C H A P T E R • OO6

In real life, there is no tragic background music as you try and keep yourself busy in a seemingly useless effort to ignore your best friend. There is silence. For a reason that was still a mystery to myself as well, I wanted him to send me a message first. I almost felt as if he had something to make up for, except the rational part of me knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. I was almost tempted to send Louis a text, when she appeared in the crowd, sneaking up the way a storm can sneak up on you in the summer – you never knew what hit you. She was laughing, probably about something she said, but as I watched her move closer to me, I didn’t pay attention to a word she said.
“Sam?" She asked, softly nudging my shoulder. “Someone there?" A chill went down my spine, but despite the effort I made I didn’t have the slightest clue to as what she had just said.
I nodded vaguely, pulling her into a hug. “Sorry, I was a bit lost in thought I suppose." I felt her move under my fingers, not quite stepping closer to really hug me, but not quite pulling away either. If I had been a smarter person, I would have taken that as a sign of something, anything, but I never had been particularly smart. Jules looked exactly the same as she had done last time, except her blue dress had been exchanged for a blue top, hanging over grey jeans.
“You always look as if you’re listening though, the least you can do is not look like you’re listening, then I would just not talk." She claimed, but her eyes gave her away. Her eyes always gave her away. They were too sincere for any lie she told, no matter how small, no matter how white. I didn’t call her out. Instead I smiled back at her, knowing she would never stop talking voluntarily. Talking about all kinds of things she walked further down the sidewalk, slipping out of my grasp as she did. My feet took a second to catch up with my mind, of which the latter basically was already at her side once again.
Most of the time I didn’t completely follow what she was saying. Her stories seemed to consist out of many stories all wrapped up in one, the different points she was trying to make all competing to be the main one.
“I thought you said that if I stopped looking like a was listening, you would stop talking?” I joked. A twinkle appeared in her eyes, and just before I could think that I had anything to do with it, she ran towards the closest booth of the fun fair. I followed, at a more appropriate pace for someone our age. I couldn’t blame her, she had told me she had never been to a fun fair or amusement park when she was younger, or at least not that she remembered. I wasn’t sure if I believed it but judging from the way her mouth hung open slightly and how she didn’t seem to be sure where to look, she indeed had never seen anything like it before.
“You ever tried cotton candy?” I asked, pointing to a pink and yellow booth, which seemed to sell all kinds of flavours. She shook her head, staring at the booth from over her shoulder.
I went for pink cotton candy, because most people liked pink. “Here, try it,” I told her, as I handed her the cloud spun of sugar. She frowned at it for a moment.
“People eat this?” she laughed. She seemed hesitant, but after a few seconds she plucked off a small piece, which she carefully placed on her tongue. I wondered if I had looked equally silly when trying cotton candy for the first time, but she sure didn’t look as if she liked the taste.
She gave the cotton candy back to me. “I think it’s a little too sweet for my liking.” I shrugged, not being able to comprehend how anyone could dislike cotton candy.
“Why do you never text me back?” I asked abruptly, letting the words tumble over my lips before really thinking them through. I didn’t dare look at Jules, instead I focused on all the booths around us, pretending to be interested in anything and everything.
“I just don’t really text?” To me it sounded more like a question than an answer. When I finally had the courage to meet her eyes, I noticed she wasn’t looking at me either.
“It would be nice if you’d reply some time,” I swallowed.

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