The lullaby

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Waiting for spring, time was passing by slowly. Ferry felt this better than anyone. Even though winter did not bother him as before, the absence of the sun, but especially of the moon, always covered by clouds, made him morose and bored.

At school, time dragging. May had been avoiding him since Christmas Eve, and they hadn't been alone since. Matilda only talked about football and the training with Sage that took place regularly even on the most gruesome frost.

The only events were school and sports competitions. The math ones were always won by Ben, closely followed by Steph. Ferry had managed to win second place in the athletics competition. After Andrew, of course. Billy had invited the winner to the mansion to celebrate, and Andrew had gladly accepted the invitation.

Ferry had met them that evening, laughing and running on the snow-covered lawn. Snowballs were flying from everywhere and some had even hit Ferry, although it was some distance between the boys and the maze where Ferry was working. That drew his attention. The two boys clashed or struggled to find out which one was stronger. The echo of their laughter echoed far beyond the maze. One of the clutches was stronger, however, and the two boys fell on top of each other in the snow, Andrew on top of Billy. The two hid in the snow for a while. Ferry couldn't see them too well among the tall snowbanks. Then, he saw Billy rising and entering the mansion, slamming the door behind him. Andrew followed him in a hurry, begging for forgiveness. After a few moments, he saw him leaving the manor. His visit had not lasted more than an hour. Ferry shrugged and minded his own, waiting for the day to finish. He had witnessed Billy's tantrums a few times, and he knew Billy often got upset about nothing.

"Widow Jones would like you to pay her a visit tomorrow," his mother said as he entered the door of Lavender's house. "She has some shelves to repair. Are you sure you can handle it?"Ferry agreed without second thoughts; he stood up all night long thinking about it. He couldn't miss that opportunity.

"What do you think she wants from you"? asked Matilda the next day when he told his friends about it.

"I don't know," said Ferry. "I find it strange that she wants me to visit her now, all of a sudden."

"Do you think she suspects we went into her house?" Ben asked.

"Whatever it is, I have to go. It's the only way I can find out more."

"I'm coming with you," said Matilda.

"Matt, I don't think it's a good idea. There's also that dog ..."

"I'm coming with you and that's that," Matilda said, determined. "See you tonight at the central square."

It was dark and a cold wind was blowing when Ferry and Matilda met. They didn't say a word all the way to Widow Jones's house. Matilda was completely lost inside her thick coat. Only her eyes could be seen above the high collar. It was one of the few clear nights of that winter. When the lights of the street lanterns dimmed, only the moon lit their way. It was a cold, icy light which made their pace faster and more spirited. As usual, as has been the case lately, every time he was alone with Matilda, Ferry didn't quite know what to do or say. That kiss had created an obstacle between them as thin as steam, so easy to break, but there nonetheless.

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