Chapter 5

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Where is he? I got here 10 minutes ago and he's still not here. I'm pacing around the hallway next to our lockers.

"Hey. Sorry, my dad got caught up in traffic," Connor says, running up to me, breathless.

"Finally, I've been waiting for you. But guess what? I think I know what the first part of the poem means! I was researching and I realized that 12/21 is the beginning of winter..." I wait for it to sink in.

"Oh my god, you're kidding right?! That's great! Tell me more at lunch, 'cause we're going to be late for class!" he says, running down the hall.


I stand in line with my tray. "Would you like pasta?" the lunch lady asks. "Yes, with sauce please," I say. I spot Connor already sitting down at our usual table. I pay for my lunch and then walk over. "Hey!" I say. "Hi. Oh my god, I've been thinking about what you said all morning. And I think you're right! What else could it possibly mean, right?" he says.

I just nod and smile. I'm so happy that we found out about the first two lines, but in the back of my head, I realize that that was only the easy part. We already knew that the Tree's power ended, and sure knowing about the first line explained a little more, but what's important is how to revive it. The last two lines of the poem tell us how we can do that and I have a feeling it won't be easy.

"Do you want to try and figure out what the second part means? I feel like we owe it to Camilla to revive its powers and continue the reign, you know?" I say.

"I agree, we should both do more research tonight. I haven't done this much research in a while," Connor say, laughing.

We spend the rest of lunch eating in silence. This is why we are friends. We both know when to be quiet, and it's never an awkward silence. It's comfortable, like peace, that has settled over us. Sure, the rest of the cafeteria is in chaos but we live in our own little world.

The bell rings and I get up to throw out my trash. My next class is science, ugh. It's not that I mind the subject, I don't mind the mix-this-with-that-and-something-explodes part. But the thing is...Kimberly is my lab partner.

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