Gail, Keir, Quill, Jill, Pat, Nick, Emilia, Maggie

Intimate Exchange

‘Sit with me.’
‘Sorry, I can’t.’
‘Why not?’
He spotted Gail at the far end of the refectory, her bowed head in her hands, her face covered, shoulders slumped, heard Emilia’s tremulous voice, interfering, in the background,
‘Don’t you like me?’
‘It isn’t that.’
Keir wanted to tell her he admired her, to be her friend. But the sight of Gail clouded his mind. Instead, he focused on her rejection. ‘What is it then?’
He shrugged.
She set down her tray, itching badly, scratching herself incessantly, a bleeding heart,
‘Is it my spots?’