Chapter 7: December

It snowed early that year, melted and then and froze. No one left their dorms except to go to classes for fear of falling on the steep slopes. When it snowed again, thick enough to cover the ice, Daniel went to see Jenna.

She had not spoken to Tom since the night of the party; she refused to see him. Daniel had talked to Tom about Jenna's treatment of him, and Tom, troubled by her association with Jacob, let Jenna ignore him. He didn't mind that she had continually snubbed him throughout their relationship. What he did mind was whatever she found attractive in Jacob.

She hadn't seen Jacob either, since they had first spoken. She had no interest in him, she had nothing against him but she found him dull. She spoke only to the friends she had had last year, who were ready to forgive her for Tom now that they had broken up. Daniel, however, was not going to let her off so easily.

She was sitting in front of the fire wrapped in a blanket, reading with her toes close to the heat. She put her book down when he sat next to her.

"Hi," he said.


"How are you?"

"Good. How are you?"

"Good. Did you hear about Tom and Pansy?"

She nodded. He didn't look at her.

"I can't say I blame him."

"What, for cheating on me?"

"Do you really care?"

She shook her head. "You know my feelings for him."

"I didn't think you had any. What are you reading?" She closed her book so he could see the cover. "Of course. Jane Austen. That explains your odd speech."

"What speech?"

"You know my feelings for him," Daniel said, pinching his mouth primly. She smacked him and laughed.

"Shut up," she said, "I can't help it."

"Shut up, Daniel," he mimicked. "Don't hurt yourself, Daniel. You don't think much of me, do you?"

She was startled. "What are you talking about?"

"You thought I was going to throw myself off the train."

"I was worried about you."

"What did I tell you at that party?"

"I don't know. Don't you remember?"

He shook his head, nodded. "Yeah, I do. I told you to kill me."

"No you didn't."

"Okay, then I don't. I told someone to kill me." He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, rocking her gently. "Little Jenna, don't listen to my words."

"Don't call me that," she said. "It makes me want to pull your hair or something."

"I should never have lived with you."

"It was nice," she said, unconvincingly.

"This time. Not when we were four."

She covered her ears with her hands. "I don't want to hear it. I know it was my fault."

"Yeah, it was," he said, grinning. "Jenna, slow me down."

She was tucked against him and she breathed in his shirt, slowly. "I do try."

"No, you don't. You're awful sometimes. You act like a spoiled brat. But at least you don't think you're done."

"Done what?"


"What would I be done living for? I'm like – how old am I?"

"You think I know?"

"Shut up," she said. "Just sit there. Slow down."

"You're not helping."

"Just sit there," she said. "Don't talk. I'm tired of our nothing."

"We aren't nothing. We're –"

"You think too much. Don't think."

"What am I supposed to think about?"


"I thought you were tired of that."

"Hush," she said. "Stop."