Love marks (part one)

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Ferry hadn't seen Matilda for a week. After the incident with Danny, he thought it was better to talk to her outside of school. And there came Ben's turn to play the role of the peacemaker. Ferry had gotten on Ben's back on the subject every break, for a whole week.

But Ben wasn't sure about it, "I don't know about that, Ferry ... Matt will be angry if she finds out we set this up together."

"She won't realize it, Ben. The Science test is coming. You know Matt is not the best in Science. She'll need your help. She will come to you to meditate her. Then, I'll show up ..."

"I don't know, Ferr ..."

"Look, you can invite Celia if you like. That way, it won't look suspicious."

Ferry took Ben to a more secluded place behind the gym where they would work out the details of the plan. It was lunch break and they had more time for that. They were heading for a more secluded bench when a sigh stopped them; it came from a corner of the park near the gym. The boys looked at each other, then headed for that place. They found Steph sobbing, stunted near a tree, her face buried in her palms.

Ferry suggested to Ben to leave. But Ben's kind heart couldn't see anyone suffering.

"Steph, are you alright?" he asked, stepping closer.

At his sight, Steph began to sob even louder. "Go away, Ben," she told him, her eyes brimmed in tears.

"Not until I know you're alright."

"What do you care?" she asked, looking at him, her frog-eyes swollen with tears. You've forgotten me already...

"Of course I care," Ben said softly. "I don't want to see you sad."

At the sound of his words, Steph clung to Ben's neck and began to cry even louder at his chest. Ferry wanted to leave, but Ben made desperate gestures at him to stay. When he managed to pull Steph off his neck, his shirt was wet with tears.

"I miss you, Ben," she sobbed. "Why did we have to break up?"

"Steph, we've talked about this before. It wasn't working. I-- I didn't love you. And it wasn't fair to you."

Suddenly, Steph's gaze turned wild. She forgot to cry, "It's because of her, isn't it? That phony Celia Haughty. How can you like her?"

Ben tried to calm her down, "It's not because of her, Steph. Things just weren't going well between us."

"She'll break your heart, you know," she said as if spitting poison. "Do you think her parents will accept you, as mine did? Do you think they will agree their precious girl being with someone of your condition?" she said, breathlessly.

"What does that mean?" Ben frowned.

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