Chapter Five

Feel it as the wind strokes my skin

I am moved by the chill

Hear the winter bird sing

Mary had her phone in one hand, scrolling through Facebook as usual. Lily had turned to Mia and was chatting for the thousandth time about Percy Weasley. Only Catherine was acting different. She looked as though she was having a debate in her head. I grabbed her hand, and she jumped, turning to stare at me with dazed eyes.

"The voices back?"

She nodded, a frown on her face. Sometimes she heard voices in her head, trying to convince her to cause harm to herself. Times like these were when I thanked my mother for sending me to acting classes as a child.

I grinned ear to ear, gripped her hand tightly, and dragged her out of her chair. I weaved my way through the maze of tables, guiding a half-lucid Catherine. I stopped when we neared the table that Alice was sitting at with Edward, Bella, and a few other people.

Thankfully, the table was also close to the salad counter.

Gripping her shoulders tightly, I made sure to speak softly, "Go get yourself a reasonably portioned salad. I'll wait here with Alice –she's an acquaintance – and if there's any trouble, I'll come over."

Catherine nodded, her hands fidgeting with the hem of her shirt. I hated seeing her so fragile, but I was doing the best I could, it would just take time.

Alice glanced at me as I stood behind her, listening to their conversation, but she turned around again after a few seconds. I was half-listening, half keeping an eye on Catherine.

Most people at the table seemed nice, but a guy named Mike and a guy named Jessica weren't the type of people I would ever call friends.

Catherine had almost finished fathering her lunch when her demeanor changed. Her eyes were wild and her fingers were twitching, inching closer to where the cutlery was. Without a word, I walked over to her and gripped her hand in mine. She didn't say anything; she was almost visibly shaking. I linked arms with her and started to talk, leading her over to our bags so we could leave the crowded room.

"So Adrianna was thinking of painting our room. What color do you think?" I didn't let her answer. "We thought that Mia would like a vibrant pink, so we're definitely not going to ask for her opinion."

Lily and Mia almost grimaced when they saw the state of Catherine, but wordlessly handed us our bags. Mary stayed glued to her phone.

"Anyway, I was thinking that a dark blue would be good as a base coat. Then we could pant some trees and wild-grass. Of course, we also have to consider what animals to paint – cause seriously, what is a forest without animals. I was thinking that butterflies would be a bargaining chip with Mia, and you might like tigers. But, I definitely want at least one owl somewhere on the wall, because that would be totally cute."

We were sitting on the steps that looked out into the student parking lot. It was empty apart from a couple who were in an intense make-out session.

There was silence for a minute before Catherine spoke in a small voice, "Thank you, Evie."

I pretended to be confused, "What? For making sure our room isn't bright pink, or for chatting until your ears fell off?"

Catherine smiled, shoving me sideways on the step. "You know what I mean."

I smiled, genuinely this time. "That's what friends are for Cat."

"Yeah…" Her ears were red as she stared at her shoes.

"Oh, Cat, be an optimist!"

She looked disbelieving, so I grabbed her hand. "C'mon, Cat, make an oath. I shall forever and always be an optimist!"

Cat grinned sheepishly, replying in a small wavering voice. "I shall forever and always be an optimist."

I grinned, and then immediately groaned at the sound of the bell. "Well, I've got chemistry and then history, so unless you want to sit in the cold alone, I suggest you get up off your butt."

Catherine smiled and skipped up the steps with me.

Chemistry turned out to be a class that I actually needed to focus in. Ironically, it was also the class that I paid the least attention to, thanks to Edward Cullen.

I was peacefully sitting by myself when someone plonked their books next to mine. I hadn't been too worried, until I discovered that it was Edward Cullen. For about half of the lesson, I had managed to avoid his staring. I had taken good, useful notes, until I had finally snapped.

"What do you want, Cullen?" I hissed, under my breath.

One eye watching the teacher, one eye on the vampire beside me.

Instead of answering my question, he asked his own. "What was wrong with your friend at lunch?"

I scowled heavily, it certainly wasn't any of his business. "Does it matter?"

He smiled slightly, "Contrary to what you believe, I do actually care."

"Why?" My guards were up, there was no known reason for him to care.

"Your mother is coming over – with you – for dinner tomorrow night."

My eyebrows rose, mom was sure going to get a view of my opinion this afternoon. But right now I had to focus on Edward.


He shrugged, watching our teacher. "I don't know."

I hoped that was the end of the conversation.

"What's up with your friend?"

"You want to know if she's a threat." It wasn't a question.


I sighed, taking a few more notes. "She hears voices telling her what to do. It wasn't so bad before, but it got worse after her family died."

Edward nodded, but didn't say anything else.

"Cat's not a threat, if anything, she's a liability. You could kill her with your pinkie."

It was a depressing thought, but it was true. Catherine was only a danger to herself.

After that conversation, my notes had gotten sloppy, and I was glad when the bell ran, sending me to history, my final class. Unfortunately, like the majority of my subjects, we weren't covering anything new. Fortunately, none of the Cullens were in this class with me.

Sure, Alice was great, in fact, I could even consider her to be a friend. But Edward and Bella would've ended up annoying me with their interrogation-like questions.

So I sat in silence, patiently listening to the teacher explain what I already knew. Mentally, I corrected him a few times, but said nothing aloud, as it would've gotten me into trouble.

It was a relief when the final bell rang, and I met Mary at the car.

"How was your day?"

Mary shrugged, "Hell."

I smirked, "Forever and always, school is hell."

Mary groaned, dragging herself into the car. "That is so cheesy, Evie."

I grinned, "I know."

All I need is to remember

How it was to feel alive

I need to remember

How it was to feel alive

Winter Bird - Aurora