I sprinted through the grounds of Devon school, leaving my taxi in the dust, as I looked for the infirmary. All the guys around looked me with big eyes, eying my long legs that ate up so much ground as I ran, but I ignored them. I didn't have time to deal with them. I was still my own school uniform, the female counterpart to Devon school, but my all girls' school was a total of three quarters of an hour away, without traffic. I stopped suddenly, looking around, for some way to go next.
Before a shy looking boy could ask me what I was doing and if I needed help, I ran off again, my lungs searing with pain and I found the little doctor's room. I felt silly, out of breath, my dark mahogany hair up in a high, preppy ponytail, swishing whenever I moved my head, and my red plaid skirt reached my knees.
"You shouldn't be here. No one's allowed to see Finny." A boy from next to me sighed.
"Do you know what happened?" I asked breathlessly.
He hesitated, and then nodded. "Well, could you tell me?" I said, my voice dripping with annoyance.
He nodded and I waited. Then he said, "He fell out of a tree onto the riverbank…his leg is shattered."
I put a hand to my mouth, and tears blurred my vision.
"Who are you anyway?" the boy asked. "You're not from around here."
"You're right, I'm not…I'm Isabella." I held out my hand. He took it and eyed me as he said, "I'm Gene…you don't look like an Isabella."
I cracked a smile. "All my girlfriends tell me that…they call me "Maddy" for Madison, because that's my middle name."
"Nice to meet you Madison." He smiled, and I smiled until I saw something in his eyes and I looked down.
"So how do you know Finny?"
"He's…he's my best friend."
I widened my eyes, a look of recognition on my face. "Finny's told me all about you…he respects you a lot…he tells me you're the best friend a guy could ask for."
He looked nervous and asked me my relation to Phineas, as if he didn't want to talk about himself. I shrugged it off, I had no problem with that.
"Phineas…we met in the summer of 1940- two years ago- at the boardwalk…I thought he was cute…he kept looking in my direction…I thought when he was coming over he was coming to talk to my friends, not me…but he looked straight at me and asked if I wanted to grab a bite with him…I accepted..And…it was summer love." I reminisced how jealous every other person seemed around us. "We kept in touch…and stayed together…said I reminded him of his best friend…smart, always on top of things…" then I frowned. "I just got word of the accident this morning. I left school without a word, had to see him…"
"You love him." It wasn't a question, it was an observation. He seemed guilty as he said that.
"Yeah. I do." I admitted.
The doctor came out and said he was done with sports forever now, but he'd be able to walk again after his leg was fixed.
Gene went in to see my long time boyfriend first, and I waited. When Gene left, the doctor said no more visitors today, but I used the charm I shared with Finny, and managed to get in. I closed the door gently behind me and he lifted his head up from his little bed, and got a big grin on his face, as if I were the best Christmas present he could get this year, or ever.
"Mads." He grinned as I walked over to his bedside.
"Finny…what have you gotten yourself into?" I stroked his face, as my voice broke.
"Nothing that can't be fixed up." And I made a sobbing laugh.
"You won't be able to play sports anymore." I made a frown. Finny without sports…was like…the world ending.
"But I'll walk again…I can't imagine someone as beautiful as you staying with a handicap." He shuddered.
I smiled as I caressed his cheek. "I love you…no matter what." I leaned in and kissed him, and the feeling sent shivers down my spine. I'd missed this.
"So I'm guessing you want to know what happened?" he sighed. I smirked, he knew me all too well.
He started. "I fell off the branch…I have this club with Gene…and we were being dumb…and I hit the ground, not the river…and broke my leg. I thought I was reaching out for Gene, but he wouldn't help…but that's crazy. He'd never hurt me. It's against code for me to accuse him."
I got up and turned to leave.
"Where are you going?" he asked, his beautiful eyes filled with wonder.
"Just because you go by a code, doesn't mean I have to as well. I'm going to have a chat with Gene."
I knew something seemed off about him, and I was going to find out what.