chapter 8

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I stayed in the kitchen a few minutes after The Bird took Jake out to the gardens. I assumed she wanted him to meet everybody. After downing a cup of tea, I went up to my bedroom settling down on my bed and cracking open a book. I was reading Millard's annotated version of Tales of the Peculiar and was halfway through the story about the forked-tongue princess when I heard a knock on my door. I glanced up and saw Enoch awkwardly standing there.

"Are you busy?" He seemed very awkward. He was standing stiffly, with both his hands behind his back.

"No uh, come on in Enoch," I shut the book and placed it beside me as Enoch made his way over. It was then that I realized he was actually holding something behind his back, "so what brings you here to my wonderful bedroom?"

Enoch stayed silent, only bringing around his hand to reveal what he was holding. I immediately recognized the rust-colored fabric.

"Well I found this in my clothes. It seems to resemble mine, but I don't think it would quite fit me," Enoch said whilst rubbing the back of his neck with one hand. I gently took my sweater from him, clearly remembering the embarrassment I felt when he told me I had mistake his sweater for mine.

"You can keep that sweater too if you'd like," he said, motioning to the one I currently had on, "it looks a lot better on you than it ever did on me."

I could feel my cheeks basically burst into flames. All I could do was mutter out a small 'thank you' and look down at my bedspread.

"Actually, I also came to-"

"Nidria? Are you in your room? Uh, is this your room?" Jacob's voice was clear as he stepped in, stopping abruptly as he took in the sight of both Enoch and I sitting on my bed. He realized that he had clearly interrupted something.

"I guess I'll be going now," I heard Enoch mutter. I looked up to see him looking at Jake with an unreadable expression. As he walked past him, Emma appeared and Enoch gave her a long, hard look.

***
"So why was he in your room?"

I heard the words come out of Emma's mouth but I couldn't bring myself to answer her without saying something stupid, like how I had kissed his cheek. Instead, I turned my attention to Jake.

"How was your chat with The Bird?" I could feel Emma eyeing me suspiciously. She knew I was avoiding her question, but thankfully, Jake seemed clueless.

"It was alright but it was cut short," I shot Emma a glare knowing that there had most likely been a small problem in town, "but before she left, she told me to come find you. Said that you'd be the most able to help me."

I was shocked at his words. Surely The Bird would've told him to find Emma or even Olive. They had been here a lot longer than I had. Then it occurred to me.

"Uh Jake, random question but, you're from the uh, 21st century aren't you?" He answered with a quick 'yes' and everything clicked into place. It was The Bird's way to make me connect with someone my age and to have me forget all about the events in London.

"Why?"

"No reason," I quickly muttered. I narrowed my eyes at Emma who simply smirked in return, "So am I supposed to guide him?"

This question was directed at Emma and she knew it. She merely nodded and skipped to the door.

"Well I'll leave you to it. Remember Nidria, you have until dinner."

~~~~~~~~~
"So I don't think I ever...got your name."

I sighed and turned from the door to Jake.

"Nidria Luna. But you can call me Nini. Everyone tends to, unless you're Emma...or Enoch."

Jake turns to look at me, "So uh, you and Enoch huh," he immediately turns red and his eyes widen as if he's made a huge mistake.

"Well uh, I mean, not that it's any of my business, I just uh, you guys just, I mean...you guys seem really...close?"

I couldn't help myself. I burst out laughing.

"Me? Me and Enoch?" I couldn't even speak, "As if! He practically hates my guts."

Jake let out a relieved sigh. Glad that he hadn't ruined this potential friendship.

***

word count: 743

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