“Complexity means distracted effort. Simplicity means focused effort.” - Edward de Bono
I don’t want to go home to an empty home house again, so I stay at Harriet and Clara’s again. Layne eventually agrees to stay as well, after hours of begging from Harriet. All I can say is that it was hilarious to watch Harriet and Layne argue. It’s like watching a live comedy or something like that.
Lucy and Zeke turn up a few hours after that, with their suitcases and tears are streaming down their faces. Their parents had kicked them out Lucy and Zeke told them that they were gay, or bi in Lucy’s case. They are going to be sleeping in the rumpass room because they are going to be staying here for a while, leaving me with nowhere to sleep.
“Nick,” Clara says.
“What’s wrong, Clara?” I ask.
“Harriet reluctantly agreed to this after our little prank.”
“IsuggestedthatyoucouldsleepinmyroomonamattressofcourseandHarrietreluctantlyagreed,” Clara says in one breath.
“I understood that,” Lucy says, sticking her head into the kitchen.
“You understood that?” I ask.
“Do you want me to translate it or not?”
“I quote; ‘I suggested that you could sleep in my room, on a mattress of course, and Harriet reluctantly agreed.’”
“How did you manage that, Luce?” Zeke wonders.
“Spending time with Lisbeth, Sachi, Silica and Yui,” Lucy explains.
“Can you go somewhere else and do whatever you’re about to?” I ask.
They leave and I roll my eyes. I hear a muffled groan and face Clara. Her face is buried in her hands and, from what I can see, her face is bright red. I pull her into a hug and she buries her face into my shirt.
“I’m so embarrassed,” Clara says.
“You’ll survive,” I whisper.
“Let’s go set up your bed.”
Clara leads me to a cupboard and opens it. She hands me a matching set of blue sheets and a heavy black blanket. She grabs a pillow with a matching case and closes the cupboard. We walk upstairs and Clara opens the door at then end of the hall.
I expect her room to be girly, but thank goodness, it isn’t. Her bed has a blue and white check quilt cover, a white wooden frame and light blue pillows. her walls are white with a few scattered posters of various artists, and her floor is hardwood with a white rug.
“You hate it,” Clara deadpans.
“I don’t,” I protest.
“Then what’s wrong?”
“Go have a look at those trophies.”
Clara takes the blankets off me and points to the shelves full of trophies. I walk over to the shelves and my jaw drops. There must be at least fifty or sixty gold and silver trophies here. I read the labels and my eyes widen. Swimming. Athletics. Football. Sprints.
“Are these yours?” I ask.
“Yes,” Clara replies.
“I’m in shock.”
“Not planning on it, Clara.”
“I don’t want to lose you.”
“You’re my friend. One of my only friends.”
“There’s that and something else. I can tell.”
“I care about few people, Nick.”
“I’m not ready to tell anyone yet.”
“Have your way then.”
“Nick, the reason I care and trust so few people...” Clara trails off.
I frown. “What?”
“It destroyed my life.”