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Nikki Chase is stunned when she is given the assignment of helping David Sinclair, her mysterious fellow student, to learn his french. David Sinclair already knows french. As she gets to know him she finds herself plesantly surprised as the mysteries that surround him unfold, and suddenly she can’t remember how she managed to get through the days without him.

Part 13 – Two in the Morning

I had been walking around aimlessly for two hours when I realized I was on my way to David’s place. I didn’t stop. I continued.

It was very dark; there were clouds in the air and no moon, and no street lamps by the gravel road that lead up to Sinclair Manor. I stepped into a puddle. I swore. I was cold enough already. Why did Easter always bring such bad weather?

I didn’t go to the door, but the left side of the house. I stopped by the first window, put my hand in a knocking position, and stopped.

Should I be doing this? Shouldn’t I just go home? No, I couldn’t, and I couldn’t just keep walking around all night. I was freezing, and I had to sleep somewhere. My hand moved decisively, and knocked. Continue reading »

Part 12 – After Easter

School started again next Tuesday. David kept his promise, he had finished the essay. He let me read it over, so I guessed whatever he had written on Easter day wasn’t a part of it any more. It was a good essay, better than my own, although perhaps a little more controversial. I had the feeling his subject would not please Mrs. Young. The assignment had been Easter. He had written about how Easter proved religion was made up, since most religions have some kind of celebration on Easter. He felt it improbable all those things had happened at the same time of the year everywhere in the world, so he claimed some of them must have been made up. Mrs. Young was a passionate Christian. Continue reading »

Part 11 – Leo’s weakness

I didn’t say anything. I just kept looking at him.

“That’s who I was visiting,” he said quietly, still playing with the bed cover. “Leo, my eldest brother.”

I wondered what this tendency with his family was of telling me all their most private things. Was it so good talking to me? Maybe I was just a good listener. Or, maybe he just wanted to know more about my mother. I didn’t mind, whatever his reason was.

“He tried to kill himself,” David said, letting his feet slide down to a straight position. I got the urge to grab his hand, but I didn’t want to move. “He did it in my barn, tried to hang himself. That’s the only good thing Mrs. Young has ever done for me. I decided I couldn’t take her class that day and came home early. If I hadn’t …”

Continue reading »

Part 10 – Easter evening

At half past six I knocked on their door. Jo opened it. She was wearing an apron decorated with little chickens hatching from eggs.

“Hello, Nikki,” she said smiling so broadly I could see almost all of her perfect teeth. “It’s nice of you to join us. I was afraid we wouldn’t have any guests this Easter, and that would just make it like any other day, wouldn’t it!”

“I brought you some chocolate,” I said as I stepped inside, and handed her a round, yellow box with a golden ribbon around it. She took it surprised.

“You didn’t have to do that,” she said as she took a look inside. “Oh, those are very nice. They look like they’re expensive!” Continue reading »

Part 9 – Easter Morning - 2 comments

On Easter day I went to visit my mother. There weren’t usually a lot of visitors at St. Bernard’s, a little more perhaps on the holidays, but still not so many. If there had been, I probably wouldn’t have noticed David, lying on two chairs in the visitors room, looking asleep.

“David?” I said quietly. If he was asleep I didn’t want to wake him up. He opened his eyes immediately and looked up. He blinked his eyes a few times, confused, but then he sat slowly up.

“What are you doing here?” he asked in a rough voice and rubbed his eyes.

“I’m visiting my mother,” I said, rather surprised of the question. “What are you doing here?”

He looked at me for a few moments.

“Visiting,” he said, and kept looking at me. I looked back. He wasn’t going to tell me why he was there, and he was seeing if I would ask him any further. I smiled. Continue reading »

Part 8 – The Dance

Although the dance was very traditional in many things, clothing was not one of them. Actually, that’s not quite true. There was a big tradition concerning the clothes. You wear whatever you want. If you wanted to dress yourself in an Elizabethan dress, you did. If you wanted to dress yourself in tinfoil, you did. Whatever you could think of was acceptable, apart from being naked. Someone had tried that once. It didn’t go well.

Everybody between the ages of 14 and 16 in the whole town of Dale could go to the dance. It was more popular with the girls, but a lot of the 16 year old boys went with their girlfriends. And then there were the Young Miss Dale participants. If their peer aid buddy was a girl, neither of them had ever any trouble finding a date. It was probably because of the chance to get on TV, but since most of the girls participating these days were very pretty, that could also explain it. Continue reading »

Part 7 – Tomorrow

It was strange, coming into the classroom the next day, sitting down sideways on the chair and saying hi to David. I felt like I was doing something forbidden by even speaking to him, but how could I not after last night?

“Morning,” he said back, and he gave me a small smile. “Your aunt give you a hard time last night?”

“No, she doesn’t care what I do, as long as I don’t cause trouble. She didn’t even ask where I was, just if I had dinner.”

He nodded. Then he suddenly turned back to his displeased self. Mrs. Young had just walked in. Continue reading »

Part 6 – The story of Jolie Dale - 1 comment

Apparently it was a tradition in their home that all four boys took care of the dishes after dinner. They seemed to have their own system to it. One took off the table, one washed, one dried and one put things in their place in the cupboards and drawers. I tried to imagine what Leo had done, but perhaps David hadn’t taken part in it then. They threw dishes and glasses, and knifes, so much around it looked a rather dangerous activity.

Meanwhile, Jo and I sat at the table relaxing and talking. She even offered me a glass of wine, which I accepted. I wanted an excuse not to leave yet, I was having too good of a time. Continue reading »

Part 5 – My mother

“So, Nikki, Why are you tutoring French?” Jo asked as we were eating dessert, a delicious apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

“Because of Young Miss Dale, mostly,” I said. “Peer aid. It’s a condition for participation.”

“You’re in the Young Miss Dale competition?” Jo asked, sounding rather displeased by it. “I don’t see why a sensible looking girl like you has to do with a competition like that.”

“I’d be flattered if you consider me sensible after only knowing me for an hour, but I get the impression you were referring to me not exactly being good looking, like most of the participants are these days,” I said, careful not to sound insulted, because I wasn’t. Jo cleared her throat. Continue reading »

Part 4 – The Sinclairs

The cottage had a beautiful front garden, though not yet all in bloom. The walls were white and shone in the setting sun. The windows had old shutters on them and the door was an old wooden door, very beautifully crafted. Even the handle seemed to be the original handle, although a little shined. When we stepped inside we came straight into the kitchen. It seemed to be the center of the house, because I could see doors and hallways and stairs everywhere I looked. To the right was a small guest bathroom. Beside it was a door that led into a small but cozy living room. Beside that was a stairway to the second floor. To the left was a long hallway with at least one door leading into some sort of a room. It was closed. Continue reading »