookshelf with a few books and CDs, his bed is made, it smells like cologne.
I get a text from Junie while I'm waiting for Ed to come up and get me:
Need to talk to you please xx
I can't talk right now. In a lecture. xxx
She replies straight away:
I didn't think you had lectures right now?
I feel awful but I will phone her as soon as I get home:
Had to stay behind extra, I missed the other day. I'll call you soon xxx
I send back, feeling terrible about ditching her:
Ed comes up a little while later and flops down on the bed beside me, breathing a sigh of relief.
"It was Mr Morrison. Lovely guy but god he does talk about some boring stuff."
I laugh, lying down as well and looking at him. "What did he want?"
"Some help marking some essays. I'll do it tonight once you've gone home." he says and looks at me for a moment. I can't figure out the expression on his face. I look back for a moment and then laugh a little.
"What?" I ask.
He smiles too and shrugs. "Nothing."
"What?" I demand, laughing again.
"Nothing!" he insists, laughing as well. "Just... just, hi, I guess."
"Hi." I smile and he grins, pulling me closer to him.
"Have you got plans tonight?" he asks.
I shake my head. "No, why?"
"I thought maybe after you've gone to dinner and seen your friends and stuff... you could come back here and we could... well, you know..."
My heart beats so fast. I didn't think we were meant to have this conversation already. And what the hell was I supposed to say? Did I even want this or not? I didn't think 'I'll think about it' was going to work.
"What?!" is what I come out with in the end.
"You know..." he smiles, knowingly. "You could come over here, I'll dim the lights and light some candles and... you could help me mark those essays?"
I sigh, relieved and then hit him. "You're an actual prick. You know that, right? I literally almost died just then. You would have had a dead body in your bed and it would have been your fault."
He laughs out loud. "You fall for things too easily."
I stay there for a while longer until I have to meet up with Winnie and everybody and go to dinner. I don't get back until nine pm but Lucy is out somewhere so I'm not locked out which is good. However, I do have three texts from Junie asking where I am. I feel awful, I just forgot all about her. This is so unfair of me but I call her up anyway and hope she's not too mad.
"I told you to call me hours ago." she says wearily when she answers.
"I'm sorry Junie, I've been caught up with stuff." I sigh. "What's wrong?"
"Mum and dad." she says, sounding like a little girl again.
I frown, pausing. What could be wrong? "What about them?"
"They've been arguing."
I'm shocked. They never disagreed over anything, let alone argued. It's not in their nature to argue with anybody at all, let alone each other.
"Seriously?" I ask. "What about?"
"I don't know, I can never really hear what they're saying. It's awful, Dais, they act so cold with each other and they think I don't know what's going on. They're completely ignoring me and whenever they do pay me any attention, they're not even listening properly." she's speaking quietly. I can just picture her in her room, her knees hugged to her chest. It makes my heart ache. "I hate living here now."
"Oh Junie." I sigh. "I'm sure they're just arguing over nothing, they've been married for like a million years, it's bound to happen. I wouldn't worry too much. They'll get over it soon."
"I hope so." she whispers and I can tell she's crying. I pretend not to notice. "I miss you, Dais."
"I'll come home and visit as soon as I can." I promise. I try to think of when I could next visit and find the time to get away from here. "You should get some sleep."
"Yeah." she agrees. "Can I phone you tomorrow when I'm home from school?"
"Yes, don't hesitate to call, I'll answer wherever I am."
"Thanks, Dais. Night."