She heard the anxiety in her voice, the nerves.

She remembered.

Katie Fitch, lying somewhere here, her heard bleeding from the wound the rock thrown from Effy Stonems hand. Her hand. His girlfriend.

Bloodshot eyes, redrimmed and curious. He remembered too, the way she had returned, bedraggelled and wide-eyed, hair and clothes askew and finger prints livid against her pale neck. He remembered the way she felt as she wrapped her arms around his neck, entagling themselves together on the ground, letting the world fall away as they fell together.


What. Such a simple word. A question, an answer, an exclamation. What was a big thing, and Effy Stonem didn't know if she'd ever quite be able to say just what made her stop talking. Just what she felt when her brother got hit by a car. Just what the reason was that she spoke again. Just what the fuck was wrong with her to think about loving Freddie McClair, the boy who was too beautiful for words, too pure and loving and everything good, for her, the girl who would never be able to say what was wrong, or right, or who she was.

She smiled, the typical enigmatic Effy smile that she knew would mindfuck him, and leave him with all those questions behind his trusting eyes that he thought she could answer with her kisses, her touch, her.