Shadow of a memory

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So that's how a broken heart felt. It hurt with every beat. Ferry was lying on his bed in his room with the sky instead of the ceiling and was thinking of Matilda. He tried to stop the tear that crept through his eyelashes but failed. And the tear fell as thin as a thread, making its way to his cheek, then to his neck, until it reached his heart. Ferry wiped it quickly, trying to control his breathing.

He got out of bed and looked into the night. But his thoughts turned to her again. She had asked him not to tell anyone about their kiss. He agreed. Then she asked him to forget what had happened between them. How could he do that when every star, every gust of wind, every heartbeat and every breath reminded him of her?

And all this meant one thing. Something he stubbornly tried to chase away, thinking it was just an illusion—Matilda was more than a friend. Otherwise, why did his heart raced every time he saw her? Why did he feel the need to kiss her every time they were alone? Ben was his friend too, but he had never felt the need to kiss him.

He walked from one side of the room to the other without finding his peace. He touched May's locket by mistake. He took it out slowly and carefully placed it in the chest under the bed where he kept all sorts of small things. Then he left the room.

He wandered the streets until the light of dawn awakened the sleepy town. He looked up and discovered the house in front of which he had reached without realizing it—widow Jones' house. It looked like a hunchbacked old woman in shabby clothes. Inside, there was no movement, but Ferry did not dare to go closer. The house looked dead.

Ferry returned to Lavender's house, changed, and left for school, picking an apple for the road. On the way, he met Ben. He seemed just as low as he was. His hair was ruffled and he looked like he hasn't shaved for days.

"What happened to you?" Ferry asked.

Ben sighed, "I went to Celia's last night. To give her the diary back and talk, you know ... And she — She doesn't want to see me again, Ferr," he said in a gloomy voice. "She says it's better that way ... That we complicate each other's lives too much ... I think I deserve it. After everything I told her ..."

"I'm sorry, Ben," Ferry said. I really think there are strong feelings between you. But you didn't mean when you told her those things, did you?"

"Of course not. I know she looks spoiled and shallow. But she's not like that ... I know her. And she knows me. It's just that her family would never agree with the two of us being together. That would mean hiding from them for the rest of our lives."

"Maybe it's not all lost," he tried to encourage him. "Maybe she'll think better ..."

"I don't know ..." Ben shook his head. "We had to bury the diary last night. It felt like burying my heart, Ferr ..." he said in a low voice.

Ferry patted his friend on the shoulder as a sign of encouragement, then continued on their way.

"What about Steph?"

"She didn't react very well," he said. "She made a scene in front of her parents. I had to tell them what she did. She's been punished for a whole month now. But in the end, she got what she wanted. She separated me and Celia. I don't understand--" he sighed.

"What?"

"What does love have to hurt?"

" Because otherwise, we can't tell it's love, I guess," said Ferry.

"Speaking of. Billy and Andrew aren't doing too well, either. I saw them arguing by the lake. Billy tried to persuade him to get him a doctor, but he was stubborn. Andrew looked even worse. He looks like a ghost. Like--"

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