It was a fun month for Heye.
He’d totally forgotten that everyone had watched him fall through, and most everyone was absolutely flabbagest.
There were rumors, many of them, but Heye hadn’t bothered to learn any of them.
Everyone asked him what had happened. He considered lying, and a part of him knew on paper that that was what he was suppsoed to do, to protect himself and all. But the truth was so much easier.
Besides, he had a lot else to do.
His parents insisted dozens of times for them to explain to him what had really happend. They were appalled to find him bruised and scarred, and had immediately rushed him to the hospital. While he was there, Heye pieced something together.
”Could… could I have an MRI scan?”
In the setup do doing so, they had required a cleansing of Heye’s orfaces, and found thousands of black grains of rice clogging his ears, nose and throat. The only hope they had of explaining it was an infection, and Heye grew used to the sound of beeps and dials, those these weren’t of machines that aimed to change his core brain structure.
When they finally did do the scan, they found nothing at all different about it, but still condemned him to two weeks of bed rest to deal with the infection.
On paper, he should have hated it. But in truth, he enjoyed being looked after.
Eventually, he was released.
Heye walked through the corridor, a boy walking confidently ahead of him.
The other boy didn’t know Heye was there, hadn’t seen him yet.
And Heye’s heartrate quadroopled, expanded, throbbed in his throat as he knew what he had to do…
Jacob stopped, and turned in the corridor. “Heye? Where’ve you been?”
”Doesn’t matter,” he said, and took a large gulp. “You were right.” he said. It felt almost like he was in a memory again, as if he was trying to detatch from his body. He took a breath, and snapped back into one. “I… I was being really annoying. That time.”
Jacob watched Heye with a hard expression.
”You were right. I’m sorry. I’ll repeat things less.”
Jacob scoffed and walked off, through the door into their maths lesson.
Heye took a long breath out, steadying himself in the doorway.
He could feel a part of himself — an old, dead part of himself — getting angry at the style of Jacob’s acknoledgement of his apology…
But Heye had no say of how Jacob communicated.
It was merely his job to understand.
A small smile twitched on the corners of his lips, and he rested his hand apon the door, feeling its coolness spread through him.
He went in.