Chapter Eight 2 страница

I think I'd have gone wherever she suggested: Sounds fine 2 me. C u then, xx

I contemplated my message before I sent it. It didn't sound very friendly. I pressed the key to send it anyway. The date was made. It had been very easy to do it that way. Seeing her again, I fully expected to be a different matter.

Ten days. The atmosphere in the gaol had changed instantly. A nervous tension gripped all of them. During the dark of the night, Jane paced the night cell and Maisie turned in her sleep so much that she disturbed Chapter Eight 2 страница both Gilly and Elizabeth.

Catherine Dyer, who was aged about twenty, was also a thief, and she was to be transported for fourteen years. She'd stolen cloth from her employer to make clothes for her small twin brother and sister. That was all they had managed to glean, before she had begun to sob. Her continual weeping only added to the heaviness in the air of the cell.

Daylight brought no relief. Elizabeth's own mind was in a state of panic. Ten days, and then alone. Ten days, and Gilly snatched from her. Ten days Chapter Eight 2 страница, and her only hope for her child's future taken away on a hulk to the other side of the world.

Gilly herself was calm. But she did not go out of her way to be kind to Catherine, even when the girl was still crying in the morning. By the time it had been light for an hour or so, Elizabeth was disturbed by the mood that had settled over the other woman. Gilly's story had stolen into her heart, and the boiling injustice that was ever below the surface in her emotions threatened to overflow. Gilly Chapter Eight 2 страница was as much a victim of the cruel world as she was. To have known Gilly, she thought, she was almost glad she had been found guilty and imprisoned here. The world that had treated them so harshly had faded, there were only these cells, they only had each other. In some ways it was a better world than the one they had known outside, she thought sadly. If only they could stay locked together until death took her; that would be something. But now the peace she had found in Gilly's company was to be savagely wrenched away Chapter Eight 2 страница from her.

Ten days. It was such a small amount of time. Hopelessness as she stared at her gruel, the desperation of trying to plan when there is nothing to work with. Gilly in the heat of the Antipodes; her child abandoned; her own body cold beneath the ground. It was all she could see.

Mrs. Beckinsale waylaid her after breakfast. 'What do y' mean by not eatin' y' breakfast, missy?' she demanded, drawing Elizabeth away from the other women, who were wandering back into the day room.

‘I couldn't,' Elizabeth replied. Mrs. Beckinsale's concern was Chapter Eight 2 страница a relief to her. A glimmer of an idea. Mrs. Beckinsale had known what to do before. Tell her. 'It's with the news that the others are being taken away, Mrs. Beckinsale. I don't know what I'll do without them.' She would not confess all of her hopes at once, only to have them dashed.

'There'll be others like 'em soon enough,' Mrs. Beckinsale said. It seemed an insult to say it.

'No, Mrs. Beckinsale, there won't,' she protested, and then took a breath to quieten the strain in her voice.

'There won't be another Gilly Chapter Eight 2 страница Stevens, if that's what y' mean,' Mrs. Beckinsale said, understanding in her tones. 'Don't think I don't see who y' friends are.'

Tears rising again, the struggle against them. Choosing her words carefully, the hope, the chance still there. But what if there was no way? Desperation in her eyes as they met those tired grey ones. T know, Mrs. Beckinsale, but Gilly's more than a friend to me.' She swallowed through the lump in her throat. 'There's no one to take my baby, you see, and I had hoped she would Chapter Eight 2 страница. She said she would, if she could.' It was honest, Gilly had said that, exactly.

'Y' silly girls! How in this world is she goin' t' manage that then?' It was not contempt, it was almost pity.

‘I don't know, Mrs. Beckinsale. We'd not thought of it all. Only I know she's the only one I want to be my baby's mother.'

Concern and sympathy deep in the older woman's eyes. The thought came again: Mrs. Beckinsale was a mother. Or had been. Contemplation then.

'We could ask the judge about y' sentence. He might commute Chapter Eight 2 страница it, since you'll have a child to care for,' Mrs. Beckinsale said. Looking for a solution that was easy, within the rules. Memory of the judge at the master's dinner table. Influence she could not fight. Words twisted to make her sound vindictive and insubordinate. The mistress determined on her death. She had thought it, long nights ago, and ruled it out already. She would not put herself through the false hope. Besides, by the time it was concluded, Gilly would be gone and there would be no one when she was returned here Chapter Eight 2 страница, alone, to wait for death.

'No, we can't, Mrs. Beckinsale. It won't work, you know it won't.' Hard to say the words, truth though they were. Cling on to the other hope, the slight chance.

'Well, I don't know what you're expectin' me t' do about it!' Mrs. Beckinsale said briskly. But Elizabeth saw something different in her eyes.

'No, sorry to trouble you with it, Mrs. Beckinsale. I'll eat my bread later.'

'See that you do,' Mrs. Beckinsale said, before striding away, her boots loud on the stones. Looking at her retreating Chapter Eight 2 страница back, the glimmer of hope grew brighter.

Gilly was quiet that day and eventually went to lie on the straw of the night cell. Elizabeth allowed her her solitude. Maisie, Jane, and Catherine were in the yard, speculating what Australia would be like. Elizabeth hated to hear them and sat with her pile of sewing instead, the needle motionless in her hand.

The swelling of her belly seemed to increase every day now. She put her hand to it and thought of the baby within, closing her eyes. Her life was pulsing into the child's veins, leaving her Chapter Eight 2 страница and nourishing the new existence. Her body would be hanged, but the part of her that was transforming itself into a separate human being would not be. The baby was her innocence; it could not be accused of the crimes she had been, and it would not be punished for them. And in the child, her innocent self would continue to live.

An abrupt memory of the carved sandstone walls, pain in her cheek and in her body, dirt on the floor, and his weight, his whispers. He had been wrong. She was not dead already, and now part of Chapter Eight 2 страница her was not going to die. It seemed bitterly fitting that it was he, who had told her she would be dead in three weeks, who had given her the spark of life inside her. The memory of the pain, the horror of the child's conception made her shiver with disgust and recollected fear. Yet she would not unmake the child in her womb.

The child would have a good life. She would fight for that with every breath, before they took that breath from her. The next ten days would decide it. The child would have Chapter Eight 2 страница a good life. Was it a boy or a girl? Whichever, it would be hers. Through her, it would be her mother's. The lines of connection would always be there, long after she was dead. There would, she imagined, be children, her grandchildren, and their children. Their hanged ancestor they would forget, if they'd ever known of her, but she saw the connection to the years to come, as if the cord that tied her to her child also tied her to her future grandchildren. She would never know them, but ultimately, she would triumph, living on into the Chapter Eight 2 страница future, when he had told her she might as well already be dead. Maybe one day, some descendent of hers would pass through the town again and gaze at its factories, its fine houses, its gaol, and know the connection was there. A feeling, a memory not their own, an unexplained thought perhaps.

And what she passed on to the future was pure. Her life was a lie now, her death would be a lie. Not only would the baby be her innocence, it would be her truth. Grown from a union of horror which she was forced Chapter Eight 2 страница to pretend had not happened, but known to the women in the gaol, the child would know one day its mother had loved it through her pain. She stroked her belly over the baby and smiled to herself.

Then the panic returned. Ten days. There had to be a way.

Towards late afternoon, three days later, Mrs. Beckinsale came looking for Gilly. She passed Elizabeth a morsel of what turned out to be fried liver, and then went to wake Gilly from the doze into which she had slipped on the damp straw. Moments later, Gilly, with heavy eyes, was Chapter Eight 2 страница following her out of the day room. Elizabeth watched them curiously. She heard Maisie's snide remark to Catherine, about Mrs. Beckinsale's favorites, and chose to ignore it.

Gilly returned after a short time, her face transformed. Her green eyes were bright and her cheeks flushed. Elizabeth looked at her keenly. Was it distress or happiness that had so transformed her features? Every time she looked at Gilly, her heart fluttered. She thought of Gilly with her child, and longed for nothing more. But it was beginning to seem an impossibility. Her mind was numb from the effort of Chapter Eight 2 страница trying to think of a way it could be achieved. Now she hoped Gilly would look her way. To Elizabeth's alarm, Gilly seemed to look anywhere but at her.

For the next four days, Elizabeth tried to draw Gilly into conversation. She wanted to see if there was still any conceivable way of achieving her hopes. She also wanted to cherish the time that remained of her friend's company. Yet Gilly was strangely silent, and often wandered to a place where she could be alone. The pain in Elizabeth's heart grew. It was as though she Chapter Eight 2 страница had already lost her.

There were three days left when Gilly fell ill. In the morning, she awoke when Mrs. Beckinsale entered the cell, but complained that she could not move, and that the scant light from the doorway hurt her eyes. Elizabeth looked at Gilly, lying prone and pale on the straw, with real fear. The memory of her mother's last illness swept into her thoughts and she felt a terrible dread settle on her heart.

The strain was telling on her anyway. Three days and Gilly, and all her hopes, would be gone. There had been Chapter Eight 2 страница no way after all. And now Gilly was stricken on the straw. If she recovered, it would be to be transported almost instantly. If she did not... Elizabeth could not bear to think of it.

Gilly took little food and did not move from the straw for that whole day. The next day, she tried to stand and then fell in a faint and had to be carried to their sleeping place. Her face was unnaturally flushed. Elizabeth soothed her, stroked her head, but Gilly seemed not to notice it, apart from to stir and mutter something incoherent Chapter Eight 2 страница. Eventually, in the afternoon, the doctor was called.

Doctor Webb was ill at ease as Mrs. Beckinsale let him into the women's gaol. He looked about him continually, glancing at Elizabeth for a little longer than the rest of the women. He went through into the night cell and demanded more light. An extra lantern was brought, and he conducted his examination.

Afterwards, he made his report to Mrs. Beckinsale. Elizabeth and the other women were silent, his words carrying easily to their ears. 'She is gravely ill, I'm afraid. More alarming though, madam, I Chapter Eight 2 страница fear it may be an illness that is easily passed from person to person. I recommend that the prisoner is moved to a cell on her own, until she recovers or otherwise.'

'But doctor, it's impossible. She's to be transported tomorrow,' came Mrs. Beckinsale's protest.

'No, madam, she is not.' Doctor Webb's tone was firm. Elizabeth's heart skipped a beat. 'Even the journey to the docks would almost certainly bring about her end, not to mention the risk to the other prisoners. She must be kept quite separate.'

'I don't know, sir, if she's due Chapter Eight 2 страница to be transported, transported she must be.' Mrs. Beckinsale's concern was palpable.

'In good time. If she lives, she can go on the next ship,' Doctor Webb said then.

'You can report it to Mr. Charles and the governor, Doctor.'

'I will, Mrs. Beckinsale, immediately. See that she is moved.'

'Yes, Doctor, thank you.'

Two turnkeys came then, to move Gilly to a cell where she would be kept alone. Elizabeth sat watching them carrying her limp body, stunned. Gilly would not be transported tomorrow! But where there should have been hope, there was only Chapter Eight 2 страница desperation. She had seen such a grave illness before. The idea that Gilly had been saved for her, only to succumb and die, even before she did, made her tremble. It was then, for the first time, she felt the baby stir within her.

Monday was an alarmingly quiet day at work. There were no visitors at all until gone half-past eleven in the morning. For lack of anything else to do, I took the duster and polish into the Victorian part of the prison, and polished the display cases that were smeared with childish fingerprints. This part Chapter Eight 2 страница of the museum was much more of a conventional museum, with no lurking tour guides, just a mock-up of a Victorian cell, glass cases with various artifacts in them, and an example of a crank, which children delighted to turn, pretending to do their hard labor.

That done, I risked the displeasure of the management and went the way the visitors would, out of the upper floor of this part of the prison, past a row of stark white-painted cells, and back into the older part of the gaol. I then had to make my way through two Chapter Eight 2 страница iron gates, past where every so often there was an awful creak and thud as a tape-recording mimicked an execution in the condemned cell. I was now not far from the entrance to the women's prison again.

To my left was the door to the little room where we kept the cleaning supplies. I wondered what the visitors would think if they were able to open the ancient-looking studded door, and behind find a kind of cave, carved into the sandstone of the cliff on which the prison was constructed, now filled with polish and dusters, two Chapter Eight 2 страница vacuum cleaners, window spray, brooms, and other accoutrements needed to keep the place clean. The ordinary and the extraordinary juxtaposed, and with an oddly jarring effect.

I opened the door now and went into this room to put my polish back. As it usually did, the door slammed shut behind me, which was not so much of a problem, since the room was illuminated by a single bulb. It was a strange, shadowy place but had never frightened me. Even the damp sandstone walls curving around me had never seemed especially disturbing. It was fascinating, really, the way the Chapter Eight 2 страница building and the cliff mingled together and became one.

Having placed my polish away neatly—for Karen would even check in here to make sure we left it tidy—I thought I would venture up and see Mark, my turnkey friend. I went to the door and pulled on the handle. It didn't shift. I pulled again, with the same result.

Oh for fuck's sake. I put both hands on the handle and tugged harder. Still nothing. I felt an edge of panic set in; how would I let anyone know I was trapped here? I Chapter Eight 2 страница could hammer on the door, but it was thick and I knew, unless a new party of visitors arrived, there would be no one passing this way. Great. I tried knocking on the door, but its thick wood absorbed most of the sound.

I turned from the door and looked about the room for something to help me either make more of a sound, or maybe force the door. I wondered, could I ram it with the industrial vacuum cleaner?

Then the light went out. The darkness into which the room fell was complete, with not a hint of Chapter Eight 2 страница light. My heart began to pound. For a long moment, I was so disoriented I was afraid to move at all. I held my hand up in front of my face, tried to see it out of the corner of my eye with my night vision. Nothing. I might as well have become invisible. 'For fuck's sake!' I said it out loud this time, and my voice almost startled me as it sliced through the darkness. What was it with the lights in this building lately? Very slowly, I turned, estimating 180 degrees, so that I was facing Chapter Eight 2 страница the door again. I put my hands out, and felt it to my side, finding I'd turned farther than I thought I had. My total lack of vision was beginning to make me feel dizzy. A surge of panic seemed to make my other senses keener.

Suddenly there was a pain in my face as though I had struck it against something. I cried out and held my hand to the place. Fear set in, and I went back to hammering on the door, for what good it would do. In truth, the hammering was better than the oppressive Chapter Eight 2 страница silence. Only it wasn't silence now, I could hear that sobbing again. My skin felt cold with terror, but I was sweating. Then there was a pain in my body, a cramp in my lower abdomen. 'Oh, come on,' I shouted, to make a sound of my own and convince myself I wasn't going mad. I banged my fist against the wood of the door again.

The door opened. The gloomy light that flooded in from the corridor outside was like bright sunshine. 'What're you doing in there?' said Mark's friendly voice.

'Oh, thank God,' I panted Chapter Eight 2 страница, leaving the room and going to lean on the wall on the opposite side of the corridor.

‘I was coming to find you and I heard a strange thudding. I thought you were a ghost!' he told me.

I smiled at him faintly. 'It wasn't funny,' I said, beginning to recover myself. In the familiar corridor, looking at his friendly face, his curly dark hair, his tatty, grey turnkey's tunic, the way he wore it with modern trousers and boots, I began to feel stupid. Still, I wished he'd close the door to the room Chapter Eight 2 страница and we could go elsewhere.

'What happened?' he asked, looking at my pale face.

‘I was putting the cleaning stuff away,' I told him, 'then the bloody door stuck, I couldn't open it. Then, just to add insult to injury, the light went off. It is seriously dark in there with no light.' I was still breathing hard. I didn't tell Mark about the sudden pain I had felt, or what I had heard. Outside, with him, I began to wonder if I had imagined them after all.

He leaned into the room and flicked the Chapter Eight 2 страница light switch. 'Bulb's gone,' he said needlessly. 'I'll report it to Bill.'

'Get him to look at the door too, see why it's sticking,' I suggested.

'I will,' he assured me, 'though it must be a problem from the inside, because it was easy as ever to open from the outside. Strange that.'

Too damn strange for me. I didn't want to think about it. There were too many damn strange things happening lately. 'Well, thanks for letting me out,' I said, forcing a smile.

'Couldn't leave you in there, could I? Were you Chapter Eight 2 страница scared?' His smile was teasing. I often professed that this building and its history didn't frighten me.

'Not really,' I lied. T was just worried I'd be in there all bloody day.'

'The dangers of venturing to clean the place,' Mark said, rolling his eyes. Clearly I looked as though I'd recovered myself enough that all concern he might have felt for me had evaporated. 'Anyway, I was coming to tell you about four people have just come in, expect they're in court now.' The tour of the museum began with a mock trial Chapter Eight 2 страница in the grandeur of the Victorian courtroom, before the descent from the dock into the corridors of the gaol below.

'Oh thanks. I was wondering if anyone was coming today,' I replied, actually quite glad that I would have company in the yard before long. I didn't quite feel like being alone just yet. 'I'll wait with you,' I told him.

We went together to the turnkey's lodge with its eerie green glow. The stage lighting made it one of the least frightening places in the whole gaol. When we saw the first glimpse of a Chapter Eight 2 страница visitor approaching the gate along the corridor, I whispered to Mark that I'd see him later. I followed the visitor's route to the women's prison and laundry, where Chloe was waiting, in her brown and white Victorian prison uniform. I helped her hang some authentically dripping laundry on the washing lines, and told her, as she grated pink carbolic soap for the sensory delights of the visitors, how I'd been shut in the storeroom. She laughed at me and I tried to join in with her mirth. When we heard the cell door slam in the Chapter Eight 2 страница corridor above, the certain sign that it would only be moments before Chloe had work to do, I retreated to my yard through the dark passageway, more a tunnel than a corridor, that the visitors would take.

I managed to conduct myself as a strict wardress with little difficulty for the entertainment of the small group. They were a family, and clearly interested in what I had to say. Their questions helped me restore my nerves to what they should be. When they finally cleared the yard, it was time for my lunch break.

When I returned to my Chapter Eight 2 страница station alone after lunch, the effects of the storeroom experience were still with me. The shadows that began to loom across the yard made me shiver. The doorway to the pits and dark cells lurked in my peripheral vision and I did not like to look at it. I didn't walk around the yard, uncomfortable with the idea of passing over the graves of murderers. It was a wholly unusual set of feelings for me, but it didn't matter how often I told myself I was being ridiculous, all my senses were on edge, and I felt some sort Chapter Eight 2 страница of threat from everything I looked at.

I suppose that was how I was sure there was someone in the entrance to the Victorian prison. I had perched on the bottom step of the gallows and was willing the day to pass quickly, when something—a sound, maybe a movement—told me I wasn't alone. My heart thudded, as I looked to the end of the yard. For a person to be in the entrance of the Victorian prison without passing me they would have to have been going the wrong way around the tour. I Chapter Eight 2 страница stood up and waited to see who would materialize. It would be someone who worked here, no doubt.

A long minute passed, and there was no one. Still, I was sure there was someone there, that I was being watched. Maybe the fear I had felt in the storeroom still lingered in my blood, and maybe I was being stupid. However, the feeling was genuine. My skin crawled as if I was in danger and my stomach felt tight. I remembered the pain I had experienced in the storeroom, deep in my abdomen. For a moment I was scared Chapter Eight 2 страница it was returning, but, breathing deeply, I knew this to be different. I was merely working myself up. What was happening to me lately?

From nowhere came the thought of Aly; I'd tell her about this tomorrow. Despite myself, I smiled at the prospect and felt the tension in my chest relax slightly. I'd spent far too long on my own staring at these walls, wandering about over the remains of murders; I was starting to go crazy here, hearing sounds that weren't there, feeling mysterious pains. It was really quite pathetic. The thought of Aly reminded me Chapter Eight 2 страница that outside of here there was something to look forward to. There was Aly, and whatever the confusion of emotions that came with thinking about her, I could not deny the excitement that, for a moment, obliterated all other feelings. I imagined her smiling in her relaxed way, the interest in her eyes, as I told her what had happened to me, how the place I worked in was finally getting to me. I knew at once I wouldn't mind confessing my newfound anxieties to her, however bizarre the reasons for them, and that, in telling Chapter Eight 2 страница her, nothing could feel as bad as it did trapped in my head while I was alone here.

To have someone I knew would be a sympathetic listener was an unexpected comfort. Thinking about the potential conversation with Aly reminded me how few hours there were until I would see her again and made me appreciate just how much I was looking forward to meeting her again. Getting spooked by bizarre happenings at work was insignificant compared to that. Feeling braver as a result, I began to walk down the yard towards the Victorian wing.

To enter what we Chapter Eight 2 страница called the Victorian part of the gaol, which had been built in 1833 and so wasn't actually Victorian at all, you had to pass through an archway in the walls of the exercise yard, then walk a few more feet to reach the doorway to the building itself. It was a tall building, of more modern red brick than the rest of the gaol, and it cast a shadow that made this whole end of the yard damp and green with moss.

I reached the archway, my heart still hammering, but maybe inclined to laugh at myself. Aly would laugh Chapter Eight 2 страница at me too, in that deep, throaty laugh of hers. There'd be no one there; if there had been, they'd have showed themselves by now. Or maybe Bill had come down to carry out some small duty and then gone back the way he'd come. There were endless possibilities. This tense feeling as I went through the archway was pointless.

A figure moved to my right. I almost jumped out of my skin, unable to prevent a strangled sound of frightened surprise. Then I recognized him.

'What the hell do you think you are Chapter Eight 2 страница fucking doing?' I demanded, in a raised voice.

Owen looked back at me, apologetic. 'I'm sorry; I didn't mean to scare you,' he said, trying a small smile. I did not smile back. Now I was over my initial shock, questions were circulating in my mind. How long had he been here? What did he want? Why was he creeping around in the shadows? What was I going to say about the other night?

'How long have you been here?' I went for first.

'I was just coming through to talk to you,' he said. He was Chapter Eight 2 страница lying. I didn't know it from his face, but I was certain he'd been there longer. I'd sensed it. Besides, if he'd been walking through, he wouldn't have been behind the wall to my right when I came looking.

'Have you been watching me?' I said, shuddering to even think he might have been.

'No,' he replied evenly. 'I wanted to come and talk to you.' I would talk to him. Just not yet, there were more questions before I would even feel comfortable standing near him.

'Why did you come this way? Why not wait Chapter Eight 2 страница upstairs for me?' I demanded, my manner not softening.

'I wanted to catch you where no one was listening,' he said, and I ignored the sinister connotations of his words. He was creepy, yes, but not that creepy. I was overreacting. I took a deep breath.

'But how did you get in?' I asked, wondering if he really had paid the admission fee. 'And how did you know the way?'

'I was upstairs, wondering just that, when that family came out. I asked them if they'd seen you, and they said yes. So I went through the Chapter Eight 2 страница door they came out of, and followed the signs backwards until I got here.' He shrugged as though it was perfectly acceptable.

'It would have been better if you'd waited upstairs,' was all I said. It wasn't in me to be cruel. 'What did you want to talk about?'

'What do you think?' he replied with some bitterness. I suppose that was fair.

'Well, I can guess,' I said. 'Look, I'm sorry, but it just wasn't going to work, was it?'

'I thought it was working better than you, obviously.' He looked hurt.

'I know. And Chapter Eight 2 страница to be honest, you came on a bit heavy for a first date.' I had to be brutal; this was no time for tact. I wanted him to get the message this time.

'Heavy?' he asked. He seemed to have no understanding of the concept.

'Yeah, heavy,' I confirmed. 'You know what I mean.'

'Not really. Look, Jen, I like you. Is that a crime?'

'Yes! Or no, but it is when you seem so sure so soon...' I felt like a hypocrite. I'd probably spent less time in Aly's company. But then, I was still floundering Chapter Eight 2 страница in some confusion about my feelings. I certainly wasn't inflicting unwelcome declarations of them on her.

'But what if I am sure?' he protested.

'You can't be!' I exclaimed, exasperated. His Adam's apple bobbed as he swallowed.

'I've seen you before, Jen,' he said.

What the hell was that supposed to mean? If he wanted to put me at my ease, that was not the thing to say. Unconsciously, I took a step back from him. 'What do you mean?' I asked, not sure I wanted to know.

'I've been to the museum Chapter Eight 2 страница once before. I took the tour. About a fortnight ago. You told me you were going to hang me.'

I was speechless. He hadn't looked remotely familiar to me. But then I must see hundreds of people every week, why should I remember one of them in particular? What I was more concerned with now was why the fuck he hadn't mentioned this before.

'Why didn't you tell me?' I demanded.

'I suppose I was shy about it,' he replied.

'About what?' I asked.

'Well, when I saw you here, in your yard, in your costume, I Chapter Eight 2 страница mean, I really liked you. I thought you were really sexy.'

It would have been hard to be more disturbed by his words than I was then. 'You liked my character you mean?' I enquired, trying to understand him and not wanting to at the same time.

'No. Well, yes, but it was you really. I could see how interested you were in history. Not many people are that interested. And I liked the way you looked.' His eyes flickered down over my costume even as he said it. I shifted uncomfortably on my feet.

'You should have Chapter Eight 2 страница told me,' I said. Too fucking right. If he'd mentioned this before, there'd have been no chance I'd have gone for a drink with him.

‘I didn't want you to leap to the wrong conclusions about me.' He shrugged.

'Well, now I'm leaping to different ones,' I said. This was just too much. 'Will you just leave please? I'm sorry I walked out on you, it was rude of me. I just didn't know what else to do. I'm flattered that you like me, and maybe we can be friends. But right Chapter Eight 2 страница now, I want you to leave.' I said it with some vehemence, almost taking myself by surprise.

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