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CHAPTER 4 – School, Clashes, and a Gathering.
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In spite of the care he had been taking, something about Hugh’s behaviour must have raised Donald’s suspicions, because the following morning he told Hugh to take his meds in his presence, and watched him like a hawk as he did so. After that he relaxed, and said, ‘Raine and I are delighted that you two seem to be getting along so well. Are you becoming friends?’
‘No, I don’t think so,’ Hugh replied frankly. ‘She feels a great deal of contempt for me, and there are many things about her I simply don’t like at all. She is utterly selfish and conceited, and wants her own way all the time. She hardly ever lightens up. She seems to like wallowing in misery and shocking people, and doesn’t seem to have much sense of humour.’
‘That about sums up what I feel about her. I can’t get through to her at all. At least you seem to, a bit?’ Donald probed.
‘Well,’ said Hugh, thinking carefully. We do have interests in common that we’re both passionate about.’
‘Like, what?’ Donald asked.
‘We see some important things in Nature in the same way – although she has showed me how to see them in a slightly different one,’ Hugh explained. After tying his brains in a knot on that for a while, Donald decided to leave it there.
Actually, Hugh was finding her company increasingly annoying. As her confidence grew in the school environment, Tyrentia was tending to boss him about more and more. She would do what he wanted to do, or go where he wanted to go, only if it suited her. If she felt like visiting the library, to the library they would go, but if Hugh had an urge to buy something at the tuckshop when she didn’t, then the item would go unbought. Any thought of doing things on his own was met by a tantrum; as far as she was concerned he was now her personal attendant.
Over the following couple of days she made a point, during breaks, of looking for Brian and his cronies, and if they even said ‘Boo!’ to anyone smaller than themselves she would drag Hugh in that direction to stare at them in a meaningful manner until they moved away hastily.
It was clear that she was making a really good impression at the school. When Hugh remarked as much, she said with a sneer, ‘Oh, it’s so easy to act like the sort of goody-goody they want one to be, if one can be bothered to put one’s mind to it. As for the lessons, they’re pretty elementary stuff, actually.’
‘Why don’t you put on the same act at home, then?’ Hugh asked.
Tyrentia seemed genuinely puzzled. ‘Why would I need to waste the effort?’
‘It’d make life easier for your Mom and grandparents, for one thing,’ Hugh pointed out.
‘I couldn’t really care about that,’ she said dismissively.
Some of the other boys and girls in the class, who had either ignored or teased Hugh for years, were now making friendly approaches, but Tyrentia tended to brush these off – amazingly enough, without causing offence.
The main consolation in her company was in being able to compare notes on the Little Folk. It was strange to learn that there were differences in the way they saw them. Apparently Tyrentia was able to view them as fairly detailed little figures, even to describing items of clothing, while Hugh could mostly only make out forms and shapes and colours.
Tyrentia seemed to hold Hugh personally responsible for the fact that he had received no further ‘messages’, and she kept urging him to do something about it. ‘Like what?’ he had asked reasonably, and she vaguely replied that he should try and send out questions of his own. When he said he had no idea how to start, she became even more contemptuous than usual.
© Colonialist July 2013 (WordPress)