Chapter 29

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Chapter 29

11th December

Shannon's P.O.V:

I was wrapped up in a thick jacket, a scarf and gloves as I hurried across campus back to the apartment. It was absolutely freezing but I barely noticed. My thoughts were centred solely on the open book in front of me. Without looking up, I somehow managed to dodge everyone who crossed my path - a talent I'd picked up over the last couple of weeks.  

All our projects were due to be handed in this week, so everything had been hectic as people all over campus rushed to meet deadlines. To make my life worse I had an Art History exam the next day - hence the book. I was trying to cram as much as possible before sitting the exam.  

The only good thing that had come from everyone being so busy was that I had less time to dwell on the fact that Natalie still wouldn't talk to me. Both Emma and Robbie smiled at me as we passed by each other in various places around campus but that was the extent of our friendship.  

Once a couple of weeks ago, Emma had stopped me and quickly apologised for Natalie's behaviour, saying that Natalie and Lee had known each other since they were kids and she was really protective of him - always had been - and that was why she wouldn't believe that he could ever lie to her. She'd conveniently not mentioned whether or not she and Robbie believed Lee or not. She'd apologised again before hurrying away, looking around as if to make sure nobody had seen her talking to me.  

It didn't exactly make me feel any better about the situation. I understood why she couldn't talk and I even understood why Natalie believed Lee but it didn't make it hurt any less. The bottom line was that they were no longer my friends, as much as it hurt to admit, even to myself. That day, I went home and cried.

When I reached the apartment; without looking, I managed to open the door and walk inside without banging into anything (an amazing feat for me). I began to unwind my scarf as I headed for my room.  

Out of the corner of my eye, I could see Nick sitting at the table, hunched over a piece of paper. He glanced up at me distractedly and muttered something which vaguely resembled a 'hey'. I waved my fingers absently in answer but he'd already returned to what he was doing.

I walked into my room, desperately trying to list Early Renaissance painters and their works under my breath. After my three hour Art History exam the next day, I'd be finished and could finally think about Christmas!

I dropped my book on my bed, still reciting as I took off my jacket and gloves. My thoughts drifted helplessly to Nick, painters forgotten. I didn't know what he was doing sitting at the table in the living room. As far as I knew he'd handed all his projects in - early! - which was surprising enough because he never seemed to get off the couch let alone go to class and work.  

He was still doing his mysterious project though. The one that he worked on early in the morning and late in the evening after classes ended - he'd been working on it since before Halloween as far as I knew...but then I didn't know much.

I hadn't spent much time with him, Mark or Jay lately because we'd all been so busy and I found that I missed their company. All three of them were able to put me in a good mood with just a few words when I was sad or angry. I'd really started to take their presence for granted, until they weren't around to help ease the stress that had been building up for weeks.  

But after tomorrow, until the Christmas holidays ended in January, I was free and wouldn't have to worry about college, or the fact that Natalie hated me. Thankfully it wasn't long until I could go home and see my family and friends. I smiled, thinking about how my mother had been calling me every day reminding me to book my flights. I still hadn't done it.  

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