The good hearts of Goodharts

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The last days of school were a torture. Ferry tried his best to avoid the sympathetic glances of his colleagues, the words of comfort from his teachers that brought no comfort at all, and the worried faces of his friends. Ben and Celia invited him several times to join them to the lake. They didn't have to swim, they just had to stay together. So he wouldn't be alone at such a hard time. But he refused. He saw May a few times, but every time she came closer to him, he found a way to avoid her. Everything she could say to him could not fill the void in his soul. The light that always accompanied her was too faint to penetrate the darkness of his world.

At Lavender's, he always clashed with their stubbornness in helping him find the true Donovan boy. It was too dangerous for a fairy in the Big City, they said. There were machines, factories, and buildings that rose to the sky taking the place of the trees. And the powers of a fairy weakened around such terrible things conceived by the greedy human minds.

And Matilda ... She was the only one who didn't bother him. Who hadn't come to say meaningless words to him. Who had not tried to bring him comfort where no one and nothing could bring it. Or maybe she just didn't care about him anymore ... Maybe her feelings for him had faded. Now that he finally knew how he really felt about her, it was too late. Maybe she thought he didn't deserve her love. They always had a bad timing, for some reason. Maybe they were just too different. And yet, why did her presence make him feel so good? Ferry quickly chased away the thought. He didn't need any more distractions.

In fact, he was beginning to like his loneliness. He was always looking for it, everywhere. And he even began to find it. At school, at work, but especially at home. Peter Donovan used to spend the whole day drowning his bitter in alcohol, then crawled to his room from where he came out only after a few days. Sometimes, Ferry could hear him crying for his wife and calling her name. They were barely talking to each other. They barely talked before, when his mother was alive, anyway. And now the words felt meaningless. What could he possibly say to him? He didn't even know him. Ferry spent hours on the living room couch, staring blankly. The days went by, always the same.

Fortunately, at work, he had been left alone. Ferry could have taken a few days off. But he insisted on still going. It was good for him to take his mind away from his sadness for a few hours. Everyone avoided him, not knowing what to say. During the five o'clock break, Ferry was retreating to the bench where his mother used to wait for him. He simply sat there, staring at the endless sky, with the empty seat next to it. Only Ol' Joseph came to him one day and put his hand on his shoulder. He didn't said anything. Ferry looked up and met his old, watery eyes from which a tear had fallen. Just one. Then Ol' Joseph left him alone with his sadness ... But that heavy, old hand on his shoulder had done him good. And Ferry had learned that Ol' Joseph had a heart just like the others.

That day, at the mansion, Ferry had to plant a sycamore tree under the window of Mrs. Pride's bedroom; she spent most of her time in that room, and needed something to make her feel better. Summer took over the town, and the afternoons had become hot. Ferry caught someone watching from the behind the curtains several times. But he kept digging. He was no longer interested in the Pride family and its secrets.

He was digging hard when he could feel someone behind him. He shuddered when he turned and found Billy looking at him. His eyes were wide and he looked paler than usual. His blue eyes had darkened and he had lost his gleam of arrogance.

"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you ..." he said.

Ferry turned his back on him and continued digging. Ol' Joseph had told him that sycamores have long roots. He hoped Billy would get bored and leave him alone. But he didn't. He stayed there, watching him.

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