Into the Water by Paula Hawkins


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Author:Paula Hawkins
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Published: 2017-04-14T16:03:03+00:00


Thursday, 20 August

LENA

It started as a joke. The thing with Mr. Henderson. A game. We’d played it before, with Mr. Friar, the biology teacher, and with Mr. Mackintosh, the swimming coach. You just had to get them to blush. We took turns trying. One of us would go, and if she didn’t succeed, then it was the other person’s turn. You could do whatever you liked, and you could do it whenever you liked, the only rule was that the other person had to be present, because otherwise it wasn’t verifiable. We never included anyone else; it was our thing, mine and Katie’s—I don’t actually remember whose idea it was.

With Friar, I went first and it took about thirty seconds. I went up to his desk and I smiled at him and bit my lip when he was explaining something about homeostasis and I leaned forward so that my shirt gaped open a bit and bingo. With Mackintosh, it took a bit more work because he was used to seeing us in our swimming costumes, so it wasn’t like he was going to go mad over a bit of skin. But Katie got there in the end, by acting sweet and shy and just a little bit embarrassed when she talked to him about the kung fu films we knew he liked.

With Mr. Henderson, though, it was another story. Katie went first, because she’d won the round with Mr. Mac. She waited until after class, and while I was packing away my books really slowly, she went up to his desk and perched on the edge of it. She smiled at him, leaning forward a bit, and began to speak, but he pushed his chair back suddenly and got to his feet, taking a step backwards. She carried on, but halfheartedly, and as we were leaving, he gave us a look like he was furious. When I tried, he yawned. I did my best, standing close to him and smiling and touching my hair and my neck and nibbling my lower lip, and he yawned, really obviously. Like I was boring him.

I couldn’t get that out of my head, the way he’d looked at me like I was nothing, like I wasn’t interesting in the slightest. I didn’t want to play anymore. Not with him, it wasn’t fun. He just acted like a dick. Katie said, “Do you think so?” and I said I did, and she said all right then. And that was that.

I didn’t find out that she’d broken the rules until much later, months later. I had no idea, so when Josh came to see me on Valentine’s Day with the most hilarious story I’d ever heard, I messaged her with a little heart picture. Heard about your bae, I wrote. KW & MH 4eva. I got a text message about five seconds later saying DELETE THAT. NOT JOKING. DELETE. I texted back, WTF? And she texted again. DELETE NOW OR I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL NEVER TALK TO YOU AGAIN.



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