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Nobody stopped to chat. There wasn’t time anymore. There weren’t questions to ask, tales to tell.
Hannah, it seemed, needed an escape more than she’d believed, and more than he’d believed as well.
"This place will change you."
“And I’m fairly sure you don’t usually get a say about falling in love.” She cocked her head to the side, imploring him to go on but he just smiled and shrugged. “It’d make it too easy.”
"You don't have to be ill to be made better."
“Listen,” he said, and then paused. The shadow of the trees surrounding them made it hard to see him but there was an obvious pink flush to his cheeks. “Do you fancy going out for tea tonight?”
“I’ve been,” she said, “so many times and I can’t go in. I physically cannot step over the threshold.”
She wasn’t going to let Daphne see her smile. She’d never live it down.
Neither girl smiled, yet the echo of one hung in the air between them. A mark of a fledgling friendship, marred by bloodshed and the indescribable hurt of loss.
She liked the isolation from reality. It made it feel like home.
Here was her opportunity to show them that she was well, that she was getting better and that she still thought of them all the time.
It was of some comfort that not everyone outside of the Centre had accepted the term war yet. Words provided some sanctuary, at least.
Whereas before he couldn’t seem to bear to look at her, now his gaze was so intense that it made her feel uneasy.
There was one place she needed to be and nothing was going to stop her.
She had wanted to be strong, to show that she was better now, a heroine of sorts, but she could feel her body crumbling like an avalanche. She was weak.
He was no different to the rest of them, no matter how hard he tried to convince himself otherwise.
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