A New Novel in the Making
I'm working on a new novel. Here's the 31st chapter of it. Let me know what you think about it. You find a Facebook comment form below the text. I post each new chapter when it is completed. The first chapter is here: Chapter One
The high school corridor is noisy and full of students in movement. Some are by their lockers, changing the books they carry, others rush through and some stand in groups, chatting. Fred is by himself, leaning his back on the wall and taking in the somewhat chaotic scenery. His hands are dug deep into the pockets of his pants.
"Freddie, there you are!" a voice calls out.
Before he has time to turn towards its source, he is caught in a big hug. It is Caroline. He can't return the hug, unable to get his hands out of his pockets.
"Hi Carrie," he mumbles, trying to hide his surprise.
"How are you?"
Her tone of genuine concern confuses him.
"I'm fine," he replies like a reflex. "How are you?"
"I've been looking for you each break. Where have you been?"
"Well, here," Fred replies. "And in class, of course."
He looks around to see if others are watching them. He finds no one paying any attention. Caroline releases him and takes a short step back, gazing at him from top to toe.
"When I didn't find you, I started to think that you had skipped school today."
"Why would I do that? I have nowhere else to go. Besides, my dad would kill me."
"Anyway," Caroline says cheerfully, "here you are."
Fred confirms with a little grunt. His facial expression shows that he is still a bit confused.
"That was quite a night we had," Caroline continues. "We went through a lot, all of us."
Fred blinks and his cheeks start to blush.
"Did they bother you after I left?" he inquires with a grumpy voice. "The two weirdoes, did they leave you alone?"
"Oh, I left soon after you did. The last I saw was both of them hiding under my bed."
"So they're still in our house?"
Fred grunts and shakes his head.
"Don't worry about them," Caroline says. "I don't. I think of you."
"Yes. I was looking for you because I wanted to make sure you were alright. It can't be easy for you, with all the things you've been going through. Things you're still going through."
The color on Fred's cheeks deepens. Again he glances up and down the busy corridor. He still spots nobody who seems to care at all about him and Caroline.
"I just want you to know that I'm here for you, Freddie. I'll help you any way I can."
"I don't think you can," Fred mumbles. "Don't worry about it. I don't."
"That can't be true. Of course you worry. I would. And I do."
Caroline lifts her hand to one of his glowing cheeks and strokes it very gently with her fingertips. She smiles.
"I have to, because I care."
Fred looks her right in the eyes. He leans his head ever so slightly to the side, so that his cheek pushes against her fingers. Caroline keeps them there, raising her eyebrows. The school bell rings. Then she flashes another smile and pulls her hand away.
"See you later," she says and turns to hurry down the corridor, quickly disappearing in the crowd.
All the chapters posted so far: